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Successful South Florida Leaders

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Discovering the Secrets of Success one Leader at a Time!

Identifying Successful South Florida Leaders and What it Takes to Accomplish the Unimaginable. Next, I will feature Olga Ramudo, President of Express Travel to determine her secrets of success? Be sure to check back tomorrow!

April 24, 2017 0 comment
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Discovering the Secrets of Success one Leader at a Time!

Identifying Successful South Florida Leaders and What it Takes to Accomplish the Unimaginable. Next week I will feature Olga Ramudo, President of Express Travel.  What are Olga’s secrets of success?  Be sure to check back on Tuesday!

April 22, 2017 0 comment
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Secrets of Success

Discovering the Secrets of Success one Leader at a Time!

Identifying Successful South Florida Leaders and What it Takes to Accomplish the Unimaginable. This week meet Kira Labs Founder, David Rosen.

What are David Rosen’s secrets of success?

David Rosen is originally from Melbourne, Australia.  Already he sounds interesting!  After leaving Australia and settling in South Florida, David incorporated Kira Labs in April of 2003.  His company is now a global, multi-million dollar company.  Kira Labs is located in Pompano Beach, FL and manufacturers natural, quality skincare products.  His company private labels and manufactures nearly 100 million units for over 250 brands.

Secrets of Success

Curious to know what David’s secrets of success?  Keep reading..

David is very conscientious about the brand and understands his brand’s reputation is the key to having a strong bottom line.  His focus is on high quality and integrity of the products.  David’s company focuses on Research and Development in order to uphold his commitment to high quality products and is his key component to success.  Rosen also understands the need to change.  Rosen identifies and changes the inventory of his high-end anti-aging products in order to stay competitive.  David’s company must continue to innovate so he can continue to have the on-line sales success he has been receiving via Amazon, Ebay, Shopify, and Yahoo!

Secrets of Success

One of David’s recent innovations was the introduction of his white label program.  The company launched the program in 2015.  This new program provided 24-hour turnaround times and low minimum order requirements.  The idea is to give direct-to-consumer marketers the resources to build their own brand with ease and confidence.

David has been described as having integrity, charisma, energy, and transparency.  All great and important qualities of a successful leader.  We have also determined David has a knack for innovation, creativity, and ability to change which are also key ingredients for secrets of success.

Secrets of Success

On Oprah.com there was an article written that identified 15 things really successful people want you to know.  The one that stuck out to me for this article was number

#12: How to Spot a Good Opportunity:

“A lot of people ask me how I knew Mad Men or Breaking Bad would make great TV.  I knew because when I read this scripts, I felt something.  I didn’t do any market testing or focus groups – I just asked myself, Would I want to watch this?  When you’re weighing an opportunity, make the question that simple: Do I really want this, or am I doing it for the money or the prestige or because I think I should?  It can’t just be about those things.  It has to make you feel good, too.  and by the way, if opportunities aren’t knocking, you can make your own.  When I was looking for work several years ago, I took everyone I knew in New York, where I’d just moved, to dinner or drinks or tea.  I explained that I was open to anything.  Six moths later, one of those dinner dates called about a possible job at AMC.  If I hadn’t put myself out there, that never would have happened.” – Christina Wayne, former senior VP at AMC, current president of Cineflix Studios, and executive producer of the new BBC America series Copper

You have to believe in your product or service and conduct your business with the utmost integrity.  When it’s time to change course, be ready to innovate.  Congratulations, David, on all your success!  We know you have the secrets of success to keep it going!


April 21, 2017 0 comment
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Never Give Up

Discovering the True Ingredients of Success one Leader at a Time! Never Give up on Your Dreams!

Identifying Successful South Florida Leaders and What it Takes to Accomplish the Unimaginable. This week meet Melanie Grefe (Magical Mermaids Swim Wear).

What are the true ingredients of success?

Melanie Grefe is a Hollywood, FL resident who incorporated Magical Mermaids Swim Wear in 2014. As a child, Melanie Grefe would take family trips to Weeki Wachee Springs, located in Spring Hill, FL. Weeki Wachee is the only City of Live Mermaids in which the Mermaids put on underwater shows in elaborate costumes. Weeki Wachee was named by the Seminole Indians and means “little spring” or “winding river.” Grefe was memorized by the shows and the beautiful costumes so it was only natural she would take her own children there several years later.

Just like her mom, Grefe’s daughter was also in aww of these spectacular shows with lovely costumes. Melanie and her daughter decided to visit a local gift shop to purchase a mermaid costume. To their surprise, there weren’t any for sale. Seems like a missed opportunity to me.

Melanie Grefe decided to get creative and make her daughter a mermaid costume. She bought some nylon spandex fabric and sewed her daughter a mermaid tail. During a trip to Disney, her daughter wore the tail. Grefe was amazed by how many people at Disney asked her where she had found the tail. In addition, several of her daughter’s friends were asking to get one.

Melanie knew she was on to something. She teamed up with a friend, Pamela Tarentino, who was a seamstress. They created several designs which they started to sell on her website at www.magicalmermaidswimwear.com.

“It’s just about never giving up” stated Grefe. The premise behind her business and designs are to “inspire imagination and encourage healthy self-esteem,” according to the website. She makes sure they cater to every shape and size.

Since inception, Magical Mermaids Swim Wear has been featured in South Florida Parenting Magazine, US Weekly, E Online, InStyle Magazine, Daily Mail, Celebrity Life, E!, ABC News, CBS, and People Magazine. Melanie also tried out for Shark Tank at the Miami Casting Call in 2015.

Melanie also believes in giving back to the community. She donates 5% of the company’s net proceeds to the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key, FL. She also donates another 5% to shelters that help abused women and children.

If you would like to learn more about Melanie’s business and designs, please visit www.magicalmermaidsswimwear.com.

Twitter: @MagicalMermaid3

Facebook: Magical Mermaid Swim Wear

Instagram: Magical Mermaid Swim Wear

April 18, 2017 1 comment
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Discovering the True Ingredients of Success one Leader at a Time!

Identifying Successful South Florida Leaders and What it Takes to Accomplish the Unimaginable.  This week meet John D’Eri (Rising Tide Car Wash).

What are the true ingredients of success?

Success can be measured in many ways and depending on whom you talk to, the definition of success can be very different. We are drawn to certain career paths for a variety of reasons. We explore career paths based on likes, our dislikes, subjects that interest us the most, better opportunities for getting a job, or it could be based on family reasons.

In the case of John D’Eri, it was all about family. He chose to buy a business to give his son, Andrew, and others like him that have Autism hope and help them live fulfilling lives.

John, a Social Entrepreneur, opened his carwash a little over 4 years ago with his son, Tom.  Rising Tide Car Wash and is located in Parkland, FL. When they bought the business back in 2012 they were dong 40K cars a year and now they are doing a staggering 160K cars a year. Basically tripled their business in a short amount of time.

In order to handle all this business John is dedicated to employing and training people who are autistic, including his son Andrew. John’s primary mission was to employee adults with Autism and provide them with an opportunity to build a career and live an independent lifestyle. Rising Tide Car Wash is one of the largest employers of people with Autism in the U.S. with 92 employees. This number will grow as they get ready to open their 2nd location in Margate, FL come this Spring.


What fascinated me about this business and lead me to write this article in their critical ingredients for success. They pride themselves on their culture and having the highest standards in the industry. They reinforce positive behavior, which in turn increase employee motivation. This family gives people with Autism HOPE.  There is a ton of camaraderie and support for one another. They have pizza parties to celebrate successful weeks and they acknowledge star performers by highlighting employees through their Employee Spotlight program. These might seem basic to some but so many leaders don’t take the time to appreciate their employees. Recognition programs and Celebrations have a major impact on morale. These are philosophies every business can establish and it shows dedication to your most precious assets, Employees. Yes, it takes time and energy, but the pay-offs are enormous.

While I was doing my research, I found a quote John used, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What you are doing for others?” – Martin Luther King, Jr. When your focus is on giving back and improving lives of others, success will follow.


I urge you to go to their website and read all the wonderful reviews. As John put it, “This is not a charity, it has to be a business.” A thriving business at that! Many of the reviews from customers are about the actual customer service they received and not about what they are doing for the community and Autism, which is just as commendable. They do a great job washing cars and that is what keeps them in business.

John and his son, Tom, also get the word out through participating in Ted Talks, seminars, and even a testimony to the United Nation.

If you love what they stand for, you can also join the movement. Visit www.risingtidecarwash.com.

Follow on Facebook @RisingTideCarWash

Follow on Twitter @RisingTideWash

April 10, 2017 0 comment
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What it takes

Discovering the True Ingredients of Success one Leader at a Time!

Identifying Successful South Florida Leaders and What it Takes to Accomplish the Unimaginable.  This week meet Cristina Rodriguez and Lauren Koff (Mind & Melody, Inc)

Accomplishing your goals isn’t always as easy as it seems.  Life has a funny way of throwing curve balls at you that get in the way of your true destiny.  How is it that others face similar curve balls but go on to accomplish amazing things?  What are the ingredients for success?  Frankly, I’m tired of reading the same generic advice (work hard, never give up, focus, create to-do-lists, wake up early, exercise, etc).  Anyone can do these things but not everyone can accomplish unimaginable things. What separates the focused, hard-working person who wakes up early to exercise from the insanely successful?  Why can some people have a great idea while others can put these great idea into play?

I decided to explore South Florida people who seem to have found the true ingredients for great fortune in their life.  For this first article, I wanted to write about a person who is pursuing their dreams with major accomplishments.  After doing research in South Florida, I was impressed by all the people who were following their dreams with great returns.  At the same time, I  was underwhelmed by the female representation.  Either there aren’t many success stories written or there is a huge disparity between men and women.  Let me be clear, this article is not about males vs females.  I want to be able to provide individuals the tools to recognize their passion and find the ingredients for success to Make It Happen!

I decided to dig deeper and find a female we can all aspire to be.  Luck would have it, I found two working together: Cristina Rodriguez and Lauren Koff, founders of Mind and Melody.  This non-for-profit was founded in 2014 but was thought of much earlier.   I love this point because so many great ideas are thought of but nothing  ever comes of it because they don’t have the “thing” to make it happen.  The “thing” could be strength, resources, ability, or pure determination.  These two had it all plus the ability to not let NO stand in their way.  I think if you believe in something so much absolutely nothing will stand in your way.  Any doubt will derail your plan.

What I learned from my research is Cristina Rodriguez, now in her early 20s,  has played cello since was 10 years old.  In 2009, Cristina volunteered at Miami Children’s Hospital when she thought to herself how great it would be to have a room filled with instruments where kids could learn how to play an instrument.  She kept this idea to herself for several years but very much alive in her thoughts.  During her Junior year of High School she tried to reach and share her idea to the volunteer coordinator she worked with at Miami Children’s but she had left the company.  She proposed the similar idea to Jackson South Hospital, where she was now volunteering, for the psychiatric department.  She was told NO since they thought there would be confidentiality and liability issues.  Do you think No would stop her?  Of course not!

Fast forward another few years and Cristina meets Lauren Koff in college at Florida Atlantic University.  Together they were required to complete a thesis.  Cristina presented her idea to Lauren and Lauren grabbed on.  Although they found incredible benefits on the effects music has on neurocognitive disorders, they were unable to complete the thesis due to the nature of the experiment.  Again, not letting anything stand in their way, they chose to pursue this as a side project.  That is how the non-profit organization, Mind and Melody was born.

What it takes to be successful

Now with over 200 volunteers and conducting music education programs at over ten facilities across Florida, these strong ladies are well on their way for success  Lesson here is they believed whole heartedly in their idea and they never let “NO” get in their way.  When I reached out to Cristina and Lauren, they were in Washington, DC advocating for Alzheimer’s disease on the hill.

What it takes to be successful

What it takes to be successful

I asked them what they thought it takes to be successful.  Lauren eloquently stated,

“Success is directed by perspective. For myself, success has been achieving my dream of making a living doing something I am passionate about: helping others and growing leaders. There was real struggle and continues to be everyday to keep my dream a reality. My passion and the other co-founder’s devotion to Mind&Melody is what drives our success. Every time we deal with one set back we push forth to the next advance. For every grant we are awarded there’s over a dozen that turn us down. To be successful you must continue to motivate yourself to keep moving forward even when you fail. Loosing is hard, but it’s so important to view each “failure” as opportunity to grow. Mind&Melody has been successful because Cristina, I and our team of over 200 people utilize the best skills we each possess and find ways to collaborate and further grow our organization. We bring together talented musicians, dedicated and loving volunteers, and skilled business minds to improve and transform lives daily.”

I look forward to see how successful Mind and Melody becomes and I envision these two talented women will have other ventures we will learn about in the upcoming years.  Keep them on your radar.

To become a volunteer or donate, please visit their website at www.mindandmelody.org or check out their Facebook Page @MindandMelody.


April 3, 2017 0 comment
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