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Inspiring Stories from Coral Gables

The heart of our mission at VoyageMIA is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks, we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the Miami’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool.  Check out Boca Raton rising stars below.

Julia Shmurak

Growing up in a family of doctors and educators, I’ve always been into promoting wellness and health. I graduated with a Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Miami in 2010 and worked in the Sports Medicine field for a few years until I discovered and fell in-love with Pilates. I decided to become a certified teacher and use Pilates principals to aid my patients in recovery of their orthopedic injuries. I purchased my first Reformer (the most commonly used Pilates machine) and little by little, I started seeing clients privately at home. When the demand grew, I rented a small room inside of a private gym in Coconut Grove, took a risk and left my stable job at a PT clinic. For several years, I relied solely on word to mouth referrals and my small business grew. When the COVID pandemic started and we all went on lock-down, I finally had the time to plan out my ultimate dream of having a real Physical Therapy / Pilates Studio! I found a beautiful space across from a lovely park in Coral Gables and worked very hard along with my fiancé on making my dream of a healing place come true. Read more>>

Izabela Bos

I always wanted to have to own a business but never was too sure where to start or what industry to enter! Throughout the years, I developed a passion for marketing, fashion, and women empowerment where I was able to grow and learn in all areas to prepare for launching Simple Luna online. After graduating from college, the time came where it hit me – open an online boutique! I thought to myself, why not just go for it?! This lightbulb started with developing the concepts and branding for Simply Luna. Simply Luna is a women’s boutique based out of Coral Gables, FL with clothing, swimwear, and accessories curated by myself, Izabela Bos. I originally founded Simply Luna Mid – 2020, the mission was to make every babe feel like a Moon among all of the Stars. The Simply Luna team strives to handpick each item to give each Luna Babe a unique addition to their confidence. Although the team focuses on simple and minimal details for our collections, we have set our main purpose to concentrate on empowering each woman to truly love and feel confident in each item. Read more>>

Melissa Orshan Spann

I am a proud third generation native Miami-an. My grandmother grew up on the beach and our Miami roots are strong. I always knew I wanted to live my life in Miami nearby family and friends. After attending University of Florida undergraduate and University of Miami master’s degree programs, I took a leap and moved to Philadelphia to admit to Drexel University’s PhD in Couple and Family Therapy program. It was there that I truly began my career as a therapist and eating disorder specialist, knowing I would return to Miami and the community I loved. When I moved home to Miami as a psychologist with a husband and small child, I began laying down my own roots and became an eating disorder treatment specialist through a national organization that I am now a supervisor for. Choosing to live in Palmetto Bay was a profound decision for my family. My two kids are proud students at Palmetto/Howard-Drive schools, and we are engaged in the local community. Read More>>

 

Hannah Leiner

I am a professional golfer, media personality, entrepreneur, and advocator for women. I began my golf journey at the age of 5 years old when my dad introduced me to the game. At the age of 12, I began competing in events and has a very successful junior career. At 16 I qualified to play in the U.S Women’s Amateur and was one of the youngest in the field. I had the opportunity to play against the most talented amateurs in the world. That event opened the door to future events that I was later invited to like the North & South Amateur at Pinehurst in North Carolina. After finishing my junior career, I attended college in Miami Florida on a full scholarship to play golf. After three years on the golf team, I finished my academics online and got a degree in Communications and Media. When Covid broke out it gave me some time to reevaluate my goals and passions and lead me to decide to turn professional. I turned professional in February 2021. This past year has been everything I could have hoped for and more. Read more>>

Olivia Collins

I am the Senior Director of Programs at the CLEO Institute. Born and raised in rural Canada, an hour north of Montreal in the Laurentian Mountains, I’ve lived in many places before settling in Miami in 2017. I have over 15 years of experience in the environmental field. My career has taken me all over the world doing everything from natural building projects in New Mexico, to grassroots community development in Oakland, California, to sustainable development in Africa, to community education in India and more. I received my bachelor’s degree in Social Justice & Sustainability from San Francisco State University in 2010, and in 2014, I completed my master’s in Environmental Impact Assessment at Concordia University in Montreal. As Senior Director of Programs, I help oversee and execute most of CLEO’s outreach programs that reach a diverse audience. I also provide a lot of climate trainings to help people understand how the climate crisis is impacting their daily lives and what steps they can take to better prepare for future challenges. Read more>>

Emily Barbe

I have always loved the arts, and I have always enjoyed collaborating with people. In college, I was able to work at my university’s 3,000-seat auditorium, which allowed me to combine my love for events with what I feel is my calling to service others. Post-college, I moved to NYC and started working in the financial services industry, eventually becoming a financial planner where I’ve been fortunate enough to serve wonderful families. During my decade in the Big Apple, I also continued experiencing many forms of the arts, from attending Broadway shows to co-curating multi-disciplinary events for a not-for-profit creators collective. While I was enjoying the fast-paced life in the city that never sleeps, I was on the edge of burnout. I was leaving my apartment every morning at 7am and arriving home after 10pm most nights. It was exhausting. Then the pandemic struck, and I found myself unexpectedly in Key West – a place that hadn’t been on my radar – for four months. Read more>>

MGRC (Miami Girls Rock Camp)

MGRC (Miami Girls Rock Camp) was founded in 2015 by Steph Taylor, Emile Milgrim, and Heather Burdick. Each brought a particular skill set, but all shared a love of music, a desire to create a space to uplift young people and to counter gender inequity in the music industry. MGRC is part of a greater, now international, movement with similar goals and we were lucky enough to have some amazing sibling camps who were generous with their resources and guidance in our planning. Right from the beginning, we had a groundswell of community support. Not only did we have a full roster of volunteers for our very first summer camp, but we got our seed funding from the Knight Foundation and won the People’s Choice Award for the Knight Arts Challenge in 2015. It became clear very early on that our greatest strength is community. MGRC couldn’t exist without the efforts of so many amazing people who care as deeply about the work as the founders do and donate so much of their time in supporting young people and in building a program that creates a sense of belongingness for campers and staff alike. Read more>>

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