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Spring 2014 Class Notes

Spring 2014 Class Notes

April 23, 2014 at 11:41am


Tony Argiz ’74 was honored by the American Jewish Committee of Miami and Broward with the 2013 National Human Relations Award for his work in defense of Israel and human rights.

William J. Spratt Jr. MS ’74 joined Akerman LLP as a partner in the firm’s Healthcare Practice Group in Miami. He has 25 years of experience in healthcare law and is recognized as leader in that area by the publication Chambers USA Guide: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and The Best Lawyers in America.

Eduardo Gil ’75 is the senior vice president and chief financial officer for Davidson Realty Inc. and made the Jacksonville Business Journal’s 2013 List of Ultimate CFOs.

Duffy Keys ’75, owner of B Cellars Winery & Tasting Room in Calistoga, Calif., saw his wines receive four double gold and two gold awards at the 2014 American Fine Wine competition. Read our FIU Magazine story, and watch our video, about Keys.

Jose Villalon ’79 is the corporate sustainability director at Nutreco and served as chairman of the board for WWF’s Aquaculture Stewardship Council. He is married to Anita Villalon and has two children, daughter Gabriela and son Santiago.


Carlos Modia ’82 was appointed chief financial officer of Espirito Santo Bank after serving as senior vice president and chief operations officer since 2005.

Whitney K. Schiffer M.Acc. ’88 was promoted to director of audit and attest services at Berkowitz Pollack Brand Advisors and Accountants.


Frank Gonzalez ’90 was appointed principal-in-charge at Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra LLC.

Laura P. Templer ’90 has joined the law firm of Sirote & Permutt and is based in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale office. She defends mortgage servicers against claims of consumer fraud.

Emilia A. Quesada ’92 was named a 2014 Top Lawyer by the South Florida Legal Guide for Civil Litigation. Her practice focuses on complex commercial litigation.

Brenda K. Supple ’93 has been named shareholder by international law firm Greenberg Traurig at its Miami office. As assistant general counsel for Greenberg Traurig, she advises the firm in the areas of professional responsibility and risk management.

Cheryll Messam ’95, MS ’99, is a certified professional life and corporate coach and recently wrote a self-reflection e-book called Life is Just for Living. So How am I Doing?

Ileana Salort-Horta ’96, MS ’97, was appointed director at Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra LLC.

Michael P. Maher ’97 and Florencia Rossato ’11 were married May 18, 2013, in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Guests included several distinguished alumni, among them: Franco Battistini ’95Jason Becht ’98,Troy Easley ’94Matt Endara ’95Walter Gonzalez ’96Chadwick Hornik ’97Jeffrey Jaramillo ’96Juan Lardizabal ’96Ramon Lopez ’01 and Roberto Valcarce ’89. Maher serves on FIU’s Executive Alumni Board and is a senior director with Synergy Business Consulting. Rossato is a paralegal in Coral Gables.

Jennifer Olmedo-Rodriguez ’99 was recently promoted to shareholder at the law firm of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney. She and her colleagues were also honored as South Florida’s Real Estate Litigation Department of the Year by Daily Business Review.

Celina Saucedo ’99, MPA ’11, was promoted to director of administration at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Broward County.


Captain Paul Defay ’02 was appointed United States Air Force engineering flight commander at the 241st Engineering & Installation Squadron. He served previously as cyberspace operations officer and network systems deputy flight commander of the 119th Command & Control Squadron.

Joel Gandara ’03, an Honors College alumnus, is the founder of Underwear Station Inc., a distributor and manufacturer of men’s underwear and swimwear.

Alexander E. Binelo ’03, MS ’05, was promoted to principal in the audit department of Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra LLP.

David Van Rooy MS ’03, Ph.D ’05, wrote Trajectory: 7 Career Strategies to Take You From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be with the purpose of helping people build successful and meaningful careers. Van Rooy is donating all proceeds from author royalties to military veterans entering the workforce.

Xiomara Uran ’06 is the Spanish interpreter for Rutgers University School of Law. She works in the school’s clinics, where law students, under faculty supervision, represent clients from within the community.

Catalina Orozco ’07 has been named assistant director of human resources at the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore.

Kristina Mur ’07 successfully defended her thesis in March to earn a master’s degree in English literature from FIU this spring. She is currently a project manager in FIU’s Office of Publications.

Richard F. Puerto MS ’07 was promoted to partner in the tax department at Verdeja & De Armas LLP in Coral Gables.

Emmanuel Trenche ’07 is vice president of marketing communications at clearCI, an intelligence software company that helps businesses compete in today’s digital era. He was selected to speak at the Strategic Competitive Intelligence Professionals in May.


Hector Mujica ’11 serves as a social responsibility strategist for Google, overseeing the company’s employee philanthropic engagement in Latin America and parts of the U.S. He is also the company’s public policy lead for U.S. Hispanic Community Outreach and Business Development which has him working closely with several policy partners and advocacy organizations around the world.

Jose Pagliery ’11 is a technology journalist at CNN, where he reports on cybersecurity and privacy. He previously wrote about small business, immigration and health care policy for CNNMoney.

Natali Aguero ’12 and Allen Feliz ’12 were married January 17, 2014, in Key West and later celebrated with friends in Cozumel, Mexico.

Juan Brizuela ’13 works as the news correspondentfor the School of Architecture and the Department of Art and Art History for the College of Architecture + the Arts.

Joshua Dieguez ’13 was elected chairman of the Miami Lakes Neighborhood Improvement Committee.

Emmanuel Okwor ’13, a specialist in virtual construction and green building, has accepted a position as a project engineer with general contractor Foster Construction of South Florida.