Senior-level hires and promotions for the week of April 6



Raquel Benitez has been named vice president and sales director of the Doral Banking Center of TotalBank. She most recently was vice president and branch manager for US Century Bank’s Bird Road and Tamiami locations. Benitez has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from St. Thomas University.

Sandra Juliachs has been named market manager of Bank of America in Broward County. She most recently was the Southeast region regulatory relationship manager for Bank of America. She began her career as a teller while studying for her associate’s degree at Florida International University.

Carol Sawaya was named vice president and banking center manager of the 41st Street banking center of City National Bank of Florida. She had been a police officer with the Surfside Police Department. Prior to that, she was as an assistant vice president and branch manager at Regions Bank.

Philip Studer has been named vice president, business banker in the Downtown Delray branch of BankUnited. Prior to joining the bank, he was senior vice president of Bank of America in Boca Raton. He has an MBA from John Carroll University in Ohio and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Akron.


Agustin Amaro has joined Deerfield Beach-based Konover South LLC, as director of construction. He previously served several retail giants, including Subway of South Florida. Amaro studied building construction technology at Valencia College, Orlando, and civil engineering at La Laguna University, Tenerife, Spain.


Mike Heithaus has been appointed the dean of Florida International University’s College of Arts & Sciences. Heithaus has beem interim dean since July 2014. He is the founding executive director of the School of Environment, Arts and Society and was associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. Heithaus has a Ph.D. from Simon Fraser University in Canada and a bachelor of arts in biological sciences from Oberlin College.

Tami Thomas has been named associate dean of academic affairs for FIU Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences. She was on the faculty at Emory University’s School of Nursing. Thomas has a Ph.D in nursing science, and MSN and a bachelor’s from the University of Florida.


Dr. Linda Rhodes, former secretary of aging for Pennsylvania, will join the Care Angel startup as chief caregiving officer. As Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Aging from 1987 through 1994, she initiated Pennsylvania’s Family Caregiver Support Program. She wrote The Essential Guide to Caring for Aging Parents. Rhodes has a doctorate from Columbia University’s Teachers College.


Ileana Olmsted has been named downtown marketing coordinator for Boca Raton. She was a marketing and communications consultant with the National Geographic Society in Miami. Olmsted has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Rutgers.


Ronald Bachrad is luxury sales director in the Boca Raton office of Douglas Elliman. He was at Arvida Realty Sales, among other companies. He has a history degree from Penn State.

This column lists high-level promotions of director and above. Send items, including job title, job description, previous positions, educational background and jpgs, to

Mover’s spotlight

Name: Marcia Barry-Smith

New position: Senior banking consultant at OneUnited Bank.

Also: Barry-Smith is president and CEO, MBSCS Inc., a consulting firm specializing in ways to increase resources and capacity for community based organizations. She was senior VP, CRA officer, at BankAtlantic, from 1996 to 2012.

Responsibilities: She will oversee the rollout of OneUnited’s UNITY Home Loan Program, designed to accommodate first-time homebuyers of low to moderate income and/or for property in low to moderate income census tracts in Miami-Dade County.

And: Interested borrowers may hear more about the UNITY Home Loan program at the free H2H Miami Homebuyer’s Club from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. April 28 at the Belafonte TACOLCY Center, 6161 NW Ninth Ave., Miami.

Education: University of Toronto-Trinity College

Best advice she ever received: Never be afraid to venture into uncharted waters: The worst that can happen is you find out what NOT to do. The best outcome? You find its niche and own it. That’s how specialists are made — and become sought after.