2014 Award Recipients

Amparo Bared
VP, Talent Management
Ryder System, Inc.

Amparo Bared is vice president of Talent Management for Ryder System, Inc., a FORTUNE 500 transportation and supply chain management solutions company headquartered in Miami. Amparo is responsible for developing and implementing the company’s talent management strategy, which includes talent acquisition, performance management, succession planning, leadership development and assessment, and employee learning. She also leads efforts to effect cultural transformation throughout Ryder for key strategic efforts such as diversity and inclusion, change management, and employee engagement.

Amparo first joined Ryder in 1995 as a manager in Human Resources and has held positions of increasing responsibility and leadership in the Human Resources organization over a 18-year career with the company. Her achievements have included developing a comprehensive talent management strategy aligned with the company’s human resources and business objectives; strengthening the company’s diversity and inclusion focus, including the creation of an 11-member Diversity and Inclusion Council led by the company’s CEO; expanding the use of innovative outreach efforts for recruiting; and strengthening the company’s leadership development through new programs for high-potential employees and executives. Amparo also led the implementation of an enterprise-wide Web-based solution to facilitate and integrate all talent management processes, and played a key role in organizing Ryder’s first Women Leadership Forum, a two-day gathering of the company’s 70 highest-ranking female leaders to share knowledge and network.

Amparo is an active member of the Talent Management Executive Council for The Conference Board and The Commonwealth Institute of South Florida “TCI” Advisory Board. Additionally, she is an alumna of the Corporate Leadership Center’s “Leading Women Executives” program and a member of the human resources research and advisory services firm Bersin & Associates. Actively involved in her community, Amparo has served as an executive leader for the American Heart Association’s fundraising and awareness efforts in Miami-Dade as well as for CARE Resource, an HIV/AIDS service organization in Miami. She also volunteers regularly for various service ministries at her church. In 2010, she was selected for Profiles in Diversity Journal’s “Women Worth Watching” issue.

Amparo earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Miami and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resources Management from Florida International University. She is married and has a son, a stepdaughter, and a stepson.

Lorrie Candiotti
Pacific National Bank

Lorrie C. Candiotti, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Pacific National Bank, has a strong knowledge of the South Florida banking community and is an experienced banker in operations and risk management. Before joining Pacific National Bank, she worked at BankUnited, where she was Senior Vice President, Chief Operational Risk Officer and earlier, Senior Vice President of Bank Operations. She earlier worked with Wachovia Bank for eight years, and held positions as Vice President and Senior Operational Risk Consultant, and Vice President of Strategic Planning, Operations and Risk Management. Ms. Candiotti began her banking career with American Savings of Florida, where she was Vice President of Retail Bank Operations, and later worked at Barnett Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Ms. Candiotti serves as president for the South Florida Chapter of the Florida Diversity Council, an affiliate of the National Diversity Council.

Mei-Mei Chan
President & Publisher, The News-Press
Florida Regional President, Gannett East Group

Mei-Mei joined The News-Press Media Group as President and Publisher in March 2010, and has established herself as a dynamic community catalyst. She is passionate about civic leadership and the important role The News-Press plays in helping reflect, connect, challenge and lead Southwest Florida, with the core purpose of serving the greater good. Mei-Mei has an unusually broad knowledge of the media industry, having held executive positions in news, circulation, marketing and advertising. She came to Florida from The Seattle Times Company, where she had been the Vice President of Advertising.

In 2013, she received the 8th annual Apex award from the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, which recognizes women for professional excellence, community service and mentoring. She was also promoted to Florida Regional President for Gannett’s East Group, overseeing all four newspapers in the state. Other recent honors include: The Senator’s Award from state Sen. Mike Bennett and Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto; The Corporate Person of the Year from The Estero Chamber of Commerce; The Leadership and Diversity Award from Gannett. Also, Unity: Journalists of Color listed her among the 100 outstanding journalists of the past century. Mei-Mei has long been involved in leadership development and now serves as a member of the Horizon Council, Lee County’s Economic Development partnership, chairing its Economic Development Task Force; the Advisory Council for FGCU’s Lutgert College of Business; the Naples Chamber of Commerce Board; and as a statewide trustee for the PACE Center for Girls. Previously, Mei-Mei held editor and reporter positions at the Post Register in Idaho Falls, ID, the Chicago Sun-Times, USA Weekend magazine, USA Today and the Commercial News in Danville, IL.

Born in Canton, China, Mei-Mei lived in Hong Kong until the family immigrated to Chicago when she was 7. She is a communications graduate from the University of Illinois at Champaign. She is married to Randy Kirk, a former journalist; they have two grown children and enjoy playing tennis, musical theater, traveling and exploring.

Valerie Fulbright
VP, Talent & Total Rewards
GTE Financial

Valerie Fulbright is a Corporate Vice President, Talent & Total Rewards, with GTE Financial, located in Tampa. In this role, Valerie works closely with the Leadership Team providing solid strategic guidance on matters of significances in their business areas. She enjoys developing others and thus recently received her Certified Professional Coaching (“CPC”) designation. She also earned her Senior Professional Human Resources, (“SPHR”) certification.

Valerie has extensive expertise in a number of key areas of Human Resources, spanning more than 20 years, including; benefits, wellness and compensation design, HRIS system implementation, recruiting, selection, organizational effectiveness, labor, and employee relations, executive recruiting and coaching. Her expertise in Human Resources has significantly increase human resources effectiveness and credibility, while reducing cost, increasing revenue and achieving the “Best Place to Work” and “Healthiest Employer” designation in several organizations.

Prior to joining the Executive team at GTE, Valerie served as the Vice President, Human Resources for Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, MO. In a prior appointment, she served as the Senior Director of Organizational Development at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. She began her career at General Motors, while attending undergrad at the University of Michigan, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in 1982. She also holds a Masters, Human Resource Development from Webster University. She worked several years in global leadership roles in Telecom for Nortel Networks and Perot Systems, where she traveled extensively though out Canada and the United Kingdom.

Valerie is active in the community and serves on a number of boards, she was recently appointed to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, Board of Directors, and serves on the Development and Executive Committee, and she is currently a member of the 2014 Executive Leadership Summit Planning Committee, Florida State Council. Valerie is also an active member of Society for Human Resource Management.

Dineed Garcia
Vice President, Diversity Strategies
Macy’s, Inc.

Dineen Garcia is Vice President, Diversity Strategies at Macy’s, Inc. She is responsible for Macy’s Diversity efforts within the Latino community; forging and sustaining relationships with National Latino organizations across the Country. She acts as a Brand Ambassador within the Latino community, and internally works towards leveraging Diversity within the Company.

Ms. Garcia rejoined Macy’s Diversity Team 4 years ago, after a 3 year hiatus as a stay-at-home mom to 7 year old twins. Before temporarily leaving the work-force, Ms. Garcia was an accomplished attorney barred to practice Law in New York and Florida. Her relationship with Macy’s began as a member of its Legal Department. However, she began her Legal career as a Prosecutor in New York’s Brooklyn Family Court, where she was charged with prosecuting Juveniles for Felony and Misdemeanor crimes. Her last Legal position was as General Counsel of PACO Group, a Project Management Consulting Company.

Ms. Garcia earned her Law Degree from New York Law School in 1993 and her B.A. from C.W. Post/Long Island University in 1989. She lives in Miami with her husband and 2 children, but still considers herself a native New Yorker.

Karen Garcia
VP & General Manager, Florida Region
McDonald’s USA

A career journey that started with a part-time job cooking fries in a San Diego McDonald’s and then led to managing the McDonald’s restaurant that Company Founder Ray Kroc overlooked from his office has become a 35-year career passion for Karen Garcia.

Today, Garcia is responsible for nearly 900 McDonald’s restaurants in Florida and South Georgia as Vice President and General Manager of McDonald’s USA’s Florida Region.

Garcia runs the largest of McDonald’s USA’s 22 regions, serving one million guests each day across the Sunshine State and generating annual sales of more than $2 billion. In her role as the region’s chief executive, Garcia leads all aspects of market and brand development to drive long-term growth for McDonald’s in Florida and its 180 franchisees. More than 50,000 people work in McDonald’s restaurants in Florida.

Garcia was appointed to lead the Region in April 2012.

From 2009 to 2012, Garcia was Vice President and General Manager of McDonald’s USA’s Pittsburgh Region. Prior to that, she served as Vice President of Operations for McDonald’s USA’s Southern California Region.

Garcia has helped her teams reach the next frontier of success in every role. She has established a reputation as a passionate, results-driven leader who role models the McDonald’s Values and serves as a people champion. With a high degree of respect and admiration for Ray Kroc, she lives Kroc’s legacy of high customer satisfaction standards, bold entrepreneurialism, disciplined execution, and love for McDonald’s.

Committed to contributing to her communities, Garcia previously served on the Boards of Directors of Ronald McDonald House Charities in San Diego and in Pittsburgh, and currently serves on the Board of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF). The Fund is the nation’s largest non-profit organization devoted to providing college scholarships for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Since 2003, APIASF has distributed more than $70 million in scholarships.

OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, a national membership-driven organization of community advocates dedicated to advancing the political, social, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans, presented Garcia with its prestigious Corporate Achievement Award in 2007.

When Garcia was growing up in Baker, Montana, (pop. 1,741) the closest McDonald’s restaurant was 364 miles away. Today, she resides in the Tampa Bay, Florida area with her husband, Mario. They have two grown children, Mario and Erica. The nearest McDonald’s is right up the street.

Mary Lallucci
EVP- Florida/Caribbean
Right Management

Mary Lallucci is an Executive Vice President and an Executive Coach with Right Management’s Florida/Caribbean Region. Drawing on more than 20 years of human resources experience, Mary partners with our corporate clients to ensure they receive the highest quality organizational consulting services possible. Her expertise in strategic marketing and business development initiatives has fostered trusted relationships and the long-term growth of our clients.

As an executive coach, Mary works closely with senior-level executives, assessing skill sets and designing customized programs to maximize their career potential, with resulting benefits to the performance of their entire organizations. She is well versed in coaching executives through both career transition and career management processes.

Prior to joining Right Management, Mary was Vice President of WorkSmart Learning Systems, Inc., where she delivered innovative, added-value client services. Mary also held senior management positions with Manpower International, specializing in staffing services, and was an executive with an organizational consulting firm specializing in leadership and organizational development, assessment, training, and instructional design.

Mary holds a degree in Human Services from Nazareth College in New York. She is active in professional and civic groups in the Tampa Bay area, serving on the Board of Directors and is currently the Chair-elect for the St Petersburg Chamber. Mary also serves on the CEO Council for Tampa Bay and is a Board member of the Tampa Bay Workforce, the Society for Human Resource Management, and the Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Meredith Newman
Sr. Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences
Florida International University

Meredith A. Newman is Senior Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, and Professor of Public Administration at Florida International University. Dr. Newman joined FIU as Director of the School of Public Administration in 2006, after serving three years as Chair of the Department of Public Administration, University of Illinois at Springfield, and nine years as a member of the public affairs faculty at Washington State University, Vancouver. Prior to her career in academia, Newman served with the Australian Foreign Service (in France and Vietnam), the U.S. Department of State (in Senegal, Malaysia, and Singapore), and the World Bank. She is widely published in the areas of public management, human resources, and the emotive aspects of work. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Editors’ Choice Award, Public Administration Review. Her book entitled, Emotional Labor: Putting the Service in Public Service (Mary Guy and Sharon Mastracci, co-authors) is the recipient of three Best Book awards, and is translated into Mandarin Chinese. Her most recent book entitled, Emotional Labor and Crisis Response: Working on the Razor’s Edge, was published in 2012 and has garnered two Best Book awards. Dr. Newman is past Chair of the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation, National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration; Vice-President for North America, the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration; Past President of the American Society for Public Administration; and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Cheryl Scully
Interim CFO

Cheryl Scully is AutoNation’s Interim Chief Financial Officer. Since 2009, Ms. Scully has also served as Vice President, Treasurer responsible for overseeing the company’s capital markets, risk management and cash management functions. In 2010, Ms. Scully also assumed responsibility for Investor Relations. She previously worked for AutoNation (then Republic Industries) in the late 1990’s managing capital raising for AutoNation Financial Services and then leading international financing activities for Alamo and National Car Rental following the public spin-off from AutoNation.

Ms. Scully has nearly 20 years of corporate finance experience the majority of which has been with Fortune 300 organizations. She has over fifteen years of automotive industry experience including retail, rental, distribution and captive finance. In 2012, Cheryl was named one of Treasury & Risk Magazine’s “30 Outstanding Women in Finance”.

Prior to re-joining AutoNation in 2009, Ms. Scully served as Vice President, Treasurer for JM Family Enterprises, Inc., a diversified automotive company. Ms. Scully also served as VP, Investor Relations and Treasury at ION Media Networks (formerly Paxson Communications). She began her career at Circuit City’s corporate headquarters in their financial management training program.

Ms. Scully holds a bachelors degree in Finance and Business Administration from James Madison University. She has been a member of the Association of Financial Professionals since 2001 and serves on the Board of Directors for Children’s Home Society of Florida’s Intercoastal Division.

Jasmin Shirley
VP, Community Health Services
Broward Health

Jasmin Shirley is Vice President of Community Health Services of the North Broward Hospital District d/b/a Broward Health. In this position, she oversees the day-to-day operations of Community Health Services division inclusive of fourteen primary care centers, three school-based health centers, a home health and hospice agency, an infusion company, urgent care centers, physician practices and related operations. She has more than thirty years of experience in health administration.

Jasmin holds numerous leadership positions with health-related committees and boards. These include, but are not limited to NAACP Executive Committee; Broward Regional Health Planning Council Health Planning Committee; Primary Care Oversight; Delta Sigma Theta Adolescent Health, Program Planning and Development, and Reaching Adolescent Parents Committees; Sunshine Health Center Board of Directors; South Florida AIDS Network-Broward; HIV/AIDS Services Planning Council; Florida Community Prevention Planning Group; Broward Community Planning Partnership, and the National Association of Health Service Executives. She was featured in the “2006 Women in Medicine”, published in Florida Medical Business (Sept., 2006), and received an award in 2006, from the “Top Ten Women in Medicine, State of Florida. She served as the chairperson for the 2006 and 2007 March of Dimes WalkAmerica which raised $1.1M and $1.2M respectively; and was recognized in 2005 as a March of Dimes Women of Distinction.

In 1990 Ms. Shirley challenged the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) in a dispute regarding the number of diagnosed AIDS cases reported to the CDC to qualify for federal emergency relief funding into Broward County. The battle was victorious and Broward County receives annually more than $136 Million as a result of her tenacity and efforts to insure continuous funding to support a network of comprehensive prevention and treatment services for HIV / AIDS.

Ms. Shirley participated in leadership roles since 1988 in several political campaigns in a variety of positions, including but not limited to, campaign manager; lead strategist; neighborhood canvasser; special events coordinator; fundraising chairperson and deputy treasurer. She continues to volunteer and offer her expertise in strategic planning, community organizing and coalition building to candidates for local city, county, state, federal, school board, sheriff, and circuit /county court judge elections throughout Broward County. She currently volunteers to support GOTV activities throughout precinct 39R and provides outreach education and voter registration information to residents of the Dorsey River Bend Homeowners Association and other surrounding neighborhoods who vote at precinct 39R.

Ms. Shirley received her Master of Science in Public Health in Epidemiology and Administration from the University of Miami; and her Bachelor of Science in Zoology and Chemistry from the University of Florida. A native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Ms. Shirley is single; devotes her community service efforts as a Past President of the Broward County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc.; and she enjoys, reading, cycling, swimming and scuba.

Leslie Stevens
VP, Rewards & Benefits

Leslie Stevens, CCP, CEBS, is Vice President, Rewards and Benefits for Citrix in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Citrix is the cloud computing company that enables mobile workstyles – empowering people to work and collaborate from anywhere. With market leading solutions for mobility, desktop virtualization, cloud networking, cloud platforms, collaboration, and data sharing, Citrix helps organizations of all sizes achieve the kind of speed and agility necessary to succeed in an increasingly mobile and dynamic world. Citrix products are in use at more than 260,000 organizations and by over 100 million users globally. In her current role, Leslie oversees compensation, health, wellness and volunteer programs for the over 8700 employees in this global organization.

Experienced in the areas of compensation, benefits, training and staffing at both corporate and operating company levels within manufacturing, finance, health care, retail and consulting organizations, Leslie’s previous roles included Head of Total Pay for the US Business of Starbucks Coffee Company, Executive Director, Global Compensation for Merck & Company, Inc. and Director, Compensation and Employment Worldwide for Johnson & Johnson Vision Products, Inc. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Cook College at Rutgers University and professional designations in both compensation and benefits.

With a strong belief that we all should effect a positive impact on the world in which we live and work, Leslie has focused her efforts on helping young women achieve their goals for work and life. She currently serves as both a Trustee for PACE Center for Girls on a statewide level, and as a Board member for their local Broward Center. PACE provides gender-specific programs in education, counseling and training to enable opportunities for a better future for girls in Florida communities.

Leslie has previously served on the Board of the Jacksonville Compensation Association, worked with the Juvenile Diabetes Associations of North Florida and Broward County, and lectures at local colleges and other professional events.

Leslie has been a member of WorldatWork, the professional association for total rewards, since 1988, serving as a director on their Board from 2005-2008, chairing the Benefits Advisory Board during 2004, and teaching certification courses for the CCP and CBP professional designation curriculum since 1995. She also is a publications reviewer for the WorldatWork Journal, Workspan and the Building Blocks Booklet series.

Marla Tichi
Wyndham Vacation Ownership

A Florida native, Marla Tichi held various Human Resource positions with other companies before joining the Wyndham Vacation Ownership eight years ago. As a Human Resource professional, Marla has moved up and across the organization working in various segments of the discipline and partnering with leaders overseeing diverse business functions.

Marla’s professional excellence has garnered a high-level of trust within the organization, which has resulted in ability to successfully transition from her compensation role to Director, Corporate Human Resources, to Area Vice President, Resort Operations and her current role as Vice President Resort Operations supporting 45 resorts.

Recently Marla’s role increased when she was tapped to take on additional responsibilities in supporting the Business Integration, Product Development, and Sales Operations departments.

During her time with the organization, Marla has personally taken on the role of mentoring other women. During the past several years her work with several key individuals has resulted in achieving or successfully transitioning into key executive roles within the company. Most recently, Marla has expanded her mentoring outside of our business unit to other human resource individual working for our sister companies.

Jacqueline Travisano
Nova Southeastern University

Jacqueline A. Travisano serves as Nova Southeastern University’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In this capacity Ms. Travisano is responsible for the overall direction, management, and effective administrative operations of the university in support of its mission, core values, and Vision 2020. Ms. Travisano oversees the university’s Finance, Enrollment and Student Services, Information Technology, Facilities and Public Safety, Human Resources, Regional Campuses, Business Services, Clinical Operations, Internal Audit, Grande Oaks Golf Club and the NSU Library system. In addition, Ms. Travisano provides leadership support to numerous university organizations and development activities including the Ambassadors Board, the President’s Associates, the Alvin Sherman Library Circle of Friends, the NSU/Fort Lauderdale Billfish Tournament and its NSU Athletics Benefit Golf Tournament.

Ms. Travisano’s career encompasses twenty-three years of service to higher education and non-profit organizations in various capacities. Immediately prior to joining Nova Southeastern University, Ms. Travisano served as Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer at St. John’s University in Queens, New York.

Ms. Travisano was recognized in 2012 by the Florida Diversity Council as one of Florida’s most powerful and influential women and in 2013 by the Boys and Girls Club of Broward County as one of Broward County’s Top 100 women. Her charitable works include service on the Board of Directors for the March of Dimes of Broward County
, the ARC of Broward County, and Special Olympics of Broward County where she serves on its Honorary Board of Directors. Ms. Travisano is also a member of the Royal Dames for Cancer Research.

Ms. Travisano holds an M.B.A from Chatham University, a B.S. in Business Administration from Robert Morris University, and is a Certified Public Accountant. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership at Nova Southeastern University. She and her husband, Peter, live in Davie, Florida and together were blessed with 4 children and 1 granddaughter.