TOP 20 Professionals Under Forty

As we all experienced the most unprecedented year in modern history, the resilient young professionals you’re about to meet withstood all the challenges that came with the pandemic, and stepped up to the plate like never before to hit the professional homeruns of their lives while inspiring the next generation to dream big and reach for the stars.

Interviews: Jorge Arauz
Photography: Julio Carlos
Producer & Director: Ana Claudia Negri
Onsite Touch-Ups: Juliana Gonzalez
Location: Miami Institute of Photography; 119 NE 54th Street, Miami, FL 33137

Graziela Brilho, 34

Trainer & Instructor
Pilates, Yoga & Hypopressive

Dedicating herself to the transformation of her clients through integrating the body and mind via movement by way of Pilates, Yoga and Hypopressive exercises, Graziela Brilho teaches and awakens the true potential of others through physical activity. “I live daily what I teach and apply those principles in my life and in my training,” she says. “I enjoy feeling and understanding in my body everything I will go through, so that I can guide classes clearly and efficiently in hopes that I can help add energetic knowledge, love and purpose to the world.”  

Lia Catalina Lopez, 30 

Business Development Associate 
AMS Financial Group/Circle Partners

As an attorney for AMS Financial Group/Circle Partners, working with multinational stakeholders and clients from different cultural backgrounds and various industries with their legal and financial needs, Lia Catalina Lopez finds herself wearing more than one hat: business advisor, lawyer, therapist and compliance officer, to name a few. “I genuinely enjoy what I do and make sure to always be available and present for our clients,” she says. “I think personalized, one-on-one service goes a long way and is essential to building a good reputation and solid relationships.”

Brendan Yuen, 34

Senior Director, Finance 
Ryder System, Inc.

With a general curiosity and genuine desire to put the puzzle pieces together, Brendan Yuen’s understanding of how all the interconnected parts of an operation work together allows him to drive the best results possible. “Prior to my experience in the logistics and supply chain industry, I, like most people, had a limited appreciation for everything it takes to ensure that we have access to basic necessities each day, to put food on our shelves and tables, to park cars in our driveways, and to just keeping the economy moving,” he says. “Working collaboratively to develop solutions for our customers that allow these complex activities to become everyday realities for most people is really exciting.”

Vyoma Gandhi, 33

Networking SME, Lead Sales Engineer, United States Federal
Citrix Systems;

An ideator and engineer with a passion for creativity, Vyoma Gandhi doesn’t see problems, she sees opportunities to get creative! “I believe that logic can take you from A to B — and imagination can take you everywhere,” she says. With a Bachelors in Electronics & Telecommunications Engineering from the University of Pune in India; a Master’s in Computer Networking from FIU; and a second Master’s in Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management from Brown University, she embraces every opportunity to learn and grow. “Understanding perspectives and affecting a positive change in the lives of others is amazing,” she says. “Giving back some of what I’ve learned throughout my studies, life and career is very rewarding.”

Jonathan B. Rosen, 28

Colliers International

Jonathan B. Rosen isn’t glued to his desk every day — in fact, it’s quite the opposite. As a dynamic Commercial Real Estate Broker with a laser focus on retail and restaurants throughout South Florida, he mainly works in buzzing urban core markets like Brickell, South Beach, Wynwood, Coral Gables and Aventura. “My favorite part of the job is the social, unstructured nature of the business and positioning my clients for success,” he says. In addition to his professional achievements, Rosen also launched the popular Future of Real Estate networking group and corresponding podcast series. “Whether it’s while networking or during a pitch for new business, people want to work with people they like,” he says. “Being friendly and relatable has allowed me to grow my platform and network exponentially in my relationship-driven field.”

Maryam Laguna Borrego, 33

VP for External Affairs & Chief of Staff
Miami-Dade College

Maryam Laguna Borrego sees the big picture when it comes to higher education institutions providing more than just a college experience — they transform lives. “I work tirelessly to ensure that everyone has access to educational opportunities by connecting the right people and partners to serve our community,” she says. “We all have a responsibility to protect one another, be kind to one another, empower one another and ultimately leave the world a better place for future generations.” It’s her inner drive that truly sets her apart. “Life is always speaking to us in whispers,” she says. “It’s important to listen to them because they have the power to guide you through your life’s purpose.”

Moises D. Ariza, 34

CPA & Office Managing Partner
Marcum LLP

If you think of an accountant as a number-cruncher sitting quietly away in an office somewhere with a calculator preparing tax returns, allow Moises D. Ariza to help change your perception. “Considering the international markets and changes in technology, the array of services that a CPA offers is continuously growing,” he says. “Beyond audits and tax returns, we are able to touch many aspects of the financial world, including business development, estate planning, investments, management consulting and implementation of artificial intelligence, among many other services. I thrive on constantly looking for opportunities to evolve, learn and grow because life and business is never stagnant.”

Julie Shvedyuk, 30 

Marketing & Trade Development Manager
California Closets Miami

When Julie Shvedyuk shares her elevator pitch, people take notice. “I’m in the business of simplifying your lifestyle,” she says. Through her role at California Closets Miami, she offers smart, functional and beautiful solutions for the home at any budget to help make her clients’ days run more smoothly and much more efficiently. “I love all of the moving parts — from the initial client consultation to the design phase to installation to witnessing each project’s evolution from start to finish,” she says. “When you truly enjoy what you do, your work will speak for itself and success will follow.”

Anastasia Saint-Eloi, 33

Director of Success
Sibila Law;

For most of her life, Miami native Anastasia Saint-Eloi has been told there’s something special about her. “Success in life and work is not only about numbers and closing the deal — the reality is that it’s all about building a relationship and earning the trust of your colleagues and clientele through honest, authentic and genuine interactions,” she says. “A fresh perspective and new creative ideas will always pave a path rich with innovation, evolution and meaningful connections that inspires all those involved to always lead with a sense of gratitude and reach for the stars.”

Gamil Kharfan, 32

Founder & CEO
Claro Insurance

As an entrepreneur with a focus on healthcare, Brickell resident Gamil Kharfan knows the importance of successful teamwork, developing effective strategies and measuring growth. He credits his keen entrepreneurial spirit with allowing him to stay razor-focused on learning while continually thinking outside the box. “My dreams did not come true overnight — I started working from a very early age and all my success is due to years of dedication and hard work,” he says. “I give 200% every day and surround myself with mentors who have accomplished a great level of success in their own respective journeys.” 

Kristopher Martin, 31

VP, Wealth Advisor 
Element Pointe Advisors

In his role at a leading independent wealth management and family office advisory firm, Kristopher Martin enhances the lives of ultra-high net worth entrepreneurs, family offices and professional athletes. “We empower our clients with greater insights into their investment portfolio and their overall financial picture in order to achieve their goals,” he says. “Our independent and fee-only business model differentiates our approach from the large bank and brokerage firms most people are familiar with, as our firm’s core goal is to align our interests with the interests of our clients, and to provide objective, transparent and knowledgeable advice.”

Andrea Redondo, 35

VP of e-Commerce 

As VP of e-Commerce for the nation’s largest Hispanic-owned supermarket chain, Andrea Redondo of Sedano’s loves the challenge of building a platform that meets the needs of consumers while anticipating future behavior. Intentional in every goal she pursues, practicing the art of effectively listening is amongst her secrets to success. “The biggest misconception people have about my profession is that it’s a 9-5 office job but the reality is that e-commerce is a 24/7 industry,” she says. “It’s all about embracing change and enjoying the journey.”

Andrew Otazo, 34

Senior Content Specialist
Jeffrey Group

When he’s on the clock, Andrew Otazo works in public relations, helping Fortune 100 companies launch and manage communications campaigns. On his personal time, he cleans and advocates for the environment, writes satirical articles and works to reform Miami’s politics. “I enjoy the variety of my work,” he says. “In addition to my current roles, I’ve worked for a Mexican president, the State Department, Harvard Business School, tech startups and several advocacy organizations.” Among his many achievements, he built the wildly popular cultural icon that is Miami Creation Myth from scratch, culminating in an audiobook and paperback release later this year. “I never allow myself to become complacent — I constantly challenge myself professionally, physically and creatively,” he says. “More often than not, true leadership involves working harder and longer than anyone else despite the odds.” 

Maggie Vo, 34

Managing General Partner & Chief Investment Officer
Fuel Venture Capital

Guiding entrepreneurs as they problem-solve through complex challenges is what makes Maggie Vo tick. “The world of tech startups is incredibly fast-paced, and many of the everyday issues of growing and evolving a new company are high stakes — make or break,” she says. “It’s stimulating to find new, innovative solutions to problems to make sure our portfolio companies keep growing big and evolving quickly. More importantly, I know that the solutions we find are ultimately helping thousands, if not millions, of people and companies. It’s so exciting to be playing an active role in molding companies that can have such an immense impact on our world.”

Dr. Sarah Marie Selem, 32

Physicians To Children

As a leading pediatrician in Miami’s ever-evolving metropolis, Dr. Sarah Marie Selem is optimistic about the future of the city she grew up in. “Whenever I see a baby smile or a child say something sweet or funny, it brings joy to my day,” she says. After graduating Valedictorian at Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart, she attended Yale University for undergrad and eventually graduated from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in 2015. “To be a good doctor, you have to listen and you have to care,” she says. “As a pediatrician, caring for children is grounded in basic human principles: communication, respect, gratitude and love — it brings me great joy to treat each of my patients as family.”

Adam Becker, 32 

Founder & CEO
Society Fitness & GluteHouse 

Launching two wildly popular fitness concepts located waterfront on the Miami River in Brickell, Adam Becker is as fit as they come. “I love seeing our members step outside of their comfort zone and achieve things with their bodies and minds that they didn’t think they would be capable of doing,” he says. “I love watching their confidence build outside of the gym as a result of their hard work.” And, he says, attitude is paramount. “Always check your ego, be your authentic self and seek knowledge from people who know more than you,” he says. “Equally important is to be adaptable, never take anything too seriously and always have fun along the way!” 

Cristina Ortiz, 37

CEO & Real Estate Lawyer 
Florida Title Exchange

With offices in Brickell, Dadeland, Doral and Miami Beach, Real Estate Lawyer Cristina Ortiz protects sellers and buyers throughout South Florida in one of the most important investments of their lives through her company Florida Title Exchange. Her motto for everything is “Follow-Up and Follow-Through” — and it’s served her well in business and life. “When it comes to my practice, I’ve found that establishing personal, one-on-one relationships always yields the best results,” she says. “I don’t believe in the outdated notion that a client has to accommodate their lawyer — a true professional is respectful, mindful and accommodating of the emotions, schedules and needs of others.”

Chris Lomax, 38

Founder & Managing Attorney
Lomax Legal

Beginning his legal career at the age 25, Chris Lomax started working in Washington, D.C., at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he traveled the country investigating and prosecuting hate crimes, police brutality and human trafficking offenses.  He subsequently clerked for a Federal Judge in Louisiana, followed by a 6-year stint with one of the most renowned law firms in the world, Jones Day. Most recently, he tapped into his entrepreneurial spirit and launched his own firm, Lomax Legal. “My unique career experiences have definitely helped shape my path, but more than that, what truly sets me apart is my genuine love of people and my investment in seeing others succeed, obtain justice and accomplish their goals,” he says. “That focus has made all the difference in my journey of building one of the most effective and well-regarded law firms in South Florida and eventually the nation.”

Adriana Brito, 37

Broker Associate
Fortune International Realty

As a Top Producer for Fortune International Realty, Miami native Adriana Brito thrives on selling her hometown. “We are a global and diverse city, a tropical paradise, and the home to industries of the future,” she says. “No matter where in the world you are from, Miami is a smart investment.” Her knack for sales came at a young age. “As early as elementary school, I remember selling pens, crafts, candy and dolls to my classmates,” she says. “I would save half of my profits and use the rest to buy more inventory to continue selling week after week.” Among her proudest recent accomplishments was selling the largest Upper Penthouse at landmark Brickell Flatiron. “It was the highest recorded sale in Brickell in more than a decade at $13.2 million,” she says. “Negotiating world-class deals is in my DNA!”

Douglas Jones, 39 

Managing Partner 
JAG Insurance Group

Douglas Jones and his team at JAG Insurance Group aim to protect what matters most while challenging the insurance sector’s status-quo and leading with authenticity, transparency and empathy. Dedicated to paving a forward-thinking approach in the commercial insurance and risk management landscape, he guides consumers through the ever-evolving framework of new regulations and insurance market dynamics. “In an age of immediacy and constant change, it’s more important than ever to utilize unique strategies to educate consumers, cut through the noise and debunk myths,” he says. “With a passion for developing creative solutions, we leverage technology to provide value-added operations, expediting the claim process and decreasing costs — it’s important to be aware of how each step of the process serves as a stepping stone for a larger goal.”