Michael Capponi

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Michael Capponi
Michael Capponi Profile Picture.jpg
Michael Capponi
Born Michael Jean Francois Capponi
(1972-04-05) April 5, 1972 (age 42)
Occupation Developer, Construction Executive & Humanitarian
Known for Founding Haiti Empowerment Mission
Capponi Group

Michael Jean Francois Capponi (born April 5, 1972) is an American promoter, developer and entertainment executive.[1][2][3] He is best known for helping to develop Miami Beach's night life[4] and his humanitarian work, especially in Haiti.[5]

Early life[edit]

Capponi was born in Belgium,[6] and moved to Miami at the age of 6.[7] At age 12 he moved with his mother to Key Biscayne[8] where he became the number one freestyler in the 13-and-under age category in Florida for the American Freestyle Association (AFA).[9] He did national BMX and skateboarding commercials for Twix candybars and Coca Cola.[10] At 15, he started surfing in countries such as Dominican Republic, Barbados and Costa Rica.[8] He graduated in 1989 from Miami Shores Academy.


Nightlife and events[edit]

Capponi's 31st birthday at Nygard Cay, Bahamas

Capponi contributed to the revitalization of South Beach, which began in the late 1980s.[11] In 1989, he promoted a one-nighter called One, Global Tribe at the Cameo Theatre in Miami Beach with Ruben Pagan.[12] Other nightlife ventures followed. For his role in promoting South Beach, in April 1992 British magazine, Vogue, named him to its Who's Who of Miami Beach list.[13] He was only 19 years old at the time.

His contributions to South Beach's development continued into the 1990s and, on September 12, 1993, the Miami Herald crowned him "the SoBe Prince" of nightlife.[14] Also in 1993 the Miami New Times called him "a promoter with a higher calling, a nightlife star"[15] Since then, he has worked as a promoter for nightclubs such as Warsaw, BED, Mansion, SET, LIV and Story.[16] In 2004, the Miami New Times named Capponi Miami's Best Nightlife Promoter.[17]

Development, construction and design[edit]

Capponi Group – Ten Museum Park, Miami

In 2004, Capponi created Ten Museum Park, a 50-story, 200-unit crystalline structure in downtown Miami's Arts and Entertainment District with developer Gregg Covin and architect Chad Oppeheim.[18][19] The following year he formed Capponi Properties, which develops high-end, luxury homes.[20] In 2011 he sold a Sunset Island #4 home for $5.175 million, the highest price point on the island at the time.[21] In 2008 the Developers and Builders Alliance honored Capponi with the Renovation Firm of the Year Award.[22]

Terra Veritatis, the $40 million estate on Miami Beach built by Capponi Group

In 2013, Capponi was a finalist for the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce's Better Beach Awards for the preservation and revitalization of Terra Veritatis, the 16-bedroom estate, which spans 2.5 acres (1.0 ha) of Miami Beach real estate.[23] The Wall Street Journal called the $40 million project as "the most expensive renovation in the Miami area."[24] Capponi and Gary Shear formed another company in 2013, Capponi Shear Construction, a general contracting firm.[25]

In 2014, Capponi joined the development team with Moses Bensusan of Costa Hollywood, an urban beachfront development, by architect Hamed Rodriguez.[26] The 500,000-square-foot resort consists of 307 fully furnished apartments.[27]

Costa Hollywood, Florida

Work in Haiti[edit]

Capponi in Jacmel, Haiti with the top students of the Haiti Empowerment Mission, January 2014

After the January 12, 2010 Haiti earthquake, Capponi organized a plane with a relief team consisting of Miami Beach firefighters and doctors.[28] He continued to return to Haiti and in March 2010 set up a tent community for 3,000 victims in Belvil, Petionville Haiti.[29]

In December 2010, Capponi started a project to revitalize Jacmel, a historical town in Haiti.[30][31] This initiative was to help stimulate a self-sustained tourism economy for Haiti.[32]

Capponi formed the Jacmel Advisory Council, a group of persons from the international community, committed to helping revitalize Jacmel, while preserving its arts, culture and traditions.[33] The board promotes best practices to provide a socio-economic system for thousands of Haitians living in the south east region.[34]

In January 2011, Capponi relocated 28 families from his camp in Belvil to Jacmel, Haiti into a self-sustained village with transitional shelters.[35]

In 2011, Capponi was recognized as a Humanitarian of the Year by Sustainatopia, alongside Donna Karan, Maria Bello and Selita Banks.[36]

In 2011, he also founded the Haiti Empowerment Mission, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization aiming to empower the people of Haiti through education, training and jobs. In 2012, Donna Karan co-hosted Capponi's lavish birthday bash, promoting Jacmel as a new Caribbean destination and raising money for the Haiti Empowerment Mission.[37]

Capponi with photographer Russell James and Donna Karan in Haiti in 2012


Humanitarian initiatives[edit]

Capponi at his tent city in Belvil, Petionville, Haiti – March 2010
Michel Martelly – President of Haiti, Michael Capponi and Taylor Erickson at the President's Inauguration Ball at the Karibe Hotel, Port-au-Prince, Haiti – May 2011
Capponi along with Miami Beach firefighters being honored at Miami Beach City Hall for their search and rescue efforts for the January 2010 Haiti earthquake

Capponi took a three-year hiatus to undergo drug rehabilitation, multiple surgeries, as well as recover from meningitis. He returned to South Beach in 1998.[38] This transitional period in his life sparked an interest in humanitarian causes.[39] He worked with several organizations on local initiatives and disaster relief.

In 1999, Capponi worked with Mayor Neisen Kasdin on a local Kosovo Relief Drive, raising food and clothing for the victims. He collected more than 15,000 pounds of donated items for the Feed the Children organization.[40] Immediately after the September 11, 2011 attacks, he organized fundraisers for the American Red Cross, raising over $100,000 for the victims. For his efforts he was presented with the Key to the City of Miami Beach by Mayor Neisen Kasdin, as well as the Trailblazer award from the American Red Cross.[40]

In November 2002, he co-chaired a fundraiser with Matt Damon for Damon's long time friend, Lisa Maniscalco, for Leukemia cancer research.[41] In November of that year, he helped produce the Miami Starlight Gala to raise money for Bay Point Schools. The event was created by Roy and Lea Black.[42] In March 2003 Capponi served as vice chair with Anthony Shriver for Best Buddies Midnight in the Garden of Eden Gala.[43]

When Hurricane Charley hit Florida in August 2004, Capponi again teamed up with the American Red Cross and organized relief efforts for the victims. He worked with local nightlife venues to raise money and provide support.[44] The partnership continued in December 2004, with a fundraiser for the Thailand tsunami victims.[45]

In 2006, Capponi teamed up with Miami Rescue Mission to fortify and expand its annual Great Thanksgiving Day Banquet, which feeds over 2,500 homeless people in Miami. In 2012, Capponi announced the construction of a 78-bed men's shelter for Miami Rescue Mission.[46]

Capponi speaking at the press conference announcing Capponi Group to construct a new homeless shelter for the Miami Rescue Mission

In 2007, Capponi joined forces with Shareef Malnik to create the Make-A-Wish Nightclub at the InterContinental Hotel in Downtown Miami. Capponi has been vice chairman of the event for the past seven years.[47]

Following the August 30, 2008, Hurricane Gustav that hit Western Cuba, Capponi visited Cuba in September with United States humanitarian license to assess damage from the hurricane.[48] Over the next the month, he put together fundraising efforts for the victims of Gustav as well as Hurricane Ike which hit shortly after in Cuba, Haiti and Texas.[49]

Notable properties[edit]

  • Terra Veritatis: $32 million renovation of M.C. Dean CEO William Dean's Miami Beach "Party Pad" at 4949 Pine Tree Drive[50]
  • Akoya Penthouse: Miami Beach's Highest Luxury penthouse[51]
  • Miami Executive Aviation: Renovation of Miami Executive Aviation[52]
  • Casa de Suenos: Renovation of North Bay Road Mega Mansion[53]

Awards and honors[edit]

Capponi being honored at the Sustainatopia 2011 conference as one of the Humanitarians of the Year
  • 2011 – Shuzz – Philanthropist of the Year - For outstanding contributions of time, leadership and financial efforts in Haiti[54]
  • 2011 – Sustainatopia Honors – Humanitarian Award[55]
  • 2011, April 16 – City of Miami Beach presented by Mayor Matti Bower – Key to the City[56]
  • 2010 – Miami International Fashion Week – Humanitarian of the Year award[57]
  • 2010, February 3 – City of Miami Beach – Presented by Mayor Matti Herrera Bower and Commissioner Michael Gongora – Certificate of Recognition – Michael Capponi for outstanding community service in organizing the rescue trip to Haiti for assisting the earthquake victims.[58]
  • 2009 – Florida International Magazine – Power Players[59]
  • 2008 – DBA, Developers and Builders Alliance – Renovation Firm of the Year, Capponi Group[60]


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