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Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)Class of 2024

Cohort 4.4

Jose Acacio-Laurens José Acacio-Laurens
Associate Professor | Universidad Iberoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología
José Acacio-Laurens is an Associate Professor at Universidad Iberoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología in Nicaragua, where he teaches Business Strategy, Marketing, and Human Resources graduate courses. In addition, he has vast consultancy experience focusing on small and medium-sized firms, Not-Profit Organizations, and government institutions in Latin America. He is considered an expert in Microfinance and Governance due to his ties with GIF Project, an international initiative sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank. He also serves as a Board Member, Organizational Coach, Visiting Professor, and Speaker in Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, and Chile. Recently, José founded Emprendete.site, an online community that offers advice and support to entrepreneurs in the Latin American region. Prior to this, he worked as a CEO, Marketing Director, and HR Manager in the IT and construction materials industries. José has a Master of Business Administration from INCAE Business School, a Master’s in Human Resources, and a Specialization in Project Management from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello.
Joseph G. Archer Joseph G. Archer
Principal, Strategic Workforce Planning Senior Lead | Leidos
Joe is a global executive consultant with 20-years of experience leading strategic initiatives for clients in the commercial and federal market sectors. He has led organizational transformation efforts across multiple capability areas, including Human Capital, Hospitality, Finance, Software, Cloud, and Cybersecurity. Joe helps his clients by designing and implementing innovative business and IT solutions that deliver desired outcomes and quantifiable results. He currently directs the strategic workforce planning discipline at Leidos to foster a forward-thinking culture by identifying, prioritizing, and implementing business-focused talent management strategies that improve the internal capacity and deployment readiness of critical enterprise roles. He previously led the global financial systems and architecture modernization efforts at Hilton Worldwide that systematically reduced processing times during month-end close by 65% for more than 1,000 hotels across 90 countries in Europe, Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. Joe is a PMI certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Prosci ADKAR certified Change Management Expert, ITIL v3 Expert, AWS Cloud Practitioner, Certified Scrum Master (CSM), HCI Global Human Capital Strategist (GHCS), Certified Workforce Planning Associate, and an IIN Certified Executive Coach. Joe received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Business Administration degrees from Western Governors University.
Alicia Berrios Alicia Berrios
Executive Assistant
Alicia Berrios, Executive Assistant to Chief Executive Officer at On Lok, supports to oversee a family of non-profit organizations that has served vulnerable seniors for 50 years. She joined On Lok in 2016 and served in a variety of executive projects, including supporting organizational health seminars for leaders and supporting the growth and expansion of On Lok PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly). On Lok created the prototype for the PACE model of care and currently cares for over 1,700 frail seniors in the San Francisco Bay Area. Alicia migrated to the United States at the age of 9 years old and has relentlessly worked hard and studied to achieve her educational goals. She is quadrilingual, speaks and writes, English, Spanish, Portuguese and French. She has managed law firms, non-profits and currently runs her own business; Berri International. Alicia holds a Master of Business Administration from Florida International University and Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from Florida State University. Alicia lives in San Francisco. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, humanitarian projects, poetry, learning languages, dancing, hiking, reading, swimming, cooking, photography, and spending quality time with her family and friends.
Robert A. Bertulli Robert A. Bertulli
Deputy Chief, Manager of EMS Operations | Lee County Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Medical Services
Robert Bertulli is an experienced public administrator with over 17 years working in local government and emergency medical services. Robert currently serves as the Deputy Chief in charge of operations for Lee County Emergency Medical Services. In his current role, Robert is responsible for managing and coordinating emergency medical response in Lee County for over 800,000 residents. In addition to being a paramedic and a certified public manager, Robert holds an MBA from Barry University and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida SouthWestern State College with his Bachelor’s degree in Public Safety Administration.
Angel Cobb Angel Cobb
Civil Engineer II | Project Manager
Angel is currently working in the Programming and Project Delivery Division in the Street Transportation Department for the City of Phoenix. She is responsible for managing projects with varying degrees of complexities. Angel has over 18+ years of experience working as an Associate Engineer, Civil Engineer II, Program Manager Specialist, and Project Manager within different municipalities. Angel earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Tennessee State University and a Masters in Business Administration in Information Technology from the University of Phoenix. Angel also mentors young engineers to inspire, encourage, and pass on tools for leadership and advancement.
Patrick Colbert Patrick Colbert
Strategy and Transformation Engagement Leader | Tata Consultancy Services
Patrick is an enthusiastic business development and customer engagement leader with more than 18 years of customer experience consulting (TCS, Hitachi) and corporate marketing (Disney, Hard Rock, Bonnier) experience in life sciences, health care, financial services, consumer packaged goods, retail, entertainment, software, manufacturing, and professional service firms in fast-paced, highly collaborative environments. He leads large purpose-driven transformation + agile delivery programs for clients, often beginning the process with no more than a few high-level objectives. He helps clients create and execute digital roadmaps to address customer experience, go-to-market, and economic challenges.
Greg Desrosiers Greg Desrosiers
Co-Founder & Vice President | Smart Grid Ventures, LLC
In search of the American Dream, a recently graduated University of Manitoba Geological Engineer ventured out to the oilfields of Oklahoma’s panhandle. Thus began the career of Greg Desrosiers, a travelling man, nearly a quarter century ago. Early exposure to industry leading technology implementations fueled his desire to formulate, implement, and enable technological business disruptions and advancements while simultaneously feeding his intrinsic and engrained nature to solve problems. Be it wireless e911 mandates post the 9/11 tragedy, the 1st ever business-class Voice Over IP service offering, evolution of the utility industries from electro-mechanical measurement devices to solid state ‘smart’ endpoints, or uncovering predictive insights from petabytes of data in milliseconds, Greg is engaged with, and works to understand, the underlying technology and the problems they solve coupled with the business values they bring. In 2009 Greg received his Master of Business Administration, with honors, from Drexel University, was invited and accepted lifetime membership into the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor society, and has a Certificate in Corporate Leadership and Strategy from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, as the Co-Founder and Managing Member of Smart Grid Ventures, LLC, Greg supports clients through consulting assignments and oversees the operation and day-to-day management of Smart Grid Ventures - a growing consulting and analytics business. Greg now strives to transform himself from business practitioner to engaged practitioner-scholar through Florida International University’s Doctor of Business Administration program. While he had no idea the journey would culminate in allowing him to help his employees, mentees, and clients achieve tangible results with meaningful business value, he’s held fast that through understanding, listening, good old-fashioned hard work, and by following a moral compass success ensues. Greg enjoys solving complex business problems and has fun while doing it! He is happiest, however, spending quality time with his wife, their two lovely daughters, and their two rescue dogs.
Christina Hidalgo Christina Hidalgo
Senior Commercial Escrow Officer
Labeled in high school as an “at risk student” who would “most likely never see a graduation stage,” Christina Hidalgo is an inspiration to all the underdogs. Professionally, Christina has worked for several well-known organizations in the South Florida community. She has mostly served in numerous financial officer roles over the years for both the private and public sector.
Stacy Howell-Pereira Stacy Howell-Pereira
Senior Director | Foreside Financial Group, LLC
Stacy Howell-Pereira is a Senior Compliance Consultant at Foreside Financial Group, LLC, the nation’s leading regulatory compliance consulting firm to regulated financial services institutions. She provides strategic and regulatory guidance to investment advisory firms under the Advisers Act of 1940 and state securities laws. She also assists investment advisers of diverse complexities with regulatory examinations, annual compliance reviews, mock examinations, firm and individual registrations, written policies and procedures, federal and state regulatory rule interpretations, and risk assessments. Stacy supports firms in the development and execution of effective compliance programs and assists in solving complex regulatory issues. Stacy holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of London, a Bachelor of Business Administration from Baruch College and a Master of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University.
Eijiro Kawada Eijiro Kawada
Portfolio Senior Manager | Strategy & Deployment
As Senior Manager Strategy and Portfolio, Eijiro Kawada currently acts as the chief of staff for the Supply Chain Leadership Team at Johnson & Johnson Vision, and leads strategic and financial planning processes to achieve business goals and objectives for the $4 billion market leader in contact lens manufacturing. With extensive experience in supply chain strategy, new product commercialization, and program/portfolio management, Eijiro operates at the intersection of strategy and execution by helping the leadership team shape long-term strategies while coordinating with functional leaders to deliver short-term results. Eijiro is a native of Japan with master’s degrees in three disciplines and holds a unique blend of experience both in marketing and supply chain in a highly regulated and competitive health care industry.
Anthony Kirchner Anthony Kirchner
Wound Care Consultant | Manager
Anthony Kirchner is a motivated, hard working, successful medical distributor with goals and aspirations larger than life. He successfully completed his BA and MBA with FIU and achieved a 3.98 in his MBA studies. Since Graduating with his MBA, he has been a part of many very successful start-up medical device companies with a proven track record. He created, Generation X Technologies a distributor for top medical device companies; MTF Bioloigcs, Hintermann TAR, Florida Endovascular Services and Tenex; We have a simple mission statement; do what is best for the patient. As a leader in medical sales, Anthony has walked across the stage garnering multiple AWARDS as Rookie of the Year and distributor of the Year with multiple companies. He has also tremendous success with becoming the first company to launch a new medical device in the United States, bringing a new total ankle replacement to the US with the second most studied orthopedic surgeon, Dr Beat Hintermann. Anthony is also an owner of a medicare clinic here in Hialeah, Nieves Medical Center. In addition to his strong work ethic he is a family man raising three beautiful children with his beautiful wife, Paula Kirchner. They have been married for over 10 years and manage both the kids and business together.
Chabela McFashion Chabela McFashion
Entrepreneur
Chabela started her own jewelry company in 2018. Prior to taking the leap of faith into entrepreneurship, she was the senior accounting associate at ExED. Prior to that, Chabela was an accounting consultant for Robert Half International. During her tenure at Robert Half international, she worked with over 20 fortune 500 companies and created and analyzed financial statements; processed payroll for client schools; managed payroll deductions, and retirement system eligibility determination; and assisted with budget forecasting. Chabela graduated from Clark Atlanta University back in 2007. She studied for her master’s in accounting at CAU. Currently, Chabela lives alone in Los Angeles, CA. When she is not busy running her business, or working as an accounting consultant, you can find her traveling, enjoying the fruits of her labor.
Alexandre Prati Alexandre Prati
School Principal
Alexandre grew up in a business environment. His family is the founder of Group Prati-Donaduzzi, which is one of the largest companies in the Brazilian pharmaceutical industry. After college, he worked as a business consultant for local companies. Then, he became the supply chain manager of Group Prati. During this period, he led important changes within the company, considerably improving all performance indicators in the department. He also personally audited over 40 companies abroad, mainly in India, and some European countries, such as Italy, Spain, Netherlands and Germany. Alexandre is also co-founder of three companies: Vizeme Cosmeticos (cosmetic), Harbor Bilingual School (Pre, Elementary & Middle Schools) and Prati Empreendimentos (construction & real estate). He worked eight years as sales director at Vizeme and two years as Principal at Harbor School. He volunteered as a mentor in a start-up program at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná – PUC, which is a well-recognized university in Brazil. Alexandre earned his Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Maringá, Brazil and his Master of Business Administration from University of Pittsburgh, USA. He is married and has three sons.
Elizabeth Ramaya Elizabeth Ramaya
Global Analytics | AI GTM Leader
Elizabeth Ramaya Hincapie is the Global Analytics and AI GTM Leader within Microsoft’s Commercial Partner group. With over 15 years’ experience in the tech industry across the US and worldwide, she is building the path for Microsoft’s global acceleration of its Analytics and AI strategic partnerships with global services integrators. As the GTM Lead, she is responsible for designing the market strategy, campaign planning, pipeline acceleration programs and programmatic execution for the Data & AI solution area. She is also responsible for accelerating the co-selling partnership which enables partners to drive joint sales pursuits, revenue and ultimately customer success. Prior to this role, she led several initiatives in commercial windows device business, partnering with OEMs and channel partners to drive new customer experiences, business and growth opportunities within the SMB segment. Elizabeth holds a master’s degree in Health Services Administration and Executive Leadership from Barry University. Elizabeth, her husband Edwin and her 2 children reside in Miami, Florida. Elizabeth is passionate for architecture, interior design, traveling and spending quality time with her kids. She is a passionate advocate for women and girls in STEM and the cloud.
Harley Rockhill III Harley Rockhill III
Head of Enterprise Analytics/ BI
Harley is a business analytics professional and United States Marine Corps Veteran with over 10 years of proven experience in the sports, hospitality, and entertainment industries. After honorably serving in the Marine Corps he traveled the world as a professional Circus Performer and Instructor with the international resort company Club Med before eventually returning to Florida State University to complete his Masters in Business Administration. He began his Revenue Management and Business Intelligence career with Caesars Entertainment Corporation in Las Vegas, NV where he optimized pricing and inventory management strategy for several Las Vegas Strip casinos. He was then brought on as the Director of Ticketing Analytics for Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment where his team was responsible for the ticketing strategy for the Brooklyn Nets, New York Liberty, and Barclays Center concerts and events. Currently, he serves as the Head of Enterprise Analytics and Business Intelligence for Resorts World Las Vegas. Additionally, he acts as an advisory board member and an Adjunct Professor for Temple University's Masters in Sports Business analytics concentration where he teaches the capstone course 'Professional Portfolio in Sports Analytics'.
Negar Sangtarash Negar Sangtarash
Senior Commercial & Marketing Manager
Negar is a graduate student of Master of Business Administration and Master of Finance from Hochschule Bremen in Germany and University of North Carolina at Wilmington with more than 10 years work experience as a Business Consultant, Business Developer, Financial Advisor and Entrepreneur in Germany. Skilled in communication, sales and marketing, financial analysis and strategic planning with passion for investment in real estate market and strategic business consultancy.
Jamie Sellers Jamie Sellers
Founder & CEO- Holsell Real Estate Group, LLC
Jamie Sellers is the Founder and CEO of Holsell Real Estate Group, LLC which includes holsell.com, holsell.auction, and Holsell Capital. He is also on the advisory board of Archon Investments, Mid Atlantic Advisory Group, LLC, and Brickell Park Capital, LLC. Prior to starting his own company, he worked in the financial services industry since 1997 for such firms as Bluerock Capital, Inland Real Estate, and Terra Capital Partners. For the first 7 years of his career, he worked in the commercial banking sector with firms like Wachovia Bank and TD Waterhouse. Over his career, Mr. Sellers has raised over $750 million dollars for private/public equity real estate funds, REITs, BDCs, and private Reg D’s. He has traditionally worked with institutional & family office clients along with accredited investors within the independent broker-dealer community. He has a Master of Science Degree in International Real Estate from Florida International University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from the University of Georgia. He also has a Florida Real Estate license (#SL3384306), Florida Auctioneer license (FL#3913), and a FINRA securities license Series 7, 63, and 65. His hobbies include sailing, tennis, golf, and reading.
Sherrard Spiers Sherrard Spiers
Consultant | Adjunct Lecturer | Sales Executive
He is an is an accomplished sales strategist with more than 25 years of experience in sales, sales management, sales strategy, customer service, marketing, training, and sales leadership development both in the United States and the Caribbean. He is a seasoned executive and entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in international sales, marketing, distribution, logistics and management of premium flagship consumer products and durables. His professional career began his career in Sales and Marketing in 1985, when he started working for The Home Depot. He has more than 25 years of in the sales, marketing and management discipline and helps people and students to understand the meaning of sales management and marketing management. He has been part of several large organizations including Federal Express, The Ansa McAl Group of Companies and Kimberly Clark Corporation in the Caribbean and at Jet Ready and Journey Aviation in the United States. He serves as an Adjunct Professor at both Florida Atlantic University in the College of Business Sales Management Program in Boca Raton, Florida and The University of The West Indies’ Department of Social Sciences, St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago. He earned his MBA and a Master’s in Philosophy in Management Studies from The University of The West Indies. He is active in several professional organizations, including The National Business Aviation Association and the Business Aviation Association.
Melody Thelwell Melody Thelwell
Director of Procurement | Chief Procurement Officer
Melody Thelwell is a collaborative leader with over twenty (20) years in governmental and private procurement experience. As a member of your team, she is focused on the following business drivers as a procurement professional: Designer of end-to-end procurement solutions, working within the confirms of local/state/federal rules and regulations; Able to pivot to accommodate required needs of internal/external, including community stakeholders; Data driven to review past hurdles and to drive new initiatives, such as managing multi-million dollar procurement spend like a financial portfolio; Innovation-lead and goals driven, always seeking to provide the ultimate customer service experience to internal/external stakeholders (How to transform government procurement services to a high-performing fast food drive thru); Motivator of team members to seek additional training and/or procurement certification opportunities; and Supplier development with a keen focus in diversity, equity and inclusion. Melody continues to enhance her education by recently being accepted into Florida International University's Doctorate of Business Administration's Fall 2021 program. With her experience, focus on specific business drivers and her education, she continues to demonstrate transformative leadership in a governmental procurement world, keeping the focus on compliance but driving customer service like a high-performing fast food drive-thru.
Michele Viso Michele Viso
Senior CRC & Services Manager | Cartier South America
Michele is an accomplished Operations and Client Services professional with proven leadership skills, who is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and English. After spending over a decade in the luxury industry, holding positions in sales, marketing operations, and e-commerce operations, Michele knows what truly drives an efficient operation, focusing on the bottom line. In her current position, she manages a network of 26 decentralized jewelry & watches repair centers, in 16 different countries in South America and the Caribbean, monitoring for quality and ensuring Maison Cartier standards are applied while delivering world-class customer experience. Michele also fostered and promoted the growth of the after-sales business in the network by analyzing client traffic and deploying marketing activations. She is an avid researcher with an insatiable knack for analyzing and gathering information on how to improve processes. Michele received both her Master of Business Administration degree, specializing in Marketing, and her undergraduate degree in Marketing, from Nova Southeastern University.
Courtney White Courtney White
Business Specialist
Courtney White is an experienced business professional within the retail market. He started his journey with Verizon Wireless in 2010 as a member of the retail leadership development program. After completion of this rigorous program, he progressed into a management position within the company. Courtney was very successful in this role, using the skills he attained during his program to develop a high performing team. He remained in retail management for a total of 8 years before he progressed to his current role as business specialist within the company. As a business specialist, Courtney supports multiple stores and is in charge of coaching and development.
Benjamin Womick Benjamin Womick
Operations Manager
Benjamin Womick is an accomplished, results-driven operations and project professional with extensive experience leading strategic planning, organization, schedules, and systems on process and project operations. He is currently a planning consultant for GE Renewables’ On-shore Wind Turbine programs. His background is in supporting capital programs and implementing lean manufacturing and continuous improvement initiatives to promote sales and profit objectives. He prides himself in driving productivity, innovation, and growth while reducing costs and risks to meet evolving business demands and has been recognized by senior executives and customers in multiple industries for enforcing best practices, creating internal controls, and establishing high-performing teams to drive innovation within complex environments. His areas of expertise include project/program management, change management, FinTech, and management accounting.

Cohort 4.5

Alejandro (Alex) Ayala Alejandro (Alex) Ayala
Senior Financial Analyst
Alejandro (Alex) Ayala is a seasoned finance and accounting professional within supported world class businesses such as Ernst and Young, Qualcomm, Lam Research, for financially supporting executive teams drive their annual operating plans and apply best practices, qualitative and quantitative research methods, and to network International University’s Doctoral Business Administration program. Alex holds Finance from Saint Mary’s College of California.
Ijeoma Odizuru-Abangwu Ijeoma Odizuru-Abangwu
Asset Integration Lead | Mars Corrider Assets
Ijeoma Odizuru-Abangwu is an Oil & Gas professional with 16 years’ experience strategy & planning, and operations management, across 3 continents. She holds Engineering from FUTO, Nigeria and a Masters in Energy Management from BI Norway, Asset Performance Lead for Shell’s leading assets in the Gulf of Mexico, the Mars the long-term strategy, development and production of those assets
Audrey Burke Audrey Burke
Customer Development and Innovation Lead I USPS
Audrey is a dynamic marketing professional specializing in customer research. Her research methodology allow her critical insight into both consumer needs and corporate has demonstrated strong analytical skills in her work with business leaders to improve of user experience and customer behavior. In well over a decade of marketing, she winning solutions and drive profitable outcomes through enhanced customer engagement. role in optimizing product development by evaluating new concepts and designs Additionally, her extensive experience in both management and consulting has set problem solving upon which she builds success for those she works with and mentors. University. When she’s not working, Audrey can be found enjoying the outdoors.
Kevin Brown Kevin Brown
Cloud Solutions Architect
Kevin D. Brown is an accomplished Technology Strategist, Advisor, Business Leader, and highly skilled Cloud Solutions Architect specializing in Modern Data Management and Digital Transformation advisement in driving the adoption of the Microsoft Intelligent Cloud ecosystem for his Enterprise, Startup and State and Local Government clients. He is a trusted advisor with over 20 years of consultative and pre/ post sales experience solving complex business problems and leading the adoption of Intelligent Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) solutions. Kevin currently serves as a Senior Client Technology Director for Microsoft where he is responsible for the Digital Transformation Strategy and Tactical execution for Texas based municipalities and government entities. He also serves as the lead Cloud Solutions Architect for the Research @ Microsoft Extreme Labs and Innovation Center in Las Colinas, Texas. He and his team work directly with Startups, Venture Capitalist, Local Higher Education Institutions and related Partners, Vendors, and Suppliers to build and fortify an ecosystem of resources for the North Texas Regional Startup Community. In past roles, Kevin served as a Senior Cloud Solutions Architect (CSA) focused exclusively on Data, AI & ML solutions development at Microsoft, Principal & Systems Product Manager at AT&T’s Big Data Center of Excellence, Associate Director of IT and Data Management at AIG, and Senior IT Consultant and Senior IT Architect for IBM. He began his career as a graduate of the Bank of America Management Associate Training Program, where he completed the 3-year program in 1.5 years. Kevin completed a fellowship with the Data Science For All (DS4A) program managed by Correlation One in August 2021. In addition to numerous certifications, Kevin also earned a Master of Business Administration in Corporate Finance and Investments from the University of Dallas, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting Information Systems from Georgia State University, and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Financial Management from Savannah State University.
Alex A. Djahankhah Alex A. Djahankhah
Communications Officer | U.S. Marine Corps
Results-driven Marine Corps Officer with twelve years of proven success in technical operations, management in information systems, leadership, and customer relationship management. Received BA in Mathematics, with minor in Statistics from Florida Gulf Coast University; dual MBA and MS in Information Systems Management from Arizona State University; and most recently a graduate certificate in Space Systems from the Naval Postgraduate School. Currently, Captain Djahankhah serves as the S6 Department Head for Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina supervising a department consisting of Marines, government civil service employees and contractors. In total, he has overseen and directly supervised over 150+ personnel and held multiple roles focused on leadership, communications network planning, policy, managing department budgets, and accounting for millions of dollars’ worth of radios, vehicles, and networking equipment. Deployed as the Air Cell Communications Officer for Special Purpose Marine-Air-Ground-Task- Force 17.2 controlling a military technical control facility in support of providing command and control (C2) for Marine forces at (18) locations across (7) countries in the Middle East from August 2017-April 2018.
Camille Edwards Camille Edwards
Program Manager
An accomplished Program Manager, Professional Developer, and Organizational Leader, Camille is driven by a passion to see positive growth. She has 30+ years of successfully leading planning and executing programs by mobilizing diverse work styles. She takes pride in providing supportive leadership for people and organizations to succeed. Currently Camille manages Broward County Public School's Global Learning program. She has successfully increased school and student participation in digital, international, academic programs.
Juan Finch Jr. Juan Finch Jr.
Management Consultant
Juan Finch Jr is a lifelong learner with a diverse educational background. He has an MBA, a BSAST in Nuclear Engineering, and an AS in Computer Science. He retired after 21 years in the Navy after leading, coaching, and mentoring future Navy leaders. He transferred his skills to helping companies revise their business strategies to increase their bottom line.
Elaine Hodge Elaine Hodge
Academic Advisor III
Elaine is a personable and focused higher education professional with over thirteen years of experience and four years teaching The First Year Experience course. She has a deep and genuine commitment to working directly with students and a desire to advance student learning, development, and student success in higher education. She has presented at several Regional/National Academic Advising conferences.

Elaine was born and raised in Aruba, a Dutch Caribbean island, and is fluent in Dutch, Spanish and Papiamento and conversational French. She earned her Master of International Business from Florida International University.
Racquel Robinson Jones Racquel Robinson Jones, PMP, CSM, CSPO
Technical Program Manager | VMware
Racquel is a project/program manager professional with more than 25 years of experience in the IT industry. She has developed an extensive background in business management, technology and continuous improvement resulting in frameworks and solutions for manufacturing, supply chain and software. Racquel is a former Systems Engineer from Electronic Data Systems (EDS), Process Flow Integration (PFI) Engineer and Engineering Manager from Intel Corporation. She has also held positions with Motorola, the City of Phoenix and Freescale Semiconductor. Racquel is a PMI-certified Project Management Professional (PMP), certified Scrum Master, certified SCRUM Product Owner and certified Objectives, Key Results (OKR) Coach. Racquel is active in her local community by mentoring young women to pursue and/or remain in STEM careers. Racquel earned a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). She received her Master of Science in Information Systems from the University of Phoenix. Racquel is also pursuing her Master of Science in Data Analytics from the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley.
Maria Lovera Maria Lovera
Marketing Executive & Consultant
Maria has over 20 years’ of marketing experience across the Consumer Goods and Retail industries, and has been successful in developing strategic plans, product and pricing strategies, packaging designs, spearheading innovation as well as developing and executing integrated marketing campaigns. She is a co-founder and partner of BlueShores Management Consulting, which focuses on helping small and medium sized businesses achieve their goals. Maria holds an MBA in Marketing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Science from New York University.
Paul Luzuriaga Paul Luzuriaga
Executive President | L&G Holdings
Paul Luzuriaga holds a Civil Engineering degree from Ecuador, a masters and a PhD candidacy in Environmental Engineering from the University of Calgary, Canada, along with more than 30 years of professional experience both as entrepreneur and corporate manager. Mr. Luzuriaga has experience in project management, forestry, soil recovery, waste management, renewal energy, biofuel research, and project development & financing. Currently leading the expansion of a holding from Ecuador to foreign markets. Mr. Luzuriaga is also a co-founder of the TeamUp Initiative to support and fund RD&D needs in SMEs.
Kimberly Mendelson Kimberly Mendelson
Chairman Board of Directors | Lehrman Community Day School
Kimberly is the Past Chairman of the Board of Lehrman Community Day school, the current Chairman of Development, and an executive committee and board member. She has raised nearly $3 million dollars to improve infrastructure and increase the school’s footprint. Kimberly has taught science and business for over 10 years. She has developed and implemented a science and business curriculum based on both the national and state standards in two elementary schools. She has a diverse background in product development and strategic sales development and served as the Vice President of Marketing at Federal Discount Centers (Fedco, Inc.) for 10 years. By creating, exporting and merchandising several private label products in 30 stores, she increased profit margins and allowed for further growth. She was also a buyer of national brand health and beauty care products for the stores. Kimberly’s passion for protecting South Florida’s water supply and developing science and business education for children has motivated her to serve as a board member on both the Everglades Foundation and the Frost Science Museum Board. She is active on various committees on those boards. Kimberly attended Tulane University and received her BSM, and University of Miami where she received her MBA.
Michelle Mullman Michelle Mullman
Entrepreneur I Financial Services Professional
Michelle earned her MBA at the University of Pittsburgh in 1998 at the Katz Graduate School of Business and then began her career working in NYC at Bear Stearns and Salomon Smith Barney. Her career began in Financial Reporting and Planning roles. She later joined American Express in 2003 and spent 8 years in various leadership roles with her later roles as Chief of Staff within the World Service organization and then moving into management of a portfolio of outsourced programs for the US Card business. Her roles in World Service lead her to an operations management role at a joint venture with American Express and that experience inspired her to pursue her own ideas which lead her to launch Harperslove, a website for customizable fine jewelry. While Harperslove is not her primary focus today, the experience gave her an opportunity to learn about e-Commerce and the world of start-ups. Through her experience, she has learned to navigate many angles of starting a business and she is looking to pursue opportunities in the start up ecosystem. Today, Michelle is a full time volunteer as a President of the PTO in her community which is similar to running a small startup. She is a busy parent of 2 children (ages 10 and 12) and a dog (age 1.5). Michelle has a Bachelor of Art in Italian with a minor in Spanish/Biology and her passions are travel, creating art, teaching Zumba, coaching and mentoring elementary school students in academic competitions (i.e. Odyssey of the Mind, First Lego League) and of course spending time with her family.
Wayne E. Rollins Wayne E. Rawlins
Executive Director
Wayne E. Rawlins, President of Ummah Futures International, is a strategic planning consultant who has assisted rural and urban communities nationwide in developing, implementing, and evaluating successful violence reduction strategies. Rawlins is currently the Project Manager for Miami-Dade County’s Anti-Violence Initiative, a four-year $7 million strategy, that includes “Group Violence Intervention” and the nationally acclaimed “Walking One Stop,” which has shifted the paradigm on how services are delivered to Miami-Dade’s most challenged neighborhoods by bringing a one stop victim services center to the doorstep of residents traumatized by gang and gun violence. Rawlins is also the Director of the South Florida Reentry Task Force. His works have been highlighted in national and international conferences and publications.
Jennifer Rodriguez-Diaz, CPA, EA Jennifer Rodriguez-Diaz, CPA, EA
Director of Finance University of Miami Health Systems
Jennifer is currently the Director of Finance for the University of Miami Hospital & Clinics Ambulatory Services. In her current role she is responsible for overseeing the systems 24 clinical departments' financials and managing the divisions state funding support. Over the years she has worked in a wide range of financial and accounting industries ranging from public accounting to fortune 500 companies in various capacities including CFO. Jennifer obtained both her Bachelors degree in Business and her Masters in Accounting from Nova Southeastern University. Jennifer is also a Certified Public Accountant for the state of Florida and an Enrolled Agent with the IRS.
Pedro Santos Pedro Santos
Chairperson for School Pathways | Miami Dade College
Pedro Santos works at Miami Dade College West Campus, and I served as the Chairperson for School Pathways, where I oversee multiples Academic Disciplines, such as The School of Business, The School of Technology (ENTEC), The School of Science, and The School of Criminal Justice. In my current job, I connect every piece of the campus for the benefit of the students, from finding a faculty for a specific class, or guiding a student to decide on their career, and also bringing what is happening in the world to the College. It happens that sometimes due to the ways the working environment was initially configured, many things stay in the past and they barely change over the years. One of the main goals in my career is to show everyone new and more efficient ways to work, caring about our Team, and making sure everyone feels valuable across the organization, respecting everyone's jobs, and making sure everyone knows the importance of their roles for our students and community. As an Academic Administrator, I’ve been talking to the Business Community and Public Officials, about how to adjust and grow our offerings thinking about the best for the City and the Community.
Dumakas Al Snipes Dumakas Al Snipes
Sr. Manager, Supply Chain | HD Supply
Al is currently Sr. Manager of Supply Chain Operations at HD Supply, an industry leading industrial distributor, where he leads labor management and process improvement for a national network of 40+ distribution centers. Al has over 10 years of experience in industry helping companies in retail, industrial goods, manufacturing, & pharma maximize their supply chain capabilities and leverage advances in supply chain technology. Prior to joining HD Supply, Al held roles of increasing responsibility in consulting helping lead organizations through complex supply chain transformations, and prior to that supported a large network of distribution centers at the Home Depot. Al holds both Bachelor and Master of Industrial & Systems Engineering degrees from Auburn University and a Master of Business Administration degree from IE Business School.
Geri Wolff Geri Wolff
President | Market Works International
Wolff specializes in business development helping clients develop their businesses to achieve greater profitability. She enjoys creating innovative programs that drive incremental revenue, helping prepare clients to raise capital funding, designing market strategy, authoring business and marketing plans, designing and conducts market research, creating and facilitating management and sales training, and taking companies to market. 
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