People On The Move - Real Estate and Finance

Aug. 27
Patrick M. DeSpain has been hired as senior vice president and treasury management sales director for Florida Community Bank. He worked at City National Bank. DeSpain holds a BBA from the University of Miami and earned his MBA at Duke University.

George Assal has joined Avatar Real Estate Services as a broker-associate in the Coconut Grove office. Assal concentrates on Brickell/downtown, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Silver Bluff, South Miami, The Roads and Doral.

Celyta Jackson has been named director of sales for the Setai in Miami Beach. Jackson has 15 years experience in the domestic and international leisure, business and group hotel travel segments.

Craig Aquart has been promoted to principal with MCHarry Associates. Aquart has 17 years of experience.

Alexander Jimenez joins Apollo Bank as vice president and branch manager at Apollo Bank in Coral Gables, and Miguel Mesa joins as vice president and commercial lending officer. Jimenez worked for Coconut Grove Bank. Jimenez earned his bachelor degree from Florida International University. Mesa worked at Florida Community Bank. Mesa received his bachelor degree from Florida International University.

Michael Liu was named director of the Miami-Dade County Public Housing and Community Development Department by Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. Liu is the former assistant secretary for Public and Indian Housing from 2001 to 2005. Liu is a graduate of Stanford University and earned a law degree from the University of Hawaii.

D. Elaine Beck joins Broward Bank of Commerce as a mortgage banker. Beck
worked for Florida Community Bank. Beck will originate the bank’s residential mortgage business.

Michael A. Cabanas joins Coconut Grove Bank as executive vice president and head of wealth management.

Cabanas was employed at BNY Mellon Wealth Management. He holds a masters of business administration from Nova Southeastern University and a bachelor degree from the Florida International University.

Michelle Sanchez was promoted to vice president and business banking lender, Orlando Oliva was promoted to assistant vice president and business banking lender and Eddy Ruiz was promoted to assistant vice president and business banking lender at TotalBank. Sanchez has bachelor degrees from the University of Miami and Florida International University, and graduated from the Florida School of Banking. Oliva has a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University. Ruiz earned a bachelor degree from Troy University.

Aug. 19
Douglas Hackl has been elected to the board of directors for Grand Bank & Trust of Florida in West Palm Beach. He will also serve on the loan committee. Hackl is president of Hackl Pool Construction Co.

Amy Allen has been named to the newly created position of Vice President of Marketing for Florida for the Avison Young office of Fort Lauderdale. Allen co-founded MedUTech.

Miya Wong was promoted to director of marketing at Miller Construction Co. Wong will be responsible for market planning, branding, promotional and sales communications and advertising.

Tony Arellano has been promoted to executive vice president of Metro 1 Commercial. Arellano will be responsible for managing the firm’s overall sales and leasing efforts. Arellano holds a business administration degree from Florida International University.

John Taber returns to the executive team of Blue Leaf Hospitality as the newly appointed hospitality market manager. Taber will oversee market development and client relations.

Esslinger∙Wooten∙Maxwell Realty International has added eight associates to the company’s Brickell office branch: Rachel Arvelo, Juan Pablo Gamio, Rachel Kane Cartledge, Alejandra Libonatti, Maria Manso, Rosmery Quintero, Beatrice Solloway and Ana Vandervis.

Arvelo owned Arvelo Real Estate in Puerto Rico and studied psychology and business administration.

Gamio worked for Conway Commercial Real Estate in Miami.
Cartledge was president of Rachel Cartledge Interiors, and attended Tulane University and the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.

Libonatti worked for Ritz-Carlton hotels, and studied marketing and international business.

Manso worked for United Properties in Miami.

Quintero worked for Therapy by Design and studied business and marketing in Colombia.

Solloway was a French coach for Rosetta Stone in Miami.

Vandervis was a human resources analyst for ExxonMobil in the Dominican Republic.

Aug. 15
Jo Colonna was named hotel director of Fisher Island Club hotel. Colonna has worked for the Setai Miami Beach and W Hotel South Beach. Colonna received his bachelor’s degree from Florida International University.

Maria D. Franco was named store manager of the Pembroke Pines West store of TD Bank. Franco worked for U.S. Century Bank as a branch manager in Miami Lakes.

Raul Valdes-Fauli, president and CEO of Professional Bank, has been named to the board of directors of the Florida Bankers Association. His will head the regulatory relief committee. Valdes-Fauli received a bachelor degree from Lake Forest College and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Miami.

Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors and Accountants announced six promotions:
Larry Bernstein is senior manager in the tax services practice.

Christopher Cichoski is senior manager in the audit and attest services practice.
Rachel Gram is senior manager in the audit and attest services practice.
Rachel Kelly is senior manager in the business valuation and forensic services practice.

Dustin Grizzle is senior manager in the tax services practice.
Andrew Leonard is senior manager in the international tax services practice.

Esslinger∙Wooten∙Maxwell Realty International has added six associates to the Pinecrest-Palmetto Bay office branch: Paula Ruth Brown, Maria Bennett, Erika Di Porto, Daniel Hunt, LeAnn Soto and Gabriel Zilban.

Brown worked as a sales associate for Nordstrom in Miami and brings 11 years of real estate experience.

Bennett was a wedding planner in Miami and has previous real estate experience. She attended Miami-Dade College and Florida State University.

Di Porto worked as a physical therapist for the University of Miami. She attended Florida International University.

Hunt was a partner with Matovich, McLean & Hunt in San Jose, Calif. Hunt has a bachelor degrees from the University of Florida and law degree from Golden Gate University.

Soto worked as a commissioned faux interior painter in Miami. She attended East Carolina University and Florida International University.
Zilban worked for GDS in Miami Beach. He graduated from the University of Albany.
 

Aug. 13
Lynn M. Britt, founder of Britt & Company, received two honors. The American Woman’s Society of Certified Public Accountants awarded Britt the National Public Service Award. Britt was also honored at the 2014 annual Florida Bar Convention in Orlando by Elisa Roy, chair of the Florida Bar Family Law Section.

St. George Guardabassi, senior vice president of Berger Commercial Realty, was named Rotarian of the Year by the Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale. Guardabassi received his bachelor degree from Texas Christian University.

Mirian Vidal was named senior vice president and managing director and Maryluz Yapur was named banking officer and sales director of TotalBank’s Aventura Banking Center. Vidal was with Florida Community Bank. Vidal has an associate of arts degree from Miami-Dade College. Yapur was at BB&T. Yapur earned her magna cum laude bachelor degree from Universidad del Este, Puerto Rico.

David Ogman, financial adviser, has joined UBS Wealth Management in Boca Raton. David was with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. Ogman has an undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and a masters in business administration from Nova Southeastern University.

Douglas Stein, president of HMS National, has been named president of the National Home Service Contract Association, a national nonprofit. Stein will serve as an advocate for the home warranty industry.

Ana Maria Braga joins Opulence International Realty as a sales associate. Braga was with Musa Realty.

Ivan Ramirez has been named sales director of Sereno, a property in Bay Harbor Islands. Ramirez received his bachelor degree from Barry University.
Rafael Aguilar, project manager of the roadway department, has rejoined HNTB Corp. Aguilar earned a bachelor degree from Florida International University.