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Speaker Bio's
Broward County > Go Green > GoSOLAR > Fest > Speaker Bio's
 Broward County Mayor Kristin Jacobs Mayor Kristin Jacobs, Broward County Commission, District 2
Kristin Jacobs serves as both the Broward County Commissioner for District 2 and the County Mayor. She is known as a consensus builder and proven problem solver. Jacobs lives with her husband, Stuart, in the Old Pompano neighborhood of Pompano Beach. She is the proud mother of three children and has two grandchildren with one on the way. Jacobs was first elected in 1998 to represent District 2. Thus began her 14-year record of bringing people together to solve problems. She has earned an established and respected reputation as a visionary who has consistently brought vital issues to the forefront of public attention. A longtime advocate of “green” environmental practices, her work has earned her recognition as an advocate and expert in sustainable growth, clean water, nationally acclaimed and award-winning water conservation programs, climate change, and smart public transit. She is also a champion of human rights and striving for the American Dream.  Highlights of her efforts in Broward County include the Living Wage Ordinance (2002), “Year of the Environment” (2005), Climate Change Task Force (2007), Human Rights Ordinance (2008), South Florida Regional Climate Change Summit (2008), and “Year of the Neighbor” (2013). Her efforts in the County have propelled her onto the national stage. She has been called upon to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives on national water quality issues. In 2010, she appeared with U.S. Representative James Oberstar before Congress to support the America’s Commitment to Clean Water Act. In 2011, she was selected to serve as Chair of the White House National Ocean Council’s Governance Coordinating Committee, which advises President Obama on local government perspectives on ocean policy. Recently, she was named by President Obama to lead the national council on oceans and coastal region policy. 
 Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz
For more than 18 years, Debbie Wasserman Schultz has dedicated her public life to working on behalf of the people of South Florida. On January 4, 2005, she was sworn in as a member of the United States House of Representatives. Wasserman Schultz represents Florida’s 20th Congressional district, which encompasses parts of Florida as far north as Fort Lauderdale, and as far south as Miami Beach. Before joining the U.S. Congress, she was first a representative and later a senator in the Florida State Legislature. The Congresswoman sits on the House Committee on the Budget, the primary responsibility of which is to draft the annual budget for the United States. The committee sets the aggregate levels of spending and revenue that is expected to occur in a given fiscal year. Wasserman Schultz also serves as a member of the Democratic House Leadership. She serves as a vice chair of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee where her primary responsibility is working to communicate Democratic priorities to Members of Congress and to the press. She also serves as a chief deputy whip where she works to help advance legislation important to the Democratic caucus. In 2011 she became the Democratic Vice Chair of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, a bipartisan Members’ organization dedicated to promoting women’s economic, health, legal, and educational interests. The Caucus serves as both a legislative resource on women’s issues and an advocate on behalf of those issues. The first Jewish congresswoman ever elected from Florida, Wasserman Schultz, introduced a resolution, which passed the House of Representatives and called on the President to declare an annual Jewish American Heritage Month. The President subsequently did so, with the inaugural month in May 2006. Since then, Presidents have proclaimed Jewish American Heritage Month annually. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was born in 1966 on Long Island, NY. She attended the University of Florida and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1988 and with a master’s degree in 1990. She has been married to Steve Schultz for 20 years and together they have three children. The congresswoman is proud to call South Florida home where she resides with her family in Weston.
 Jeffery Halsey Jeffery Halsey, Director, Pollution Prevention, Remediation and Air Quailty Division
Jeffery Halsey obtained his bachelors of science degree in biology from the University of Central Florida, Orlando and his masters in public administration at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Halsey’s 27 year career in the environmental field, both public and private sectors, has included laboratory management at Reedy Creek Improvement District in Orlando, Florida; National Environmental Policy Act work throughout northeast Florida and Falls Church, Virginia; and he currently works as a division director at Broward County’s Environmental Protection and Growth Management Department - Pollution Prevention, Remediation and Air Quality Division. Halsey is an Institute of Hazardous Materials Management Certified Hazardous Materials Manager, a National Association of Environmental Professionals Certified Environmental Professional, and is currently President of the Florida Local Environmental Resource Agencies.
 Bertha Henry Bertha Henry, Broward County Administrator
Bertha Henry was named County administrator in October 2008 after serving as interim administrator for a year. As County administrator, she serves as chief executive officer of Broward County and directs the functions of County Government under the auspices of the Board of County Commissioners. As administrator, Henry oversees a County with 1.7 million residents, and operations for nearly 60 agencies with more than 5,200 employees, including the airport, seaport and Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. Broward County’s budget for fiscal year 2012 is more than $3.3 billion. A native of Miami, Florida, Henry has a distinguished career in public service with more than 30 years of experience in public administration, including service in Montgomery County (Dayton), Ohio, and the City of Miami. She first came to Broward County in 1996 and served as assistant to the County administrator until 1998, when she accepted a position as assistant city manager of Finance and Administration for the City of Miami, assisting with the city’s financial recovery. Henry returned to Broward County in July 2000, serving as Broward County’s deputy county administrator. Henry has a master of science degree in public administration (Finance Concentration) and a bachelor of science in government from Florida State University.
 Armando Linares Armando Linares P. E., Deputy Director,
Broward County Environmental Protection and Growth Management Department
Armando Linares is the deputy director for the Broward County Environmental Protection and Growth Management Department comprised of the Planning & Environmental Regulation, Emergency Management, Housing Finance & Community Development, Natural Resources Planning & Management, Pollution Prevention, Remediation & Air Quality and Permitting Licensing & Consumer Protection Divisions including, Animal Care. Linares believes this combined pool of resources enables Broward County to address existing environmental issues and opportunities through innovation and efficiency with a focus on renewable energy. Linares has over 35 years of experience in the public and private sector. He served as director of public works/capital projects Manager for the City of Tamarac. Assistant to the director of development administration, building official and contract administrator for utility bonds project over $137 million, comprised of a 23 mgd reverse osmosis water treatment plant, post lime stabilization facility, 10 mgd reuse water storage facility and transmission mains for the City of Hollywood. Design engineer for water distribution, collection, and management systems. He also served as an adjunct professor for Broward Community College for Building Code courses. Linares is a registered professional engineer, received his civil engineering degree from the University of Miami, and holds professional licenses for special inspector, general contractor, building code administrator and plans examiner in the State of Florida.  
 Bryan M. Myers Bryan M. Myers, U.S. EPA Region 4,
Energy and Climate Change Coordinator
Bryan Myers has worked for EPA for over 17 years gaining a broad base of regulatory experience across several media. He has worked as both an engineer and attorney, and his experience ranges from writing NPDES permits to negotiating multimillion dollar Superfund settlements. Additionally, Bryan was the EPA regional congressional liaison working with over 100 U.S. congressmen and senators to address their wide ranging concerns and inquiries. Recently, Myers was named Energy and Climate Change Coordinator for Region 4 and is looking forward to reaching out and broadening renewable energy development and the climate dialogue in the southeast. Myers has a law degree from the University of Oregon and a bachelors in chemical engineering from Georgia Tech.
 Robert Powell Robert Powell, Regional Vice President,
Broward County TD Bank
Bob Powell is the Regional Vice President for TD Bank in Broward County and is responsible for providing direct leadership to the commercial banking and small business banking lines of business with commercial support to the 18 retail stores in the Broward County market. Powell’s career spans more than 30 years, most recently as President of Citizens Community Bank/Citizens Bank-IL, N.A., where he was responsible for the strategic leadership of the bank in the Illinois market for Citizens Banking Corporation which included lines of business for commercial and consumer lending, retail delivery, investments and residential lending. Following the sale to Metropolitan Bank Group, Powell continued his role as a community bank president with ultimate responsibility for the profitability of the bank. His prior experience includes seventeen years in commercial lending at Deutsche Financial Services f/k/a ITT Commercial Finance with his final assignment as regional vice president of the Technology Distribution lending office in Chicago. Powell is an active community participant having been on the board of the local YMCA in Berwyn, Illinois serving as treasurer. He also served on the board of the Berwyn Development Corporation serving as the chairman of the Loan Committee, which provided community based micro loans to applicants new to the municipality, giving the municipality the ability to seed local business development. Powell earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Troy University in Alabama. He is also a professional football official with the United Football League. 
 TD Bank Net Zero Branch Allysa Wetcher, Vice President, Branch Manager,
PNC’s Net Positive Branch
Allysa Wetcher is the vice president branch manager at PNC’s Net Positive Branch in Fort Lauderdale. She is a proud native Floridian and earned her bachelor’s in communications at FAU. Shortly after graduation Allysa moved to Washington D.C. and started her career at PNC Bank. There she opened a LEED Certified Branch as the assistant branch manager in the West End neighborhood. During this time, she also assisted with PNC’s acquisition of National City Bank in South Florida and found an opportunity to move back to her hometown. Today, she manages PNC’s LEED Certified Platinum Branch on David Boulevard and Andrews Avenue. The branch opened on Monday, January 14 and is expected to produce more energy than it consumes through its 211 solar panels. Not only does Allysa work in Fort Lauderdale but she is also a resident of the community. Her commitment continues with her participation in Leadership Fort Lauderdale, volunteer work at Stephen Foster Elementary and membership in the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce.
 Dr. Nancy Gassman Nancy J. Gassman, Ph.D., Natural Resources Administrator, Energy and Sustainability Program, Broward County Natural Resources Planning and Management Division
Dr. Nancy J. Gassman has been in public service with Broward County for 17 years working on a variety of water resources issues, in environmental monitoring and more recently in sustainability. Since January 2009, her main focus in the Natural Resources Planning and Management Division has been supporting the development and implementation of Broward’s Climate Change Action Plan and managing Broward’s Energy and Sustainability Program. She coordinated the development of select technical tools for the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact as part of the creation of the Regional Climate Action Plan. Recently, she was involved with Broward Go SOLAR, serving as the chair of the Finance Committee reviewing best practices and possible mechanisms for funding solar photovoltaic systems.
 John McComb John McComb P.E. Lead Customer Service Power Quality Engineer, Florida Power & Light Company
John McComb P.E. is the lead customer service power quality engineer for FPL. The FPL power quality engineers assist customers by analyzing electrical problems within their facilities, and recommending solutions. He is a registered professional engineer, and a licensed electrical contractor. McComb has an electrical engineering degree from Ohio University and a masters of business degree from the University of Dayton. He is also responsible for Netmetering at FPL, a program that allows renewable energy sources to interconnect with the utility. McComb has 36 years experience with electric utilities in engineering, marketing, rates and customer service.
 Joe Acquaviva Joe Acquaviva, Residential Energy Management Supervisor, Florida Power & Light Company
Joe Acquaviva has been employed at FPL for the past 32 years. He has held various energy management positions during his tenure. He currently supervises the Solar and BuildSmart programs. He holds a bachelor’s of business administration degree from Florida Atlantic University, and an associates of arts degree from Broward College. He is a certified energy manager accredited by Association of Energy Engineers, and is a board member of the South Florida Manufacturers Association.
 George Cavros George Cavros, Energy and Environmental Law Attorney, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
George Cavros is a Fort Lauderdale-based attorney with a practice focused on energy and environmental law. His clients include clean energy non-profit organizations and renewable energy developers. He has worked with the U.S. EPA, and has testified and provided written comment to a number of state agencies on issues ranging from energy efficiency implementation to renewable energy policy design. Cavros earned his JD with honors from the Nova Southeastern Sheppard Broad Law Center. He also enjoys his work as an adjunct professor of energy law and environmental law and policy. 
 Robert Foote Robert Foote, Furman Insurance
Robert Foote has deep expertise as a risk and insurance advisor for middle market, privately held firms. Foote is responsible for developing and structuring insurance and risk managment programs to meet many of the agency’s key client’s financial objectives. Our risk and insurance consulting services include: insurance program placement, contract review, loss control, claims management, OSHA Compliance, Human Resource Consulting, and Captive Programs. Recognized by Business Journal as one of the top 20 Insurance Brokers in South Florida and was a 2009 Agency of the Year Finalist in the Nationally circulated Rough Notes Magazine, for the firm’s intense focus on enhancing their client’s financial results. Foote has been with the agency for 20 years and is an agency owner.
 Susie Krix Susie Krix, Furman Insurance
Krix has been with the agency for 30 years and is a shareholder and vice president of the firm. The Furman personal lines staff under Susie’s direction, assists clients with securing solid personal insurance programs to protect their families’ most valuable assets.
 Wolfgang Beaugrand Wolfgang Beaugrand, MAGE Solar Inc. and Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy Board member
Wolfgang Beaugrand is the southeastern regional sales manager for Mage Solar Projects, Inc. His territory covers Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama. He is based out of Sarasota County, Florida. He has been a member of the Man Kind Project, a group based on integrity and accountability. His education is from Friedich List Schule, Darmstadt. He has been communicating with House Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda many times and supports her with facts of the solar industry. Beaugrand is a board member of Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy, and has been involved in the local rotary club. He has also worked in Louisiana on solar projects like Blue Plate, American Can and Garden District, a Historic Renovations Inc. Solar Project.
 Kamran Idrees Kamran Idrees, Associate, Project Finance Group, Chadbourne & Parke LLP 
Kamran Idrees practice focuses on federal income tax law with a particular emphasis on renewable energy investment, energy tax credits, government incentive programs, project development and finance. He is based in Washington D.C.
 Tom Tansy Keynote Address
Tom Tansy, Chairman, SunSpec Alliance
Tom Tansy serves as chairman of the SunSpec Alliance where he leads the solar industry’s effort to establish data and communication standards that will enable seamless integration of solar PV into the Smart Grid. The SunSpec Alliance has over 60 members, including leading providers of solar inverters, environmental monitoring equipment, smart meters, next-generation solar semiconductors, and related software. Tansy was previously general manager and vice president of business development for the Vision Systems Group of Power-One, vice president of business development of Zero Motorcycles, and founded several software companies including one (NetCarta Corporation) that was acquired by Microsoft.
 Dan Wishnick Dan Wishnick, Manager, Business Development, Siemens Infrastructure and Cities Sector, Alternative Energy Group
Dan Wishnick is a business development manager at Siemens Industry, Inc., with responsibility for the development of the solar PPA market in the U.S. for the Siemens Alternative Energy Group. He has more than 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, engineering, business development and managing operations in the US, China, India, South America and Europe. He has a bachelor of science degree in ceramic engineering from Rutgers University.
 John Albert John Albert, Government Affairs Manager,
Waste Management, Inc.
Albert has 33 years in the solid waste industry with Waste Management. He has worked in all aspects of the waste industry from collection, landfills, recycling, hurricane cleanups to his present position as government affairs manager. He has a bachelor’s degree from Shepherd University in West Virginia.
 Julia Johnson Julia Johnson, LEED AP+ O&M, Sustainable Programs Manager, Broward County Convention Center
Julia Johnson recently joined the staff at the Broward County Convention Center as its new sustainable programs manager. In March 2009, Johnson was with Sustainable Options, LLC, Green Building Consultants, as the LEED project team manager in charge of the LEED Certification project at BCCC. Johnson oversaw the sustainable consulting, project management, facilities staff extension and assisted with LEED certification services for multiple projects within the company, while primarily overseeing the Convention Center project. She has experience working with LEED-EB: O&M (EBOM), LEED for Green Buildings Operation & Maintenance, Green Globes and Energy Star.
 Dr. Jennifer Jurado Dr. Jennifer Jurado, Director, Natural Resources Planning and Management Division
Dr. Jurado is responsible for county wide water resource policy and planning; implementation of the County’s regional climate initiatives; administration of beach, marine and land stewardship programs; and environmental monitoring.
Since joining Broward County in 2002, Jurado has overseen development of Broward’s county wide integrated water resources plan, the convening of regional water and climate change task forces, and advancement of multi-jurisdictional initiatives focused on water conservation, alternative water supply planning, and climate adaptation. Jurado is currently overseeing the development of advanced hydrologic models to support water supply and flood control planning under future climate scenarios and is actively engaged in efforts to advance energy efficiency financing in Broward County. She is an original member of the Staff Steering Committee to the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, chaired the Compact’s Built Environment Work Group, and co-authored the Regional Climate Action Plan. Jurado earned her Ph.D. in marine biology and fisheries from the University of Miami.
 William L. Cross William L. Cross, P.E. - Manager of Planning & Capital Development, South Florida Regional Transportation Authority
Cross is the manager of planning and capital development for the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA), operator of a 76-mile commuter rail system that connects Palm Beach, Broward and Miami‐Dade counties. In this role he is responsible for coordination with partner agencies, capital budgeting and project development; is project manager for SFRTA’s effort to expand Tri‐Rail Commuter Service to the FEC rail corridor; and has lead agency efforts planning the Wave Modern Streetcar in downtown Fort Lauderdale. He is a professional engineer registered in the State of Florida and holds a bachelor of science in civil engineering and a master of business administration. Cross has over 25 years of varied professional experience in transportation planning, engineering, finance and program management.
 Cory Ramsel Cory Ramsel, Sr. Manager, Business Development,
Florida Power & Light Company
Cory Ramsel is a Senior Manager of Business Development at Florida Power & Light Company. Cory provides leadership to multiple teams responsible for projects ranging from natural gas infrastructure within the state of Florida, to renewable & emerging technologies, as well as leading the GIS group for Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc. (NEE), one of the largest investor-owned electric utilities in the nation. Prior to this current role, Ramsel was responsible for leading development of commercial projects for NextEra Energy Resources’ solar division in the western United States. He was instrumental in the development of their portfolio of solar projects both operating and under construction today. Prior to joining NextEra Energy Resources in August 2007, Ramsel worked for Lockheed Martin as a Systems Engineer. He held a number of key positions developing technical solutions for various military programs ranging from satellites to submarines. Ramsel received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado and holds an MBA from the University of Florida.
 Stephen Barkaszi Stephen Barkaszi, Senior Research Engineer,
Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC)
Stephen Barkaszi is a senior research engineer in the Photovoltaics and Advanced Technologies Division at FSEC. Barkaszi joined FSEC in 1993 and initially worked in the Building Design Assistance Center evaluating building systems and equipment for energy and costs-savings potential for utilities and consumers. He joined the Photovoltaics and Advanced Technologies Division in 1997 and his current research includes: distributed generation, utility-interconnection issues, micro turbines, fuel cells, building-integrated PV, and roof-mounted PV arrays. Barkaszi continues to conduct research on high performance buildings. This work includes a holistic approach to design and construction of buildings that effectively incorporate energy savings features and on-site energy production technologies. Teaching activities include various seminars and short courses such as the FSEC course Installing Photovoltaic Systems. Barkaszi received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in ocean engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology. He is a licensed civil engineer in the state of Florida and previously managed the construction materials testing division for a private civil engineering firm.
 Casey Johnston Casey Johnston, Renewable Energy Program Director - Washington, D.C.
As director of the Renewable Energy Program in ICLEI’s Washington, D.C. office, Johnston focuses on working with ICLEI’s partner organizations to implement the outreach efforts of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar America Communities – an initiative to help communities throughout the United States become change agents in the solar energy market. In addition to his work with the Department of Energy, Johnston collaborates internally within the Programs and Innovations Department in the development of ICLEI’s tools and resources.
Johnston comes to ICLEI with an MBA in sustainable management from San Francisco’s Presidio Graduate School, and 10 years of work experience as a master electrician. While in graduate school, he consulted with the City of Berkeley to facilitate GHG reductions related to the city’s commercial building stock, and recently worked with Common-Fields LLC on supply-chain social compliance issues in the Central American agricultural sector.
 Commissioner Martin David Kiar Martin David Kiar, Broward County Commissioner
District 1
Martin David Kiar serves as the Broward County Commissioner for District 1. A lifetime resident of Broward County, Kiar is committed to maintaining our unique way of life for all residents and future generations. Kiar earned his bachelor of arts degree at Palm Beach Atlantic University in 1999 and his juris doctorate at Nova Southeastern University in 2002. He lives in Davie with his wife, Kelly, his daughters, Brianne and Camryn, and his puppy, Cooper. In 2006, Kiar had the privilege of serving Broward County in the Florida House of Representatives. He was reelected in 2008, and again in 2010. In 2012, he was elected to serve as a Broward County Commissioner. He was the first person in Broward County’s history to win an open (no incumbent running) Broward County Commission seat unopposed. He is also one of the youngest Broward County Commissioners to ever serve in that capacity.
 Commissioner Chip LaMarca Chip LaMarca, Broward County Commissioner
District 4
LaMarca serves as the Broward County Commissioner for District 4. A lifetime resident of the district, he has earned a reputation for being a citizens’ advocate and a respected voice for the taxpayers that he is honored to represent. LaMarca married the former Eileen Dorrego in 1995 and the couple has lived in Lighthouse Point since. LaMarca is truly a great American success story. After attending Broward College and later Boston University, he returned to Broward County and followed in the footsteps of his late father, helping to bring jobs to Broward in the construction industry. After establishing himself as a knowledgeable and trusted manager and supervisor with over 20 years of experience in the construction industry, he opened LaMarca Construction in 2006. In 2005, he was first elected to the Lighthouse Point City Commission. In 2010, after serving the citizens of Lighthouse Point for two terms, LaMarca was elected to serve on the Broward County Board of County Commissioners.
 Minh Le Minh Le, Director, Solar Energy Technologies Office,
U.S. Department of Energy
Minh Le is the program manager of the Solar Energy Technologies Program within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, where he helps manage and balance the portfolio of Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment programs in achieving our national SunShot goals. Prior to his current role at the Energy Department, Le spent his career in industry developing technologies and scaling new technologies to high volume manufacturing. Le earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from MIT where he held fellowships by the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and the Bose Foundation.
 Clint Sockman Clinton A. Sockman, Vice President of Renewable Energy
Sockman is responsible for all aspects of Advanced Renewable Energy’s daily business including business development, design and engineering, product selection, overseeing project management staff, and high level operations supervision and direction. Coming from a strong commercial roofing background Sockman brings over 12 million square feet of successful commercial roofing project experience and over 5 megawatts of successful photovoltaic installation experience valued at over $70 million to the Advanced Renewable Energies team. He has a Bachelor in International Business from University of Cincinnati and is currently a State of Florida Certified Roofing, Solar, and General Contractor. Sockman has many accreditations from RISE Certified Solar Roofing Professional, North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Certified Installer, Solar Energy International - Solar Electric Grid Direct Design.
 Maribel Feliciano Maribel Feliciano, Natural Resource Specialist III, Broward County EPGMD
Feliciano is responsible for managing programs related to climate change mitigation, greenhouse gas emissions inventories, air quality planning, outreach and education, renewable energy, alternative fuels and modes of transportation, and parking facility licensing. She is the chair of the Broward Climate Change Government Operations Workgroup, chair of the U.S. DOE Southeast Florida Clean Cities Coalition’s Education and Outreach Committee, and chair of the Go SOLAR Permitting Committee. Feliciano serves in technical advisory committees for the Metropolitan Planning Organization, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Ozone Communication Strategy Workgroup, Complete Streets Advisory, Broward Climate Change Task Force, Southeast Florida Climate Compact and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. She holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University of Puerto Rico and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Florida Atlantic University.
 Jason Rogers-da Cruz Jason M. Rodgers-da Cruz, Esq.
Rodgers-da Cruz has been with Siegfried, Rivera, Lerner, De La Torre & Sobel, P.A. since 2005, and practices throughout the State of Florida in the areas of Community Association Law, Complex Construction Litigation, Construction Defect Litigation, and Commercial Litigation on behalf of associations, developers, general contractors and subcontractors. In his construction defect practice, he routinely handles multi-party complex construction defect claims pertaining to all building components, including structural, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, roofing, waterproofing, and life-safety components. Rodgers-da Cruz received his bachelor of science in business administration from the University of Alabama-Huntsville in 1997 and his juris doctorate from the University of Miami in 2000. Upon graduation from law school, Rodgers-da Cruz was employed as an assistant public defender in Brevard and Miami-Dade counties, where he obtained significant jury trial experience. Prior to joining the firm, he worked at Elder, Vacarella & Lewis, P.A., in construction law. Rodgers-da Cruz is also a member of the City of Miami’s Green Commission and the Green Buildings Subcommittee. The members represent a cross section of local experts and community enthusiasts. The commission meets quarterly to guide and mold the city’s environmental policy.
 Gino Valderrama Gino A. Valderrama, PE, Vice President / CLA Operations Manager, T.Y. Lin International
Born in 1963 in La Punta, Peru to Roberto, a trucker, and Elisa a homemaker, he came to live in America in 1976 at the age of 13. He graduated from Christopher Columbus High School and went on to graduate from Florida International University with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering; he later received his juris doctor degree from the University of Miami School of Law. He has worked for T.Y. Lin International since 2003 where he serves as vice president and is the operations manager for Miami, Caribbean and Latin America. He is the mechanical engineer of record for projects such as the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC); Terminal 4 Remodeling, Fort Lauderdale - Hollywood International Airport; Caracas Metro, Line 5; and many other projects around the world.
 Commissioner Dale V. C. Holness Dale V.C. Holness, Broward County Commissioner
District 9
Holness serves as Broward County Commissioner for District 9. He began his public service as a Lauderhill City commissioner (2007) and vice mayor (2010). He is active in many civic organizations including: Broward Children’s Services Board, Community Access Center Board, Haitian American Leadership Organization, HIV Planning Council, Fort Lauderdale-Broward Enterprise Zone, Lauderhill Regional Chamber, Caribbean Democratic Club and NAACP. As a Lauderhill commissioner, he helped revamp the Affordable Housing Down-payment Assistance Program, hired grant writers that brought in $30 million in additional housing revenue, and worked to increase homestead exemptions for senior citizens. As a County Commissioner he has supported / sponsored, among other initiatives a new educational training center in North Lauderdale, an ordinance prohibiting the sale of smoking devices to minors, an ordinance to ensure sheltered market opportunities for small businesses, the effort to increase the number of minority fire fighters in Broward County, fair redistricting to ensure diversity is represented at all levels of County government, increasing support of multicultural tourism in Broward County, establishing a task force to address the need to increase the black male’s graduation rate, and introduced and volunteers for KAPOW (Kids and the Power of Work) at four Broward Elementary schools.