‘2020: The New Miami’ hosted by International Sales Group and Property Markets Group

‘2020: The New Miami’ hosted by International Sales Group and Property Markets Group

ISG Miami 2020

By Bari Auerbach

“Miami is entering a new golden age of growth!” Aventura Marketing Council business and community leaders learned why the future looks so bright for South Florida’s new condominium market when International Sales Group (ISG) and Property Markets Group (PMG) hosted a smash hit success meeting at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center.

Taking center stage, AMC Chair Cliff Schulman of Weiss, Serota, Helfman expressed appreciation to ISG principals Craig Studnicky and Phil Spiegelman; and Property Markets Group founder Kevin Maloney.  For serving “best of show” luncheon specialties, applause also rang out for favorite Aventura restaurants including Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, The Cheese Course, Paladar Latin Grill, Luca Bella, Novecento, and Mo’s Bagels & Deli.

After a stellar performance by talented  AT&T YOUNG STARS SHOWCASE  vocalist, 14 year-old Lannie Rubio, the meeting’s next act featured rave reviews for ISG’s  “2020: The New Miami” report featuring a highly relied upon, in-depth analysis of South Florida’s residential and commercial market.

Compiled by ISG for the fifth year, the report includes factual data on the current market and takes a forward look at plans and activities that will shape and define South Florida’s future position as a center for international commerce. Studnicky and Spiegelman concurred, “Miami is no longer just a great resort destination, but is evolving into a city of significant world stature.

“With the Panama Canal expansion, retrofitting of Port of Miami, high- speed rail service, a tunnel to speed commerce and ease traffic, road and airport expansions, South Florida is preparing to address our region’s growth. How these factors impact the real estate industry is the subject of our report, which can be used to succeed in today’s competitive environment.”

ISG’s report highlights the following great news:

*Wealthy & Wise: The 2013 Knight Frank Wealth Report global survey shows Miami ranks among the world’s top 10 cities considered “Most Important Now” by high net- worth individuals.

*Cultural Explosion: Miami’s growth in the world of arts, dining, high-end retail and overall neighborhood transformations places the city within the ranks of the most culturally rich locales in the world.

*Sold! Sixty percent of developer condo units in Aventura and surrounding areas have been sold since January of 2012.

The “New Miami” report also includes a 10-year annual absorption analysis, a spotlight on renowned “Starchitects,” MLS re-sale inventory analysis, and a South American market report.

Before the final curtain call, everyone celebrated Miami’s 21st century mission “taking a holistic approach to land use and urban planning so that future generations can reap the benefits of well-balanced neighborhoods and a rich quality of life.”

ISG is a fully-integrated outsource organization specializing in sales and marketing for the real estate development industry. PMG is a New York City-based real estate acquisition and development firm with real estate assets spread throughout the U.S. and abroad. In Aventura,  PMG is currently developing Echo, for which ISG serves as the exclusive sales and marketing firm.

“For the first time, world-renowned architect Carlos Ott and interior designer Yabu Pushelberg have untied to design Echo,” Studnicky said. “Rising on the final waterfront parcel in the area. Echo will be the epitome of Aventura luxury living.”

For more information about ISG or PMG, phone 305-931-6511; visit

City of Sunny Isles Beach hosts Bill Talbert, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau CEO

City of Sunny Isles Beach hosts Bill Talbert, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau CEO

Brkfst. Talbert


By Bari Auerbach

“The Future of Travel and Tourism in Greater Miami” was the bright theme when the City of Sunny Isles Beach hosted an Aventura Marketing Council breakfast meeting featuring Bill Talbert, President and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.

AMC Chair Cliff Schulman of Weiss, Serota, Helfman extended an hospitable welcome to hundreds of business and community leaders gathered at the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort along with Sunny Isles Beach Mayor Norman S. Edelcup, who shared progressive news about “Florida’s Riviera.”

“So much has happened since Sunny Isles Beach incorporated in 1997,” Edelcup said. “All of our Commissioners, past and present, have worked hard to help transform our city from the old ‘motel row’ era to the luxurious, wonderful community we’ve created here today with more than 20,000 residents, award-winning hotels and visitors topping one million.

“Sunny Isles Beach now has ten parks providing green, open space including the Intracoastal Park system at the south end of the city and the four-acre Gateway Park on Sunny Isles  Beach Boulevard with a garage providing parking for beachgoers slated to open next year. We also have a very diverse calendar of ongoing cultural and recreational programs; and we’re very proud of our great K-8 school, expanding yet again to provide state-of-the-art education to over 2,000 students.”

Turning to the growth and expansion of tourism, Talbert reported, “Great things are happening in Greater Miami! For the past four years, we’ve had record-setting international and domestic tourism. Miami International Airport was the only one of the top five airports in the country to grow by double digits last year; and we’re the ‘cruise capital’ of the world. In 2013, for the first time in Miami’s history, we had more international visitors than domestic. Our top feeder markets contributing billions to our community include Brazil, Canada, Argentina and Colombia.”

Sharing more good news about the future of tourism, Talbert noted beyond all the new development cranes on the horizon, “There have been massive updates and reforms to our ground transportation system; it has become a priority to update the Convention Center so we can be more competitive; and we’re very excited that International Pow Wow, the number one travel show in the U.S., will be returning to Greater Miami in May of 2016.”

Before it was time to pack up, Talbert revealed the key to ensuring the brightest future. “It’s all about partnerships exemplified by the ones we have with Sunny Isles Beach, Aventura and surrounding cities. All of us working together is the secret to success!”

For more information about Sunny Isles Beach, visit the city’s website or contact the Visitor Center: 305-792-1952.  To sightsee Greater Miami & Convention Center travel guides, special offers and updates about special attractions and events, visit

Duffys Sports Grill hosts Mike Dee, Miami Dolphins

Aventura Marketing Council members recently huddled with Mike Dee, CEO of the Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium when the new Duffy’s Sports Grill in North Miami Beach hosted the AMC’s July Chairman’s Roundtable luncheon.
Kicking off the event, AMC Chair Cliff Schulman of Weiss, Serota, Helfman along with Duffy’s leadership team of Jay and Jason Emmett welcomed business and community leaders to Duffy’s – the official sports grill of favorite teams including the Miami Dolphins.
Recently celebrating the grand opening of its first Miami-Dade location at the Intracoastal Mall, Duffy’s spans over 25,000 square feet with 700 seats, 200 plasma TVs and 500 feet of dockage. Named “Best Sports Bar” by Channel 10 News, Duffy’s is renowned for the $6.99 weekday lunch; $7.95 weekend brunch; 2-4-1 daily Happy Hours; six styles of chicken wings; express takeout; plus party menus perfect for social and corporate events.
When the microphone was passed to Mike Dee, he spoke about his long-time friendship with the Emmet family and emphasized Duffy’s is “a great corporate citizen,” partnering in worthy causes including youth sports programs and the Miami Dolphins Cycling Challenge benefiting the University of Miami Sylvester Cancer Center. “This year our goal is to double the number of riders to 600 and raise over one million dollars,” Dee said.
Turning to football news, Dee predicted, “Hopefully we can expect football to be back ‘fast and furious’ and the momentum behind those at the negotiation table will carry us across the goal line. If that happens, football fans will see off-season activity condensed into five to seven days before training camp would open the weekend of July 29.”
Tackling the prospect of bringing Super Bowls back to Sun Life Stadium, Dee explained, “The next Super Bowl up for bid is the 50th anniversary game that will be played in February of 2016. What better place to have it than here in South Florida - host of more Super Bowls than any other community. It also happens to be the 50th anniversary of the Dolphins - so wouldn’t it be great to win it on our home field!”
Before the meeting’s two-minute warning, Dee encouraged everyone to take advantage of great season ticket packages. “The season starts Monday night September 12 with the Dolphins first game of the year against the New England Patriots. We hope to see you at Sun Life Stadium and here at Duffy’s. If you’re a football junkie and Dolphins fan, stay tuned to for all your news and information.”
For more information about Duffy’s Sports Grill, phone 305-760-2124 or visit To support the Dolphins Cycling Challenge, visit

Florida Advocates hosts Dr. Bernd A. Wollschlaeger

Florida Advocates hosts Dr. Bernd A. Wollschlaeger, author of ‘A German Life: Against All Odds, Change is Possible’

Florida Advocates

Aura Brooks, Florida Advocates; Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger; J.D. Underwood and Russel Lazega, Florida Advocates


Florida Advocates hosts Dr. Bernd A. Wollschlaeger, author of ‘A German Life: Against All Odds, Change is Possible’

Dr. Bernd A. Wollschlaeger, the son of a German Nazi tank commander, shared the remarkable story of how he rebelled against his family, converted to Judaism and emigrated to Israel during an inspiring Aventura Marketing Council Chairman’s Roundtable luncheon hosted by Florida Advocates, a Private Law Firm.

AMC Chair Cliff Schulman of Weiss, Serota, Helfman welcomed business and community leaders gathered at the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort along with attorneys J.D. Underwood, Aura Brooks and Jacky Marti, representing Russel Lazega, principal partner of Florida Advocates. Appreciation was also expressed to Dr. Amir Baron of Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center for arranging Wollschlaeger’s appearance.

The book, “A German Life,” chronicles Wollschlaeger’s struggles while growing up in Germany during the 1950’s in the shadow of his father, a Nazi officer, eventually converting to Judaism and becoming a medical officer in the Israel Defense Forces. He subsequently completed his residency training at Jackson Memorial Hospital, going on to serve as Past President of the Dade County Medical Association and be honored as “Florida Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor of the Year” in 2012. Today, Dr. Wollschlaeger continues to help patients at the Aventura Family Health Practice – but perhaps his greatest reward is inspiring others to believe “against all odds, change is possible.”

“When my young son first asked me about his grandfather, I didn’t know how to explain that while his own father was Jewish, and an Israeli citizen who served in the army – on the other hand, his grandfather was a highly decorated World War II Nazi tank commander. So then, ‘the secret’ came out and I started sharing my story.”

Wolleschaeger explained that despite initial denials from his family, he eventually learned the shocking truth about German history, his father and the Holocaust. As a teenager, he was introduced to a group of Israelis visiting Germany and was invited to travel to Israel, where he learned more about Judaism and began pursuing his goal to convert.

“By sharing my story, the shame and guilt was lifted off my shoulders,” Wollschlaeger said. “You have to step out of the shadows by recognizing mistakes, learning from the past and moving forward with lessons learned to change the world in a positive way. The actions of hatred can be countered by speaking up and making decisions based on conviction. Then, against all odds, change is possible – in a person, in a group, or even in a country – but it starts with individuals.”

By Bari Auerbach

Florida Advocates is a statewide litigation boutique with over 15 attorneys representing hundreds of medical providers and consumers with issues involving insurance and injuries. The firm’s team of specialists includes authors of the leading textbooks on Florida Workers’ Compensation law; Florida insurance law; and general insurance law. For more information, phone: 855-FL-Advocates or visit To learn more about Dr. Bernd A. Wollschlaeger and his books including “A German Life,” visit

Gulftream Park Tower hosts Miami-Dade State Attorney

Gulftream Park Tower hosts Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami-Dade State Attorney

 Kathy Rundle

By Bari Auerbach

Law and order was the theme when Gulfstream Park Tower, heralded as “A Victory for Living,” hosted an Aventura Marketing Council Chairman’s Roundtable luncheon featuring Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.

Ruling “networking in session,” AMC Chair Cliff Schulman of Weiss Serota, Helfman welcomed business and community leaders to Christine Lee’s at Gulfstream Park.

Presenting evidence as to why Gulfstream Park Tower is on a winning streak, Sales Manager Eduardo Pruno explained the luxury highrise by Pegasus Developers and the Stronach Group is being exclusively sold by Cervera Realty.

Rising this fall amidst the Villlage at Gulfstream Park’s vibrant restaurants, shops and entertainment attractions, the 27-story tower will feature best- of- show amenities including two private pools, a fitness center and 24-hour security. Spacious studio, one, two and three- bedroom residences are available with oversized terraces overlooking sweeping city, racetrack or ocean views.

From “A Victory for Living,” the topic turned to Rundle’s victorious 20-year tenure as Miami-Dade’s State Attorney. Recognized nationally as a leader in crime prevention and juvenile justice, Rundle is a key advocate for Miami’s children.

“I wouldn’t be empowered to fight crime in our community without your support,” Rundle said. “Your State Attorney’s office is the fourth largest in the U.S. We have a quarter million cases including 100,000 child support cases. We’re also the leaders in fighting corruption and we now have the lowest crime rate in 40 years.”

Rundle noted that while violent crime is down, cyber crimes such as identity theft and human trafficking are escalating. “On any given day, there are two and a half million victims of ‘modern day slavery’ worldwide.”

Since the formation of her office’s Human Trafficking Task Force as well as progressive legislation leading to tougher laws, Rundle reported, “Incredible advancements have been made. We’ve filed 250 criminal cases and 100 are pending. Last year, we sent the first ‘John’ to prison for 10 years. There are stricter prohibitions for adult entertainment clubs to ensure no minors are working there. We have increased penalties for repeat offenders. Non-victim dependent prosecution  is possible with the use of cell phone and text messaging evidence; and The Safe Harbor bill was also strengthened so minors can immediately find a place to stay in the Children and Family Services system.”

In summation, Rundle announced, “I’ve helped organize a hotline campaign to create awareness in our community of what sex trafficking is and how to spot it. Concerned citizens can report suspicions to the Switchboard of Miami Hotline number: 305-350-5567.

“A million eyes can see when something is wrong and help law enforcement and prosecutors save targeted children. I know we can bring this crime into the bright light of awareness where it will wither under the heat of public scrutiny. All it takes to make a difference is a concerned resident and a telephone call.”

The Gulfstream Park Tower sales center is now open at 901 S. Federal Highway in Hallandale Beach. For more information, visit or phone 305-270-7100.

Hotwire Communications Hosted Speaker

Hotwire Communications Hosted Speaker, Georgetown and Johns Hopkins University Lecturer, James Van de Velde, Ph.D., Counter Terrorism Consultant to US Intelligence Community

CR- James Van de Velde

Jihad on the Web” was the topic of a recent Aventura Marketing Council Chairman’s Roundtable luncheon hosted by Hotwire Communications. The discussion was led by James Van de Velde, Ph.D., a Lecturer of National Security Affairs at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins University and a consultant to the U.S. Intelligence Community, currently consulting with U.S. Cyber Command.

AMC Chair Cliff Schulman of Weiss, Serota, Helfman, along with Hotwire Communications executives Carl Lender, Marty Mohr, Steve Schmitz and Mark Hansen, welcomed guests at the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort for Van de Velde’s presentation.

Lender invited and introduced the speaker, a longtime friend, who graduated high school with Van de Velde in Connecticut, along with Aventura Commissioner Howard Weinberg. Van de Velde went on to attend Yale University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, where he completed a Ph.D. in National Security Affairs. He first joined the State Department and later became a U.S. Naval Intelligence Officer, before becoming an academic and a consultant.

“James Van de Velde has served our country with distinction for more than 25 years,” Lender said. “He started his career as a nuclear weapons analyst and arms control negotiator and is now a consultant to the U.S. Intelligence Community, where he has worked with the National Counter Terrorism Center, the Department of Treasury, the FBI, the National Counterproliferation Center and now U.S. Cyber Command.”

“I’m here to discuss how all of our lives are affected by our communications infrastructure,” Van de Velde said. “I currently work for U.S. Cyber Command, which fights your computer warfare and defends the U.S. government’s communications’ network, and if necessary, attacks adversaries in cyberspace.”

Van de Velde argued that our lives live and die through cyberspace, now considered the ‘fifth domain of warfare,’ according to the U.S. Department of Defense. As both government systems and private individuals are increasingly linked by and dependent on the Internet, the risk that terrorists and adversaries will use the Internet against us as a means to unfairly brand us or worse attack us, for example, by turning off electrical grids or crashing crucial infrastructure systems, becomes increasingly real. Van de Velde explained, “Although al-Qaida today uses the internet as a means to advance its Information Operations – propaganda, recruitment, information sharing – it someday could create or be given more sophisticated cyber weapons from U.S. adversaries who wish to create ambiguous and asymmetrical warfare against the United States, perhaps to confuse or distract U.S. efforts worldwide.”

Further, Van de Velde claimed, terrorist groups have learned to exploit the Internet as a marketing tool to promote their worldwide messages and gain followers. According to Van de Velde, Jihadist websites are particularly effective at using the Internet for branding and marketing. “Al-Qaida maintains an enormous web presence, conducting information warfare every day by posting Jihadist videos and al-Qaida publications designed to inspire violence, recruit terrorists, plan and organize operations.”

To help defeat al-Qaida, Van de Velde said, industry, which largely owns the internet – a domain created by man -- can play a crucial role by taking the lead to police the web from terrorist ‘pornography’ and repeated calls for violence. “Al-Qaida inspires violence, images of which it posts on the web as a form of ‘performance art,’ designed to intimidate and incite more violence,” Van de Velde claims. “But such imagery can be defeated by using the web to ‘counter-brand’ al-Qaida by, for instance, showing how many Muslims al-Qaida has killed and how the West has saved countless individuals from violence, famine, natural disasters and diseases around the world.”

Van de Velde’s own life was unfairly and devastatingly attacked when he returned from serving overseas with the State Department to teach at Yale. His life changed in December 1998 when one of his students was tragically and brutally murdered and found at a street corner a half-mile from Van de Velde’s New Haven apartment.

Within a few days of the investigation into the murder, the local New Haven newspaper, quoting city and university sources, claimed Van de Velde was a suspect in the crime. The paper cited no evidence to support the claim, other than the unnamed sources.

Van de Velde lost his teaching position at Yale, eventually leaving New Haven and rebuilding his career over the next fifteen years as a career Foreign Service Officer and then consultant to the U.S. Intelligence Community. Concurrently, he brought four lawsuits against the media, the City of New Haven and Yale University to combat the media innuendo that dogged him in subsequent reports on the investigation. In June 2013, the City and Yale University settled the lawsuits against them out of court and the Connecticut State’s Attorney admitted to the New York Times that Van de Velde was not a suspect in the crime.

Van de Velde’s professional and personal experience illustrates the perilous ways the Internet can be manipulated to threaten lives and personal reputations everywhere. While Van de Velde was able to rebuild his life and career, he noted, “The web can consume us all if we’re not aware of and appreciate its power to influence and destroy.”

This was the first time that Van de Velde has spoken publicly about his 15-year personal and professional ordeal.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez hosted by Greenberg Traurig


When Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez was first sworn in two years ago, one of his first public appearances was at an Aventura Marketing Council Chairman’s Roundtable meeting hosted by the powerhouse law firm Greenberg Traurig (GT). Recently returning for an encore appearance, Mayor Alvarez focused on “What Lies on the Horizon” for Miami-Dade – and once again, Greenberg Traurig raised the bar for hosting AMC meetings with the most illustrious guest speakers.

Mayors, commissioners and police chiefs from neighboring municipalities were invited to join AMC business and community leaders at the Newport Beachside Hotel and Resort for the October networking luncheon. GT principal shareholder Cliff Schulman who serves as AMC Chairman of the Board recognized GT president/CEO Cesar Alvarez and introduced GT attorneys contributing to the firm’s phenomenal success.

“Greenberg Traurig was founded in 1967 by Larry Hoffman, Bob Traurig and Mel Greenberg,” Schulman explained. “We’re now the seventh largest law firm in the country with over 1,500 lawyers – many of whom are featured in Best Lawyers in America.”

Schulman went on to celebrate cultural diversity, noting, “GT is ranked the number one law firm in the U.S. for having the most minority partners and the most Hispanic attorneys...We have professional offices throughout the United States and key markets around the world including Tokyo, Brussels, London, Rome, Zurich and Amsterdam...If you have a legal problem – GT has a legal solution for you.”

Taking the podium, Mayor Alvarez expounded on his dedication to serving the community. Born in Cuba, Alvarez has resided in Miami-Dade for over 40 years. After graduating from FIU, he joined the Miami-Dade Police Department in 1976 - starting out as a police officer on the midnight shift and working his way up the ranks until being appointed Director of the Miami-Dade Police Department in 1997.

During his mayoral campaign, one of Alvarez’s strongest messages was about “reform and accountability” in county government. “I believe the mayor should have certain authorities and responsibilities,” he said. “The mayor gets to appoint the county manager - but he doesn’t get to deal with department directors...Within the next 90 days [from Oct. 25] voters will have the opportunity to change the system of government in Miami-Dade County.”

If passed, the “strong mayor” plan would dramatically expand the county mayor’s authority by giving him the power to hire and fire department heads and the county manager. It also would give the mayor more control over contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Even though some commissioners oppose what I’m proposing, they felt very strongly that it had gotten to the point where it should be up to the voters to decide,” Alvarez said. “My philosophical view is shared by at least 124,000 people who signed a petition...I believe a mayor who has to run county-wide should be able to get involved with the day-to-day operations of county government without having to go through the county manager.

“Stay informed and exercise your right to vote...This is not about ‘personalities’ - this is about an issue...Major cities around the world have a strong mayor. I believe it will cut through the beaurocrocy and make Miami-Dade more efficient.”

For more information about Greenberg Traurig Attorneys at Law, phone: (305) 579-0613 or visit the website