“Do everything with great passion” is the motto by which Darlene Boytell-Pérez and Jorge Pérez live their lives. Their commitment to making Miami a world-class city through their extraordinary support of the arts, education and health is unwavering.
Born in Argentina to Cuban parents, Jorge is founder, chairman and CEO of The Related Group, Florida’s top multi-family developer and the largest Hispanic-owned business in the United States. From Argentina, the family moved to Colombia, where his parents ran a pharmaceutical company. Instead of joining the family business, at 18 he attended the University of Michigan, graduating with a master’s in urban planning.
Jorge began The Related Group in 1979 specializing in low-income affordable housing, beginning with Miami’s Little Havana district, but his desire for producing more creative and iconic buildings quickly drove him into construction. Today, Jorge is credited for transforming Miami’s skyline with some of the most luxurious and expensive condominiums.
His name is also synonymous with the arts. An avid collector of Latin American art, his love for the arts began as a child, with regular visits to the museum with his mother, and that passion parlayed to all things visual – a love for the theater, for art books, for art fairs, for reading.
Inspired by this passion and wanting for Miami to have a great museum, he donated more than $40 million dollars in cash and art to the Miami Art Museum, renamed Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). He continues to support Miami’s ongoing cultural renaissance, sponsoring programs like the Miami International Film Festival’s Emerging Cuban Independent Film/Video Artists Program and The National Young Arts Foundation’s Residency in Visual Arts.
An active community leader, he is a member of the University of Miami’s Board of Trustees, chairs the Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Council and is a director of the Miami International Film Festival. He has received numerous awards for his professional and philanthropic achievements, including the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Sand In My Shoes Award®.
Darlene is a native Miamian. She is an advanced registered nurse practitioner and clinical researcher with more than 20 years of experience specializing in gastroenterology and the Hepatitis C virus. She received her nursing and nurse practitioner degrees from Florida International University (FIU).
She has received numerous awards for her contribution to the profession. Outside of private practice with Gastro Health, Darlene speaks for pharmaceutical companies regarding advancements in virological treatments for the Hepatitis C Virus and is an adjunct clinical preceptor for the Nurse Practitioner Graduate Program at FIU. She is a champion for health care and education, especially for the physically and developmentally disabled.
Darlene is active in a variety of civic and cultural organizations, including serving on the boards of Gulliver Schools and United Cerebral Palsy. She served on United Way of Miami-Dade’s board and is now a member of the advisory council, and chaired the United Way Women’s Leadership breakfast in 2016. She is also an advisor of the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences at FIU. Along with her husband, she generously supports multiple organizations including scholarships for young children at the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education, the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and the Cuban Research Institute at her alma mater. The university dedicated the Jorge and Darlene Pérez Nursing Laboratory in 2006. Darlene is the recipient of FIU’s Distinguished Alumna Torch Award and the FIU Commencement Medallion of Honor.
Important to Darlene and Jorge is spending quality time with family – Felipe, their teenage son, and Jorge’s three children – Christina, Jon Paul and Nicolas; good friends and giving back. They take nothing for granted and enjoy life to the fullest, considering themselves very fortunate.
Jorge has signed on to The Giving Pledge, a campaign founded by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, to which he will donate half of his wealth for philanthropic means. He and Darlene joined the United Way Million Dollar Roundtable in 2003 and the Five Million Dollar Roundtable in 2011.