Congratulations to our 2023 Hall of Fame Honorees—Antonio "Tony" Argiz, Leon Ellman, and S. Donald Sussman.
A Night to Remember! Read about this year's Event.
BDO Board Member
and South Florida Managing Partner
As a BDO Board Member and South Florida Managing Partner, Antonio “Tony” Argiz is well-known for his community and industry leadership. He previously co-founded the accounting and advisory firm MBAF and led its growth as the largest Florida-based professional services firm, ultimately becoming one of the top 40 accounting firms in the nation. Tony has been involved with a broad spectrum of industries which gives him unique experience and insight into all aspects of the financial well-being of his clients.
In a career spanning 40 years, Tony has developed extensive in-depth knowledge and experience in practices involving audits, business planning, economic damages, fraud examinations, valuations and litigation cases. He is a highly respected and nationally recognized practitioner in litigation consulting services.
Tony has actively served on the leading industry associations, including the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), chairing many key committees in furtherance of the accounting industry. In 1986, Tony was appointed to Florida’s Board of Accountancy and was then elected to chair the Board and chair its Probable Cause Panel as well.
MBAF was named among Inside Public Accounting’s 25 best-managed accounting firms more than 20 times. Accounting Today named it Best Accounting Firm to Work For in both 2017 and 2018. After merging with BDO, Tony remains BDO’s South Florida managing partner, maintaining the same commitment to his firm, its people and their clients.
Tony is recognized as one of greater Miami’s leading community champions. He chaired United Way Miami through the challenging times of the Great Recession from 2007 to 2009, and he and his wife, Conchi, ultimately were recognized with the organization’s Tocqueville Award for Outstanding Philanthropy.
Tony chaired the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce to record revenue during his tenure, and in 2019 was honored with its renowned “Sand in My Shoes” Award for his community leadership. He also chaired FIU’s Council of 100, and has endowed an academic scholarship at the university. Tony has also volunteered his leadership to the Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation, the Orange Bowl Committee and the Pérez Art Museum Miami, among many other civic and charitable organizations dear to his heart.
Leon Ellman is Chairman of the JLE Group, a family office, investment, and management firm based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is also a proprietor in Ellman Family Vineyards, the family vineyard and winery. Leon is a graduate of the University of KwaZulu-Natal and is a Chartered Accountant when he entered the family mattress business with his dad in Durban, South Africa.
A native of South Africa, Leon purchased his first US mattress company when he moved to Florida in 1974. Leon has always believed in controlling his own destiny in all aspects of his business life. To give his mattress business a competitive edge, he started his own spring manufacturing operation to supply his factories. This eventually led him to build a “pocket coil” machine. In 1997, Leon sold the spring operation, including the pocket coil machines to Leggett and Platt.
While most companies did not take the wholesale club business seriously, Leon saw an opportunity. He was responsible for putting the wholesale clubs into the bedding business by starting a pilot program with Hyper Mart, a Wal-Mart subsidiary. This led to bedding being carried in all the Sam’s Clubs throughout the U.S. The wholesale clubs required that bedding be delivered on pallets and shrink wrapped. Leon oversaw the development of a machine that shrink wrapped that bedding onto pallets that could easily be handled in the clubs.
Through his exuberance and ability to share his vision of what the business could be, major retailers like IKEA, the largest furniture retailer in the world, were added to the family of customers. Leon saw obstacles as opportunities. Partnerships were developed with retailers that enabled them to get exclusive products under their brand to give them greater margins. At the time, this was a new approach to the business that was well received.
Leon Ellman remains the founder and Chairman of the Sherwood Bedding Group, a bedding company he started with his sons, Neil and Lance, a majority of which was acquired by the Tempur Sealy company in 2020, while Leon and his family retained a minority interest and continue to manage the Sherwood division. The family has also over the years been involved with several successful private equity investments.
Leon has served on the board of directors of, and has philanthropically supported, many organizations and local programs and charities in his community.
Founder, Chairman, and Co-Chief Investment Officer
S. Donald Sussman is the Founder, Chairman, and Co-Chief Investment Officer of the Paloma Fund. He is also an active philanthropist, supporting causes that advance education, health care, arts and culture, gender equality, public interest media and democracy protection.
Since founding Paloma 40 years ago, Donald has been recognized as a pioneer in hedge fund investing, particularly in the early development of quantitative and relative value investing. Sussman was named to the “Power 100 in Global Finance” by Worth magazine in 2019 and the Institutional Investor-Alpha Hedge Fund Hall of Fame in 2013. He has also been awarded Hedge Funds Review’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The S. Donald Sussman Fellowship at MIT’s Sloan School of Management was created in 2012 by his colleagues and friends to honor his contributions to quantitative finance.
Donald Sussman supported efforts to combat COVID-19 and strengthen vital health care systems through gifts to Mass General Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic, and helped modernize and expand health care facilities at both Miami Jewish Health and Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital in Maine. He has been a significant supporter of the University of the Virgin Islands, where he served for several years as a Trustee and made the cornerstone donation for the establishment of its medical school, which will be the first HBCU medical school in nearly 45 years.
Donald is an Honorary Trustee and former Co-Chair of the Investment Committee of Carnegie Hall. He has served as a member of the MIT Sloan School Finance Group Advisory Board, as well as a Trustee/Board member of ProPublica, Emily’s List, and the Center for American Progress. He is also an Honorary Trustee of the Ethical Culture Fieldston School and a former Trustee and Investment Committee Chair of Skidmore College. A lifelong homeowner in and lover of Maine, an investment by Donald Sussman saved the Portland Press Herald from insolvency in 2012, putting it on a solid operating footing. He has been the founding backer of two other award-winning media outlets as well as a supporter of NPR.
Donald Sussman attended Columbia College and received a B.S. and an MBA from New York University, as well as an Honorary Doctorate from the Weizmann Institute of Science and Maine College of Art. An avid sailor and environmentalist, he has also supported a range of causes in coastal Florida, coastal Maine, and St John, USVI.