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  • Writer's pictureKatie Madyun

Exploring Life & Business with Buck Martinez

Article written and originally published by VoyageMIA - read original article here!


Today we’d like to introduce you to Buck Martinez.


Buck, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin? My family fled a communist Cuba in the early 1960s when I was just a small child to come to the United States with only $5 to our name. My parents worked extremely hard and instilled in us the importance of faith and surrounded us with family –family was, and still is everything to me.


Growing up I loved sports, I learned so many lifelong lessons and met some of my best friends on the fields. If I wasn’t home for dinner, my parents always knew where to find me… I was ALWAYS on the baseball field or shooting baskets in the neighborhood.

Fast forward quite a few years and I was fortunate to attend St. Thomas University where I continued my love for baseball as a third baseman (freshman year) and then a catcher while earning my Bachelor of Arts degree; this was where I developed a real appreciation for leadership as I was named captain for three consecutive years.


Following graduation, and after pursuing a major league career, I started working for Florida Power & Light (FPL), where I worked for the next 35 years in highly challenging roles such as negotiating labor contracts and ultimately identifying and originating clean energy opportunities in the state to promote visibility, commitment, and economic development.

I was fortunate to see a lot of our country during my time with the organization and I took it as an opportunity tolearn about the greatness of our country and our people. Shortly after starting with FPL, my wife Silvia (who I was fortunate enough to meet in high school) and I started our family; we are blessed to have three beautiful daughters and four amazing grandchildren.


In addition to my three beautiful daughters, I have also been fortunate to be a father figure in the lives of two young men who lived with us for some time. They too are my family; I can confidently say they have had as much of a positive impact on the lives of the Martinez family as we may have had on their lives. I am forever grateful that they came into our lives and extremely proud of all they have accomplished – all of my children.

Fast forward to 2013, while still working at FPL, I was driving a U-Haul across the state with my daughter, Krissy Webb. During the ride, she asked me, “who will my twin daughters look up to?”


After a long ride talking about what the high schools are not doing to prepare student-athletes to be leaders, Student ACES (ACE = athletics, community, education), a 501c3 with the mission to inspire and develop high school student-athletes to become men and women of honor, character, and integrity, was born.


In less than 10 years since inception, we have directly impacted the lives of more than 50,000 students throughout Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

Shortly after the start of Student ACES, and upon my retirement from FPL, my passion for mentorship and for helping those around me reach their highest potential, inspired me to found ACE Leadership Group where I serve as a life coach and executive coach to individuals in many different roles from corporate executives to professional athletes and as a consultant to companies seeking to develop their management teams.


Along the way, education remained a constant. I went on to achieve my MBA from NOVA Southeast and graduated from the Boston University Leadership Program, the Harvard University Program on Negotiation, and the Lifeworks Leadership Program.

I have served as an adjunct professor at Keiser University, and I currently work with over 1,200 student-athletes at St. Thomas University and as a speaker at conferences, schools, and leadership forums. I amconstantly learning from those around me.


Sharing my perspective and having the opportunity to partner with others to share their views and understand their perspectives is also extremely important to me and prompted me to author six books – Building Blocks of Leadership for Young Adults, The Captain’s Leadership Playbook, Straight Talk, Man Up: Leading a Life of Honor, Seven Steps for Success, and his most recent, Your Winning Formula, Discovering the Champion Within You.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?Overcoming obstacles builds character. It’s what makes us who we are. As a young child and throughout my high school years, I suffered from a number of injuries. While there are some who may feel defeated, I looked at it as a challenge.


Instead of hanging it up, I looked at it as an opportunity to learn to become ambidextrous. Only a few months later, I taught myself to throw from both sides. Instead of feeling defeated by the obstacle, I was motivated and I feel like I have lived my life that way every step of the journey.


Throughout it all, the family has always been a priority for me. As a husband, father and grandfather, I internalize the feelings of those that I love. If they hurt, I hurt. If they encounter a struggle, I am right there with them.

One of my biggest challenges has been understanding that, as much as I would love to be able to control everything, it’s impossible and I can’t – no one can.


As you know, we’re big fans of. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?For 35 years, I had the distinct honor of working for FPL, America’s largest electric utility, serving more customers and selling more power than any other utility, providing clean, affordable, reliable electricity to more than 5.7 millionaccounts, or more than 12 million people.


Today, my passion fuels me.


I am the co-founder and president of the Board of Student ACES, a 501c3 with the mission to inspire and develop high school student-athletes to become men and women of honor, character, and integrity, and the president of ACE Leadership Group where I help organizations to develop their executive team and serve as a life coach and executive coach to individuals in many different roles from corporate executives to professional athletes.

My passion has also inspired me to author six books: Building Blocks of Leadership for Young Adults, The Captain’s Leadership Playbook, Straight Talk, Man Up Leading a Life of Honor, Seven Steps for Success, and his most recent,Your Winning Formula, Discovering the Champion Within You.


Do you have any advice for those just starting out?Find your passion and never stray from your purpose or your commitment to approaching every activity with the highest integrity.

Understand that you must have the conviction to battle through your obstacles. Remember, it may not always be easy, but it will be worth it.

I wish I understood the importance of passion and the role it would play in finding my purpose at an earlier stage in my life, but I’m just happy that I found it as some never do.


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