The 2017 Top 20 Professionals Under Forty

Text by Jorge Arauz Photography by Nick Garcia for Blindlight Studio On-site Hair & Makeup: humberto romero for Rocco Donna; Wardrobe Editor: Estrellita S. Sibila Production Assistant: Ricardo Mestre | May 10, 2018 | People

Amber Kemp-Gerstel, 36
DIY Blogger & TV Personality, Damask Love
From working in partnership with brands ranging from Home Depot to Martha Stewart and Canon, Amber Kemp-Gerstel’s DIY ditty has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Domino, HGTV Magazine and Hallmark Channel, where she recently won Home & Family’s DIY Star competition. “As a kid, I had the most massive sticker collection and would create my own T-shirts with puffy paints,” she says. “Incredibly, I’ve been able to turn my lifelong DIY hobby into a successful career!”

Adam Kayce, 32
Vice President, Home Show Management Corp.
If you’ve seen the ads all over town for the Miami and Fort Lauderdale Home Design and Remodeling Shows, you may not realize all of the work it takes to make these world-class expos such a rousing success. “People often assume that I’m only busy the four weekends of the year when shows take place — but the reality is the work never ends. We’re booking exhibitors, curating the floor plan, and marketing at least one year ahead,” he says. Despite the hard work, Kayce’s greatest satisfaction is watching companies grow. “I’ve watched exhibiting companies that were initially based out of storage units and remote offices, transform themselves into globally recognized brands with multiple showrooms!”

Stephanie Cardelle, 32
Dir. of PR & Communications
Four Seasons Hotel Miami
As the “voice” for the Miami property of one of the world’s top luxury hotel brands, Stephanie Cardelle is always learning new ways to connect with her audience and potential guests in the ever-changing digital landscape. “I’m a true local, born in raised in our vibrant, coastal city,” she says. “It’s incredible to see my hometown transform into what it is today, a culturally diverse destination overflowing with character and cosmopolitan appeal!”

Joseph A. Quiñones, 30
Dir. of Marketing & Communications
Phillip & Patricia Frost Museum Of Science
Perhaps no launch in the history of The Magic City has been more anticipated than the new Frost Science Museum campus at Museum Park — and Joseph A. Quiñones has been the engine behind the venue’s extensive marketing and public relations machine. “It’s been amazing to witness our city’s growth first-hand — both behind-the-scenes and front-and-center,” he says. “We’re continually pushing our boundaries as a city and establishing our identity on the global stage — it’s an exciting time for all of us!”

Maxeme Tuchman, 34
CEO & Co-Founder, Caribu
Harvard MBA. White House Fellow. Teach For America Executive Director. Gates Foundation Consultant. Senior Staffer for Mayor Bloomberg. Maxeme Tuchman is hardly an underachiever. But when her company Caribu, an education platform that helps parents, extended family and mentors read and draw with kids when they’re not in the same location, won a pitch competition at Harvard Business School, she knew she was on to something. “It was so amazing to have a top business school validating our business model right out of the gate,” she says. “I’m the first in my family to graduate from college so I’ve dedicated my career to ensuring all children receive and have access to a quality education.”

Grant Stern, 39
Serial Entrepreneur
From mortgage broker to activist, columnist and radio broadcaster, Grant Stern wears many hats — and all of them look good on him! “Out of the thousands of mortgage brokers working before the crash, I’m one of the last few left in Florida,” he says, mentioning the profession leaves him ample time to do other things he’s better known for these days like writing for national news websites and producing his weekly radio program, Only In Miami Show, on The Biz 880 AM. “This year, I’m opening a podcast studio and excited to begin teaching the secrets about creating audio content that I’ve learned from being in talk radio with people who have a passion for communicating.”

Dr. Neda Bahmadi, 36
Owner, General & Cosmetic Dentist
Ultra Smile Dentistry
Dr. Neda Bahmadi and her staff at Ultra Smile Dentistry always make sure you leave their spa-like practice with a big, beautiful smile on your face. “I’m blessed to be able to improve the lifestyle of my patients by boosting their self-esteem and mood while enhancing their overall wellness,” she says. “It’s so rewarding when we get referrals from our patients because it shows we are valued and trusted — it just doesn’t get better than that!”

Theresa Therilus, 37
Assistant Director
Miami-Dade Internal Services Dept.
Theresa Therilus is a modern-day superhero, helping shape the future of our city by working on projects that are helping neighborhoods evolve into the next century through her role as an attorney and public servant. But before she became the youngest-ever Senior County Administration Official for Miami-Dade County, she was Florida’s Assistant Attorney General and also represented professional athletes as an NFL agent. “My secret to success is understanding that everyone is important,” she says. “I know that whenever issues arise, it’s always best to focus on providing solutions.”

Lutz Karpf, 32
CEO & Designer
Beauty, Bridal, Lingerie & Loungewear
When it comes to transforming women into the best visual versions of themselves, Lutz Karpf’s style is honest, fearless and FIERCE! “I can figure out the right look for each of my clients by getting to know them as a person and what they’re drawn to,” he says. “Listening and asking questions is a big part of my professional and personal life — communication is always the key to success in anything you do!”

Michelle Rosquete, 36
TV Commercial & Print Model
Various Ad Campaigns
One day, while Michelle Rosquete was driving her kids home from school, her eldest son pointed at a bus next to them and said “Mommy, look, it’s you! You’re a nurse!” He’d spotted one of his mother’s latest ad campaigns — this one was for Simply Healthcare. “Most of my time is spent chasing kids around in sweatpants with zero makeup, so it’s a nice change of pace to get dolled up for a few hours or morph into a different persona for a day,” she says. “What I enjoy most about my job is the opportunity to contribute to a brand’s presence in the marketplace by helping bring an idea or concept to life!”

Courtney Paige Alvarez, 37
Owner & Coach
MyoCortex Human Performance Systems
Believing in a personalized, systematic approach to exercise, MyoCortex’s Courtney Paige Alvarez says committing to 30 sessions with her revolutionary sustainable training program can help redefine your entire muscular system. “Getting clients to learn how to slow down and concentrate on contracting muscles is the most challenging part,” she says, mentioning she’s worked with everyone from pre- and post-rehab patients to high school, collegiate and professional athletes. “As they learn and understand the process more and more each day, the elation they feel when they start seeing their bodies and health evolve makes all the hard work worth it!”

Daniel A. Milian, 36
Law Office of Daniel A. Milian
From Commercial, Civil, Foreclosure and Real Estate Litigation to Consumer, Condominium and HOA Law, Daniel A. Milian is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the law. Currently, he’s involved in numerous professional boards and organizations including the Planning, Zoning & Appeals Board for the City of Miami, CITIZENS For A Better South Florida and the Cuban American Bar Association. “I’ve always had an interest in the betterment of our local communities through education and stewardship,” he says. “I strive to further the dream of making South Florida a better place for present and future generations.”

Austin Hollo, 32
Vice President
Florida East Coast Realty
For Austin Hollo, dreaming big takes on a whole new meaning. The self-described “I’m a jack of all trades” is currently developing Panorama Tower in the heart of Brickell. Once completed, it will be the tallest residential building on the eastern seaboard south of NYC. “I love that I can drive down the street, point at a building and say ‘I was part of that!’ — it’s thrilling to be on the front lines, witnessing and contributing to the transformation of the city I’ve grown up in!”

Maria Del Pilar Rubio, 38
Int’l Tax Attorney, Shutts & Bowen
Serving as a “legal link” between immigrants and foreign investors from Latin America and the U.S., Maria Del Pilar Rubio has made a successful career out of designing investment structures for foreign and domestic investors to reduce their tax impact while assisting them with compliance matters in the U.S. “I’ve found there really is no ‘secret’ to success,” she says. “Success comes with a firm commitment to yourself and to your dreams — education and experience are fundamental and empowering.”

Jessika Gomez, 33
Sales Director, CANVAS
Fortune Int’l Realty;
As a kid, Jessika Gomez used to play with her father’s paperwork, pretending to be an executive traveling the world. Today, those memories have come full circle as she globetrots around the world promoting forthcoming Miami luxury tower CANVAS. “I go into everything I do with an open mind and a positive attitude,” she says. “I draft a plan of action every day when I wake up and visualize successful outcomes in my mind.”

Alejandro Bonet, 34
Managing Partner, Lineaire Designs
Alejandro Bonet lives and breathes upscale residential and commercial architecture, design and custom construction — it runs in the family! “Since my mother and I launched Lineaire Designs back in 2009, we have grown our integrated boutique firm to more than 20 employees working on over 100 projects per year,” he says. “We’re constantly striving to make the dreams of all of our clients come true by crafting beautiful and functional environments for them that they will cherish for years to come!”

Susset Cabrera, 32
CEO & Founder, Peacock Public Relations
Seven years ago, Susset Cabrera realized her entrepreneurial dreams and launched what is today one of Miami’s premier public relations firms, aptly named Peacock Public Relations. “I help clients make headlines for a living,” she says. “Whether I’m securing stories on television or radio or in newspapers and magazines, my job is to create newsworthy angles that help make the brands I represent household names.” For as long as she can remember, Cabrera has thrived on helping others succeed. “Every good deed you do comes back to you 10-fold,” she says. “It’s the best secret to life I know — shhhh…tell everyone!”

Corey Lee, 39
Partner, Hunton & Williams LLP
Corey Lee recognizes that the clients he serves at his firm do not litigate for a living. “I’m in the business of minimizing distractions and allowing clients to focus on their respective businesses while resolving disputes in a way that helps them meet their objectives,” he says. “As a child, I was never willing to accept things as true just because someone told me that they were. Instead, I always wanted things explained to me, and I would do independent research. That early critical thinking is definitely a skill that I use daily.”

Jay Shehadeh, Esq., 31
General Counsel, U.S. Century Bank
Jay Shehadeh, Esq., leads all legal matters of U.S. Century Bank, but more accurately, he says, as the General Counsel, he serves as the Senior Business Executive that guides the business decisions of the bank through the “minefield” known as the law. “Whether you see your life as being focused on business or not, you should treat your goals like a keen investor,” he says. “You need to focus your time on its highest and best use — after all, your time is your currency. Always look for the largest return on your investment!”

Oltion Mollaymeri, 33
Financial Advisor
Northwestern Mutual
Wealth Management Company
Oltion Mollaymeri collaborates with business owners and executives in developing and implementing structures that help them secure tax-favored growth of assets with liquidity and flexibility. “Many people think they must be rich or wealthy to work with a financial advisor — but that’s just not the case,” he says. “If you have meaningful tax exposure, and you make an income for a living, we should really get in touch!”