Honorary Board

Honorary Board

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Octavio Hernandez

Relationship Manager
Bank Leumi USA

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Octavio Hernandez

Relationship Manager
Bank Leumi USA

(786) 390-0838
octavio.hernandez@leumiusa.com

Octavio Hernandez

Octavio was born in Cuba and came to Miami at the age of 10 years old. He attended Miami Dade College and graduated from Florida International University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.

He began his banking career as a teller, while attending Florida International University, subsequently rising to be President/CEO of three local community banks in Miami. He was a founding member and served as Vice Chairman & President / CEO of US Century bank, (USCB) where he served for over ten years.

After leaving USCB he joined Absolut financial Resources as a Director. He recently joined Bank Leumi, USA as their CRE Relationship Manager for South Florida. Over the years he has been very involved with several charitable and non-profit organizations and was active with the SFHCC and other local chambers.

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Clara Diaz-Leal

Executive Vice President
BankUnited

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Clara Diaz-Leal

BankUnited
Executive Vice President
Retail Executive-Miami Dade Market

(305) 979-6928
CDiazLeal@Bankunited.com

Clara Diaz-Leal

Clara Diaz-Leal is the Retail Executive/ EVP for BankUnited’s Miami-Dade Market. With more than three decades of banking experience to this top position, as Market President, Ms. Diaz-Leal oversees all of Miami-Dade branch activities related to deposit and loan growth and leads the implementation of strategic and annual plans. Clara joined BankUnited in 2016 from SunTrust Bank in Miami, where she served as Senior Vice President and business banking team leader for 7 years. Other experience includes working for Wachovia Bank/Wells Fargo for 25 years in various leadership roles. Diaz Leal is active in the community, currently serving on the board of the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Women’s Society.

Diaz-Leal was born in Cuba, but moved to Miami Beach at the age of six. Clara currently lives in Surfside with her husband Steven. She has three daughters and five grandkids. Clara holds the rank of 3rd degree black belt in Taekwondo. In her free time Clara enjoys the beach, cooking and spending time her family.

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Dariel Fernandez

President & Founder
Ponemus Group

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Dariel Fernandez

President & Founder
Ponemus Group

(305) 501-4778
dariel@ponemus.com

Dariel Fernandez

Dariel Fernandez is a Cuban American business owner , investor, Talent Host, Producer, Reporter , author and philanthropist. He founded the Ponemus Inc a boutique technology Software Development firm with over 15 years of combined experience in the field of marketing and consulting businesses in technology.

Dariel expressed his desire to become an entrepreneur at a young age. Some of our innovations includes Adsione (a marketing platform) and Owletu (a platform that connects people around the world with marketing centralization).

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Zoraida Fernandez

Market Director
Chase Bank

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Zoraida Fernandez

Market Director
Chase Bank

(305) 579-9615
zoraida.fernandez@chase.com

Zoraida Fernandez

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Giselle Cushing

Market President for South Florida/Caribbean
Cigna

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Giselle Cushing

Market President for South Florida/Caribbean
Cigna

(305) 626-5203
Giselle.Cushing@cigna.com

Giselle Cushing

Giselle Cushing brings 27 years of experience in group insurance sales, account management and operations in the Health and Wellbeing industry. She is recognized as a thought leader who has proudly worked at Humana for 11 years. Giselle’s strategic focus and drive have contributed to her proven track record with strong market membership growth and financial performance. Her team ranked as the Top Commercial Office for Humana in 2018 and has qualified for the company’s President’s Council six consecutive years.

Giselle is passionate about improving the health and well-being of South Floridians and co-chairs the Broward County Bold Goal initiative, which aims to make the community 20% healthier by 2020 and beyond. She enjoys spending time with family and giving back to the community by volunteering and supporting area organizations dedicated to helping underprivileged families from diverse backgrounds in the tri-county area.

A long-time leader in the South Florida community, Giselle currently serves on the Board of Directors for Hispanic Unity of Florida, the Urban League of Broward County and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

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Maria Diaz Kremer

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Maria Diaz Kremer

mdiazkremer@gmail.com

Maria Diaz Kremer

Maria Diaz Kremer has a diverse background in Sales and Marketing for a variety of Fortune 500 companies. Her career began in Retail working for Federated Department Stores (Burdines and Macy’s). She was promoted to the Executive Training Program while attending FIU for a degree in Marketing . After 9 years in Retail with positions from Designer Shoes Assistant Buyer to POS Transition Lead she changed career path to join John Hancock Financial Services. After a successful 9 years at John Hancock partnering with companies to establish their Annuities, Pension Plans, Life and Health Insurance plans she joined BellSouth Advertising and Publishing. Maria was promoted from Sales to Training and Management, eventually heading Hispanic initiatives for BellSouth and AT&T products in nine states. The company was eventually purchased by DexYP and is now managing marketing solutions for over 700,000 clients in 48 states.

Maria has a strong commitment to the community, and especially efforts to assist minorities and children. She has been involved with the South Florida Hispanic Chamber for decades as well as LEAP, the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce and Greater Kendall Business Association.

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Representative Eddy Gonzalez

CEO
Sun City Strategies

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Representative Eddy Gonzalez

CEO
Sun City Strategies

(305) 364-3066
egonzalez102@yahoo.com

Representative Eddy Gonzalez

Eduardo González was born in Cárdenas, Cuba, and moved to Florida in 1971. He attended Miami-Dade College, studying business management and administration. González was elected to the Hialeah City Council in 1999 and was re-elected in 2001 and 2003.

Representative Gonzalez currently serves as the Chairman of the Miami-Dade County Legislative Delegation, a role he has held since November 2012.

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Myrna Vaca

Community Relations Director
UHealth, University of Miami Health System

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Myrna Vaca

Community Relations Director
UHealth, University of Miami Health System

(786) 897-2680
m.vaca@med.miami.edu

Myrna Vaca

Myrna Vaca serves as the Community Relations Director for UHealth, University of Miami Health System. In her role, Myrna manages corporate and community relations for the UHealth’s comprehensive network that includes three hospitals, more than 30 outpatient facilities in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Collier counties, with more than 1,200 physicians and scientists. She effectively collaborates with global and local industry partners to increase corporate partnership and community engagment.

Prior to her work with the University of Miami, Myrna served as the Head of Marketing and Communication for Latin America, Canada and Brazil of Lyoness Management America’s. In her capacity, Myrna managed the branding, advertising, media relations and email marketing. Lyoness’ private sector business strategy included partnering with a diverse business community to strategically augment business support for the organization.

Myrna received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Michigan and her MBA in Management from the University of Miami. In her time off, she enjoys volunteering for the Foster Care Review Panel, Hurricane football, running with her two Brittany Spaniels and spending time with her husband and son.

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Luis Arango

Senior Vice President
Head of International Wealth, SunTrust

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Luis Arango

Senior Vice President
Head of International Wealth
SunTrust

(305) 789-7306
luis.arango@suntrust.com

Luis Arango

Luis Arango is a Senior Vice President and the Head of SunTrust International Wealth Management. He offers clients more than 15 years of comprehensive wealth management experience, with a team approach that brings together specialists in investments, financial planning, credit, and estate strategies. He is a native of Miami, FL and is a graduate of Florida State University with an MBA from Nova Southeastern University. Luis is also a member of the Florida International Bankers Association.

As part of International Wealth Management, Luis works with a team of experts whose sole focus is to bring comprehensive and highly customized business and personal financial solutions to successful high net-worth International families and businesses. Together they develop a holistic financial plan that meets their clients’ short- and long-term goals.

SunTrust Private Wealth Management is part of SunTrust Bank; with a proud 120-year heritage of commitment to helping our clients manage their wealth and achieve their goals. We are committed to meeting the needs of our clients — by building and continually strengthening long-term relationships and by offering you comprehensive wealth management capabilities to meet your sophisticated and often complex needs. As your needs evolve, your team of experts and solutions will too, in order to address new challenges and opportunities.

Community Involvement:
Board Chair for the March of Dimes Miami Market
Chair for the SunTrust Hispanic Teammate Network
United Way Young Leader
Member of the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Named 2018 Young Hispanic Corporate Achiever by Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility
He holds the FINRA Series 7, 66, 24 licenses
State of Florida Life, Heath and Variable Products

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Gabriel Brakha

HEALTH, LIFE, LTC, MEDICARE and DISABILITY INSURANCE
Insurance Consultants International, Inc.

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Gabriel Brakha

HEALTH, LIFE, LTC, MEDICARE and DISABILITY INSURANCE
Insurance Consultants International, Inc.

(305) 766-3657
gabrielbrakha@insconsultantsintl.com

Gabriel Brakha

I am a multilingual, results-driven, and accomplished senior-level executive with over 20 years of experience in International Marketing and Business Development in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. I possess expertise in negotiations of key accounts, strong competitive analysis, cross-cultural communication, and exceptional teamwork skills. I have been recognized for establishing multi-channel distribution networks that have resulted in significant revenue growth. I am fluent in English, Spanish, French, Hebrew, and conversational Portuguese.

With over 20 years of experience in insurance, and 4 years in consumer products, I have a knack for being a strong networker and devoted leader who can thrive in any fast-paced and challenging environment.

KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
► Building strong professional ties with senior executives within the community through leadership positions, including serving as Membership Committee Co-Chair of the Aventura Chamber of Commerce, Past President of BNI in Hollywood, and the current Membership Committee Chair for BNI Aventura.
► Recognized for leading one of the top Master Agencies in Florida for insurance.
► Receiving accolades as Top Producer Nationwide and numerous sales awards. ► Receiving an award as an Agency from Florida Blue in 2018

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Connie Laguna

President & CEO
Center for Financial Training

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Connie Laguna

President & CEO
Center for Financial Training

(786) 253-3033
claguna@mdc.edu

Connie Laguna

Connie Laguna is the President & CEO of the Center for Financial Training, Southeastern also known as CFT. CFT is the educational arm of the American Bankers Association. CFT, Southeastern is housed at Miami Dade College. CFT is a non-profit 501©3 organization that is dedicated to providing training and education to financial services professionals, pre-career students and the community at large. CFT is dedicated to promoting financial services education, financial management and financial literacy. CFT is very focused on assisting minority students that are from low to moderate income areas explore the world of banking and financialservices. Connie joined CFT in March of 1982. She is a member of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools' Academy of Finance Executive Board. She sits on The Beacon Council, One Community One Goal, Banking and Finance Committee, and is an Executive Committee member for the CFT national board. She is also a member of the Great Miami Chamber of Commerce, Banking & Finance and Workforce Committees. She regularly speaks on financial awareness and the role of financial management in our schools and communities. Connie has lived in Miami for the past 54 years and has been activein numerous community development and professional groups in South Florida and nationally. Connie has undertaken extensive outreach and research initiatives within our community relative to financial education, literacy, management and micro-finance.

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Al Maulini, CFP

Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor, International Client Advisor
Morgan Stanley

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Al Maulini, CFP

Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor, International Client Advisor
Morgan Stanley

(305) 992-9031
Al.Maulini@morganstanley.com

Al Maulini, CFP

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Addys Kuryla

Manager, External Affairs
Florida Power & Light Company

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Addys Kuryla

Manager, External Affairs
Florida Power & Light Company

(305) 332-7517
Addys.Kuryla@fpl.com

Addys Kuryla

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Manuel Huerta, Jr.

Founder, President, and Principal Broker
RealCap Financial Corp

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Manuel Huerta, Jr.

Founder, President, and Principal Broker
RealCap Financial Corp

(305) 332-7517
mah@realcapcorp.com

Manuel Huerta, Jr.

Mr. Huerta has been involved in the capital markets arena as a commercial banker, real estate investment banker, and mortgage banker for over 35 years. Throughout his career, he has arranged for the financing of corporate (C&I and SBA Loans), commercial and residential real estate transactions totaling more than $2.5 billion dollars.

Mr. Huerta is currently the Founder, President and Principal Broker for RealCap Financial Corp. Prior to forming RealCap, he was a principal with Bear Finance, LLC a division of Bear Capital, LLC. Mr. Huerta has held several executive positions with several mortgage bankers, as well as being the founder and CEO of Waterford Capital, which he sold to American Southern Mortgage Corp., back in 2003.

Mr. Huerta obtained his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a dual major in finance and accounting from Florida International University (FIU) in 1984. He currently serves as a Board Member and Treasurer for the International Trade Consortium an advisory Board for Miami-Dade County. He was an active member of the Foundation Board for Mercy, prior to the hospital being sold. He has also served on the board of the Latin Builders Association (LBA), Diabetes Research Institute (DRI), and the local board for South Florida of the American Heart Association. Mr. Huerta was born in Havana, Cuba in 1960 and has lived in the United States since 1961. He is a proud father of two daughters, Christine M. Fraga and Andrea B. Huerta, and the proud grandfather of one grandson, Gabriel Alexander Fraga.

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Sonya Cañas

Commercial Banking Manager
for the South Region

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Sonya Cañas

Commercial Banking Manager
for the South Region, Amerant Bank
Amerant Bank

scanas@amerantbank.com

Sonya Cañas

Sonya Cañas serves as Amerant Bank’s SVP - Commercial Banking Manager for the South Region. Based out of the Bank’s Doral Banking Center, Cañas—who boasts 40 years finance industry experience—is responsible for leading a team providing loans and bank products to an array of businesses in the Miami-Dade County market.

Born and bred in Miami, Cañas began her career in 1980 at Barnett Bank. She has had experience working at small and medium sized community banks as well as large regional banks, holding positions in Human Resources, Retail Banking, Consumer Banking and Commercial Banking.

Cañas has been actively involved in the community through the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, and the South Florida Hispanic Chamber.

Sonya is married to husband Juan and has three beautiful daughters Adriana, Alexandra and Jordyn – ages 30, 26 and 24, and one beautiful granddaughter, Santana – age 1.

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Pedro Max

Senior Vice President/Head of Preferred Business Banking, Credit Cards, and Branches Ocean Bank

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Pedro Max

Senior Vice President/Head of Preferred Business Banking, Credit Cards, and Branches
Ocean Bank

pmax@oceanbank.com

Pedro Max

Pedro Max has been with Ocean Bank since 2007. He oversees the Preferred Business Banking, Credit Cards, and Branches divisions and reports directly to Macedo.

Before joining Ocean Bank, Max was senior vice president and remedial manager in credit-risk management for Citibank’s Commercial Business Group, where he received an award for excellence in sales. He also held senior level positions at Union Planters Bank and Barnett Bank. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in management from the William Paterson College at American Intercontinental University.

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Luis Torrego

Managing Director
Triangle Partners, Inc.

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Luis Torrego

Managing Director
Triangle Partners, Inc.
501 Brickell Key Drive, Suite 602
Miami, Florida 33131, USA
Office: +1 305 371-6756
Fax: +1 (305) 374-2919
http://www.triangle-partners.com

Luis Torrego

Mr. Torrego has over twenty five-year experience in international Mergers & Acquisitions, Merchant Banking and Private Equity transactions in the US, Latin America and Europe. During this time, Luis has advised leading family businesses and large corporations on a variety of industries including food and beverage, outdoor advertising, manufacturing, mining and financial institutions among others.

Prior to joining Triangle Partners, Luis served as a Managing Director in the Latin America M&A Group of Standard Bank. As part of his duties, he originated and executed a number of M&A assignments in Central America and the Caribbean. Previously, Luis worked for Royal Bank of Canada in the Corporate Finance Americas Group where he co-leaded RBC’s investment banking group for the Bank’s high-net-worth clients in Latin-America. In addition, Luis participated in RBC’s restructuring of its private banking branch-network in Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to that, Luis worked in the Latin America M&A and Merchant Banking Group of Banc of America Securities where he was involved in numerous merchant banking investments, privatizations and M&A transactions.

Luis serves as a director of various international and domestic companies. Some of his past and present corporate involvements include: Director of Promodif, S.A. Spain; Director of Mare Brokers, Spain; Director and Member of Executive Committee of Medline, Brazil. Luis holds a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Saint Louis University. Luis is fluent in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

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David Pruna

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David Pruna

David Pruna

David Pruna is the Market President – Covering the Consumer, Business Banking, and Commercial Banking markets for Miami-Dade and Monroe at CenterState. David joined CenterState two years ago. He has served the South Florida Banking community for over 22 years. He serves on the South Florida Banking Institute Board, including their Finance Committee. Recently joined Miami-Dade Beacon Council, joining the Banking & Finance Committee and Trade & Logistics Committee. In addition, David is part of the United Way of Miami-Dade Young Leadership Circle. In previous years, David has been a part of March of Dimes, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and a past Board Member of Catalyst Miami. Most recent David is a two time Rising Star Award Finalist (Model Star and most Recent Executive Star) for the Coral Gables Chamber, as well as South Florida Business and Wealth 2020 Up and Comer Award in the Banking Industry.

David attended University of Phoenix earning a Finance Degree; he then earned his MBA from FIU. He is married to Jaimy Pruna who has been an educator for Miami Dade Public Schools for 22 years. They have two sons Christian and Matthew Pruna.