Last week, in honor of International Women’s Day, we brought together business leaders from all over South Florida to celebrate our Quest Workspaces 2018 Women’s Growth Forum! Held at our Doral office space, the event honored nine Questers, one from each of our locations, who are doing good things for the community and the world through their businesses.
The event was sponsored by the Hines Women’s Network. The network’s goal is to foster an inclusive culture where diversity is respected and valued every day. They are focused on accelerating gender parity in the commercial real estate industry and increasing opportunities for women at Hines and the number and visibility of women in leadership roles across the space. MClique also sponsored our event. We’re so grateful and honored that such organizations chose to support our mission!
Inspiration from Laura
The event kicked off with an inspirational keynote address from Quest CEO Laura Kozelouzek. Her talk discussed the growth principles that led her to successfully create several multi-million dollar organizations with an enterprise value of over 50 million dollars.
Laura explained the concept of the “Growth Mojo”: having the right mental attitude for business success, connecting with your purpose, harnessing your power to influence other people, and leveraging your strengths in tough times.
“Know what you want, trust in your gut, and GO FOR IT!” said Laura.
And the Winners are…
These honorees excel not only in their specific industries but in their communities and exemplify what is means to be a strong and successful business woman.
When we asked our team to nominate one person from their center who exemplified the traits of leadership, entrepreneurship and philanthropy – the votes came in fast and furious! Each one of them has made a great impression on not only our team but our fellow Questers.
Lauren Marsicano and Carolina Leyva, co-founders of the law firm Marsicano & Leyva.
From the beginning, Lauren and Carolina recognized the importance of cultivating relationships with other local Questers. With the support of the 777 Brickell Quest team and by leveraging the relationships forged with other Questers, Lauren and Carolina were able to create a six-figure law practice in less than one year— smashing their first-year goals!
Flashback video: here’s a glimpse of where they were a year ago when they joined our office space. They’ve come so far!
Carolina Leyva is skilled in all aspects of family law, probate, will contests, landlord-tenant disputes, Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act issues, and complex civil litigation matters.
Lauren Marsicano is a litigation attorney with expertise handling cases from inception to trial and post-trial appeal. Prior to founding her own firm, she was with the Litigation department of Liebler, Gonzalez, & Portuondo.
The firm gives back to the community by providing care packages to the homeless, participating in local donation drives, volunteering at local pet shelters, assisting with women and minority mentoring programs, serving on state, local, and national bar association committees, and sponsoring a scholarship for Youth Leadership Broward, which is awarded annually to a High School Junior who has exemplified the ideals of a servant leader in their community.
Deborah R. Mayo, Esq.
Dr. Deborah Mayo’s experience includes the structuring of real estate joint ventures, private securities offerings, real estate fund formation, mergers and acquisitions, cross-border transactions and complex organizational restructurings. In addition, Dr. Mayo has legal experience in tax matters and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). She worked as a senior manager in tax services for Deloitte & Touche LLP before beginning her legal career.
Dr. Mayo serves on the FICPA’s statewide membership committee and statewide chapter operations committee. She is also a member of the Florida Bar Association’s Tax Section and Business Law Section.
Dr. Mayo’s previous charitable involvement includes serving on the Executive Committee of the Salvation Army of Dade County, for which she received an Outstanding Volunteerism Award, and being appointed committee chairwoman for various committees of the Junior League of Miami.
Marcie Gregorio-Montoya, Esq.
We’re proud to acknowledge Marcie Gregorio-Montoya as the winner from our 1395 Brickell Avenue office in Miami. Marcie is a title expert specializing in residential and commercial real estate, foreclosures, short sales and investment opportunities.
She serves her clients by helping sellers and investors find the best deals for themselves through complex negotiations. She then helps them close the deal and in doing so provides the best customer care services in the industry.
According to Marcie, attention to detail is of chief importance. In past roles she handled all aspects of REO, REO/foreclosure closings, condo development conversions and acquisitions. She speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Marcie Gregorio was recently named “Best New Comer” by Brickell Magazine as she’s been working in the real estate industry for over 18 years. Finally taking the leap last October, Marcie commenced operations for World Wide Title at the Brickell Arch.
Mariangeluz Briceno, our 1395 Brickell manager writes, “Marcie is the definition of an entrepreneur. Since she started at Quest she has taken advantage of every opportunity – attending events and making connections with other Questers. I see her hustling everyday to build her business and it inspires our entire team.”
Mingyi has more than 18 years of experience working with global companies in the US, China, Europe and South America in a variety of industries including Real Estate, Financial Services, Technology, Media, Travel, Education and Entertainment. Through working together, she has not only built up close relationships with corporate executives, business owners, and government officials, she also has obtained an unique understanding about how to most effectively work with global companies.
Currently serving as the Secretary General for the China-US Chamber of Commerce, Mingyi has been managing 15,000 chamber members and strategic partners worldwide, encompasing close to 6,000 corporate members in China. She has been helping major Chinese organizations, regional governments, and corporate entities to organize professional site visits and events and serving as a strategic adviser for Chinese investors in identifying investment opportunities, IPO processes as well as merger and acquisition opportunities.
Mingyi attended Johnson & Wales University where she earned a Masters degree in Hospitality Management. She received a B.S. degree from Shanghai Foreign Language Institute majoring in International Economics and Trade. She also holds a certificate from IMI Switzerland in Tourism.
Lori Sochin, Esq.
Lorie Sochin is a business, real estate and probate litigator. In this capacity she represents clients in a broad range of business litigation matters in the state and federal courts such as disputes involving contracts, business torts, real estate, and probate and estate matters. Lori cites her experience in the business world before becoming a lawyer as a source of perspective; it allows her to empathize with her clients’ overarching business objectives. She practiced at Greenberg Traurig for 18 years before founding her own law firm in 2013.
Lori has been recognized for her achievements, attaining an AV© highest rating from Martindale-Hubbell and being selected as a Florida Super Lawyer and as a Top Rated Lawyer in South Florida. She is heavily involved with the community, currently as Secretary of the Executive Board of Directors of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Miami-Dade County. She is also on the Board of Directors for Temple Beth Am Religious School. She was a Past President for the Ludlam Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association. The list goes on and on!
The true reason why we admire Lori is not only because of her amazing attributes but because of whom Lori is as a person. She goes above and beyond in the office to make sure we are all smiling just like she is.
Dr. Sara Coen-Giovanelli
Dr. Sara J. Coen-Giovanelli is an attorney serving clients in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and Miami by providing international law, investment immigration, real estate investment and asset protection services for foreigners. She also counsels on inheritance matters for families and provides support for contract negotiation, international transaction, mediation and litigation.
Dr. Coen-Giovanelli has co-authored several legal books and publications on immigration and has been a guest speaker at multiple international conferences. She gives back to her community by providing regular free legal consultations at different community centers and churches that help the immigrant community. She believes that empowering a person with the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision is the best legal support a client can receive.
Because she is able to communicate directly with her clients in their own language, she integrates legal, language and cultural elements to help her foreign clients succeed and prosper in the United States.
In the words of our Greatest Quest Orator – Obi Nnolim – Stephanie Howard’s company is the “Quest of Title Companies”. From the way they treat their clients, to the love and friendship that exists among their team, they are a great example of how good leadership, through Stephanie’s direction, can positively impact a business.
Woman-owned and 100 percent women-operated, they are the definition of excellence and female empowerment. They have been the Top Title Agent for 2014, 2015, and 2016. In just six short years, they have handled over 10,000 closings and are one of the most highly recommended and committed title agents in the state of Florida.
Lisa Sheib and Samantha Todd
Lisa Sheib and Samantha Todd are continuing the legacy of a family-owned-and-operated court reporting agency named Daughters Reporting, serving the Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade Counties. They provide a litany of services, from transcriptions to condensed/mini transcripts and videography.
The business was formerly owned by their mother Renee – another successful female business owner! Lisa and Samantha “grew up” in the court reporting industry and were involved with the family business right from day one. Customer focus is in their blood!
Karen White, the Founder and Owner of Home Healthcare of the Palm Beaches, is passionate about ensuring that clients receive the quality care they deserve while their family caretakers are receiving support and encouragement during periods of transition.
She discovered her purpose when one of her family members, her aunt, began to suffer from Dementia. With hopes of doing all she could to help her aunt retain the optimism and passion she always had for life, Karen dedicated herself to caring for her aunt as Dementia began to take its toll.
Karen’s personal journey during this time established her passion for creating a home health service organization which she believes would afford every family the opportunity to create an environment that honors the dignity and respect of their declining loved one, while retaining a healthy home environment for the rest of the family.
Karen has been a Quester ever since she opened her business. She is always there at every networking event we host and is a positive influence on all our other Questers.
And she has a heart of gold!
Summary of Quest Workspaces 2018 Women’s Growth Forum
Did you know that so many amazing women call Quest Workspaces their home?
It’s important for women’s accomplishments to be acknowledged and supported, and at Quest we are very proud to call attention to the contributions our Questers are making to their clients and to the communities surrounding. The Quest Workspaces 2018 Women’s Growth Forum marked our first ever and we are eagerly looking forward to the next one!
Got an idea for the next Women’s Growth Forum event? Let us know in the comments below.