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Florida CEOs answer: What's your outlook for 2012?

IT STAFFING
Dan Rodriguez
CEO - Veredus - Tampa

"We have definitely seen increased hiring by our clients, which has led us to hire more recruiters and salespeople here internally. In 2011, we grew revenue about 50%. We're expecting growth in the 30% range in 2012. We're very optimistic. In the technology sector, hiring has been very brisk."

Dan Rodriguez
[Photo: Mark Welple]

RETAIL
Juan Ortiz
CEO - Navarro Discount Pharmacy - Medley

Juan Ortiz
"Very optimistic, let me tell you, very optimistic. We will be adding to employee headcount. We're focused here entirely in south Florida. We're expecting a 1% to 2% growth on a same-store basis. We're also adding new stores. Right now I've got 30. I'll have open or have in progress three to five new stores in fiscal 2013 . The good thing about our business is we supply a lot of people's day-to-day needs. We are a value destination. We've got about 1,300 employees currently. We'll add another 50 employees per new store."

ACCOUNTING
Tony Argiz
Chairman / CEO - Morrison Brown Argiz & Farra - Miami

Tony Argiz
"We're looking at anywhere from 4.5% to 6% in revenue growth (in 2012). We've gotten a lot of international work. Miami is so strong (that) the leads are constant. We've been able to really increase the market share. You're probably talking 18 to 25 new people at least in the company. When you look at south Florida, sales taxes revenues are growing. The Brazilians aren't only buying condos now, they're really spending money in the stores. The tourism from there is really, really strong. South America has been a pretty good marketplace. They've been growing like the Asian economies in the last 12 to 24 months, and it's really helped us in Miami."


DEVELOPMENT
Roger O'Steen
Chairman - PARC Group - Jacksonville

"We expect a 75% increase in revenue. We're seeing improved market conditions for new homes. We develop land and lots, and we sell those lots to builders so we won't hire many new staff. Our communities are located in very desirable A-plus locations. Statewide, really all over the country, you're seeing the supply of lots in the A locations has been greatly diminished. People realize they can get new homes for the same price as they can get an existing home after the cost of repairing and remodeling. The existing homes have problems. They've been sitting empty for long periods of time."

Roger O'Steen
[Photo: Ryan Ketterman]

HOTELS
Harris Rosen
President / COO - Rosen Hotels & Resorts - Orlando

"We have not come even close to 2005 to 2006, which were our best years. I don't see any significant improvement in 2012 over 2011. The current administration doesn't provide many of us in the private sector with confidence and hope, and until we have confidence and hope, I think we're going to be impacted negatively. It's very hard to be aggressive and be inclined to take risks when you don't know what healthcare costs are going to do, you're concerned about regulation. We have spent about $35 million in the last two years refurbishing our hotels. I wouldn't be doing it unless I believed that things would get better some day. We're contemplating spending $15 million to $20 million in the next 12 months carrying on with our refurbishing."

Harris Rosen

REAL ESTATE
Michael Saunders
CEO - Michael Saunders & Co. - Sarasota

"We are projecting 10% more revenues than 2011, and we are projecting more hires than 2011. We are making a huge investment in a rental property management division expansion. We're finding we can sell to an investor and turn around and rent it for them. (In 2011), we saw a huge influx of international buyers. The pie may not be hugely bigger — you just need to get more of it. We're focusing on increasing per-agent productivity; we're focusing on training; we're focusing on outreach to the international buyers."

Michael Saunders