After checking in, I stepped onto the expansive 6th Floor Amenity Deck and turned the corner. Amid just the right amount of ambient music, the slightest breeze, flowing drinks, extravagant culinary displays, runway-worthy looks at every turn, a sea of beautiful people and a breathtaking sunset, the vibe was haute! haute! haute! As I hugged old friends and new, hi-fiving, handshaking and catching up as I moved through the crowd, I stepped off to the side and looked around for a second. There was something about this soiree that was so metropolitan, so old-school cool, so…Miami. It was nostalgic and new all at the same time. As I pondered the best words to use to describe the party, an old buddy and fellow Miami native grabbed me and a group of VIPs to head up to the Rise Residences Penthouse for a swanky moonlit respite from all the commotion. Taking in the views alongside some of Miami’s most posh, connected VIPs, a couple from Beijing on the hunt for their next great investment property complimented me on my shoes and introduced themselves. “Where are you from,” they asked me after a few minutes of insightful chit-chat about their global real estate portfolio. I pointed out at the glittering city lights, and spread my arms wide open. “I’m from right here,” I said, smiling from ear-to-ear. “You’re from Miami?!,”…their expression said it all. I was instantly reminded of how very few “lifers” are still left in the city — everyone seems to be from somewhere else. The city I was born in, raised in, went to school in, laughed in, cried in, loved in, lost in, attended college in, launched my career in, got married in, bought my first house in, and see my future in, has grown up. But more importantly, I’ve grown up with it. “Is Miami a good investment,” the couple asked as they contemplated an offer. “I bet my life on it.”
With almost 20 years of experience in global marketing, strategic brand-building, innovative creative direction and disruptive, needle-moving partnerships and programming for some of the world’s leading brands, Christa Dabkowski is uniquely positioned to lead both consumer-facing brands and client-driven creative agency operations.
Some of the most unforgettable experiences for Rodrigo Vianna, MD, PhD, are when he comes across a patient who is now an adult and he performed a transplant on them as a baby. Seeing them older, living healthy lives, doing the things they love, is an ongoing inspiration.