2017 40 Under 40
Saluting Southwest Florida's young achievers.
(page 3 of 4)
Keegan Hodges (38)
Co-owner of Best Home Services
Since 2007, Keegan Hodges has provided Southwest Florida with award-winning air conditioning, electrical, plumbing and drain services. But his dedication to the industry started even before that. Keegan began helping out with his father’s electrical company when he was just 13, and by 17 he had excelled to a full-time electrician while being groomed by his dad to one day take the company reigns. Keegan and his brother, Chadd, purchased their family’s business in 2010 and transformed the 25-employee electrical firm into the 150-plus employee home services operation it is today. He urges his staff to see Best Home Services as not just a business, but rather a family helping other families in need.
This year Keegan received the Business Ambassador Award—presented by Gov. Rick Scott—and has won the Carrier Corporation President’s Award for six consecutive years.
In his downtime, Keegan volunteers as treasurer of the Southwest Florida Family Businesses Foundation and supports local charities. He’s also a founding athletic sponsor of the Florida SouthWestern State College Foundation. He holds a Master HVAC and Master Electrical state license and is married. —Melanie Pagan
Jan-Erik Hustrulid (35)
Business development coordinator, Owen-Ames-Kimball Company
Real-life experience, passion and drive have allowed Hustrulid to build his career and reputation. During his formative years in his native Sweden, he participated in a practical occupational experience (PRAO) program that set him up with different employers and hands-on job experience. These experiences gave Hustrulid the tools to realize his potential in sales and customer service.
His family relocated to Colorado and eventually to Southwest Florida—he is a graduate of Estero High School and Florida Gulf Coast University. In 2004, not long after graduating from FGCU, he and his twin brother, Björn, opened a real estate office in Bonita Springs appropriately named Twin Realty Inc., and by 2006 they were selling property throughout Florida. But when the market softened in the following years, he decided to join O-A-K in 2011. He was named the News-Press Young Professional of the Year in 2016.
Hustrulid is married his high school sweetheart, Caitlin, and they have a baby daughter, Juliana. —Allie Taylor
Nadia Keric (35)
Partner, family wealth advisor at Family Wealth Planning Group | Raymond James
Family wealth is a complex matter, which is why after a few years of advising affluent families at a nationally acclaimed financial planning firm in Minneapolis, Keric and her business partner, Tom, decided to establish the Family Wealth Planning Group of Raymond James in Naples.
Today Keric helps clients solve financial issues while allowing them to maximize wealth, enhance their lifestyle, and empower their loved ones. She’s written several articles on financial literacy and planning and continues to find ways to make the message readily accessible to everyone, from teaching children involved in Junior Achievement how to start planning young, to holding a course at Avow for recent widows who need to learn how to manage finances.
Outside of the office, Keric has been involved in organizations such as the Shelter for Abused Women & Children, Unity of Naples congregation, Champions for Learning and more. She and her husband recently adopted her niece, Hope, after Hope’s biological parents lost custodial rights. “She has brought more joy to our lives and the lives of our two children than we could have ever imagine. We are blessed,” Keric says. —Melanie Pagan
Kristalyn Loson (34)
Assistant city attorney, City of Fort Myers
Kristalyn Loson has accomplished many things since graduating from Mariner High School in 2001. She obtained her Bachelor of Business Administration, cum laude, from the University of Miami, followed by her Juris Doctor, with honors, from George Washington University Law School. She then went on to work as an attorney with a top 100 firm in Washington D.C., training several national nonprofit organizations on topics like bylaw-creating and mitigating risk management. Loson also helped establish DC Diaper Bank, a prominent organization serving children and families, before returning to Southwest Florida in 2015. Now, she’s one of only three attorneys working to represent the City of Fort Myers, providing legal guidance to the city council, mayor, city department and advisory committees daily.
Shortly after returning to Fort Myers, Loson became a founding board member of Valerie’s House, a nonprofit dedicated to young children who have lost their parents. She now serves as a founding board member of Lee County Bar Association Foundation and board member of Lee County Association of Women Lawyers and Lee County Bar Association’s Young Lawyer division. She’s also one of only 21 2017-18 graduates of The Florida Bar Wm. Reece Smith Jr. Leadership Academy, a statewide leadership academy for Florida lawyers.
Loson is an avid runner and enjoys University of Miami football and spending time with her fiancé, Scott, and his two teenage daughters. —Melanie Pagan
Buddy Martin (38)
Chief operating officer, Entech
Many Managed Service Providers across the country have fewer than 10 employees. Not Entech. As COO, Buddy Martin has grown the business from a three-man computer shop to nearly 40 employees with three locations across Southwest Florida. He’s regularly invited to guest speak at various industry conferences as a leader in the field, and has received awards from the University of Florida (his alma mater), and the MSPmentor 501 designation. He also holds ITIL and Project Management Professional certifications.
When Martin is not sharing his expertise to peers, he’s volunteering for various school events in Lee County and serving as a coach for youth soccer and baseball. He’s a former board member and past secretary for the Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership and is actively involved in the HTG Peer Groups service executives organization.
Martin is married to Annabelle Tometich and has two children, Lincoln and Penelope. —Melanie Pagan
Mark Matos, CFP, CLU (39)
Senior financial advisor, HBKS Wealth Advisors
It’s easy to view Mark Matos as a leader in the community: the financial planner has served as president of the Financial Planning Association of Southwest Florida and The Rotary Club of Naples, director of Meals of Hope and Greater Naples Planned Giving Council, on advisory councils for Community Foundation of Collier County and FGCU’s Lutgert College of Business, and many more roles in between. But Matos remembers when he first relocated to Fort Myers from Connecticut in 1998, determined to further his education with more affordable college.
He’d walk more than two miles just to get to the bus stop that took him to Florida SouthWestern State College, where he attended school. After his first semester, he obtained a full-tuition scholarship to FSW, followed by a second full-tuition scholarship to FGCU. He graduated with full honors from the FGCU Lutgert College of Business while working full time, and now pays it forward by fundraising and creating awareness for Learn2Earn scholarship program, which supports 27 students with scholarships and a mentor program.
Matos enjoys digital media and photography, martial arts, flying drones, fencing and otherwise staying active. —Melanie Pagan
Traci McKee (39)
Stockholder and litigation attorney, Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.
Traci McKee’s longtime mentor Michael Corso says Mckee “has always been a rising star and that star just keeps climbing higher.” But you don’t need to take his word for it. The proof lies in her many honors, including being named an “Up and Comer” by Florida Trend Magazine’s Legal Elite, a Rising Star by Florida Super Lawyers, and AV rated by Martindale Hubbell, the highest rating a lawyer can achieve. Soon, she’ll serve as the first female president of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association (FDLA) in over a decade (she’s the secretary and treasurer now).
McKee currently organizes and oversees committees within the FDLA and mentors its young defense lawyers, along with other duties. She also serves as treasurer of the Southwest Florida Federal Court Bar Association, and plans to become its president in a few years. In this role, Mckee focuses on federal court practice and local procedures. She’s currently working on a grant project to create an attorney’s lounge and conference center in the local federal courthouse.
McKee is married with two young boys, and the family often cheers on the FGCU baseball games coached by her husband. —Melanie Pagan
Daniel Miller (39)
Captain and firefighter with the Fort Myers Beach Fire Control District
Miller’s passion for the last 20 years has been keeping the community informed and safe. With 23 certifications under his belt, Miller dedicates his time to teaching others both in his department and across the county about fire safety and prevention. The Fort Myers fire captain also doubles as the training officer of Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 6, further educating others on safety rescue and response to natural disasters and perilous situations. And, he works with the Department of Defense traveling the country to instruct the United States military on multiple rescue tactics.
Miller also is a dedicated mentor in the community. Not only does he spend his time at work educating his peers and colleagues on fire safety, prevention and techniques, often taking addition shifts so his expertise can be used for the training of new employees, but he also volunteers in his free time to teach county-wide training programs to better the skills and abilities of fire service professionals and first responders. His volunteer time is spent making the community safer and keeping county employees well-trained.
Miller also enjoys mentoring children. He is a past big brother through Big Brothers, Big Sisters Suncoast Chapter and instructs students at Fort Myers Beach schools while they're at the fire department acting as "firefighters for the day."
In his free time, Miller enjoys spending time with his wife, Jaimie, lifting weights and being a devoted cat dad. —Tess Raines
Elizabeth Muniz (34)
Founder, licensed mental health counselor and registered play therapist supervisor, Thrive Therapy
Elizabeth Muniz is serious about playtime. The Thrive Therapy co-founder is one of the few registered play therapists in the region specializing in the treatment of children through play therapy interventions. In a few short years, she and her partner have grown the business from a small office space with just one client to seeing hundreds of families per year. When she’s not helping clients, Muniz presents at annual conferences to bring awareness to mental health for children, and has spoken at the children's mental health conference at FGCU and the Florida Association for Play Therapy's annual conference on domestic violence and play therapy. She serves on the Florida Association for Play Therapy’s awareness committee and was sponsored to participate in the Leadership Academy for the Association for Play Therapy, a program for play therapists that help enhances their leadership attributes.
The Miami native graduated from Nova Southeastern University and is married to John Muniz, who works for the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. She has two daughters—Scarlett and Victoria—and a silky terrier named Coco. She likes cross fit, spinning, and being outdoors. —Melanie Pagan
Tad O'Had (37)
Associate head coach for the Florida Everblades, general manager/owner of Florida Jr. Blades/U.S. Premier Hockey League and owner of Athletic Republic Performance Sports Training at Germain Arena
Like many entrepreneurs, Tad O’Had needed to practice time management in order to be successful, which he did by pursuing his first business while still in a senior in college. At graduation, he remembers even answering calls and texts from clients. “At that moment I realized I was capable of great things,” O’Had says.
By 35 he was working four jobs—coaching Florida Everblades hockey, operating the Florida Jr. Blades and Athletic-Republic Germain Arena and directing the Junior Everblades Youth Hockey Organization—when he was diagnosed with leukemia and his career came to a screeching halt. “Having cancer has forced me to reflect on others, cherish the people around me and not fear failure,” O’Had says. “It has given me a great understanding of the depths I will go to achieve my goals.”
Today O’Had continues to balance multiple professional titles and has been recognized as the most influential member of Athletic Republic, a network comprised of more than 5,000 trainers and staff. He’s also been involved in outreach programs with the the Florida Everblades and Jr. Blades and mentored young children with cancer. In his spare time, O’Had enjoys golfing, strength training and traveling with his girlfriend. —Melanie Pagan