Florida Trend's Floridian of the Year
People who made an impact in business, economy, science, environment, government, education, sports, philanthropy, media and our fallen soldiers.
» Ray Ferrero Jr.
Ray Ferrero Jr. oversaw the completion of a $60-million expansion of its pre-K through 12 University School and served as chairman of the Broward Alliance economic development agency. [Photo: Eileen Escarda]
Ray Ferrero Jr. is chancellor and CEO of 28,600-student Nova Southeastern University in Davie, the state's largest non-profit private university and Broward's second-largest private employer with 4,000 workers. He chaired the Broward Alliance economic development group in 2009.
Bio: A lawyer, Ferrero became Nova president 12 years ago. He turns 76 this month. "I'm still going strong."
Broward Alliance Work: Ferrero personally visited every major company in Broward and convinced 20 CEOs to join a council to market the area and lure other headquarters here. Also, he pushed for government incentives for smaller companies and saw to a competitive analysis to help market the area. All this results in the alliance identifying and this year pitching 60 out-of-state companies to move here.
Opportunity: "It didn't take a rocket scientist to realize we were in difficult times. In my judgment, that's always the time of opportunity. You need to be doing aggressive planning so when things turn around you're shovel ready."
Nova Work: Nova boosted enrollment by 1,700 last year. Its board agreed to a doubling of undergrad enrollment to 12,000 in five to seven years. The school finished a $60-million expansion of its pre-K through 12 University School; moved a Naples campus to Fort Myers in late 2008; opened a Tampa building; and agreed to build a Palm Beach Gardens building. It hopes to break ground next year on an office and residential "academical village" in Davie. — Mike Vogel