Tourism and Entertainment
Coral Hospitality, CEO, Naples
At first: Mississippi-born, raised in Gulf Shores, Ala., on the Florida line, Lee Weeks was a dual business and recreation administration major. He had his sights set on professional baseball until a realization it was unlikely to happen and an injury to his pitching arm changed his plans.
Then: He worked his way up in management from the pro shop to the country club and then to executive jobs at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa in Maui, the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas and LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort in Naples.
Now: Weeks, 48, is CEO of Coral Hospitality, a consulting, management, technical services, asset management and ownership company in the clubs, hotels and master association/luxury condo management fields. Weeks' specialty is operations.
Learned from: Sitting around the dinner table with his father, a labor lawyer. "I got a real knack for the business side from him."
Success: Some Coral workers have gone in three years from desk clerks to managing properties. "We have a lot of internal success stories."
Family: "I have a great wife (Joan), great kid (Drew) and a great job."
Dealing with a service error: Own up to it, apologize, exceed the upset customer's expectations in another way. "You're going to make mistakes. It's how you recover from the mistake."
Personal time: Golf, tennis, weight lifting, coaching kids basketball, baseball and football.
Melissa Giles, 23, an England-born, Miami-raised daughter of a British concert producer, wanted to be a fashion designer but gravitated to the music business after doing promotions for a record label in high school. In 2002, she founded Soulfrito, a now annual urban Latin music festival with a $150,000 budget that draws as many as 8,000 to Bayfront Park in Miami. She's talking about starting similar events in New York and Madrid, Spain. Her Misto Marketing and Management does grass-roots events for Burger King, Pontiac and AOL in Miami, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. "I'm happy with where I'm at now and watching it grow."