Speakers and Panelists

Opening Keynote

Manny Diaz

A force in local, state and national politics for nearly three decades, the Honorable Manny Diaz was first elected mayor of Miami in 2001, having never before held elected office. He was re-elected to a second term in 2005 and was chosen to lead the United States Conference of Mayors as its president in 2008. Full bio

As mayor, Diaz developed a vision for Miami as an international city that embodies diversity, economic opportunity, effective customer service and a highly rated quality of life. To achieve this goal, he re-engineered Miami's government from top to bottom. During his two-term tenure, Diaz was recognized for completely transforming Miami by launching many innovative programs in the areas of urban design, sustainability and green initiatives, education, infrastructure investment, affordable housing, law enforcement, poverty and homelessness, art and culture. He chronicles his work transforming the city in his acclaimed book, “Miami Transformed: Rebuilding America One Neighborhood, One City at a Time.” He has received almost 100 awards and recognitions for his work, including recognition as one of America's Best Leaders by US News and World Report and The Center for Public Leadership at the Kennedy School of Government, the Americans for the Arts National Award for Local Arts Leadership, the American Architectural Foundation Keystone Award, the AIA (Miami Chapter) Governmental Leadership Award, the Congress for the New Urbanism Groves Award, the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce Power Leader of the Year and Green Visionary Award, the Hispanic Magazine Government Award, and many others. Diaz served as a resident fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics and has resumed his successful corporate and real estate law practice as a senior partner at Lydecker Diaz in Miami.


Featured Participants


George Abbott

George Abbott joined Knight Foundation in September 2013 as special assistant to the VP/Community and National Initiatives.Previously Abbott worked in communications at ArtPlace America, a funding collaborative working to accelerate creative placemaking across the United States.…Full bio

…Abbott worked on the 2013 presidential inauguration and as an organizer on President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. He is an author with numerous published works, including “The Economics Book” (Dorling Kindersley). Abbott grew up in Europe, spending time in England and across the continent. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Newcastle University.


Steve Adkins

Steve Adkins is presently the President & CEO of the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the largest not-for-profit corporation in the county for gay and lesbian businesses. In the two years since Mr. Adkins took over the reigns the MDGLCC membership has grew more than twentyfold.…Full bio

…In 1999, Steve moved from his native San Diego, California to South Florida and immediately became interested in promoting Miami as a year-round, gay and gay-friendly tourist destination, when he owned and operated the Jefferson House, a South Beach Boutique Bed & Breakfast Hotel. Prior to his move to the East Coast, Mr. Adkins held several positions in the banking world. From 1995 to 1999, he served as Vice President International Trade Finance Manager for the Union Bank of California, Southern California; handling such major accounts as Aldila, Inc.; Cubic Corporation, Titan, Inc., ASI Aerospace Group; and Jenny Craig.


Marissa Aho

Marissa Aho, AICP, serves as Los Angeles’ first Chief Resilience Officer in the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, where she leads city-wide resiliency efforts, including those found in the Mayor’s “Resilience By Design” report, and as part of the 100 Resilient Cities program pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. Marissa has 15 years of policy, planning, project management, and community engagement experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors…Full bio

…where she worked with interdisciplinary teams to find creative solutions to complex problems. Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Marissa held senior staff positions at two Los Angeles planning and land use consulting firms. She has a BA in Political Science from American University and a Master of Planning from the University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy. She is an active member of the American Planning Association serving as AICP Commissioner, Region IV (California & Nevada) and is a member of the USC Price Alumni Association Board of Directors.


Ana Alvarez-Arimón

Ana Alvarez-Arimon is the Principal of the Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH). She graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, and is a licensed architect in the State of Florida since 1992. Her architectural career experiences include commercial, hospitality and residential projects locally and abroad. Closely related is her academic career, which includes teaching Architectural Design, History of Architecture, Theory of Architecture, Presentation Drawings…Full bio

…Portfolio Design, and Drawing and Painting at Florida International University, Miami Dade College, and Coral Gables Senior High. Her teaching experiences led Alvarez-Arimón to pursue a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. She has been a school administrator for twelve years blending the best of both worlds, Architecture and Education.


Irvans Augustin

Irvans Augustin is a Founding Partner and Creative Interventions + Implementation Lead for Urban Impact Lab, a civic innovation firm based in Miami, FL. In his 20+ years in IT, in roles ranging from Help Desk Supervisor to Network Access Analyst, Irvans not only honed his ability to work through complex challenges, but developed his super power: the ability to decipher between what people say, what they want, and what they need. Full bio

As Creative Interventions & Implementation Lead at Urban Impact Lab, his work is driven by his deep understanding of the intersection between creativity, innovation, and the human experience. Irvans combines a people-centered toolkit with his multi-faceted experience to create empowered designs and experiences with measurable results for Urban Impact Lab's clients and partners.


Merve Bedir

Merve Bedir graduated from Middle East Technical University, Department of Architecture (2003). She is a Ph.D. candidate at TU Delft, Faculty of Architecture and a Partner of Land+Civilization Compositions. Her work focuses on urban transformation, migration and design. She was a curator for the Netherlands Architecture Institute (Rotterdam, 2012), producer of Agoraphobia (2013), curator of Vocabulary of Hospitality (Istanbul, 2014), One Architecture Week (Plovdiv, 2015), and Aformal Academy (UABB-Shenzhen, 2016). Full bio

Since 2014, Merve has been facilitating a solidarity kitchen in Gaziantep/Turkey. Land+Civilization Compositions has participated in the Bucharest, Istanbul Design and Shenzhen Urbanism Biennale’s, as well as the Oslo Triennale. Their collaborations include New Museum/Ideas City, Berlin Architecture Foundation, Future Architecture Platform/EU and Space Caviar, among others. Merve has published in MONU, Volume, Zivot, Site, Docomomo, uncube and Quaderns. Vocabulary of Hospitality will be published by Dpr Barcelona (2016).


Rebecca Bailey

Rebecca M Bailey is Head of Education and Outreach for Historic Environment Scotland, the lead body for the built environment in Scotland and keeper of the national collection for architecture and archaeology. Trained at the University of Edinburgh as an architectural historian, Rebecca oversees publishing, community engagement, online education, skills development, fundraising and international exhibitions and partnerships. Full bio

She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and President of the International Confederation of Architectural Museums.


Rick Bell

Rick Bell, FAIA, is Executive Director of Design and Construction Excellence at the NYC Department of Design and Construction. Rick previously worked at DDC as Assistant Commissioner of Architecture and Engineering. His current responsibilities include implementation of new design contracts for architectural and engineering services and development of Guiding Principles for Design and Construction Excellence 2.0. Previously Rick was a design partner at Warner Burns Toan Lunde Architects where he led the educational facilities studio. Full bio

For fourteen years Rick served as Executive Director of AIA New York, where he was instrumental in the creation and animation of the Center for Architecture on LaGuardia Place. During his tenure the Center brought together design professionals, government officials, civic activists and architectural enthusiasts through programs, exhibitions and tours. A graduate of Yale and Columbia, he was elected to AIA Fellowship in 2000 for his work in public facility design. In 2014, Rick received the AIA's Edward C. Kemper Award for service to the profession. He has frequently lectured at AIA, UIA and other national and international design conferences.


Gretchen Beesing

CEO of Catalyst Miami since November 2013, Gretchen looks forward to building on the work of Catalyst's founder, working toward a just Miami in which residents are both prosperous and meaningfully engaged. Gretchen began her Catalyst career in 2007 with the Parent Leadership Training Institute. Before stepping into the CEO role, she directed Catalyst Miami's civic leadership and advocacy programs for over five years. Gretchen serves on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Community Development Coalition and the South Florida Community Reinvestment Alliance. Full bio

She participates on the National Human Services Assembly’s Advisory Council on Financial Stability, JPMorgan Chase’s Community Advisory Board (Florida), the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade’s Community Advisory Council, and the University of Miami’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement Task Force. She is a 2015 American Express NGEN Fellow. Gretchen is a licensed clinical social worker and has several years of experience as a psychotherapist. She received her MSW from New York University and her BA from Kalamazoo College.


Ron Bogle

Ronald Bogle is currently President & CEO of the American Architectural Foundation (Washington, DC), one of the nation’s foremost advocates for leadership development in city design. At AAF, Bogle focuses his efforts on the creation and stewardship of national programs that identify and advance best practices for designing livable communities; in the past five years, he has developed and launched five national design initiatives, including AAF’s Great Schools by Design and Sustainable Cities Design Academy. Full bio

He also serves as the managing partner of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the United States Conference of Mayors and AAF. More than 800 mayors across the nation count themselves among the program’s alumni, and the NEA considers the Mayors’ Institute to be the crown jewel of its urban design programming. Prior to joining AAF, Bogle fulfilled many roles as a civic leader in his hometown of Oklahoma City, including time spent as the President of the Board of Education. Present volunteer commitments include membership on the Executive Committee for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Coalition for Green Schools, as well as an advisory role with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the NYC Department of Education on the use of design as a tool for innovation and education reform.


Tom Dallessio

Thomas G. Dallessio is President, CEO & Publisher of Next City, – a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire social, economic and environmental change in cities through journalism and events. Next City’s online longform features, news posts and op/eds are read widely around the world, and the annual Vanguard conference for urban leaders under 40 is the premier program to advance urban interests. Tom is a licensed professional planner with over three decades of urban planning… Full bio

…and public policy experience on the State, national and international levels. He teaches Land Use Planning and Infrastructure Planning at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and founded the Center for Resilient Design. Tom is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, and an Honorary Council Member of the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization. He served on the Rebuild By Design Research Advisory Group, and on the National Urban Policies Expert Group to help draft provisions for the New Urban Agenda that will be considered at Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador. He was elected for three terms to the Hopewell Borough, N.J. Council, serving 2 years as Council President. Tom received his Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers College, a Master of Arts from the Eagleton Institute and a Master of City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University.


Meg Daly

Meg Daly is Founder and President of Friends of The Underline, non-profit organization leading the initiative to transform the underutilized land below Miami’s MetroRail into a 10-mile, urban trail, linear park and living art destination. Friends of the Underline has partnered with Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces and Transit Departments. They also have endorsements from Miami-Dade County, the cities of Miami, Coral Gables, South Miami, and the Village of Pinecrest, the University of Miami, and numerous other organizations. Full bio

A 30-year sales and marketing veteran, Meg owned First Media Direct, a breakthrough target marketing company catering to the broadcast television industry. She has also held executive marketing and management positions in the public relations, advertising, technology and real estate industries. Meg has a BA in English from Vanderbilt University and has served on a number of philanthropic boards. She is a member of the TransitAlliance Board of Directors, Miami-Dade County Parks Summit Planning committee, Miami-Dade County Neat Streets committee and the Bike305 Executive Committee. For her love of community and desire to serve others, she was named one of Miami’s Angels by the Miami Herald.



Maryam Eskandari

Maryam Eskandari is the founder of MIIM Designs, and an Academic Advisor at Harvard University for History of Art and Architecture. She serves on the Board of Open Architecture Collaborative, Advisor to Harvard's FDR Foundation, and the 1947 Partition Archives. Prior to establishing MIIM Designs, Eskandari led several award-winning projects: Christine and Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Library and Learning Center at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Phoenix College Fine Arts, and Eric Fischer Gallery. In 2013, the International Museum of Women in San Francisco…Full bio

…awarded MIIM Designs for the "Sacred Space" exhibit, and most recently, MIIM Designs was the architect for the new Children’s Museum of Manhattan’s America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far exhibit. MIIM Designs currently is working on projects in New York City, San Francisco, Accra, and New Delhi.


Adrian Scott Fine

As Director of Advocacy for the Los Angeles Conservancy, Adrian Scott Fine oversees the organization’s outreach, advocacy and response on key preservation issues within the greater Los Angeles area. This includes setting priorities, developing initiatives, working with local governments, and preparing responses to Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs). The Los Angeles Conservancy is the largest local nonprofit historic preservation organization in the country. Previously he was with the National Trust for Historic Preservation…Full bio

…as the Director of the Center for State and Local Policy, based in Washington, DC, and Director of the Northeast Field Office in Philadelphia. For much of his career he has focused on neighborhood preservation strategies, specifically in regards to teardowns and “mansionization” development pressures. As the coordinator for the National Trust’s Teardowns Initiative, he is the co-author of Protecting America’s Historic Neighborhoods: Taming the Teardown Trend. He graduated from Ball State University with degrees in Urban Planning and Development, Environmental Design and Historic Preservation. In 2014 he was selected as a Fitch Mid-Career Fellow by the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation for the project, “Picking up the Pieces: Preserving Urban Renewal’s Modern Legacy.” He is a founding member of Docomomo US/Southern California.


Eric Hankin

Eric Hankin completed his professional degree in architecture at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. He passed the Florida Board of Architecture and Interior Design and maintains a license to practice in the State of Florida. His qualifications include a blend of study, licensing and many years of practical experience. His career as an architect includes participation in the master planning, designing and construction of projects ranging from institutional, commercial, high-end and low-income residential developments. Full bio

He has a combination of 38 years work experience and has been a licensed architect for 25 years. At present, Eric has a full-time teaching position for Miami-Dade County Public Schools at Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH). He cultivated a program which introduces and prepare high school students ranging from 15-19 years of age for higher education in visual arts and the design professions of architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, urban planning and related engineering and construction fields. Eric initiated and directs along with others the development of the Young Designers Scholarship Fund. The program distributes competitive scholarships annually to 46 High School seniors for their college needs. The scholarships range from $500 - $2000. Additionally each year 40 select students receive full scholarship to participate in a summer pre-college arts program in New York City. The program is fully funded and for each students includes the entire $5,000 costs.


Jason Hilgefort

Jason Hilgefort is an urbanist/architect who studied at the University of British Columbia and the University of Cincinnati. His work experience ranges from New York, Rotterdam, to Mumbai and includes working with Peter Calthorpe, Rahul Mehrotra and Maxwan A+U. He has led Maxwan’s numerous competition victories in Helsinki, Basel, Kiev, Brussels, Ostrava, Hannover and Lithuania before winning Europan 11 in Vienna. He then subsequently founded Land+Civilization Compositions, a Rotterdam/Istanbul/Shenzhen-based studio that explores issues at the ever-expanding edge of urbanism and that views city creation as an art form. Full bio

Jason’s teaching experience has brought him to Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Finland, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. He was a subcurator in the Shenzhen/Hong Kong Urbanism/Architecture Biennale and a co-director of its educational platform. Currently he is the Academic Director of FUTURE+ Aformal Academy for urbanism/landscape/public art in Shenzhen. He is also a regular writer, often contributing to uncube magazine (for architecture and beyond).


Cheryl Jacobs

As Executive Vice President of both AIA Miami and the Miami Center for Architecture and Design (MCAD), Cheryl Jacobs guides both organizations in the development and implementation of programming that promotes architecture, design and the built environment. Cheryl works closely with both organizations’ outstanding volunteer boards to create forums, seminars and events that broaden awareness of the industry and that build strong community. With 20+ years in association and non-profit leadership… Full bio

… Cheryl has developed an exceptional network of contacts in the architecture and real estate industry in South Florida. She is a strong leader with a talent for recruiting and motivating volunteers and a passion for the creative industries. In 2013, Cheryl was awarded the AIA Florida Presidential Award. She currently is the Project Director for MCAD’s “Active Design Miami” effort, supported by a grant from the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. Cheryl has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is a graduate of Leadership Miami and Leadership Daytona Beach.


Avra Jain

Avra came to Miami from New York and saw potential in an area no one else did. With financial backing from friends and family, she bought the Vagabond hotel, located in Miami’s Upper East Side. She pressed for the neighborhood to be designated historic, used transfer of development rights to her advantage and pioneered the rebirth of Miami’s MiMo district. She also has bought additional properties in the historic area, figuring out when to restore and when to rebuild. Full bio

Avra's career path sets her apart: she is a woman who understands finances and construction, with a degree in industrial engineering from Purdue as well as experience as a bond trader on Wall Street. Already, Avra has earned a reputation for identifying the next "it" neighborhood. Her vision, and ability to attract investors, has resulted in 26 boutique projects that range from converting a 100,000 square foot warehouse to luxury loft condominiums in New York's Tribeca neighborhood to the remake of The Vagabond, from decrepit motel to quaint hotel on Miami's Biscayne Boulevard. At The Vagabond, Jain spent a lot of time on site during redevelopment -- she gave directions, negotiated with vendors and even installed fixtures herself.

Stuart Kennedy

Stuart Kennedy is the Director of Program Strategy and Innovation at The Miami Foundation. He leads the Foundation’s civic leadership work focused on addressing critical quality of life issues in Miami-Dade County. In addition, he oversees Our Miami, a biennial research platform examining the data, trends, indicators and stories behind Greater Miami’s biggest challenges and opportunities, as well as the Public Space Challenge, a contest for the community’s best ideas to improve, create and activate public spaces. Full bio

Prior to joining the Foundation, Stuart served as a Program Associate at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation where he worked on local and national Arts programs. He graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a double major in International Affairs and Spanish and Portuguese Language and Culture.

Angela Kyle

Angela is the co-founder of PlayBuild, a design education non-profit that encourages kids 4-12 to learn about a variety of design disciplines through hands-on play activities. Grounded in Central City, New Orleans, PlayBuild originated as a concept in late 2012 as a response to an open call for social innovation projects to address New Orleans' blight challenge. In response, as a proposed solution, the vision for PlayBuild came to life… Full bio

…a new kind of creative playspace designed to transform blighted inner city blocks into architectural learning labs for kids. In late 2013 the first PlayBuild play space launched with flagship partnerships with KaBOOM! and cornerstone local school and community organization partnerships. When she's not building playgrounds, Angela is in charge of building new client relationships for Wolff Olins US office. In this capacity, she is in charge of developing new client relationships for the award-winning brand and design consulting company. Prior to Wolff Olins, Angela's first career was in the media industry where she worked for a number of major media corporations including IMG and Turner Broadcasting, as well as several media start-ups. A magna cum laude graduate of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, Angela also holds an MBA and an MS in Journalism from Columbia University. A passionate visual arts, design, and architecture enthusiast, she travels compulsively, and divides her time between New Orleans and Harlem.


Caroline Lewis

Caroline Lewis is an education strategist and consultant who builds capacity, promotes innovation, and inspires leadership in individuals and institutions. She is the founder and executive director of The CLEO Institute, a non-profit organization that advances civic engagement on environmental issues.… Full bio

…Caroline Lewis is passionate about education and its tremendous potential to influence lives. She is an education strategist who builds capacity, promotes innovation, and inspires leadership in individuals and institutions. Ms. Lewis develops creative, collaborative programs to significantly increase outreach to diverse audiences. Currently, she is an independent consultant as well as founding director of the CLEO Institute, a non-profit that advances climate literacy and civic engagement. At CLEO, she works with scientists, business and elected leaders, students, teachers, and the community at large to promote solution-oriented approaches to address climate disruptions that are here and coming. CLEO is determined to drive climate action through education and engagement. For 22 years Lewis was a science teacher and school principal. She then joined the staff of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, created the Fairchild Challenge, and, as Director of Education, expanded programs and partnerships 800%. In 2002, Lewis designed and initiated the competitive, interdisciplinary Fairchild Challenge to establish an annual school program that promotes, provokes, and celebrates teenagers’ engagement in environmental issues. The response by students, teachers, parents and the community was immense and immediate. Designed initially for high schools, by demand, Fairchild Challenge middle and elementary school programs have also been implemented and expanded, nationally and internationally.



Tanya Lindkvist

Tanya Lindkvist is Head of Programme for DAC& LIFE and responsible for the overall programme, with primary emphasis on exhibitions, tours, events, learning, workshops and overall experience design for the culture visitor segment. Lindkvist has worked in the culture sector for more than 10 years, for both museums and universities. Throughout her career, she has developed a number of trade publications on, among other topics, cultural communication, didactics, art and art history… Full bio

… with particular focus on redefining the concept of audience with a view to stimulating engagement and learning through active participation and involvement of audience resources. Lindkvist writes and lectures on a series of topics, including visitor development, the market potential of culture and branding. She has also held a number of honorary positions, including membership of the Danish Ministry of Culture, Advisory Board for Art History and the Advisory Board for User Involvement.


Elizabeth Lynn

Elizabeth Lynn is Executive Director of the van Beuren Charitable Foundation, a family philanthropy dedicated to improving quality of life and qualify of place in Newport County, Rhode Island. With over 20 years of experience in family philanthropy in Rhode Island and Pittsburgh, she has effectively managed grants portfolios promoting innovation, and is recognized as being catalytic in supporting positive and lasting community change. Full bio

Before her work in philanthropy, she worked in technology transfer and commercialization, and diversifying and strengthening local economies with defense industry presence. Elizabeth grew up in rural Fayette County, PA, and is a graduate of Bucknell University (B.A. International Relations) and UCLA (M.A. Urban and Regional Planning). She serves on the national philanthropy board, Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities.



Gabrielle Lyon

Gabrielle Lyon joined CAF in the fall of 2014 as the Vice President of Education and Experience. In this role she is responsible for leading the organization's thinking on how to engage youth, educator, mentor and family communities to explore the built environment and design thinking through in-person and online experiences. Gabrielle is a nationally recognized non-profit leader, educator and public speaker on education reform. Her background includes founding and leading organizations and initiatives…Full bio

… focused on leveling the playing field of educational opportunity for underserved youth, particularly in science and technology. Gabrielle co-founded Project Exploration in 1999 and served as the executive director for 11 years. Gabrielle has been recognized as a Chicago Community Trust Leadership Fellow (2010) and a Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Magazine (2011). She earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees in History from the University of Chicago, and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, where she is an Adjunct Lecturer of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.


Peter Murray

Peter Murray is a British architectural writer who has made a career in architectural communications and surface design. He trained as an architect and was an editor of Building Design and RIBA Journal before starting Blueprint Magazine in 1983. He has curated a number of major architectural exhibitions and is Chairman of the communications consultancy, Wordsearch. He is founder of both New London Architecture and the London Festival of Architecture and is author… Full bio

…of various architectural books, including “The Saga of Sydney Opera House” and “A Passion to Build.” He is a visiting professor of IE University in Madrid and Hon. Sec. of the Bedford Park Society.



Benjamin Peterson

Benjamin Peterson, Director of Practice Instruction at the Boston Architectural College, is responsible for the development and delivery of a curriculum in Practice focused on civic engagement. Ben directs the College's Gateway Initiative, a program that provides design opportunities for students to work with community partners as clients and collaborators. Ben received a BA from Bowdoin College and an MArch from the Rhode Island School of Design, with studies focused on the intersections of architecture, landscape, and infrastructure. Full bio

He teaches at the BAC and Wentworth Institute of Technology. He serves on the Board of the CDRC, and the advisory board for the city-wide master-planning process for the City of Cambridge.



Gretchen Schneider Rabinkin

Gretchen Schneider Rabinkin AIA is director of civic initiatives for the Boston Society of Architects and BSA Foundation, including leading the Community Design Resource Center (CDRC), where she helps initiate and coordinate community resiliency preparedness activities with multiple neighborhood and academic partners, organizes the BSA Urban Design Workshops, and was on the steering committee for the Boston Living with Water International Design Competition. A licensed architect, she has long worked with individuals and community Full bio

Gretchen led the architecture program at Smith College from 2000-2006, and has taught extensively. She is former deputy editor of ArchitectureBoston. Gretchen received a BA from Smith College and an MArch from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.


Otis Rolley

Otis brings to 100RC an entire career dedicated toward resilience and urban development in the private, non-profit and public sectors. He has worked in housing, community economic development, strategic planning, performance management, municipal administration, urban, regional and transportation planning. Prior to joining 100RC, Otis served as CEO of Newark, NJ’s economic development corporation. He was a senior manager at a national public-sector management consultant firm leading their strategic planning, change and performance management work in municipalities and large urban school districts. Full bio

He also was the founding president of a regional nonprofit dedicated to improving and expanding transit and transportation options for Central Maryland. His extensive public sector experience includes serving in various leadership positions with five different mayors in three large US cities. He has been a chief of staff managing a $2 billion budget; city planning director for the America’s largest independent city; and he has served as 1st deputy housing commissioner for the 5th largest public housing and community development agency in the US. An honors graduate, Otis earned his BA from Rutgers University and a masters from M.I.T.


Mikhaile Solomon

Mikhaile Solomon is a designer and arts advocate with backgrounds in a myriad of arts disciplines including the theatre, dance, and architecture. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Florida in Theatre Arts and her Master’s of Architecture from Florida International University. Mikhaile enjoys working on projects that give her the opportunity to share her love of art, design, and architecture with the communities. In the past few years…Full bio

… she worked as Assistant Producer for Art Africa Miami, an Art Fair exhibiting and celebrating art work from the Global African Diaspora. She is the Founding Director of Prizm Art Fair which promotes the work of artists of color, who reflect global trends in contemporary art, through a blockbuster exhibit held during Art Basel/Miami. She hopes to use her varied skills in arts and design to set precedents for the future of Miami’s arts and culture scene. Mikhaile also served as the Director of Public Art for the Opa-lcoka Community Development Corporation in Opa-locka, Florida.


Jessica Goldman Srebnick

Jessica Goldman Srebnick, CEO of Goldman Properties, was with the company founded by her late father, Tony Goldman, for 15 years before taking the reins at his behest in 2012. Goldman Srebnick oversees the company’s portfolio of assets in New York, Philadelphia, Miami Beach and Miami’s emerging Wynwood Arts District. The diverse company includes a mix of hotels, restaurants, office buildings, commercial, retail and residential properties and large scale public art projects including the Wynwood Walls…Full bio

… the highly acclaimed outdoor street art museum. In July 2015, Goldman Srebnick founded Goldman Global Arts (GGA). Established to conceptualize and produce impactful, thought provoking creative projects for a variety of organizations, with the goal of changing the paradigm of how people interact with art. GGA’s first project is an integration of world class art into Miami’s Sunlife Stadium, home to the Miami Dolphins. Goldman Srebnick is an active member of the prestigious Young Presidents Organization (YPO). She co-chaired the YPO/WPO Global Leadership Conference in Miami in 2009 and since 2010 continues to participate in the YPO/Harvard Business School Presidents Leadership Program. She is a member of the board of Town Square Neighborhood Development Corporation (TSNDC) a non-profit and independent entity that oversees the development of Miami’s emerging Arsht Center District, and a member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cycle for Survival National Battle Leadership Council. Goldman Srebnick has received numerous accolades; including being named one of South Florida Business Journal’s Top 100 Power Leaders and Florida International University Center for Leadership named her one of 50 Prominent Women in Florida. She is the recipient of the prestigious Key to the City of Miami, which she was awarded for her work with YPO, was a key note speaker at the Urban Land Institute Fall 2015 conference and is a finalist for the Urban Land Institute’s Global Award of Excellence for her Wynwood Walls project.


Susanne Torriente

Susanne joined the City of Miami Beach in September 2015 as Assistant City Manager (ACM) and Chief Resiliency Officer (CRO). Her sustainability and resiliency portfolio includes Planning, Building, Code Compliance, and Environment & Sustainability. The City of Miami Beach is a leader and pioneer in adaptation efforts in South Florida. As she CRO is build on that foundation to develop an action-oriented citywide resiliency strategy and a broader Greater Miami & the Beaches 100 Resilient Cities Strategy supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. Full bio

She is also on the board of the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO). During her four years as assistant city manager for operations in Fort Lauderdale she successfully focused on streamlining city services, initiating strategic management practices & performance measurement systems and integrating sustainability into city operations. She was the lead staff to the city’s visioning process producing Fast Forward Fort Lauderdale: Our City, Our Vision, 2035. She was selected as a Fellow for the 2012 ICMA Sustainable Communities Fellowship. In 2009, Susanne was appointed Miami-Dade County’s first Sustainability Director and became a founding member of the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact staff steering committee. This regional collaboration has afforded her the opportunity to share the South Florida story around the world.


Marta Viciedo

A passion for vibrant cities and great urban culture fuels Marta's work with Urban Impact Lab where she is the Co-Founder and Strategy Director. UI Lab is a local civic innovation firm that introduces and prototypes ideas that make cities better. Marta is also a strong advocate for transportation and mobility and envisions a better Miami where there are multiple options for getting around quickly, safely and enjoyably. She is currently in the planning and testing phase of a transportation non-profit for Miami-Dade County. Full bio

Marta holds a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida Atlantic University.


Ephrat Yovel

Ephrat is a Senior Principal Consultant at Counterpoint CS. She offers consultancy services in project design, development and management, research and analysis, strategic guidance, and works with a range of clients to research, plan, implement and evaluate initiatives.…Full bio

… These include stakeholders from urban and rural communities, local and international NGOs, the United Nations, the World Bank, local governments and businesses operating in a variety of market sectors.
Counterpoint CS has a team of specialist consultants offering professional services in ecological and socio-economic development activities. Its core focus is the promotion of low carbon development through effective climate adaptation planning, disaster risk reduction, utilization and management of natural resources in order to support long-term resilience, sustainable economic growth, biodiversity conservation and the capacity to adapt to climate change.