Rana Florida is a globe-trotting innovator with an impressive array of titles: CEO, Author, Editor, and Cultural Curator. She brings a fresh new take on business and life, breaking away from the traditional corporate mold. As the Chief Executive Officer of the Creative Class Group, Rana Florida oversees new business development, marketing, consulting, research, and global operations. Her diverse client portfolio includes renowned names such as Meta (The company that owns and operates Facebook, Instagram, Threads, and WhatsApp), BMW, Converse, IBM, Cirque du Soleil, Audi, Zappos, and Starwood Hotels, among many others.
With over two decades of experience in corporate strategy, communications, and marketing, Rana Florida has held significant roles in notable organizations. She served as the former Vice President of Marketing for HMSHost, the world’s largest airport developer, and Vice President of Communications for Disney on Ice and Disney Live! through Feld Entertainment. Rana played a crucial role in the founding and launch of CityLab, a digital platform for The Atlantic, where she also contributed to events and programming for The Aspen Ideas Institute and Bloomberg.
The inception the Creative Class Group, can be traced back to the influential urbanist, speaker, and professor Richard Florida. Richard’s bestselling book, “The Rise of the Creative Class,” caught the attention of BMW, who approached them to create a commercial referencing his ideas. Recognizing the opportunity and perfect timing, Rana Florida decided to join the Creative Class Group, a full-service consulting, research, and strategy firm.
“You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room. Surround yourself with intelligent people and give them the freedom they need to lead. Be as much of a learner as a leader.”
The key to Rana’s success lies in how she values her clients as experts in their respective fields. The Creative Class Group aims to add value by partnering with clients, whether it’s identifying the world’s most creative places for investment or helping them understand their target customers. The company has had the privilege of working with remarkable companies like Microsoft, Zappos, BMW, Starwood Hotels, and Cirque du Soleil. They assisted BMW in launching their Ideas Class ad campaign, provided insights on location and regional creativity measures for Starwood Hotels’ global locations, and helped Cirque du Soleil identify the world’s most creative neighborhoods for their performances. Rana and Richard have also been part of Le Méridien 100, an advisory group of cultural innovators focused on enhancing the guest experience at Le Méridien Hotels worldwide. Their expertise has been sought by various organizations, including Air Canada, Art Basel, WeWork, Converse, and more. Their global reach spans from New York, to Dubai, to Singapore.
Rana Florida’s management style reflects her commitment to collaboration. She believes in bringing together individuals with diverse skills, experiences, and perspectives, creating a collective that is greater than the sum of its parts. Collaborative decision-making allows for the consideration of different viewpoints and expertise, minimizing biases, enhancing critical thinking, and ultimately leading to higher-quality outcomes.
An avid learner and collaborator, Rana Florida thrives on working with the most creative organizations worldwide. Her leadership tip is simple but powerful: “You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room. Surround yourself with intelligent people and give them the freedom they need to lead. Be as much of a learner as a leader.”
Rana Florida’s influence extends beyond her role as a CEO. She is a media-savvy corporate powerhouse and a best-selling author. Her writings on business and leadership have been featured in renowned publications like Fast Company, Inc.com, the Huffington Post, and the Miami Herald. Rana has appeared as a guest business analyst on The Today Show and MSNBC’s The Cycle, and she has contributed to Fox News (WJBK) for several years. Her expertise has been recognized by The New York Times, Vogue Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Market Watch, CNN, and The Globe and Mail.
“We view our clients as experts in their field and partner with them to add value, whether by helping them identify the world’s most creative places for investment or to help them identify their target customers.”
Known for her captivating one-on-one business interviews, Rana has engaged with notable figures ranging from President Bill Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama to Andre Agassi, Nelly Furtado, Tory Burch, and many more.
Outside of her professional endeavors, Rana is a passionate philanthropist, dedicating her time and expertise to numerous organizations. She lends her support to The United Nations Global Network on Digital Technologies and Sustainable Urbanization for UN Habitat, The Olympics Committee, Canadian Freestyle Ski Association, Silver Art Projects, The National Ballet of Canada, St. Mike’s Hospital Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit, Luminato Festival, Travel & Leisure Rebel Awards, Le Miami, The Design-Exchange, Isabella Blow Foundation, Girls E Mentorship, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Airports Council International, Council for International Visitors, Best Buddies Canada, and The Founders Junior Council of the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Rana Florida holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and an MBA in Marketing and Management. Her book, “Upgrade—Taking Your Work and Life From Ordinary to Extraordinary,” achieved the distinction of being a ‘Business Best Seller’ according to Tattered Cover, the largest independent bookstore retailer in the U.S., and was also selected as the Editor’s Pick by The Globe and Mail.
Rana’s journey as a visionary leader, writer, and philanthropist continues to inspire and shape the creative landscape of businesses and communities around the world.
“Rana Florida’s management style is characterized by collaboration, bringing together individuals with diverse skills, experiences, and perspectives who become more than the sum of their parts.”