Senior-level hires and promotions in Miami-Dade and Broward for the week of Dec. 23, 2019

The Miami Herald | January 6, 2020


At the Miami office of HKS, three new hires have been added to the firm’s hospitality team.

▪ Fernando Arteaga is associate principal and design director. He has a master’s in architecture and urbanism from Iberoamerican University.

▪ Carlos Hurtado is vice president and senior project manager. He has a master’s in advanced architectural design from Columbia University.


Jennifer Quintana has been named executive director of development and alumni relations at Florida International University’s College of Business (FIU Business). Quintana joined FIU Business in 2014 as director of alumni relations and was most recently the college’s senior director of advancement and alumni relations. She also has been the alumni relations director at the University of Miami School of Business. Quintana has a bachelor’s in psychology from FIU.


Mark M. Heinish, an insurance defense and commercial litigator, has been named a partner in the Fort Lauderdale office of Hinshaw & Culbertson. He was litigation counsel for CNA, a global commercial property and casualty insurance company. Heinish has a bachelor’s from SUNY-Binghamton and a J.D. from the University of Miami.

Gabriel Groisman has joined Meland Russin & Budwick in Miami as a partner. Groisman, who is the mayor of Bal Harbour Village, will be co-chair of the firm’s trade secrets and IP group. He was a founding partner of Groisman Law, PLLC.

At Bressler, Amery & Ross, four South Florida lawyers were promoted to partner:

▪ Krista Elsasser, in the firm’s insurance litigation practice group, is based in the Miami office. (Bachelor’s from Eastern Michigan University; J.D. from Wayne State.)

▪ Samantha Epstein, in the firm’s insurance group, is based in Miami. (Bachelor’s from New York University; J.D. from University of Miami.)

▪ Lauren Fenton-Valdivia in the firm’s business and commercial litigation group, is based in Fort Lauderdale. (Bachelor’s from Rutgers; J.D. from Seton Hall.)

▪ Heather Lang, in the firm’s insurance litigation group, is based in Fort Lauderdale. (Bachelor’s in business administration, University of Central Florida; J.D. from Florida Coastal School of Law.)

At Lash & Goldberg in Miami, two have been promoted to partner. Their practice includes complex commercial litigation, healthcare litigation, employment litigation and class action defense.

▪ Michael L. Ehren has a bachelor’s from the University of Florida and a J.D. from Nova Southeastern University.

▪ David R. Ruffner has a bachelor’s from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and a J.D. from the University of Miami.


Rene Buck has been named executive director of Belmont Village Fort Lauderdale, a luxury senior-living community scheduled to open in 2020 on Seminole Drive. He was executive director of Grand Villa Delray West. Buck has a degree in hotel and restaurant management from the Swiss Hotel & Restaurant Management School of Lucerne.


Alice Ancona has been named senior vice president and chief operating officer of the World Trade Center Miami. The organization fosters international business opportunities for companies in the Western Hemisphere. Ancona previously headed the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s international efforts.

Peter A. England has been named executive director of the Economic Development Council of South Miami-Dade. He is chair of fundraising and development for the Deering Estate Foundation. He has been director of marketing for Florida Power & Light and chair of the Economic Development Task Force of Palmetto Bay.


Bob Prieto has been named vice president of inside sales for SeaDream Yacht Club and will be based in the company’s Miami office. He worked at Oceania Cruises for 15 years, most recently as the senior director of sales operations.


Name: Meline Kevorkian, Ed.D.

New position: She has been named the dean of the College of Computing and Engineering at Nova Southeastern University.

About: She has been the college’s interim dean since July 2018. Kevorkian is also a professor in NSU’s Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice, where she maintains an active research portfolio in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) student success, focusing on success in high-demand computing programs, bullying and cyberbullying.

Also: “Under her leadership, the College of Computing and Engineering received initial accreditation for its Bachelor of Science in Computing Science degree, and she’s enhanced the college’s computing laboratory facilities and increased student scholarships,” said Dr. George Hanbury, president of NSU, in a statement.

And: She is the author of many books including: Tackling Bullying in Athletics, 101 Facts about Bullying: What Everyone Should Know, Preventing Bullying: Helping Kids Form Positive Relationships and Six Secrets for Parents to Help Their Kids Achieve in School, and she has been featured on several nationally broadcast news shows.