Deering Estate Foundation names new board members

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The Deering Estate Foundation’s executive director Bonnie Barnes and president Becky Matkov welcomed two distinguished newly elected directors to the organization’s board of directors during the foundation’s annual meeting in January.

Fellow Board members, trustees, community leaders and collaborating partners welcomed the new members to join the board of directors in fulfilling the foundation’s mission to preserve and protect the Deering Estate’s education and research initiatives, cultural arts programming, environmental conservation efforts, and historic preservation.

The two new members of the 2020-21 board of directors are:
Beth Person, a Realtor with EWM for over 26 years of experience. Person is actively involved in the community through her service to the Coral Reef Elementary School PTA Board as the vice president of programs and previously as the Student Services liaison. She has been involved with the Make A Wish Foundation and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.


Person has been a member of the Deering Estate Foundation for eight years and is a volunteer for the Deering Seafood Festival.

Margarita B. Tonkinson, the executive director of the Tonkinson Foundation and a senior financial advisor at Tonkinson Financial. Tonkinson has been a member of the Rotary Club of Miami, served on the Rotary’s Board of Directors, and chaired several Rotary committees. She was a presidential appointment to the Fulbright Scholarship Program in Washington, DC, from 1992 to 1995. Tonkinson currently is a member of the Scholarship Committee of the Coral Gables Rotary Club and the University of Miami Richter Library Special Collections Advisory Board. She is a member of the Tiffany Circle and recipient of the Spectrum Awards for Women of the Red Cross, and The Woody Foundation.

For those who treasure the Deering Estate, who advocate for its preservation, and wish to invest in its future, The Deering Estate Foundation provides opportunities for individuals and corporations alike to partake in membership, signature events, and one-of-a-kind experiences, all in service of providing vital funding and support to the Deering Estate.

Through these efforts, the Deering Estate Foundation fulfills its mission to uphold the legacy of Charles Deering’s cherished, 1920s-era property, to provide funding for the cultural, educational and recreational experiences it offers as well as its significant scientific and archaeological endeavors, to conserve its diverse flora, fauna, and the eight native ecosystems that thrive on its 450 acres, and to ensure its longevity as a prized American heritage site.

Established in 1989, The Deering Estate Foundation, Inc. is a community-based charitable 501(c)3 Florida Corporation and the philanthropic partner of the Deering Estate.

The Deering Estate preserves the 1920s era Miami estate of Charles Deering, Chicago industrialist, early preservationist, environmentalist, art collector, philanthropist and first chairman of the International Harvester Company. The Deering Estate is a 21st Century house museum, cultural and ecological field station, and a national landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, owned by the State of Florida and managed by Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department.

From kayak tours to butterfly/bird walks and guided museum tours, the Deering Estate has diverse activities for the whole family to enjoy. The Deering Estate is located at 16701 SW 72 Ave. in Palmetto Bay.


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