Michelle Benitez Bermudez personifies selflessness and service.
Giving back to the community dates back as far as when Michelle was the Junior Orange Bowl Queen in 1986. She and her court traveled all over the county representing the Junior Orange Bowl Committee (JOBC) at 17 events produced in connection with the festival at that time.
It is no great wonder that she continues that service today.
A native of South Florida, Michelle graduated from Southwest Miami Senior High and attended the University of South Florida and then Florida International University where she graduated with a BA in 1997. A career accountant, Michelle began as a controller for a multi-national foundation and, in 2003, started her own company B2B Financial Consultants.
Michelle is married to George Bermudez and has a daughter, Miah,15, and son, Benjamin, 12. Thanks to a supportive family, she not only juggles soccer, baseball games and violin recitals but also makes time for church and community service with numerous volunteer activities. Michelle believes in leading by example and, now that her children are older, encourages their volunteering as a family.
In addition to the JOBC, Michelle was exposed to community service in high school and as an adult served her church for 15 years as a catechist. She taught Confirmation (CCD) classes at Epiphany Catholic Church where she also was involved in Epiphany’s Camillus House Casserole Project.
Once she had established her career, she reached out to the Junior Orange Bowl and started volunteering on the Royal Court Committee. She has served on the Royal Court Committee continuously since 2010. A born leader, Michelle helped create and has chaired the JOBC’s annual gala since 2014 when she was elected to the board of directors. In addition to serving on the Sports Ability Committee, Michelle has served as JOBC Secretary and was recently elected to the position of president-elect.
While Michelle loves organizing events and working with like-minded people, her favorite volunteer activity is being a speaker/instructor in workshops that assist and empower young women in public speaking, interview skills and on stage presence. Having been in the pageant world, she feels passionate about sharing her expertise, knowledge and experiences with future generations of women leaders.
When Michelle is not enjoying her family, volunteerism and work, she loves boating and, for the past 11 years, judging the Miss Florida Teen USA and being an auditor for the Miss Florida USA pageants.