Parks Foundation Board of Directors
Priorities of the foundation and its Board of Directors include:
- Supporting the Open Space Master Plan (OSMP) and Recreation Plan implementation through advocacy and fundraising for capital development.
- Expanding the department's challenged youth and senior programs by offering scholarships for the disadvantaged and children with disabilities.
- Building the Foundation's capacity to provide financial sustainability.
- Enhancing the Foundation's visibility in Miami-Dade County while achieving organizational excellence.
Members of the Board
Raul Garcia, President
Raul Garcia has been with Kaufman, Rossin & Co. since 1998. He is an Associate Principal in the Audit department.
Raul handles both audit and tax engagements for clients in the following industries: hedge fund, broker dealers, entrepreneurial businesses, wholesale/retail, distribution, banking, and real estate brokers.
He earned his Certified Public Accountant license in Florida in 1991, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Raul is actively involved in the community. He is the Chair of the Arts & Business Council of Miami, the Treasurer of the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, and on the advisory board of PhilantroGuia. In addition, he has been featured in numerous industry publications, including Forbes.com, Hedge Fund Law Report, Hedgefund.net, Privateequity.net and Latin Business Chronicle.
Raul graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting.
Dick Anderson, Vice President
Dick Anderson is president of the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade and is also one of the four founding members of the organization. He is president of Anderson Insurance Group, which he started in 1969, selling insurance to financial institutions and offering health indemnity policies and group health insurance.
Dick Anderson is most well-known for being a member of the 1972 "Perfect Season" 17-0 Miami Dolphins football team. A 10-year NFL veteran with the Dolphins, Dick Anderson was named to the Pro Bowl three times (1972-74). He was President of the NFL Players Association in 1976-77, inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993, and named Walter Camp Foundation Man of the Year in 1994. The 1973 Defensive Player of the Year, he is one of only 16 players in NFL history to intercept four passes in one game. Anderson played in three Super Bowls, winning two of them.
As a college student, Anderson played football at the University of Colorado and was named to the Big 12 All-Century Team and as one of Colorado's Athletes of the Century by Sports Illustrated.
When his football career ended, Anderson successfully ran for the Florida Senate and served as a Florida State Senator from 1978-1982.
He acted as Chairman of the Board for the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee in 1989, the Celebrity Players Tour (1996-1997), and The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis (1985-1994). Additionally, Anderson has been a member of the Orange Bowl Committee since 1989.
During the last 30 years, Dick Anderson has been and is in the insurance, electronic, and cellular phone business. He was President of Sea Coast Appliance Distributors, the Florida RCA Distributor from 1982 to 1988, and President of Cellular Trading, a chain of Florida cellular retail stores from 1988 to 1996. Most recently, he acted as Senior Vice President and Director of Carrier Relations for Trac Fone Wireless, the leading prepaid cellular company in the nation. He still lives and works in Miami to this day.
Dick Anderson is a proud member of the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, and hopes to better our community through offering youth scholarships, encouraging the development of our Parks and Open Space Master Plan, and continuing our tradition of exceptional recreational services.
Maira Diaz-Giusti, Treasurer
Maira Diaz-Giusti offers more than two decades of Retail & Private Banking experience in the South Florida market. She is a key strategic leader responsible for the start up and development of Coconut Grove Bank's Aventura Office. The scope of her experience is reflective in her daily work. Formerly, Maira was a Market Manager and Vice President as well as a Senior Group Manager for the Private Banking Division in BankUnited. She held several Senior and Officer positions at Barnett Bank, Banco Internacional de Costa Rica and Citibank.
Maira has demonstrated time and time again her commitment and dedication to providing outstanding customer service. It is her opinion that the most gratifying part of her job is being seen more as a family member, than a banker, to her customers. She takes great pride in becoming an integral part of her customers’ families and lives throughout the years in managing their banking, financing of their homes, cars, and by providing financing to help them grow their business. Maira believes that banking is the art of building and fostering relationships generation after generation, and to have a Banker that you can trust is part of that equation.
Notable among her significant contributions to the community include: Kapow Public School Program, United Way Leadership Circle, March of Dimes, ORT America, Queen for a Day, National Kidney Foundation, The Commonwealth Institute, and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Furthermore, Maira is a Board member of The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, The Aventura Marketing Council, and Executive Board member of the Greater North Miami Beach Chamber.
Among the many factors that contribute to her success are: holding both a Bachelor's degree in Business Management and a Certified Financial Planning certificate from Florida International University, additionally, she is a graduate of Cannon Financial Institute in Trust.
William R. "Rick" DerrerBio coming soon.
Cofounder of Dover, Kohl & Partners Town Planning
A revolutionary makeover is underway to promote walking and cycling and appeal to a new generation of creative, demanding citizens. Victor Dover, urban designer and co-author of "Street Design: The Secret to Great Cities and Towns" (Wiley, January 2014), is an expert on how to fix our streets, and, in the process, shape enduring cities that people really love.
For 25 years, Dover has been designing walkable, sustainable development. His work spans five continents and ranges from revitalizing historic downtowns to retrofitting suburbia. His projects include Plan El Paso, hailed as "America's Best Smart Growth Plan," and the Columbia Pike revitalization plan and code. Victor is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He served as the national chair of the Congress for the New Urbanism from 2010 – 2012.
Attorney & Founder, Litigation Resolution, Inc.
Karen Evans, an attorney and the founder of Litigation Resolution, Inc. is in her twentieth year working exclusively as a mediator and arbitrator. Mrs. Evans specializes in employment, civil rights, disability and commercial law claims pending in both federal and state court. Mrs. Evans additionally serves as a panelist for the American Arbitration Association where she regularly arbitrates both employment and commercial disputes. Mrs. Evans has published and delivered numerous continuing legal education seminars on civil mediation in the state and federal courts of Florida. Prior to becoming a full-time neutral, Mrs. Evans spent ten years specializing in complex commercial litigation with a Miami commercial litigation boutique practice.
A founding member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the Florida Bar, Mrs. Evans serves on its Executive Council. Mrs. Evans is a member of the Federal Court Committee on Mediation for the Southern District of Florida, a member of the Spellman-Hoeveler Chapter of the American Inns of Court, a member of the South Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, a member of the Labor and Employment Section of the Florida Bar, a member of Florida Association of Women Lawyers, a member of the Dade County Bar Association, and a diplomate of the Florida Association of Professional Mediators.
Mrs. Evans is a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee of the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department and a member of the Miami-Dade County Parks Foundation.
A graduate of American University (1980) and University of Miami School of Law (1983), Mrs. Evans lives in North Miami Beach with her husband Richard and their sons.
Associate State Director, AARP
Ivonne Fernandez is Associate State Director for AARP. She is responsible for advancing the multicultural work statewide in Florida. Ivonne also hosts the daily "Café con Leche con AARP" radio shows and contribute to increase awareness of AARP within Hispanic community. She serves as Chair of AARP- Hispanic SEERG – ADELANTE.
For her service in the community and her social impact work, Ivonne has been awarded with the AARP Maureen Mckoy, Hispanic Women of Distinction and the US Congress Special Certificate for Outstanding Service to the Community. Ivonne graduated from the New Ventures in Leadership (NVL) from American Society on Aging. She has a Bachelor's degree in microbiology and a Masters in Marketing.
Ivonne serves at the Board of Corporate Advisors of CNC and she is Parks Foundation Board Member; she is the founder of Toastmaster Destino Leadership Club and the Chairwoman of Boy Scouts of America Troop 712. She is married to Reverend Andy Fernandez, mother of Oscar and Daniel and grandmother of Marianna.
Shareholder - Litigation, Katz Barron Squitero Faus
John Squitero, an AV-rated attorney by Martindale Hubbell, is a founding member of Katz Barron. He heads the firm’s litigation group, and is an accomplished litigator with more than 30 years' experience in a broad range of complex commercial litigation matters. John's practice actively involves all facets of major complex commercial litigation, including construction, securities, contract disputes and various types of business torts. His clients include general contractors, business and property owners, professionals, bankers, stockbrokers, corporate executives and others who need counsel from a seasoned litigator.
Areas of Practice
- Complex & General Commercial Litigation
- Civil Trials in State and Federal Courts
- Securities Litigation
- Construction Litigation
- Alternative Dispute Resolution (Arbitration, Mediation and Mini-Trials)
- Lead trial counsel in case involving securities fraud, misrepresentation and civil theft against two national securities firms. Claims alleged $20 million. After six weeks of trial, case settled for approximately $10 million on eve of closing argument.
- Lead trial counsel representing general contractor in claims in excess of $20 million brought against it for construction of a mixed-use project. $0 damages against the general contractor. General contractor recovered money against the architect.
- Lead trial counsel in case involving breach of construction contract and fraud against client, a general contractor. Amount in controversy - $500,000 - $1 million. After a five-day non-jury trial, $0 damages against general contractor. Lead trial counsel for nationwide educational facility, defending against claims regarding employment law, race discrimination and other employment issues. Claims alleged in excess of $5 million. Case dismissed. Plaintiff chose not to refile claim.
- Lead trial counsel for surety in construction defect cases involving claims brought by "owner", a municipality, for construction of two public facilities. Amount in controversy $6 million. Settled at mediation.
- Lead trial counsel for national healthcare facility against general contractor and architect regarding design and construction defects in construction of nursing home. Claims exceeded $5 million. Settled at mediation.
- Lead trial counsel for private individuals regarding claims against brokerage house. Claims asserted exceeded $10 million. Settled at mediation.
- Lead trial counsel for surety in defense of claims brought by a municipality for construction defects. Case decided in favor of client. $0 damages.
- Lead trial counsel for condominium association alleging construction defects against owner-developer and general contractor. Claims in excess of $10 million. Case settled.
- Lead trial counsel for construction company defending claims against general contractor for construction defects, fraud and tortuous interference. Claims in excess of $10 million. Case settled for $100,000.
- U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida
- U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
- University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables, Florida, 1969, J.D.
- King's College, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, 1966, B.A.
Professional Associations and Memberships
- The Florida Bar (Securities Committee), 1975 - 1977
- State Bar of Montana (inactive)
- The Colorado Bar (inactive)
- American Bar Association (Corporation, Banking and Business Law Section)
- The Association of Trial Lawyers of America
- The Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers
- The Construction Association of South Florida
- Member of the Board of Directors of the Vizcayans
- Member of the Board of Directors of the Broward County Humane Society
- Citizens Board of U.M.
- Trustee - Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce
Jorge Luis Lopez
Founder Jorge Luis Lopez, Esq., practicing law since 1987, established his governmental affairs practice, the Jorge Luis Lopez Law Firm in 2007. He is recognized as one of the top lawyers in South Florida and the U.S., an expert in political campaigns and fundraising, as well as a dedicated philanthropist for charitable organizations in Miami-Dade and South Florida communities. As a Government Relations Specialist, Lopez represents the interests of private and public sector clients before federal, state, and local governments advising clients on the development and response to government regulations, procurement cycles, land use, zoning and redistricting.
He has represented numerous Florida 100 and Fortune 500 companies, including some of Miami's leading companies, in complex intergovernmental matters. His experience includes representing the Miami-Dade County government before the State of Florida. He also developed the county's legislative agenda during his service as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Division of Miami-Dade County.
Recognized by the South Florida Legal Guide since 2006 to present day, Lopez has also been consistently honored by his peers as a Super Lawyer, and has been listed in Legal Elite and Best Lawyers in America. He is a member of the Florida Bar and the American Bar Association. Lopez is considered an expert in political campaigns and elections and has served as a commentator for several news outlets, including CNN, Univision Channel 23, The Miami Herald, Miami Today, WQBA Radio and Radio Caracol.
Labeled a Florida pioneer by the St. Petersburg Times for his political fundraising abilities, Lopez has served on the Republican National Committee's Council of 100, President George W. Bush's Pioneers and both of Governor Jeb Bush's Executive Elections and Inaugural Finance Committees. In 2001, he served on the Presidential Bank Review Board. He is also past co-chair of the Neighbors Building Better Communities PAC and former member of the 2008 Miami-Dade Charter Review Task Force.
Well known for his philanthropic work in the community, Mr. Lopez has served on various boards of charitable and faith-based, not-for-profit organizations for more than 25 years. He is a Ronald McDonald House Charities' 2013 Twelve Good Men honoree and a recipient of the Association of Fundraising Professionals' James W. McLamore Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service.
In 2014, Lopez was honored with both the Father of the Year Award from the American Diabetes Association, United HomeCare's Claude Pepper Memorial Community Advocacy Award, Hispanic Star Award for Philanthropy from Simon Mall's Miami International Mall & City of DoraI, Pace Hall of Fame Induction Award from Monsignor Pace High School, Law Firm of the Year Sunshine Award from the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the 2014 Charles "Bebe" Rebozo Humanitarian Award from Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade.
Lopez serves on the boards of Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Council, American Red Cross of Greater Miami & Keys, the Executive Board of the Boys & Girls Club of Miami Dade and Catholic Association of Latino Leaders. He is a Diamond Society Member of the Miami Children's Health Foundation and the Florida Division Director for the American Cancer Society. He is also Chair of the Citizens' Oversight Committee under the auspices of the lnterlocal Agreements for Public School Facility Planning in Miami-Dade County (ILA) and Founding Chair of the American Cancer Society - Laureate Society.
Lopez has served as the Chairman of the Miami Foundation, Chair of Governmental Relations Committee of United Way, Founding Chair of the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, member of Camillus House & Camillus Health Concern, and member of the FlU Metro Center, Miami-Dade College Foundation, and Executive Board Member for Big Brothers and Big Sisters. He is also a former appointee by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez to The Beacon Council.
Lopez holds his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law, where he is a University of Miami Iron Arrow member. He attained an MBA from St. Thomas University, along with a BA magna cum laude.
Jorge Luis Lopez and his wife Marile live in Coconut Grove, Florida, with their five children, AR, Carli, Annia, Saramelia and Luis Jorge.
Lisa M. MartinezBio coming soon.
Norman C. Powell
Norman C. Powell graduated from Florida International University in 1987 and he received his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Florida, College of Law in 1990. Powell was admitted to The Florida Bar in the same year. During his attendance at the University of Florida, he distinguished himself academically. He was a member of the Justice Campbell Thornall Moot Court Team and was selected by an en banc Florida Supreme Court as the Best Oralist in the College of Law Annual Zimmerman Shuffield & Kiser Moot Court Competition.
Since his graduation from the University of Florida, Powell has concentrated his practice in civil litigation, real estate, state and local governmental law. He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and the Eleventh Circuit United States Court of Appeals.
Powell is an agent for Attorneys' Title Insurance Fund, Inc. Through his extensive training and representative experience, Powell has obtained a thorough understanding of the diverse legal issues that arise in litigation and state and local governmental matters. He has successfully represented the Florida Senate in the State of Florida's redistricting of its Senate and House Districts and the reapportionment of Florida’s Congressional Districts. His representation of The Florida Senate included advising the Senate President and the Members of the Senate Reapportionment committee on the Voting Rights Act and Federal and State Constitutional issues.
Powell's representation of the Senate also included defending the Senate's Redistricting and Reapportionment plans before the United States Justice Department and in Federal District Court before a Three-Judge panel. He also briefed the issues on appeal before the Florida Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of the United States. See, Johnson v. De Grandy, 114 S.Ct. 2647 (1994); In re Constitutionality of Senate Joint Resolution 2G, 601 So. 2d 543 (Fla. 1992); In re Constitutionality of Senate Joint Resolution 2G, 597 So 2d 276 (Fla. 1992); De Grandy v. Wetherell, 794 F.Supp. 1076 (N.D. Fla. 1992) (three-judge court); De Grandy v. Wetherell, 815 F. Supp 1550 (N.D. Fla. 1992) (three-judge court).
Powell also successfully represented the cities of Miami Beach and North Miami in Voting Rights Act cases. Negron v. City of Miami Beach, Fl., 13 F 3d 1563 (11th Cir. 1997) and Celestin, et al. v. Miami-Dade County, et al. (Case No. 86-1820-CIV-HIGHSMITH, U.S. Dist., 2002), respectively.
Powell’s representation of the City of North Miami resulted in the Miami-Dade County Commission's adoption of a Resolution that sets forth specific criteria and factors to be used in the County's redistricting process, the creation of a redistricting advisory board, and a public hearing process. The resolution also requires Spanish and Creole materials and interpreters to assist members of the public throughout the redistricting process. Powell represented Democratic Florida Senate and House members before the Florida Supreme Court and before a Federal Three-Judge panel concerning the constitutionality of Florida's Congressional, House and Senate Legislative Districts. In Re: Constitutionality of House Joint Resolution 1987, 817 So. 2d (May 2, 2002); In Re: Constitutionality of House Joint Resolution 25e, 2003 Fla. Lexis 2085 (Fla., Dec 4, 2003); and Raul L. Martinez v. John Ellis "Jeb" Bush, 234 F. Supp. 2d 1275 (U.S. Dist., 2002).
Powell represented Democratic Florida Senate and House members before the Florida Supreme Court and before a Federal Three-Judge panel concerning the constitutionality of Florida's Congressional, House and Senate Legislative Districts. In Re: Constitutionality of House Joint Resolution 1987, 817 So. 2d (May 2, 2002); In Re: Constitutionality of House Joint Resolution 25e, 2003 Fla. Lexis 2085 (Fla., Dec 4, 2003); and Raul L. Martinez v. John Ellis "Jeb" Bush, 234 F. Supp. 2d 1275 (U.S. Dist., 2002).
Powell's legal experience includes representing developers and contractors with complying with federal, state, and local government procurement procedures, and responding to procurement solicitations, defending or prosecuting administrative hearings; and advocacy in state and federal court, quasi-judicial proceedings, and before legislative bodies. See, e.g., R.N. Expertise, Inc. v. Miami-Dade County School Board, D.O.A.H. Case No. 01-2663 Bid, March 13, 2002.
Powell also served as a Hearing Examiner for the Clerk of the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners and was responsible for providing the Board with recommended findings of law and fact for the Board's consideration in the resolution of procurement and bid protests.
Powell represents private, commercial, industrial, residential and mixed-use developers throughout the land development process including development, permitting, zoning, concurrency, platting, and permitting in Miami-Dade County and its municipalities. In addition, over the last twenty years Powell's other relevant legal experience has included representation of numerous corporate clients in the government law area. Beyond the practice of law, Powell also is active in Miami-Dade County's civic community. Powell takes a special interest in children's issues. Powell served on the Conference Committee for the Children’s Bill of Rights 2004 Conference and served as a facilitator with the Honorable Justice Rosemary Barkett on Rights of Children in the Justice System. He was a Board member of Voices For Children Foundation, Inc., the fundraising arm of Miami Dade's highly-praised Guardian Ad Litem program and served as its Chairperson from 2002 until 2004. He also served on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Miami-Dade County and this was honored as one of its Miracle Maker Awardees for 2005.
Powell was also an Officer of 100 Black Men of South Florida. He served as a Trustee of the Miami Art Museum. Powell has served as Chair of the Miami Shores Planning and Zoning Board from 1998 until 2000.
Powell chaired the Fundraising Committee for the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis Legendary Sports Celebrity Roast in 1997 and 1998. Powell was the Vice-Chair of the City of Miami's Model City Trust. The Model City Trust was the City of Miami's campaign to revitalize and transform the Model City area with specific projects that include redevelopment and infill to increase homeownership and streetscape. Powell was also a member of Miami-Dade County’s Boundaries Commission, which is the County board that initially, reviewed annexation and incorporation applications. Since 2010 Powell has served as a Magistrate for Miami-Dade County Traffic Division and is an Adjunct Professor at Broward College. He lectures on civil litigation.
John J. Quick
John is a commercial litigator and municipal attorney with the law firm of Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman. He also serves as the Independent Counsel to the Miami Civilian Investigative Panel. John is also active in numerous local professional organizations and civic affairs. He serves on the board of the Friends of the Miami-Dade Public Library (from 2012-2014 as the President) and since 2014 has brought together community leaders to form the Coalition to Save Our Libraries which ultimately resulted in an increase of the initial proposed annual library budget from $30 million to $54.4 million and now to over $64 million. John also serves as the Immediate Past President for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Historical Society and serves as the First Vice President of the County's Community Relations Board. John previously served on the board of HistoryMiami, five years of which were on the Executive Committee. John has also served as an appointee to the Miami-Dade County Mayor's Blue Ribbon Task Force for the Miami-Dade Public Library System, as well as the Village of Palmetto Bay Charter Review Committee.
Maria Lamas ShojaeePhoto and bio coming soon.
Founding Board of Directors
- Jorge Luis Lopez (founding president)
- Dick Anderson
- Nancy Liebman
- Dean Colson
- Sergio Pino