Business Monday

Senior-level hires and promotions for the week of Feb. 19, 2018

Donald Lavigne has been named partner in the Miami office of Kelley Kronenberg.
Donald Lavigne has been named partner in the Miami office of Kelley Kronenberg.


Shalina Jaffer has been named principal architect at Equilibrium Group, based in Fort Lauderdale, and she has opened the firm’s architecture division, Equilibrium Architecture. She has a bachelor’s in architecture from the University of Miami.


CIRC Hotel, which is to open this spring in Hollywood, has named its executive team: Heather Alexsa, director of rooms; Anne-Marie Khoury, director of human resources; Tom LaBau, director of engineering; Massimiliano Lozzi, executive chef; Ashley Macias, director of finance; and Milan Markov, director of food and beverage.

Renee Browning was named assistant general manager and Ashley York was named director of event services at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, which is operated by SMG. Browning was assistant director of sales at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex in Birmingham, Alabama. York was previously senior event manager at the center.

At the Hyatt Centric Brickell Miami, which is to open in March: Ricardo Mendes has been named general manager. He was general manager of the Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami. Alex Alvarez has been named director of sales and marketing. Previously, he was corporate director of account strategy at White Lodging Services.

Carlos Molinet has been named general manager at Costa Hollywood Beach Resort. He previously was senior vice president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, with oversight of operations, sales and marketing enterprises.


Jonathan Kaskel has been promoted from associate attorney to shareholder at Gunster and will be based in Miami. He focuses on business litigation. Kaskel has a bachelor’s, and a J.D., from the University of Florida.

William McCullough has rejoined Shutts & Bowen as a partner in its corporate practice group in the firm’s Miami office. McCullough, who previously practiced with Shutts & Bowen for about 20 years, returns after four years as a partner in the Miami office of Holland & Knight. He has a bachelor’s from Tulane and a J.D. from Stanford.

Meredith Frank Mendez has been named a partner at Malloy & Malloy in Miami. She focuses on intellectual property litigation, transactions, and prosecution. Mendez has a bachelor’s from the University of Michigan and a J.D from UF.

David I. Spector has begun his three-year term as chairman and CEO of Akerman, succeeding Andrew Smulian. Spector, who joined the firm in 2009, founded the firm’s fraud and recovery practice group and served on the firm’s strategic planning committee. He has a bachelor’s from Syracuse University and a J.D. from UM.

William W. Riley has been named a partner in the land use and zoning practice group of Greenspoon Marder. He previously was at Gray Robinson. Riley has a bachelor’s from George Washington University and a J.D. from UF.

At Carlton Fields, four attorneys in the Miami office were named shareholders:

▪ Naomi M. Berry specializes in consumer finance and banking litigation. She has a bachelor’s from Yale and a J.D. from the University of Michigan.

▪ Stephanie A. Fichera focuses on defending insurance carriers and financial services companies in class actions and complex civil litigation in federal and state courts. She has a bachelor’s from Boston University and a J.D. from University of Miami.

▪ Clifton R. Gruhn’s practice involves defending financial services institutions in complex litigation matters and class actions in federal and state courts. He has a bachelor’s from Bellevue University in Nebraska and a J.D. from UM.

▪ Rahul P. Ranadive will practice in the firm’s international and business transactions practice groups. He has an A.B. from Dartmouth, J.D. from Vanderbilt and an LL.M. in taxation from UM.


Nick Valls has been named general manager for EstrellaTV’s WGEN station in Miami, which was recently acquired by LBI Media. He has been senior vice president of ad sales for MundoMax. Valls has a bachelor’s in mass communications from Boston University.


Caprice Weber and Cathy Strafaci have been named development marketing executive vice president, managing directors for Douglas Elliman. Stafaci is responsible for the firm’s Miami-Dade projects, and Weber, for the firm’s projects in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

This column lists high-level promotions of senior executives at the director level and above who are based in Broward, Miami-Dade or Monroe counties. These announcements, which also are at, are for full-time, paid positions. Send items, including previous job; educational background; high-res jpegs of head shots and the website address of the company, to Put “Movers” in the subject line.

Mover’s spotlight

Name: Donald S. Lavigne

New position: Partner in the Miami office of Kelley Kronenberg

From: Attorney

About: Lavigne focuses his practice on first-party property defense and third-party casualty claims. He is also a certified water damage restoration technician, accredited by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification.

Also: Lavigne has worked as a law clerk at Friedman, Rodman & Frank. During law school, he was a legal assistant and judicial intern to the Honorable Miguel de la O of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida, and he worked with the University of Miami Health Rights Clinic and the UM Innocence Clinic.

Education: Lavigne has a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Florida and a J.D. from the University of Miami.

Best advice: When I was younger, my mother taught me that knowing what you don’t know is equally as important, if not more important, than what you do know. The lesson being: Stay humble, and never stop learning or listening.

See past senior-level hires and promotions in South Florida for 2017:

▪ Jan. 2, 2017

▪ Jan. 9, 2017

▪ Jan. 16, 2017

▪ Jan. 23, 2017

▪ Jan. 30, 2017

▪ Feb. 6, 2017

▪ Feb. 13, 2017

▪ Feb. 20, 2017

▪ Feb. 27, 2017

▪ March 6, 2017

▪ March 13, 2017

▪ March 20, 2017

▪ March 27, 2017

▪ April 3, 2017

▪ April 10, 2017

▪ April 17, 2017

▪ April 24, 2017

▪ May 1, 2017

▪ May 8, 2017

▪ May 15, 2017

▪ May 22, 2017

▪ May 29, 2017

▪ June 5, 2017

▪ June 12, 2017

▪ June 19, 2017

▪ June 26, 2017

▪ July 3, 2017

▪ July 10, 2017

▪ July 17, 2017

▪ July 24, 2017

▪ July 31, 2017

▪ Aug. 7, 2017

▪ Aug. 14, 2017

▪ Aug. 21, 2017

▪ Aug. 28, 2017

▪ Sept. 4, 2017

▪ Sept. 11, 2017

(No Movers ran on Sept. 18, 2017)

▪ Sept. 25, 2017

▪ Oct. 3, 2017

▪ Oct. 9, 2017

▪ Oct. 16, 2017

▪ Oct. 23, 2017

▪ Oct. 31, 2017

▪ Nov. 5, 2017

▪ Nov. 13, 2017

▪ Nov. 20, 2017

(No Movers ran on Nov. 27, 2017)

▪ Dec. 4, 2017

▪ Dec. 11, 2017

▪ Dec. 18, 2017

(No Movers ran on Jan. 1, 2018)

▪ Jan. 8, 2018

▪ Jan. 15, 2018

▪ Jan. 22, 2018

▪ Jan. 29, 2018

▪ Feb. 5, 2018

▪ Feb. 12, 2018