Deering Estate Foundation installs new officers

An overflow crowd was on hand in the historic Stone House ballroom to watch as David Marley, Jr., be installed as the 2014-15 president of the Deering Estate Foundation. Marley, a veteran of the financial services industry and a longtime foundation board member, assumes the post as the organization’s 12th president.

Out-going president Eric Haas was commended and applauded for his motivational leadership and the many accomplishments made during his tenure.

Serving with Marley on the executive committee are vice president Buff March-Bye, treasurer Vicki Simmons-Hinz and secretary Liede DeValdivielso. New directors are Mark Boulris, Leo Lagomasino, Marco Lopez and JoAnn Szaro, while Karl Wulf and David Turner join the board of trustees. All will work with Deering Estate Foundation executive director Mary Pettit.

Jack Kardys, director of Miami Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, attended the installation ceremony and congratulated the new officers.

“The Estate is a benchmark for the great programs on the environment, historic preservation and education, and serves as an example for the rest of the park system,” said Kardys.

Award presentations followed the installations honoring the 2013 Champion Partners in the community. They are:

Preservation Partner – Mrs. Charles Deering McCormick for her generosity in helping establish a Preservation Fund dedicated to the care and upkeep of the historic homes and outbuildings.

Programming Partner – GroveHouse Artists and Barbara Tejada for their part in creating the Artist Village and the annual Affair En Plein Air, a two-day outdoor painting event.

Educational Partner – Rev. Marta Weeks-Wulf for her advocacy of academics and her philanthropy supporting the development and implementation of Deering’s model NESTT program – Nurturing Environmental Stewards of Today and Tomorrow – pairing Nature-Center-to-School for handson science learning and educational enrichment. Now in its third year, NESTT program students at partnering Perrine Elementary Academy of the Arts have seen their test scores dramatically improve, while their love for learning and understanding of the natural world around them sores.

Community Partner – Palmetto Bay Village Center for their dedication to advancing the arts and environmental education in South Miami-Dade and for being an outstanding neighbor and collaborating partner of the estate.

Corporate Partner – Coconut Grove Bank for their appreciation for preserving South Florida’s history and for their advocacy and investment of time and resources to assist the foundation in meeting its goals.

Champion Partner – Suzuyo Fox for her inspiring passion and support of the Deering Estate and for creating the 100 Ladies of Deering.

Volunteers of the Year – Daneri Gay “Miss Gigi” as a coach, mentor, friend and confidante for the students in the NESTT program; John Pettit for his overwhelming dedication to the staff and special event committees as their “on-call troubleshooting expert and go to guy” who always answers the call for practical hands-on solutions and repairs.

For more information on getting involved and becoming a Deering Estate Foundation member, call 305-235-1668, ext. 253.

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