5 Locals on the Top of Their Game

Photos by Carlos Hidalgo

Dana Richards

What do you do when you don’t like any of the sunscreen, self-tanning or skincare products on the market? You develop your own with organic ingredients and name them after the city you love. A licensed esthetician, Dana Richards and her business partner, Jamie Kovelman, saw a dearth of well-priced, natural, sun- and skincare products and founded Miami Gorgeous Beauty with one product: a travel- and kid-friendly, 100 percent organic SPF 30 sun stick. “I’ve always had a love for beauty, how it works on the body and the skin,” says Richards. “It felt natural to me to develop a product we felt good about putting on our own skin.” Next, the duo created La Playa Glow self-tanning mousse, followed by a complete skincare line with a Vitamin C serum, charcoal cleanser and volcanic face scrub. “We wanted to create a trifecta of products to protect your skin—from the sun, in the sun and after the sun,” says Richards. Favored by Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Teresa Giudice and celebrity makeup artist Priscilla DiStasio, Miami Gorgeous Beauty has garnered a cult following for American-made products that are paraben-, cruelty-, and sulfate free and contain nourishing vitamins A, C and E, and jojoba oil. “As New Yorkers, we fell in love with Miami’s culture, weather, international flair and vibrant energy,” says Richards. “And now we can share its beauty with the world.” 

Adriana Jaegerman

Adriana Jaegerman never thought being a female executive in the male-dominated engineering field was an obstacle. “You have to trust yourself and trust what you know,” says the managing principal for Stantec’s Florida Buildings Group. “With time, people see beyond gender; they want people who are good at what they do,” she says. Her advice to “keep your integrity, be outstanding in your field and ultimately you’ll be recognized” is something she practices daily while overseeing 150 architects, landscape architects, building engineers and interior designers at one of the country’s largest integrated design firms. From a young age, family role models drove Jaegerman to accomplish much and leave the world a better place. “My grandfather was a Holocaust survivor, left Europe for Venezuela and built everything from nothing,” she says, “He always said, ‘You need to build a community,’ and that philosophy is deeply ingrained into my soul,” she says. Jaegerman fosters collaboration for developments including YotelPad, Yard 8, Wynwood Square, Luma and Kenect Miami, which she says is an integral part of her success. “These projects are exciting, and when you can walk every inch of it and know you’ve designed it with a highly effective team, it’s a proud moment,” she says. Recently, Jaegerman and Stantec colleagues created a seminar series for a Miami-Dade County public school “to talk about the disciplines we are doing and help those kids see real longterm opportunities,” says Jaegerman. It’s all about building a community.  

Henry Hurowitz

It’s 7 p.m. and 16-year-old Henry Hurowitz has just returned from lacrosse practice. Normal stuff for a typical adolescent, yet Hurowitz is anything but typical. The South Florida teen has invented and patented products that airlines are noticing and initiating programs to feed the homeless—all in his spare time and often with the help of “older people, like college kids,” he says. In 2017, Hurowitz created FoodEase (foodease.org), an initiative that gathers fresh and unused food from partners including Panera, Publix and seven South Florida hotels and delivers them to four area homeless shelters. The idea came from attending a Bar Mitzvah where, he says, “I asked the caterer what they were planning to do with leftover food; they said they were throwing it out. I had the idea of taking it to a local homeless shelter and ever since then I wanted to help.” Partnering with national FoodRescueUS, Hurowitz has donated more than 30,000 pounds of food for 25,000 meals since July 2019. His only limitations are attracting more delivery drivers. “We need more volunteers to get more hotels to participate,” he explains. “We have about 10 solid volunteers but could do so much more.” Not one to rest on his laurels, Hurowitz developed Germ Genie (germgenie.com) last December with his Junior Achievement classmates from NSU University School in Fort Lauderdale. The business class-style kit contains airplane tray table and headrest covers, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and more, all packaged by his team with a handwritten note whenever possible. Has the COVID-19 outbreak helped sales? “Oh yes,” exclaims Hurowitz. “AutoNation just purchased 1,000 kits and we’re in talks with a major airline.” Ten percent of profits go directly to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. 

Ricky Laviña

Though Ricky Laviña handled taxes for some of South Florida’s largest companies, he dragged his feet when it came to doing his own. “Here I am a CPA with a Big Four accounting firm and I didn’t want to do my own taxes,” says Laviña. “I knew if I felt this way, there were 160 million American taxpayers who did as well.” Laviña and fellow Miamians Michael Mouriz and William Sahatdjian saw how online apps were streamlining everything from ride sharing to food delivery, quit their jobs and seized a market opportunity. In 2015, the trio created Taxfyle (they call it the “Uber” of taxes). Starting out with 100 CPAs, the on-demand accounting app has grown to 2,400 CPAs—the largest network of its kind in the world, assures Laviña—for the 50,000 American taxpayers it serves. “It was so obvious that this was the next step in the industry,” explains Laviña, who created Taxfyle primarily for freelancers, entrepreneurs and small business owners. “If you’re looking to get more money back, bought a property, started a business, sold some stock or traded cryptocurrency, we made this product for you,” he says. The sophisticated, user-friendly app matches clients with vetted CPAs, provides upfront pricing, is more personalized than TurboTax and is 40 percent cheaper than H&R Block or “brick and mortar,” says Laviña, “plus, in about a minute, you’ll have a price estimate and be chatting with a pro.”  

Alex Gartenfeld

One would assume museums inspired Alex Gartenfeld as a child growing up in New York. The chief curator of Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Miami laughs and says no, though everyone thinks so. He credits supporters and art collectors for positive feedback about tomes he published “surrounding artists’ independent spirit and LGBTQ+ making books.” Ever seeking to expand art’s impact on those it touches, Gartenfeld studied Art History at Columbia University, then founded two art curatorial spaces in his 20s. He quickly fielded requests to curate larger projects at home and abroad. “All of my work has consistent focus on artists’ voices from the beginning,” says Gartenfeld, who left New York in 2013 to open ICA, “whether it’s curatorial projects or what we do here at ICA, it was always the theme to put artists first.” With his team of three senior curators and assistants, he talks excitedly about presenting never-before-seen collections, including an Allan McCollum survey, which opened March 2020. “He’s never had a retrospective in the U.S.,” marvels Gartenfeld. “His work is in 90 museum collections worldwide and this is his first U.S. museum survey. Like ‘Judy Chicago: A Reckoning’—presented in 2018 —he is a great artist hiding in plain sight for whom we’ve done a major survey exhibition.” Bringing renowned artists to Miami and inspiring conversations are Gartenfeld’s passions, yet his love of writing continues. “We published 20 publications in our first two years here,” he says. “That interest in publishing continues to this day.” 



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