Leukemia & Lymphoma Society honor ‘Man and Woman of Year’

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A fierce yet friendly competition designed to raise important funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) concluded on June 11 with Alex Pascual, BBVA Compass senior vice president, crowned as 2016 Miami Man of the Year, and Ali Samek, business owner and sales professional, as 2016 Miami Woman of the Year.

Pascual and Samek, were joined by eight local leaders and a national All Star candidate in raising $234,845 for LLS.

The announcements were made at the 2016 Miami Man & Woman of the Year Journey of Hope Gala, held at the InterContinental Hotel Miami. The winners are determined based on their fundraising support of the Southern Florida Chapter of LLS. Every dollar raised by Man & Woman of the Year counts as a “vote.” Fundraising began on Apr. 6 and concluded just after 9 p.m. Saturday, June 11, at the Gala.

As candidates in LLS’s Man & Woman of the Year campaign, these distinguished members of the Miami-Dade County business and philanthropic communities have greatly helped in funding lifesaving blood cancer research and raise awareness of LLS’s mission: to cure leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families. Candidates are a select group of honored individuals that are nominated by their peers. They are dynamic, passionate, sometimes competitive and from both social and business communities.

The 2016 campaign honors two local patient heroes: Gio Peña, the 2016 Boy of the Year, and Mairen Bello, the 2016 Girl of the Year.

Biographies for the 2016 Boy and Girl of the Year may be found at www.mwoy.org/sfl/localchapter/mia/boy_girl.

“We are extremely proud of our candidates, for their tremendous efforts in bringing hope to thousands of blood cancer patients in our community,” said DeAnn Hazey, CFRE, executive director of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Southern Florida Chapter. “The 2016 Miami Man & Woman of the Year campaign has fully demonstrated how local leaders can showcase their fundraising and community outreach skills as well as their humanitarianism, and achieve positive results.”

Miami Man & Woman of the Year chair Alejandro Mendieta is part of MetLife Premier Client Group of Florida as a practice development manager and financial services executive. Mendieta is the 2013 Miami Man of the Year and Trustee of the LLS Southern Florida Chapter.

Miami Candidates for 2016 Man & Woman of The Year:
Melissa Bales, Multivista
Angela de Cespedes, Akerman LLP
Brian Diaz, actor and entertainer
Janet Oñate, Bacardí
Alex Pascual, BBVA Compass Bank
Nick Peña, Cruise Planners
Hugo Perez, United Data Technologies
Ali Samek, Business Owner & Sales Professional
Yolanda Strader, Carlton Fields
Christina Telesco, Luxury Attaché/Paramount

For more information, contact DeAnn Hazey, CFRE at deann.hazey@lls.org or by phone at 1-954-744-5300.

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