Honorary Board

Honorary Board

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Octavio Hernandez

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Octavio Hernandez

CRE Relationship Manager
Bank Leumi, USA

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

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Clara Diaz-Leal

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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Zoraida Fernandez

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Zoraida Fernandez

Zoraida Fernandez

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Giselle Cushing

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Giselle Cushing

Market Vice President, South Florida
Group Segment
Region: East Region

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

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

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Representative Eddy Gonzalez

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

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Myrna Vaca

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

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Luis Arango

Senior Vice President
Head of International Wealth
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

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Gabriel Brakha

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

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Connie Laguna

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

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Al Maulini, CFP

Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor, International Client Advisor

Al Maulini, CFP

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Addys Kuryla

Manager, External Affairs at Florida Power & Light Company

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Addys Kuryla

Manager, External Affairs at Florida Power & Light Company

Addys Kuryla