April 16, 2024
ATS SE Dec 2023
Jamie Rosenberg created ClassWallet as a platform for purchasing and reimbursing public funds.

Photo: ClassWallet

ATS SE Dec 2023
Everglades area farmers cut the amount of phosphorous running off into the watershed by 63% in the most recent years compared to the 1980s before the program to decrease runoff began under the 1994 Everglades Forever Acts.

Photo: Lake Okeechobee Business Alliance

ATS SE Dec 2023
Barbara Bryan has been named Broward College's interim president for a six-month term as the trustee board searches for a replacement for Gregory Haile, who resigned in September.

Photo: Amy Beth Bennett-Newscom

ATS SE Dec 2023
South Miami-based luxury apartment developer The Estate Companies plan to focus on the Broward and Palm Beach markets turns out to have a hyper-focus on Hollywood: It now has four projects totaling 1,200 units in development.

Photo: Rendering: The Estate Companies

Southeast Florida Roundup

Streamlining School Spending

Mike Vogel | 12/13/2023

INNOVATION

Jamie Rosenberg, the founder of AdoptAClassroom.org, came to realize funneling money to teachers to buy supplies was difficult. Whether it’s teachers buying school supplies or grant recipients of government programs, the compliance requirements to ensure funds are used for the right purpose create friction and thwart the speedy implementation of good intentions.

The problem led him in 2014 to create ClassWallet, a platform for purchasing and reimbursing public funds.

The Hollywood-based digital wallet company has won customers among school districts and state agencies in 32 states. This year, it raised $95 million from investors to fund growth. “For public funds to have the intended impact, it is critical to minimize compliance-related bureaucracy and get the funds into the hands of end-users in the most streamlined way possible,” says Rosenberg, a University of Miami alum and attorney.

ClassWallet has moved $27 billion for customers since 2014. It estimates that one in 10 teachers nationally and two-thirds of Florida teachers have a ClassWallet account. It employs 41 of its 305 workers in South Florida.

EDUCATION

  • Broward College has named Barbara Bryan as its interim president for a six-month term as the trustee board searches for a replacement for Gregory Haile, who resigned in September as college president after five years. Bryan, a longtime administrator at the school, most recently served as president of the north campus and is the first woman to lead the college, which has about 56,000 students.
  • Indian River State College plans to turn the former Okeechobee School for Boys site into a data center campus called Okee-One. The college says the site has proximity to dense-fiber connectivity, natural gas, land for solar backup and water for cooling and thus the “possibility of establishing the nation’s most sustainable data campus.” The inland location also offers protection from coastal storms. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill in June transferring the 205-acre site to the college.

TOURISM

  • Palm Beach County tourism marketing organization Discover the Palm Beaches promoted chief marketing officer Milton Segarra to president and CEO. He succeeds Jorge Pesquera who led it for 16 years. Segarra’s resume includes leading the Coastal Mississippi Tourism Board and the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau.

SPORTS

  • Amerant Bank contracted with the NHL Florida Panthers for the naming rights to the arena where the team plays in Sunrise. It had been known as the FLA Live Arena and previously as the BB&T Center, BankAtlantic Center, Office Depot Center and National Car Rental Center. Amerant, as it expands in South Florida, has a handful of branches and a recently announced regional headquarters in Plantation.

CELEBRITY REAL ESTATE

  • Inter Miami CF soccer star Lionel Messi paid $10.75 million for a 10,500-sq.-ft., eight-bedroom house on a half-acre waterfront lot in Bay Colony, a gated community on the Intracoastal in east Fort Lauderdale. He was represented by Samuel and Donna Simpkin of Team Simpkin at Compass Florida.
  • Supermodel Gisele Bünchen bought a ranch house, with its own soccer field, barn and equestrian rings, for $9.1 million in the Broward town of Southwest Ranches. She also owns a mansion in Surfside in Miami-Dade across the water from the Indian Creek property she bought with then-husband Tom Brady.

ARTS

  • The Center for Arts and Innovation in Boca Raton selected Renzo Piano, a Pritzker Architecture Prize winner, to design its creative campus in downtown Boca Raton. Groundbreaking is scheduled for 2025 at a site across the street from the Brightline Boca Raton train station. “The Center's differentiating promise to integrate advanced technology and to function as a site for research and development — not only in the arts, but also between the arts and other sectors — is an unrivaled opportunity for Boca Raton,” said billionaire Ken Griffin, founder and CEO of Citadel and a center supporter.

RETAIL

  • Fort Lauderdale-based boating and fishing retailer West Marine restructured $800 million in debt and took in $125 million in new capital from its private equity firm owner L Catterton and existing lenders, leaving L Catterton in control. The company has 236 stores in 38 states and Puerto Rico along with its e-commerce business.
  • Used-car dealer Off Lease Only closed its locations in September and laid off 163 in West Palm Beach, part of 466 layoffs in North Lauderdale, Bradenton, Opa-locka and Orlando. The company blamed changing conditions in the auto market and said a plan to sell the company’s assets fell through.

Tags: Southeast, Feature

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