Floridian of the Year
Floridian of the Year: Colin Brown
CEO / JM Family Enterprises
William Anthony, 35, does final vehicle inspections
Pay increase: 10.6%
How the raise helps:"My wife and I are raising three young children, and the increase has allowed me to provide for my family better. Now we save more, have more and do more, and that's been a blessing."
Victor Cabrera, 21, puts protective film on the front of vehicles.
Pay increase: 63%
How the raise helps:"I was out of work for a while before starting here, and I had run out of money. But now, I am actually planning to go back to school and pursue my goals."
Faye Diamond, 61, stages vehicles for the accessory shop
Pay increase: 30%
How the raise helps:"The minimum wage increase has allowed me to save more, and now I have more to spend on my grandchildren, too. I still have a little extra for my favorite activities like skating and bowling. I love working for this company, but like any job, we have days that can be challenging, so it's nice to reward myself and enjoy my time off."
Brianna Lester, 24, stages vehicles for the accessory shop
Pay increase: 60%
How the raise helps: "When I first found out that the minimum wage was going to increase to $16, I nearly fell over. This really came at a good time. My husband and I were struggling to pay the bills on time and take care of our 2- and 5-year old daughters. Now, we are caught up and are able to buy the things they need like clothes, diapers and school supplies. Before this it seemed like it was too expensive to do fun things with them."
Rich Wilson, 24, inventory specialist, JM Lexus
Pay increase: 66%
How the raise helps: Wilson, originally from Jamaica, lives with his mother and two brothers in Margate. He says he can now do more to help out his mother financially. "I was planning on staying here regardless," he says of the dealership. "But the raise made working here even better."
About JM Family Enterprises
Founded in 1968, JM Family Enterprises ranks fourth on FLORIDA TREND'S Biggest Private Companies list with revenue exceeding $13 billion. For 17 years in a row, the company has appeared in Fortune magazine's annual ranking of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. Employee benefits include tuition assistance, 401(k) contributions and profit-sharing. JM's headquarters has a gym, indoor swimming pool, child-care center, doctor's office and two cafeterias with subsidized meals. The company is arranged into five business segments.
- Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is one of only two U.S. Toyota distributors that operate separately from the Japanese automaker. Southeast has massive vehicle distribution facilities in Jacksonville and Commerce, Ga. It sells Scion and Toyota vehicles, parts and accessories to 176 independent dealerships in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.
- World Omni Financial oversees Southeast Toyota Finance, which offers car loans and leases through SET's five-state distribution network. DataScan Technologies, a 2003 acquisition, sells wholesale accounting and risk management systems to lenders.
- JM&A Group is an insurance and warranty sales company that also provides industry training to dealers nationwide.
- JM Lexus in Margate is the largest-volume Lexus dealership in the world.
- JM Service Center handles information technology, procurement, real estate management and other shared internal corporate functions.
Jim Moran partnered with Toyota in 1968 to create the distributorship. Today, JM Family Enterprises is Florida's fourth-largest private company with annual sales of more than $13 billion.
Chicago car dealer: In 1939, Moran bought a Sinclair gas station for $360 and began selling used cars from the lot. In 1946, he established a Hudson dealership. In the mid-1950s, he launched Courtesy Ford.
Toyota distributor: In 1968, a friend telephoned Moran to say that Toyota was looking for a distributor in the Southeast and wanted to talk to him. "My response was, 'What is a Toyota?' "He test-drove a Toyota a week later and became "a believer," he said.
Postscript: Moran died in 2007 at age 88.