Ones to Watch 2022

Our annual “hot list” of local movers and shakers you may want to keep an eye on

51
Jupiter Magazine's Ones to Watch 2022. Alexis Brock. Photo by Steven Martine
Photo by Steven Martine

The Downtown Visionary: Alexis Brock

Alexis Brock loves to be creative while helping her community. As regional marketing manager of ShopCore Properties, the national company that owns Downtown Palm Beach Gardens, she is heavily involved in rebranding the retail area to give guests the best overall experience. “We want to lead the revitalization of the PGA corridor,” says Brock, 32, who grew up in Palm Beach Gardens and now lives in Jupiter. “We are being strategic in our design to make great improvements for shoppers.” Brock’s vision has led to a slew of recent projects: The team has renovated the carousel, which was relocated to the lakeside; added four colorful art panels reflective of the South Florida lifestyle, painted by local artist Emmanuel Gonzales; created tropical landscaping; designed Downtown Blooms, six large stainless steel dandelion bloom structures that are interactive and change colors; and added new furnishings. In addition, Brock led the installation of the company’s new beehive initiative. “This is part of our sustainability focus,” she says. “We installed the hives in honor of Earth Day, and a local beekeeper will maintain them and harvest the honey to gift to the community.” While she thrives on being innovative and meeting challenges at work, Brock knows how to have fun and enjoys riding her bike, taking her dogs to the beach, and traveling in Europe. “There is never a dull moment in my life,” she says, “and that’s the way I like it!”

Shot on location at Downtown Palm Beach Gardens

Jupiter Magazine's Ones to Watch 2022. Nick Richman. Photo by Jason Nuttle
Photo by Jason Nuttle

The TV Producer: Nick Richman

Nick Richman’s propensity for risk-taking has paid off. The showrunner and senior producer for Lifetime TV Network’s reality series Military Makeover with Montel (Williams) fell in love with movies while growing up in Palm Beach Gardens. At age 6, he began analyzing films, cultivating his own imagination for the dramatic. “I held a clapboard and wanted to be a director,” says Richman, 28. “In the sixth grade, I got a camera for my birthday and starting filming in the area.” Eventually, he enrolled in acting classes—some at the local Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre. While in school at Palm Beach State College, he worked part-time as a production assistant, an extra, a director for networks like Comedy Central and TNT, and a writer on short films. But when balancing classes with his gigs became too frustrating, he dropped out of college to pursue his dream full-time. “I don’t jump out of airplanes, but I am a risk-taker,” he says. Richman comes from a family of doctors and lawyers and says he’s the “black sheep” of the family because of his career choice. But he is quickly seeing the payoff of embracing his passion. In 2014, his short film Goodbye, Darling was part of the Miami Film Festival and other regionals in Nashville and Brooklyn. And in 2020, his freelance work for Military Makeover turned into a full-time job. “We just wrapped our thirtieth season with Justin and Kristie Ziegler, a Jupiter Farms family,” he says of the recent taping in town. While he likes to hike and go to the beach, film is what makes him tick. “I love to wake up and take on my work of writing the script, talking to the veteran and the interior designer, then being creative with the show,” says Richman. “It makes me feel like a kid again.” Instagram: @nnickrichmann

Shot on location in Jupiter Farms

Jupiter Magazine's Ones to Watch 2022. Pranoo Kumar Skomra. Photo by Van Richardson
Photo by Van Richardson

The Edu-preneur: Pranoo Kumar Skomra

With personal experiences steering her career, Indian-born Pranoo Kumar Skomra, 36, of Juno Beach, wants all students to feel safe in the classroom. The self-described “edu-preneur” and teacher is an advocate for diversity, dignity, compassion, inclusion, and accessibility in children’s education. Last year, Skomra founded Rohi’s Readery, a children’s bookstore and learning center at The Square in West Palm Beach that offers workshops, books, and events for kids to teach them about diversity and inclusion. She has since expanded to work with the Town of Jupiter to bring similar programs to the northern county area. “I want to see more inclusion because I grew up in the South experiencing racism and oppression in school,” says the mother of two. “I tried to grow socially, mentally, and spiritually but struggled with my identity empowerment. My parents tried to find me safe spaces so I could assimilate, but I felt isolated and depressed.” To help others, she has devoted her life to teaching at elementary schools and developing programs that ensure all children experience social justice. With Rohi’s Readery, her dream is to provide an inclusive space where all children can feel safe and see themselves in the pages of a book. “If you come in, read a book, and take what you have learned to make change in the world, then the Readery will have accomplished its mission,” she says.

Jupiter Magazine's Ones to Watch 2022. Angel and Marc Chernoff. Photo by Megan Hoffer
Photo by Megan Hoffer

The Life Coaches: Angel and Marc Chernoff

More than 15 years ago, Angel and Marc Chernoff started a blog to catalog their daily lives. The fun and happiness described in their early personal development posts became a vehicle to help overcome the grief they felt at the sudden losses of a family member and a friend. “The blog (Mark and Angel Hack Life) turned to necessity to pour out our heart and soul,” says Angel, 40. “We started out writing for others, then we wrote for ourselves.” As their social media took off, the couple received many comments from people who empathized with their pain. From there, the Jupiter residents continued improving their site, which today offers more than 900 articles on topics like happiness, self-improvement, and productivity and boasts 200 million page views and 200,000 subscribers. The Chernoffs also co-authored The New York Times best seller Back to Happy: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Reality, and Turn Your Trials into Triumphs, a book that augments their blog, and work as life coaches with clients all across the country. “We are both on call for individual and group activity,” says Marc, 41. “Our niche is group coaching.”

Jupiter Magazine's Ones to Watch 2022. Leah Logue. Photo by Michael Laurenzano
Photo by Michael Laurenzano

The Decorator to the Stars: Leah Logue

Thirty-seven-year-old Leah Logue has managed to turn a hobby into a booming career. After graduating from the University of Florida in 2007 with a degree in advertising and marketing, she realized she enjoyed the creative aspect of home decor and decided to start remodeling homes. Soon she was working on projects throughout the Southeast. “I started flipping houses in Nashville and loved it!” says Logue, owner of Logue Decorators. With an extensive knowledge of construction and a professional team of craftsmen, she has flipped a lot of real estate, including many homes here in South Florida. But with an ever-growing list of decorating clients, including movie stars and business moguls, she is concentrating more on that aspect of her business at the moment. Born and raised in Palm Beach County, Logue’s South Florida roots have influenced her “pop of coastal” design aesthetic. “I merge modern decor with coastal accents and colors, concentrating on a younger take when it comes to wallpaper, ceilings, etcetera,” says the current Palm Beach Gardens resident. “My work feels like a hobby, and when clients say they love the results, I get the most satisfaction. It’s amazing!”

Jupiter Magazine's Ones to Watch 2022. Jakob Takos. Photo by Jason Nuttle
Photo by Jason Nuttle

The Creator: Jakob Takos

As a young boy growing up in Jupiter, Jakob Takos was shy about showing off his musical talents. “I was overly critical of my own work because I never thought it was good enough,” he says. “As the years went by, I realized the only way to get over this was just to put my talents out there.” In 2019, he released five singles (and music videos) under the album title Create to Connect, working with different musicians on each track. The 27-year-old is also the owner of Nothing Negative Co., a Jupiter-based creative services company that helps businesses and entrepreneurs with branding through digital media, videography and photography, events, and more. “I play [music], sing, write, work in visual arts, and even taught myself photography,” says Takos, who is the founder of Jakob Takos & The Connection, an eclectic group of musicians whose three-track EP, Sunshine Soul, is out now. (They recently finished recording volume two, which Takos hopes to launch by the end of the year.) In 2020, his interest in photography led to a gig shooting pictures for a local edition of an international guidebook series, 111 Places in Palm Beach That You Must Not Miss. His creative soul has even led him to film—he has a small scene as an actor in the newly released Paramount Plus streaming film The Day the Music Died: The Story of Don McLean’s American Pie. Says Takos: “I love the creative life that I have made for myself. I value creating and connecting with people and have funneled all of my passions into doing what I love.” 

Shot on location at Echo Beach Studios in Jupiter

Jupiter Magazine's Ones to Watch 2022. Elana and Stephen Smith. Photo by Jason Nuttle
Photo by Jason Nuttle

The Waste Reducers: Elana and Stephen Smith

In 2018, after an enlightened honeymoon in India, Elana and Stephen Smith returned to their Jupiter Farms home eager to teach people how to reduce waste in their lives. “We saw waste in your face in India that was a constant reminder of the problem,” says Elana, 29. When the couple got back to Florida, they decided to do something about it and opened the sustainable retail store One World Zero Waste in Tequesta.  “It’s easy to forget about the problem here, so we want to show people how simple it is to reduce waste,” says Elana. One World Zero Waste specializes in environmentally responsible products like plastic-free reusable alternatives to single-use plastic products, including the popular “Unpaper towels,” reusable wipes, and more. Elana and Stephen, 31, design many of the products themselves and enlist locals to make them. The store has been such a big hit, the Smiths have decided to expand with a second outlet in Delray Beach, set to open this month. And they’ve taken their mission a step further by launching One World Collective, a nonprofit that aims to help both the environment and local residents. “We donate locally sourced organic fruits, vegetables, and goods to those who are sick or in need,” explains Elana. As part of the collective, some of the donations/funds are used to educate the community on planting native species and edible fruit trees in public areas and teaching children the importance of maintaining the health of the environment. “We are even planting and building a ‘food forest’ on our own Jupiter Farms property,” shares Elana. “We also have a wholesale business and a franchise unit so more and more communities around the country can help reduce waste and save the environment while their residents lead healthier, happier lives.” 

Shot on location at One World Zero Waste in Tequesta

Jupiter Magazine's Ones to Watch 2022. Arielle Charis Yebba. Photo by Steven Martine
Photo by Steven Martine

The Altruistic Artist: Arielle Charis Yebba

Arielle Charis Yebba grew up with art in her blood. Both of her parents and her maternal grandmother were artists, so she picked it up at a young age. Having that creative outlet helped her later in life when she separated from the father of her two children. “I came from a bad situation in my own life and built myself back up with art,” says Yebba, 31, who lives in Jupiter. “I empowered myself through art. It was therapeutic.” Inside her Palm Beach Gardens studio, she paints portraits, mostly women, with a focus on spirituality. She tries to capture the energy of life with vibrant contrasting colors and provocative compositions. During SunFest in April, she painted a portrait of the soul band Black Pumas and was asked to go backstage, where she signed the work for the band. She has created pieces for the National Coalition of 100 Black Women and has done live-painting at a National Democratic Black Caucus event and at the Norton Museum’s recent Juneteenth Festival. Currently, she is contracted to paint murals for a couple of Palm Beach County schools and to design a custom skateboard that will be auctioned off for charity. Yebba also offers lessons at the Edna W. Runner Tutorial Center in Jupiter. “I teach with a nod to mental health,” she says. “This encourages people to try new things and to develop themselves at a higher level. The freedom of art is the best way to be aware. When you have freedom, you can float and fly and embrace everything about life.” Don’t miss Yebba’s upcoming show September 17 (with fellow local artist Anthony Burks Sr.) at Zero Empty Spaces in Palm Beach Gardens. Instagram: @iam_aricharis

Shot on location at Yebba’s art studio, located at Zero Empty Spaces in Palm Beach Gardens

Jupiter Magazine's Ones to Watch 2022. Frances Andrewievich. Photo by Steven Martine
Photo by Steven Martine

The Beer Master: Frances Andrewlevich

Frances Andrewlevich is so smitten with quality beer that he often brews as early as 5:30 a.m. “I love the chemistry, sensory experience, and machinery,” says the Jupiter resident. “I like the smell and art of brewing.” Growing up in Pennsylvania, his parents owned a bar, and he became interested in the brewing process at a young age. After graduating from Johnson & Wales culinary school in Charleston, Andrewlevich moved to Florida in 1994 and worked for various establishments in the area before opening up his own bar, Tequesta Brewing Co. (TBC), in 2011. Today, he is the owner of three local breweries: TBC, which features 11-foot ceilings and beautiful antiques like a wooden bar, old mirrors, and pillars; Twisted Trunk Brewing Co. in Palm Beach Gardens, a large space surrounded by Banyan trees with a bar carved from a 100-year-old elm tree and a cleverly simulated Banyan tree inside the bar; and Steam Horse Brewing Co. in West Palm Beach’s Warehouse District, located in a 1928 building with the cool design of a turn-of-the-century train station. “There were very few local brewers when I started out in Florida about 25 years ago,” says Andrewlevich, who also heads the Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival at Roger Dean Stadium each January. “Now there are many, but we are set apart because of our quality balanced beer. I am still fascinated by the process and how the ingredients come together.”

Shot on location at TBC in Tequesta

Jupiter Magazine's Ones to Watch 2022. Dana Pucci. Photo by Jason Nuttle
Photo by Jason Nuttle

The Power Player: Dana Pucci

When powerhouse New York publicist Susan Magrino brought her firm to South Florida two years ago, she knew just whom she wanted to help her infiltrate the market. She recruited Jupiter native Dana Pucci and her Miami Beach partner, Kim Nolan, who run the South Florida public relations firm KNPR. “We were a good fit for the agency’s clients,” says 35-year-old Pucci, whose KNPR agency specializes in hospitality, travel, and real estate clients between Jupiter and Miami. While earning a degree in public relations from Loyola University in New Orleans, Pucci, who also holds a master’s degree in communications from the University of Miami, developed a strong interest in cuisine, which steered her toward certain clients at the beginning of her career. “When I got into this field, it was the food clients that intrigued me,” she says. Pucci has a lot of experience in the local food realm, including working with Palm Beach Gardens–based Brickhouse Public Relations to implement PR strategies for Coolinary, Cactus Grille & Tequila Bar, and Jupiter’s new Lewis Steakhouse. “I get a high from delivering results to clients,” she says. “I work hard and have stressful days, but I am proud of my long-standing clients and the relationships I’ve built over the years. I am lucky to be able to do what I love and make money at it!”

Shot on location at Pucci’s home in Abacoa

Jupiter Magazine's Ones to Watch 2022. Alex and Christian Le Clainche. Photo by Jason Nuttle
Photo by Jason Nuttle

The Brew Brothers: Alex and Christian Le Clainche 

While growing up in South Florida, brothers Alex and Christian Le Clainche visited their grandfather’s coffee plantation in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. Years later, after they both finished college at the University of Central Florida, they began producing coffee with top-notch beans from Jamaica and other locations and launched their own business, Pumphouse Coffee Roasters. “Alex came to me and wanted to produce freshly roasted coffee in Jupiter,” recalls Christian, 33, who holds a law degree and an MBA. “We both wanted to broaden the craft by employing our own special techniques to develop the flavor, sweetness, and body of the coffee. We work well together because I am analytical, and he is creative.” Today, they wholesale the beans to local retail outlets including Hobe Sound Social & Coffee, Perk Coffee House in Tequesta, Sole Rebel in Jupiter, and the eateries at Charlie & Joe’s at Love Street in Jupiter. “We like to improve the quality of coffee while growing and connecting with our audience,” says 35-year-old Alex, who resides in Jupiter. The brothers are in the midst of expanding their coffee empire even more: They recently added 8,000 square feet to their West Palm Beach location at Grandview Public Market, which will serve as both a roastery and a retail coffee bar where customers can watch the coffee being made. The new iteration of Pumphouse, dubbed “The Pumphouse Pouratorium,” is set for a soft opening this month and a grand opening in October. “We want to help others improve their days with a cup of Joe,” says Alex. “We love going to work where people are happy to see us!”

Shot on location at Pumphouse Coffee Roasters at Grandview Public Market in West Palm Beach

Jupiter Magazine's Ones to Watch 2022. Illuminated Being #6, a self-portrait light painting by Jason D. Page
Illuminated Being #6, a self-portrait light painting by Jason D. Page

The Light Painter: Jason D. Page

A photographer for 28 years, Jason D. Page stumbled upon his unique craft of “light painting” in 2004 by chance. “I bumped my camera by accident on a full moon night, and I used that light to create designs in the sky,” says the 45-year-old Hobe Sound resident. It was an epiphany of sorts for Page, who took the experience and transformed it into an art form he calls light painting. “Since then, I started using my camera to record light,” he says. “It can be a challenge to work in total darkness, but the end results are quite rewarding.” When he’s shooting a portrait, both he and the subject are in total darkness except for flashes of light. He “paints with light” using a long-exposure technique—when the shutter closes, his camera compresses the light into one single frame. “It’s like watching a magic show and then the reveal,” describes Page, who is out creating light paintings two or three nights a week, often at Jonathan Dickinson State Park. When he’s not working on his art, he’s running his online side business selling a system of patented tools, including light-painting brushes that he designed to help others create similar images. “What’s important to me is to try and make the world a brighter place,” says Page. “I want to bring light to dark places.”

Illuminated Being #6, a self-portrait light painting by Jason D. Page

Facebook Comments