|Tina Vidal Smith
Honors College graduate and Torch Award winner, Tina Vidal Smith is currently VP of Business Development at Pacer Corporation, a company that acquires and turns around financially distressed businesses in several industries. Vidal oversees the evaluation of mergers and acquisitions and executes integration strategies for facilities acquired by Pacer Corporation.
Vidal previously served as Pacer’s Director of Corporate Operations. In this role, she increased revenue from less than $100,000 to approximately $30 million, generated leads for company acquisitions, developed marketing initiatives, and oversaw the initial rebuild effort of South Cameron Memorial Hospital after the facility was destroyed by Hurricane Rita in September 2005, a construction project totaling approximately $25 million.
Jonathan started his career in the financial services industry in 2006, a year before graduating from FIU’s Honors College. Within a couple years, he worked as an associate in a group at Morgan Keegan that managed over $800 million in assets. While there, he spent much of his time buying and selling stocks, bonds, and options for clients, working with fixed income and equity traders, and servicing existing investment portfolios. By the end of 2011, he went on to build his own advisory practice alongside Glenn Downing, CFP®. His previous experience centered primarily on investments, and has since expanded to include insurance as part of an overall financial planning approach. To better serve his clients, Jonathan went on to earn his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in 2013.
Leonor Anthony is a Neo-Expressionist artist born in Havana, Cuba. Leonor immigrated with her family to the United States as a very young child. Today, she resides and works in Miami, Florida. Her preferred mediums are oil on canvas, charcoal drawings, digital art and mixed media. Leonor’s work is collected and exhibited internationally. It has been showcased in Asia, Korea, and all throughout Europe and the United States. Her work is part of the Florida International University’s permanent collection exhibited at the Honors College and the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. Leonor was given the prestigious title of Artist in Residence of the Florida International University’s Honors College.
|J.C. de Ona
J.C. de Ona is Senior Vice President at Stonegate Bank, where he focuses on Private Banking and Wealth Management of high net worth clientele. His clients include wealthy entrepreneurs and their businesses, professionals, athletes, and entertainers. J.C. has been a banker is South Florida for 13 years where he has received many awards for consistently being a top performer. In those years he has worked in many banking capacities including branch sales, branch and regional operations, bank management, commercial banking, private banking, and wealth management. J.C. received his Bachelor’s degree in Finance and a MBA from FIU. He also holds a series 7 (registered investment representative) and 66 license (registered investment advisor and state law) as well as a 2-15 (life, health and variable annuities). J.C. is a Miami native and well-known throughout the community.
|Garth N. Graham
Garth Graham, MD, MPH, is president of the Aetna Foundation. In his role, Dr. Graham is responsible for the Foundation’s philanthropic work, including its grant-making strategies to improve the health of people from underserved communities and increase their access to high-quality health care. A national authority on health disparities and health care quality, Dr. Graham is a frequent spokesperson for the Foundation on health care and health equity issues. Dr. Graham holds a medical degree from Yale School of Medicine, a master’s in public health from Yale School of Public Health and a bachelor of science in biology from Florida International University’s Honors College in Miami. He completed clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Johns Hopkins. He is board certified in both internal medicine and cardiovascular disease.
|Ruth D. Jimenez
Ruth Jimenez is currently the Senior Vice President and Cluster Manager of U.S. Century Bank in the Brickell market, a locally owned and operated community bank having 23 office locations throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties. She completed her bachelor’s in Sociology and Anthropology from FIU. Ruth worked her way from her initial role as a teller to her current designation. She is highly recognized for her knowledge, expertise, community involvement and professional excellence. Being an FIU Alumna, Ruth has played an important role in initiating the scholarships extended by U.S. Century Bank to FIU. In addition, she has been a Big Sister for the BBBS organization for over five years.
Alex Mantecon is the owner and manager of MV Real Estate Holdings. He graduated summa cum laude in 2000 from FIU’s School of Business Administration with degrees in Finance and International Business. Afterward, Mantecon worked his way up the corporate ladder to become the vice president of a multi-national hedge fund with offices in Boca Raton, Hong Kong, Switzerland and Toronto. He was involved in day-to-day operations, generated business, and managed the real estate portfolio of the fund. This experience prepared him for the establishment of MV Real Estate Holdings, a real estate investment company that focuses on the acquisition turnaround and management of distressed real estate assets.
Heidi Marcelo-Calero is an attorney in Miami, FL with 10 years of experience in Family Law. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government from Florida International University and graduated cum laude through the Honors College. She went on to receive her Master’s and J.D. degrees from Duke University. She is currently a partner at Marcelo Robaina Law Group in Miami.
Ralph Rios serves as the Vice President of Professional Services at West Kendall Baptist Hospital. In this role he leads such varied clinical ancillary services as laboratory, pharmacy, nutrition services, rehabilitation, & the medical hospitalist program. In 2000 he graduated from Florida International University with a Master's degree in Health Services Administration. Ralph is on the board of South Miami Children's Clinic, which serves needy kids in the City of South Miami. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and served as Adjunct Instructor in Florida International University's Health Services Administration program from 2001-2008.
|Raul F. Rodriguez
Raul F. Rodriguez was born in Miami and is a graduate of Belen Jesuit Preparatory School. He attended the Real Colegio Universitario Escorial Maria Cristina in Madrid and Florida International University. A successful businessman and community leader, Raul has a varied set of business interests. He is the founder and president of Agua Dulce investments, LLC, a private investment and family wealth management company; chairman and vice president of NAS Homes, an importer and exporter of home products, with offices in China and Mexico; and founder, chairman and president of Luar Entertainment.
Carlos is a senior tax manager in Miami, Florida with fifteen years’ experience in federal income, gift, and estate taxation. He has served clients in the private and public industries, advising them in the areas of ataxable acquisitions and tax-free reorganizations, international taxation, IRS litigation, and the realted tax compliance. Carlos has conducted estate planning for high net worth individuals and has represented personal representatives, trustees, and beneficiaries within the State of Florida.
|Candice Gidney (Advisor to the CAB)
Candice Gidney is an attorney at law, practicing in the areas of corporate and entertainment law with a focus on corporate structure and governance, contracts, mergers and acquisitions, and business counseling. Candice also has experience in the areas of commercial law, media law and intellectual property law. She formerly served as Director of Business and Legal Affairs for The Weinstein Company and as legal counsel for Sony Music Entertainment, Inc., Sony Pictures TV and Warner Brothers counseling in all aspects of domestic and international distribution and licensing, acquisitions and sales, co-production, talent, artist, label and consulting arrangements.