The mission of the Gator Club® of Miami is to foster and enhance the relationship between the University of Florida, its alumni, students and friends in the City of Miami, its surrounding areas and to support the University’s mission of teaching, research and service. We look forward in working with you in achieving our mission.

2013-2014 Board

Melissa Garcia, President –

Melissa has been involved in the UFAA since graduating from the University of Florida in 2009. While at UF, she was involved in greek life as an Alpha Chi Omega, participated in Dance Marathon and graduated with a degree in Public Relations. She looks forward to a great year with fellow Miami Gators and watching Gator football at our local viewing parties.

The president shall preside at all Club meetings, appoint chairs and committee members, and perform such other duties as prescribed in these Rules or as assigned by UFAA. The President may sign any reports required by law, by the Alumni Association, or otherwise incident to the office. The President shall encourage all club officers to attend the annual Alumni Association Leadership Weekend.


Jesse B. Wright, President Elect –

President-Elect shall perform the duties of the President in the absence or disability of the President and shall become the President in the next officer term. This officer focuses on assisting the acting President and learning their duties.


Javier Ley-Soto, VP of Athletics

Javier Ley-Soto is a proud Gator Alumni. At UF, he was very involved in student government as President of the Hispanic Student Association and Vice-Chairman of Student Government Productions among many other roles and organizations. Javier was inducted into the UF Hall of Fame and Florida Blue Key. After graduating UF, Javier moved to Miami to pursue his law degree and has since made Miami his home. He currently oversees the regional legal office for a state agency. Javier is eager to give back to the future, current and Alumni Gator community.

The Academics Coordinator serves as a direct support role to the VP of Academics.


Luis Betancourt, VP of Academics –

Luis is a Die Hard Florida Gator who graduated from and worked at the University of Florida for a number of years. He has been in higher education for over 15 years and specifically deals with scholarships and student financial matters on a day to day basis. He loves sports, playing guitar and loves being a father and raising a young family.

The VP of Academics shall carry out the club’s directions and policies to support the University of Florida’s academic programs, including assisting in the recruitment of superior students and, if applicable, working with local high schools to better inform administrators about the academic quality of the University of Florida. For the Gator Club of Miami, this position primarily involves administering the club’s scholarship program.


Natasha Schoultz, VP of Communications –

Natasha graduated from UF in May 2012 with a Journalism degree and minors in Anthropology and Communication Studies. A native Miamian, she moved back home after graduation and immediately joined GCOM to meet more Gators. When she’s not busy with her real estate job, Natasha enjoys baking, traveling, and trivia.

The VP of Communications prepares and promotes the Club through web and media outlets, including television, print and radio if applicable. This includes promotion of club functions through the club’s own web site, the UFAA site, and club emails to local Gators.


Fernando Nin, VP of Outreach –

Fernando Nin is a die-hard Gator and Miami native who finished at UF in 2007. He is currently employed as a Healthcare Administrator and is looking forward to serving the Gator Nation in Miami.

The VP of Outreach shall promote the University of Florida by arranging local speaking engagements for University of Florida faculty and administrators in the local community. This position typically involves coordinating other types of local activities with Gators such as helping to organize the annual International Gator Day event.


Maggie Abdo-Gomez, Treasurer –

Maggie has a law degree (Juris Doctor) from the University of Florida and a Masters of Law in Taxation (LLM) from the University of Florida. After graduating from the tax program at UF she returned to Miami and worked for a local law firm. She is also an adjunct professor of law at St. Thomas University Law School, and served as a Commissioner on the Miami Dade County Board of Ethics and Public Trust.

The treasurer shall have custody of all of the funds of the Club, shall keep a full and accurate account of the receipts and expenditures, and shall make disbursements as authorized. The Treasurer shall present a financial statement at such times as requested by the club officers, shall make a full financial report at the annual meeting, and shall file annual financial reports as required by the Alumni Association. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the maintenance of such books of account and records as necessary.


Paul Scanziani, Secretary –

The secretary shall record the minutes of all meetings of the Club, coordinate activities that require the use of the club’s official membership list, and perform such other duties as may be delegated.


Suzy Fiat, Young Alumni Coordinator –

Suzy graduated from the University of Florida in 2008 with a Bachelors of Science, Business Administration. Upon graduating from UF, she went on to pursue a Masters in International Business Administration from NOVA Southeastern University. She is excited to be part of the Gator Club of Miami Board as the new Young Alumni Coordinator and bring monthly events to the Young Alumni community.

The Young Alumni Coordinator is responsible for coordinating programs targeted to graduates who are 35 years of age or less. The Coordinator should also promote membership to recent graduates and encourage their participation within the Club.


Stacy Rubel, Volunteer Coordinator –

Stacy is a double gator, having obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Criminology, and her law degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. After graduating from law school, Stacy returned to Miami and now handles estate planning, probate and trust administration and litigation, and guardianship administration and litigation work as a partner at Chepenik Trushin LLP. Stacy loves all gator sports and connecting with other gators.

The Volunteer Coordinator is responsible for helping to attract new club members and providing general information about to the club to interested individuals. The Volunteer Coordinator should also help coordinate efforts for International Gator Day (which must NOT involve fundraising, only volunteer time and effort) and other events where volunteers are needed. For example, during football season this officer would likely create a weekly event in our club’s Facebook group requesting game party volunteers and then assign these to duties identified by the game party coordinator. The volunteer coordinator will also work closely with the VP of Athletics to organize the high-school volunteer program.


Jessica Neer, Gators for Higher Ed Liaison –

The Gators for Higher Ed Liaison shall help communicate the University’s goals to Florida’s elected officials. The overall mission is to be an advocate for UF. Gators for Higher Education is a project of UF Government Relations in partnership with the UFAlumni Association. The role of Gators for Higher Education Liaison is particularly important in this time of severe budget cuts. We need the voices of the Gator Nation to sustain our University.


Non-Officer Directors

Rhonda Victor Sibilia, Co-Volunteer Coordinator –

Rhonda Victor Sibilia is a native Miamian and a proud graduate of the UF School of Journalism and Communications. She has held many communication positions in local government, business and media outlets and has given back through volunteer work with the Alumni Association and by holding top positions in PTA and other organizations.Rhonda is eager to interact with as many local Gators as possible!

The Academics Coordinator serves as a direct support role to the VP of Academics.

Dr. Pablo J. Fonseca, Academics Coordinator –

University of Florida BS in Microbiology 1984

Indiana University DDS 1989

Dentist in private practice since 1989

The Academics Coordinator serves as a direct support role to the VP of Academics.

Daniel Perez, Athletics Coordinator –

Daniel was born and raised in Bogot, Colombia. He attended UF between 2004 – 2008 and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Marketing. Soccer and Gator Sports are his biggest passions, and he believes “Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion.”

The Athletics Coordinator serves as a direct support role to the VP of Athletics.

Cessie Cerrato, Public Relations Liaison –

The PR Liaison shall assist the VP of Communications in order to keep GCOM in the press in a positive manner.

Marcela Pichardo, Co-Young Alumni Coordinator-

Marcela graduated from UF in December of 2009 with a Bachelors Degree in Advertising. She is now an Account Executive at a marketing agency in Coral Gables.She is really excited to be part of the Gator Club of Miami Board and eager to help get more Gators involved.

The Co-Young Alumni Coordinator shall assist the Young Alumni Coordinator.

James Goll, Corporate Partnerships Liaison –

Hey Gators! I’m excited to be spending my 4th year back in Florida after moving to New York City where I spent 11 years following graduation. I’m looking forward to using my connections made through my PR and Marketing firm, the “24-Group,” within the hospitality and business communities to benefit the South Florida Gator Club. I attended and loved every minute of UF from 1994-1998 majoring in Public Relations and Business Administration. Proud to have started my journey in Broward Hall and then lived in a happy house with my fellow Gator alumni brother in the student ghetto next door to the Hare Krishnas and directly behind Krispy Kreme and ABC Liquor… who could ask for more!? From my days parking cars in the front yard for the football games to sitting with Theta Chi fraternity brothers in the Greek block at Ben Hill Griffin, to Gin Mill and Side Bar in NYC and now the great Miami bars with my fellow S.Fla Alumni club members, I look forward to another year of Gator pride, excitement and giving back!

The Corporate Partnerships Liaison is in charge of working with the local corporate partners and seeking out new prospects to be more involved with the club.

David Tischler, Co-Treasurer

Born to Bleed Blue, I am a passionate Gator Alum with a strong background in business and finance. I have a drive to assist the Gator Nation and its ability to reach out and help all those involved with the University of Florida.

The Co-Treasurer shall perform the duties of the Treasurer in the absence or disability of the Treasurer. This officer focuses on assisting the acting Treasurer and learning their duties.


2009-2010 Raymond Carrero UFAA Life Member 1993-1994 Walter O. Byrd
2008-2009 Pamela R. Cortes UFAA Life Member 1992-1993 James R. Borgmann
2007-2008 Lissette M. Perez UFAA Life Member 1991-1992 Robert J. Glowacki
2006-2007 George Hanna UFAA Life Member 1990-1991 Alexander Fernandez
2005-2006 Monica Llerena UFAA Life Member 1989-1990 Dennis MacInnes
2004-2005 Tony Medina UFAA Life Member 1988-1989 Carlos M. Sires
2002-2004 Marcelo Cortes UFAA Life Member 1987-1988 David A. MacInnes
2001-2002 Bernard D. Benaim 1986-1987 Patrick McGrath, III
2000-2001 Mark A. Trowbridge UFAA Life Member 1985-1986 Carlos A. Penin
1999-2000 Joshua C. Leibman 1984-1985 Leonard Tanner
1998-1999 Steve L. Beiley UFAA Life Member 1983-1984 Ted A. Fernandez
1997-1998 Jennifer Clarkson 1982-1983 William Chandler
1996-1997 Jeffery Lynn 1981-1982 J. Bruce Hoffman
1995-1996 Nancy A. Zapata 1977 S. Daniel Ponce
1994-1995 Rubens Cuza 1952 Donald MacInnes, Honorary Chairman

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7.15.14 – June Board Meeting – 7:30 p.m. , Location TBD


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Are you an advocate for the University of Florida? By joining the Gators for Higher Education, you can help communicate the Universitys goals to Floridas elected officials. Our mission is to be advocates for UF and make it the best it can be a top-ranked U.S. University that educates Floridas future leaders, drives the states economic development, produces breakthroughs in scientific research, and serves the people of our state.

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Alumni who are35and youngerare our Gator Young Alumni. GCOM is here to strengthen the Gator Young Alumni connection to the Gator Nation and dedicate programs that would be of interest to young alumni, such as community service projects, career networking, travel opportunities and social activities.

Show your Orange and Blue spirit by becoming a Gator Volunteer. GCOM is solely run on Gator Volunteers and we are asking for you to get involved. If you are interested in becoming a Gator Volunteers please e-mail a completed 2011-2012 GCOM Volunteer Information application to Nicole Cueto at