Coral Gables resident Karelia “Kare” Martinez Carbonell is any charitable organization’s dream. A woman with a passion for non-profit work, Kare Carbonell combines that with the knowledge and experience needed to help those she serves succeed.
Born in Cuba, her family immigrated to the United States when she was 5 years old. On arrival at Miami’s Freedom Tower, they were welcomed with food and clothes. After staying for a while with family in Miami, her family moved to Riverdale, NY, for seven years and then to Fort Lauderdale where Kare graduated from Westminster Academy.
Following her high school graduation, her family moved to Coral Gables. She has been a Gables resident ever since pursuing higher education at Florida International University where she earned a BA in marketing as well as an MBA. Carbonell also continued her studies at Nova Southeastern University, graduating with a DPA (doctorate in public administration) with a concentration in not-forprofit management and also has earned her CFRE designation.
Happily married for 29 years to Dr. Marino Carbonell, a private practitioner and certified addiction professional, Karelia brags about her 27-year-old son, Capt. Brenden Marino Carbonell, who was recently commissioned a U.S. Air Force JAG (judge advocate general) and is stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, MS, where he will be practicing law for the next few years.
As for this proud mother and wife, Carbonell started her volunteer work as a young mother involved in her son’s elementary school, St. Philip’s Episcopal. At St. Philip’s, she took on volunteer positions ranging from yearbook and gala to president of the Parents Association. She found these activities so personally rewarding that she was hooked and continued volunteering beyond the school and to other local non-profit organizations.
Fifteen years ago, Carbonell discovered a wonderful opportunity in the Junior League of Miami (JLM). She credits the organization with allowing her to develop as a professional in the field of philanthropy and to develop as a community leader, a favor she returned by serving as the JLM’s president for the past two years. Kare Carbonell recently joined the Coral Gables Community Foundation as chair of its Development Committee.
When Kare is not serving her community, she is an independent fundraising and communications consultant who most recently served as director of alumni relations at Ransom Everglades. Previous to that she served for 10 years as director of development at Carrollton.
World travel is top on her list of favorite things to do. With her family she has traveled to more than 25 countries, sailed on the QE2, flown on the Concorde, traveled the Yangtze River, lived in a Berber tent, trekked the Sahara, and even enjoyed an African safari.