The Orange Bowl Committee officially elected 11 new Active Members for the 2022-23 year at the organization’s annual new member elections in March. With these additions, the Orange Bowl Committee now consists of 391 members.
The new class will play an integral role as the Orange Bowl will host the 89th Capital One Orange Bowl on December 30, 2022, the 28th annual AutoNation Orange Bowl Basketball Classic in December 2022, as well as numerous other sporting events and community activities throughout South Florida.
NEW ACTIVE MEMBERS:
Orlando Ashford – Strategic Advisor | Sycamore Partners
Orlando Ashford is a strategic advisor for Sycamore Partners. In that capacity he serves on the board of Azamara, a boutique cruise brand with four luxury ships, where he brings 27 years of global experience in executive management, talent management, organizational development, change management and corporate human resources. He also serves on the boards of Perrigo, Array Technologies, Amerant Bank and State Farm Fire and Life advisory boards. Ashford is a graduate of Purdue University where he received his Bachelor of Sciences and Masters of Sciences in Organizational Leadership and Industrial Technology. In 2014, Orlando was named the president of Holland America Line, becoming the first African American president of a cruise brand. There, he directed a fleet of 15 cruise ships and managed 18,000 employees globally. He currently lives in Fort Lauderdale with his family.
Russell Benford – Vice President, Government Relations, Americas | Royal Caribbean Group
Russell Benford is currently vice president of government relations for Royal Caribbean Group. He manages the company’s corporate government relations throughout North, Central and South America, as well the Caribbean. In 2011, Russell served as the deputy mayor of Miami-Dade County for six years before concluding his 23 years of public service in municipal government in 2017. He is actively involved in community organizations, serving on the board of directors of the Jessie Trice Community Health System Foundation, FIU Center for Leadership, and Achieve Miami. Russell is also a member of 100 Black Men of South Florida and the 5,000 Role Models of Excellence Project. Russell graduated with his Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College and his Masters of Arts in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin. He and his wife, Johanna, reside in Dania Beach, Florida.
Leah A. Carpenter, FACHE – Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer | Memorial Healthcare System
Leah Carpenter is the executive vice president and chief operating officer at Memorial Healthcare System. She oversees operations at all six Memorial hospitals, including Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, and major service lines, such as oncology, neurosciences, behavioral health, rehabilitation, global health, laboratory and pharmacy services. As the former chief executive officer at Memorial Hospital West in Pembroke Pines, she oversaw one of the busiest hospitals in South Florida during the pandemic, where it cared for the one of the highest in-state COVID-19 patient volumes. In all, she has spent nearly two decades in a variety of leadership roles within Memorial and 36 years overall in the healthcare industry. She is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and holds memberships in the American Organization of Nurse Executives and the National Honor Society for Public Administrators. She is also a Lifetime member of Leadership Florida. Originally raised in Newark, New Jersey, Leah received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration and her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Rutgers University. She currently lives in Miramar, Florida, with her son David.
J. Raul Cosio – Litigation Equity Partner | Holland & Knight LLP
Raul Cosio is a litigation partner at Holland & Knight LLP where he has practiced his entire career. He is an experienced and accomplished first-chair trial lawyer and litigator in the firm’s Miami office. His practice is focused in the areas of business litigation, securities litigation, banking and financing litigation, trusts and estates litigation and complex commercial litigation and has been consistently recognized in these areas of practice by The Best Lawyers in America Guide. He is on the board of directors for the Hispanic National Bar Foundation, is a member of the University of Miami Citizen’s Board and a member of the University of Pennsylvania’s Law Alumni Society Board of Managers. Raul graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree and received his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. Raul currently lives in Miami with his wife, Mari. They have four children, Manny, Danielle, Alex and Jaqueline.
Ashley Cusack – Broker, Senior Vice President | BHHS EWM Realty
Ashley Cusack is a top-producing broker and senior vice president and is an expert in the Miami luxury real estate market. Selling nearly $1 billion over her 26-year career, she has placed in the highest tier of realtors, earning her recognition as one of Miami’s leading agents and ranked in the top half of 1% nationwide. She has remained in the field since obtaining her real estate license and broker license in 1994 while working at Ross and Associates from 1990-1995. Ashley is also a board member at St. Thomas Episcopal Church and School and a volunteer girls lacrosse coach at Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove. She lives in Miami with her husband, James, and her two children, Wesley and Brinson.
Nick Garcia – Manager, Mergers & Acquisitions | MasTec, Inc.
Nick Garcia is currently the manager of mergers and acquisitions for MasTec, Inc., a public infrastructure contracting company that offers expertise in industries including communications, oil and gas, power generation and delivery, civil and industrial construction, and other specialty construction services. Since moving into his current role, Nick has successfully closed more than 20 acquisitions, totaling well over $1 billion in total purchase price. Prior to working with MasTec, he served as an associate at Berkeley Research Group. He is also currently involved with United Way Young Leaders, as well as two of his family’s charities: the Garcia Perseverance Scholarship Fund and the Stand up and Eliminate Eating Disorders Fund. Nick graduated from the University of Florida with his Masters of Business Administration with a finance concentration after earning his Bachelor of Science in Accounting the year prior. He currently lives in Miami with his wife, Maripili.
Mario J. Garcia-Serra – Shareholder | Gunster Yoakley and Stewart, P.A.
Mario J. Garcia-Serra is currently shareholder at Gunster Yoakley and Stewart, P.A. He has been with the law firm since 2014 and was recognized by The Best Lawyers in America: Land Use and Zoning Law in 2021. Previously, he worked at Greenburg Traurig as an associate and shareholder. Mario also currently serves as treasurer on the board of directors at Dade Heritage Trust. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami School of Law. Mario currently resides in Key Biscayne with his wife, Silvia, and two children, Veronica and Mario.
Fatima Perez – Regional Manager | Koch Industries
Fatima Perez is currently regional government affairs manager for Koch Industries, one of the largest private companies in America. Fatima represents Koch companies at the state and local level in the coastal, southeast region of the United States. She previously served as the chief of staff at the Office of the Mayor & Commission in Miami Beach and Tallahassee and was recognized with the Young Hispanic Corporate Achiever Award by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility. Fatima received her Bachelor of Arts in Criminology from Florida State University and her Master of Public Administration at Florida International University. She lives and works in Coral Gables.
Kenneth Stiles – Chief Executive Officer | Stiles Corporation
Kenneth Stiles is currently the chief executive officer of Stiles Corporation, a full-service commercial real estate firm that includes development, construction, tenant project management, brokerage, property management, architecture, asset management, acquisitions and financing. He continues the rich tradition of his father and grandfather in leading the Stiles organization. Kenneth graduated from Elon University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management. Kenneth also serves as the Board Chair at the Museum of Discovery & Science in Fort Lauderdale and is currently on the Advisory Board of NSU School of Real Estate. A third generation Floridian, he resides in Fort Lauderdale with his wife, Brittany, and two children, Hudson and Easton.
Theresa Therilus – City Manager | City of North Miami
Theresa Therilus is currently the City Manager of North Miami. She oversees the daily operations of the City of North Miami and ensures that the policies, directives, resolutions, and ordinances adopted by the City Council are implemented and enforced. She previously served as legal advisor for Miami-Dade County. Theresa was recently honored with the 2021 Finance Award in Government from the South Florida Business & Wealth Magazine, which recognizes South Florida’s most distinguished professionals in the financial industry. As a seasoned attorney, Theresa has been admitted to the Florida Bar, California Bar and the United States Supreme Court. She has extensive experience representing professional athletes, artists and entertainers as a former sports and entertainment attorney. Born in Miami, she graduated with her Bachelor of Business Administration with honors in Economics and Legal Studies from the University of Miami, and later received her Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. She currently lives with her husband, Brian, in North Miami.
Ricky Wade – Owner/President | “B”ing The Best, INC. dba McDonald’s Restaurants
Ricky Wade is currently owner and president of “B”ing The Best, Inc., a McDonald’s Restaurant franchisee comprised of 28 restaurants from Ft. Pierce in St. Lucie County to Boca Raton in Palm Beach County. Committed to reinforcing positive lifestyle habits, Ricky works closely with many organizations. He’s the vice president of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida and is the Board Chair for Palm Beach State College Foundation and the Board Chair for the Urban League of Palm Beach County. Ricky graduated from Excelsior College of Jamaica in 1978 and lives in West Palm Beach, Florida, with his wife, Lissette, and his three children, Kristina, Devon-Ashley and Andre.