Children First

For Chris Molho, GM of Village Of Merrick Park, working with all kinds of people from all parts of the world in the various facets of the business world and community to benefit local kids is not just a passion, it’s a way of life.
Text by Cristina Zuazua | June 8, 2018 | People

Building communities is what Chris Molho does best. As the GM of Village Of Merrick Park, Molho heads a team of professionals that handle leasing, legal tasks, marketing, security, housekeeping and a variety of other operations that keep the venue running smoothly. “I was fortunate to get into this line of work shortly after college,” he says. “I was always afraid to end up in a monotonous job, doing the same things over and over every day.” Luckily, he had a family member who was in mall management, so he was able to take a look behind the scenes to see what happens in the industry. “Things are always changing, and I find this line of work to be exciting and challenging,” he says.
Once Molho perfected his management skills, he turned his attention to promoting charity events and bringing the community together at the mall as a way of giving back. Today, most of the charity events he organizes help and support children, and earlier this year, the mall held an event called “In The Now” which partnered with St. Jude Children’s Hospital. “One of the patients attending the event was able to experience the red carpet, be photographed and walk the runway with Actor, Author & Photographer Nigel Barker,” Molho remembers. “The smile on her face was such a lovely sight, and being able to give her time to enjoy a night where she could simply relax and forget her troubles is an experience without parallel.” Recently, Village Of Merrick hosted Fashionably Conscious, a fashion fundraising sale benefitting Coconut Grove Cares’ The Barnyard Community Center for the 2nd year. The event raised more than $115,000 to provide vital services to children and families in the West Grove community free of charge.
Molho’s own heroes, he says, are his paternal grandparents, who survived The Holocaust and ultimately immigrated to America from Germany, and his maternal grandparents, who left their home country of Cuba to start new lives in America. “I’m still in awe of what they were able to accomplish,” he says, adding that seeing people’s response to his efforts has come to be its own kind of inspiration as well. It taught him to push himself to contribute more, and to think proactively about what could be done in his own space to help not just sales at the mall, but those who are struggling on a more basic level. “It really changed the way I think,” he says. “And when you see people growing as a community together in such a positive way and you had a hand in it…there’s really nothing more you can ask for.”