Margarita and Armando Codina believe in civic duty and giving back, not only to the city they call home, but also to the country that has given them so much.
At 14, Armando arrived in the United States from his native Cuba as part of Operation Pedro Pan. Alone, with no knowledge of English, he was sent to an orphanage in New Jersey and lived in and out of foster homes until he was reunited with his mother. He immediately went to work to support her. Blessed with a keen business sense, even at this early age, he spotted an opportunity and created his first company, Professional Automated Services – a firm providing data processing services to physicians. As a result of the firm’s success, Armando is recognized as a pioneer in the development of comprehensive medical management systems, including processing, accounts receivable, management reporting and multiple financial services.
After selling the company, he ventured into real estate. Today, he is executive chairman of Codina Partners, a real estate investment and development firm engaged in multiple real estate activities and one of South Florida’s most successful privately held companies. In addition, he is an active investor and owner of MBB Auto Group, a premium luxury retail automotive group consisting of 10 dealerships in the Northeast comprised of Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar Land Rover and Audi dealers.
Armando has sat on the boards of some of the country’s best-known companies, including AMR Corporation, GM, Merrill Lynch, BellSouth and Burger King Corporation. He currently serves on the board of The Home Depot and is a trustee of the Mayo Clinic. Committed to community and civic affairs, he is vice chairman of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts/YoungArts; chairman emeritus of Florida International University; and co-founder of Community Partnership for the Homeless, among others.
In spite of his remarkable success, Armando’s priorities continue to be family and civic responsibilities – they are at the core of who he is.
He has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Real Estate Achievers & Leaders Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce; Entrepreneur of the Year by the Wharton School; the Humanitarian of the Year award from the American Red Cross; the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Sand In My Shoes Award; and the Merage Foundation’s National Leadership award, which recognizes leaders whose journeys to the United States as immigrants have made a positive impact on the quality of life for all Americans.
Margarita is a champion for the arts and education, and among her many volunteer roles, she has joined Armando as chair of several galas including YoungArts and the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center. She serves as a trustee of Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart and is involved with several other nonprofit causes.
Margarita and Armando have four daughters – Ana, Alexandra, Andria and Amanda – each accomplished in their own right and all carrying on their parents’ legacy of service and philanthropy to others.