Owner Forge Restaurant, Chairman Next Wave Funding, Chairman Make-A-Wish, Entrepreneur
Shareef Malnik, recognized as a top restaurateur, with over 30 years experience in the hospitality industry. The Forge, Malnik’s celebrated, award-winning steakhouse and wine bar, is iconic at home in South Florida, as well as all over the world. Malnik has elevated dining to new, luxurious levels while maintaining impeccable service standards and exhibiting an eye for fine art and chic interior design. The Forge, has been a part of the Miami Beach culture and community for over 50 years.
By day, Malnik is the Chairman of Nextwave Funding, which provides funding to thousands of small and mid-sized companies across the nation. Nextwave Funding is dedicated to supporting the future generation of entrepreneurs. “Building Nextwave is a great opportunity," says Malnik. “I work with a cross-section of businesses throughout the country and feel rewarded when I see our capital help their companies thrive and grow."
Malnik has also added Executive Producer to his oeuvre with the documentary film Sexology, which was directed by his wife, actress Gabrielle Anwar.
However, Malnik might be best known for his charitable endeavors. Malnik proudly held the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors of Make-A-Wish for the last two consecutive years. He has also held the prestigious title of Chairman of the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball for the past 14 years, helping to raise more than $21 million which has been used to grant wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. Under his leadership, the gala has become the most coveted event in South Florida. with celebrity guests and entertainers spanning Marc Anthony, Diana Ross, John Legend, and Lenny Kravitz. Shareef’s wife, Gabrielle Anwar, has assumed the role of co-emcee of the Ball and she has helped raise millions of dollars for the Foundation in her own right. In 2013, Malnik was honored as Make-A-Wish Board Person of the Year. Since he has been on the Make-A-Wish’s Board, the Foundation has raised $60 million. Malnik says, “Make-A-Wish is in my DNA and my top priority is to grant as many wishes to every eligible child as is humanly possible.” In addition, Malnik also is Chairman of the Make-A-Wish Capital Campaign. He has already helped raise more than $22 million towards this campaign.
Fittingly, Malnik has received the Key to the City of Miami Beach six times, has been made an honorary police officer of the City of Miami Beach and has been awarded “Citizen of the Year” by the Mayor of the City of Miami Beach and has been recognized for “Innovations in Business” by the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce. He was also honored as a “Hero” by the Chief of Police of Miami Beach for saving the life of one of the city’s resident. In 2011, the Miami Marlins honored Malnik with their All-Star Award for Philanthropy, and in 2015, he was the recipient of the “Credit Suisse Shining Light Award” by the Little Lighthouse Foundation. Additionally, he has sat on the board of the Police Athletic League for more than 20 years. Malnik has just agreed to join the Advisory Board of the Greater Miami-Miami Beach Police Foundation which is dedicated to law enforcement, police officers, first responders and their families, providing reward funds, strengthening community relations, and prevention of cruelty to animals. He has also just been welcomed onto the Pikler Foundation’s Advisory Board to join his wife in her passion to educate the world on how to raise infant children with respect.
Most impressively, Malnik is able to juggle these elements of hospitality, philanthropy and business. As a University of Miami School of Business graduate (magna cum laude), who also earned a J.D. degree from the University of Miami’s School of Law, Malnik is used to multitasking. He is presently a candidate at the Miami Business School (UM) for the Global Executive MBA degree. He greatly supports his alma mater, and judges their annual “Law Without Walls Competition,” as well as sits on University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine’s Executive Advisory Board of the Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Department. He is also a regular speaker at Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality.
In his personal time, Malnik is an adventurer, he has run with the Bulls in Pamplona, ice climbed in the Cascades, as a tech diver he has cave dived to depths below 500 ft., he is a Black-Belt in Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, an avid snow skier, former car racer and off-shore boat racer and overall fitness fanatic training six to seven days per week.
Malnik resides in Coconut Grove with his beloved wife, children and assorted pets.