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3 posts from January 4, 2013

January 04, 2013

Zumba's Perlman named an Inc. "CEO to Watch," will headline Herald's Small Business Forum

Above, Alberto "Beto" Perez, Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion, at their company’s headquarters at The Village at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach early last year/Photo by Water Michot of The Miami Herald. Below, the three Albertos with some of their colorful Zumba attire/Photo by Michot. 

Zumba3SILO.jpg_2_1_7P4AJA85This week, Alberto Perlman, Zumba's CEO, was included in Inc. magazine's  "Top 5 CEOs to Watch." Last month, Zumba was honored as Inc.'s Company of the Year. We're not surprised. The Hallandale Beach-based company, now with more than 250 employees, has grown 750 percent in the past three years, according to Inc. Today, more than 14 million people around the world take a Zumba class at least once a week. The world's largest fitness brand also includes clothing and footwear lines, workout DVDs, video games and a lifestyle magazine. Like its brand that is full of energy and passion, so is the South Florida company, founded by three Albertos -- Perlman, Perez and Aghion. 

As for this week's honor as a CEO to Watch, Perlman is in very good company. The other four are: Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook); Marissa Mayer (Yahoo), Jack Dorsey (Twitter/Square) and Phil Libin (Evernote).

Mark your calendars: Perlman is scheduled to headline The Miami Herald's Small Business Forum on Feb. 21. Along with Perlman's keynote address, the half-day conference will feature panels and workshops. Watch this blog for more information and ticket sales coming soon!

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Zumba fans dance to music in a special class for charity at Metropolis Fitness in Coral Gables early last year/Photo by Marice Cohn Band of The Miami Herald. 


EO South Florida members optimistic about 2013, 82% plan to hire

EologoEntrepreneurs' Organization has more than 8,000 members -– all of whom are majority shareholders of businesses with at least $1 million in revenue -- in more than 40 countries. The South Florida chapter (EO-SOFLA) is the fourth-largest chapter of the global nonprofit in the world, coming in just behind New York, Japan and Mumbai.

 EO-SOFLA has 158 entrepreneur members whose businesses account for more than $1 billion in revenues and 25,000 jobs in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

The chapter recently released results of a survey of its membership. Here are some highlights, according to the chapter's press release: 

South Florida entrepreneurs overwhelmingly expect a prosperous 2013 for the region’s economy. In the survey, more than 82 percent of EO-SOFLO respondents planned to hire more employees here
during 2013.  The same percentage predicted growth and prosperity for South Florida businesses overall.

“Entrepreneurs are optimistic by nature, so the survey results aren’t surprising,” said Dr. Mark Sanna, EO chapter president and CEO of Breakthrough Coaching in Miami. “But there are various practical factors for us to expect the growth of 2012 to continue and improve this year.”

In 2012, the survey showed more than 60 percent of EO-SOFLO member companies increased revenues, and more than 66 percent added jobs. Numerous EO members, including Darren Seys, owner of Peak Seven advertising agency in Boca Raton, pointed to the rebounding real estate sector as major factor in South Florida economic growth in 2013.

 “The continued growth of this segment is going to lift a very wide range of businesses that don’t necessarily come to mind when you think of homebuilding or sales," said Seys.  "Fortunately for me, somebody has to create the ads and the websites for real estate developers, builders and such.”

South Florida’s evolving technology sector and international business standing also ranked high as growth opportunities for 2013 among EO-SOFLO respondents.

According to the survey, top challenges for the South Florida economy in 2013 include uncertainty, new tax laws and regulation related to the recent “fiscal cliff” crisis; finding trained and talented staff; and access to working capital and growth funding from banks.

For more information on EO, visit www.eonetwork.org.


Were you a past winner of the Business Plan Challenge? What are you doing now?

Challenge logoThe Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge, our annual entrepreneurship contest now in its 15th year, will be launching Jan. 28. As part of the launch package, we’ll be unveiling the contest rules and 2013 judges as well as checking in on last year’s winners.

Challenge chairDuring the contest entry period, we like to highlight past participants as well. Were you a past winner or finalist in one of the past 14 years? We’d love to hear from you and catch up on your entrepreneurial pursuits. Email me at ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

And stay tuned for details on entering the 2013 Challenge. We're hoping to make it our best contest yet  -- and we need you for that!