Dexter A. Bridgeman
(BA, Political Science, ’85)
Q & A:
- What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
My favorite class was actually not related to my major; it was a business communication class with Professor Hoffman. I somehow knew that what I learned from this class would help me every day going forward in my personal and business life, and it has. My favorite professor was Dr. Harper, then chairman of the Political Science Department. He was a very deep-thinking man that had a real interest in his students. My fondest memory of Hofstra is making lifetime friends. I still to this very day have relationships with many of the people that I went to college with.
- What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing learned in that position?
My first real job was as an analyst with Prince George's County (Maryland) government. That's when I learned how valuable a college education was. Hofstra taught me how to think; I was able to put many of the skills that I learned in my business communication class to good use.
- What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
I have been in the media industry for over 25 years. Many years ago, I met entrepreneur Earl Graves, who recently passed. He was an early mentor for me in this industry. Upon my introduction to him, I was immediately impressed by him and what he was accomplishing in the world of magazine publishing. I made up my mind at that time that that's what I wanted to do professionally, and I haven’t looked back since.
- What advice would you give Hofstra students?
Life is about experiences; learn from them. If and when you are knocked down, always get up. It does not matter how many times you are knocked off your feet. What is important is to always get up and keep fighting.
- In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
- What motivated you to establish MIA Media Group LLC?
Upon my relocation to South Florida from the New York area back in 2004, I realized that I was too young to retire. As they say, “necessity is the mother of invention.” I recognized that there was a need for a publication targeting the Black business community in South Florida, so I started my company, MIA Media Group, and created publications targeting that audience. I now have three publications along with an exceptional digital platform that I am very proud of.
- What role does the Florida community play in your work?
My publications, which highlight the achievements of the Black community, are the most read and circulated in the state of Florida and one of the largest in the country.
- What is the single most rewarding/exciting experience in your career thus far?
People that know me well will tell you that I am a self-deprecating individual. I have received many awards and have many accomplishments. However, what truly makes me happy is editorializing the success and achievements of the Black South Florida community and giving people their roses while they are still breathing.
- What is something you would like to tell your readers?
Without getting political, I would tell my readers that we must return to a time of civility. If you have an opinion that differs from mine, let's communicate and talk it out. In the end, we may not reach an agreement, but we can discuss the topic(s) like gentlemen and shake hands, pat each other on the back and depart as friends.
- How has your degree from Hofstra helped you?
It's amazing how much respect my Hofstra degree gets. In the business world, the response I have always received from people is that Hofstra is a great school: You must be smart guy, and I always wink at them and say, "I guess so.”
Dexter A. Bridgeman is the CEO and founder of MIA Media Group LLC, one of the nation’s largest Black media publishers. Established in 2004, his company has more than one million readers bimonthly and publishes Legacy Miami, Legacy South Florida, and MIA magazines.
Legacy Miami and Legacy South Florida are business and news publications serving South Florida’s Black community with insightful articles and information about business, careers, politics, education, culture, and social commentary. MIA Magazine is a luxury, lifestyle, and entertainment publication serving South Florida’s Black community. It is the official publication of Jazz in the Gardens, the American Black Film Festival, the Greater Miami Conventions and Visitors Bureau Art of Black/Art Basel, and the Miami Book Festival. The publications are distributed as an insert through the Miami Herald and the Sun-Sentinel newspapers. MIA Media Group also has a robust digital presence with an informative website, three weekly newsletters, and two weekly video shows. In August 2021, MIA MEDIA GROUP LLC was recognized as a first-place winner during the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Florida Pro Chapter’s 2021 Sunshine State Awards for the “Surviving COVID-19” issues in Legacy Miami and Legacy South Florida. This is the highest award in the category of best trade or special interest publication. Legacy leaders accepted the award during SPJ’s virtual event on August 7, 2021. SPJ is a national organization dedicated to the perpetuation of a free press as the cornerstone of our nation and our liberty.
Bridgeman has served on a variety of civic boards and has been the recipient of numerous awards. Most recently, he was a 2020 Miami-Dade County Black Affairs Advisory Board Black History Month “Triumphant Spirits” honoree and recipient of the 2019 Dexter Foster Small Business of the Year Award presented by the Miami Dade Chamber of Commerce and the 2018 NAACP Miami-Dade Branch Media & Communications Award.
Bridgeman, a native of New York City, resides in Coral Springs, Florida, with his wife, Michelle. He is a graduate of Hofstra University and is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. He is fond of cultural arts and is an avid collector of African/Black art. Bridgeman is also a foodie and considers himself a bit of a chef. He enjoys preparing a variety of culinary delights for friends and family.