Deering Estate Foundation Announces New Board Members

Executive Director Mary Pettit and President David A. Marley, Jr., welcomed a prestigious group of newly elected directors to the Deering Estate Foundation Board at the annual meeting in January. In attendance were fellow directors, trustees, community leaders and collaborating partners.

The Deering Estate Foundation is a volunteer driven community-based charitable 501(c)3 Florida Corporation that was founded in 1989 by members of the community for the sole purpose of preserving, protecting and enhancing the Deering Estate at Cutler for this and future generations. The Board’s mission is to raise public awareness of the Deering Estate at Cutler and to raise funds to support education, research, exhibits and collections and the conservation and restoration of the Estate’s natural and historical resources.

Joining the 2015 Board of Directors in helping to fulfill the Foundation’s mission are:

Tom Cromer is a Miami native and CEO of Divorce Without War, a franchised company that mediates matters for married couples to help them reach an inexpensive, peaceful resolution to pressing issues, and help form a foundation for a kind and civil post-divorce relationship.

Previously, Mr. Cromer had a lengthy career in apparel manufacturing and distribution, and also in the field of real estate. He lives in Palmetto Bay.

Dr. Lyle Culver is a Senior Professor of Architecture and Interior Design at Miami Dade College. He is multi-lingual and he has written numerous publications. Dr. Culver has received many honors and awards, including being the recipient of the Dr. Robert H. McCade Endowed Teaching Chair (2010-2013). Dr. Culver has a passion for projects involving international collaborations, and is presently involved in an EcoArt project with Indonesian faculty members and students. His specialties include strategic planning and architectural design. Dr. Culver lives in Miami.

Dr. Evelyn Gaiser received her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia’s Institute of Ecology. She has authored or coauthored dozens of publications, is a frequent guest speaker at seminars and conferences, and has received numerous grants, awards and scholarships. She has done research in aquatic community ecology, algal biology, wetland ecology, with special interests in studies that examine variation in algal community structure in lakes and wetlands, and the development of an ecological and biological field study station. Dr. Gaiser is presently a Professor of Biological Sciences at Florida International University, Southeast Environmental Research Center. She resides in Cutler Bay.

Patrick H.F. Roberts has recently joined the South Florida community and currently serves as the Headmaster of Palmer Trinity School, bringing more than twenty years of educational leadership and administrative experience in the private school sector. Mr. Roberts moved from Nashville, Tennessee, where he was Associate Head of School at Battle Ground Academy. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration and Supervision. Mr. Roberts resides in Palmetto Bay.

Jamie L. Thomas is Corporate Assistant Vice President at Baptist Health responsible for the operation of Hospitality and Business Relations (HBR) and Concierge Services. She is also the administrator of the Founders Society, Baptist Health’s prestigious donor recognition program. Ms. Thomas has extensive cultural, language and development experience gained while living in Central and South America. She received a Master of Arts, Organizational Management and a Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration. Ms. Thomas resides in Palmetto Bay.

Andrew Yagoda is a practicing attorney at the Yagoda + Lehrman Law Firm in Coral Gables, where he focuses on civil litigation and business/ real estate related matters. Prior to becoming a lawyer, he gained business experience as a computer programmer analyst, Series 7 licensed stockbroker, andmortgage banker. Mr. Yagoda proudly served as Chairperson of the City of Coral Gables’ School and Community Relations Committee, and the City of South Miami and adjacent communities as co- Chairperson of the South Miami Drug Free Coalition. In his free time, he serves as Head Coach of the Miami-Dade High School Hockey Alliance, a hockey team/program he founded in 2011. Mr. Yagoda resides in Coral Gables.

“Preserving South Florida’s history, conserving its natural resources, and providing convenient access to nature-based recreation, experiential learning and quality cultural and social experiences are at the very heart of the Deering Estate Foundation’s mission and vision, “ said Mary Pettit. “As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we remain enthusiastically dedicated and focused on our work to make our community a better place in which to live.”

The Deering Estate at Cutler is a Miami-Dade County Park, located at 16701 SW 72 Avenue, in Palmetto Bay (Miami). For information on the Deering Estate Foundation call 305-235-1668 ext. 263.

The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department provide quality and diverse cultural and recreational experiences for persons with disabilities. To request material in accessible format, information on access for persons with disabilities, or sign language interpreter services (7 days in advance), call 305-755-7848.

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