The Center for Writing and Literature at Miami Dade College (MDC) and Books and Books will present the launch of Miguel “Mike” Benito Fernandez’s memoir, Humbled by the Journey: Lessons for My Family…and Yours, in conversation with his friend and business partner NBA legend Magic Johnson, on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 7:30 p.m., at MDC’s Wolfson Campus, Chapman Center (Building 3, Room 3210, 300 NE Second Ave. This event is open free to the public.
In 2013, Fernandez hiked along El Camino de Santiago — an ancient, spiritual trail that attracts “pilgrims” from around the world — with a pledge for each mile that led to more than $5 million for a children’s hospital. The experience was challenging and rigorous and provided him with a unique opportunity to reflect and embrace his life in a deep, meaningful way.
Humbled by the Journey is part self-portrait, part adventure story, and shuttles readers back and forth between Fernandez’s 508-mile pilgrimage along El Camino and his journey through a life touched by kindness and prosperity, as well as pain and hardship. The book shines a light on the lessons he learned over a lifetime of working tirelessly and overcoming obstacles.
In 1964, Fernandez fled his native Cuba with his parents and sister and made a new home in New York City. He was 12 and lumbered through school while working as a floor cleaner and delivery boy to help pay for his private schooling. During those early years, Fernandez learned values and principles from those around him, including his father and a Jesuit priest who led the school he attended.
After a stint in the Army, Fernandez worked selling insurance door to door and subsequently found his stride and enormous success in business. Fernandez is the founder of MBF Healthcare Partners, a private equity firm that invests in healthcare service companies nationwide. Humbled by the Journey is his first book.
Fernandez has given more than $125 million to causes focused on healthcare, education and those most in need. He often gives generously and prefers anonymity. He requires only this: Recipients must want to help themselves, be willing to sacrifice to gain a better future, and promise to pay it forward when they can.
Written by Fernandez with Martin Merzer, Humbled by the Journey will be available in January. Copies can be ordered in advance at Books & Books by calling 305-442-4408, or visiting <www.booksandbooks.com>.
Proceeds from book sales will go the Early Childhood Initiative Foundation, a nonprofit focused on early childhood education, development initiative and “universal readiness” — making high quality health, education and nurturing available and affordable for all children between birth and age 5 in Miami- Dade County. To learn more about the Early Childhood Initiative Foundation, visit <www.teachmorelovemore.org/ECIF.asp>.