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New Leadership Installed at Miami Dade College Foundation Board of Directors

Business and community leader Julie Grimes is new chair and MDC alumnus, renowned publicist and community leader Jorge Plasencia is new vice chair

Miami, October 1, 2013 - The Miami Dade College (MDC) Foundation Board of Directors today installed business and community leader Julie Grimes as chair and MDC alumnus, renowned publicist and community leader Jorge Plasencia as vice chair. Grimes succeeds Miguel “Mike” Farra and Plasencia succeeds Grimes.

Ms. Grimes is the Managing Partner of the Hilton Bentley Hotel in Miami overseeing the hotel’s strategic direction and operations; and Executive Director of Heafey-Bentley Management playing an extensive role in the company’s real estate and hotel development successes. Grimes is an innovative, active and well-respected community leader in the City of Miami. In 2007, she co-founded the Hospitality Institute in Overtown connecting Miami inner city residents with opportunities in the local hospitality industry. Since this time, over 1,000 inner city residents have received hospitality training through the Institute with over 300 connecting directly to jobs. Through her leadership, Miami Dade College became a primary player, hosting the Institute and providing infrastructure. She is also a Board Member of Camillus House. She continues to Chair Operation Hope for Haiti in partnership with World Vision and was recently appointed to World Vision’s National Leadership Council. In 2009, she was nominated for Tourism Profession of the Year by the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism; and in 2010 was awarded the James W. McLamore Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award by the Miami Dade Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She received a degree in Business Administration from Algonquin College.

Mr. Plasencia is the Chairman and CEO of República, a Miami-based marketing and communications agency. Prior to co-founding República, Mr. Plasencia was an executive at Univision Radio, the largest Spanish-language radio broadcaster in the United States. At Univision Radio, he served in various capacities including Corporate Vice President and Operating Manager of Univision Radio Networks and Vice President of Marketing, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs. Mr. Plasencia currently serves as Chair of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), Chairman of CNC, and serves on the advisory board of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) and most recently,  the national board of Phi Theta Kappa. In South Florida, he is cofounder and chairman of Amigos For Kids, and serves on the boards of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, and is a trustee of the United Way. In 2004, Mr. Plasencia was nominated by President George W. Bush, and confirmed by the United States Senate, to serve on the Advisory Board of the Broadcasting Board of Governors' OCB. He graduated with honors from Barry University and has completed the Advanced Management Education Program at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. He was inducted into the MDC Foundation’s Alumni Hall of Fame in 2009.

Miami Dade College Foundation raises awareness and financial resources for the College to maintain open-door access to anyone who wants an education, and to provide innovative and multicultural academic and cultural programs, all of which contribute to the vitality of our community. Chartered in 1965 by the state of Florida as a non-profit, direct support 501(c)3 organization, the MDC Foundation is governed by an independent board of more than two dozen community leaders and philanthropists, as well as the College President, and members of the District Board of Trustees.

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino Florin, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366,, media specialist
Kai Hill, 305-237-3359,, media specialist

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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