Carlos M. Molinet, CHA, is the Senior Vice President of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau.  He previously held positions as Area General Manager and General Manager, as well as Director of Operations for renowned hoteliers, including Starwood, Wyndham, Hyatt and Hilton hotels.  He has served as General Manager in prestigious hotels such as the Hyatt Pier 66, Westin Providence, Wyndham Old San Juan Hotel and Casino, and Palmas Del Mar Beach Resort.


Carlos is the Co-Founder, President, and CEO of The Molinet Institute, an organization that provides the keys to help unlock the door to all of life's amazing possibilities and potential. Carlos' training and presentation experience includes a variety of topics: World Class Client Service, Time/Stress Management, Motivation, Team Building and Effective Communication Skills. Additionally, he is a graduate of Leadership Broward Class XXVI.


Carlos is a very involved community leader in Fort Lauderdale, currently serving as division chair for Media & Entertainment on the United Way Development Committee, immediate past president of the Broward Chapter of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (he held President and Chairman position), the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance Board of Directors, and the Broward Presidents Community Council of Florida Atlantic University. He was appointed and served on the Executive Committee of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association for the 2011-2012 term.


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Peter Quinter is a Shareholder in Gray Robinson’s Miami and Ft. Lauderdale offices and is Chair of the Customs & International Trade Law Group. Mr. Quinter principally represents persons and companies involved in international trade and transportation, including litigation in the Federal courts located in Florida and the U.S. Court of International Trade in New York. Board Certified in International Law, Mr. Quinter was appointed by the Florida Bar to the International Law Certification Committee.


Mr. Quinter has been recognized for his expertise and leadership in several peer review and other ratings: Florida Trend magazine recognized him among its "Legal Elite" in the area of International Law; The U.S. Secretary of Commerce appointed Mr. Quinter to the Florida District Export Council and Mr. Quinter was rated "superb" by Avvo Ratings, an online lawyer listing that rates and profiles attorneys, just to name a few.


Mr. Quinter earned a Bachelor of Science at Cornell University and Juris Doctorate at The American University, Washington College of Law.


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Leandro Solorzano is a Senior International Trade Specialist with the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce in South Florida. During his time with the US DOC he has been Team Leader for the Americas, overseeing programs and outreach from and to the Western Hemisphere, he has lead trade missions and trade shows in Mexico, Singapore, Thailand, Germany, and Brazil. He currently works with companies in the Life Sciences sectors helping them enter foreign markets. He holds a B.A. in International Relations and Geography from Florida International University and a M.A. in International Administration from University of Miami.


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Miguel A. Orta, a native of Cuba, has been an adjunct instructor at Nova Southeastern University  since 1998. He teaches (graduate and undergraduate programs) Import/Export Management, Comparative Management and International Negotiations, International Legal Environment and Law Ethics and Society and New Venture Creation . Miguel has a BA in Political Science and Mass Communications from Florida State University, A Juris Doctor from Duke University and a Masters in International Business from Nova Southeastern University.

Miguel has practiced law in the areas of corporate, international, commercial, labor, criminal and litigation law, representing and advising numerous Latin American clients in commercial transactions. He has been owner / operator of start-ups in the fields of commercial real estate, agriculture, mining, metals recycling, generic pharmaceutical repackaging, import/export and sports promotion.

The founder of American Strategic Consultants, Mr. Orta has conducted market research, feasibility studies and business planning for the development of international enterprises in many countries. He is presently involved in strategic planning for Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Thai companies entering the United States and Latin American markets.

Miguel is involved in humanitarian projects in Cuba and has advised Asian, European and American firms on market entry strategies for present day Cuba and a post-Castro Cuba. He serves  as Chairperson for the SCORE chapter in Hollywood, Florida and in the Broward County Guardian ad Litem Program.


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Mitch Welin has owned ComRes, a Fort Lauderdale-based phone system and phone/computer cabling company for 24 years and is COO/part-owner of Planned Growth, an Internet Marketing company.  He is on the board of Junior Achievement of South Florida and involved in several organizations including the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance and the Construction Association of South Florida.


ComRes is one of the few phone system providers in South Florida that still answers calls with a live body and provides service with licensed and bonded employees!


In addition to being part owner of 2 technology companies, Mitch is involved with

 fund-raising initiatives for many South Florida non-profits, such as the Pantry of Broward, Boys and Girls Club, the Prestige Club, Life4Net, the Humane Society, the Dan Marino Foundation, 211-Broward and most recently – Hispanic Unity of Florida!


Mitch enjoys rooting for our local professional sport teams, playing guitar and hunting.


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Michelle Villalobos teaches entrepreneur, corporate and student audiences about "Shameless Self-Promotion" – AKA: how to leverage your unique personality, knowledge and assets to drive incoming business, job offers and increase perceived value. Her programs have collectively been viewed – either virtually or in person – by over 120,000 people.

In 2011, The Miami Herald named Michelle one of the city's “Top 20 Under 40” and she wrote Chapter 13 in Ivan Misner's latest bestseller: Building The Ultimate Network. Her chapter: From Nobody To Somebody...How To Create A Personal Brand Online In 9 Easy Steps.

Clients include Burger King, American Express, Audi, Gibraltar Bank, Frito-Lay, LivingSocial, and Constant Contact, among others. Michelle appears regularly in the media discussing personal branding as well as how professional women can "get ahead, get noticed, and get promoted."

Michelle regularly sends out high-value tools, tricks and techniques about how to drive leads, referrals and revenues to small business.


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Conchy Bretos is a founder of Mia Consulting Group, Inc.


Ms. Bretos served as Florida Secretary for Aging & Adult Services and AARP State Legislative Representative for Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as well as the project director for the World Health Organization Regional Teacher Center for Southeast Asia and CEO of The College of Law in Sydney, Australia.


Ms. Bretos has drafted and successfully advocated for several successful bills creating Medicaid funding for services in seven states. In 2003, Ms. Bretos introduced the idea of creating a national demonstration project to the Department of Housing & Urban Development (USHUD) to provide assisted living services to seniors and disabled adults living in public housing.


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Lorena Garcia Duran is the Director of Operations for the Miami chapter of Ashoka, a global organization focused on social entrepreneurship and geared toward finding solutions to social and environmental problems.  Prior to launching the Miami office, Lorena spent three years boosting social entrepreneurship in the Americas with Ashoka.

Lorena Garcia Duran studied French at the University of the Sorbonne in Paris and returned to Mexico to study Communications at the Universidad Iberoamericana.  She completed her major in Audiovisual Communication at the Universidad Pontificia in Salamanca, Spain.  She has dedicated herself to forging alliances between the social sector and business world, and continues to keep the spotlight on opportunities in scaling social entrepreneurship for The Americas and abroad.


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Dennis Haas has served as the President/CEO of ARC Broward, a nationally accredited not for profit organization that has been providing services to children and adults with autism, intellectual disabilities and various other disadvantages for more than 57 years. ARC Broward offers 22 services through its 400 skilled, compassionate and dedicated employees. In addition ARC Broward operates several social enterprises that provide employment opportunities for ARC Broward clients and help generate funds for programs. They include the following:


During the first 18 years of his professional experience he practiced law, specializing in corporate healthcare, public finance and governmental relations. He has served as a member and in leadership positions of many non profit and community boards including: Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, Broward Special Needs Advisory Committee (SNAC), Broward Chamber of Non Profit Organizations, Workforce One, United Way and many more.  Mr. Haas has a B.A. from the University of Florida, and juris doctorate from Nova University Law Center.


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Demian M. Bellumio is the CEO of Senzari, Inc., a "big data" content recommendation company based in Miami, with presence in Berlin, Madrid, San Francisco and Sao Paulo. Demian is an active investor through Quotidian Ventures LLC, a seed to early-stage investment fund.

Previously, Demian was the founder and president of Hoodiny Entertainment Group, LLC., which developed the Cyloop Music Network to power a variety of strategic partners, including MSN Music. At Hoodiny, Demian led a talented team of engineers and creative professionals, setting the technology and strategic vision that made the company a pioneer in the International digital music space. Demian was responsible for raising over $20m in debt and equity financing and engineering the strategic sale of the business.

Prior to founding Hoodiny, Demian was the Vice President of Corporate Finance & Development at Terremark Worldwide, Inc., a leading provider of Internet infrastructure services in the U.S., Latin America and Europe. While at Terremark, he executed over $200 million in financing transactions, including a $45 million secondary offering, an $80 million senior debt financing and an $86 million convertible note financing.

Demian is a founding member and shareholder of BroadSpan Capital, Ltd., an investment banking firm that specializes in Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic market, with offices in Miami and Rio de Janeiro. Demian began his career in banking at Barclays Capital.

Demian received his B.B.A. in finance, international business and marketing from Florida International University in 2000. He is a member of the board of FIU's Americas Venture Capital Conference. Demian was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


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Juan Pablo Cappello was selected as a Top 50 Entrepreneur by Business Leader Magazine and  is a Principal Shareholder in the Latin American Group of Greenberg Traurig, a 2,000 lawyer law firm.  He was a partner in and a director of, which was sold to Banco Santander for a transaction value of over US$750 million.


Juan Pablo is also a well-known entrepreneur and deeply involved in supporting venture capital in Latin America. He co-founded (i), the first Latin America crowdfunding site and (ii) Sauber Energy, a green energy company in Chile that resolves the problem of "harmonics" in the electrical grid, while remaining a serial "seed investor" supporting many projects including Senzari (an international music site like Pandora), Urbita (a regional travel site), and LinkedStore (an Argentinian site that supports SMEs).


He serves on the Knight Foundation Advisory Committee as well as the advisory board of the Institute of Global International Effectiveness at the Kelly School of Management, Indiana University.   Juan Pablo is a GAB member of and a member of the Legal Committee of the Latin American Venture Capital Association.


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Marco Giberti is an entrepreneur and angel investor with more than 20 years of experience in marketing and communications, focusing on the media, internet and events industries.
After several years in a successful career as a corporate executive at Apple computers, Mr. Giberti followed his entrepreneurial spirit and became:
• Co-founder and Board Member of Mind Opener, a leading publishing group in Latin America

Co-founder and Board Member of e-mind, an internet and media communications company

• President, CEO and co-founder of Mind Trainer, a firm specialized in the organization of major regional trade-shows and events
In 2005, Reed Elsevier bought a controlling position in the business and Mr. Giberti became president and regional partner for the events and trade show division in Latin America.
Under Mr. Giberti’s leadership, Reed Exhibitions Latin America is the leading company in the region, organizing more than 50 events annually in Latin American markets.


Mr. Giberti has been awarded many distinctions, including: 1999 Entrepreneur of the Year Award and one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the global convention and exhibition business by Trade Show Week magazine.
Mr. Giberti is a Harvard Business School OPM Graduate and member of YPO, the Young Presidents Organization.


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Maria Harrison is a recognized and leading expert in interactive marketing strategy and implementation. Maria has served in Vice President and Director roles for the last 13 years in interactive marketing . Prior to joining Bullseye Strategy, Maria served as the Vice President of Marketing for The Laredo Group, a leading interactive marketing training company, the Director of Online Marketing for Interval International, an IACI company, Global Partners Group, a financial securities trading firm, and founded and operated Key Promotions, an interactive marketing strategy and implementation firm specializing in search engine marketing and media planning and buying. Maria has also served as an instructor for the University of San Francisco’s interactive marketing educational programs.

Maria was one of the founding board members and served as president of the South Florida Interactive Marketing Association from 2005-2006 and continues to serve as a board member and advisor to the association. She is a sought after speaker at industry shows such as the Online Marketing Summit, WEMedia, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), and Webmaster World’s Pubcon. Maria holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rhode Island College. When she is not working, Maria enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, preferably on the boat!


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Kathy Koch is Founder and President of Ambit Advertising and Public Relations, a full service marketing agency she founded in Pittsburgh. From its inception, Ambit was recognized for its cutting edge marketing strategies and its ability to generate bottom line results to its clients. Within its first three years, Ambit grew to become one of the area’s largest advertising agencies with clients spanning 11 states and 18 cities.


Kathy relocated to South Florida where Ambit earned a new reputation for creating comprehensive marketing campaigns that move people to action. The Ambit team is known for being highly creative and intuitive, for working hard and smart with a knack for having fun along the way.

Kathy’s management style is still to lead by example. She is an enthusiastic, experienced hands-on manager who stays involved with her team and with Ambit’s varied clients. She is a frequent speaker on the subject of marketing and branding and has been featured in local and national media. With Kathy at the helm, Ambit has won numerous Addy and DESI Awards.


Throughout her career, Kathy has been recognized for her personal accomplishments, including being honored as one of South Florida’s Most Influential Women by the South Florida Business Journal, and Woman of the Year by Women in Communications. She was most recently recognized with an Achievement Award from the Florida Commission on the Status of Women.


She currently serves on the boards of Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance (past chair), Broward Workshop, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and the Tower Forum.


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Brian Brackeen is the founder and CEO of Miami based startup, Kairos. Kairos is an innovative, enterprise-focused, facial recognition company. Their flagship product, Kairos TimeClock, allows employees to clock-in and out of work by simply by facing a tablet or phone.  Prior to Kairos, Brian cut his technical teeth at firms like Comcast, ADP, IBM, and Apple. It was at Apple (where he managed the rollout of HR systems worldwide) that the entrepreneurial bug bit him. He left Apple with his then Co-Founder (Amanda McClure) and a few Apple developers and Engineers to start Kairos.


Since its founding, Kairos has raised in excess of $500,000 across its founder investment, friends and family, and angel rounds. Kairos is currently looking to raise a Series A round of investment of 3.5 Miillion to propel the move into Europe and Latin America in 2013.


Brian lives in Miami, has a daughter and is an avid Philadelphia Eagles & Miami Heat fan.


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Luis Ortiz Gross

Luis Ortiz Gross founded BonKrep, a social enterprise, in 2012.  Previously, he worked at TECHO as Fundraising Director for TECHO Mexico and then as Director of Fundraising for Latin America and the Caribbean, based out of Miami. He earned his degree in International Business Administration at Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City.


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Joshua Morales

Josh founded Ocean Star International, Inc in 2007 at the tender age of 24. He was also the youngest in US history to receive his NVOCC (non vessel operating common carrier) license from the Federal Maritime Commission. Within a 4 year period Josh and his team built OSI to become one of Americas fastest growing companies according to INC500/5000. Recently OSI was also awarded a certification from the GSA (General Service Administration) to provide logistics services to US Government Agencies worldwide. Today Josh owns and operates 2 companies with his second venture being a global relocation company called International Van Lines, Inc., but it doesn’t stop there. Josh has always had a thing for challenge and now spends his nights and weekends working on a new technology that he is looking for investors to partake in. Josh is working day and night in hopes to one day get bought out by Facebook or LinkedIn.


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Abe Cardenas joined Bank of America Merrill Lynch in 2002.  He focuses on advising business owners, executives and High-Net-Worth individuals on the unique challenges that come with preserving, growing and transferring substantial wealth.  Prior to his current role as a Financial Advisor in the advisory division of Merrill Lynch, he held positions as a Portfolio Analyst in investments, Associate Portfolio Manager and Wealth Strategies Analyst at US Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management.


Abe is a graduate of Campbell University in North Carolina, with a B.B.A in Trust and Investment Management. He earned an M.B.A. from Campbell University’s Lundy-Fetterman School of Business. He currently serves on the board of the Hispanic Unity of Florida. Abe is married and lives with his wife and daughters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.



Martin J. Morin, Small Business Banking SVP, Small Business Banking Manager Broward County


Martin is the Small Business Banking Manager for Broward County. Martin joined Bank of America in 2012, and has over 20 years of banking experience. He has held various positions in both the Consumer and Small Business segments. Martin leads a team of 14 Small Business Bankers that serve the Broward market. The Small Business Segment at Bank of America focuses on business owners with annualized revenues of $250M-$10MM.


Martin is a South Florida native, married with two children, and currently resides in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Martin supports community initiatives such as March of Dimes and United Way. He is currently serving as the 2013 March of Dimes Campaign Chairman for Bank of America, Broward County.


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Durée Mellion

RossPresident, Durée & Company


Durée Mellion Ross fell in love with public relations at the age of 19 during a college internship. She found her passion organizing events and fitting the right ideas with the right clients at Zynyx Marketing Communications in Miami Beach.


She has since become an award-winning PR entrepreneur with a broad spectrum of

experience spanning the corporate, agency and non-profit arenas. In 2012, Duree was

named a Bronze Award recipient of the American Business Awards, also known as The

Stevie® Awards for Women in Business for Female Entrepreneur of the Year. Locally, she was named a 2012 South Florida Women Extraordinaire Business Leader. In 2013, she was named a finalist for BizBash South Florida’s Readers' Choice Awards for PR Professional of the Year.


A University of Miami graduate, Durée resides in Ft. Lauderdale with her

family. An avid community advocate, Durée served as the Circle of Red Chair for the

2012 Go Red for Women Broward County campaign, and on the Executive Leadership

Committee for the American Heart Association. She also volunteers for several non-

profit organizations.


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Mary Hernandez

Regional Manager for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA)


Mary Hernandez is the Regional Manager for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) International Trade Programs in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Based out of the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Miami, Mary works closely with other Federal agencies like the U.S. Commercial Service and the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Together, they offer a broad range of programs and services for U.S. exporters such as international marketing, credit insurance and export financing. Mary’s primary focus is to train lenders on how they can use SBA’s export loan programs to provide the working capital needed by small businesses to establish or expand their international markets.


During her career with SBA, Mary has also worked with its Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs in Washington, DC, as well as, its National Outreach Office based in Los Angeles, California.


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Jennifer Kovach,

Director, South Florida Outreach Division The Jim Moran Institute For Global Entrepreneurship

Florida State University


Jennifer Brin Kovach is the Director of the South Florida Outreach Division for The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship of Florida State University.  Kovach is charged with advancing its mission to cultivate, train, and inspire entrepreneurial leaders in the South Florida community.  Kovach’s professional background includes extensive experience in business & entrepreneurial development and the non-profit industry. Kovach holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Social Work from Florida State University; and a MBA from Florida Atlantic University. Kovach, a native of South Florida has a long professional history of working in the non-profit arena for several outstanding organizations; Kids in Distress and Children’s Home Society.  Most recently, Kovach served as Director of the Florida Women’s Business Center, an entrepreneur center for women in South Florida. One of 100 national centers of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the center helped start 40 businesses, create 80 new jobs, and served over 2,000 entrepreneurs in 2011.


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Maria Elena Ibañez   

Maria Elena Ibañez Founder and President Intermark Foods/El Latino


With an exceptional track record building fast-growing, highly successful companies, first in information technology, and now in Hispanic food products, Maria Elena is often referred to as a serial entrepreneur. She led her two prior companies into the Elite Inc 500 list and has already led Intermark Foods to be recognized among the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies three times in a row-- 2009, 2010, and 2011. Maria Elena launched her "El Latino" brand in 2002 and built it into one of the fastest growing Hispanic food brands in the nation. El Latino offers Latin consumers the authentic flavors of their roots, prepared with carefully selected ingredients of the highest quality.  Her products are widely distributed through major supermarket chains including Wal-Mart, Publix, Winn-Dixie and all the Hispanic supermarkets in the Southeast.

Maria Elena is a Computer Science graduate from FIU, where she served on the Board of Trustees. She has been involved in a number of boards and community organizations including: The Beacon Council, The Fiduciary Trust, Sprint and President Clinton's Southern Region Advisory Committee for Economic Development.



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Mitchell Kaplan      

Mitchell Kaplan the founder of Books & Books & Co-Founder

of the Miami Book Fair


Books & Books, an independent bookstore in Coral Gables, Florida, opened its doors in 1982. He is also co-founder and guiding light of the Miami Book Fair, which he has helped to direct since its founding in 1984.


Born in Miami, Florida, Kaplan pioneered independent bookselling, making Books & Books a success at a time when long-established bookstores began going out of business. One of his most popular strategies has been bringing touring authors to the store for lectures, readings and signings.


Mitchell is the former President of the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and also served on the Board of ABFFE, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression.  In 2011, Mitchell received the National Book Foundation’s prestigious “Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community”.


Today Books and Books has three locations in South Florida, plus stores in Grand Cayman, Miami International Airport, Westhampton Beach, N.Y. and the newest location at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale.


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Keith Koenig   

American Dreamer & 2013 ESummit Keynote Speaker

President of City Furniture


City Furniture is a retail furniture company with 24 showrooms in South Florida under two brands, City Furniture and Ashley Furniture HomeStores.


City Furniture evolved from Waterbed City which was started in 1971 by Mr. Koenig’s late brother, Kevin.  Keith became Kevin’s partner in Waterbed City directly after receiving his MBA from the University of Florida.  He also earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Florida.  Mr. Koenig is active in many South Florida community organizations, and has received local and national recognition, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the UF MBA Outstanding Alumnus Award, and the Furniture Retailer of the Year Award.  He is past board chair of the University of Florida Foundation, and he chaired the Broward County Regional Council for the UF “Florida Tomorrow” $1.5 Billion Capital Campaign.  He was made a Knight of St. Gregory by Pope John Paul II.


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Remedios Diaz-Oliver        


& Presidential Award Recipient for Excellence in Export


All American Containers, Inc. founded in 1991 is a leading supplier in the United States of glass, plastic and metal containers and caps with operations in Miami, Tampa, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Atlanta and Dallas, producing innovative containers for the food & beverage, chemical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.


Prior to All American Containers, Mrs. Díaz -Oliver was Director and Consultant of the New World School of Language in Miami, Florida; President of the Association of Exporters, Freight Forwarders and Manufacturers of Greater Miami and Vice President and Member of the Board of Havana Business Academy and Havana Business College, as well as tenure (past and current) on the boards of the following corporations: Avon Products, Inc., Barnett Bank (Bank of America), American Cancer Society, Cuban Liberty Council and many more. She was appointed in 1988 and 1992 to the Advisory Board Trade Policy, Negotiations and International Policy for the President of the United States. Mrs. Díaz Oliver was the first woman to receive the “E” award (for excellence in export) from the President of the United States and the only Florida woman to be a member of the Board of Directors of three Fortune 500 companies, simultaneously.


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John Ruffin, Jr.

Founder of J.D. Ruffin & Associates, CEO of Trans Ocean Investment Services

& Chairman of the United Negro College Fund


John Ruffin Jr. earned his bachelor’s degree at Morgan State University and a master’s degree from Cornell University.  Mr. Ruffin came to South Florida in 1980 as the Vice President of Pantry Pride, Inc. and became the owner of the first black-owned radio station in South Florida.  John and his wife, Dottie, formed J.D. Ruffin Associates, Inc. He is also the CEO of Trans Ocean Investment Services, LC- a firm dedicated to business opportunities between Africa, the US, Caribbean and Latin America. JD Ruffin Associates, Inc. has been responsible for helping to provide scholarships in Florida and North Carolina totaling $250,000 over the past 20 years.


As Chairman of the United Negro College Fund, Mr. Ruffin was instrumental in raising over $1 million for scholarships in Broward County.  He has also been a chairman of the following organizations: The Urban League of Broward County, The Community Foundation of Broward, National Conference for Community and Justice of Broward & Palm Beach Counties and the Internet Coast Initiative Council.  John Ruffin, Jr. is a Leadership Broward and Leadership Florida graduate and a founding board member of the Huizenga School of Business at Nova Southeastern University.


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Stanley Tate

Tate Capital, LLC


Mr. Tate began his business career in 1949, building single and multi-family residential properties. By the late 1950s, Stanley Tate Builders, Inc., broadened its scope to include commercial and industrial properties as well as providing leasing and consulting services. In 1969 he focused on condominium development and shopping center, apartment, office-building, warehouse, restaurant, and residential construction. During the $17 billion REIT crisis in the 1970’s, Mr. Tate’s expertise was sought after by many REITs, Nationally Chartered Banks and Courts (Federal and State) and the New York Federal Bankruptcy Court. Mr. Tate was appointed by the New York Federal Bankruptcy Court as Trustee to establish a work-out Plan of Arrangement for Associated Mortgage Investors, Inc. and Chase Manhattan Bank, the lead lender for 27 National and State chartered banks involved in this work-out. Mr. Tate’s efforts concluded with a 100% pay back of all of the individual banks’ invested capital. Due to Mr. Tate’s success with the Associated Mortgage Investors, his expertise was used to oversee the workouts of 12 other REITS in similar need. Mr. Tate participated in the formation of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989, which laid the foundation for the Resolution Trust Corporation (“RTC”). In 1989 he was named Chairman of Region 1 of the RTC, which included 20 states on the Eastern seaboard. In 1993, Mr. Tate was nominated by then-President Clinton for appointment as CEO of the RTC


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Jimmy Tate

Tate Capital, LLC


Jimmy Tate, along with his brother, Kenny, co-founded Tate Development Corporation in 1986. Tate Development Corporation has developed a range of asset types, including: condominiums, apartments, single and multi-family homes, industrial parks and commercial retail properties. The Tate family has successfully developed, built and or managed over 7,000 single family and multi-family residences throughout the United States and has developed, operated and managed approximately five million square feet of retail and office space, hotels/casinos, golf courses, office buildings, motels and industrial parks throughout the United States and the Caribbean. From 1993 through 1996, Tate Development Corp. managed the reconstruction efforts for approximately 2,000 multifamily and single family residences which were destroyed by Hurricane Andrew. Mr. Tate, along with his brother, Kenny, also founded a number of well-known companies in Florida, New York, Los Angeles and the Dominican Republic, in the fields of real estate development, general contracting, clothing manufacturing, management and finance.  In 2009, Jimmy and Kenny formed Tate Capital, LLC which, over the past four years, has been an active purchaser of over $600 million of institutional grade real estate related distressed debt.  The Tate’s have successfully been able to convert most of this debt into ownership positions for which they oversee all asset and property management.  Mr. Tate currently holds Board positions with Mount Sinai Medical Center Board of Trustees, North Miami Museum of Contemporary Art Advisory Board and Miami Country Day School Development Committee.


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Kenny Tate

Tate Capital, LLC


Kenny Tate has started a number of private companies in South Florida over the past 30 years. With his brother Jimmy, Mr. Tate was a co-founder in the Tate Development Corporation. Kenny has had a certified general contracting license in the State of Florida for over 30 years and was appointed by the Governor to serve on the State of Florida Contractors Licensing Board for seven years. During the late 1980’s and early 1990’s Mr. Tate was directly involved in the management and work-out of distressed real estate as a Receiver for multiple State Courts in Dade and Broward County. In the 1980’s thru the late 2000’s, Mr. Tate was an owner and the managing partner of the Villa del Ray Golf Club, an 18 hole championship golf course located in Delray Beach, Florida.  In 1996, Jimmy and Kenny formed TKO Apparel Inc, a clothing manufacturer of many national name brands produced and sold around the world.  Currently, in addition to operating the TKO family of apparel companies, Kenny and Jimmy, own and manage a number of institutional grade multi-family and commercial properties throughout the United States. Mr. Tate graduated from Vanderbilt University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering and Duke University, where he earned an MBA. Kenny currently serves on the board of Nova Southeastern University, the Broward Performing Arts Foundation, and Kids In Distress.  He has been married to his wife, Sandy, since 1977 and together they have three adult daughters.


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Entrepreneur Catalyst Award


Dr. Susan Amat     

Founder, Venture Hive


Co-Founder, The Launch Pad; Founder, Venture Hive


Dr. Susan Amat is a serial entrepreneur, promoting concerts in Miami at age 15. Before 25, she started a record label, national television show and the first CD-ROM magazine. Susan returned to South Florida to complete her bachelor’s degree, earned an MBA and developed products for child health monitoring. Dr. Amat also co-founded The Launch Pad at the University of Miami. The international model for entrepreneurship education, TLP has been replicated with support from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, creating the only national network of collegiate entrepreneurs.


With the support of Miami’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Dr. Amat founded Venture Hive. Venture Hive is a technology accelerator based on economic development principals, recruiting new talent in focused verticals based on the strengths of Miami: healthcare, travel/hospitality, and creative industries.


Dr. Amat is the Chair of Startup Florida, authors monthly columns in the Miami Herald and the South Florida Business Journal, is currently an International Women’s Forum Leadership Fellow and is in the XXXI class of Leadership Florida. In 2012, Dr. Amat was honored at the White House as a Champion of Change. She loves her husband Luis, and children Frances (6) and Dominic (1).



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Entrepreneur to Watch Award


Alina Villasante     

Peace Love World is a lifestyle brand and Alina Villasante’s vision of life. Born in Cuba, Alina moved to South Florida where she and her best friends became known as: Peace, Love, and Happiness. Alina was Love.  Alina built a successful aviation business and raised three children. In 1999, she launched the annual “Love Party” and designed t-shirts, pajamas, and jewelry which incorporated her signature symbols of Peace, Love and Happiness. Today, Peace Love World operates six stores in South Florida and three in Hong Kong. The brand is sold online, in 1,800 boutiques and department stores and is distributed in 18 countries.  In 2013 she will debut casual clothes line with Coca-Cola, and a luggage collection with Heys USA. Peace Love World is frequently worn by celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Sofia Vergara and Ellen DeGeneres. Peace Love World spreads peace and love through numerous philanthropic endeavors.


Workshop Bios

2013 Speakers

"I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.”

– Warren Buffet

© 2012 Hispanic Unity All Rights Reserved.

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Hispanic Unity was founded more than 31 years ago by community leaders to ease the acculturation transition for newcomers from other nations. Today this nonprofit provides 19 programs, in three languages, to Broward’s diverse community. Learn more

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