The Sunshine Economy

Penguin, Perry Ellis and Jantzen are some of the global fashion brands that trace their corporate ownership to the Doral headquarters of Perry Ellis International.

Over several decades George Feldenkreis built the company into the firm it is today selling $1 billion worth of merchandise worldwide.

Feldenkreis came to Miami from Cuba in 1961 and began by manufacturing and distributing auto parts. Instead of bushings and pistons, Feldenkreis oversees a business today that includes fashion design, manufacturing, technology, distribution, licensing and retailing.

Pastels in Palm Beach? Parrot Head T-shirts in Key West? South Florida has an image of a very fashionable place. On August 5, the Sunshine Economy explored the fashion industry here, but what about our sense of fashion?

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Fashion

Several members of our Public Insight Network helped give South Florida some fashion advice below:

Tom Hudson

Rene Ruiz makes women's dresses. Fancy dresses. In the picture to the right, he is standing with a new spring 2014 design. Ruiz designs and makes them in Hialeah. Ruiz grew up here and as his fashion design business began taking off with merchandise showing up in Neiman Marcus stores, he decided he wanted to stay in South Florida.

Tom Hudson

On the right is a picture of lancets.

These are small devices used by diabetics to prick their fingers in order to test their blood for sugar. The maker of these devices, Specialty Medical Supplies, is based in Coral Springs. The company was manufacturing up to 100 million of them each month in China until June of this year, when the company's president, Chip Starnes, was taken hostage during a visit to his Beijing plant.

Executive Pay: How South Florida CEOs Measure Up

Jun 24, 2013

Lennar CEO Stuart Miller earned almost $13 million last year. That’s more than $4,000 per work hour, easily making the 55-year-old the highest-paid chief executive among South Florida’s largest companies.

Was Miller overpaid? His compensation from the national home builder his father co-founded amounted to 265 times what the Bureau of Labor Statistics said is the average annual pay for someone in the construction business. But by one measure of particular interest to shareholders, Miller’s pay may be seen as about right.

citizensfla.com

The largest home property insurance company in Florida is $4 billion shy of what its head honcho feels it needs if a major hurricane were to hit the state this season.

In a recent interview, Citizens Property Insurance CEO Barry Gilway tells WLRN Special Correspondent Tom Hudson if a once-in-every-one-hundreds-storm—say, something more destructive than Hurricane Andrew—hit the state, policyholders and possibly taxpayers could be on the hook for all that money.

Below is a portion of that interview:

Karen Burkett

Whether or not a hurricane hits South Florida, residents pay a price. Insurance is the biggie for most people.

On the flipside, however, there are companies here that exist and even thrive specifically because of hurricane season.

Steve Sherman is CEO of the Hurricane Store,  an online business based in Davie that sells emergency supplies and kits. He loves his product.

Tom Hudson

L'Hermitage One Condominiums on Ocean Boulevard in Ft. Lauderdale is in an enviable location right on the beach. But when a hurricane is brewing, it's on the front lines of the storm.

On Monday's Sunshine Economy, come along as we talk with the building's manager, engineer and residents about their investment in storm preparedness.

In South Florida, we live with the risk of a big storm for six months of the year... every year. Like no place else in the U.S., we know the devastation a hurricane can bring. And the expense to protect ourselves.

Building Miami's Silicon Beach One Startup At A Time

Jun 12, 2013
Marie Gilot

As classmates at Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove, Wifredo Fernandez and Daniel Lafuente were “always cooking up ideas for businesses” that the pair dreamed of launching.

Google Fellows, WLRN To Profile Miami Tech Startups

Jun 11, 2013
Knight Foundation

When Google takes an interest in journalism education, we are happy to help.

This summer, Google is launching the Google Journalism Fellowship, recognizing that behind many blue links on Google “is a journalist and that quality journalism is a key ingredient of a vibrant and functioning society.” The eight fellows started off with a week-long visit to Miami, hosted by Knight Foundation.

FAU

In the world of technology, the idea is critical. But how to turn it into application and how to monetize it are how start-ups live and die.

And that’s where business incubators come in.

During a recent tour of one incubator in Palm Beach County, the conversation quickly turned to real estate, or where incubation actually takes place.

WLRN

South Florida may be known for its sun and sand, but software? There is a burgeoning effort to grow, encourage and attract the technology industry to South Florida.

Silicon Beach

Local entrepreneur advocates have been very active building the necessary infrastructure to support local start-ups. What else is needed? Can Miami really become “Silicon Beach?”

Future of Technology

WLRN

Tourism has been the fuel for South Florida's economy since Henry Flagler stretched his railroad to Palm Beach in the 1890s. It remains a significant and long-term driver of the local economy to this day.

Our program starts where Henry Flagler ignited the industry, at The Breakers in Palm Beach. The Breakers CEO Paul Leone tells us his resort has never been busier, even as it gears up for the "slow season" (which isn't slow.)

WLRN

 

REAL ESTATE

From world famous beaches to international trade flows, South Florida has become one of the world's most vibrant and diverse economies.

Through a series of one-hour radio programs, special correspondent Tom Hudson hosts a weekly radio show on Mondays in May and June exploring The Sunshine Economy, a fresh take on the key industries driving growth across South Florida.

Topic & Guests: South Florida's economy is underpinned by the local real estate market, which is influenced by global trends.

The Sunshine Economy: Health Care

May 13, 2013
WLRN

HEALTH CARE

From world famous beaches to international trade flows, South Florida has become one of the world's most vibrant and diverse economies.

Through a series of one-hour radio programs, special correspondent Tom Hudson will host a weekly series on Mondays in May and June exploring The Sunshine Economy, a fresh take on the key industries driving growth across South Florida.

Pages