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Enjoliqu Aytch, Law Clerk, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Enjoliqu D. Aytch currently serves as a law clerk to the Honorable Marcia G. Cooke in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Prior to accepting this post, Ms. Aytch was an associate practicing product liability and medical malpractice defense in the Atlanta office of the international law firm, Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Ms. Aytch also has experience in general litigation, healthcare litigation, domestic relations litigation, and white-collar crime. Ms. Aytch was recognized as a 2011 Georgia Super LawyersÍ Rising Star. She is a member of the Florida State Bar, the State Bar of Georgia, all of its appellate courts, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Ms. Aytch is also a member of numerous bar and civic organizations, including, but not limited to, the Federal Bar Association (Miami Chapter); Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association; the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys; the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under LawÍs Election Protection _ GeorgiaÍs Leadership Board; the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation _ Junior Board of Directors; and The Atlanta Lawyer, Editorial Board.
Uhriel Bedoya, Managing Director – Caribbean and Latin American Development, Royal Bank of Canada
Uhriel Edgardo Bedoya is Managing Director at the Royal Bank of Canada for Caribbean and Latin American Development and Head of the Corporate Banking Centre for RBC Royal Bank in Jamaica. In Miami Uhriel is responsible for business development of Caribbean and Latin American markets as well as establishing connectivity between RBC Financial (Caribbean) Limited and RBC globally. In Jamaica he is responsible for the institutionÍs largest portfolio of corporate clients as well as serving as a strategic liaison between Jamaica and regional corporations in the Caribbean.
Immediately prior to this role, Uhriel was Director for RBC Capital Markets _ Global Financial Institution where he served as Relationship Manager for institutional clients in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Prior to joining RBC Uhriel was an International Banker with M&T Bank in Baltimore, Maryland responsible for leading the development of relationships with small and medium businesses in Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, and Peru. Uhriel also held previous roles at M&T in Buffalo, New York including Internal Consultant as well as Manager for Procurement and Vendor Management for M&TÍs Consumer Lending Division. Prior to M&T Uhriel was also contracted for a short stint with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Uhriel has also served as external consultant to expats relocating their careers and families to Latin America.
A native of the Republic of Panama, Uhriel holds a MBA in Finance and Business Public Policy from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, a MA in International Studies from the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, and a BS, summa cum laude, from Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Fluent in Spanish and French, Uhriel has conducted business in over 15 countries and various industries globally.
In his spare time Uhriel has been volunteering in South Florida over the last 5 years actively involved as a mentor in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami; as a fundraising speaker on behalf of the United Way, and as a Classically Trained singer with the Master Chorale of South Florida, an organization that promotes the cultural enrichment of South Florida through the exposure of audiences to classical choral works. His involvement with the Master Chorale afforded him the honor of performing with the Cleveland Orchestra in Miami, with virtuoso violinist Itzhak Perlman, and with renowned Italian singer Andrea Bocelli.
Valerie Berrin, Director of Operations, Health Information Project, Inc.
Valerie is the Director of Operations for Health Information Project (HIP). HIP is a peer-to-peer high school comprehensive health education program whose purpose is to educate teenagers about their health issues and to encourage and assist them in accessing community health resources.
Valerie graduated from Barnard College-Columbia University with a B.A. in Religion. She grew up in Miami and graduated from Gulliver Preparatory School.
As a young child, Valerie experienced health issues that helped her realize the importance of health education and led her to become active in reproductive health education and awareness. In college, she led over one hundred fifty volunteers at Barnard-Columbia, working for a national non-profit organization that taught health education in the New York City public high schools that lacked a health curriculum.
Valerie currently serves on the Miami-Dade County Public Schools School Health Medical Advisory Committee (SHMAC), which sets health/medical policy for the entire school district.
Valerie loves traveling, cooking, playing sports and coaching youth basketball and softball teams.
Gershon Blyden, Senior Financial Analyst , Ryder Sytem, Inc.
Gershon Blyden is Senior Financial Analyst at Ryder System, Inc. in Miami, Florida. He has over seven years of business administration experience and specializes in corporate finance. Previous to his current position, Blyden was Principal at InHouse Group, LLC, a New York based investment and development angel group that pooled the experiences of its founders to benefit the businesses in which it invested. Blyden began his career as Financial Analyst for J.P. Morgan.
Originally from Boston, Blyden relocated to Miami prior to high school, graduating from MAST Academy. He then earned a Bachelor of Arts in Finance from Morehouse College, with honors. Besides his professional endeavors, Blyden is an avid triathlete and founder of the fitness brand Tri-a-Fit, which encourages people to pursue a healthy lifestyle.
Rochelle Boreland, Assistant Director, University of Miami
Best described as driven, Rochelle Boreland approaches all situations with great enthusiasm and optimism. Displaying great love for her community and the desire to be an active participant in government, Rochelle landed her first internship with a prominent Miami-Dade County Commissioner shortly after her high school graduation in 2006 at the age of seventeen.
Changing titles three times from, Intern to Junior Commission Aide , and finally to Commission Aide, RochelleÍs work spoke volumes and she was subsequently invited to continue to work part-time throughout her undergraduate career at the University of Miami.
No stranger to hard work, Rochelle managed to attain her Master of Public Administration, also from the University of Miami, within a year of graduating with her Bachelor Degree. Rochelle served as a Legislative Analyst for the same Miami-Dade County Commissioner who gave her start more than 7 years ago. As an Analyst, Rochelle helped to research and advise the Commissioner on significant laws and policies that affected the County.
Rochelle remains active in the community through her attendance at municipal council meetings and other civic events. Rochelle displays great interest in mentoring and empowering the youth. In her most recent capacity, she also acted as a liaison to the Miami-Dade CountyÍs Youth Commission and wishes to one day develop a non-profit organization which offers job training to underprivileged and at- risk teens in the Miami area.
Leigh-Ann Buchanan, Business Litigation Attorney, Berger Singerman LLP
Leigh-Ann A. Buchanan is business litigation attorney at the law firm of Berger Singerman LLP. Leigh-Ann concentrates her practice in complex commercial and transnational litigation, white-collar criminal defense and international commercial arbitration. She counsels multinational corporations, regional companies, minority-owned businesses, start-up ventures and public-private partnerships in matters involving shareholder/partnership and other business disputes, commercial fraud, trade litigation, commercial real estate and controversies affecting real properties. Leigh-Ann received her law degree from the University of Miami School of Law.
Following her graduation summa cum laude from Bethune-Cookman University with a degree in International Affairs, Leigh-Ann served as a project coordinator and research consultant for the National Organization of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women of Canada (NOIVMWC). Leigh-Ann focused on the expansion of NOIVMWC’s initiatives designed to promote full inclusionÓ and acceptance of immigrant and visible minority women into Canadian society and combating radicalized barriers to accessing economic opportunities and social programs. Leigh-Ann also served as project manager for the Greater Vancouver Multicultural Immigrant WomenÕs Society on similar community based program and research initiatives.
Leigh-AnnÕs true interest lies in promoting fairness and equality within the legal system through advocacy and increasing awareness of social justice issues. She was appointed to serve on the American Bar AssociationÕs Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice and to lead the ABAÕs National Task Force on Stand Your Ground Laws as co-chair.
Leigh-Ann is passionate about supporting the personal and professional development of minority youth in South Florida. Leigh-AnnÕs local leadership affiliations include serving as the President Elect of the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Bar Association, Chair of the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Bar Foundation and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Friends of New World Symphony. In 2013, Leigh-Ann was recognized as one of South Florida’s 40 Under 40 Professionals of Today and Tomorrow by Legacy Magazine.
Natalie Carlier, Florida Regional Coordinator, National Council of La Raza
Natalie Carlier is the Florida Regional Coordinator for the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Affiliate Member Services (AMS) Team. Her region focus is Florida while also providing support to the Southeast Affiliate Network, including states such as Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington, DC.
For four years, Natalie has been part of one of NCLR’s most successful programs, registering and educating thousands of Latino voters as a member of its Civic Engagement team working to increase the level of Hispanic participation in the American political process. She now works as part of the NCLRÍs AMS team to strengthen relationships with Florida and Southeast Affiliates in a way that is integrated across NCLR program, policy, and civic engagement. Her focus involves community outreach and support to NCLR Affiliates; citizenship and voter outreach; community engagement and advocacy.
Natalie is a Colombian-American who hails from Miami, Florida. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Florida. She is committed to raising the social and political consciousness in Florida to help build a stronger progressive community. She has a passion for education, civil rights and social justice. In her spare time, Natalie enjoys traveling and is an avid fitness enthusiast.
Webber Charles, Associate Site Director, Breakthrough Miami/Ransom Everglades School
Webber J. Charles is a first generation Haitian-American, born and raised Miami, Florida. After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies from Florida International University, Webber served as one of the managing principals of Concepticom, LLC; a design firm that developed marketing collateral and web-sites for luxury resorts in the Turks and Caicos.
Webber has spent the last twelve years passionately working with children and young adults in all walks of life. His passion for children grew during his tenure at Edison Park Elementary. He developed and facilitated special programs at the school that incentived academic achievement. He served as the 5000 Role Models mentor, coached the schools highly decorated chess team, and developed an art/writing club where students were often awarded and recognized in district-wide art contests.
At Ransom Everglades School, Webber wears many hats. He serves as one of the associates of Breakthrough Miami while managing a number of the school’s outreach programs. He is a faculty sponsor of the Black Student Association and Chess Club. He is also a faculty committee member of the Diversity Council, the Haiti Initiative and the Booker T. Washington Student Exchange program.
In the community, Webber has served in several leadership roles with the Rotary Club of Opa Locka/Miami Gardens and is currently involved with several NGOs in Haiti.
Webber is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Communications at St. Thomas University.
Gina Giacusa, Associate, Lalchandani Simon PL
Gina Giacusa is an associate of Lalchandani Simon PL and focuses her practice in the areas of intellectual property and technology law. She counsels clients in various industries including technology, social media, data security, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, finance, banking, accounting, real estate, hospitality, marketing and advertising. Additionally, Giacusa also focuses on the areas of entertainment and sports law.
Giacusa joined Lalchandani Simon after leaving her position as an associate at the Miami office of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, a top international law firm, where she regularly worked with financial institutions in corporate and structured finance transactions, including syndicated and credit enhanced loan facilities, acquisition financings, project financings, trade finance transactions, and cross-border aircraft lending/leasing and derivative products. She also assisted multi-national corporations and international financial institutions with international joint ventures, product distribution, capital market transactions, corporate governance, FCPA compliance and general corporate and commercial matters, with particular focus on Latin America.
Giacusa graduated from the University of California-Berkeley School of Law. She co-founded the Berkeley Journal of Entertainment and Sports Law, Berkeley Law’s first journal to be solely based on an online platform. As co-founder of the journal, Giacusa assisted in all aspects of developing the new initiative, including creating a successful business model, establishing relationships with legal scholars and practitioners in the field, and publishing the journalÕs first issue during her last semester of law school. Giacusa was also an articles editor for the prestigious Berkeley Technology Law Journal.
While attending Berkeley Law, Giacusa interned with the Federal District Court of Puerto Rico for the Honorable Chief Judge Aida Delgado-Col—n. She also interned with the law firm of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM), a major West Coast. While interning at JMBM, Giacusa co-authored ‘Cooperation In Discovery And The Role Of The Rule 26(F) Conference’, published by the Practical Law Institute.
Giacusa attended the University of Florida for her undergraduate studies where she obtained a B.S. in Journalism, a B.A. in Criminology, and a certificate/minor in Latin American Studies. She also spent time studying and completing coursework at the Universidad de Montevideo in Montevideo, Uruguay. She is a native Spanish speaker.
Recognizing the importance of giving back to the community as a legal practitioner, Giacusa greatly enjoys partaking in pro-bono matters and has had the honor of assisting in defending individual civil rights in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). She has also given her time to help indigent clients, including minor children, in matters concerning immigration, workers’ rights, guardianships, and school discipline.
Alejandro Gomez, Sr. Manager, Media Insights, Yahoo Inc.
I was born in Bogota, Colombia, but spent my most formative years here in Miami, from age 8 to 18. I left for college, and remained away for 13 years, during which I lived, worked and studied in New York City, Bologna, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Barcelona, and smaller cities in New York and Connecticut. I have moved back to Miami in part hoping to have a positive impact in my home city, and participate in its current stage of growth and development, which may be its most critical.
Professionally, I worked at Bloomberg LP for four years in New York and Sao Paulo in account management and business development covering South America. I also worked at Univision Communications on the networkÍs Empowerment Initiatives, specifically working on projects that sought to encourage enrollment in the Affordable Care Act and educate Hispanics on financial literacy and entrepreneurship. IÍm currently working for Yahoo LatAm, overseeing the companyÍs analysis of the operational and editorial performance of YahooÍs properties, targeting Latin Americans and US Hispanics. I have advised Enterprise Florida in its December 2012 Trade Mission to Colombia, volunteered actively in the Obama reelection Campaign, and completed the Leadership Miami program, developing a project that provided experiential sessions at leading companies in MiamiÍs top growth sectors for 150 high school juniors. Academically, I graduated as a Prelaw/History major from Cornell University, completed a Masters level graduate degree at the Universidad de San Andres/FLACSO in International Economic Relations in Buenos Aires, and graduated with an MBA from the Yale School of Management in 2012.
Madeleine Johnson, Manager, AS/COA Miami, Americas Society/Council of the Americas
Madeleine is manager of the Miami office of the Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/COA), an international business organization that fosters debate and dialogue on economic, political, and social issues; and connects business and government leaders across the Western Hemisphere. She earned a Bachelor’s in International Studies from the University of Chicago and holds a diploma from SciencesPo in Paris. A Miami native, she returned to help establish the AS/COA office here in 2008.
Madeleine currently serves on the board of the Miami Council for International Visitors (MCIV), an organization that supports the U.S. State Department’s International Visitors Leadership Program and fosters citizen diplomacy in South Florida. She is a founding board member and past president of the Coral Gables Rotaract Club and was a professional team member on the Rotary Group Study Exchange program in Lima, Peru, in May 2010. For the past five years, she has been a volunteer for the Overtown Youth Center’s Saturday Tutorial Program. Madeleine was raised trilingual (English, Spanish, French) and has a lifelong passion for international issues, having lived, studied, and traveled on four continents.
Dotie Joseph , Assistant City Attorney , City of North Miami Beach
“Dotie Joseph has a proven passion for litigating human and civil rights issues. After interning at the Office of the Public Defender in Miami during high school, Ms. Joseph went on to earn a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University. At Yale, Ms. Joseph co-founded YaleÍs Haitian Student Alliance, and served as the Political Action Chairperson of the Yale N.A.A.C.P. She also traveled to Paris, France, where she studied post-colonial relations between France and Africa at Columbia University in Paris. After college, Ms. Joseph studied conflict resolution at the Institute for International Mediation and Conflict Resolution in The Hague, Netherlands. Returning to the States, Ms. Joseph served as a Research Intern in the Democracy Program of the Carter Center, where she focused on activities in West Africa and the Caribbean.
Driven by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s quote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Ms. Joseph enrolled in Georgetown University Law Center to pursue a career in human rights advocacy. There, Ms. Joseph served as a Student Advocate in the Center for Applied Legal Studies Clinic, where she collaborated to represent a Congolese woman in her successful claim for political asylum. Over the summers, Ms. Joseph volunteered at the Refugee Law Project, a legal clinic for refugees in Uganda and at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Egypt. Developing her advocacy skills, Ms. Joseph served as the 2003 Frankel Fellow for Human Rights First, externed with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and interned with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law in Washington, D.C.
After earning her J.D., Ms. Joseph served as the Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Judge Eugene Hamilton, former Chief Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia; a Civil Rights Litigation Consultant; as the owner of her own law firm; and as an Associate with several law firms, where she specialized in representing both employees and employers in discrimination claims, advising management, and handling litigation in federal courts.
Currently, Ms. Joseph is serving is the Assistant City Attorney for the City of North Miami Beach, and is married to Pastor Jometre Coquillon. As a lawyer, her credo is to live out the tenets espoused in Psalm 82:3 and Isaiah 1:17 (We are called to defend the cause of the oppressed, to seek justice, and to correct the oppressor.).
Malcom Marshall, Member, Miami-Dade Teach for America
Malcolm Roosevelt Marshall is currently in his 2nd year, serving Miami-Dade as a Teach for America Corps Member. Malcolm is a native New Yorker and his experiences growing up in Brooklyn begged answers to questions around history, privilege and access to opportunity. These questions eventually led Malcolm to Rutgers University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in History and Africana Studies.
In addition to teaching, Malcolm is also pursuing a masters degree in Education and Social Change from the University of Miami. Malcolm is the Community Engagement Director of Ujima- A Collective of Black Education Reformers. Ujima seeks to provide additional impact and influence in the communities served by TFA Corps Members. At NLC, Malcolm hopes to learn vital skills that will allow him to realize his dream of becoming a published author and founder of a research institute.
Brenda Pacouloute, Assistant Public Defender, Broward County Public Defenders
“Born and raised in the historically and culturally rich community ñLittle Haitiî in Miami, Florida, Brenda Pacouloute developed a great interest in studying the reciprocal relationship between community politics and relations and community development and empowerment. This profound interest drove her academic excellence in high school and ultimately led her to pursue a degree in Political Science at one of the most prestigious women’s colleges in the nation, Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.
While at Spelman, Ms. Pacouloute continually demonstrated her commitment to community politics and development by becoming very active in Spelman’s Student Government Association and Political Science Association, leading numerous campaigns to increase political and social awareness and activism on her campus and in the surrounding community. Her activism throughout her four years at Spelman led her to be named “Student of the Year” by the Community Service Office. Ms. Pacouloute graduated from Spelman College at the top of her class with numerous distinctions and honors in May, 2005.
Ms. Pacouloute went on to attend Washington University in St. Louis School of Law (WashU) where she earned her J.D in 2008. While in law school, Ms. Pacouloute served as President of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) breathing new life into this sleeping giant. While President of BLSA she implemented a College Prep/Mentorship Program at a local high school and a Know Your Rights Program at the St. Louis Juvenile Delinquent Center. She has also led volunteer expeditions to New Orleans, LA and Rio De Janiero, Brazil. Ms. Pacouloute selflessly dedicated her law school career to ensuring that WashU lived up to its own ideals, fighting to challenge her school, her peers, her faculty, and her community to maintain faith in the strength of community service and continue to work toward creating spaces for new leaders, young and old, to utilize their talents and skills to be catalysts for positive change in our society and to ultimately better our world.
Today, Ms. Pacouloute is a licensed attorney in the State of Florida. Ms. Pacouloute has experience in immigration, civil, criminal, and real estate law. Currently, she is an Assistant Public Defender in Broward County where she vigorously protects and defends the rights of poor people. She lives by the quote, “Every man is born into the world to do something unique and something distinctive, and if he or she does not do it, it will never be done.”
Justin Pinn, Chemistry Teacher, Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Justin hails from Springfield, Ohio and has enjoyed making Miami, Florida his new home. From the age of five, Justin has been inspired by a quote from President John F. Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. This quote has always motivated him to take on challenges and to stop at nothing to accomplish whatever he sets his heart and mind to. As a first-generation college student at Georgetown University, Justin majored in English and Government while working between two and sometimes three jobs to help his family during the last economic recession. His passion for service allowed him to be awarded the Coakley medal, which is presented annually in the Georgetown College of Arts and Sciences to a member of the senior class who, in the opinion of the faculty, manifested above all others, the qualities of loving service, honor and courage in all phases of his or her college life.
Justin, a Coca-Cola scholar and a Gates Millennium scholar, is currently a 2013 Teach for America Corps Member teaching chemistry at Miami Central Senior High School while pursuing a master’s degree in education from Johns Hopkins UniversityÍs School of Education. He is a board member of the United Nations Association of the United States of America Miami Chapter as well as a board member for the Casimiro Global Foundation. Additionally, as he once said in Gaston Hall to kick off Georgetown University’s scholarship fundraiser, “Hoyas are uniquely empowered to not accept the world for the way it stands before us today, but to have the audacity and courage to challenge and change the world into the way it should be.” We understand the quote by St. Ignatius of Loyola, “Go Forth and Set the World on Fire” as not just a challenge, but also a duty that every Hoya must carry out regardless of what we do or who we are or what our faith is!”" Justin recognizes that he stands on the shoulders of giants and that no child’s dream should ever be deferred.
Bruce Pinchbeck, Videographer,New World Symphony
Bruce Pinchbeck has always been a curious and creative person even as a young child. At the age of 9 Bruce created a homework helper website that was later featured on Oprah, Good Morning America, the New York Times, People Weekly and numerous other publications. Eventually partnering up with DiscoverySchool.com for 5 years.
Through this experience he because fascinated with media and went on to studio Film and Video Production at Drexel University in Philadelphia where he resided before locating to Miami for a job at New World Symphony. Bruce has won numerous awards for his film work including a National Geographic Film Contest and Miami’s 48 Film Contest. Clients have included Ikea, Pepsi, NBC Sports, and Comcast. Bruce is now a co-founder of Whereby Us a civic engagement project based in Miami and founder of Arts & Drafts Miami.
Leah Shadle, In-house Counsel, One Laptop Per Child Association Inc.
Leah Shadle currently serves as the in-house counsel to One Laptop Per Child Association Inc. (OLPC). OLPC is a non-profit entity created to design, manufacture and distribute educational laptops and tablets to children around the world. At OLPC, Leah is responsible for all internal legal matters including commercial contract negotiation, intellectual property matters and other partnership agreements. Leah has handled matters with governments, foundations and other non-governmental organizations around the world. She works closely with the executive management team and the OLPC Board of Directors.
Leah is passionate about non-profit work and education. She is currently a volunteer attorney with the Florida Lawyers for Children organization. She is excited about this opportunity to give back to the Miami community and to work with its progressive leadership.
Kele Stewart, Professor of Clinical Education, University of Miami School of Law
Kele Stewart is a lawyer, professor and child advocate. Raised in Trinidad and Tobago, she later moved to New York where she earned a B.S. from Cornell University and a J.D. from NYU Law School. She has diverse legal experience, having worked as a corporate litigator at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and White & Case, and a voting rights attorney at Brennan Center for Justice, before her current position as a law professor.
Kele’s longstanding passion for children’s issues has come full circle. Her childhood aspiration was to become a teacher and, prior to law school, she was a case manager for teenagers in foster care. In her current role as a clinical professor and co-director of the Children & Youth Law Clinic at the University of Miami School of Law, she handles cases and policy projects on behalf of abused, abandoned and neglected children. During the 2011-2012 academic year, she received a Fulbright award to work on child protection policy in her native Trinidad and Tobago.
Since moving to Miami in 2005, Kele has sought additional ways to serve the community. She is a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami, and served on the Advisory Board of Florida’s Children First and the Independent Living Services Advisory Council. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, running, traveling and learning French.