Friends of Miami Marine Stadium informally came together in February, 2008 and operated for three years under the administrative umbrella of Dade Heritage Trust, Miami-Dade County's foremost organization devoted to historic preservation.
Early in 2011, Friends formally became a Florida Corporation known as Friends of Miami Marine Stadium, Inc. In August, 2011, Friends of Miami Marine Stadium received its 501(c)(3) certification as an independent, tax-exempt organization and began to operate independently with the capacity to receive tax deductible donations. The following individuals are the first appointees to the Board of Directors. The tasks for the Board are formidable: to represent community concerns, guide both the restoration and the operation of the Marine Stadium, and, most importantly, raise the necessary funds. Over the next several months, the Board will be carefully expanded to reach these goals. Current Board members are listed below:
Hilario Candela: The original architect of the Miami Marine Stadium, Hilario designed it in 1962 while at the architectural firm Pancoast, Ferendino, Skeels, Grafton and Burnham. He became President of this firm which evolved into Spillis Candela - at one time the largest Hispanic owned architectural firm in the United States. The firm was repeatedly included in the list of the largest 50 design firms in the U.S. by ENR. Candela designed many buildings throughout the United States from New York To California, much of Latin America and the Caribbean as well as Spain and Saudi Arabia. Spillis Candela designed many buildings in South Florida, including all three campuses of Miami Dade Community College. He is also a Co-Founder of Friends of Miami Marine Stadium and has been involved in the organization since inception.
Albert Dotson, Jr.: (bio in prerparation)
Daniel Diaz Leyva is a partner with Infante Zumpano, one of the largest Hispanic owned law firms in the country, and leads their strategic planning and business development efforts. Admitted to practice law in Florida in 2004, Daniel has a broad range of general transactional experience with a primary focus in the areas of real estate, banking, insurance and business. He is committed to the South Florida community actively serving in leadership positions on several Boards including the CHARLEE Homes for Children, Banyan Health Systems and the Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies at the University of Miami. He is also his firm’s representative to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Minority & Women Owned Law Firms and the Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council.
Jorge Hernandez: Jorge is a Co-Founder of Friends of Miami Marine Stadium. A Professor of Architecture at the School of Architecture of the University of Miami, he has been active in historic preservation issues on the local, State and National levels and is currently Vice Chair of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the most important organization dedicated to historic preservation in the United States. His firm, Jorge L. Hernandez Architect, was established in 1987.
Roberto Martinez: Roberto is a Shareholder with the law firm Colson Hicks Eidson. His distinguished career includes a broad combination of trial practice in both the public and private sectors. He is currently concentrating in the areas of civil trials and white collar criminal defense. He is the Vice-Chair of the State Board of Education, and has served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Miami Dade College, and Chair of the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission. He is married to Suzel M. Vazquez, M.D. and htey have three school aged children who attend public and private schools in Miami.
Cliff Mezey: Cliff brings a significant amount of business and philanthropic experience to the Board of Directors. From 1955-1992, he was the owner of Interstate industries, a company that made parts for all automobile manufacturers. A graduate of Northwestern University, he attended the advanced management program at Harvard in 1975. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of Fairchild Tropical Gardens for ten years, serving on the Finance Committee. Cliff and his wife Petsy live in Coral Gables; they have five children.
Jose Mendana, Jr: The power boat racing community is an important national constituency for the Marne Stadium, and Jose is an excellent link to this community. A fourth generation boat racer, Jose has won several World and National titles in the SST-45 (Formula Lights) class and currently races Formula 1 with Formula One Prop Tour, the most powerful and fastest turning class of racing outboards. He was inducted into the prestigious Hall of Champions of the American Power Boat Association in 2006, 2008 and 2010. A Certified Public Accountant, Jose is also Treasurer of Friends of Miami Marine Stadium.
Charles D. Urstadt: Charlie brings a wealth of historic preservation and private real estate experience to the Board. He is the current Chair of the Miami Design Preservation League and a past board member of the New York State Board for Historic Preservation. Charlie is also a seasoned real estate investor and broker with 30 years of experience and is currently a Director of Urstadt Biddle Properties, one of the oldest real estate investment trusts on the New York Stock Exchange.
Donald Worth: Don is a Co-Founder of Friends of Miami Marine Stadium and has been involved in a wide variety of preservation issues over the last 15 years. Along with his wife Nina, he produced in 2008 the photography exhibit and book “Art Deco in Shanghai and Miami Beach” featuring photographs by Deke Erh, China’s first freelance photographer. He also was Vice Chairman of the Urban Arts Committee of Miami Beach, which created the first photography exhibit of Miami Modern (MiMo) architecture which travelled to the Municipal Art Society in New York City in 2002.
In January, 2013, Friends of Miami Marine Stadium created an Advisory Board. Members are listed below:
Carlos Curbelo, School Board Member
Principal, Capitol Gains
Steve David, World Champion
Jose Felix Diaz, State Representative
Of Counsel, Akerman Senterfit
Nelson Diaz, Partner
Becker and Poliakoff
JC Flores, Regional Director of Government Affairs
A T & T
Penny Lambeth, public relations
Lambeth and Nagle Communications
Bruce Orosz, President and CEO
Arva Moore Parks, Historian
Enid Pinckney, Historic Preservationist
Board Member, Virginia Key Beach Trust
Don Poole, President
Volvo Ocean Race Miami
Emmett Smith, Curator
Antique Boat Museum of Clayton, NY
Violette Sproul, CEO
President, The Jeffrey Group