At Catalyst Miami, we believe in both internal and external collaboration. Each member of our team plays a key role in helping us achieve our mission of building a more just and equitable Miami in which all communities thrive.
Gretchen joined Catalyst Miami in 2007, directing civic leadership and advocacy programs for more than five years. She became CEO in 2013. Gretchen’s integration of Catalyst’s services into a solid program suite based on an effective and empowering financial coaching platform, offers asset-building strategies at each stage in our clients’ journey to prosperity. She effectively transitioned Catalyst from a financial literacy provider to a financial capability thought leader, as evidenced by our many national partnerships and demonstration products. Other accomplishments include conceiving and piloting the Florida Thrives executive leadership program for community development practitioners, and hosting the annual Poverty Solutions Summit, which draws hundreds of civic leaders. Under Gretchen’s leadership, Catalyst Miami leads a consortium of partners to design and implement Florida’s first universal children’s savings program, Future Bound Miami. Future Bound Miami launched in November 2019 with a subset of Miami-Dade County Public Schools and will expand until every kindergartener entering the district each year has access to a college savings account. Catalyst Miami is launching its first worker cooperative in 2020, the latest addition to its platform of transformative, wealth-building initiatives.
Gretchen serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the South Florida Community Development Coalition. She participates on JPMorgan Chase’s Community Advisory Board (Florida), the Florida Policy Institute’s Community Advisory Board, Resilient 305 Steering Committee, among other advisory boards. Gretchen was a 2015 American Express NGEN Fellow (Independent Sector) and a 2019 Ambassador for Health Equity (PolicyLink and FSG), and she is an alumna of the Federal Reserve Board’s Community Leaders Forum. In 2019, Gretchen was recognized by the Commonwealth Institute as a top woman leader. Gretchen is a 2020 Fulcrum Fellow with the Center for Community Investment. Gretchen is a licensed clinical social worker.
Brian serves as the CFO for Catalyst Miami. He is a lawyer, CPA and received his MFA in Visual Arts in 2018. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica and worked for 20 years for CARE, an international humanitarian and development organization, living mostly in Africa. In his spare time, Brian runs marathons and makes art.
Nina joined Catalyst Miami in 2014 and has served in many different capacities including directing the service delivery for the health component of the Prosperity Campaign. Nina currently oversees the programs department. In Nina's previous experience, she provided support to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities for several nonprofit organizations. She graduated from Florida International University with a bachelor's degree in Social Work and minor in Criminal Justice, in addition to a master's degree in Social Work from Barry University. Nina is a Miami native, passionate about youth and community development.
Zelalem Adefris is the Vice President of Policy & Advocacy at Catalyst Miami, where she oversees Catalyst’s Policy & Engagement Department. Zelalem joined Catalyst Miami in 2016, directing the organization’s climate resilience programs and advocacy work. Her previous work experiences include environmental justice organizing at the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island and conducting emergency preparedness research at the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She holds an MPH in Global Environmental Health from Emory University and a bachelor’s degree in Community Health from Brown University. Zelalem serves as a steering committee member of the Miami Climate Alliance, a philanthropic trustee of the Solutions Project, as well as a board member of the Miami-Dade College Earth Ethics Institute and Miami-Dade County Community Action Agency.
As Vice President of Community Economic Development, Ahmed oversees worker and investment cooperative development, small business assistance and community building, and other programs centered on community wealth and economic democracy. As an attorney and community economic development activist, Ahmed has worked with and represented worker cooperatives, tenants battling eviction in both courts and through advocacy, and affordable housing and community development nonprofits in Miami, South Texas, and New York City. He has a JD from Columbia Law School, an MA in Political Economy from Columbia University, and a BA in Philosophy from Florida International University. Ahmed serves on the board of The Allapattah Collaborative CDC.
Abraham moved to Florida in 2018 and joined Catalyst Miami in 2019 as Community Prosperity Coordinator. While getting his Bachelor’s in Public Health at Brigham Young University - Idaho, he was a Hispanic advocate who helped domestic violence victims and later coordinated care for patients in need of services they couldn't afford. His desire to help others comes from different angles; for example, he would like to help the community by making sure public funds are not poorly administered. For this reason, he is currently working toward a Master’s in Public Administration.
Aidil joined Catalyst Miami in 2016. She develops strategies and programming to support the organization’s coalition building and advocacy efforts. She previously served as Vice President of Policy and Advocacy.
She provides support to various other organizations to further social justice in Miami, as well as across the state. Towards this goal, she also serves on several boards including the Miami Workers Center, the Anthropocene Alliance, Miami-Dade County’s Commission on Human Rights, and is the President of the South Florida Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.
Previously, Aidil was an attorney and pro bono coordinator for Americans for Immigrant Justice, where she represented and advocated on behalf of immigrants, including unaccompanied children, and oversaw the pro bono program. She has also worked for various other nonprofits and served as a consultant to various community organizations and groups to empower and improve the lives of vulnerable and underserved populations. In 2009, her research was published in Churches and Charity in the Immigrant City: Religion, Immigration, and Civic Engagement in Miami.
Aidil holds a Master’s degree in Comparative Sociology from Florida International University and a JD from Fordham University. She is passionate about protecting our planet and making the world a more just, mindful, joyful, and equitable home for us all.
Alyssa officially joined Catalyst Miami in May 2019 after working with the Public Allies Miami program as a graduate-level intern. She comes from a mental health background, having received a B.A. in Psychology and a master’s degree in Social Work from Florida International University. Currently, she is a Sr. Coach and the Prosperity Manager for Catalyst Miami, having attained certification as a Master-Level Practitioner in Financial Capability as well as being a state-certified IRS tax preparer. Additionally, she is a clinical therapist in South FL, treating court-mandated individuals and those recently incarcerated, as well as children (7-17) struggling with trauma, anxiety and depression. She is a strong advocate for policy reform and participates in various local government meetings and community events, specifically those related to health, poverty, and women's rights. She will be going to law school in the near future to specialize in Criminal Law, where she hopes to eventually become a judge for the Eleventh Circuit in Miami Dade County.
Anaruth joined Catalyst Miami full-time in 2019 after being a climate resilience assistant for the organization. Prior to that, she was a community organizer during the 2016 presidential election. Her organizing skills come in handy in her current role, which involves mobilizing residents of South Dade to be more engaged in their community. She is passionate about immigrants’ issues and advocating for equity across marginalized communities. She graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor’s in Political Science. When she gets time to relax at home, she enjoys snuggling up with her furry best friend, Gigi.
Passionate about people, problem-solving, and passing the mic, Carolina serves as the Communications Director for Catalyst Miami. She joined the organization in 2019. In her role, Carolina defines, develops and carries out the organization's internal and external communications. Her central goal is to use her skills to amplify the voices that too often get drowned out by inequity and injustice. Prior to joining Catalyst, she lived in Kansas City for five years while working as Hallmark's first bilingual creative writer. Upon moving back to Miami, she was the lead copywriter and creative strategist for a Miami marketing agency, Imagen. Carolina served as a volunteer medical interpreter at a free clinic for five years and helped launch a literacy program in Kansas City's inner-city schools. She is committed to being a reliable source of support for her staff and community.
Charles has worked at Catalyst Miami since 2009. He is a disabled Vietnam veteran and has been pleased to be working under the Community Leadership Development team. In particular, Charles works with the SoundOut and Parent Leadership Training Institute teams as a leadership assistant. He occasionally serves as the office coordinator, where he gets to greet and assist all of our incoming clients.
Chris serves as Children’s Savings Director for Catalyst Miami where he helped create Future Bound Miami, Florida’s first Children’s Savings Account (CSA) program. He is dedicated to enhancing economic stability for all through financial coaching, education, and asset building. Previously, Chris was Director of Social Impact at WorkSquare. He has held several roles within organizations such as Miami Dade College, Branches, and the United Way Center for Financial Stability. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Bachelor of Arts and the University of South Florida with a Master of Education.
Courtenay joined Catalyst in 2017 as an independent development consultant, helping articulate the organization’s work and mission in grant proposals, papers, and other communications. Courtenay previously served as Public Policy Director and chief lobbyist for the ACLU of Florida, and prior to that, as the ACLU of Florida’s Voting Rights Project Director. During that time, she catalyzed the founding of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, which in 2018 achieved successful passage of a statewide ballot initiative to end Florida’s voting ban against people with past felony convictions. Courtenay is an alumna of The Miami Foundation’s Miami Fellows Initiative leadership development program. She holds a BA in Latin American Studies from Yale University and a Specialization in Creative Intervention from Colegiatura Colombiana in Medellín, Colombia.
De'Sean serves as the Worker-Owned Enterprises Director where he oversees the incubation and training of worker-owned-and-run businesses that generate and maintain wealth in communities. In his role, he is dedicated to promoting more democratic, just, and equitable forms of community economic development throughout Miami-Dade County. Previously, De'Sean was the Resilience Manager at The Miami Foundation where he led the implementation of a collective impact effort to drive inclusive economic prosperity in Miami. He has held several roles within national advocacy and policy organizations such as The Democracy Collaborative, the Congressional Hunger Center, and Prosperity Now. De'Sean graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Global Health Studies and was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Destini Smith serves as the Leadership Program Coordinator with the Policy and Advocacy department. Prior to joining Catalyst in July 2021, Destini worked with Urban Strategies Inc. as a Family Support Specialist II where she assisted families in navigating various systems to reach the goal of a stable and thriving household. She also served as founding staff and fitness coach for the Atlanta non-profit, Noble Clay Fitness, providing access to quality fitness and health coaching to low-wealth communities. She has also done affordable housing and equity work as a Community Building Fellow with Emory University and the Center for Pan Asian Community Services. Destini has a passion for empowering youth leaders and igniting Christians to pursue equity and justice. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Community Building and Social Change from Emory University; and she is excited to practice all that she is learning in her Community Building and Social Change Masters of Education program at the University of Miami.
As Catalyst Miami’s Office Manager, Dhorka ensures all office operations and procedures are organized and efficient. She has a special talent for staff appreciation activities, having implemented Snack Mondays and upgrading anniversary gifts. Dhorka is passionate about the community and giving back. She has worked in the social services space for over 10 years, coming to work at Catalyst Miami in 2014.
Izegbe, a Baltimore native, has worked as a community advocate for the past 22 years. She has journeyed from a graduate of the 12th PLTI cohort in 2014, to a facilitator for PLTI, Step Up Miami, and People Empowering People, all parenting leadership courses sponsored by Catalyst Miami, to her current position. Her experience as a mother, educator, and community program founder will positively impact the training and cultivation of civic leaders. Izegbe currently serves on the board of Legal Services of Greater Miami.
Jessica comes to Catalyst Miami from the Department of Children and Families, Southern Region, General Counsel. Prior to her current role, Jessica volunteered with Catalyst Miami in 2013 and again in 2018 as a VITA volunteer preparing taxes. She graduated from FIU with two Bachelor’s degrees, in Sociology and English Literature, as well as a certificate in Exile Studies. At Catalyst, Jessica helps low income families take their next financial step through financial coaching to reach their financial goals. In her spare time she enjoys having a good laugh and living the simple life.
As Economic Justice Organizer, Julio works alongside the community economic development team to provide support with the Worker-Owned Enterprises Program's academy and development, and to help build community in different areas of the county based on interest or region. Julio started as a college organizer, where he worked on immigrant rights, including the DREAM Act, DACA, in-state tuition, and even leading state-wide campaigns for the protection of immigrant rights. Julio graduated with an economics degree from the Florida International University.
Kerlande Ceant has served as Community Health Coordinator for Catalyst Miami since 2021. She is a Haitian-American from Broward County. She studied at the University of West Florida and received a B.S. in Health-Science Public Health. Fluent in Haitian Creole, Kerlande provides bilingual health coaching and social services navigation to community members. She is certified in Business Planning for Public Health Programs where she can implement a business plan to generate effective strategies for growth. She also certifies in FDA approval basics and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). She takes great pride in her work and being able to contribute to the community by providing support, quality service, and health and equity promotion. She is currently working towards her Masters in Public Health, where she is studying the health and safety of communities at large, while focusing on socioeconomic and health disparities that we face.
Malcolm serves as Catalyst Miami's Small Business Manager diagnosing and developing small businesses to cultivate wealth building and intentional networks. Leading technical and financial assistance programming, Malcolm aims to bridge the access gaps for our small business community. Prior to joining the team, Malcolm garnered experience in the private sector dealing with corporate credit assessments for small and medium sized businesses. Scaling down to a small business role helped shape his desire to assist small businesses on a local level, especially during a time of economic uncertainty. As a South Florida native, Malcolm brings years of corporate and small business experience with a B.B.A. in Finance and International Business from Florida International University.
Molly comes to Catalyst Miami from the private sector after discovering her passion for strong communities and civic engagement. She has experience in public affairs, business development, and commercial real estate. Molly graduated with a BS in Psychology from the University of Florida and MS in Real Estate from University of Central Florida.
Monica moved to Miami in 2003 from Guatemala, where she volunteered for five years in a literacy program helping children and adults. While attending college at FIU, she was a part of the FIU Finance and Management Association where she created and promoted free of charge programs that helped develop and enhance the basic financial practices for its members and non-members. She is happy to continue to serve the community.
Natalia joined Catalyst Miami in June 2021 after graduating from the University of Miami with a Bachelors of Science in Ecosystem Science & Policy and minors in Chemistry and Political Science. She brings a compassionate commitment to multi-issue advocacy and takes a community-centered approach to advance equitable climate action, planning, and movement-building. Natalia strives to bring social, health, and economic justice to the forefront of a just transition to renewable energy technologies.
A graduate of SUNY Albany with a B.A. in Africana Studies, Nicole is currently the Overtown Community Engagement Coordinator, a community where she lives and serves. With a strong commitment to eliminating wealth, education and health disparities in marginalized communities of color, Nicole’s passion has been that of bridging the gaps affecting Black women's overall well-being. This, she attributes to her belief that educating and helping to empower a woman liberates an entire community. The legacy that Nicole endeavors to leave is one of love, faith, peace, joy and hope.
Rachelle Desamours joined the Catalyst Miami team in July of 2010 and passed away in April 2021, leaving an immeasurable void in our hearts. She was from Haiti, had a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services from St. Thomas University, and she was beloved by all. The desire to help people is what drew her into social services, and what motivated her to provide excellent services to the community for 11 years. She left a tremendous impact on all of our lives and our community.
We will always remember Rachelle with deep love and appreciation, and we will work hard every day to continue her legacy of compassion.
Shannon is a graduate of Florida International University, where he obtained his master’s degree in the field of public health with a specialization in health policy and management. He has several years of experience working in public health at the University of Miami Tissue Bank and the Community Blood Centers of Florida. Currently, Shannon is a healthcare navigator for the Affordable Care Act, focusing on the underserved communities of South Florida.
Prior to becoming Communications Coordinator, Taylor served on the Catalyst Miami team as a Public Ally, working across programs but primarily supporting Future Bound Miami, the children's savings account program. As Communications Coordinator, she offers writing, design, and capacity-building services to the dreamers, do-ers, and in-betweeners who make up Catalyst Miami's staff and communities. Taylor graduated from the University of North Florida, magna cum laude, with a Bachelor’s of Arts in International Politics and Relations, and minors in Spanish and Creative Nonfiction Writing. She is an avid reader, podcast listener, and NPR junkie. Although not born in Florida, Taylor has lived in the state most of her life and is grateful for the opportunity to give back to the greater Miami community.
Taylor joined Catalyst Miami in 2019 as a Public Ally with AmeriCorps and began working for Catalyst full-time in 2020 as the leadership program coordinator. She currently manages both CLEAR and HEAL and brings her passion for community-based grassroots justice to these spaces. She has a B.A. in Latin American and Caribbean studies and a B.S. in political science from the University of Central Florida.
Associate Director, aīre ventures and Director, Nyah Project
Aileen Alon is currently the Program Manager for Venture Café Miami, where she curates programming and partnerships to strengthen connections, creativity, and collaborations between diverse innovators, entrepreneurs, and others seeking to create positive change in their communities. Aileen has also done consulting around cultural arts, creative placemaking, and organizational growth, having previously spent seven years leading the integration of the arts and culture into neighborhood revitalization strategies for the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation. A first-generation Asian-American, Aileen aims to help open doors for more people of color and women to establish leadership roles in creative fields. She is active on several boards and committees geared towards civic engagement, culture, innovation and leadership development.
Charles Auslander is a 30+ year experienced attorney who has engaged in appellate practice and trial support litigation during most of his legal career. He has also served as District Administrator of the Miami-Dade/Monroe District of the Department of Children & Families. More recently, he served as COO and CEO of The Children’s Trust. He has prevailed in a number of pro bono matters supporting children’s rights, including declaring the state’s gay adoption ban unconstitutional. Charles earned his law degree from George Washington University.
Charmel Maynard currently serves as Associate Vice President, Chief Investment Officer, and University Treasurer at the University of Miami. In this capacity, he leads the University’s efforts to invest over $3B in assets, including endowment and pension funds. Mr. Maynard is also responsible for the University’s ~$1.4B capital structure, including liquidity and debt issuances. Additionally, he manages treasury and cash management.
Mr. Maynard was previously a vice president with J.P. Morgan’s Investment Bank in New York City. During his 10-year career with J.P. Morgan, he focused on investment banking debt capital markets and leveraged finance, where he advised clients on capital structure solutions, deal structuring, and execution of syndicated revolving credit facilities, institutional term loans, and bond issuances.
In addition to Catalyst Miami, he currently serves on the Mead Art Museum board as the chair of the Budget Committee, the Knight Foundation Community Advisory Board and the Black Angels Miami Board.
Mr. Maynard holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Amherst College.
RELATIONSHIP MANAGER & SVP, COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE, AMERANT BANK
A 20-year banking veteran, Cristina currently serves as Vice President and Relationship Manager for Amerant Bank where she has worked for 13 years. At Amerant, she focuses on financing commercial real estate investments and development projects. Currently, she serves as Co-Chair of the CREW Miami Programs Committee and is a member of the Women’s Leadership Initiative at the Urban Land Institute. Cristina is also active with the Live Like Bella Foundation. She is a Florida native with an economics degree from William Smith College in upstate New York.
An AV® Preeminent rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, Daley actively litigates in both the state and federal courts, representing clients in all areas of civil litigation including: products liability, professional liability, general liability, premises liability, and business and commercial litigation. Prior to founding DLF Attorneys, Damian was a partner in the Miami office of a prestigious statewide civil defense firm. Outside of the office, Damian devotes his time to various philanthropic pursuits including serving as a facilitator in Catalyst Miami’s Step Up Miami Program.
DANIEL TRAMEL STABILE (Nominating & Governance Committee Chair)
PARTNER, SHUTTS & BOWEN LLP
Daniel is a Partner in the Miami office of the law firm Shutts & Bowen LLP, where is he a member of the Business Litigation and Financial Services Practice Groups. Daniel regularly represents clients across various industry sectors in complex civil litigation, regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings, and class action lawsuits. He received his B.A. from the University of Virginia and his J.D. from the George Washington University Law School.
Gina Ciraldo Stabile is CEO of Dr. Loretta Skincare and CosMedical Technologies, skin care companies based in Davie, Florida. Prior to joining Dr. Loretta, Gina was an associate at international law firms in New York City and Miami. Gina is a past Chair of the board of directors and serves on the Development, Finance and Executive Committees. Gina received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from The George Washington University Law School. She lives in Miami Beach with her husband and two children.
A Miami-native, Giuseppe F. Mantica, is a VP in the Private Banking Group of IBERIABANK. Giuseppe has dedicated most of his 10 year Banking career to helping small and medium businesses achieve their financial goals. Over the past 5 years, he has concentrated in Commercial Lending mainly financing Commercial Real Estate to either house the operations of local businesses or for investment purposes. Giuseppe holds a BS in Finance from the University of Florida, a MBA from the Florida International University, and a Diploma from the Florida Bankers Association for his completion of the Florida School of Banking.
Jason Kaye is a Senior Vice President in the Community Development Banking Group at Bank of America. In this role, Jason provides financing for multifamily affordable housing throughout Florida. He began his career with the NYC Economic Development Corporation and worked on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “South Bronx Initiative” to redevelop and revitalize the South Bronx. Jason graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Binghamton University. He also holds an M.R.P. from Cornell University with a focus on Economic Development and an M.S. in Real Estate Finance from NYU.
Joaquin Dulitzky is a passionate advocate for financial literacy, mental health awareness; an avid supporter of at-risk youth and low wealth communities. Joaquin and his family spent 2 of the last 10 years doing volunteer work, starting socio-economic and environmental projects in 15 emerging countries across 4 continents. He has 25 years’ experience in planning and asset management. Joaquin is part of the senior team at Bernstein in Miami, where he counsels dynamic families and impactful business owners on solutions to the complex issues that come along with significant wealth – with an emphasis on making their money meaningful. His belief is that capital is the penultimate tool to change the world for good. Joaquin graduated with honors from the University of Buenos Aires, where he also was an assistant professor of advanced math and economics. He is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor and Certified Financial Manager. He was also an entrepreneur twice. Joaquin is the ex Chairman of the Board of the Community College of Denver, where he lived for 7 years. He is a pro-bono mentor for 500StartUps. Joaquin speaks five languages. He is a competitive sailor and swimmer and lives in Miami with his wife Carolina and their two young boys : Dante and Leon.
Marcus Braswell is a Florida native and lifelong resident. Born in Tampa and raised in Gainesville, Marcus has worked at Sugarman & Susskind in Miami since 1998. Marcus's practice is focused on litigation relating to multiemployer and municipal employee benefit plans and labor law. Marcus has served as a Catalyst Miami board member for more than 12 years. Marcus received his B.A. Degree from Duke University. He received his law degree, cum laude, from the Florida State University College of Law in the spring of 1998.
As a community activist, Marjorie York serves on more than 24 boards. She promotes public awareness, plans community events and is a strong advocate for individuals and families who are low-income, disabled, elderly or otherwise in need of assistance. She is a truly concerned person who accomplishes a lot on behalf of the community. In 2012, the School Board of Miami-Dade County commended Marjorie York for her exemplary advocacy for anyone in need of assistance and for her community service.
Mary Casey is a Managing Director of the J.P. Morgan Private Bank in Miami. A senior banker with over 20 years of experience at J.P. Morgan, Mary leads a team of professionals to provide capital market, investment and wealth advisory services to families in South Florida. She began her career at the World Bank where she spent four years developing projects in Ecuador and Brazil. Mary holds a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College and a Master of Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. She lives with her husband and two sons in Miami and presently serves on the board of the Thrive for Life Prison Project in New York City.
Melanie is a licensed attorney and experienced compliance/risk management professional. In her current role, she serves as the Head of Policy and Procedure Governance for Amazon’s World Wide Customer Service Security organization and is responsible for the design, development, and leadership of the global program. Melanie is passionate about reducing the racial wealth gap and is dedicated to leading efforts to create more representative, equitable, and inclusive corporate work environments. She received her B.A. from Georgia Southern University and her J.D. from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.
Korene Stuart is the founder of Opportunity Curator, an agency that supports small businesses in startup and growth, specializing in minority businesses. She serves as a volunteer for Catalyst Miami in various capacities. A fierce advocate for S.T.E. M. education, she is the Tech Lead for Black Girls Code-Miami Chapter and chairman for Student S.T.E.M. Pathways for Broward County Public Schools STEM Ecosystem. Her passion for equity and inclusion led her to create MAScode, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the income levels of minorities through science, technology, engineering, and math.