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The Board

John W. Kozyak

Foundation Founder and Managing Director

Founding Partner of Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, LLP

John W. Kozyak is a founding partner of Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton and co-chairs the firm's bankruptcy practice. John regularly plays a major role in bankruptcy courts across the nation, representing business owners, lenders, creditors' committees, and major creditors, and he has been appointed a trustee and receiver in major cases. John grew up in southern Illinois outside of St. Louis and moved to Miami in 1977. His wife, Barbara Silverman, is also a lawyer and Director of the foundation. In 2015, John received the Tobias Simon Award from the Florida Bar in recognition of his diversity and mentoring work with the Foundation.

Detra P. Shaw-Wilder

Foundation Managing Director

Managing Partner, Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, LLP

Detra Shaw-Wilder is a litigation partner at Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton. She concentrates her practice in business law, complex commercial litigation, and borrowers in matters related to commercial financing transactions. Ms. Shaw-Wilder represents a diverse range of clients in matters brought in state and federal courts, including contract disputes, commercial foreclosures, and employment law disputes.

Ray Abadin

Director

Partner, Sedgwick LLP

Ramón "Ray" Abadin is an active trial lawyer who has tried more than 35 cases to verdict. His practice is limited to complex commercial and tort matters, including class actions that frequently involve significant insurance components. He has tried cases in both state and federal courts in Florida, where he has represented some of the world's largest multinational corporations and insurance companies. Ray is the immediate past president of the Florida Bar Association, the third-largest mandatory bar association in the United States, with more than 100,000 members. He is also among the less than one percent of Florida attorneys invited to be a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and is a member of the Florida Chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Ray has received numerous awards, including the prestigious G. Kirk Haas Award from the Florida Bar, which is awarded annually to just one attorney in Florida. He is a native of Cuba.

Cesar L. Alvarez

Director

Former Chairman and Chief Exective Officer, Greenberg Traurig

Cesar has been recognized nationally and in his community for his professional, business and charitable leadership. As the only Hispanic head of an American Lawyer 100 Top 20 firm, Cesar uniquely understands both the critical need to diversify the legal profession and the challenges that businesses face in attempting to foster a new generation of minority leaders. Cesar's personal, hands-on approach to overcoming diversity hurdles within the profession has produced results. Cesar's efforts to promote a more racially and ethnically diverse legal community have been recognized by several groups, including the American Bar Association, The National Law Journal and The Florida Bar.

Cesar believes that education provided him with the tools he has used to succeed in the business world. In order to help others achieve their American dream through education, Cesar has accepted leadership positions with numerous educational institutions. His current and recent positions include: Trustee, Florida International University; Trustee, University of Florida Levin College of Law; Chair, Florida International University College of Law, Advisory Board; Director, Take Stock in Children; Trustee, Miami-Dade College, 2005-2007; Board of Directors, Florida International University Foundation, 1998-2008; and Trustee, Manhattanville College, New York, 2002-2007.

Pedro Allende

Director

Associate, Boies, Sciller & Flexner LLP

Pedro Allende's main practice areas include privacy, cybersecurity and technology, complex commercial litigation, and product liability litigation. Since joining the firm in 2008, Mr. Allende has defended, among others, high-risk product liability and tort cases. He has been actively involved in the firm's Alien Tort Statute litigation brought against Chiquita Brands International on behalf of more than 1,600 victims of terror. Currently, he is active in defending Philip Morris USA in Florida cases that have resulted from the Florida Supreme Court's decision in Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc., et. al., 945 So. 2d 1246 (Fla. 2006).

Mr. Allende is also a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) accredited by the International Association of Privacy Professionals. He advises clients on their compliance obligations and helps them evaluate their risks under a number of state and federal laws such as Gramm-Leach-Bliley, HIPAA/HITECH, CAN-SPAM, FACTA, FCRA. He also helps clients assess, control, and respond to data breaches.

Marcy Cox

Director

Assistant Dean of Career Development, University of Miami School of Law

Marcy Cox is the Assistant Dean of Career Development at the University of Miami School of Law and has been a member of the law school community for 14 years. Prior to joining UM, Marcy practiced law in both Los Angeles and Miami. She is active in the legal career professionals' network and has held numerous leadership positions within the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). Marcy is a former President of NALP and will serve in this capacity until April, 2012. As a longtime member of NALP, she has served as Treasurer; Chair of the Audit, Investment and Nominating Committees; Chair of the Diversity Section; Vice Chair of the Conference Planning Team; member of the Commission on Legal Recruiting in the Profession; and Liaison to the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession.

Brian Gart

Director

Bankruptcy & Reorganization Group, Akerman LLP

Brian Gart has been a business bankruptcy, restructuring and M&A attorney handling matters throughout Florida and nationally for over 30 years; most recently as a Partner in the Bankruptcy & Reorganization Group of the Am Law 100 firm of Akerman LLP in its Fort Lauderdale office. Before joining Akerman, Brian served as a Managing Director and General Counsel focusing on developing Florida-based engagements for Gordian Group, a New York-based investment bank specializing in distressed, complex and middle-market M&A transactions. Before then, Brian was an equity partner at the Florida-based law firm of Berger Singerman LLP from 2008 to 2015. Prior to Berger Singerman, he was a principal shareholder at the international law firm of Greenberg Traurig LLP. While still a principal shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, Brian became very involved and committed to that firms', and the Florida Bar's, diversity initiatives — in honor of his late law partner and mentor, Henry Latimer. Upon becoming Chair of the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar in 2012, Brian remained active in the Section's mentoring, pro-bono, and diversity programs, and helped implement the restart and restructuring of the Business Law Section's Inclusion, Mentoring and Fellowship Committee. Brian remains committed to broadening the mission and work of the Foundation in Broward County and throughout the State.

Marlon Hill

Director

Partner, Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel, LLP

Marlon A. Hill is a partner with the law firm of Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel, LLP practicing in the areas of general corporate, intellectual property, government, and immigration transactions representing the interests of entrepreneurs, corporations, and non-profit organizations. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Marlon is a graduate of the Florida State University Colleges of Business & Law. Marlon is an Inaugural Fellow of the Miami Foundation's Miami Fellows Initiative leadership program and has served as a past president of the Caribbean Bar Association (2001-2003). He currently serves as a member of the board of directors for the Miami Parking Authority, Miami Foundation (Vice-Chair), Miami Book Fair International, and an active member of the Orange Bowl Committee. Marlon is currently the advisor/mentor to the Florida Caribbean Students Association. Marlon is a weekly civic commentator, The Peoples Politics, on Caribbean Riddims, WZAB 880AM, every Saturday at 4pm covering issues of civic interest, legal concern, and social or cultural impact, a guest Opinion Pages columnist with The Miami Herald, and a Roundtable Contributor on WPLG Local 10 news program, "This Week in South Florida"

Nikki Lewis Simon

Director

Director of Client Development, Greenberg Traurig, Corporate Social Responsibility

As part of her current role with Greenberg Traurig, Nikki works to strategically align the firm's diversity and inclusion initiatives with client needs as part of an integral component of the firm's global business development efforts. At the same time, she works to expand the firm's diversity initiatives and programming in collaboration with cross-firm stakeholders. Simon, who practiced litigation at the firm for more than a decade, is involved in various diversity and women-focused initiatives at the firm and in the community, including serving as a member of the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association board.

Corali Lopez-Castro

Director

Former President of the Cuban-American Bar Association
Partner, Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, LLP

Corali Lopez-Castro concentrates her practice on bankruptcy and commercial litigation matters. Mrs. Lopez-Castro's practice reflects her extensive experience and expertise in a wide range of bankruptcy and insolvency matters, including bankruptcy reorganizations and liquidations under the United States Bankruptcy Code, receiverships, workouts, debt restructuring, and creditors' rights. Her practice also involves commercial litigation matters that arise from receiverships and liquidations. She litigates before federal and state courts locally and around the United States.

Adam Rabin

Director

Founding partner of McCabe Rabin, PA

Adam Rabin is Florida Bar Board Certified in Business Litigation and focuses his practice on business litigation, securities arbitration, and whistleblower actions. He practices with McCabe Rabin, P.A. in West Palm Beach. Mr. Rabin is the Immediate Past President of the Palm Beach County Bar Association ("PBCBA") and co-founded and co-chaired PBCBA's Committee for Diversity and Inclusion ("CDI") when it was reformed in 2009. Since then, Mr. Rabin has collaborated with a great team to make PBCBA's programs for diversity and inclusion some of the most innovative and progressive in Florida.

Barbara A. Silverman

Director

Shareholder, Colson Hicks Eidson

Barbara Silverman handles appeals in both state and federal court, as well as providing assistance to trial counsel with numerous complex legal issues arising during the course of pretrial, trial and post-trial proceedings. These matters involve a wide range of areas of practice, including personal injury and wrongful death, products liability, commercial litigation, medical, legal and accounting malpractice, fraud, insurance, employment discrimination and admiralty.

H.T. Smith

Director

Vice Chair, University of Miami Board of Trustees

H.T.'s powerful voice and effective advocacy skills were evidenced early on when he persuaded the University of Miami School of Law to admit him before even taking the Law School Admission Test. His argument: that it was unfair to punish him for not being able to take a test that was not administered in the jungles of Vietnam, while he fought for his country.

His legal career blazed new trails from the start — as Miami-Dade County's first African-American assistant public defender, and then as the County's first African-American assistant county attorney.

For the past 44 years, H.T. has excelled as a trial lawyer in Miami. He has been inducted into the "Legal Legends" of Miami-Dade County. H.T. is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, and Florida Super Lawyers.

H. T. was the founding President of the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Bar Association, and President of the National Bar Association. He has devoted his entire legal career "agitating" for equal justice, equal rights and human rights. H.T. led the Coalition for a Free South Africa to fight the apartheid–led government of South Africa. In a letter to the National Bar Association, President Nelson Mandela wrote, "… Your retiring President, H.T. Smith's … name became well-known for his consistent and courageous contribution and support for the struggle of our people against apartheid … we are confident that wherever injustice and racism raises their ugly heads, H. T. will be there to raise his powerful voice of protest and resistance."

H. T. also led the most successful economic boycott in America since the Montgomery Bus Boycott - the 1,000 days Boycott Miami campaign.

In 2003, H.T. was tapped to become the first Director of the Florida International University College of Law's Trial Advocacy Program.

H.T. currently serves as Vice Chair of the University of Miami Board of Trustees, and a proud graduate of Florida A&M University.

Khurrum Wahid

Director

Partner, Wahid Vizcaino LLP

Khurrum Wahid has litigated hundreds of state and federal criminal and civil matters in numerous jurisdictions. He has focused his practice on defending those accused of white collar crimes including national security related matters. Khurrum is currently actively licensed in Florida and New York State as well as four federal District Courts and two federal appellate courts and holds a top secret (TS) security clearance. Khurrum is also a partner at Barreiro, Geller and Wahid, which provides lobbying and strategic advice to clients while incorporating social media and graphic design solutions. Khurrum is also founder and CEO of Inov8r LLC, working to increase public-private partnerships in the area of innovation research with a focus on aligning university graduate programs with government needs.

Khurrum has been a leader in educating the public about the details of the domestic and foreign policy that infringes on the rights of the individual. He has commented on policies that have damaged America's ability to combat terrorism under the guise of national security. Khurrum has testified on civil rights issues several times before various government organizations, including twice before the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He frequently is invited to speak at conferences, community meetings, and professional forums. He has appeared as a guest commentator on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, National Public Radio, and various other television and radio shows across the nation.

Khurrum is a founding member and current national Co-Chair of EMERGE USA, a national non-profit civic engagement organization with chapters in five states. He also serves as Past President of the Florida Muslim Bar Association; sits on the board of the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews, MCCJ; is a board member and past Vice Chair of the Florida Bar Committee on Diversity and Inclusion; sits on the Supreme Court Standing Committee on Fairness and Diversity; and is a member of the ADL Civil Rights Committee for Miami.

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