A new group of distinguished Miami Dade College alumni, representing top industries from banking to health care to performing arts, were honored at the 2017 Alumni Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony on April 18.
The event, now in its 15th year, is the largest Miami Dade College Foundation fundraiser, providing scholarships for the next generation of MDC students. This year’s fundraising efforts raised more than $2.1 million through sponsorships and donations.
The 2017 Hall of Fame’s inductees are recognized for their professional success and their contributions to the community. Along with the hundreds of thousands of alumni who have attended MDC, this year’s inductees are among our nation’s greatest role models, serving in positions of national and international prominence. Past honorees include actor Andy García and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz.
For additional information, visit www.mdc.edu/halloffame.
The 2017 MDC Hall of Fame inductees are:
Fernando L. Crespo
Senior Vice President
SunTrust Bank Inc.
As senior vice president at SunTrust Bank Inc., Fernando Crespo oversees a wealth management team that focuses on advising ultra-high net worth individuals and families as well as real estate, closely held business, and financial service principals. Crespo advises clients on banking, investment management, wealth-transfer, and trust management needs. Prior to SunTrust Bank, he was managing director at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, vice president at Bernstein Global Management, and spent eight years managing telecommunications for Siemens Latin American and Caribbean division. Crespo currently sits on the Executive Board of Mount Sinai Medical Center Foundation and is a member of the Core Creative for the Perez Art Museum Miami.
Eric Montes de Oca
Vice President and Partner
Eric Montes de Oca is vice president and partner at Grycon LLC, a leading South Florida general contractor and construction management firm. He is responsible for business development, field operations, and serves as project executive on a variety of high-profile large-scale projects. Montes de Oca has worked in the construction industry for more than 20 years, and 18 of those have been with the Grycon team. Additionally, he is president-elect of the Latin Builders Association, the largest Hispanic construction association in the U.S., and a member of the Transportation, Parking and Bicycle-Pedestrian Facilities Committee for the City of Miami Beach. Montes de Oca has been recognized as an exceptional citizen by the City of Miami Beach.
Daniel Marcos Mateo
BioTECH @ Richmond Heights 9-12 High School
An educator and scientist, Daniel Marcos Mateo is principal of BioTECH @ Richmond Heights 9-12 High School, the only conservation biology magnet high school in the country. His combination of scientific expertise, administrative prowess and teaching experience made him a natural choice to spearhead efforts to open the school, which included establishing three unique campuses with state-of-the-art scientific equipment and technologies, recruiting faculty and students, developing novel curricula, and developing partnerships with local, national, and international organizations. Mateo’s work has resulted in BioTECH’s recognition as a national Magnet School of Excellence. He has also received the Educational Leadership Certificate from Florida State University in 2013 and the Cervantes Award from NOVA Southeastern University in 2016.
Carlos A. Penin, P.E.
C.A.P. Government Inc.
Carlos A. Penin is founder and president of C.A.P. Government Inc., a private consulting firm that provides engineering and outsourcing services to the government sector. C.A.P. Government has been twice recognized as one of the fastest growing firms in the nation. Penin has been a part of the engineering business for four decades, whose work has included critical infrastructure projects across South Florida including the reconstruction of S.W. Eight Street and the Hard Rock Stadium, formerly known as the Joe Robbie Stadium. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Florida Engineering Society, the Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers and the Cuban American Association of Civil Engineers. He also works with the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana, was a founding member of the Board of Directors at MDX, and of the Cuban Exile History Museum.
Chairman of the Public Health Trust
Jackson Health System
A resident of Miami-Dade County for more than 50 years, Joe Arriola has served the community in a variety of capacities, most recently as the chairman of the Public Health Trust Board of Trustees, Jackson Health System’s governing body. Arriola was appointed to the position in 2015, having previously served as vice chairman for four years, helping the organization to achieve a major financial comeback. As a businessman, he founded Avanti Press, a commercial printing company, in 1972, and ran it successfully for almost 30 years before selling the firm. From 2003-2006, Arriola served as the city manager for Miami. In 2007, he briefly returned to the private sector as the CEO of Grupo Pullmantur, the largest cruise line in Spain. Arriola has also worked with charitable organizations, including serving as chairman of the United Way of Miami-Dade, and was named Man of the Year by National Conference for Community and Justice.
Yolanda R. Nader
Dosal Tobacco Corp.
As CEO and CFO of the Dosal Tobacco Corporation, Yolanda R. Nader oversees financial, management, and operations decisions for the business. Prior to joining Dosal in 2001, Nader, a certified accountant, was a Tax Managing Director at KPMG LLP in Miami, where she functioned as partner on a number of middle market clients responsible for federal, state and local tax issues. Additionally, she spent 10 years as an Internal Revenue agent with the IRS, receiving multiple awards for her performance. Nader is active in the community as a member of the Dean’s Council for FIU’s College of Business, sits on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, and has served as chair of the United Way of Miami-Dade County Audit Committee. Nader was named 2009 CFO of the Year by the South Florida Business Journal.
Aurelio M. Fernandez, III
President and CEO
Memorial Healthcare System
Aurelio M. Fernandez, III was unanimously approved to serve as president and CEO of Memorial Healthcare System in 2016, the pinnacle of a long and distinguished career as a health care executive. He joined Memorial Hospital Miramar as its CEO in 2007, and in 2012, was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer for Memorial Healthcare System. Fernandez began in health care in 1976, taking a position at the Palmetto General Hospital. He later served at Pan American Hospital as their CFO, as vice president at American Hospital Management, and CEO of Hialeah Hospital and the Florida Medical Center, among other posts. Fernandez serves on the Boards of the Florida Hospital Association, Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida and Catholic Health Services. He has also worked extensively with the Boy Scouts of America South Florida Council, which has recognized him for his service.
HOSPITALITY & TOURISM
Vice President and General Manager
The Graham Companies/Graham Hospitality
David Healy is currently vice president and general manager for the Graham Companies, overseeing a vast array of operations, including two hotels, a golf course, as well as athletics and spa facilities. Healy joined the company in 2003, working first as controller and then head of the Rooms Division, Information Technology and Purchasing. Healy’s career in hospitality in South Florida spans almost 30 years, with previous positions at Turnberry Isle Resort and the Hollywood Beach Hilton Hotel. Healy currently serves as chairman of the Greater Miami Beaches Hotel Association and is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.
JOURNALISM – PRINT
Rick Jervis is a national correspondent at USA TODAY, where his reports cover the border, Mexico, natural and manmade disasters and corners of Latin America, including Cuba. For more than two decades, Jervis has been an award-winning national and foreign correspondent for major U.S. publications, including The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, and The Chicago Tribune, before becoming the Baghdad Bureau Chief for USA TODAY. He began his journalism career at The Miami Herald in the mid-1990s, where he was part of a team that won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Journalism for a series on voter fraud in a Miami mayoral election. In 2006, Rick won USA TODAY’s prestigious Staffer of the Year Award.
José I. Astigarraga
José I. Astigarraga is shareholder of Astigarraga Davis law firm, who focuses his practice on international arbitration and litigation. With roots as a commercial litigator in U.S. courts and more than 30 years of experience, he defends and prosecutes substantial business disputes in state and federal courts in the U.S. He was one of 10 Americans initially appointed by the U.S. Government to advise the NAFTA Commission on international arbitration and dispute resolution. Astigarraga is also one of only eight lawyers worldwide ranked in the top band of international arbitration practitioners for Latin American business disputes by Chambers Latin America 2016.
Rosa Maria Plasencia
President and CEO
Amigos for Kids
Since 2012, Rosa Maria Plasencia has served as president and CEO of Amigos for Kids, where she leads efforts to prevent child abuse through education and outreach programs in South Florida. She joined Amigos for Kids Board of Directors in 2001, was appointed as executive director in 2004, and for the next seven years, oversaw tremendous growth for the organization, greatly expanding the staff, raising funds, and increasing the number of children the organization was able to reach. Plasencia started her career in the aviation industry at Eastern Airlines, worked as regional sales director for Air New Zealand, and senior vice president for Air Peru, where she managed an annual sales budget of $225 million. She is currently chair of the Circuit 11 Task Force for the State of Florida Child Abuse Prevention and Permanency Plan.
PERFORMING ARTS – DANCE
Martha Graham Dance Company
Lloyd Knight is currently Principal Dancer at Martha Graham Dance Company. He joined the Company in 2005 and performs leading roles in Appalachian Spring, Embattled Garden, Errand into the Maze and others. Born in England and raised in Miami, he trained at Miami Conservatory of Ballet and graduated from New World School of the Arts at MDC. He has worked with choreographers Donald McKayle, Robert Battle, and Michael Uthoff. Knight has received scholarships to The Ailey School and Dance Theatre of Harlem. Dance Magazine named him one of the “Top 25 Dancers to Watch” in 2010. Recently, he partnered with ballerina Wendy Whelan in Graham’s Moon and Misty Copeland in Graham’s At Summer’s Full.
Judith Migoya, Psy.D.
Psychologist and Co-Owner
Pediatric Psychology Associates
Dr. Judith Migoya is a licensed psychologist and co-owner of Pediatric Psychology Associates, a well-respected psychology group practice serving South Florida. She specializes in the treatment of children with behavioral problems, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, autism and other pervasive developmental disorders. Migoya works closely with families, schools, and other professionals as part of her clinical work with children. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, National Academy of Neuropsychology, International OCD Foundation and the Florida Psychological Association (FPA). She is past president (2015 & 2016) of the Miami-Dade/Monroe Counties chapter of FPA and currently serves as continuing education co-chair for this chapter. Migoya has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and presented at regional conferences on topics involving neuropsychology, behavioral medicine, and pediatric psychology.
Raquel “Rocky” Egusquiza
Vice President of Community Affairs
NBCU Telemundo Enterprises
Rocky Egusquiza is vice president of Community Affairs, Hispanic Enterprises and Content at NBCUniversal where she oversees the execution of community relations activities as they relate to the Telemundo Network and cable network NBCUniverso in concert with NBCU and Comcast’s external relations team. Under her leadership, Telemundo launched El Poder En Ti focusing on four key areas: STEAM education, health and wellness, financial education and civic engagement. The initiative has reached more than eight million people through on-the-ground events and 92 million on air. Egusquiza’s professional experience spans the public and private sectors, previously holding positions at AARP, Ford Motor Company Fund, AT&T, Miami-Dade County Legislative Delegation and the Florida Senate. She currently serves as secretary of the Board for the Smithsonian Latino Center and as member of the Kennedy Center Latino Advisory Board and the CNC board. Egusquiza is a founding member of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute and HACR’s Corporate Executive Forum, and has received numerous awards and honors for her work in the community.
Sinuhé Vega Negrin
Sinuhé Vega Negrin Studio
Sinuhé Vega Negrin is a Miami-based visual artist and entrepreneur whose work has been featured at various prestigious galleries — from California and Puerto Rico to Miami’s Art Basel. Vega Negrin’s work cuts across genres in the visual arts, embracing a contemporary style. In his most recent body of work, the Fructo-Sapian series, he employs fabric, fiberglass, oil paint, grass and wire to create surreal portraits of biomorphic figures with fruit in the place of heads. In addition, Vega Negrin is founder and an owner of Cane a Sucre, a gourmet sandwich bar with locations in North Miami, downtown Miami, and the Opa-locka airport. He is former owner of Uva 69 restaurant in the Miami Modern (MiMo) district, an area he helped transform through real-estate investments and enhancements, and by serving as director of the MiMo Historic Preservation and Business Improvement District (BIC) boards.