Shea Smith has been promoted to director in the Audit and Attest practice at Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors and Accountants in Fort Lauderdale. He focuses his practice on real estate industry issues. He joined the firm in 2003. Smith holds both his master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Florida.
George A. Fernandez has joined International Finance Bank as senior vice president, chief credit officer. Previously, he was regional credit manager at FirstBank Florida. Fernandez earned his bachelor’s and master’s in business administration from the University of Miami.
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Daniel Chavez has been promoted to senior vice president, chief financial officer at Coconut Grove Bank. He joined the bank in 2010 and has served as senior vice president and controller for the last five years. Chavez earned a master’s degree in taxation from Florida International University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Miami.
Marcus H. Burgess has been named vice president for university advancement at Florida Memorial University. Previously, he was vice president for institutional advancement at Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina. Burgess holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Claflin University and a master’s degree in education administration from The Citadel.
Elizabeth Lagaron has been promoted to president of Dade Medical College and its seven Florida campuses, including the newest campus in Jacksonville. She was previously the dean of education at Dade Medical College and before that was adjunct professor at Miami Dade College. Lagaron received her bachelor’s in English literature from the University of Miami and master's and doctoral degrees in English from The University of Kansas Lawrence.
Charles D. Brecker has been named partner of the Real Estate Practice at the Miami office of Arnstein & Lehr. Previously, he was with Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson. He earned his Juris Doctor degree at the University of Florida Levin College of Law and received his bachelor’s degree from Temple University.
Omaida C. Velazquez, M.D., has been named chair of the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She has been at the UM School of Medicine since 2007, serving as executive dean for Research, Research Education and Innovative Medicine for the last three years. Before that, she was associate professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Velazquez received her medical degree from the New Jersey Medical School. She did her internship, residency, research fellowship and vascular surgery fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.
Harry Fruhman has been named chief financial officer at Plaza Health Network, a group of rehabilitation, skilled nursing and long-term care centers in Miami-Dade County. Previously, he was chief financial officer of Millennium Management. Fruhman received his bachelor’s from Yeshiva University and his master’s in accounting from Rutgers University.
Paul J. Merrigan has been named chief commercial officer at Catalyst Pharmaceuticals in Coral Gables. Previously, he was vice president of global marketing at Aegerion Pharmaceuticals. Merrigan received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and his executive Master of Business Administration from Boston University.
This column lists full-time, senior-level promotions and hires at the director level and above. Send items — job title, description of previous jobs and education, jpgs — to movers@MiamiHerald.com.
Name: Gene Schaefer
New position: Co-head, Southeast Region for Global Commercial Banking, Bank of America
From: Miami market president
Also: Immediate past chair of United Way of Miami-Dade, first vice-chair of Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce
Started: In retail during high school, working for Publix and Pier One
Education: Bachelor’s degree in finance from University of Miami
Best advice: “Listen intently, be committed, and show respect for everyone you interact with each day.”
Spotlight choices made from items sent to movers@MiamiHerald.com.