It’s hard to argue that at this moment, no Mayor in America is working harder to improve the future for its residents than Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. COVID-19 is still a threatening and dangerous presence across the country, and very much here in Miami. But Suarez’s courting of Silicon Valley and the tech industry as a whole, has garnered national attention, and has given Miami a renewed sense of business hope beyond the tourism industry.
That sense of hope continued last week, when Mayor Suarez focused his attention back on the health and wellness of his constituents, and named Life Time Miami Marathon Co-Founder, Frankie Ruiz, “Miami’s Chief Wellness Officer.”
“I’ve never had an official sounding title in the public space other than being an advocate for health and wellness,” said Ruiz. “I am excited to work alongside Mayor Suarez to make Miami’s reputation for health and wellness world-class.”
Back in 2003, Ruiz co-founded the Life Time Miami Marathon, which jump started the South Florida running community. Ten years later, Ruiz and co. lead Run Clubs in South Beach, Brickell, Doral, Weston, Coral Gables, West Kendall, Homestead, and Kendall. In an article last year, STAY FIT 305 named Ruiz one of the five people who forever changed the Miami fitness scene in the last decade.
Sure, the Chief Wellness Officer position might be voluntary, but this is a home run appointment for Suarez. Ruiz is arguably the city’s most recognizable face and name in the wellness community, and can help focus the city on the necessary immediate and long-term improvements that will make a major difference.
"I think I can help with not only my ideas, but getting support and momentum for other people's ideas that impact the health and wellness community," said Ruiz. “Our park system could use some attention. Parks aren't amenities anymore, and shouldn’t be viewed as luxury things cities have to offer. In the world of COVID, well-designed and maintained parks are necessities that cities should be offering their residents.”
Ruiz is spot on with his comments. Miami is known for its beaches and weather, but if Suarez’s plan to attract industry leading companies to move to Miami is going to succeed, then life beyond the sand needs to be just as appealing.
“After COVID, the parks, along with a push for health and wellness, should be a city focus,” said Ruiz. “We need to turn our attention to symptom curing solutions, vs problem-solving ideas. A focus on overall health and wellness can make a major difference in everyone’s lives.”