CEOs: Holidays celebrate team achievements, cement culture

As an organization with our faith — Jewish Federation of Broward County — embedded in our name, we approach all of the holidays throughout the year as an integral part of our mission. The pillars of our holiday activities are education, action and joy. From ensuring meals are delivered to those in need, helping our seniors to come together for festive celebrations and sending out holiday treats to the community, we strive to make a meaningful difference. As an office, we pause to celebrate each other’s achievements and enjoy our accomplishments. Rather than rent a facility, or clear out the conference room, we share the festivities at our homes, inviting our colleagues in to enjoy and have fun together. There is always too much food, a lot of laughter and for some inexplicable reason, an indulgence of karaoke!

Michael Balaban, president, CEO, Jewish Federation of Broward County


The beautiful thing about Lime is that being a recently launched global startup, we can create holiday traditions from scratch. In Miami, we recently had our first “Limesgiving”, bringing the Miami and Fort Lauderdale teams together for a meal the day before Thanksgiving. We look forward to creating new, exciting traditions well into the New Year as this is the time to bring everyone together to celebrate not only our accomplishments, but those family and friends who sustain us every day.

Uhriel Bedoya, Florida general manager, Lime


Every year we host our staff at our house for a holiday “parrillada”. My husband and partner, Gustavo Berenblum, who’s from Argentina, prepares the traditional BBQ for us, and we have a Secret Santa gift exchange and share many laughs. The annual Christmas party is the perfect time to celebrate the team’s hard work and commitment, and the successes we’ve enjoyed together.

Claudia Busch, founding principal, Berenblum Busch Architects


We always celebrate the holidays with fun activities for people of all faiths. Music, tree trimming, games and a formal lunch or dinner are a small part of how we address the season. Although November and December give us the best opportunity to celebrate and have some fun, we plan special events throughout the year. The year end, however, is a time of reflection and a gives us an opportunity to express our gratitude to our friends and family.

Anita Byer, CEO, Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk


Each year, we host a company holiday party at a different venue, from Mandolin to Soho Beach House to The Standard. It is important as a company we take a moment to celebrate the holidays and our dedicated employees who work so hard throughout the year. We incorporate a white elephant gift exchange into the party that everyone has fun with.

Ricardo Dunin, founding partner, Lionheart Capital


Pacific National Bank has a Thanksgiving and Christmas/Holiday lunch for the entire team including our Board of Directors. At our Thanksgiving lunch, we take the time to share our blessings, give thanks for all the great things that have happened throughout the year, and enjoy quality time with all of our colleagues. The Christmas/Holiday lunch is typically preceded by a “Secret Santa” and again, the focus of the event is to share quality time and celebrate with our PNB family. Other initiatives include visits to our customers to deliver our holiday gifts, and attending events hosted by clients who consider us part of their respective families as well. Additionally, each functional area of the bank has a little party of its own. If you are part of the PNB family and planned on dieting from mid-November to end of the year, you are in deep trouble. It is non-stop home cooked delicacies at these department parties and there is no saying no!

Carlos R. Fernandez-Guzman, president, CEO, Pacific National Bank (PNB)


The holiday season is a great opportunity to reflect on ourselves as individuals and as a collective. This is why I always encourage my team to give back and pay it forward, so every year we participate in “Giving Tuesday” and come up with new innovative ways to contribute to our community. Additionally, in December we put up our office Christmas tree and holiday decorations and host our annual holiday dinner. We utilize this time to share among ourselves, which allows us to wrap up the year with positivity.

Sanket Parekh, founder and managing partner, Secocha Ventures


The most memorable and unique holiday party that I enjoyed with my family was one year in the early 1990s at the then Burger King Headquarters/Support Center on Old Cutler Road. The company transformed its South Dade grounds into a Winter Wonderland, complete with an artificial snow mountain, working sleds, holiday treats and of course, a visit from Santa Claus. Given the long hours and tremendous effort and success our employee base had put in to get results that year, we wanted everyone — corporate and field restaurant teams — to bring their entire families and enjoy this winter venue we created so it would feel like the holiday most of the U.S. would experience.

Julio Ramirez, president, CEO, JEM Global Consulting




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