The 2018 Top Professionals Under Forty

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.
Text by Jorge Arauz | April 30, 2018 | People

Ramazan Patak, 33
President & CEO
Globaltex Fine Linens

For Ramazan Patak, there’s no better time than the present. “Do not postpone anything in life,” he says. “Do it now and do it today because tomorrow is never promised.” When it comes to advice for budding professionals and global magnates alike, he says consistency is the true secret to success. “Whatever you want to do in life or business, it’s possible,” he says. “The key is to never give up and to always be realistic when it comes to your dreams.”

Victoria Sampaio Coster, 30
Regional Marketing Lead

All marketers tell relatable stories that allow audiences to connect ideas, ultimately influencing decision-making. As the head of the Florida Marketing Team for Compass, a technology-powered real estate brokerage firm building a single platform to support the buying and selling process, Victoria Sampaio Coster understands that better than anyone. “I strive to be adaptable and nimble while doing everything possible to stay ahead of growth trajectories and always celebrating each win, both big and small,” she says. “Being inspired by the people around me makes me feel supported regardless of the outcome!”

Brenda Arce, 38
Vice President
Robert Half

During her tenure at Robert Half, Brenda Arce has placed more than 5,000 candidates in gainful employment opportunities throughout Miami-Dade County. And she knows first-hand how great it feels to land a new gig. “When I was 16, I started cold-calling law firms to ask if they needed administrative help because I wanted to get real-world experience working in an office setting,” she says. “One of the HR Managers I connected with was so impressed with my ambition that she scheduled me for an interview and hired me for $4 an hour to do filing and back office work! I never imagined that 20+ years later everything would come full circle and I’d be making a living contacting companies to talk about their staffing needs!”

Patrick Hidalgo, 39
Co-Founder & Managing Partner
Future Partners

Shortly after his tenure working with the White House Business Council during the Obama administration, Patrick Hidalgo returned home to Miami and Co-Founded Future Partners with his sister, Bibi. “Our company is extremely dynamic — one minute we are headhunting for minority and women-owned businesses and the next minute we are trying to persuade executives with big purse strings to connect with new talent they otherwise would not work with,” he says. “I like to work on things that I can get passionate about and that align with my values while surrounding myself with people who motivate me and push me to learn and grow.”

Katherina Santana, 34
Broker Associate, Capital Int’l Realty
Founder, Santana Sales Group ;

Broker Associate. Entrepreneur. Real Estate Advisor. Author. Katherina Santana is unstoppable. Learning her strict work ethic at a very young age when she starred in a popular children’s TV show in her native Venezuela, in between tight production schedules, schoolwork, rehearsals and family time, she found her groove. “That experience taught me discipline and responsibility, skills that have helped me tremendously in my career,” she says, mentioning one of her most rewarding professional experiences to date has been publishing her book, The Successful Path To Your Property In Miami, a treasure-trove of advice for investors and immigrants on ways to successfully navigate the South Florida market. “Being part of someone’s journey to find a new home or wise investment is truly amazing!”

Michael Winkleman, Esq., 39
Maritime Trial Attorney
Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A.

If Michael Winkleman looks familiar, you’ve probably seen him on a TV set near you discussing maritime law during one of the more than 100 times he’s been asked on national programs to offer expert insights. When he’s not in front of the camera, he’s in Federal Court representing injured cruise passengers and crew. “People are fascinated by the area of law I practice,” he says. “I’ve always been a good talker so being in a courtroom feels at home — working on a case for years, and then winning at trial is tremendously rewarding.”

Angela Moore, 38
CFP, Money Coach & Speaker
Modern Money Advisor

Angela Moore is on a mission to make financial planning accessible for everyone.  Specializing in Gen X & Gen Y, she helps her clients build a strong financial foundation, one focused on aggressively eliminating debt and accumulating wealth. “I love the fulfillment I get from changing lives, promoting financial literacy and helping people achieve financial freedom,” she says. “I want to start a movement of people who are willing to disrupt the paycheck-to-paycheck crisis and make wealth-building a lifestyle that they share with everyone whose path they cross.”

Bill Brothers, 37
Golden Dusk Photography

Like Justin Bieber, Pamela Anderson, Jim Carrey, Ryan Reynolds, Alanis Morissette, Celine Dion, Drake and the actor who played Chandler on “Friends,” Miami-based photographer extraordinaire Bill Brothers is Canadian. After 24 years of living in Toronto, the architectural, real estate and cityscapes shutterbug came to Miami 13 years ago and never left. “The moment I laid eyes on Miami’s beautiful beaches and felt the city’s balmy breezes on my face, I knew this was the place for me,” he says. “I haven’t seen or photographed snow since I left Canada and I don’t care if I ever see it again!”

Natalia Martinez-Kalinina, 31
GM, CIC Miami
Latin America Lead, CIC Global

Natalia Martinez-Kalinina describes herself as an organizational psychologist and strategist focused on merging innovation, entrepreneurship and impact. “My passion hinges on driving the progress of communities into inclusive, value-adding ecosystems by creating places of convergence that add tangible value and momentum,” she says. “I thrive on piloting ideas quickly and not being afraid to revisit and challenge things, even when they are working.”

Dr. Guillermo Bello, 34
Chiropractic Physician & Sports Medicine Specialist
Dr. Be

Dr. Guillermo Bello is said to have the “best crack” in town — chiropractically speaking, of course. “The best part of my job is spending time with my patients, helping them overcome injuries and teaching them how to prevent them in the future,” he says. “It’s so rewarding to be able to change a person’s quality of life through our services — from an athlete who arrived at our office unable to run and ended up qualifying for the Ironman World Championship after a few sessions, to a mother we helped carry her baby again…my team and I are beyond blessed to be able to do what we do.”

Valeria Cardenal, 39
Owner & Business Director

When Valeria Cardenal tells people she owns the Mirto store in swanky Brickell City Centre, most imagine her life to be glamorous and jetsetting, to say the least. But it involves so much more than that for the woman at the helm of one of Spain’s most legendary men’s brands. “Running a global retail business is not just about fashion, there’s a lot of numbers, P&Ls and cashflows involved,” she says. “My absolute favorite part of the job is interacting with customers who visit us from all over the world!”

Jessika Angarita, 30
Business Development & Marketing — Americas
Camper & Nicholsons International

Sure, Jessika Angarita had the opportunity to spend some time aboard a 274-ft. motor yacht last summer, starting at storied Port Hercules in Monaco along the French Riviera and culminating in Idyllic Saint Tropez — but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t working. “I’m definitely not on a yacht having fun all the time,” says the Business Development & Marketing pro for Camper & Nicholsons, the world’s oldest leisure marine company, serving royalty and the global elite for over 236 years. “There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes and it’s necessary, just as in any other industry, to always put in 200%.”

Birute Scobee, 34
Assistant VP, Enterprise Risk Manager
Banco Santander International

For Birute Scobee, a summer work and travel program to the U.S. from her native Lithuania turned into a long-lasting life adventure when she decided to call The Magic City home. Today, she is the Assistant VP, Enterprise Risk Manager for Banco Santander International. “I’ve been good at math my entire life,” she says. “When I was in high school, I invested my savings into a school cafeteria project, which doubled in 4 months! That early success definitely lead me to where I am today.”

Michael Schwager, Esq., 39 
Attorney & Commercial Litigation Partner
Becker & Poliakoff;

Michael Schwager’s elevator pitch is straightforward: “I solve problems,” he says. The Miami native has never lived more than 20 minutes away from home since college and has been a Miami Heat season ticket holder for over a decade. “For some reason, people think that litigators are always difficult — but we are very pleasant people 99.9% of the time,” he says. “There’s no substitute for getting out there, introducing yourself, shaking hands and having a conversation — people like to do business with people they enjoy talking to!”

Diandra Lamas, 29
Miami Community Manager

When Diandra Lamas was a kid, she had an imaginary friend named Gallina. Today, she connects with her squad of more than 150 million users via Yelp’s global network who speak more than 18 languages in 219 cities and 32 countries around the world. In her role helming the Yelp Miami team, she connects people to local businesses and services, keeping users engaged both online and off via the out-of-this-world interactive experiences and curated promotions she produces. “I’m never afraid to try new things, take risks and think outside the box,” she says. “At Yelp, one of our values is to ‘Be UnBoring’ — so I like to think I fit right in!”

Dr. Steven Henriques, 37
Chief of Surgery
Chairman of Cancer Committee
Mercy Hospital;

No matter what mood you’re in, when you meet Dr. Steven Henriques, you feel immediately at ease. “My job is easy to get up for — and I do that often, even in the middle of the night. Whenever I’m working, I have a direct impact on someone’s life,” he says. “The gratitude displayed by my patients and their families is the best part of what I do and makes all of the long hours and personal sacrifices worth it.”

Nichole D. Scott, 39
Attorney & Equity Partner
Holland & Knight;

Nichole D. Scott achieved success early in life, graduating high school early at 16, earning her undergraduate degree at 19 and obtaining her J.D. at just 22. Her hard work lead her to become one of Holland & Knight’s youngest partners in 2010 at the tender age of 31. Today, she is the firm’s go-to partner for trusts and estates matters involving high net worth families. “While it may sound cliché, the secret to success is hard work — nothing comes easy,” she says. “It’s important to work long hours and develop business contacts early on so that when you become more advanced in your career, you have relationships you can depend upon.”

Solomon “Avi” Wechsler, 35
President & Qualifier
Wechsler Development & Wechsler Construction

Solomon “Avi” Wechsler was the kind of kid who would take everything apart — from toys to refrigerators — because he needed to know how it worked, and how it was built. “When I was 8 years old, I built my first tree fort, drawing out the plans, purchasing all of the materials from Home Depot, and enlisting all of the kids in my neighborhood to help me build it. I was a Project Manager before I even had my CGC License!” Best of all, his passion seems to have trickled down to the next generation. “Among the first words my twin boys ever spoke were tractor, digger and crane,” he says. “In fact, one of our favorite things to do as a family is to visit our job sites!”

Javi Zayas, 33

SWARM President Javi Zayas says when his company first opened its doors, the events-based agency only had 4 employees working out of a 350 sq. ft. office, grossing just under $800K a year. Two years later, they were up to $15 million, employing hundreds of full-time and special hires throughout the 75 events (and counting) they produce each year including wildly popular Sprung! Beer Festival and Grovetoberfest as well as a series of events during St. Patty’s, Cinco De Mayo, Independence Day, Halloween, Art Basel and New Year’s Eve in Downtown, Brickell and Wynwood. “Our aim is to regain the popularity of human-to-human experiences via the large festivals and events we produce throughout the city,” he says. “Creating a community vibe and making sure everyone is having a good time is one of the most rewarding aspects of what we do.”

Jacqueline M. Lage, Esq., 39
Partner, Sibila Lage Attorneys At Law;

As one of Miami’s leading Real Estate, Corporate & Estate Planning attorneys, Jacqueline M. Lage has seen it all — from working on complex real estate transactions to negotiating agreements for businesses, banks, marinas, restaurants, schools, fitness centers and hotels. “To be successful, you need to truly care about your clients and their success,” she says. “Listening, providing excellent service and earning their trust is what keeps them coming back.”