Executive Forum Speaker Series
The Executive Forum is designed to provide the wealth of knowledge and experience of inspirational leaders and executives from a wide variety of businesses and industries. The speakers present a brief overview of their businesses, as well as specific professional experiences, followed by a discussion of key issues facing their industries in the current business and economic climate.
ACE proudly organizes the Executive Forum to help students and external audience members to hone in on their career development interests by enabling them to gain insight from business leaders who represent a wide array of industries.
The speaker series is comprised of presentations and seminar-like interaction with entrepreneurs and executives focusing on the practical nature of business development. Audience members and executives will discuss current challenges facing business and industry today and consider alternative ways of meeting these challenges.
Marylouise Fitzgibbon is the General Manager of the W Fort Lauderdale hotel. As a 22-year veteran of Starwood, she has been running W hotels throughout the country for the last 10 of those years. Prior to joining the W Fort Lauderdale resort, she was the opening General Manager for the W Atlanta Buckhead hotel. Under her leadership, the hotel instantly became a local sensation, and the rooftop bar, Whiskey Blue, was named by Travel & Leisure Magazine as one of the Top Ten Hotel Hangouts in the country.
She has been personally featured in over a dozen articles highlighting the hotel industry including features in USA Today, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Sun Sentinel, etc…. In 2010, she was chosen by the American Hotel & Lodging Association as the National Winner of their General Manager Of The Year award- this award spans all hotel companies in the United States.
As an Adjunct Professor for the last 9 years, Marylouise Fitzgibbon loves to share her perspective on creating World-Class service.
Daniel is CEO and Co-founder of South Florida-based Modernizing Medicine, Inc., a healthcare IT company that is revolutionizing the way in which medical information is created, consumed and utilized to increase efficiency, lower costs and improve outcomes.
Founded in February 2010, Modernizing Medicine has grown to approximately 190 employees and has raised nearly $30M in funding. Known for its progressive growth as a medical technology company, the company is frequently recognized for its achievements. In 2014 Red Herring named Modernizing Medicine to its Top 100 North America list, and the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce honored the company as the Business of the Year. The company was named in the top 50 of America’s Most Promising Companies in 2013 by Forbes and recognized by the Florida Business Journals as third on the list of the 100 Fastest Growing Companies in the State of Florida. In the same year, the South Florida Business Journal named Modernizing Medicine the #1 Fastest Growing Company in the Fast 50 for the second consecutive year and selected the company as one of The Best Places to Work. The South Florida Business Journal selected Modernizing Medicine as the Business of the Year in 2012.
Daniel has received numerous accolades. Daniel was named the Sun Sentinel Excalibur Awards Palm Beach Small Business Leader of the Year for 2013. He was also named a Palm Beach County Ultimate CEO by the South Florida Business Journal, and as an exceptional leader and innovator with a 40 Under 40 award. In August 2013, Daniel was appointed by Florida Governor Rick Scott to the Florida Atlantic University Board of Trustees for a term beginning August 20, 2013, and ending January 6, 2016.
Frequently invited to speak at various forums, Daniel and Modernizing Medicine Chief Medical Officer and Co-founder Dr. Michael Sherling introduced schEMA Powered by IBM Watson at IBM Impact 2014. He was also a panelist at the United Nations Economic and Social Council Civil Society Forum in New York and participated in The Human Experience, the first TEDxDelrayBeach event. He has spoken on South Florida Technology Alliance CEO panels and at numerous other venues.
An entrepreneur, Daniel has a BS in Applied Economics from Cornell University, where, as an undergraduate, he co-founded Blackboard Inc., raised over $100M in venture capital and in 2004 helped take the company public on the NASDAQ (BBBB). In 2011, Blackboard was sold for $1.6B.
Active in the local community, Daniel serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Board at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium and is on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Palm Beach County. He is an active mentor to entrepreneurs, and a member of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, the Boca Chamber of Commerce and several local advisory boards. Daniel works, lives and enjoys life with his wife and three children in South Florida.
Mr. Duemmler has been with Kayne Anderson since the launch of its real estate platform in 2007 and is responsible for its real estate investment operations and all asset management activities.
Mr. Duemmler also served as Chief Investment Officer until 2012, when Mr. Selznick joined the firm, and he continues to serve as a member of the Investment Committee. Mr. Duemmler has over 30 years of wide ranging experience in real estate and financial services. As Executive Vice President of Intrepid Capital Partners, a U.S.-based investment firm, he was a key player in the successful float, on the London Stock Market's AIM, of Hirco PLC, a real estate investment company, raising over $700 million for investment in mixed-use real estate developments in India, and investing over 90% of those proceeds within 12 months. Mr. Duemmler has also held senior positions at numerous leading investment firms, including Merrill Lynch, where he successfully built a commercial mortgage origination group, developed innovative real estate financing vehicles, managed and restructured over $700 million in commercial real estate loans, and structured over $400 million in merchant banking transactions.
Mr. Duemmler raised equity capital for numerous real estate developments, and, as a private banker at Chase (now JP Morgan Chase) and PNC Bank, advised high net worth clients on real estate investment and finance opportunities, as well as hedging strategies. He started his career at the law firm of Dewey Ballantine (the predecessor to the former Dewey & LeBoeuf), handling real estate and equipment finance transactions, as well as corporate and municipal debt offerings.
He earned a J.D. cum laude from Washington & Lee University School of Law and a B.A. with Honors in Economics from Colgate University
Adam Hasner’s professional life blends nearly 20 years of private sector business experience with a decade of leadership and advocacy in the public service arena. In addition to his extensive legislative accomplishments and serving two terms (2007-2010) as the Majority Leader of the Florida House of Representatives, Adam’s diverse background includes corporate development, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic communications.
After being admitted to The Florida Bar in 1995, Adam began his professional career working in commercial sales and marketing with PCA Health Plans, then a leading Miami-based managed care company. In 1997, Adam was recruited to join Columbia/HCA Physician Services – ultimately serving as Florida Director of Corporate Development and Acquisitions – where he managed legal, business, financial and compliance matters for physician practice acquisitions/divestitures, joint ventures and medical practice start-ups.
From 2000 until 2008, Adam operated a boutique strategic advisory firm assisting multiple healthcare companies with legal and business counsel in the corporate development process including physician practice acquisitions and divestitures, strategic alliances and complex licensing arrangements.
From 2008 until 2013, Adam expanded his focus to provide strategic counsel to emerging businesses in the areas of renewable energy, environmental technology and financial literacy and has led several strategic business development initiatives at the intersection of public policy and innovation.
In 2014, Adam was named Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for People’s Trust Insurance, a Florida based homeowner’s insurance company providing innovative solutions to one of Florida’s biggest affordability challenges.
He is currently responsible for leading the company’s dynamic efforts in marketing, advertising, customer service, brand management, government affairs, community engagement, media relations, external communications and corporate development. Adam also serves as a member of the PTI Executive Management Committee.
While representing our local community in the Florida Legislature from 2002-2010, Adam amassed a diverse and distinguished list of legislative achievements and he was consistently recognized as a leading voice for economic development and job creation through science, research, and technology.
In Tallahassee, Adam championed key initiatives including the formation of the independent four-year medical school at the Boca Raton campus of Florida Atlantic University and was also on the front lines in helping to establish Florida’s life sciences industry with the creation of the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute.
Among his many recognitions, Adam was the 2007 recipient of the F.A.U. President’s Talon Award, the 2009 Everglades Trust Legislator of the Year, and was twice named American Cancer Society Legislator of the Year.
Adam received his B.A. from the University of Maryland at College Park in 1991, and in 1995 he graduated from the Florida State University College of Law.
Adam continues to remain actively engaged in our local community and was appointed by Florida Governor Rick Scott to serve as Chairman of the Palm Beach County Early Learning Coalition. Adam is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Boca Raton Regional Hospital.
You can also watch Adam as a regular contributor for WPBF Channel 25/West Palm Beach as part of their Commitment 2014 election coverage.
Adam and his wife Jillian reside in Boca Raton. They enjoy country music, college sports, traveling and eating at restaurants featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
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Maria E. Hernandez
Maria Hernandez is Chief Innovation Officer for IBM where she’s a visionary leader and evangelist in driving innovation with IBM’s largest Strategic Outsourcing clients in Latin America, opening doors to new business and increasing client satisfaction through innovative technologies and solutions. She has also led the strategic thinking and transformation of IBM’s channel in North America with a focus on Cloud Computing as the game changer to drive solution selling through Business Partners. She developed the NA Cloud strategy which encompassed BP segmentation, offering readiness assessments, BP enablement activities, cross brand collaboration, and performance metrics to transform the growth initiative into an operational business. Her close relationships with BPs and Distributors coupled with her teaming across business units led to the successful adoption and revenue attainment of Cloud solutions by the targeted BP firms.
She expanded her role into the entrepreneurial ecosystem by launching StartupFlorida as the 5th state to be part of the StartupAmerica national initiative which brings together the private sector, incubators, investors, and other organizations to support entrepreneurs who leverage technology to drive innovation. Maria then worked closely with the ecosystem and IBM to conduct the first SmartCamp Kickstart event for Healthcare aimed at identifying early stage entrepreneurs developing business ventures which align with IBM’s Smarter Healthcare vision. Her growing knowledge and visibility within the entrepreneurial space led to her being selected for IBM’s SmarterCities Challenge in Malaga, Spain where she spent three weeks working with the City government and other key stakeholders understanding their entrepreneurial capabilities and recommending best practices and ideas to drive economic development and job growth.
Maria has also been a leader with IBM’s Corporate Strategy team responsible for business development activities in the growth markets identifying and supporting key growth plays such as Cloud. She worked closely with clients, IBM country teams, and Business Partners to develop innovative solutions and partnerships to progress and win complex deals. Her emerging markets experience included returning the Central American region to profitable growth, serving as a thought leader in their transformation to solutions and services, and providing customer insights and input into IBM’s strategic projects and initiatives given the role’s client facing interactions.
Prior to her emerging markets role, Maria successfully demonstrated her leadership and technical knowledge in a broad spectrum of experiences including being the IBM Executive Advocate for Ford Motor Co. assigned to manage customer satisfaction and increase the success of sales teams at this top tier IBM client. During her Executive Assistant assignment to IBM's Sr. VP of Research she led a team in identifying technologies and capabilities to leverage Research innovation within IBM's consulting business. She was at the forefront in bringing our Research capabilities and value through client engagements.
Maria is the founder of LatinNet, an IBM Latino network group with a track record of accomplishments in networking, mentoring and recruiting. She spearheaded La Red Familiar, a first of its kind virtual network for Latina leaders at IBM. She is also a founder of Madrinas, a non-profit organization for Corporate Latina leaders across the US. She serves on the Advisory Boards of Florida International Univ, Latino Business Today online magazine, and St. Thomas Univ. Maria has received recognition for being a Latina role model and is a frequent speaker at women conferences and university events. She was recognized by Hispanic Business Magazine as of their top Women Elite for her influential role in corporate America, her leadership in the IT field, and her impact on the Latino community.
Maria earned a BA degree in Management Information Systems from Pace University, New York, and has attended extensive marketing, technical, and project management education at IBM. She has also received a Masters Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University.
Isaias Sudit is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of TROVE.
Isaias Sudit has spent the last 20 years creating and building high growth companies. Prior to founding TROVE, Isaias had launched and developed three companies in technology and data aggregation service industry. In 2004, he started LOC-AID® Technologies, Inc. to focus on the developing LBS market. Prior to that, he founded Datumcom in 1995, which became the leading international supplier of vehicle-based positioning services and infrastructures.
Isaias led the transition of Datumcom into the telematics field, where the company became a leader at the intersection of communications, computing, and vehicles. Veridian (now General Dynamics) acquired his first venture, Datumtech, in 1997.
Isaias has raised over $30+ million in investment capital for his ventures, and is an active member in the South Florida entrepreneurial community. He sits on the advisory board of three organizations; Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), The Florida International University Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center, and the University of Miami SBA Entrepreneurship Board. Isaias holds Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering from The Ohio State University.
Robert S. Flippo is the Chief Executive Officer of MobileHelp. During the past 20 years, Robert S. Flippo has worked in both start-up environments as well as fortune 50 companies. Mr. Flippo has experience in forming high-performance teams and has held executive roles at high-tech companies such as Motorola, Boca Research, and Emergin Incorporated.
Mr. Flippo is currently the CEO and co-founder of MobileHelp based in Boca Raton Florida, and is a current member of the Board of Directors of MAMA, the Medical Alert Monitoring Association. MobileHelp is America's leading provider of M-PERS (Mobile-Personal Emergency Response System) technology and services clients in all 50 states.
In his most recent role as Vice President of Operations at Emergin, Mr. Flippo was responsible for all aspects of the company operations including the function of CFO and COO. Mr. Flippo joined Emergin as the Director of Engineering and Operations in 2003 and successfully scaled the company from $2.4M in revenue in 2003 to $15M+ in 2007. He also raised $4M in funding from a strategic partner in 2006 and negotiated a successful exit sale of the company in December 2007 with Philips Electronics. He joined Emergin from Motorola's Wireless Messaging Division, where he served as Director of Product & Business Development. At Motorola, Mr. Flippo was responsible for managing Motorola's advanced messaging product lines, patent licenses, and contract negotiations. Prior to joining Motorola, he served as Director of Engineering at Zoom Telephonics Inc. (formerly Boca Research), a leading modem and networking company, where his duties included managing software development efforts for realtime embedded operations systems.
Mr. Flippo holds an MBA from the University of Miami, a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of South Florida, and has completed coursework in business management at Harvard Business School. Mr. Flippo also holds 7 US patents for communications systems.
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Michael Houlihan & Bonnie Harvey
Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey are the founders of Barefoot Cellers and co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book chronicles the start of their business from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse in 1986, to the board room of E&J Gallo, successfully selling their brand in 2005. Barefoot is now the largest bottled wine brand in the world.
From the start, with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and strategic alliances, while pioneering Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation.
Since selling the brand to E&J Gallo, they consult with Fortune 500s and travel the world speaking to universities, corporations, conferences and symposiums. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals, along with being FOX News Radio Network’s Workplace Culture Experts, and perform on-site corporate trainings.
Recently they were the keynote speakers at the World Conference on Entrepreneurship in Dublin, Ireland and recipients of the 2014 Distinguished Entrepreneurship Speaker Award from The Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Bradley University. They wrote a companion book to the Barefoot Spirit for the C-Suite entitled, The Entrepreneurial Culture, 23 Ways to Engage and Empower Your People. This will be featured in the premier episode and network launch of Jeff Hayzlett’s C-Suite TV and C-Suite Book Club in September, 2014.
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