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Business Observer Friday, Dec. 22, 2017 9 months ago

Kids are All Right

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An executive who seeks a deeper connection to where his donations go found his spot in an adoption charity. 'Child causes really pull at my heart strings,' Michael Malatin says.
by: Mark Gordon Managing Editor

Michael Malatin doesn't have any personal connection to adoption — he wasn't adopted and his two sons, 8 and 10, are his own children.

But he began to get involved in adoption after chatting with some good friends, including Tampa manufacturing executive Dave Alexander and Michael Loparco, CEO of the Engineered Solutions Group at Jabil Circuit. Alexander and Loparco are both on the board of the Florida chapter of Gift of Adoption Fund. The fund raises money to help families specifically in Florida defray the costs of adopting a child; the Florida chapter has helped complete the adoptions of some 350 children into forever families since it was launched in 2002.

“Child causes really pull at my heart strings,” says Malatin, who founded and grew his first company, Healthcare Parking Systems of America, into one of the largest valet management systems nationwide. The Tampa-based firm, before he sold it in 2007, had grown to work with 280 hospitals in 33 states. It had more than 5,000 employees and annual revenue in excess of $48 million under Malatin's leadership at its peak. Malatin recently sold another successful company he launched, Pinnacle Automotive Hospitality Services, and now runs a recruitment and executive search-consulting firm he recently co-founded, MC2 Group.

After years of giving money, and time, to multiple groups, from the American Heart Association to Big Brothers Big Sisters, another aspect of Gift of Adoption that attracted Malatin was its singular purpose. “I like that it was laser focused and close to the pulse of what they do,” he says. “We know exactly how much money we need for each family and exactly where that money is going. You can really feel that impact.”

Malatin says his home, in the Palma Ceia Golf & Country Club, is built for large entertaining events — yet he hadn't often held parties there. That was another reason he and his girlfriend, Gabrielle George, jumped at the chance to host the Gift of Adoption Florida party.

About 220 people attended the Friday night party, including Alexander and Loparco. So did Malatin's friend Steve Torres, a former top executive at Jabil Circuit and Clearwater-based IT services and infrastructure firm Vology.

Malatin says in addition to the funds raised, which totaled $120,000, the party was a social success. “It was exhausting,” he says, “but we would definitely do it again.”

Executive: Michael Malatin, founder and strategic adviser at Pinnacle Automotive Hospitality Services
Organization: Gift of Adoption Fund
Mission: Nonprofit organization, based in Illinois, provides grants of up to $7,500 to U.S. families adopting children born in the U.S. and worldwide.
Giveback: Malatin hosted a party at his south Tampa home Nov. 10 for Gift of Adoption Florida Chapter's 15th annual fundraiser. The event, a 1960s-themed soiree entitled Come Together for the Kids, raised $120,000 — funds that can cover adoption fees of 30 children in need. The money also helped the local chapter reach the milestone of giving out $1 million in adoption assistance grants. Malatin has also donated personally to Gift of Adoption Florida.

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