Hometown hero is honored for his leadership

As one of South Florida Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, Jose M. Pazos is one to watch.

As one of South Florida Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, Jose M. Pazos is one to watch.

Miami native Jose M. Pazos was named to South Florida Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 – a list that honors the area’s best and brightest young professionals for their career success and community involvement.

Pazo’s “good moral compass and strong leadership skills” have served him well and resulted in success in his roles as a U.S. Marine, politician, business partner, community advocate, and husband and father. His guiding principle in life and business is: “keep your head down and remain humble.”

“Jose is most deserving of this award,” said business partner Juan Zapata. “He is a man of high principals and has a deep sense of civic responsibility. He is a military veteran and American hero, decorated for his heroism in active combat in defense of our nation’s security.”

Pazos is a former United States Marine Sergeant and combat veteran of both Afghanistan and Iraq. The La Salle high school graduate joined the Marines in 1999. He was a member of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), which was the first to enter Afghanistan after 9-11, along with Navy SEAL Team 3.

“Our unit was chosen for the initial Afghanistan invasion,” said Pazos. “We took over Camp Rhino (the first U.S. land base established in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom). It was one of the largest and longest amphibian assaults in Marine Corps history. My deployment in Afghanistan lasted seven months – with no showers and only MREs.”

Pazos was promoted to the rank of Sergeant meritoriously in January 2003, only three years after enlisting. He was also a member of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force and participated in the ground invasion of Iraq in March 2003. His personal decorations include two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Combat Action Ribbon and Presidential Unit Citation.

After serving his country for four years, Pazos returned home to Miami to serve his community.

“I missed the Cuban coffee and the warm weather,” he admits.

Pazos met his wife Barbara, who inspired him to pursue a real estate career rather than a career as a U.S. Marshall. After being named a top producer and member of the multimillion dollar club in the industry, Pazos began his own real estate management company in 2006.

In 2010, Pazos ran for Florida House of Representatives, District 117, and was endorsed by the Miami Herald. Although he lost the election, he met his business partners Julio Robaina, former mayor of South Miami and previous member of the State House of Representatives, and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Juan Zapata, also a former member of the State House of Representatives.

Pazos, Robaina & Zapata Management Group is a full-service management company specializing in condominiums and homeowner associations.

“We believe that association management must be transparent and responsive,” said Pazos. “We help ensure that an association is being operated in an honest and efficient fashion. “

Pazos and his business partners have helped fractured condominiums on the verge of bankruptcy become solvent again. The team also does pro bono work for HOAs, fighting legislation that may negatively affect them and lobbying for positive legislation on their behalf.

“We’ve helped the working class in distressed communities save their associations, returning them to good fiscal shape,” Pazos said. “We provide a much-needed service and as a result, our company has grown tremendously.”

Pazos enjoys spending time with Barbara, a Miami-Dade County public school kindergarten teacher, and their two young children, Zoe, age 4, and Joey, 11 months. Pazos has been training for triathlons and has plans to compete in six events during the next year.

“I just hope to finish,” he said. “The training helps me stay in shape and be healthy for my wife and family.”

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