It was a crazy year, from hurricanes to Haynie’s mayoral blues. Here’s what we took away as the best, the issues that defined us and our insider picks for don’t-miss people and places.
By Marie Speed, John Thomason and a select committee of people who do, indeed, know it all
The Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce—the largest in the county—is still a major power base for Boca Raton, and a primary engine in bringing business to our already-robust city. Two of its hard-charging drivers are Troy McLellan, president and CEO of the chamber, and Ethel Isaacs Williams, chair of the chamber board.
YEAR OF THE HOME STORE
Restoration Hardware raises the roof (literally) in West Palm with a celebrity-studded grand opening and a spectacular rooftop garden … Robb & Stucky makes a brilliant comeback in Boca … Clive Daniel continues to redefine the luxury home furnishings market.
HOTTEST PLACE TO DECK YOURSELF OUT FOR A WHITE PARTY
Coton Frais is all white, all cool, all perfect for our subtropical climate.
BOON OR BOONDOGGLE?
The jury’s out on the sleek new Brightline. So far, the delay in building quiet zones, the empty train cars and the possible traffic disruption have not helped its case. (But Boca still wants a station.) People are watching and waiting.
BEST BUSINESS NEWS
• The jury is still out, but Office Depot acquires IT services provider CompuCom Systems Inc. for nearly $1 billion in a deal that analysts say will either make or break the Boca-based Fortune 500 company. We’re rooting for Office Depot and for what we hear is an exciting and re-energized culture.
• The new U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility at Boca Raton Airport is one more way the city can attract international visitors and business. Some 700 annual flights are expected to clear Customs at the new facility.
• Magic Leap is called a “game changer for South Florida,” raising nearly $2 billion in Funding since its launch in 2011. The company unveils its “Magic Leap One” headset, which blends digital graphics with the user’s physical surroundings. The buzz is on.
• The Boca Raton Regional Hospital announces a $260 million expansion and renovation that will more than double its current size. In related good news, CEO Jerry Fedele, slated to retire this year, has agreed to stay on for one more year.
• Boca-based medical records software company Modernizing Medicine continues its growth trajectory with the addition of 800 jobs via a $231 million investment from private equity firm Warburg Pincus.
THE BOCA CHAMBER TAKES A STANCE, OR BEST LOCAL MESSAGE FROM A BUSINESS THIS YEAR
Boca Chamber president and CEO Troy McLellan and his board issue a position after the Parkland shooting—saying the Chamber is in it “for the long haul.” It asks for improved mental health screening, a ban on assault rifles and bump stocks, better background checks, more secure schools and raising the minimum age for gun purchases to 21, for starters.
See who else made the Best of Boca 2018 list:
Best of Boca: Food & Drink
Best of Boca: Retail & Business
Best of Boca: People & Lifestyle
Best of Boca: Issues & News
Best of Boca: Arts & Entertainment