SUMMER 2007 Florida International University Magazine
Feel the Pride Susana G. Cetta ’95 has joined Palmer Trinity School as the director of parent relations. Cetta comes to Palmer Trinity from Kids Hope United - Florida region, where she served as director of operations. She also is a member of the board of directors for Neat Stuff, a nonprofit organization that provides new clothing to 8,000 needy children in Miami each year. Benjamin Diaz III ’95, MST ’96, managing director with Alvarez & Marsal Tax Advisory Services, LLC, has been selected as a new College of Business Alumni Circle member. Jorge N. De La Torre ’96 is a partner for De La Torre, Taraboulos & Company, a firm started in 1994 by three FIU School of Accounting graduates. Cynthia P. Snyder (Rossie) ’96 recently married Marc Snyder. The couple lives in Deerfield Beach, Fla. Lourdes M. Camps ’97 has been appointed Hialeah Hospital’s chief nursing officer. Previously, Camps had been director of nursing at the hospital. Dayne Del Valle ’97, MBA ’00 has been named chief financial officer of Century Homebuilders. Del Valle previously was chief financial officer at EFC Holdings. Anna M. Hernandez Esq. ’97, an attorney at Pathman Lewis, was re-elected for a two-year term to the board of directors of the Cuban American Bar Association. Hernandez also was elected secretary for this year. Albert Santalo ’97 is the president and CEO of Avisena, a firm that assists health care organizations in collecting more money using technology. The company was honored with the prestigious South Florida Business Journal 2006 Business of the Year Award for health services.
Francisco J. Ruiz, Jr. ’99, MPA ’02 opened his own production company, PR Racing Inc, five years ago. The company owns and produces more than 13 events throughout the year in the South Florida area, including the ING Miami Marathon and Half Marathon and the Escape to Miami Triathlon.
2000s Audie W. Alsopp MS ’00 has been named tax manager at the Coral Gables-based accounting firm Jordan Castellon Ricardo LLC. Alsopp is a certified public accountant and a member of several associations, including the National Association of Security Dealers. Demian M. Bellumio ’00 is the chief executive officer of Hoodiny Entertainment Group, parent company of elhood.com. Jose L. Izquierdo ’00, a registered nurse, was appointed director of Emergency Room Services at North Shore Medical Center. Ana E. Escobar ’01 was married to husband Gabriel Couriel in September of 2005. She works in the pharmacy at Cedars Medical Center.
William P. Roberts ’01 was named Lake County Teacher of the Year in February. Malachi D. Smith ’01 won the Dub Poet of the Year Award at the inaugural Joe Higgs Music Awards. The event was held at Biscayne Bay Campus’ Kovens Conference Center.
Rochelle M. Lightfoot-Austin ’98 donated a kidney in January to Gwendolyn Amica through UM/Jackson Memorial Hospital’s organ donor program. Both donor and recipient thank God for the success of both surgeries and are recuperating well.
Anthony D. Gagliano MFA ’02, had his new mystery novel praised in a roundup of good summer reading in the June 1 New York Times. The Times reviewer, Janet Maslin, said Gagliano’s “Straits of Fortune” was a “memorably crisp debut. . .rich with the requisite heat and duplicity.”
Diego Mendez-Carbajo MA ’98, Ph.D. ’00 received tenure and was promoted to associate professor of economics from assistant professor at Illinois Wesleyan University.
Richard A. Pollack MSF ’02 is the director in charge of forensic and valuation services at Berkowitz Dick Pollack & Brant, which recently hosted an FIU Alumni Day.
Francisco B. Monjarrez ’98, MSW ’01 has been named executive director of the board of directors of nonprofit Neat Stuff. Monjarrez is responsible for the overall operations of the organization. He lives in Miami.
Aravinthan Arunachalam ’03 presented a paper titled “Intraperiod Valuation and Coupon Payments: Solution to a Paradox” at the Association of Global Business meeting at the Wyndham Resorts in Miami Beach last November. Arunachalam is completing his final semester of coursework in the Ph.D. program in finance in the College of Business Administration.
Heather S. Jamieson ’99 has been promoted to director of consumer and relationship marketing at Nova Southeastern University’s Fischler School of Education.
Clarita Choy Pearson ’03 and fellow alumna Judith Ramos ’06 have formed CJ Construction & Renovations, Inc., a general contracting company based in Miami and specializing in residential and commercial construction. Prior to forming their contracting company, Ramos, of Hialeah, worked as an engineer for Brice Southern, Inc. Pearson, of High Pines, founded a successful bookkeeping firm and also worked for a major South Florida plumbing contractor. Sean Paul Gazitua ’04 has been promoted to director of logistics by the logistics infrastructure company WTDC. John Czelusniak ’06 works at IL Progetto Design as creative director under the direction of Katrina Campins, former contestant on the hit TV show, “The Apprentice.” Juan Carlos Mendoza ’06, a former president of the Financial Management Association, works as a credit analyst at Commerce Bank and goes to school part time. Alexis J. Nogueras MBA ’06 walked away a 2006 winner at the first annual Florida Collegiate Business Plan Competition thanks to his plan for G-Force Tools – ergonomically designed lawn and garden tools featuring a lighter shaft and more comfortable grip.
Panther Perks: Panther Partner: American Airlines Vacations, a leader in the travel industry. Panther Perk: AAVacations.com is pleased to provide FIU Alumni Association members with a discount benefit. FIU Alumni Association members are entitled to a 10 percent discount on air and a 5 percent discount on land. Your discount will be reflected on the vacations price quote page. Please note: AAVacations.com does not offer an “air only” option. How to Take Advantage: This special rate is offered online only and can be accessed by visiting http://www.aavacations.com/ default.asp?CORP=FIUALUM. In order to obtain your discount, you must include your AAdvantage number. If you do not have an AAdvantage number, you may enroll in the AAdvantage program at AA.com. For more information on becoming a dues paying member of the FIU Alumni Association visit www. fiualumni.com.
How to submit a Class Note: Share your good news with your fellow alumni by filling out an online Class Notes form at http://www.fiualumni.com/classnotes.htm. Send us information on recent hires, promotions, awards, career achievements, appointments, births and marriages. You may also fax us your information to 305-348-3636, ATT: Class Notes. Electronic photos can be submitted in jpeg or bitmap format to appear with class notes by emailing email@example.com. Please indicate in the email which class note the photo should appear with, along with the full names and class years of all the individuals who appear in the photo.