MICHAEL CAPPONI, FOUNDER / EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Michael Capponi is known as one of the key pioneers that put Miami Beach on the international jet set map. Michael Capponi leveraged this popularity to cultivate prominent connections and open himself up to more diverse business opportunities. As a result, Michael shifted his focus away from developing the entertainment landscape of South Beach to the acquisition and expansion of real estate. Michael founded GEM in 2011 after serving on the Executive Board of United Way.
Today, Michael is the Executive Director of Gem. He has created many case studies on relief missions around the globe, mostly by gathering supplies and supporting families of victims and survivors in record times with limited funds. He played an instrumental role in providing relief after tragedies like 9/11, Hurricane Charley, and Hurricane Katrina.
Michael brought a team of Firefighters to Haiti within 5 days of the earthquake and established a 3000 person tent city in Petionville within 3 weeks. As of January 2019, he has personally made over 84 trips to Haiti. Since then, he and the Gem teams have collectively assisted in over 200 mission trips around the globe. He calls his 80+ trips to Haiti his MBA in humanitarian studies.
* Key to City of Miami, for Efforts during Hurricane Irma and Maria: October 6, 2018
* Fundraising Trailblazer, American Red Cross Greater Miami & The Keys: 2002
* Honored, American Red Cross Greater Miami & The Keys: 2004
* Changing Lives Award, Miami Rescue Mission: 2007
* Building Communities And Rebuilding Lives Award Of Excellence, Developers & Builders Alliance: 2007
* Community Excellence Hospitality, March Of Dimes: 2008
* Community Partnership Award, Florida Campus Compact: 2009
* Power Player, Florida International Magazine: 2009
* Heart Of Gold Sponsor, The Wellness Community: 2009
* Honorary Chairman, The Wellness Community: 2010
* Humanitarian Award, Miami International Fashion Week: 2010
* Starfish Award, United Way: 2011
* Miami Magic Honoree, Junior League Of Miami: 2011
* Humanitarian Of The Year, Sustainatopia: 2011
* Honored For Work In Haiti, Fashion Miami: 2011
* Philanthropist Of The Year, Shuzz: 2011
* Honored, Make-A-Wish Foundation: 2012
* Honored For Work In Haiti, The Edeyo Foundation: 2012
* Philanthropist, Women In The Arts: 2016
* Global Empowerment Mission Dedication Day, City Of Miami Beach: April 8, 2017