Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top 50 Women Leaders of Miami for 2023. With the largest urban economy in Florida, this city is home to innumerable women leading across some of the state’s most successful industries including tourism, technology, finance, education, food & beverage, manufacturing, and other industries. This year’s awardees embody the leadership skills that enable the success of the organizations they serve. They are role models and provide an inspiration to future women leaders in their field.
Among this year’s awardees is Lani Kane-Hanan, Executive Vice President and Chief Development & Product Officer for Marriott Vacations Worldwide, who is tasked with the responsibility for the company’s product expansions, growth, development and enterprise level growth initiatives. Awardee Divya Gugnani, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Wander Beauty, balances a thriving career and motherhood with the success of her clean, cruelty-free beauty brand that creates multitasking, beauty essentials. Also awarded is Kavita Kumar, Vice President of Global Sourcing & Supply Chain for Zumba Fitness, who has been credited for the accomplishment of reducing the cost of a product, increasing product quality and with growing the employee population.
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Women Leaders of Miami for 2023.
1. Lisa Sicilian
Chief Administrative Officer, Kaplan
Lisa Sicilian is the Chief Administrative Officer for Kaplan, North America. Kaplan is one of the world’s largest and most diverse digital education companies. Lisa recently helped reorganize the business by merging each of Kaplan’s US-based businesses. She oversees top-level operations functions, including people management and engagement, DEI, academic services and learning experience, technology, digital product and infrastructure, compliance and quality, facilities, risk management and international operations.
Prior to joining Kaplan in 2003, Lisa served in roles including VP, general counsel and corporate secretary. She also worked in two Washington DC law firms and began her career clerking for three judges at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. She earned a JD from Emory University School of Law and undergraduate degree in political science and communications from Goucher College, graduating with Phi Beta Kappa honors.
Lisa serves on the board of directors of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, the economic development business council for Broward County, and the board of directors of Kaplan India. Previously, she served as a trustee for several institutions including as trustee and board secretary for Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global) as well as Trustee of Mount Washington College. She was also the founding facilitator of the Women President’s Organization, South Florida Chapter.
4. Lani Kane-Hanan
EVP & Chief Development & Product Officer, Marriott Vacations Worldwide
Lani Kane-Hanan is the Executive Vice President and Chief Development and Product Officer for Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation and is a member of the company’s executive committee. Lani is responsible for the company’s product expansions, growth, development and enterprise level growth initiatives. Specifically, she oversees the resort planning, design, construction, refurbishment, acquisitions and product innovation departments. Her team’s efforts support the vacation ownership family of brands around the globe.
Prior to joining the organization in 2000, Lani was part of the senior leadership team of the real estate consulting practices of Arthur Andersen and Horwath Hospitality in Miami where she specialized in development, acquisitions and strategic planning for lodging, residential and mixed-use real estate projects and companies. A third-generation hotelier with more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Lani is an active member of the American Resort Development Association and serves on the board of directors. She is also the co-founder and past president of Women in the Industry, a national nonprofit organization which – in addition to its philanthropic activities – advocates, educates and connects women. She is a member of the Urban Land Institute and serves on the National Recreational Development Council. She is a frequent guest speaker at various universities, hospitality conferences, women’s organizations and other groups.
Lani received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in hospitality management from Florida International University, where she also served as an adjunct instructor and is currently the Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council.
6. Kavita Kumar
VP of Global Sourcing & Supply Chain, Zumba Fitness
Kavita Kumar is the Vice President of Global Sourcing and Supply Chain at Zumba. She is a member of the Zumba Executive Team. Zumba is the largest branded fitness program in the world, with more than 15 million weekly class participants, in over 200,000 locations, across more than 180 countries. Zumba® Fitness lifestyle is rounded out by the company’s many consumer product offerings, including multi-seasonal apparel and footwear, music collections, video games, Fitness-Concert™ events and a lifestyle magazine.
Kavita is a dynamic, focused and seasoned Operations executive with a track record of leadership and proven outcomes in Supply Chain Management. She has more than 30 years of supply chain experience in e-commerce, traditional B&M retailers, distributors, resellers and licensees for consumer products (apparel, footwear, accessories, travel goods, home furnishings, beauty products, and fitness education and equipment). Kavita’s supply chain experience spans across Asia, Europe and the America’s. She directs diverse teams for sourcing, manufacturing, procurement, trade compliance, lean operations, quality compliance, logistics, E-tailer programs and distribution. She specializes in establishing Supply Chain and Logistics (SC&L) programs as well as revamping ongoing ones.
Prior to joining Zumba in 2013, she worked at Ike Behar, Heys USA, and Hollander Home Furnishings. Kavita earned an MBA from Florida Atlantic University. She is affiliated with the Council for Supply Chain Management, The American Apparel and Footwear Association and the Supply Chain Leaders Forum. She is an SC&L thought leader who has frequently featured in forums such as the Economist, Retail Delivery Connect, Miami Ecommerce, Supply Chain Best Practices, and The Purchaser. Kavita is a 27-year resident of South Florida where she lives with her family and volunteers at organizations such as Feeding South Florida, Sahayak, and SOS Children Villages.
11. Jessica Murphy
Vice President of the South Florida, RPM Living
Jessica Murphy is Vice President of South Florida for RPM Living, a full-service multifamily management company and the nation’s seventh largest apartment management firm. She is directly responsible for day-to-day operations of 9,600+ multifamily units in the Southeast and Southwest Florida markets and has been instrumental in securing a pipeline of 4,500+ additional units within the region, contributing to RPM’s exponential growth within Florida. The firm manages nearly 15,000 units across Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Naples, Fort Myers, Orlando, Jacksonville, Pensacola, Tallahassee, and Tampa markets.
Leading a team of nearly 200, Jessica brings 17 years of leadership experience to her role plus extensive multifamily experience with a diverse variety of asset types, including high-end/Class A++ high-rises in urban markets, and mixed-use assets and lease-ups throughout the East. She is skilled at pre-development advising, retail and office management, renovation and value-add, acquisitions, and strategic property positioning.
Jessica holds multiple industry designations with the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) including Accredited Commercial and Office Manager (AcoM) and Certified Property Manager (CPM) Candidate. She is a member of the Urban Land Institute in South Florida and has been appointed to the Board of Directors for the 2023 South East Florida Apartment Association.
Jessica is also actively involved in numerous diversity and inclusion initiatives. In addition to serving as a member of the National Diversity Council, she was appointed in 2022 & 2023 to serve nationally on RPM’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council to foster strategic D&I initiatives and cultivate awareness within the organization’s culture. She is also a member of CHIEF, a network focused on connecting and supporting women, and holds professional certificates from Cornell University in Diversity and Inclusion, Executive Leadership and Performance Leadership. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Frostburg State University.
15. Divya Gugnani
CEO & Co-Founder, Wander Beauty
Divya Gugnani, CEO and Co-Founder of Wander Beauty, spent nearly 20 years searching for beauty essentials that could keep up with her on-the-go lifestyle. After earning her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and MBA from Harvard Business School, Divya began her career in investment banking at Goldman Sachs before moving on to private equity and venture capital at Investcorp International and FirstMark Capital. A self-proclaimed ‘accidental entrepreneur,’ she later left the finance world after selling her first business, and, bitten by the startup bug, went on to become a serial entrepreneur. After co-founding multiple companies and having children, she found her former beauty rituals tossed to the wayside as she became more time-starved than ever.
Balancing a thriving career and motherhood left Divya applying concealer during her morning subway commute and touching up her lipstick in between meetings in the backseat of a cab. She soon realized that her beauty products and routine weren’t made for beauty in motion: there were too many products, an arsenal of “must-have” tools, and products were housed in packaging that was too heavy, bulky, and fragile to take beyond her vanity. She needed products that saved time in her day, space in her beauty bag and that never sacrificed on Performance.
Thus, Wander Beauty was born. Launched in 2015 with co-founder Lindsay Ellingson, Wander Beauty brings effortless everyday essentialsTM. Each multitasker is co-created with our community and enriched with clean, globally sourced ingredients that work with your skin, not against it. With over 35 prestigious beauty awards, Wander Beauty has a loyal following of celebrities, top journalists, and notable beauty and style influencers.
Divya’s fifth and newest entrepreneurial venture is 5 SENS, a sensory experience in fine fragrance - to ignite your senses, capture your moods, and inspire new moments.
16. Rosa Jiménez Cano
Head of Communications, Jeeves
Rosa Jiménez Cano is a seasoned bi-lingual journalist and content producer with over 12 years of experience at the #1 Spanish-language newspaper in the world, EL PAÍS. She was the first Spanish speaking Silicon Valley correspondent. During the past three years, she has gained experience in the VC investment landscape. She currently serves as the head of Communications at Jeeves, the leading fintech built from the ground up, for fast-growing global companies.
Based in Miami, Rosa works as Americas Tech editor-at-large for Invertia, the leading biz tech publication in Spanish. She focuses on startups, investors, tech, disruptions, innovations, and new business. She is a unique expert in all things startup, having covered top tech trends in the US, EU, and Latin America for 10 years and interviewing top founders and executives, including names like Sundar Pichai, Steve Wozniak, Kaz Hirai, Hiroshi Mikitani, Peter Thiel, John Collision, Luis Von Ahn, Phil Schiller…
For 3 years, Rosa led ecosystem relations at TheVenture City, a VC fund and accelerator dedicated to diverse founders and emerging tech hubs. She graduated from Universidad Complutense de Madrid with a diploma in informative and war studies and a graduate degree in journalism.
17. Jenny Herles
VP of Trade Finance & Treasury, International Materials
Jenny Herles is the Vice President of Trade Finance & Treasury of International Materials. She first joined the company in 2022. IMI is an international trading and logistics provider established in the United States in 1987. Focused on serving the global needs of customers in cement, construction and steel markets by delivering cementitious and fuels products efficiently and to customer specifications.
Previously, Herles was a CFO at Citizens Resources LLC and before that a head of treasury and trade finance for the Americas at CTP - Engelhart Commodities. Earlier in her career she worked with Louis Dreyfus as a logistics & accounting. Herles graduated from the University of Michigan and is a Certified International Credit Professional. She earned an MBA in international finance and accounting.
View the complete list of awardees.
18. Nuria Angelocci
Chief Operating Officer & General Manager, CMO of Hunters Run
Nuria Angelocci is the Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of CMO of Hunters Run. She first joined the company in January 2012 performing accounting functions, IT, and processing sales and leases. She was promoted to positions of increasing authority and responsibility due to her strong leadership skills, business development abilities and overall performance. She later served as director of communications and real estate as well as a property manager. In September 2021, Nuria became the COO and General Manager of CMO of Hunters Run. CMO manages all 23 associations within Hunters Run (1649 homes). They handle the many facets of property management, from the physical supervision of the property maintenance to administrative and financial matters.
Nuria is an Association Manager Specialist and a Certified Manager of Community Associations. She earned her MBA in entrepreneurial management from Lynn University, an undergraduate degree in supervision and management from Palm Beach State College, and an associate degree in advertising and public relations from Barcelona University.
19. Lynn Radice
VP of Executive Recruiting and Search, Engage
Lynn Radice began her professional career 30 years ago. Today, she is the Vice President of Executive Recruiting and Search of Engage. At Engage, they bring decades of combined strategic recruitment and talent acquisition expertise. Radice is an expert motivational speaker, career coach, CEO, entrepreneur, author, and job search maven. She has placed people in Poland, Spain, Canada, the UK, Romania, and more. She is a powerhouse recruiter.
Lynn has been published in HR Magazine and hosted a radio show: Get A Job No Excuses! On Voice America Business. She has been on NBC, FOX29, Faith Washington Show, Becky in Boca, Steve Sapato radio show @brooklyncafetv, and Mainline to the Shore. She was featured in Metropolitan Magazine in NYC and Hamptons and was selected to take part in the invitation-only event: Kinnernet Venice 2018. Additionally, Lynn is an inspiring author with many e-books on Amazon. She graduated from Villanova University with an undergraduate degree in business administration.
20. Nicole Arnaboldi
Partner, Oak Hill Capital
Nicole Arnaboldi is a Partner of Oak Hill Capital and has been part of the firm since 2021. She is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee and supports the firm’s origination efforts. Prior to joining Oak Hill, she held various senior roles at Credit Suisse, including running the private equity business and leading the broader illiquid alternatives business. Prior to that, she spent 15 years at DLJ, first in the venture capital area and then in the merchant banking group, serving on the investment committee as well as growing DLJ’s alternative investment businesses.
Arnaboldi earned an undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard College, a JD, cum laude, from Harvard Law School, and an MBA, with high distinction, from the Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar.
21. Laura Kalcevic
Vice President, CBRE Hotels
Laura Kalcevic is a proven thought leader in the hospitality industry with a global track record of successful client outcomes for hotels and resorts. She is currently a Vice President for CBRE Hotels, bringing nearly 20 years of knowledge and expertise with a focus in hotel valuations, development advisory, acquisition due diligence, market forecasting, as well as consulting services.
Laura has advised and performed work on over $5 billion in real estate hotel developments and transactions. She has experience working for other top real estate companies, such as JLL, STR (CoStar), and HVS, while being stationed in various offices throughout the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Laura’s valuation and advisory proficiency ranges from ground-up developments to high-level renovations and repositioning, as well as portfolio acquisitions and operational forecasting. She is also currently a facilitator with Cornell University’s online program, teaching hotel and commercial real estate, and has been since 2018.
Prior to joining the team at Cornell University, Laura taught both undergraduate and graduate courses at New York University’s Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality. She gained her undergraduate degree in geography from California University of Pennsylvania and her master’s degree in international tourism management from the University of Queensland in Australia. From navigating clients in the current industry to teaching the next generation of hoteliers, Laura continues to prove her value, dedication, and leadership in the hotel space on a daily basis.
22. Hanoi Morillo
Hanoi Morillo is a global investor, executive, speaker and author. As an investor, Hanoi has been investing in various companies globally for years and is also a partner of LA7EM in Latin America and Gate93 in Silicon Valley. She is also a Shark in the famous TV Program Shark Tank Colombia.As an executive, Hanoi is the CEO & Co-Founder of Fivvy, a new fintech in the USA. Previously, she was the VP of digital banking and CDO at Scotiabank where she built and led its digital bank and accelerated their digital transformation. She comes from IBM, where she served as managing director of the Digital Transformation and Innovation Practice (IBM iX) in Latin America.
Previously, Hanoi spent 12 years at Google, assuming various senior management positions with a focus on marketing, digital transformation and innovation based in Europe, Canada, the United States and Latin America, in addition to several projects in Southeast Asia. She began her career in financial auditing at KPMG Spain.
As a global speaker, she focuses on Exponential Technologies and their impact on organizations, Digital and Cultural Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion. As an author, she is a regular columnist for various media in Latin America and her books Six Pack Executive and Start with Culture were best sellers on Amazon US, Canada and Australia. Hanoi will be launching her first book in Spanish in February 2023. Hanoi studied business administration at the Autonomous University of Madrid. Additionally, she completed an innovation program at Duke University in conjunction with Google, INSEAD and Singularity University.
23. Maria Harrison
President & Owner, Bullseye Strategy
Maria Harrison is a digital marketing veteran with experience in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets. As President of Bullseye Strategy, she oversees new business development, digital marketing strategic oversight, account planning and account management, resource planning, client relations, community outreach and general operations.
Prior to co-founding Bullseye Strategy, Maria served as the VP of marketing for interactive marketing training firm, Laredo Group. She was director of online marketing for Interval International, an IACI company, and Global Partners Group, a financial securities trading firm. She founded and ran Key Promotions, which specialized in SEM and media planning/buying. In 2008, the University of San Francisco engaged Maria to develop their premier digital marketing certificate program. Tasked with both developing the University’s overarching curriculum and facilitating online instructional sessions, the program launched in 2009 and since then, hundreds of students have taken her introductory and advanced digital marketing courses.
Maria continues to shape South Florida’s interactive community, as well as national industry education. She was a founding member and president of the South Florida Interactive Marketing Association. Maria remains as association board member and advisor. She is a sought-after speaker and thought leader at MediaPost OMMA and Insider Summit events, Online Marketing Summit, WEMedia, Direct Marketing Association, Webmaster World’s Pubcon, and other national conferences.
Over the years, Maria has continuously sought ways to give back to the community both personally and through Bullseye. Maria has been a supporter of The Light the Night Foundation for Leukemia, the Fort Lauderdale Junior League, and in 2014 was named 1 of 100 Outstanding Women by the Boys and Girls Club of Broward County for leadership and influence in the community.
Maria has partnered with area parents to successfully bring advanced diploma programs to local public high schools, and is an active member of the PTSA at her children’s school. She earned her undergraduate degree from Rhode Island College. When she is not working, Maria enjoys spending time with her family, exercising and relaxing on Florida’s beautiful beaches.
View the complete list of awardees.
24. Renee Lopez-Cantera
SVP Sales & Marketing, EKN Solutions
EKN Solutions formerly Eikon Digital, announced the promotion of Renee Lopez-Cantera to Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. With over 20 years of extensive experience in sales development, operations, and marketing, Lopez-Cantera is well-positioned to lead the EKN Solutions increased marketing and inbound measures in the United States.
Cantera strategizes closely with her book of over 35+ clients, partner advertising, and public relations agencies. She brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership in commercial and residential real estate, travel and tourism, government affairs, healthcare, and e-commerce verticals. Cantera's focus on consumer trends, tech innovation, market research, and the customer voice guide her to optimize revenue margins for the company and customers alike.
As a Miami native, Cantera is passionate about the #MiamiTech scene. She also dedicates time to several industry groups including On Deck & the Beacon Council. Additionally, she holds leadership roles in several nonprofits.
25. Casey Bruce-White
Director of Communications, ACLU of Florida
Casey Bruce-White is a senior communications strategist with over ten years of experience in program management, movement building, campaign strategy, and organizing. In January 2023, she joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as the Deputy Director of Program and Strategy with Affiliate Support and Nationwide Initiatives.
Prior to that, she worked at the ACLU of Florida for 6.5 years, serving in multiple communications roles, including the director of communications, where she oversaw the strategic design, long-term development, and implementation of the ACLU of Florida’s digital, multimedia, and traditional communications work. She has also worked with numerous organizations, such as Miami City Ballet, Sadie Nash Leadership Project, Georgia Center for Nonprofits, AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps NCCC, and the American Council of Young Political Leaders in Washington, DC, where she focused on building the organization’s communications strategy and advancing friendship-building initiatives among young political leaders in the US and internationally.
Her articles and essays have appeared in publications such as Florida Today, Florida Phoenix, Generation Progress, The Huffington Post, For Harriet, Art Saves Lives International, Red & Black Newspaper, Eidé magazine, InfUSion magazine, and Atlantablackstar.com, where she’s written about women and girls rights, voting rights, poverty, and racial justice. She was a 2021 fellow for New Leaders Council and was named a 2017 Miami Girl Making History by the Miami Girls Foundation. She holds professional memberships with ColorComm, a national membership organization for women of color in the communications industry, and she is a founding member of MINO, a professional membership organization that provides emerging Black women leaders with professional development and a supportive network on their journey to becoming world-changers. She earned undergraduate degrees in magazine journalism and film studies from the University of Georgia. She lives in Miami with her husband, Corey, son, Gabriel, and dog, Bella.
28. Alexandra Cancio
Director, RSM US
Alexandra Cancio is a member of the Data and Digital Services Finance Automation practice at RSM. RSM is the leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services to the middle market with over 13,000 professionals across the US and Canada and a global presence in 123 countries. Alexandra’s background in finance and information systems allows her to specialize in finance transformation as well as technology related process improvement especially when the two are intertwined. She has experience in evaluating and improving the financial close cycle, process definition, documentation and redesign in addition to application mapping.
Alexandra is also a certified BlackLine Implementation specialist with extensive experience in multi-phase international deployments. She graduated from the University of Florida with an undergraduate degree in finance and a master’s degree in information systems. Alexandra joined RSM shortly after completing her degrees and has served in various roles within technology and management consulting.
30. Alexa Majdalawi
Chief Legal Officer, PreIPO® Corporation
Alexa Majdalawi is the Chief Legal Officer and Board of Directors’ Secretary for PreIPO® Corporation. She oversees legal, corporate governance & risk management, SEC & FINRA compliance, and the company's mergers & acquisition strategy.
Prior to taking this role, Alexa was a VP of legal affairs, leading a global network and facilitating access to US-based funds holding shares of mid to late-stage companies slated to go public. During her tenure, she developed a strong track record of creating value and achieving outstanding performance for companies and groups with investments in various sectors including real estate, financial services, and legal services. She has led and concluded multi-jurisdictional financing, private equity, and venture capital deals in the millions of dollars.
Alexa earned an undergraduate degree with honors in political science from Florida Atlantic University, an MBA with highest honors from Metropolitan College of New York, and a JD from Barry University School of Law, where she was the governor for the Florida Bar Young Lawyers/Law Student Division, president of the Business & Corporate Law Association and a three-time officer in the Student Bar Association.
31. Charlene O'Hanlon
VP & Managing Editor, Activate Marketing Services
Charlene O’Hanlon is an award-winning journalist and content professional serving the technology sector for more than 20 years as director, executive editor and managing editor for numerous technology-focused sites. As Vice President and Managing Editor at Activate Marketing Services, she leads a team of writers and editors who create client-focused content for marketing programs in the B2B tech sector. In her former position as chief operating officer at Techstrong Group, Charlene led the direction and management of Techstrong Learning and Techstrong Live! webinars and events divisions. Charlene also served as co-host and anchor of the Techstrong TV streaming broadcast.
Charlene is co-author of The Lifecycle of Fashion Technology and is a frequent speaker at industry events and conferences. In her spare time, she is an avid drummer and is working toward achieving a Level 4 Diploma in Wines from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET).
32. Michelle Reyes
Director of Regional Marketing, Americas DLA Piper
Michelle Martinez Reyes has over 25 years of experience as a trusted business advisor and strategic leader with business development, marketing, brand, digital and multi-channel experience including public relations. Martinez Reyes currently serves as the Director of Regional Marketing for the Americas for DLA Piper. She has earned a proven national reputation as a publicist, brand builder, and catalyst to growth.
Martinez Reyes is a recognized marketing executive most recently named Corporate Latina Executive of the Year by LatinaStyle, People of the Year and Top Women in PR by PR News, Top Women in Communications as a Game-Changer by Ragan Communications and PR Daily, Women of Influence by Lifestyle, Most Prestigious Women by South Florida Business & Wealth and named a National Latino Leader by the National Diversity Council.
Martinez Reyes was under 40 when she first ascended to the C-Level amongst the AmLaw 200 and NLJ 300 ranks. She also worked as part of the marketing and business development teams for some of the largest firms in Florida and the US. She also served as the chief relations officer at Kelley Kronenberg and prior to that role served as the chief marketing officer for Greenspoon Marder. She is actively involved in communities throughout South Florida and the US. Her sphere of influence has been built over the course of 25 years working across the country and internationally.
Fluent in English and Spanish, she holds an MBA from Nova Southeastern University with a specialty in global management, an undergraduate degree in political science from Florida International University, FIU Honors College, and an associate degree in political science from Miami Dade College, MDC Honors College.
33. Mariaelena Salazar
IT Assistant Director for Administration, Customer & Strategic Management, Miami-Dade County
Mariaelena Salazar serves as the Assistant Director for Administration, Customer, and Strategic Management for the Information Technology Department at Miami-Dade County, one of the largest metropolitan county governments in the United States. Salazar oversees Finance and Administration, Service Management, and Portfolio and Strategic Management for the Technology department. She plays a critical role in strategic initiatives for technology and has been key in the negotiations of vital technology and communication contracts. Additionally, she is responsible for the Business Relationship Management Program which drives business strategy, strengthens collaboration, and champions a culture of creativity and innovation which has been globally recognized for excellence.
Before returning to Miami-Dade County, Salazar served as the assistant town manager at the Town of Miami Lakes of Florida. Earlier in her career she worked as IT director in the health industry and computer senior manager in the Miami-Dade County department of transportation. She always promotes innovation, continuous business process improvement and business efficiency. “Work hard, teach others, and always thank people along the way,” is Salazar’s motto.
Salazar graduated from Florida International University with an undergraduate degree in computer science. As a young woman from Nicaragua, she quickly learned the importance of developing self-confidence in a very competitive industry and her goal is to be a role model for future technology leaders.
View the complete list of awardees.
36. Jessica Modkins
President & Founder, Hip Rock Star Advertising
Jessica Garrett Modkins' award-winning diverse career as a media executive has afforded her the business acumen for success. She is an advertising executive, noted podcast show host, public speaker, and author. She is the founder of Hip Rock Star Advertising, a trailblazing, award-winning, advertising, marketing, and communications agency that focuses exclusively to build today’s socially conscious brands.
Under Modkins’ leadership, Hip Rock Star has received the Key to Miami and was listed by Roc Nation as a Black owned firm to do business with. In 2021, the firm brought home 3 AIVIA Awards for Consumer Marketing, Business Marketing, and TV Production. In 2020, the firm became an agency of record by the National Football League. In 2019 the firm was nominated as Small Business of the Year by the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce. In 2017, they graduated from Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business program. They are a multi-year recipient of the Marketing Firm of the Year from the Black Owned Media Alliance.
Modkins is a board member for the The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami Dade County, the chairwoman for the Economic Growth Task Force for the Town of Cutler Bay, FL, and the chairwoman for the Arts Facet for the Greater Miami Chapter of the Links Incorporated. She was also listed as Legacy Miami Magazine’s Most Influential & Prominent Black Women in Business & Industry 2018. In 2017 she was awarded as a Women of Substance Honoree by the Miami-Dade County Black Advisory Board, acknowledged as The Legacy Miami Magazine Power PR Professional 2016 awardee, awarded for the South Florida Black Journalist Association 2016 Outstanding Woman in Media, and Listed for Legacy Miami Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful & Influential Black Professionals in Business & Industry List for 2015.
37. Alexandra Rosen
Senior Director of Venture Forward & Community Engagement, GoDaddy
Alex Rosen is the Senior Director of Community Engagement for GoDaddy, driving the company's Venture Forward and GoDaddy Open initiatives. These initiatives shine a spotlight on the outsized economic impact made by more than 20 million microbusinesses and their owners across the United States. Rosen partners with mayors, policymakers, and local organizations to empower and support these entrepreneurs at every stage.
Throughout her career, Alex has established meaningful partnerships and developed innovative solutions globally in technology, sports and live entertainment for brands like Google, Cisco, and GoDaddy. Each is customized to ensure that the programs deliver positive benefits for the company -- as well as the communities they impact. Rosen creates an authentic presence for companies in new markets and conversations, and her work spans Internet of Everything, Rio 2016 Olympics, Global Citizen, and Venture Forward among others.
In addition to her enterprise experience, Alex actively advises startups through venture accelerators and incubators, and served on the board of directors for AVIXA, JGSI, and the former UCLA Center for Music Innovation. She graduated from Stanford University with an undergraduate degree in economics and poetry, and from UCLA Anderson School of Management with an MBA. She lives in Miami with her husband, son, and two dogs.
39. Nikki Mendonca
Global Managing Director of Software & Platforms Industry Network, Accenture Song
Nikki Mendonca is the Global Managing Director of Software & Platforms Industry Network of Accenture Song, a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, they offer Strategy and Consulting, Technology and Operations services and Accenture Song—all powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Their 710,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. They embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for their clients, people, shareholders, partners, and communities. Mendonca has 30 years of experience. She began her career in 1992.
Before joining Accenture Song, Mendonca was a president of OMD EMEA at Omnicom and before that a strategic marketing director at Capital Radio. Earlier in her career she worked with CIA Media Network UK as a media manager. Mendonca graduated from UWCC University of Wales, College of Cardiff with an undergraduate degree in English and Spanish.
40. Nicole Anderson
Chief Executive Officer & Founder, MEND HR Solutions
Nicole Anderson is an entrepreneur, speaker, and author. Nicole built her first business in 2017 and grew it to have clients all around the world. She is currently the CEO of MEND HR Solutions and President of MEND Recruiting, a human resources solution and recruiting firm based in West Palm Beach. Nicole is working on her third business now in the tech space.
Nicole recently released her first book HR is Sexy! Revolutionizing Human Resources. In her book, Nicole teaches her vision of what HR can be in organizations from working with leaders to develop bottom line strategies to bringing value to companies rather than just be policy makers and enforcers. Nicole is a featured expert on ABC, NBC, CBS, The CW, as well in multiple magazine and online platforms including Forbes.
Nicole has been active in community-based organizations including Teen Mom Choices, A21 to help fight human trafficking, and Young Professionals Community (YPC). She is especially passionate about raising awareness for mental health and educating people on sexual abuse. In 2023, Nicole will launch her own nonprofit Seersha Baile, (meaning Freedom/Liberty Place) a sanctuary for sexual abuse victims to recover and learn valuable business skills to start their own businesses. Also in 2023, Nicole will be launching The Tracey Lynne Foundation to provide resources for healthcare workers struggling with health and mental health issues as well as scholarships for nursing students.
41. Natalie Curtis
Director of Learning and Development, Sage Dental
Natalie is the Director of Learning & Development at Sage Dental in Florida. She is celebrated for her ability to create and implement leading dental education programs that help Sage Dental providers and team members develop their skills, deepen their insights, and grow professionally. She joined Sage in 2019 with over a decade of Dental Service Organization experience. Natalie's expertise with project management, problem-solving, and building training programs drove the rollout and implementation of the entire end-to-end technology platform in Sage's digital cycle including virtual consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic, digital scanners, and multiple artificial intelligence platforms. The development and implementation of the Sage Dental Academy educational programs are a top attraction for providers who join Sage. Sage Dental is a Dental Service Organization with 90+ office locations in Florida and Georgia utilizing state-of-the-art technology to assist with diagnosis and treatment of their patients.
She is from Dallas, TX, and a University of North Texas graduate. She also holds a Project Management Certification through Cornell University. In 2022, Natalie was published in Dentistry Today for her Sage Implant Academy experience, a classroom and hands-on educational program designed for the Sage Dental doctors at ILAPEO in Curitiba, Brazil. When she is not building valuable programs, she spends time traveling, working out, beach days, and exploring Florida as a new resident.
43. Dominique Morales
Marketing Director, Front of the House®
Dominique Morales began her marketing professional career 15 years ago. For the past 3 years, Dominique has served as the Marketing Director and was recently promoted in 2023 as the Director of Creative and Marketing of FOH. Established in 2002, FOH® is a global design and manufacturing leader in the foodservice and hospitality industry. Across all divisions, the FOH® brands, Front of the House® and room360®, provide impactful hospitality solutions that deliver a WOW experience. All products and concepts are designed in Miami, stocked, and shipped worldwide, with over 20 international showrooms displaying a variety of award-winning collections.
Morales first got her start in 2007 as a marketing assistant at Premier Worldwide Marketing, LLC. From there, she went on to La Vie Events, specializing in experiential marketing before eventually rising to become a marketing manager at Groupon, taking her skills and experience from Groupon to a full service marketing agency, M Clique, a woman owned and run global boutique marketing agency as the acting managing partner. Dominique graduated from Florida International University with an MBA in marketing and marketing management.
Based in Miami, Dominique has been one of South Florida’s top marketing executives for over 15 years, allowing her to work with a huge variety of businesses and industries. When she’s not busy being a marketing guru, Dominique enjoys creative writing. She recently started writing a book series for children. The first installment, entitled The Truth About You, is a daily affirmations book for children and is currently available in Barnes and Nobles, Target, Amazon, and other major stores nationwide.
44. Claudia Miro
Director of Business Development & Government Affairs, Freebee
For the past 25 years, Claudia Miro has navigated various levels of government while serving in several public affairs roles. Her experience includes work at the state, county, and municipal levels of government. Currently, Ms. Miro serves as Director of Business Development & Government Affairs for Freebee, a free, on-demand, fully electric first-mile, last-mile micro transit company where she continues to expand their business footprint opening markets in communities throughout the State of Florida. Claudia is excited to support Freebee in connecting communities with their on-demand, door-to-door service while also contributing to the economic development of the businesses operating within the areas they serve.
Miro’s experience coupled with her understanding of public policy and transportation, has earned her an outstanding professional reputation, strong relationships in the public sector, and positive political capital with dozens of policy makers throughout Florida. Claudia remains engaged and involved in her community and currently serves on several community boards. She holds a master’s degree and undergraduate degree in public administration from Barry University.
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45. Angelina Rosario
Director of Sales, Cox Media Group Miami
Angelina Rosario Director of Sales for Cox Media Group Miami and Founder of She Fixes Crowns LLC. Angelina is also a TEDx speaker, certified success coach, and author. She is a true testament that adversity can be turned into victory. As a certified coach, she has influenced account executives, sales leaders, and many women across the globe to understand that trials and setbacks are their secret weapons towards achieving success and becoming their best version.
Angelina's courage and determination have inspired people to break through and discover their untapped talents and infinite potential. She was born in Miami, Florida, in a neighborhood called Allapattah. Climbing the corporate ladder is not always the easiest thing to do unless you have faith, resiliency, and a never give up attitude. However, reaching higher heights in corporate America wasn't as nearly as challenging as having to overcome the most painful season in her life when she was diagnosed in 2016 with a disfiguring, fast-growing tumor in her face the size of a baseball. As a result, she underwent four major surgeries, removing five teeth, a nerve, and bone from her right hip, which left her barely walking or talking. It was also the very thing that changed her approach to her personal life and in her leadership role. First, she created the 5x5 Success Habits, a system that helped achieve a complete recovery and a testimony that even extreme adversity can be turned into victory. She then brought the tools to her sales organization, where it was proven again to help achieve much success by learning how to overcome challenges and tap into purpose.
The 5X5 Success Habits has helped many adults and adolescents turn pain into purpose. Angelina believes anyone can be called a leader; however, a true leader can teach others how to overcome challenges and be the best version of themselves. As a Latina Leader, she realized quickly, working in a very diverse market, that many people didn't know how to get out of their victim and defensive mindset, which can hurt an organization significantly. When she teaches others how to tap into their power and let their authentic light shine (critical teachings that often are not taught in minority households)- something amazing happens. It will not only show in revenue, but that same energy exudes in the culture and keep the organization's morale and upward momentum.
46. Julie Watson
Executive Director, Watson Caring Science Institute
Julie Watson is the Executive Director of Watson Caring Science Institute (WCSI), a global not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping nurses and caregivers improve their health, wellbeing, and peace of mind. This work evidentially reduces staff turnover (a huge financial burden to healthcare) and significantly improves patient’s perception of the care they receive. Julie and Caring Science faculty and scholars offer professional development activities and consultancy to thousands of nurses and hospitals world-wide including North America, Latin Ibero-américa, and the Middle East. WCSI’s theory is based on its founder, the renowned nurse theorist Dr. Jean Watson (Julie’s mother) who has supported nurses who serve more than 100 million customers and patients throughout the world.
Before joining WCSI, Julie was director of an educational literacy charity in the UK, mentored by 826 National group. She went on to hone her skills in organizational development maintaining her love of the arts and literature. Appreciating the value of story, she founded and is managing editor to WCSI’s small imprint Lotus Library, giving voice to caring moments experienced by nurses which are often hidden or undervalued. A Bennington College alum, Julie went on to receive her master’s degree at Sussex University in the UK. She is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, an Honorary Member, Sigma Theta Tau International, Honor Society of Nursing, and a Caritas Coach®.
47. Susana Olmos
Director of Marketing, The Concours Club
Susana Olmos’ professional career began during her sophomore year at Florida International University. At 19 years old, she obtained her Realtor Associate license kicking off her real estate journey with Cervera Real Estate where she quickly began closing deals while juggling a marketing internship.
Susana was then recruited to Douglas Elliman where she began her marketing career within the company’s Development Marketing branch with a focus on real estate development projects. During this time, she collaborated with different developers, managing the marketing and sales strategies for ultra-luxury pre-construction projects. Her dedication and continuous determination for growth quickly allowed her to reach a Marketing Director promotion at age 25. She not only kept up with the demands of her career, but also managed to finish school graduating from FlU with an undergraduate degree in English literature and a minor in marketing.
Susana’s keen passion for real estate development, marketing, and motorsports formed the perfect match for The Concours Club, a members-only automotive country club. The Concours Club blends high-performance driving, impeccable service and luxury amenities within a spectacular resort setting.
In April 2017, Susana was hired as the first full time employee of The Concours Club serving as project manager helping shape the club and build the team. As the team grew, she shifted her focus back to marketing.
A diligent Director of Marketing with a clear understanding of the data gathering and analysis process, Susana has efficiently synthesized information into action plans that are executable and provide net tangible results. She is a natural brand builder and ambassador with an inherent understanding of the critical elements of strategizing, branding, communications, and digital marketing. Susana’s attention to detail is evident in everything she does. She is a natural leader and a corporate-cultural touchpoint.
Her dedication to helping others is one of her most valuable assets and extends well beyond her involvement as a marketing director. Susana has been the driving force behind the incredible philanthropy efforts and partnerships that have been formed between The Concours Club and unique organizations such the SEED School of Miami and Flying Classroom. Susana takes it upon herself to provide exceptional support and service to everyone she crosses paths with.
48. Bianca Martinez-Oberhelman
Corporate & Marketing Communications Director, Blue Tide Marine
Bianca Martinez-Oberhelmanis an Emmy and Telly award winning journalist who shares her expertise with small companies looking to leverage visual storytelling as part of their branding strategy. She currently serves as Corporate & Marketing Communications Director for Blue Tide Marine. Blue Tide Marine is a family of brands founded by former US Navy SEALs. BTM provides innovative solutions to meet unique maritime logistics and operating challenges including disaster relief, aerial cargo delivery, medical support, undersea services, security, and a variety of vessel transport and management services.
Bianca has over a decade in local broadcast news but left television to work as a senior recruiter with First Data's Military and Veteran Affairs business organization. She was motivated to lead military spouses and veterans to successful careers comes from her own experience as a Navy Spouse. Her success at First Data includes driving the veteran hires increase by 8% in her first year with the company. Bianca's success led her to a director role within talent acquisition leading both the Military and University hiring initiatives and team recruiters. After two years the opportunity to bring both skill sets came together with FDTV and the challenge of building broadcasting and information options to employees and external stakeholders.
Bianca is a proud, now retired, military wife honored for her work. She overcame the challenges of the military spouse lifestyle and built a career as a television news anchor. Her stories focusing on those who served in the military were honored with two Emmy Awards; they also received recognition from the Virginia Associated Press and the Norfolk military community.
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