Local couple recognized for philanthropy in community

Marile and Jorge Luis Lopez

Marile and Jorge Luis Lopez

Power couple Jorge Luis and Marile Lopez will be awarded the James W. McLamore Outstanding Volunteer Award by The Association of Fundraising (AFP) Miami-Dade Chapter; an organization representing more than 30,000 members in 200 chapters throughout the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs.

AFP in partnership with Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, The Miami Foundation and the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning will host the 2013 National Philanthropy Day Awards luncheon on Tuesday, November 12th at Jungle Island at noon.

Lopez, principal at Coral Gables-based Jorge Luis Lopez Law Firm established in 2007, has solidified a reputation for philanthropic work in the community, serving on various boards of charitable and faith-based not-for-profit organizations for more than 20 years. These include serving as the past Chairman of the Miami Foundation, Founding Chair of the Miami-Dade Parks Foundation, Chair of Governmental Relations Committee of United Way, member of Camillus House & Camillus Health Concern, Mercy Foundation, Miami-Dade College Foundation, FIU Metro-Center, Big Brothers and Big Sisters; and Florida Division Director for the American Cancer Society.

Additionally, he is the Chair of the Citizens’ Oversight Committee under the auspices of the Interlocal Agreements for Public School Facility Planning in Miami-Dade County (ILA) and serves on the boards of Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Counsel, American Red Cross of Greater Miami & Keys, Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami Executive Committee, in addition to being a Diamond Society Member of the Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation as well as past Beacon Council appointee of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Mrs. Lopez, currently the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at The Lopez Law Firm, dedicates time to serve the community through leadership roles in a number of organizations. She is Chair- Elect 2014 for Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH) Foundation, assisting in formulating strategic MCH Foundation policies and plans, and securing financial support for the not-for-profit organization. This year, she and husband Jorge Luis Lopez, again Chaired the MCH Diamond Ball, which in 2012 raised $4.3 million and this year surpassed $5 million – totaling nearly $10 million.

Mrs. Lopez is the former founder and creative director of Maria Elena Headpieces, a successful international million dollar bridal accessory company which designs, manufactures, and sells products to high-end wedding boutiques. She is also an accomplished author, having recently published “Maria Elena Headpieces Celebrating 20 Years”.

In addition, Mrs. Lopez is Vice Chair of the board of the American Cancer Society’s Miami- Dade unit and served as Chair of the 2011 “White Out Cancer” Gala. She dedicated time to helping the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts (NFAA), serving as 2011 YoungArts Gala Committee Chair, 2012 YoungArts Miami Council Chair, and 2013 YoungArts Gala Chair, which she chaired along with her husband. Additionally, Mrs. Lopez serves on the board of the Boys & Girls Club of Miami-Dade; is on the American Red Cross Ball committee and FIU President’s Council.

“Sharing our time, talents and treasures with our community is very fulfilling. I believe each of us is called to giving. As parents of five kids we are raising them to actively participate in their community – to them, philanthropy is second nature and not a sacrifice,” Mrs. Lopez said.

When he is not giving back, Mr. Lopez represents the interests of private and public sector clients before federal, state, and local governments as a Government Relations Specialists, advising them on the development and response to government regulations, procurement process, land use and zoning. He has also represented numerous Florida 100 and Fortune 500 companies. His experience includes representing the Miami-Dade County government before the State of Florida, leading Post-Hurricane Andrew recovery efforts, as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Division of Miami-Dade County, and representing some of South Florida’s leading companies in complex intergovernmental matters.

Mr. Lopez is considered an expert in public policy, campaigns and elections. Labeled a Florida pioneer by the St. Petersburg Times for his political fundraising abilities, Mr. Lopez has served on the Republican National Committee’s Council of 100; President George W. Bush’s Pioneers and both of Governor Jeb Bush’s Executive Elections and Inaugural Finance Committees. He is also past Co-Chair of the Neighbors Building Better Communities PAC and former member of the 2008 Miami-Dade Charter Review Task Force. Mr. Lopez is a respected expert media source, often featured in radio and TV programs, as well as in print publications, whose Op-Ed pieces are frequently included in the Miami Herald.

The AFP Awards Committee chooses award recipients. The outstanding Volunteer award must be a member of the local community and have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in coordinating groups of volunteers in major fund raising projects and a commitment to the advancement of philanthropy. AFP was founded in 1975 however; it’s most well-known for hosting the first National Philanthropy Day back in 1985. AFP Miami promotes ethical standards, networking for members, and provides access to listing local, regional and national employment opportunities.

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