Let’s use this moment to benefit ALL of Miami
As a native Miamian & the Co-Founder & CEO of one of Miami’s fastest growing and most environmentally impactful companies, I have some things to say about this current moment. Many of our startup CEOs feel the same.
First the good. Our support ecosystems have grown tremendously thanks to the work of so many. Personally, I’ve been supported by Endeavor Miami, Local Leaders Collective, Radical Partners, Refresh Miami and countless individuals in my journey. My story is not unique.
The local leaders of our cornerstone foundations — Rebecca Fishman Lipsey of Miami Foundatoin and Raul Moas of Knight Foundation — really seem to get it. We have so many great entrepreneurs — Johanna and Juha Mikkola, Cam Murphy, Justin Leto, Seth Cassel, Eddy Arriola, AJ Nahmad, Alex Nucci (and I’m missing a ton!!).
My parents moved here in the ’80s and as I’ve grown, so has this city. My brother and I HQ’d EcoSystems here because of how much we love and believe in Miami. You can’t beat our quality of life, if you can afford it. And that is where I think we need to focus.
Because if this is not a fad (and we in Miami are great at fads), and newcomers are truly going to join us, they need to know the whole story and be part of our solutions, NOT a continuation of our problems.
Moishe Mana, I appreciated reading about your story. I have one disagreement with you. In my lifetime, our leaders have NOT tackled our difficult problems head on (until now?). We’ve known about many of our issues for decades but we ignore the solutions.
Newcomers: Miami’s diversity can be best described as a salad rather than a soup. We are diverse, but we are separated by neighborhood. Newcomers — get out of your comfort zone and try some establishments not on Resy. Mileyka Burgos-Flores can give you a tour around the real Allapattah.
We are one of the most unequal cities in the country. The most important indicator of success we have is the zip code and school district that we live in. Now is the time to improve our schools. Prioritize both tech and vocational skills.
For a world class city, we have a decidedly third class transit system. The Metrorail covers an absurdly small part of the population that needs it and the Metromover only serves Downtown. Transit Alliance Miami has done a great job with the issue.
I highlight all these issues and present you with some stakeholders because, with the country’s eyes on Miami, now is the time to use this moment to benefit ALL of Miami. This city has so much potential – our talent is everywhere but the opportunities are not. Let’s change that.
I challenge all of us to be part of the solution. Old timers, get out of your silos. Newcomers, welcome – we can use the help. Leaders – the ball is in your court. When we look back years from now, let this moment have been an inflection point, not a wasted opportunity.
Richard Lamondin is the Co-Founder and CEO of EcoSystems, a leading water and energy conservation firm that has saved more than 3 billion gallons of freshwater and prevented more than 100,000 metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. EcoSystems is also recognized by Inc. magazine as the fastest-growing environmental services firm in the U.S. and ranked No. 48 in 2020 and No. 75 in 2019 on the Inc 5000.