Local Leaders Collective expands, sets sights on new cities

By Chris Daniels

Finding your professional tribe can be tough, especially if you’re new to a city like Miami. There are dozens of happy hours, parties, and one-off events around Miami where you can meet new people, but it’s hard to turn these acquaintances into lifelong positive relationships. 

A local organization, Local Leaders Collective, has been quietly and meaningfully providing a professional tribe for founders in South Florida since 2019. Now, Local Leaders Collective is expanding to drive more impact across the Southeast with an expanded mission to include “change-makers” in its professional development organization. 

Local Leaders Collective, or LLC, was founded in 2019 by Will Weinraub, Os Alvarez, and Adam Silberstein. These three brought together a combination of entrepreneurial experience, leadership coaching, and the unique art of building professional forums. 

After the sale of his company LiveNinja, Weinraub had been looking for a group of peers where he could let his guard down in trusted company. He wanted support through the low points of the entrepreneurial journey, not just the high-fives when everything is going great.

Alvarez and Silberstein had unique experiences as professional coaches and members of peer forum groups like YPO and EO. They knew the positive impact that a dedicated peer forum could have on entrepreneurs. 

The trio partnered up and launched Local Leaders Collective with initial grant funding from the Knight Foundation. They focused their forums on active entrepreneurs and business owners here in South Florida. For the past few years, LLC has been growing consistently across South Florida. 

LLC Co-founders Adam Silberstein, Os Alvarez, and Will Weinraub,

In 2023, LLC expanded its charter to include “change-makers,” meaning people that might not be founders of a company but are creating positive change in their community, organizations, or society broadly. This broadened membership base includes community leaders, non-profit executives, investors, and others making an outsized impact in their field. 

“This is an incredibly exciting time for the LLC as we evolve the organization and continue to expand. We are still focusing a ton on South Florida but we’ll certainly be expanding to other select regions in the coming months. We are also investing a ton of time and effort into making the organization more inclusive not just for entrepreneurs, but for local change-makers of all kinds,” says Weinraub.

LLC has also expanded its team. Elizabeth Irizarry joined LLC in early 2023 as Chief Operating Officer. Irizarry has been an active member, organizer, and connector in the Miami tech community where she participated in organizations like the Infinite Attraction Podcast, serving as a Web3 Board Member for the Women of the Future organization, and advising Office Logic coworking space. She has used her local community roots to bolster the LLC in its expanded mission. 

Sharon Holm has also joined as Director of Community Growth and Inclusion. Holm has been a serial entrepreneur and inclusivity champion at multiple organizations. She spearheaded the launch of the All Raise Miami Chapter as Co-chair of the Steering Committee. All Raise is a non-profit with a mission to accelerate the success of women and non-binary individuals in tech. 

Equipped with this expanded team and vision, LLC has been hosting dozens of events for the organization including ice plunges, AI workshops, and curated dinners. They curate unique and holistic experiences in addition to their foundational forum meetings. From workout classes to whiskey tastings to beach yoga, LLC offers unique ways for members to connect on a human-to-human level outside of the business atmosphere.  

What sets LLC apart is how intentional the organization is about who and how they bring new members into the organization. Interested change-makers can apply for an annual membership on the LLC website. Then applicants will go through an interview process to understand their biggest challenges both professionally and personally, their background related to effecting change, and what type of forum atmosphere they are interested in. 

An LLC member’s forum is meant to be a long-term relationship with five to eight other change-makers. Each forum meets monthly to workshop business and personal roadblocks, share new skills, and empathize through challenges. Many members have remained in their forum for years and rave about the deep relationships formed.  

LLC Members in a forum meeting

LLC plans to expand the organization north from Miami, going major city-by-city. The same intentionality and communal aspect that has led to success here in Miami will be carefully developed in each new city.  

“Miami’s heartbeat is what gave life to the LLC, but our vision goes beyond its borders. We’re building a movement for all entrepreneurs, founders, and changemakers, regardless of their stage or revenue. It’s easy to champion success when it’s defined by seven figures, but let’s not forget that many hardworking souls might not see that million-dollar milestone, and countless passionate entrepreneurs might stumble early on. That’s where the real work, and real support, is needed,” says Irizarry.

“Unlike many communities that wear exclusivity as a badge, we at the LLC champion every dream, every struggle. We’re on a mission to ensure every aspiring entrepreneur, especially those overlooked elsewhere, finds a space with us. And this is exactly why we’re setting our sights on emerging cities, ensuring that every passionate voice is heard and supported,” Irizarry says.

Interested change-makers are welcome to drop in to a public LLC event to get a feel for the organization. If you’re interested in learning more about Local Leaders Collective, please visit their website here

Pictured at top of post: LLC Members enjoy a group workout class at AirLab High Altitude Training Center

READ MORE ECOSYSTEM NEWS IN REFRESH MIAMI:

Chris Daniels