July 4, 2015

CEO Sounding Board

What's the outlook in Florida for your business in 2014?

Mike Vogel | 1/2/2014

Christa Luna
Dealer
Gilbert Chevrolet
Okeechobee

“I see it in a positive mode. We’re celebrating 80 years here. The dealership originated with my grandfather in ’33. We’re fortunate to have a stable customer base and growing. We are up year-over-year. I foresee that trend continuing for next year (2014), but it’s hard to tell. There are a lot of things that affect why people buy cars. Gas prices are one — the economy, incentives, new products. I feel the product hasn’t been better than it is right now.”

INSURANCE

Sam Rogers Jr.
CEO, Rogers, Gunter, Vaughn Insurance
Chairman, Florida Association of Insurance Agents
Tallahassee

“We’re seeing good signs of positive home sales and inventory needing to be rebuilt, which is good in general. We have some special programs for folks like movers, architects and engineers, which we think are going to have good years where they’ve had horrible years the last few years. Our agency handles all lines of insurance, but it’s primarily property casualty. We do some employee benefits, and that’s probably the one area that we have some negative thoughts.”

HEALTH CARE

Dr. James Goldenberg
Neurologist/president
Medical Specialists of the Palm Beaches
Atlantis

“One thing that’s for sure is the fee-for-service model is no longer sustainable. We’re trying to open up to new physician payment models. If you talk to most physicians, they’re nervous; they’re a little bit anxious. I’m not anxious. I’m excited. I’m part of an entity that’s become really desirable now. I have 74 doctors, a huge administrative team, 450 employees at multiple locations. We’re prepared to analyze the health care landscape and react to it. These are really interesting times. We have the luxury of remaining a physician-owned and physician-operated multiple specialty group.”

TOURISM

Joan Pons
Regional director New York, East and Florida
Hotelbeds.com
Orlando

“Florida is looking very, very well. We think it’s going to be a good year for the U.K. market for Florida. What we are seeing for 2014 as well is really important growth in the South America markets. Brazil is still going to be performing very well in 2014. We are seeing markets — Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru — that are growing. Orlando is performing extremely well. Orlando is our top destination in the world. Miami is really doing well.”

REAL ESTATE

Barry Allred
Chairman/CEO
Elkins Constructors

Jacksonville

“We think we’ll be up a little bit, not significantly. We have started to see a little bit of increase in the retail sector. Retail has been dead for five years. Nothing in the office market. We do a fair amount of schools, both K-12 schools and colleges and universities. We’re not seeing quite as much work in the institutional side, schools, in our area as we are in other parts of the state. Senior living and life care continue to be moderately active. That market has weathered the storm a little bit better than some of the others.”

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