OUR CHILDREN

NEED A VOICE

In the life of every child, there should be at least one adult that provides safety, stability and love. Unfortunately, over 2,000 children in Miami-Dade County don’t have someone to fill this role so they have been placed in foster care.

 

Voices For Children’s support enables the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Program to safeguard the best interest of children in foster care in dependency court proceedings. This is the only program that provides this type of caring and objective voice in court. Guardians ad Litem make sure children are not lost in an overburdened legal and social service system or languish in an inappropriate home or shelter. Voices’ financial support also helps fulfill the children’s medical, educational, and social needs.

MISSION

The mission of Voices For Children Foundation, Inc. is to raise funds to ensure that every abused, abandoned and neglected child in Miami-Dade County has a court-appointed Guardian ad Litem (GAL) and that financial assistance and other resources are available for their health, educational, and social needs.

VISION

Voices For Children is a leader among peer organizations concerned with the support and future success of abused, abandoned, or neglected children and youth.

OUR TEAM

“We serve one of Miami’s most vulnerable populations: abused, abandoned and neglected children that have been placed in the foster care system. We provide a hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on, and guidance for their success.

 

We’ve put together a team of caring, experienced professionals who can provide access to meaningful social and emotional self-sufficiency. This type of support is one on one and unconditional. Our staff brings caring and innovative strategies to work with at-risk youth. We partner with organizations and community members to amplify our impact. Our organization is built on the values of compassion and community, values that make a pivotal difference in a child’s life.”

Nelson Hincapie, CEO & President

Nelson Incapie

CEO & President

Nelson joined Voices For Children in 2009 as President and CEO. Originally from Bogota, Colombia, he began his career in Miami working with Mayor Alex Penelas to help establish Universal Pre-Kindergarten. While Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez served as County Commissioner, Nelson worked on his staff as a community liaison. Currently, he mentors several adolescents who have aged out of foster care and are making the transition to independent living. Nelson is married and the father of four children.

“Through Voices For Children we have an opportunity to be a voice for foster children, to be the change they need, to give them courage and hope, and help them believe that they can have a better and brighter future.”

786.469.3860
NHincapie@BeAVoice.org

Nelson Hincapie, CEO & President

Tania Rodriguez

Chief Operating Officer

Tania started her journey in child welfare in 1996 when she became a Guardian ad Litem volunteer. She has worked for Voices For Children for 13 years and became Chief Operating Office in 2008. Tania earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Georgetown University. She was raised in Miami and returned to South Florida to work after college. In addition to Voices, she worked in the private sector in the public relations and corporate communications fields. Tania enjoyed travelling the world prior to settling down with her husband and two children.

“I believe there is no other volunteer experience available to our community that can deliver such an amazing and profound impact in the lives of children as the Guardian ad Litem Program”.

786.469.3861
TRodriguez@BeAVoice.org

Alain Garcia

Controller

Alain joined Voices For Children in 2006. He has over 15 years of experience in business operations. He enjoys helping others succeed and better themselves. Alain was born and raised in Miami and has a passion for cooking, technology and music.

“I oversee financial, risk management, and human resource operations for the organization. We are always looking for new opportunities and partners to collaborate with.”

786.469.3863
AGarcia@BeAVoice.org

Dorothy Marin

Children’s Needs Program Manager

Dorothy began her journey as a Guardian ad Litem volunteer and joined the Guardian ad Litem Program staff in 2003. She previously worked in ground and air logistics before transitioning into child welfare and joining Voices For Children in 2005. Dorothy was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Miami, Florida.

“There is no work that I would rather do than helping a child in need. We are an organization with a history of caring and giving. I truly enjoy working here and being a part of an amazing team.”

786.469.3862
DMarin@BeAVoice.org

Ronald Cue

Accounting Clerk

Ronald joined Voices For Children in 2016. He was born and raised in La Habana, Cuba, from where he left in 2008 to pursue the American dream with his family. In 2019 he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting at Florida National University. He loves to play sports and help others with anything they need.

“I will continue to pursue my dreams by working hard, studying and being part of this incredible team. Working for an organization that helps children by doing what you love to do and knowing that your work is significant to others is a very rewarding experience”

305.324.5678
rcue@BeAVoice.org

Tracy Adirika

Development Manager

Tracy joined Voices For Children Foundation in 2018, after obtaining several years of experience in child welfare, data analysis, and peer mentorship. She is truly dedicated to changing the trajectory of life for every abandoned, abused, and neglected child of Miami Dade County. As a mother, sister, daughter, wife and friend, Tracy believes her purpose in life is to bring light, benevolence, and hope to others. She will continue to utilize the power and influence of peer mentorship, compassion, and education to create social change and opportunities for children within the dependency system.

“Working for Voices for Children is not only the greatest opportunity, but also a large responsibility. Children are the treasures of the world; they are our future. What you instill in a child will in turn be used to build the foundation for their future. To be a part of an organization that instills love, compassion, and hope in children at their greatest time of need is truly self-fulfilling.”

Angie Chirino

Donor Relations Manager

Born and raised in Miami, Angie joined the Voices team in 2016 after eleven years in the classroom working with children with Autism. Before that, Angie spent many years working as a songwriter and music producer. Despite her eclectic background, Angie is certain of one thing, she has a heart to help children and her community.

Angie obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at Florida International University and is currently enrolled in FIU’s Professional MBA program. She is a dedicated volunteer Guardian ad Litem and mentor to survivors of human trafficking.
“When you’ve had the abundance of family love that I have, you share it with those who do not.”

786.469.3855
AChirino@BeAVoice.org

Board of Directors Officers

Vince Castro

Chair

Vince Castro is Senior Vice President of Loud and Live, an Entertainment, Marketing & Media Company that performs in the intersection of music, sports, lifestyle and content development. Vince Castro has been a part of the Board of Directors since 2009.

“Voices is the only outlet for the children with legal and foster issues and we need to reach 100% representation! We need to raise more money and earn more grants to do more for the children that need us most.”

Vince Castro, Chair

Jay Shapiro

Immediate Past Chair

Jay B. Shapiro is a Shareholder in the Litigation Department at Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A. He is also a member of the firm’s Board of Directors and sits on the firm’s Executive Committee. Jay became involved with Voices in 2007 because he was greatly moved by the importance of the organization’s work. Prior to joining Voices, Jay had little understanding of the magnitude of abused, abandoned and neglected children in this community. “Nor did I appreciate the critical importance of the GAL program,” says Jay, “But after spending a few hours in Judge Lederman’s courtroom – listening to an unending parade of heart-wrenching stories of children who have been abused or neglected in the most unimaginable ways — I could not help but be moved to action.” Led by his support, Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A. has been the Presenting Sponsor for the annual Be A Voice Awards Luncheon since 2007.

John Broe

Treasurer

John is currently an independent finance and operations consultant working with a variety of clients. He previously held senior positions at Crispin Porter + Bogusky and at Burger King Corporation. John attended a number of Voices For Children events prior to visiting a court room to observe the Guardians in action. Seeing firsthand the importance of the Guardians’ role and the value they provide for the kids made him decide to get more involved. He joined the Board of Directors in 2016.

“The work the Guardians do for the children can have an incredible impact on their lives and in turn, on our community. Voices For Children helps to ensure each child has a voice, and I am proud to be part of such an impactful organization”

Angel Ferrer

Secretary

Angel Ferrer is a Managing Director and Senior Private Banker for Citi Private Bank based in Miami. He works closely with a team of experienced specialists to offer private banking, financial planning, trust and estate services, investment management, brokerage, and customized credit solutions serving ultra-high net worth families. Angel joined the Voices For Children’s Board of Directors recently. He became involved because he felt compelled to do something to help the children in the foster care system.

“Providing advocacy for children that otherwise do not have a voice in our community is Voices For Children’s greatest contribution.”

Rhonda Rose Drecksler

Officer

Rhonda is a licensed real estate broker and President of Rose Realty & Associates, Inc. for almost 20 years. Rhonda feels blessed by her community and considers “giving back” as her thank you. Children hold a special place in her heart so she chose to get involved with our organization, intermittently since its inception, and consistently as a Director since 2008. Rhonda has served as Guardian ad Litem volunteer because she knows how important it is to make sure the voice of a child is heard in court. Through her efforts, she hopes to improve foster children’s lives so they can one day be contributing members of our society.In 2010, Rhonda founded Voices For Children’s Empower A Student Program, a free tutoring program for abused and neglected children in Miami-Dade County.

Michael N. Rosenberg, D.D.S.

Officer

Dr. Rosenberg is a retired orthodontist who practiced in Miami for 37 years. After retiring in 2004, Dr. Rosenberg devoted his time to leadership roles in the non-profit sector. Dr. Rosenberg became involved with Voices For Children Foundation in 2001.

“Nothing upsets me more than child abuse, and I hope that in some way I can be part of the team that changes a child’s life forever.”

Gail Appelrouth

Officer

Gail Appelrouth’s background in Social Work and Child Development led to her first job as a foster care caseworker. She has been a part of the Board of Directors since 2006. Gail is a huge advocate of the Guardian ad Litem Program (GAL). According to Gail, “GAL volunteers are the most objective observers because they have no bias when it comes to deciding what is in the child’s best interest.” Gail believes that helping these children now will create the next generation of compassionate community leaders and professionals.

“I want to see all children in Miami-Dade County as happy and healthy and be allowed the same opportunities as my own children and grandchildren.”

Blain L. Heckaman

Officer

Blain L. Heckaman is the managing principal of Kaufman, Rossin & Co. Blain has provided audit and consulting services to businesses for more than two decades. Blain is also a Certified Public Accountant in Florida and Indiana, as well as a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Interested in working with an organization that focuses on children, Blain joined Voices For Children’s Board of Directors in 2002.

“With Voices For Children, kids at risk have a chance to raise their quality of life,” says Blain, “Over the years, the GAL Program has demonstrated that children need certain resources which the GAL Program can provide. Children need someone who is focused on them. Being in non-loving environments creates a place where children will do what they must to survive. Statistics have proven that those who have had guardians benefit significantly.”

Board of Directors

Javier F. Aviñó

Javier F. Aviñó is the Practice Group Leader of Bilzin Sumberg’s Land Development & Government Relations Group and Co-Chair of the Firm’s International Group. He focuses his practice on land use, zoning, and environmental law, representing both domestic and international clients. Javier’s experience includes the representation of both private and public sector clients before various state, county, municipal governments and regulatory bodies throughout South Florida. Javier joined Voices For Children’s Board of Directors in 2018.

“Effective representation of children in the legal system has a major impact for both the children and for our community. Having deep roots here in South Florida, it is a privilege to be involved with Voices For Children in support of youth in need.”

David G. Barbeito, CPA

David G. Barbeito, CPA, is managing partner at De La Hoz, Perez & Barbeito, P.A. With more than 22 years of service in public accounting, David has extensive experience providing audit and tax services to privately owned companies in various industries including wholesale/distributors, real estate, healthcare, professional sports franchises and finance companies.

David holds a masters and bachelor’s degree in accounting from Florida International University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is also active in several local charities including United Way of Miami-Dade, and Americans for Immigration Justice and L.I.V.E. (Lead, Innovate, Volunteer and Empower), a non-profit organization he co-founded in 2016. David joined Voices For Children Foundation’s Board in 2019 after feeling compelled to support children in need in his community.

“Children are the future of our community and Voices serves those children that are most vulnerable. I couldn’t be more excited to work alongside Nelson and the rest of the Voices team in making our community better today and in the future”.

Russell Benford

Russell Benford currently serves as Vice President of Government Relations, Americas for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. covering North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. His professional experience includes more than 20 years in Government, most recently serving as Deputy Mayor of Miami-Dade County. During his six-year tenure, he had direct oversight of Police, Fire Rescue, Corrections and Rehabilitation, Medical Examiner, Public Housing and Community Development, Community Action and Human Services and Juvenile Services.
In addition to serving on the Voices board Russell is actively involved in community organizations, serving on the Board of Directors of the Jessie Trice Community Health System, Suited for Success/Dress for Success Miami, and is a member of the 100 Black Men of South Florida and the 5,000 Role Models of Excellence Project.
“Hope for the future is neither the absence of tragedy nor the ability to hide from misfortune, but the courage to overcome it; and from that broken past, write a new beginning.”

Michael Block

Michael Block is the founder and CEO of Greenmonkey® and Director of Toy Plus. Michael became involved with Voices For Children in 2006 because he was impressed with our mission and the work we do to serve such an important need for such an important group of kids.

“I am extremely impressed by the dedicated members of the GAL Program. The importance of the work they do, providing a voice to those most in need of one, is invaluable.”

Simone Boayue-Gumbs, ESQ.

Simone Z. Boayue-Gumbs is a shareholder at the international law firm, Greenberg Traurig, with extensive experience representing lenders in various financing transactions, as well as airlines and lessors in connection with the financing, refinancing, and leasing of commercial transport aircraft and private jets. She was selected by Legacy Magazine as one of “South Florida’s 40 Under 40 Leaders of Today & Tomorrow for 2013.” Simone has been a part of Voices For Children’s Board of Directors since 2012. She has always had an interest in children’s issues and empowering children. While in high school and college, Simone interned with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), whose mission, similar to Voices For Children’s, is to advance children’s rights, survival, development, and to ensure their protection.

Eddie Borrego

Eddie Borrego is the Associate Vice President of operations for Jackson South Community Hospital. He manages and leads the operation for the hospital. He previously served as the Director of Corporate Initiatives for the health system planning and implementing critical priorities and projects throughout the system. Eddie has extensive experience in management and leadership in healthcare operations, government relations, team management and strategic programming. He has been a lifelong public servant, having previously held posts with a US Senator and two Florida Governors. Eddie serves on numerous boards and is one of Voices For Children most recent Board members. He has brought diversity into the Board, by representing the public sector.

“Voices enables the community to provide a voice to the thousands of voiceless children in South Florida. The impact on a child’s life is immeasurable, Voices gives me and others an opportunity to advocate and impact a life.”

Juan Cordoba

Juan D. Cordoba, is Vice President of Commercial Lines for USI Insurance Services. He specializes in insurance products sales, risk management monitoring programs for clients and marketing and development. Mr. Cordoba joined Voices For Children in September of 2018.

“Voices for Children gives me the opportunity to give back to the community and also to grow personally by the interaction and learning from its amazing Directors.”

Bertha Cordoves-Pino

Bertha Cordoves-Pino’s background in social work and public health and her passion for philanthropy led her to join the Voices For Children Foundation Board of Directors in 2016. Bertha has experience working with children in need that are part of the foster care system. She worked with Children’s Home Society advocating for foster children who were born with HIV by attending to court hearings, hospital rounds and home visits. Educated as a Medical Technician with a Master’s in Public Health, Bertha also worked for The Florida Department of Health where she was able to understand the complexities of the overall health and well-being necessities of children in the foster care system. Bertha is exceedingly proud of her current role as a homemaker and manager of her family’s real estate properties.

“Voices For Children gives me the opportunity to make a direct impact on children’s lives. Voices For Children does make a difference”.

Roberto E. Gadala-Maria

Roberto Gadala-Maria is Senior Vice-President at EFG Capital International. He supervises institutional Brokerage Services for Central America, the Dominican Republic, Peru, and Ecuador. In 2011, Roberto had the opportunity to go on a court tour and saw firsthand the impact of Voices For Children’s work on behalf of foster children.

“I saw the success stories and I saw the conviction of the Board of Directors (many of whom are actually Guardians as well). I saw a dedicated President and CEO that was emotionally attached to the cause, Staff members that care and that work harder than most people I know… I saw an organization that is dedicated and that I could trust. I imagined my own children going through what all of our kids have to endure; alone, confused, separated from everyone they trust. I decided that no child should face these issues alone, no child should be left in the hands of courts and foster care without a constant in their lives, without someone who ultimately only cares about the child’s wellbeing – so I decided to go all in and dedicate as much of my time as possible to Voices and to our children.”

Brian Y. Goldmeier

Brian Y. Goldmeier is founder and president of BYG Strategies, Inc., recognized as one of Florida’s most prominent and successful government advisory, campaign and issue fundraising, and business consulting firm. Over the past decade, he has helped lead fundraising and capital raises for the most important issues, elections and referenda in the community including County mayor and commission seats, various city and municipal seats, countywide referenda, campaigns for statewide legislative and gubernatorial offices, as well as serving as a principal advisor and strategist to many of South Florida’s most important government, educational and business leaders. His fundraising leadership and stewardship has personally resulted in over $50 million raised for various political and issues campaigns.

Recognized for his strategic vision, thought leadership, and results-driven orientation, Mr. Goldmeier is consistently sought out for his opinion leadership and high impact in business, government and civic life. In philanthropy and non-profit activity, he has been active in, and elected to, leadership roles in some of the most important organizations in Florida and regionally including Leadership Florida, the United Way, Voices For Children Foundation, the University of Miami Citizens Board, City Year, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, and the Beacon Council of Miami-Dade, among others.

Mr. Goldmeier holds a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management and Hospitality Administration, as well as a Master of Business Administration (MBA), from Endicott College, where he was the top seed on the college’s intercollegiate tennis team. He currently resides in Miami, Florida. Brian’s outside interests include professional sports, playing tennis, boating and fishing, and travel and dining with family, friends and business associates.

“I decided to join Voices For Children’s Board of Directors in 2012 because I have a sincere belief that childhood experiences mold the foundation for the adult you become later in life”

Christopher Gonzalez Jacabo

Kira Grossman

Kira Grossman is an attorney with a background in family law, including Collaborative Law, commercial litigation, government affairs, and complex legislative initiatives. She currently serves as General Counsel at Sun Packing and is an attorney at Alvarez, Carbonell, Feltman & Da Silva, PL. Known for helping clients reach their goals, Kira is committed to resolving disputes and complex issues in an effective, diligent and professional manner. Prior to joining her current firm, Kira was a family law attorney for many years and later an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Miami and Policy Advisor for the Miami Parking Authority. She not only helps clients in court but has also successfully represented issues in front of the Florida Legislature and various City and County Commissions. Clients appreciate Kira for her wide range of legal and business experience and trust her creative methods of resolving challenges. As an attorney and former social worker, Kira realizes it is important to give back to the community. Kira joined Voices For Children’s Board of Directors in 2012.

“Voices For Children is the best local program that provides services and gives back to the community.”

Alberto Jaen

Alberto Jaen has been a Creative Director of multinational companies for over fifteen years. He has received several Cannes Festival awards and has been a jury member at different international advertising festivals. He now serves as a Communications Consultant, and is the Founder and Creative Director of Plus305, as well as a Co-Founder of HULA App. Alberto Jaen joined Voices For Children’s Board in 2017.

“Voices For Children is not only an organization, it’s a way of understanding life. I’m in love with the cause because it makes things happen. They have shown me that we can make a real difference in the life of kids in need in Miami. Isn’t it nice to be inspired this way?”

Suzanne Legon

Suzanne Legon’s interest to give back to her community and help children in need led her to become and serve as a Guardian ad Litem since 2014. Suzanne’s background is in corporate and securities law and mediation. She is an involved environmental and animal activist. She taught yoga for many years and more recently became a meditation instructor. Suzanne also serves as a mentor for the Ladies Empowerment and Action Program, a prison re-entry support program.

“We need to remember that children in foster care are victims in circumstances beyond their control. I want to help these children have normal happy childhoods. Speaking up for them is essential to ensure they have access to resources which will help them achieve their fullest potential. I am also passionate about helping those children who age-out of foster care. These young adults must be taught the tools that they will need to be successful members of society. We must help break the cycles and stigmas of growing up in foster care”.

Robert Lowe

Robert Lowe is General Manager of Mandarin Oriental, Miami. He is responsible for the executive management and operations for the deluxe 326-room waterfront hotel situated on Brickell Key. In 2017, the property was awarded the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award for the hotel, Azul restaurant, and The Spa. Mr. Lowe is a veteran hotelier with over 25 years of hospitality industry experience including 16 years with Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. He joined Voices For Children’s Board of Directors in 2016.

“It is an honor to be a part of an organization who’s goals align with mine and Mandarin Oriental, Miami – who is proud of its long-standing relationship with Voices For Children. Children are our future and it is essential that we do our best to provide a good quality of life so they can thrive and make their place in the world.”

Rodrigo Melendez

Officer

Rodrigo Melendez is Managing Partner at KPMG in the South Florida Business unit with over 13 years of experience in public accounting and has an extensive background with public and private multinational companies. He joined Voices For Children’s Board of Directors in 2007.

“Voices For Children benefits the community at large by letting foster kids know that they have someone looking out for them, so that they can have a chance to succeed and become outstanding citizens of our community.”

Brad Meltzer

Brad Meltzer has over 25 years of experience in the construction industry and is the president of Plaza Construction Group Florida. Since the opening of the office in 2002, Brad has continued to propel the company’s development with consistent and sustainable growth. While managing some of Miami’s high-profile constructions projects, he has always demonstrated his commitment to civic responsibility through his continued dedication to philanthropic organizations that support causes from health to child welfare. Brad joined the Voices For Children Board of Directors in 2016 after learning how the organization brings change and hope in the life of abused and neglected children. Brad and the Plaza team have raised funds to benefit Voices For Children in their 2015 and 2016 annual Golf Invitational.

“Voices For Children provides children in the foster care system with support and care that they otherwise would not likely receive.”

Barry Minoff

Barry Minoff, was the Chairman of his family business, Kichler Lighting, based in Cleveland, Ohio for two decades. He has earned numerous business awards including Ohio Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, Nasdaq, and USA Today. He received the American Lighting Association’s Pillar of the Industry Award and his family was inducted into the Case Western Reserve University Family Business Hall of Fame in 1995.

Besides being a successful businessman, Barry is also well known as a producer, actor, and philanthropist. Barry serves as a board member of the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and is a member of the Broward sheriffs advisory council. After attending the 2018 Be A Voice Gala and listening to the moving testimonial of a former foster youth and human trafficking victim, Barry decided to become more involved with Voices For Children. He joined the Board of Directors shortly afterward.

“Voices For Children makes a true difference in the lives of children in foster care. They provide unconditional support and hope”

Raul de Molina

Raul is an award-winning photo journalist photographer who currently hosts Univision’s “El Gordo y La Flaca.” Raul has served on Voices For Children’s Board of Directors since 2004. Raul believes that Voices gives foster children a chance to one day be productive citizens and therefore give back. Through Voices’ Children’s Needs Program, Raul has hosted Artistic Expression Workshops for some of our foster youth in which he guided the youth through creative photography projects.

“One never knows, regardless of socioeconomic background when or if they will end up in court and need a Guardian. Voices provides a great service to the community.”

Hans C. Mueller

Hans C. Mueller is Vice President Commercial lending at 1First Bank. Hans has been on the Board of Directors for Voices For Children Foundation since 1998. He chose to get involved because of “Voices’ reputable transparency and excellent community cause.”

Abigail Price-Williams, ESQ.

Abigail Price-Williams is the First Assistant County Attorney responsible for the oversight and supervision of Assistant County Attorneys’ support staff and office operations. Abigail also provides legal counsel to County Commissioners, the Mayor’s Office and County Departments. She has also held the position of Acting County Attorney. Abigail joined the County Attorney’s Office in 1990 and joined the Voices For Children’s Board of Directors in 1997. On numerous occasions, Abigail has served as Co-Chair of the Voices For Children Foundation’s annual Be A Voice Awards Luncheon.

Sheila C. Reinken

Sheila C. Reinken serves as Chief Operating Officer of Friends of WLRN. Sheila joined the Board of Directors in 2011 and strongly believes in the mission of Voices For Children.

“By empowering children in foster care, Voices For Children improves their lives and the chances for children to have happier present circumstances and a better future.”

Steve Stowe

As Executive Director of the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund, Steve Stowe oversees and manages all fund-raising efforts, educational programs, and community outreach initiatives for the Miami HEAT. Steve became a part of the Board of Directors at Voices For Children in 2005.

Mariola Triana Sanchez, ESQ

Officer

Mariola Triana Sanchez serves as General Counsel of Mercantil Commercebank. As part of the Management Team, she is responsible for overseeing the legal affairs of the Bank to protect the organization in situations of significant risk. Sanchez has been practicing law for more than 17 years and earned extensive experience in the practice of Family Law where she represented clients through the full spectrum of proceedings including child custody, child support enforcement, domestic violence, adoptions, and guardianship proceedings. Mariola joined Voices For Children’s Board of Directors in 2012. Mercantil Commercebank has been the Presenting Sponsor for the Strike Out Child Abuse Bowling Tournaments since 2012.

“Our community’s future depends on our children, and I believe it is our responsibility to help those suffering from abuse and neglect. Voices provides the assistance these children need to grow into productive members of our society.”

Yolanda Valencia

Yolanda Valencia is Head of HR and Corporate Philanthropy for Galleria Farms, a leading grower, importer and distributor of premium, fresh-cut flowers to mass market retailers and supermarkets nationwide. Galleria Farms supports nonprofit organizations that improve the lives of children, military veterans, and senior citizens. Yolanda became a Guardian Ad Litem in 2014. She was awarded Outstanding GAL Volunteer in her Division in 2016. She also co-chaired the Voices for Children Foundation Annual Be a Voice Luncheon in 2016. She joined the Board of Directors in 2017.

“Were it not for good parenting, any one of us could have become a foster child.
Children do not have a choice who brings them into this world.
Foster children are the innocent victims of parents who let them down…they did not protect and nurture them. If everyone showed compassion and did a little bit of good to help a foster child, their lives would be enriched with love. Being part of Voices for Children Foundation is my “little bit of good”. We can all do good.”

Ilana Yuz Brodsky

Ilana Yuz Brodsky serves as Wealth Manager I and Fiduciary Specialist of BNY Mellon Wealth Management. As a former Staff Attorney for the GAL Program and a current volunteer, Ilana feels “the GAL Program and its employees and volunteers have a level of commitment to advocating for abused, abandoned, and neglected children that is unmatched. From the staff attorney in court every single day fighting for the best interests of the child to the volunteer driving an hour or more every month to visit their assigned child, the passion and dedication of the program’s participants is truly impressive.”

Julie Caputo

Julie Caputo is a lobbyist at Floridian Partners and Prime Strategies and has a decade’s worth of federal, state and local experience. Prior to her arrival at Floridan, she worked for United States Congressman Joe Garcia (FL-26) initially as a senior campaign advisor and then as the Deputy District Director for his district offices. Additionally, Julie worked on fundraising efforts for the Miami-Dade School Board Bond and Crandon Park’s Renovation Referendums among other County Commissioner’s campaigns.

Before moving to South Florida, Julie worked in Washington D.C. as the Senior Associate for former Clinton White House Deputy Chief of Staff, Maria Echaveste’s government consulting firm, NVG, LLC. There, she worked and lobbied on legislation covering health care, immigration reform, agriculture, patent reform, education, energy, nutrition, and transportation.

She and her Husband, Chris, have a daughter named Lily and 2 rescue dogs. The family are avid Miami Hurricanes fans as Chris is the Associate Head Coach for the Miami Men’s Basketball team. Julie is originally from St. Louis and a proud alumni of the University of Missouri (Mizzou).

“One day, when staffing my boss Congressman Joe Garcia, I was given the opportunity to visit the family courts with Nelson from Voices For Children. We were initially brought to see how the Guardian ad Litem Program worked, and that is when I saw just how children had benefited from having a Guardian. However, my visit also showed me how many more children needed help from this organization, and it was then that I decided I wanted to do all in my power to further this cause and ensure every child in foster care has the advocate they deserve”.

Marco E. Tejada, CFA

Marco Tejada is a Senior Private Banker at Wells Fargo. Marco tells us, “I once read a book titled “A Child Called It” which motivated me to get involved with foster children, but serving as a foster parent or as a Guardian seemed to be a herculean task given the nature of my job. Fundraising for the program through Voices For Children simply seemed to be a better fit for me.” Marco has been on Voices For Children’s Board of Directors since 2006.

OUR STORY

In 1984, three juvenile court judges were moved to action by the vulnerability of the abused, abandoned, and neglected children passing through their courtrooms every day. Helpless and frightened, many of these children were in need of medical care, clothing, and other basic necessities. Recognizing these needs, the judges organized a group of volunteers to administer a small fund of donations and fines. Later on, Voices For Children Foundation was born as the fundraising arm of the 11th Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program.

Beginning as a grassroots organization in 1981, the Miami-Dade’s Guardian ad Litem Program is currently one of the largest in Florida and is currently one of the most nationally respected GAL Programs, serving one of the largest urban populations of child abuse, abandonment, and neglect in the nation. It is part of a nationwide network of advocacy organizations under the umbrella of the National Court-Appointed Special Advocates Association (NCASAA). To date, Voices has raised funds to represent and support over 45,000 children.

SUPPORTERS

Angels are known by many as spiritual beings who are capable of serving any of a number of different purposes. Their role may be to teach, command, or inform individuals of their destiny.  By stepping forward and becoming a member of Voices For Children Foundation’s Angel Society, you have ensured that our vulnerable children have a voice who will fight to change their fate.

 

By joining the Angel Society at any of these giving levels, you will help us provide the safety, guidance, and stability that children in foster care deserve through their Guardian Ad Litem.

BE AN ANGEL

Platinum Angel

$10,000

Gold
Angel

$ 5,000

Silver
Angel

$ 2,500

Bronze
Angel

$ 1,000

BENEFITS

  • Mention in website
  • Mention in events program presentation
  • Mention in newsletter

FINANCIAL

Since our founding in 1984, Voices For Children has become a model organization for positive change in the lives of abused, abandoned and neglected children. This has been made possible by the generous support and shared commitment of our dedicated donors. Responsible administration as well as, our emphasis on programmatic impact have allowed us to consistently earn the highest ratings from watchdog groups such as Charity Navigator.

Contributions Breakdown (FYE 06/2017) Contributions, Gifts & Grants Fundraising Events Government Grants 33% 45.2% 21.8%
Source Dollars
Contributions, Gifts & Grants $1,120,291
Fundraising Events $741,487
Government Grants $1,537,536
Expenses Breakdown (FYE 06/2017) Program Administrative Fundraising 7.3% 12.8% 79.9%
Expense Dollars
Program $2,715,579
Administrative $435,379
Fundraising $247,903
Revenue/Expenses Trend Program Expenses Primary Revenue
Year Program Expenses Primary Revenue
2014 $1,906,642 $2,438,533
2015 $1,990,515 $2,776,419
2016 $2,044,988 $2,747,273
2017 $2,715,579 $3,399,314

2018 Angels

PLATINUM

Mr. Barry Minoff

GOLD

Mr. John Bolduc
Mr. and Mrs. Paul Pino
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Torres

SILVER

Mr. and Mrs. Marcus Bach Armas
Ms. Karelia Fernandez
Ms. Rose Pujol
Mr. and Mrs. Don Rosenthal
Mr. and Mrs. Hector Vargas
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Berkowitz
Mr. and Mrs. Alberto Cardenas
Mr. David Diestel
Mr. and Mrs. German Valencia
Mr. Cedeño Rafael
Mr. Richard Rodriguez

BRONZE

Mr. Jorge Banos
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Berkowitz
Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Betancourt
Mr. and Mrs. John Broe
Mr. and Mrs. Chris Caputo
Mr. Brett Cohen
Morgan Stanley
Mr. Jeffrey Eisen
Ms. Sonia Figueroa
Mr. Christopher Gathman
Mr. Brian Goldmeier
Mr. and Mrs. Brandon Hechtman
Mr. Christian Hevia
Mr. Pete Kepes
Mr. and Mrs. Todd Legon
Mr. Bruce Loshusan
Mr. William Plaza
Mr. Alan Rosenthal
Mr. Mark Watson
Mr. and Mrs. David Fernandez
Mr. and Mrs. Justin Kennedy

Donors

05/01/2019- 07/31/2019

Monica Albin
William Allen
Cristine Alonso
Raymond Anderez
Mariam Angel
Annette Antorcha
Maria Ines Apolo
Stewart Appelrouth
Gerardo Arino
Robert Arkin
Carlos Arrizurieta
Astor Development Group, LLC
Bared and Associates, P.A.
Irene Baros
Batchelor Foundation
Benard Industries, Inc.
Jeffrey Berkowitz
Richard Bernstein
Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP
James Blanchard-Cisneros
Michael Block
Ana Brito
Steven Brodie
Benjamin Brodsky
John Broe
Ricardo Bustamante
Jim Butler
Girolamo Cafiero
Diana Caldera
Carnival Foundation
Frank Carreras
Miguel Carrillo
Daniel Cascante
Salvador Castaner
Hortensia Castroverde
The Children’s Trust
Angie Chirino
Andrea CID
Terri Clark
Sandra Cohen
Community Bag with the Giving Tag
Jose Costa
Rolando Couto
Ciara Crighton
Pool Tech of Miami, Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Stott
Mr. and Mrs. Osvaldo Negrin
Mr. Brian Goldmeier
Urbieta Oil Inc.

Alexandra Cruz
Maria Cuevas
Meike De Vringer
Natalie Diaz-Carlos
Edgewater Capital Management, LLC
Educate Tomorrow
Staci Ehrenkrantz
Talmadge Fair
Farrey Lighting
Edward Feenane
Eliana Fernandez
Enrique Fernandez Campa
Angel Ferrer
Dane Fioravante
Isaac Fisher
Florida Panthers Foundation
Galleria Farms LLC
Sam Goldberg
Jon Goldman
Brian Goldmeier
Diana Gonzalez
Kecia Griffin
Lynn Gross
Guardian Ad Litem Statewide Office
Sean Guim
Teresa Gutierrez
Blain Heckaman
Martha Helena
Henry L. & Kathryn Mills Charity Foundation
Ms. Adriana Hernandez
The Honorable Sally Heyman
Mr. Justin Hiebra
Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Hincapie
Ms. Teri Hirschberg
Mr. Alex Horowitz
Mr. Warren Jennings
The Honorable Barbara Jordan
Joseph And Sherrie Garfield Charitable Foundation
Neisen Kasdin
Kaufman Rossin & Co.
Mr. and Mrs. Eugenio Sevilla-Sacasa
Andrea CID
Ms. Mariola Sanchez
Mr. and Mrs. Brad Meltzer
A Magical Learning Center LLC.
Ms. Hortensia Castroverde
Mr. and Mrs. Paul Pino
Mr. Gerardo Arino
Office of the Attorney General

Mr. Jon Goldman
Farrey Lighting
Mr. and Mrs. S.R. Hernandez
Mr. and Mrs. Blain Heckaman
Ms. Annette Antorcha
Ms. Liza Martel
Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Fisher
Mr. and Mrs. Todd Legon
Mr. Daniel Cascante
Mr. and Mrs. Steven Brodie
YourCause, LLC
Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Snay
The Templeton Family Fund
Ms. Ivette Agusti
Ms. Lynn Gross
Ms. Sonia Fernandez
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Feenane
Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Miller
Mrs. Alessandra Perez-Cisneros
Mrs. Cristina Oyarzun
Dr. Maria Ines Apolo
The Snay Group, Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Sacher
Mr. and Mrs Frank Carreras
Ms. Tracy Solares
Mr. and Mrs. Angel Ferrer
Lindsey Hopkins Technical College MDC School Board Internal Fund Account
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Murphy
Ocean Bank
Ms. Erica Little
Mr. and Mrs. John Broe
Ms. Sandra Spooner
Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Hincapie
Ms. Staci Ehrenkrantz
Mr. and Mrs. Rafael Roca
Mr. and Mrs. Stewart Appelrouth
Ms. Meike De Vringer
Mr. Marco Tejada
Mr. Oscar Cascante
Mr. Rodolfo Bustamante
Ms. Nadia Martino
Mr. Brett McNaught
Mr. Talmadge Fair
Ms. Belkys Nerey
The Benevity Community Impact Fund
Benard Industries, Inc.
The Honorable Barbara Jordan
The Honorable Joe. A Martinez

Grantors

Fiscal Year 2018-2019

The Children’s Trust
Carnival Foundation
Emergency Food and Shelter Program
Educate Tomorrow
Dunspaugh-Dalton Foundation
Florida Panthers Foundation
Guardian Ad Litem Statewide Office
Health Foundation Of South Florida
Henry L. & Kathryn Mills Charity Foundation
Hobbs Foundation
Miami-Dade County Office of Management and Budget Grants Coordination
Micky And Madeleine Arison Family Foundation
Office of the Attorney General
Peacock Foundation, Inc.