“Experience and travel – these are as education in themselves” taught Euripides, the Greek playwright. This doctrine is fundamental to Rosana Santos’ success.
Santos’ drive to become a successful entrepreneur began as a young girl. A Brazilian native raised in the metropolis of Sao Paulo, she obtained her degree in Family Law at PUC-SP. Believing in education beyond the classroom, she traveled, residing in Cali, Colombia and Angola, Africa. In 1991, Santos moved to Florida. Ultimately, her understanding of different cultures enhanced her knowledge of international business and fed her appreciation of world cuisine.
Inspired by her mother’s accomplishments as an award-winning chef and published cookbook author and her father’s successful attitude and leadership; Santos decided to combine her business expertise and food interest with Calambichis, her partner, restaurant and people experience; leading to the acquisition of BigChef in November 2003. By 2004, she obtained an MBA in Global Business Management at UOP in Fort Lauderdale.
“With vision you can succeed in anything you do,” explains Santos with regard to her success.
“If you have natural talent the journey is easier, but if you don’t, you acquire it along the way and are much better for it.”
Santos firmly believes in integrating with the community. The outgoing entrepreneur has taken on leadership roles in numerous organizations of distinction as well as sponsored several events. Rosana is the 2010 President-elect of Women in Ecommerce; she was selected for the First Pathway to Prosperity in the Americas in Washington, DC one of four Americans among women’s entrepreneurs from 14 countries. She honored by the Entrepreneur Council as a Broward Alliance 2009 Economic Development Leadership Award Recipient for her leadership role in touting Women and Minority Businesses throughout South Florida. Santos was a finalist for the South Florida Minority Women Business Owner of the Year 2007 – NAWBO; she has been distinguished with the “Volunteer of the Year 2005-2006 Award” for the Broward Alliance and “Entrepreneur of the Year -2002” by the Women’s Council of the “Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce”.
Santos’ passion for dining extends beyond work to her personal life, making entertaining guests a favorite past time. In addition to creating tasty treats with her son, Philipe Carvalho, and her husband and partner, Mano Calambichis, she continues to travel, enjoys golf and strolling along the beach.