Around Camillus

 From our dedicated staff and directors to our committed volunteers, people are what make Camillus House such an important part of the South Florida community.

Camillus House thanks Sandra Espinoza for her 19 years of service to our mission.  Sandra, who retired on July 25, 2014, worked at Camillus' Brother Keily Place as a housekeeper.  We wish Sandra a happy retirement as she returns to her home country of Nicaragua to be with her family.

John W. Chidsey III, who is member of the Camillus House Board of Directors, and his wife Lisa have donated $10 million to Davidson College to support its Academic Neighborhood, scholarships for exceptional Davidson students and leadership initiatives through the Chidsey Center for Leadership Development. Read more here

Thomas M. Cornish
, member of the Camillus House Board of Directors, has been named State President of Florida for BankUnited.  In this newly created role, he will oversee all retail and commercial banking services in the state. Read more here.

Paul DiMare, member of the Camillus House Board of Directors, has donated $100,000 to the Mexican American Council to support local migrant farmworker students by providing them with college scholarships and educational support that will allow them to attend and complete college. Read more here... Carlton, Vice Chair of the Camillus House Board of Directors, has retired as Town Manager of Surfside after a nearly 43-year career of public service. Roger was hired initially in September 2010 as interim manager. “I’m going to write a book,” said Roger, whose last day as town manager was April 26, 2013. “I’m also going to fix antique clocks and sell them. But first, I owe my wife a national parks trip.” Read more here..., Rossin & Co. hosted its fourth annual "Toast to Non-Profits" event on February 21, 2013, bringing together local non-profits to thank community organizations for their unrelenting efforts in providing resources and services to the area's most needy individuals and families, and the groups which are integral in preserving the arts, culture and history of South Florida. "Kaufman, Rossin understands the critical contribution of non-profits in our community. That's why we honor their selfless work each year," said Janet Kyle Altman, marketing principal with the accounting firm. Pictured at left: Libby Smith, CPA, a Forensic, Advisory and Valuation Services Associate Principal at Kaufman, Rossin, and Jessica Herrington, Development Officer, Camillus House.

On December 15, 2012, former Miami Heat and NBA star basketball player Shaquille O'Neal hosted his annual Holiday Cocktail Party at Club Arkadia at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach. Among the Camillus House guests who attended were (from left): Maria Peralta, Community Relations Manager; Denise Goldson Rau, Vice President, Development, Bob Lozada, Warehouse Manager; and Shaq.

The Florida Department of Health hosted a Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade, featuring a discussion on Worksite Wellness on November 1, 2012, reviewing issues such as overweight employees and obesity, which have become an epidemic in Miami-Dade County. Among the panelists were (from left): Shawn Ramirez, Consortium Worksite Wellness Committee Chair; Andrea Ramos, City of North Miami; Maria Peralta, Camillus House Community Relations Manager; April Weatherly, Baptist Health of South Florida; Linda Long, Palm Beach Constitutional Tax Collector; and Jim Schottmuller, Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota.

Long-time Camillus House donor Tony Alonso passed away on October 25, 2012. Tony was President of La Epoca Department Stores, founded in Havana, Cuba by his father, Diego. Chairman of the Board of Directors of West Kendall Baptist Hospital, Tony was active in many civic organizations. He served on the Boards of Baptist Health Systems and the Downtown Development Authority, and he was a past Chairman of the Board of Palmer-Trinity School in Palmetto Bay. We extend our condolences to his wife, Jane, and their six children and five granddaughters.

Paul J. DiMare, a board member of Camillus House, has been named Campaign Vice Chair of Momentum2, the major fund-raising campaign for the University of Miami. Paul, who is President of DiMare Brothers, Inc. and DiMare Homestead, Inc., an organization of growers, packers and shippers of whole fresh fruits and vegetables, is a Director of the Red Cross of Greater Miami and The Keys, the Miami Science Museum, The Buoniconti Fund and the UM Board of Trustees, among many other civic organizations.

We extend our deepest condolences to the family of Margaret Logue, a long-time supporter of Camillus House, who passed away in October 2012. As the anchor of a large, young family, Marge always found time to support each of her five children in their activities, from shuttling them to practices and games, and serving as a leader of the Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts. She was predeceased by her beloved husband, James, on March 18, 2012.

On October 19, 2012, Camillus House marked Breast Cancer Awareness Month, remembering friends and family who have been affected by this disease, as well as those who have won the battle against cancer. Staff members showed their support by wearing pink to work, and pink roses were distributed by Dr. Paul R. Ahr, Camillus House President & CEO.

Bob Dickinson, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Camillus House, has been featured in an article in the October 16, 2012 edition of Travel Weekly. Entitled "Bob Dickinson and the Camillus House Crusade," the article reviews Bob's personal challenge to help end chronic homelessness in Miami. Prior to his retirement, Bob was President of Carnival Cruise Lines.

Fred Mims, Director of Direct Care Ministry for Camillus House, has been elected to the Overtown Advisory Board/Overtown Community Oversight Board (OAB/OCOB). OAB/OCOB was created to encourage and support historic preservation and provide recommendations to the City of Miami Commission regarding all City funded or assisted activities, developments or improvements within the Overtown area.

Javier A. Hiriart, M.D., Director of Primary Care Services of Camillus Health Concern, was featured in an article distributed by the Associated Press on July 10, 2012 describing how low-income residents in those states which decide to opt out of a big Medicaid expansion in the new health care law will not risk federal penalties as an unintended consequence.

Sequil Systems Inc., which helped us achieve LEED Gold certification for the new Norwegian Cruise Line Campus of Camillus House, has become South Florida’s first Certified B Corporation, a new kind of designation for companies which seek to make money and also to make a difference. Sequil is a Delray Beach-based architecture and engineering consulting firm, and is headed by principal Jeff Conley. Read more...

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund honored Camillus House Board Secretary Crystal M. Connor, Esq. on June 7, 2012 at the Westin Colonnade in Coral Gables as one of the winners of its Distinguished Young Leader Awards, recognizing outstanding local individuals under 45 years old who are deserving of community recognition for their efforts in the South Florida area, as well as in their careers. Crystal is President and CEO of The Connor Group Miami. On March 30, 2012 Crystal served as Chairwoman at a special reception on celebrating Black Culture. The event celebrated six icons in Miami’s Black community, strong purposeful women who have shaped and transmitted a rich cultural history.

Congratulations to Arthur H. Hertz, a long-time supporter of Camillus House, for being named recipient of the Henry M. Flagler Award for Visionary Leadership, presented by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce to an individual who, in the spirit of Henry Flagler, advances our community because of their vision and leadership. Art, who is Chairman and CEO of Wometco Enterprises, which owns and operates the Miami Seaquarium, has served for many years on the Board of Directors of the Miami Parking Authority, and is a past President of the Orange Bowl Committee.

Phillis Oeters, Vice President of Government & Community Relations for Baptist Health South Florida, has been installed as 2012–13 Chairman of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. The Greater Miami Chamber is the voice of business in South Florida, representing more than 400,000 employees of its member companies. Phillis, a member of the Camillus House Board of Directors, was Chair of the Orange Bowl Committee in 2009–2010.


Camillus board member Miguel G. Farrá, CPA, JD was profiled in Miami Today in its weekly edition of April 19, 2012, discussing his life in the community, his accounting career and political work. Mike is the principal-in-charge of the Tax and Accounting Department at Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLC (MBAF), Certified Public Accountants and Advisors. Watch video

Congratulations to the Greater Miami Society for Human Resource Management (GMSHRM), recognized as a 2011 SHRM Foundation Chapter Champion, in recognition of exceptional chapters and state councils for their commitment, leadership and generous support to the annual SHRM fundraising campaign. Barbara Romero, Director of Human Resources at Camillus House, spearheaded GMSHRM's Foundation Campaign initiatives as its 2011 Foundation Director. Barbara now serves as GMSHRM Secretary.

Humorist Dave Barry and Chef Michelle Bernstein headlined The Auction, a fabulous evening in support of Camillus House on May 5, 2012, at The Coral Gables Country Club. Dave, who served as Master of Ceremonies, won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1988, and his syndicated columns have appeared in more than 500 newspapers. Michelle, a Miami native, has been dazzling diners and critics alike with her sublime cuisine and a personality as bright and vibrant as the Florida sun. In 2007, she was named a James Beard Award winner as Best Chef South.

Miami residents came out in force on April 14, 2012 at Midtown Miami Greenspace for PhilanthroFest, a community festival celebrating the South Florida philanthropic and cultural community. During the event, many area non-profits showcased the resources available in our community, including Camillus House. Maria Peralta, Camillus House Community Relations Manager, told The Miami Herald that "she hopes PhilanthroFest will help get the word out about Camillus’ programs. Helping people understand the charity’s mission is key," she added.





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