Four of the Most Interesting Visionary Awards Winners

There are visionaries and then there are winners of Florida’s Visionary Awards. These are people who have had the vision and drive to work effectively in transforming South Florida. The development of a world-class city requires vision, as well as courage and leadership. Thirty-five years ago, Time magazine featured the city of Miami as “Paradise Lost”, but that situation has been completely transformed. The winners of awards for performing this transformation are many. Of the 13 people awarded the Miami Herald Visionary Awards for 2016, there were four that really stood out from the pack:

* Craig Robins – Architecture/Design
* George Feldenkreis – Business
* Eduardo J. Padrón – Education
* Rachel Silverstein – Environment

Craig Robins won for Architecture/Design and is the CEO and President of Dacra Development Corporation. Husband of real estate mogul, (http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-day-in-the-life-of-craig-robins-1417451923) Jackie Soffer, Craig assisted Sam Keller in bringing Art Basel to Miami Beach in 2002. The current location of the Institute of Contemporary Art is housed in the Moore Building, a move that was initiated by Robins with DesignMiami. He compares the Design District as a creative laboratory, the place where he invented DesignMiami.

George Feldenkreis won for Business and is Perry Ellis International’s Executive Chairman. He began in Miami as a Cuban refugee selling motorcycle parts in 1961. He became an importer of school uniforms. He has grown in business to head up a company with over 24 brands
and 2,600 workers. He says he never gets bored in the garment industry.

Eduardo J. Padrón won for Education and is the President of Miami Dade College. He also is a refugee from Cuba. Although he had been on the fast track to work at DuPont, Padrón’s professors thought he would be good at teaching at the University. He discovered a passion for changing people’s lives through education. Media outlets around the world have recognized him as a leading educator and most-influential Latino educator in the U.S. He has been much published in his campaigns for educational reform.

Rachel Silverstein won for the Environment and is the Miami Waterkeeper’s Executive Director & Waterkeeper; a nonprofit that promotes clean water for all of South Florida. She calls herself a “professional pot stirrer,” as an activist who felt forced to confront the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about their Port of Miami dredging operations that were killing local endangered coral reefs. Her efforts resulted in the Army Corps paying $400,000 to have surviving coral relocated.

Read about all of the Visionary Award recipients at http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/biz-monday/article83372287.html.