When I jokingly asked him if he’s noticed a big difference between 39 and 40, he looked at me, quite seriously, and explained the thing he misses the most is participating in the young professional groups he’s been a part of for more than a decade. I asked him if there was any upside to entering his fourth decade, and his response was epic: “It’s my time to shine. I’m respected in my field, I’ve honed my skills, sharpened my sword and saved enough to be able to invest in my future. I have a loving wife and beautiful, healthy kids who will carry on my legacy long after I’m gone. I’m old enough to mentor, but young enough to be mentored. I can understand why people say life begins at 40.” Our conversation reminded me of a George Burns quote I heard a long time ago: “You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.” Sure, my pal will now have to check off a different age box on the Census, he no longer qualifies for our annual “Top 20 Under 40” cover story, he might even grow a new gray hair or two…but at the end of the day, he’s better today than he was yesterday. And that’s not something you can just go out and buy — that something that’s earned.
We scoured The Magic City to bring you what we deem to be the next generation of business leaders at the tip of The Sunshine State. These young professionals represent a variety of industries and excel at their respective crafts with superior sophistication and their own unique blend of style and savvy. All have managed to seamlessly balance their careers with their personal lives while continuously giving back to the community that has helped mold them into who they are. Without further ado, flip this page to meet this year’s Top 20 Under 40.
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