Haute 100

CATEGORY: Thinkers
COMPANY: Podhurst Orseck, PA

WHAT MAKES HIM HAUTE: Today, Miami stands as the only major city in America without a major art museum. But that’s about to change, thanks in large part to the work of Miami Art Museum Chairman Aaron Podhurst. Podhurst has been an instrumental force in the continued development of the museum’s new home, scheduled to open its doors in 2013. Once completed, MAM’s state-of-the-art building in Miami’s waterfront Museum Park will be one of the United State’s most important artistic links to Latin America—a cultural port that imports and exports the visual arts. When he’s not rallying public, private, and political support for MAM, Aaron is tending to his legal practice at Miami law firm Podhurst Orseck, PA. As the firm’s founding partner, Aaron has landed some of the most significant legal verdicts and settlements in aviation law history.

CATEGORY: Entrepreneurs
COMPANY: Power Play

WHAT MAKES THEM HAUTE: Jerry Powers founded Ocean Drive magazine in 1991 and turned it into one of the most successful regional publications in the country. He sold the publication to Greenspun Media Group in 2007 for $30 million and stayed on as publisher. Last year, he resigned from the magazine, as did his wife Sandi, who operated as the fashion director, and daughter Jacquelynn, who was an editor (and has since written for Haute Living). After retiring from Ocean Drive, Jerry tried his hand at a photography studio with the killer name “Power Play,” but pulled the plug after realizing the economy wasn’t what it used to be. Jerry kept himself busy volunteering with Alonzo Mourning’s Overtown Youth Center, working with the kids to put together a not-for-profit magazine over last summer. His philanthropic endeavors carried over into the New Year, when he again partnered with Mourning to host a Haiti benefit during Super Bowl week.

CATEGORY: Thinkers
COMPANY: HSI Productions

WHAT MAKES HIM HAUTE: Ratner’s is the ultimate story of local boy gone big-time. As a blockbusting director (and former Haute Living cover subject and also cover photographer), Ratner has racked up a list of films that have grossed more than a billion dollars worldwide, but he never forgets his Miami Beach roots. He made his first entrée into the world of film at age 13 by stalking around the set of Scarface, scoring a cameo as a background extra in the 1983 Brian De Palma film. He has referred to himself as the “Ferris Bueller of Miami Beach,” and his connections led him to be accepted into NYU’s prestigious film school when he was only 16. His paternal grandfather, Lee Ratner, a mega-developer responsible for the naming of Lee County in Southwest Florida, was a close friend of Haute 100 member Al Malnik, who became like a father to Brett. Because of this relationship, Brett can claim some responsibility in the transformation of Miami Beach from a geriatric haven into an international haute spot. When photographer Bruce Weber came to town in 1985 to shoot a Calvin Klein campaign, the Beach was suddenly crawling with models with nothing to do. It was Ratner and Al Malnik’s son Shareef to the rescue, and Malnik’s restaurant The Forge became the go-to haute spot. Brett got on the payroll, earning $500 per week for his efforts turning the restaurant into a must-see on Miami Beach. Today, the Hollywood great continues to turn out blockbusters while also operating Rat Press, a publishing company that is described as “everything that film is not.”

CATEGORY: Thinkers
COMPANY: City of Miami
INDUSTRY: Politics

WHAT MAKES HIM HAUTE: Mayor Regalado’s father was a political prisoner in Cuba for 22 years due to his role as president of Cuban Association of Journalists and Reporters, so our current mayor grew up with an eye on politics and a passion for the protection of personal freedom. After he arrived in Miami in his early teens as part of the Peter Pan Project, he followed his father’s footsteps and became a journalist. When his father was freed from Cuban prison, he worked alongside the young Regalado as a producer and news editor at WRHC, the Cadena Azul. Mayor Regalado was the first Cuban American member of the White House Press Corps, and has interviewed Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Sr., and Bill Clinton. By traveling the globe covering politics, he became interested in the field and was elected Miami City Commissioner in 1996. On November 3, 2009, he was elected Miami’s 33rd mayor with a 72 percent margin.

CATEGORY: Entrepreneurs
COMPANY: Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

WHAT MAKES HIM HAUTE: The Adrienne Arsht Center’s first year and a half out of the gate were marred by budget shortfalls, empty seats, and negative public perception. Now, only two years later, the Center’s early stumbles seem like a distant memory as patrons pack the seats in record numbers, budget deficits become surpluses, and its programs earn critical acclaim week after week. By all accounts, the Adrienne Arsht Center has completed a 180-degree turnaround. Perhaps more so than any other factor, the Arsht Center’s success has been a product of its leadership. When Richard became CEO in October 2008, he immediately set a tone that the nonprofit organization would be run like a first-rate business, beginning with its management team. A series of bold moves, including the decision to pay off the Center’s remaining bank debt seven years early and a ramped-up commitment to hosting community and educational programs for children and families (despite a poor economy) have all been driven by Richard.

CATEGORY: Power Couples
COMPANY: Market America
INDUSTRY: Internet Shopping

What Makes Them Haute: JR and Loren founded Market America in a 1,200-square-foot house in North Carolina some 18 years ago. Today, the Ridinger’s Casa de Sueños estate on Miami Beach is one of the city’s most enviable. Their story is the American Dream realized. JR and Loren serve as CEO and senior vice president, respectively, of the brokerage and Internet marketing company that specializes in one-to-one-marketing and is ranked among the top 70 e-retailers by Internet Retailer magazine. With more than six million customers and 180,000 Customer Managers worldwide, the company has generated more than $3.4 billion in accumulated retail sales. Since the company’s inception, individuals have earned more than $2 billion in commissions and retail profits. Market America is helping aspiring (and established) entrepreneurs all over the world harness the power of the Internet to create their own versions of paradise. It was with this idea in mind that Alejandro Sanz and Alicia Keys met one night on board the Ridinger’s megayacht Utopia 3 and ended up writing their hit song “Looking for Paradise.” This in turn was the theme of the 2010 Market America World Conference that sold out American Airlines Arena for three days straight in late January.

CATEGORY: Thinkers
COMPANY: Miami Heat
INDUSTRY: Basketball

WHAT MAKES HIM HAUTE: Now in his 15th year with the Miami Heat, Riley led the team to its first NBA championship in 2006 as the team’s head coach. As its president, he was the force responsible for bringing some of the biggest names in the NBA to Miami, including Shaquille O’Neal, Alonzo Mourning, Antoine Walker, as well as other all-stars. Riley’s NBA career spans 38 years as a player, assistant coach, head coach, administrator, and broadcaster, and he has produced seven NBA championships. He has more wins than all but two other individuals under his belt. This impressive list of accomplishments earned him a spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, which is the NBA’s biggest honor.

CATEGORY: Originators
COMPANY: Dacra Development
INDUSTRY: Real Estate

WHAT MAKES HIM HAUTE: South Beach, Lincoln Road, Española Way, and, most importantly, the Design District can all credit this innovate visionary for their transformative rebirth. His Dacra Development Group combines art and architecture to create extremely avant-garde projects, revitalizing neighborhoods as it goes. In the Design District, Dacra is in the midst of a $250 million expansion that will bring a boutique hotel to a neighborhood that was all but forgotten before Robins came across the causeway after breathing life back into Lincoln Road and South Beach’s dilapidated Art Deco hotels. For the ambitious AQUA project, Dacra partnered with urban planners to create a whole luxury community on 8.5 acres in Miami Beach, and through Dacra Global, Robins hopes to bring his unique eye for urban revitalization to communities around the world.

CATEGORY: Originators
COMPANY: Marc Roberts Companies
INDUSTRY: Real Estate

WHAT MAKES HIM HAUTE: Roberts’ sports management company. Worldwide Entertainment and Sports, was the first of its kind to go public through an IPO, which afforded him the means to become a real estate magnate. Today, he is working on the 30-acre Miami Worldcenter project, which aims to transform a blighted area downtown into a live-work-play environment with retail, restaurant, entertainment, hotel, residential, and commercial components. It’s an ambitious project (to say the least) that entails creating 12 million square feet over the next 20 years. Roberts ran into roadblocks as the bottom fell out of the real estate market, but he is nothing if not tenacious, so we don’t expect this project to go by the wayside like so many others that never left the drawing board.

CATEGORY: Billionaires
COMPANY: Related, Miami Dolphins
INDUSTRY: Real Estate, Football

WHAT MAKES HIM HAUTE: Ross’ Related Companies has been a force in the industry since its inception, with trophy developments like West Palm’s CityPlace, New York’s Time Warner Center, and Los Angeles’ The Century developments under its belt, and major projects like the huge renovation of Penn Station and Aspen Snowmass base village under works. In 2008, he purchased 50 percent ownership of the Miami Dolphins and the stadium for $550 million, and followed that up in 2009 by becoming 95 percent owner. He immediately made waves that turned the then-named Land Shark Stadium into the host destination for “the best party in South Florida on Sundays,” as he said during an interview for a cover feature in Haute Living. He felt that the ownership base should reflect “the face of South Florida,” so he brought on celebrity minority owners, including Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Marc Anthony, Venus and Serena Williams, Fergie, and others. He partnered with Jimmy Buffett to create the ultimate “Dol-Phan” experience, which resulted in national media attention that caught attention of a new sponsor for the now-named Sun Life Stadium, despite the state of the economy. He then hosted the 2010 Super Bowl during his first season as owner.