Miami Dade College swore in four new Board of Trustee members and reappointed a fifth on April 24.
The new appointments are Carlos Migoya, Michael Bileca, Anay Abraham and Marcell Felipe. Benjamin Leon III was reappointed to serve the remaining three years of his term.
They join Chairman Bernie Navarro and Vice Chair Jose K. Fuentes.
The changes, spearheaded by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, were announced last month as DeSantis rescinded multiple appointments that his predecessor, Rick Scott, enacted.
“I am pleased to appoint these five individuals to the Board of Trustees of Miami Dade College, an institution that continues to grow and promote innovation,” Governor DeSantis said in a press release. “Florida’s college system is important and Miami Dade College exemplifies leadership on many levels which will be guided by its trustees.”
DeSantis repealed many unconfirmed candidates that Scott proposed to various state college and university boards, including MDC.
The Florida governor replaced former board members Susan Amat, founder of Venture Hive; Rolando Montoya, retired Wolfson Campus president; and Juan Zapata, a Miami-Dade County mayoral candidate. Their replacements will serve the remainder of their terms.
New members attended a mandatory orientation meeting on April 22 to get acquainted with the College.
“This is a large organization with decades of history,” said MDC College President Eduardo J. Padrón at the Board orientation meeting. “It’s impossible to know everything about the position so quickly. I put myself in your shoes as being new to the College. In a few short months, you will be experts at this institution.”
The Board will oversee operations at the College and act as a political liaison between the governing State body and MDC.
In July, the board will interview candidates to replace Padrón, who has served as president at MDC College for almost 25 years, and report their preferred candidate to the Board of Governors in Tallahassee.
“I look forward to working with you at this historic crossroad for our institution as we search for the next President that will guide us into the future,” Navarro said in a tweet last month.
Migoya has served as the president and CEO of Jackson Health System since 2011. In his first year at the institution, he reserved $82 million in losses into an $8 million surplus—an unprecedented surplus that hadn’t occurred since 2006. He currently serves on the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Charter School in Miami and the Beacon Council as a board member. Alongside being an MDC alum, Migoya earned both an undergraduate and master’s degree in finance from Florida International University. He was appointed for the remainder of a two-year term.
Abraham, who serves as managing director of developmental & external relations at City Year Miami, has fostered educational excellence in diverse student populations for over 20 years. She currently serves as a board member for non-profit special needs organizations such as Casa Familia and Work for America. Abraham earned a bachelor of the arts degree in Psychology from Florida International University, a master’s in Education from Regent University and later pursued a doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. She was appointed to a four-year term.
Bileca currently serves as an executive at Dental Care Alliance, a dental care corporation that supports over 260 dental practices throughout the U.S. In 2013, the company merged with Towncare Dental Partnership, a dental company he founded in 2005. In addition, Bileca served on the Florida House of Representatives from 2010 to 2018, where he served as chairman of the Education Committee. He received a bachelor’s in Management from Tulane University and a master’s in Management from Northwestern University. He was appointed for the remainder of a two-year term.
Felipe, also an MDC alum, founded his current law practice, Marcell Felipe Attorneys, in 2002. He is an international tax and corporate lawyer with decades of experience advising both government and industry leaders. Felipe founded the Inspire America Foundation, an organization that advocates for democracy in Cuba and the U.S. He serves as the Chairman of the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora and resides on the Miami Dade County Housing Finance Authority. He earned a master’s degree in Law from the University of Pittsburgh and is a member of the Florida bar. He was appointed for the remainder of a three-year term.
Benjamin Leon III
León III is the executive vice chairman for Leon Medical Centers, a healthcare provider in Miami Dade County that serves Medicare patients. He currently serves on the Latin American Chamber of Commerce board. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from St. Thomas University. Leon has been reappointed for the remaining three years of his term.