In February 1993, a small network of Miami real estate agents from competing brokerages formally incorporated the group as the Master Brokers Forum (MBF). Created in the wake of Hurricane Andrew (and in the spirit of camaraderie and professionalism that prevailed during that difficult time for agents) the MBF evolved into an “invitation-only” network of top producers, and were soon eagerly welcomed by the region’s most prominent developers when launching new projects.
Twenty years later, the MBF has nearly 250 members in its Miami chapter alone, with thriving sister chapters in Broward and Palm Beach County. Developers and builders continue to sponsor high-profile events for the group, which the MBF maximizes as opportunities to educate its members about issues concerning their industry (insurance, taxes, and market research) and community (gambling, entertainment, and the development of Miami’s urban core).
Recently, the MBF celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a spirited gathering at Key Biscayne’s Grand Bay Club, sponsored by The Related Group and Fortune Development Sales. More than 125 Master Brokers attended this special reception, which included a slideshow featuring members and events from the past 20 years; comments from its founders and leadership; and a proclamation from Miami-Dade County formally declaring March 6, 2013 as “Master Brokers Forum 20th Anniversary Day”.
After enjoying refreshments and hors d’oeuvres, members were welcomed by Andres Asion, vice president of sales for Fortune Development Sales (FDS) and a MBF board member. Mr. Asion then introduced Sandra Chartouni, director of sales for Jade Signature, who discussed the extraordinary new Sunny Isles project, designed by acclaimed architects Herzog & de Meuron. This was followed by a presentation from Carlos Rosso, executive vice president at The Related Group, who introduced the MBF to several of the company’s current projects, including the Enrique Norten-designed One Ocean in South Beach; the SLS Brickell condo-hotel project, a Related partnership with hospitality company sbe; the 42-story Icon Bay project spanning two city blocks along Biscayne Boulevard; and Beachwalk, located on the Intracoastal Waterway in Hallandale Beach.
Following these sponsor presentations, Miami MBF chair Jeff Morr spoke briefly about the current state of the MBF, before introducing the group’s founder and chair Helen Jeanne Nicastri. Ms. Nicastri reflected on the history and evolution of the organization, sharing personal anecdotes and appreciation for the MBF’s commitment to professionalism and service. Recent past chairs Alicia Cervera Lamadrid and Emilio Palomo also spoke briefly about the network’s growth and development during their leadership tenures, and Mr. Morr closed the proceedings by sharing the proclamation and his thoughts on the MBF’s future.
“In a market where so much of the focus is on what’s new and next, it is important to also celebrate the past from time to time, and reflect on the principles that have helped the Master Brokers Forum survive and thrive for twenty years,” said Morr. “These are timeless concepts such as professionalism, honor, hard work, ethical behavior, and community concern, and they will sustain our organization for the next twenty years and beyond.”