The Sunshine Economy

9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mondays

Tom Hudson
Credit WLRN

The Sunshine Economy, takes a fresh look at the key industries transforming South Florida into a regional powerhouse. From investments in health care, storm preparedness, international trade, real estate and technology based start-ups, tune in to learn more about one of the worlds most vibrant and diverse economies.

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Beer Trends
10:45 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Head To Your Local Brewery For... A Yoga Class?

VIEW FROM THE BAR: Shelah, front right, and her husband Jeff, third from left, are fans of yoga and the local craft-beer scene.
Maria Murriel WLRN

Click through the photos above.

Shelah Davis is a professional yoga teacher who spends her 9-to-5 at a fitness studio in Florida City. But since the fall of 2013, she's been hauling her mats to microbreweries from Homestead to Oakland Park.

She founded Om Brew Yoga -- so far the only yoga classes offered at South Florida breweries -- after learning of the practice in an established craft-beer state.

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Sunshine Economy
6:00 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Charter Schools CEO Started As A Janitor

Credit Courtesy of Jon Hage

Jon Hage heads the for-profit charter school management company, Charter Schools USA (CSUSA), based in Fort Lauderdale. The company operates 58 schools in seven states across the country, including Florida.

Hage grew up in middle-class Oakland Park near Fort Lauderdale. He served in the United States Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserves as a commissioned officer in the Special Forces (Green Berets). After then doing policy work in Washington D.C. and Tallahassee, he founded CSUSA in 1997.   

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Sunshine Economy
2:13 am
Thu March 20, 2014

From Farm To Brewery: 5 Questions For Craft-Beer CEO Mike Halker

Credit Tom Hudson

Before making beer in Palm Beach, Mike Halker served on a bomb squad with the U.S. Army. That cool under pressure has served him well as the founder and head of Due South Brewery, a craft-beer company based in Boynton Beach. 

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The Sunshine Economy
8:03 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Redland's Schnebly: From Wine To Beer To Spirited Expansion

Customers usually show up at the tasting bar just before lunch hour at Schnebly Redland's Winery.
Credit Karen Rundlet / Miami Herald

 

Florida’s southernmost winery is located in the heart of Miami Dade’s farm country, Redland. It’s called Schnebly Redland’s Winery and it’s been up and running over a decade. For me, the trip to Schnebly Redland’s Winery meant a couple of hours in the car, heading south on U.S. 1, with a view of Miami Dade slowing down.

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Sunshine Economy
9:31 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Bottoms Up: The Liquor & Wine Business In South Florida

Miami Club Rum began distilling in the Wynwood neighborhood in 2012. Founder and CEO Matt Malone uses Palm Beach County sugarcane byproducts and Miami-Dade County public water to make his rum.
Credit Tom Hudson

South Florida may not have the valleys and vineyards of Napa Valley nor the hollows and oak barrels of Kentucky but the wine and liquor industry is here in its own unique way.  Think mango wine not chardonnay, rum not bourbon and you've got the idea.  

South Floridians can talk about rum the way oenophiles go on about wine. There are the aromas of the rum, the notes and the finish. There may be hints of chocolate, berries or citrus.  For many outside of South Florida rum means one company: Bacardi.  

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Sunshine Economy
3:35 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Interviewing By Eating: 5 Questions for CEO Felecia Hatcher

Credit Tom Hudson

Felecia Hatcher is co-founder and “chief popsicle” of Feverish Pops, a gourmet popsicle company based in Miami. Hatcher says she is “obsessed with desserts” and, as proof of that passion, she points out that she was married at a donut shop in Portland, Oregon.  

Hatcher began the popsicle company after getting fired from her marketing job with Nintendo.

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Sunshine Economy
8:47 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Got Water?

Water being treated on its way to from Florida City to the Keys via a 130 mile pipeline.
Credit Tom Hudson

 

The good news from last summer's rains is that South Florida's water supply is running above average. But that doesn't ease the concerns of those responsible for finding, protecting, cleaning and distributing freshwater to the more than six million people from Pam Beach County through Key West.

They tell us there is no "average" year for water supply. It's either too wet or too dry. And while it's technically the dry season, there's plenty of water.

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The Sunshine Economy
11:42 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Commerce is Brewing: Coffee Biz in South Florida

Credit Tom Hudson

  

How do you like your coffee? Cafe cubano? Latte? Black?  

American coffee consumption is growing again, including specialty, gourmet coffee.  Roasters in South Florida are going cup to cup with big national brands, which are working to bring cafe cubano blends to a national market.

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Sunshine Economy
8:58 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Bittersweet: The Sugar Industry In South Florida

Rick Roth, President of Roth Farms, stands among his sugarcane in Palm Beach County.
Credit Tom Hudson

Talking about sugar in South Florida is like talking about politics and religion in polite company. Few people are without strong opinions about the sugarcane farms stretching across the eastern Everglades south of Lake Okeechobee. The industry is a mix of government price policies, environmental regulations, trade practices and the demand for food.  

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Sunshine Economy
5:48 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

From College Dropout To Multimillionaire: 5 Questions For CEO Don Peebles

Credit Courtesy of Don Peebles

 

When he was visiting South Florida in the winter of 1996, developer R. Donahue Peebles read an article in the Miami Herald about a rundown hotel on Miami Beach called the Shorecrest. Over the next several years, Peebles would combine that property with one next door and create the Royal Palm, the first convention-class hotel on Miami Beach owned by an African-American.   

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The Sunshine Economy
2:47 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

5 Questions For Invizio's Kevin Michael: South Florida 'Fiercely Competitive'

Invizio co-founder Kevin Michael says South Florida is not all fun-in-the-sun and is more competitive than some might think.
Credit Tom Hudson

 

In our 5 Questions series, we ask local entrepreneurs and CEOs how they got where they are and what they think of the business community in South Florida.   

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The Sunshine Economy
12:28 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

It's a Currency. It's a Dessert Topping. It's Bitcoin!

What is bitcoin exactly?
Credit casascius.com

Arrests in New York and Florida in late January indicate the global virtual currency Bitcoin has the attention of federal prosecutors: A top executive with a Bitcoin trade organization was one of those charged. The second man arrested was Robert Faiella, at his home in Cape Coral.

Faiella was charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and operating an unlicensed money exchange business.  They are accused of helping push money through the online drug marketplace Silk Road.  

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The Sunshine Economy
6:37 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Bitcoin in South Florida: Real Business Taking Virtual Money

In Sunset Harbor Antonio Maldonado and Jessica Londono-Sammet are aboard one of the vessels their company, The Advantaged Yacht Charters and Sales, rents out. The business recently began accepting Bitcoin.
Credit Tom Hudson

Bitcoin may not sound revolutionary but to its supporters and users the digital global currency could be the future of payment. To regulators, it's a curiosity they're viewing with concern.  And for a growing number of individuals and companies in South Florida, it's an opportunity to experiment.  

What is it?

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The Sunshine Economy
5:21 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

'It's A New Miami': 5 Questions For Kairos CEO Brian Brackeen

Credit Emily Michot / Miami Herald staff

As a regular digital feature of The Sunshine Economy, we'll be asking local CEOs how they got where they are and what they think of the business community in South Florida.
 

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The Sunshine Economy
6:30 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Doing Business While Black

South Florida business owners: (from top right) Felecia Hatcher of Feverish Pops, Adrian Foster of Foster Construction, Suzan McDowell of Circle of One Marketing and Kevin Michael of Invizio
Credit Tom Hudson

The quartet pictured above own and operate their businesses.  Some may consider them black businesses.  Some may not.  But they all operate in a commerce climate in South Florida that has been partially shaped by an economic boycott 24 years ago. In 1990, South Florida’s tourism industry was boycotted by blacks for three years.

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