Mayor – Larisa Svechin

Mayor Svechin made history as the first woman mayor in Sunny Isles Beach, first duly elected Belorussian-born mayor in the US, and first Russian speaking mayor in the US.

As a Jewish immigrant from the former USSR, her family suffered greatly during Communism, WWI and WWII, losing family to famine, deportations to Siberia, and her grandfather and uncle dying in action. The mayor’s mother was born in a prison camp and her father hid from the Nazis together with his four siblings, while his two eldest brothers were at the front. During this time, her grandmother and great aunt risked their lives to bake and deliver matzo on Passover for the Soviet Jewish soldiers. Despite both grandmothers not being able to read or write, and one being left a widow, both of the mayor’s parents and all of their siblings managed to finish school.

In 1979 during the second wave of immigration from the Soviet Union, Mayor Svechin’s parents and sisters arrived on religious asylum to Miami Beach. Mayor Svechin grew up in what is now Sunny Isles Beach, attended Highland Oaks Junior High School and graduated from North Miami Beach Senior High School. Upon graduation she moved to New York City to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology, studying painting, drawing, and toy design. She went on to receive a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in philosophy and ethics from the New School University in NYC.

Upon graduation Mayor Svechin remained in New York City, first managing restaurants in Greenwich Village, and then deciding on a career in advertising. It was during this time that she quickly rose the ranks to become Senior Vice President Director of Print, managing over $300M in ad spending, of what is today one of the three leading global advertising companies. This is when she learned critical negotiating skills, budgeting million-dollar contracts, and mastering managing large staff across five offices in the US and Canada.

At the turn of the century, Mayor Svechin met her husband and started a family, settling in Tribeca, NYC. As her family grew and her parents in Sunny Isles Beach aged, the mayor and her husband decided to move back to Sunny Isles Beach permanently in 2009. With the birth of their fourth child, the mayor and her husband became increasingly more involved in the community. Mayor Svechin joined the boards of the Sunny Isles Beach PTSA, Friends of Oleta Park, Citizen’s Coalition for Public Education, Critical Supports for Holocaust Survivors, multiple state legislative committees, Human Trafficking Task Force, and EESAC, and also launched the Sunny Isles Beach Women’s Club. This was the beginning of her commitment to serve the city of Sunny Isles Beach.

Mayor Svechin is the vice president of YG Institute, a nonprofit think tank and legislative policy organization whose mission is to assist families, children, and those reentering society to be contributing members of society. This passion and dedication to serve led to the mayor earning a master’s degree from Harvard University in government extension studies in 2022, as well as a certificate from Harvard University in philosophy and ethics in 2020.

She was first elected as commissioner in 2016, then appointed vice mayor in 2018, and re-elected in 2020 before taking over as mayor in 2021 prior to the special election. Mayor Svechin was elected mayor in December 2022 and is overjoyed to work with the Commission. She is excited to complete her vision centered around listening, advocating, and executing for the residents, visitors, and friends of Sunny Isles Beach. Mayor Svechin has an open-door policy as she is dedicated to accessibility and transparency.