Benjamin F. Gilbert – Chairman
Ben Gilbert is Vice President of Business Development and responsible for implementing the company’s growth plan, coordinating the development efforts of the various companies within MasTec, focused primarily in the energy and communications sectors. Mr. Gilbert is charged with expanding and strengthening relationships with key customers throughout the United States.
Mr. Gilbert has more than 22 years of experience in the energy generation, waste services, and environmental industries. Prior to joining MasTec, Gilbert held senior positions at NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, an FPL Group company, and Veolia Environmental Services, Inc, managing renewable energy power plants, and developing and operating waste recycling facilities, respectively.
Mr. Gilbert graduated from the Florida Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and earned his Master of Business Administration in International Business at Florida International University. Mr. Gilbert is an active member of numerous industry trade associations, and volunteers in the community as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the South Florida After-School All-Stars, and was appointed by the Governor’s office to the board of The Children’s Trust.
Mr. Gilbert lives in Pinecrest with his wife Alicia and four children. He is a native Floridian and is fluent in Spanish.
Carlos Saldrigas, Jr. – Vice-Chairman
Bill Irvine – Secretary
Julio Magrisso – Treasurer
Raoul Cantero – Board Member
Former Justice Raoul G. Cantero is a partner in White & Case’s Litigation Practice. Justice Cantero leads the Miami Appellate Practice, in addition to focusing on cross-border disputes relating to Latin America.
Appointed to the Florida Supreme Court in 2002 by then-Governor Jeb Bush, Justice Cantero was the first justice of Hispanic descent and one of the youngest ever to sit on the Court. In his six years as a justice, he heard hundreds of appeals and authored well over 100 majority, concurring and dissenting opinions, by definition involving precedent-setting and evolving areas of law. For example, Justice Cantero authored the Court’s opinion invalidating the gaming compact executed by Governor Charlie Crist with the Seminole Tribe of Florida and its unanimous opinion holding that the waiver of the Florida homestead exemption in an unsecured agreement is unenforceable. Justice Cantero was also the sole dissenter in a decision of the Court holding that under the Federal Arbitration Act, a party may avoid arbitration by arguing that the contract in which the arbitration clause is contained is illegal — a decision the United States Supreme Court later reversed, thus adopting Justice Cantero’s position. Justice Cantero chaired the Florida Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism for six years. He also has been an adjunct professor at Florida State University College of Law.
Before his Court appointment, Justice Cantero was in private practice for 14 years in South Florida, specializing in civil and criminal appeals, during which he handled more than 250 appeals and more than 100 oral arguments in all five District Courts of Appeal of Florida, the Florida Supreme Court and several US Courts of Appeals. He also chaired the City of Coral Gables Planning and Zoning Board for four years.
Charles Jones – Board Member
Accomplished public relations executive Charles Jones is president of CJones & Associates Public Relations. Before opening his own firm, Jones was Vice President of Client Services for Wragg & Casas Public Relations, where his professional accomplishments included publicizing the national expansion of Florida’s largest corporate law firm; managing media relations for the Chinese drywall litigation; and creating events to heighten awareness for one of the nation’s largest retail banks. Charles also managed communications for several crisis situations including the funeral for celebrity for Anna Nicole Smith. Charles also a nationally recognized public speaking and media interview trainer. He has led seminars for the National Association of Black Mayors and the Miami Fellows Initiative. Among his numerous honors, Charles received the Black Alumnus of the Year Award from the University of South Carolina; named “Trendsetter in Public Relations & Marketing” by Florida Trend magazine; “Up & Comer in Public Relations” by the South Florida Business Journal; and a Gold Medal Award Winner by Miami Today. A former journalist, Charles was a news reporter for WFTV-TV in Orlando, Fla., WNCT-TV Greenville, N.C. and WOLO-TV in Columbia, S.C. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in Journalism & Mass Communications from the University of South Carolina in 1991. He lives in Hollywood, Fla.
Javier Marques – Board Member
Javier I. Marques currently serves as Chief of Staff to President Rosenberg at FIU, where he oversees the Office of the President, the Office of the Board of Trustees, and the Internal Audit Department. Mr. Marques also serves on the External Relations Council and is a member of the university’s Executive Committee. Prior to joining FIU, Mr. Marques was Chief of Staff to Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe A. Martinez, where, for eight years, he oversaw the office of the County Commission Chairman, including a budget of more than $7 million and the management of Martinez’ district and downtown commission offices. Among his many accomplishments, Marques successfully organized and developed the current Board of County Commission Office of Intergovernmental Affairs with offices in Tallahassee and Washington, while strengthening local relationships with the Dade Delegation and other local elected officials.
During his tenure as Chief of Staff for Commissioner Martinez, Mr. Marques organized and developed the Office of the Commission Auditor and Legislative Analysis, the Divisions of Protocol, Employee Recognition and Media Relations, BCC Support Staff, and the BCC Sergeant at Arms. He also developed a BCC Command Post at the County’s Emergency Operations Center to help local elected officials address the needs of their individual constituencies during hurricanes. Mr. Marques has been credited for organizing and directing several hurricane relief missions within Florida in the aftermath of numerous hurricanes, as well as the largest organized relief effort to Mississippi in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Additionally, Mr. Marques represented the Board of County Commissioners on the planning committee for the MTV Video Music Awards and the Latin Grammys, and co-chaired the Intergovernmental/Dignitary Sub-Committee within the 2007 Super Bowl Host Committee, as well as hosting numerous dignitaries and local, state, and federal officials.
Prior to working for Martinez, Marques was a senior administrative aide to Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jimmy L. Morales and previously held the posts of Assistant to the City Manager and Director of the Office of Public Information for the City of Miami.
Mr. Marques earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from FIU and an MBA from Lynn University. He has also attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Executive Education Program at Harvard University and the Leadership Judgment Program at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Mr. Marques is married to Lian Marie, and they live in Miami, Florida.
Hugo Menendez – Board Member
- Vice President of Corporate Integrity Services, Joint venture with the Law Firm of Holland and Knight Law Firm.
- Secretary of Labor for the State of Florida. Special Agent in Charge for the South Eastern Region.
- Office of Organized Crime and Labor Racketeering US Justice Department Organized Crime Strike Force.
- Supervisory Agent, Miami Organized Crime Strike Force, Labor Racketeering Section.
Juan Portuondo – Board Member
Mr. Portuondo is President and CEO of IP Group Inc. providing advisory services to private, public and
municipal clients in the development, acquisition and financing of infrastructure projects. In addition,
Mr. Portuondo was the Regional Manager for Salient Partners’ Alternative Strategies, responsible for the
Southeast United States and Latin America.
Prior to that, Mr. Portuondo was Executive Vice President of Montenay International Corp. and,
President of Montenay Power Corp. and other subsidiaries. Montenay International was the holding
company for all Veolia Environmental Group’s WTE activities in the Americas. Mr. Portuondo worked
with several international bank syndicates and US investment bankers to issue over $500 million in
private activity municipal bonds.
Prior to his employment with Veolia, Mr. Portuondo was Assistant City Manager at the City of Miami
responsible for Public Works, Solid Waste, GSA and IT and held positions of increasing responsibilities in
the pharmaceutical, distribution and construction industries.
Mr. Portuondo has served on the Boards of several private, public and charitable organizations
in Florida, New York and Pennsylvania and served on advisory committees to municipalities. Mr.
Portuondo holds a Bachelor degree in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology
and a Masters in Finance from Georgia State University.
Jason Quimby – Board Member
Jason T. Quimby is President and CEO of Iberia Tiles, one of the largest independently owned distributors of ceramic tile, marble and stone in the Southeast U.S. The company was founded in 1979. He is now responsible for overseeing the company’s activities of its various showrooms, warehouses and partnerships. These include Iberia Tiles showrooms in Florida (Miami, Coral Gables, North Miami Beach and Pompano Beach) and in Georgia (Norcross). The Iberia Tiles products are currently displayed nationwide at Lowes and TGI/Sears.
Carlos Zumpano – Board Member
Carlos Zumpano was born in Hanover, New Hampshire and moved to Miami, Florida at an early age. Mr. Zumpano attended Harvard University and graduated cum laude in 1996 with an A.B. in Economics. Mr. Zumpano was a member of the Harvard University Varsity Men’s Swimming Team from 1992 to 1994, participated in various organizations and co-founded the Cuban American Undergraduate Student Association at Harvard (“CAUSA”).
Thereafter, Mr. Zumpano continued his studies at the University of Miami School of Law where he graduated cum laude in 1999 and was a University of Miami Harvey T. Reid Scholar. While attending the University of Miami, Mr. Zumpano was a member of the University of Miami Business Law Review and the University of Miami Entertainment and Sports Law Review. His article “Inter-Collegiate Athletics, Disability and Rehabilitation Act: Where Does the Issue Lie?” was published in the 2002 Spring/Summer Edition of the University of Miami Business Law Review. Mr. Zumpano is a Board Member of the South Florida After-School All-Stars, Inc., a non-profit organization. Mr. Zumpano was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1999 and is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Cuban-American Bar Association and the Miami-Dade County Bar Association. Mr. Zumpano practices in the areas of Commercial Litigation, Corporate Representation, Construction Law, Entertainment Law, and Contracts. He is bilingual (English/Spanish) and is a founding Member of Infante, Zumpano, Hudson & Miloch, LLC.
Christina Leon-Rivero – Board Member
Isabel Interian – Board Member
Magdalena Averhoff, MD. – Board Member
Elaine Black – Board Member
Mrs. Black has been an advocate for community and economic development since the early 1970’s when she served as President of the Ad-Hoc Committee for Logan in Philadelphia, Pa, which advocated the creation of the Community Reinvestment Act because banks were not investing in urban neighborhoods. A former Deputy Director of Commerce for the City of Philadelphia and Executive Director for Tools for Change in Miami she has over 35 years experience in business and economic development in developing programs and services in economically depressed urban and rural areas. Her responsibilities have included (1) fundraising, planning, developing and implementing policies designed to stimulate small business growth; (2) managing neighborhood commercial revitalization and enterprise zone programs; (3) managing commercial construction projects; and (4) structuring finance packages for investment ventures. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and Finance from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, with advanced studies at Temple University, University of Pennsylvania and Florida International University.
Mrs. Black is currently the President/CEO of the Liberty City Community Revitalization Trust (Liberty City Trust) and the Liberty City Community Economic Development Corporation (LCCEDC). She is responsible for the administration of the daily activities as well as the redevelopment of the Liberty City community. The Liberty City Trust was created by the City of Miami in November 2006 to facilitate the revitalization of the Liberty City/Model City jurisdiction. The LCCEDC is a 501(c)3 that supports the development of the greater Liberty City community.