Ringing In The New Year

Happy New Year!

New Year. New possibilities.
That’s a good thing.

Possibilities offer us vistas to explore and new places to go.
In thinking about 2023, a few names come to mind of people and organizations who are forging interesting paths.
This is far from an exhaustive list, just a few names that I predict will do some interesting things in 2023.
Let’s start in the fine city of Boca Raton.
My friend Keith O’Donnell (who has an eye for talent and lots of experience in community work) describes Andrea Virgin as a force of nature.
I agree.
The visionary behind the new Center for Arts & Innovation at Mizner Park, Andrea is a whirlwind of energy and has the strength and depths of resilience it takes to bring a vision to life.
She is this generation’s Frances Bourque, who as the founder of Old School Square helped to put Delray Beach on the map.
So hold on Boca, Andrea is going to take you for a ride. Special people do those things for communities. Smart communities embrace them, block for them and get out of the way.
Speaking of Boca, take a bow Jessica DelVecchio.
The city’s head of Economic Development is a rock star. Give a rock star something to sell and they are going to deliver.
Boca has a lot to offer business and Jessica is an incredible ambassador landing deals that will keep South County competitive with a resurgent West Palm Beach, which is knocking it out of the park under Mayor Keith James with the able assistance of the Business Development Board.
The new year will be a year of transition at FAU with President John Kelly departing.
He leaves big shoes to fill but a fine foundation at a school with a growing reputation.
Meanwhile, keep an eye on Lynn University which continues to innovate and evolve rapidly under the leadership of President Kevin Ross.
Admittedly, I’m biased as a member of the board, but I also have a bird’s eye view of what’s happening at Lynn and it’s special. The senior leadership team at Lynn is remarkable and works really well together. It’s a pleasure to watch a well-oiled machine drive and thrive.
In the non-profit world, I’m going to continue to watch the remarkable work being done at the Achievement Center for Children and Families, EJS Project, Knights of Pythagoras, Bound for College and 4 Kids which has done wonderful work for children in crisis. All of those organizations have able leadership with big vision and a heart for service.
I’m also interested to see where the heart for service will take the board of directors at Old School Square who continue to serve the community despite losing their lease at the place they created.
Speaking of heart, the good folks at Friends of Delray are producing some interesting and relevant podcasts while raising questions and hopefully awareness among citizens. I applaud their energy, courage and conviction. The fact that they are raising alarm bells and reaching thousands is testament to the importance of their work. I think 2023 will be a breakthrough year for the organization. Delray is crying out for a positive civic group with a broad vision.
In 2023, I’ll also be keeping an eye on my friend John Ferber whose new business seeks to disrupt (in a good way) dating apps. John is a scary smart and deeply accomplished entrepreneur. He will give this crowded and somewhat troubled space a good run.
Meanwhile, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Amanda Perna and Jamael Stewart, host of Delray Morning Live, signed by a network in the new year. If you haven’t seen their show on Facebook check it out Wednesdays at 8:30 am with replays all week. They have crazy good chemistry.
My friend Ali Kaufman continues to impress with her Community Classroom Project. Keep an eye on her in ‘23.
Another development to watch is the Boca Brightline station.  This is a game changer for Southern Palm Beach County and another major win for Boca.
We’ll close with a few shameless predictions:
Delray Beach based Tabanero will continue its growth and become a go-to hot sauce for foodies and top chefs and a best seller at Walmart.
Boca based (and Delray born) Celsius will remain the hottest beverage in the land and thanks to its deal with Pepsi will conquer new lands in 2023.
Some of the Wall Street money coming to Palm Beach County will find its way to local philanthropic causes. Good news for local museums, universities and hospitals.
Finally, common sense will return to the Delray Beach City Commission where it resided for a good long time. But you have to vote for that. I hope you will.


  1. Jess Del Vecchio says

    Great read – thanks for all the support. Hot honey Tabanero on pizza is a must! ❤️

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