Business Development Board Fall Magazine

Business Development Board Fall Magazine

MEET TWO SUCCESSFUL

WOMEN LEADERS

Two of Palm Beach County’s women leaders discuss their successful careers.

Andrea Virgin President

Professional ballerina- turned-civil-engineer Andrea Virgin is a serial entrepreneur with many talents. She started her own firm, Virgin Design, and eventually cofounded the Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation. Spearheading the project for a new $100 million

center in Mizner Park, she has recruited the world’s best consultants and raised millions of dollars for the project, expected to be completed in 2026.
What inspired you to create the new Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation?

First and foremost, I wanted to make sure that local cultural organizations, of which I am a product of, were provided a world-class venue that would mirror their world-class programming. Secondly, this has been a desire of the community for decades. Mizner Park was master-planned more than 30 years ago for a perform- ing arts center at the north end, but it never fully materialized. I am grateful to be able to combine my two passions to complete a chapter for Boca’s residents. And my third inspiration was my late husband. He was a commercial developer who chose Boca Raton and the whole South Florida landscape as the one he wanted to positively impact. He tragically passed at the young age of31,andsoIvowedtodoallIcouldtohelphimliveout that dream.
Why did you choose Boca Raton for this project?

For a city as well capitalized as Boca Raton is, seeing how it was one of the most popular cities along the Gold Coast yet still lacked a proper world-class venue, it was obvious this was the city to bring this project to.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

For anyone setting out on a launch of a product, idea, company or nonprofit, have PASSION. Passion will do many things: It will come across in your pitches to backers, it will excite people to advocate to others on your behalf, it will help you take on the mundane tasks you don’t necessarily want to do but have to as a startup, and it will fuel your emotional stamina to carry your launch from an idea to fruition. A good idea is the starting point, but with passion, there is no stopping a good idea from turning into the next greatest launch.

Deana Pizzo Founder/CEO

Deana Pizzo is the cofounder of I.T. Solutions of South Florida, a Certified Women Owned Business. Asthe hands-on CEO of the award-winning managed service provider, Deana is responsible for the company’s management, marketing, and business development. She’s been featured on a magazine cover, won numerous prestigious awards, and continues to lead one of “The Best Places” to work in South Florida.

What inspired you to start I.T. Solutions of South Florida?

Even at a young age, I knew I wanted to be my own boss. And when a corporate relocation was going to force us to leave South Florida, my husband Jason and I embraced the inherent risks and became entrepreneurs.

We founded I.T. Solutions of South Florida in 2004 in our living room with a strong desire to help others by combining my business acumen with Jason’s technology expertise. Since then, I.T. Solutions of South Florida has grown into an award-winning managed service provider, serving small and medium-sized businesses both locally and nationally.
Why did you choose to be located
in Palm Beach County?

I was born and raised in Palm Beach County, and I can’t imagine a more idyllic place to create a business and to raise my own family. I also enjoy giving back to my local community by volunteering with several area nonprofits and working to position our region as a technology hub. I believe bringing more technology opportunities to our community will further encourage economic growth, diversity and prosperity locally.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

If you believe you can achieve an objective or goal, never take no for an answer. It is also critical to understand a good leader is not an island. She needs the assistance, input, respect and trust of the people she leads. More importantly, she needs to reciprocate all those same attributes for her team.