Newsmakers: People hired, promoted in Palm Beach County business


Sheri Svi has been named regional director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Florida office. Sheri has served the state’s Jewish community for many years. The office is located in Boca Raton. Prior to working for the ADL, Svi worked at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, as well as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. She received her bachelor’s degree with a concentration in Near Eastern and North African studies, and master’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan.


Cotleur & Hearing has hired four new employees. Alex Ahrenholz has joined the firm as a land use planner. He works in the entitlement and development processes, including rezoning, site plan amendments and abandonment. Ahrenholz graduated from the University of Florida with a master’s degree in urban and regional planning.

Jeremy Hubsch has joined the firm as senior land use planner. Before his position at the firm, Hubsch worked in public and private sector planning roles. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Hubsch has a master’s degree from Florida State University in urban and regional planning.

Mario Rivera has joined the firm as a landscape designer. He has over 15 years of experience in architecture, engineering and construction. Prior to his position at the firm he was a CADD/GIS technician for the city of Coral Springs, where he prepared site engineering plans and construction documents for the Florida Department of Transportation and South Florida Water Management District, among other government facilities. Rivera is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, and well as the Urban and Regional Information System Association. He is a certified geographic information system professional, and received his master’s degree from the University of Florida in landscape architecture.

Jennifer Eaton has joined the firm as and AutoCAD technician. She has over 20 years of experience as a tech from working in various facets of the construction and development industry. Eaton attended Palm Beach State College. She and her family are new residents of Jupiter.


The Palm Beach Opera has hired three new employees and promoted one. Natalie Parker has been promoted to the opera’s individual and planned giving manager. She has successfully launched initiatives to increase the opera’s donor funding and support.

Alexandra Richter has been hired as the opera’s individual giving and grants manager. She will be responsible for assisting all fund efforts, and managing all government, foundation and individual granting requirements. Prior to the opera, Richter worked for the American Heart Association in New York City where she managed the organization’s gifts program. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Florida with a degree in public relations and a minor in art history.

Alyse Landers Keller has been hired as the opera’s special events and corporate relations manager. She will be responsible for managing the company’s special events, in addition to securing corporate sponsorships, and underwriting for company events and programming. She previously worked for The International Council of Shopping Centers. Keller graduated summa cum laude from the University at Albany with a degree in business administration.

Abbey Ward has been hired as an education and community engagement associate. Ward will be responsible for managing the studio and Story Time series programs, as well as assist in managing and growing the opera’s programs for K-12 students. She received her Bachelor of Music from Wheaton College Conservatory and her Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music.


First Bank of the Palm Beaches has hired Paula Cabezas as a senior loan officer. She has more than 20 years of experience in residential lending.

Power Financial Credit Union has hired Claire Bergquist as executive vice president, chief talent and knowledge officer. She will oversee the company’s human resources department. Prior to joining Power Financial, Bergquist in the human resources departments at Popular Community Bank and Kislak Organization. She received a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Villanova University.


Cynthia Nalley has been appointed to the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority board of directors. Nalley is a broker-associate with Anderson & Carr. Prior to her position in real estate, she created technology systems and oversaw programs for major companies such as Citibank and JP Morgan Chase. Nalley served on the Downtown Neighborhood Association board for three years.

Eddie Ruiz has been selected to participated in the Southern Education Foundation’s racial equity leadership network. Ruiz is the assistant superintendent for student services, equity and access for the School District of Palm Beach County. He holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Phoenix and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Central Florida.

Karen Greene has been elected president of the Florida State Guardianship Association. She previously served as president of the Palm Beach County chapter of the FSGA. Greene is a member of the Palm Beach County Elder Abuse Task Force and the Hoarding Task Force. In addition, she is a certified examining committee member for the state. Greene is president of Hired Hearts.

United Way of Palm Beach County has hired two. Doug Eberhart has been named vice president of hunger relief. He is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the hunger relief plan. His primary focus will be to energize and inspire stakeholders to make a measurable, collective impact on hunger in Palm Beach County by mobilizing the hunger relief task force, and forming community partnerships to help ensure the success of the hunger relief strategic plan.

Seth Bernstein has been hired as the organization’s senior vice president of community investments. He is responsible for providing oversight and direction for United Way’s funding areas of education, income and health, as well as special initiatives and community-wide collective impact projects. Bernstein will work directly with the CEO, board of directors, community investment council and senior leadership at United Way to ensure that donor dollars are being strategically invested in work that addresses the county’s most pressing issues in the most efficient manner possible.


TransMedia Group has hired Rebecca Shpektor as director of public relations. Prior to the company, Scpektor worked in a public relations position at Dassault Systemes. She received her Bachelor of Science in mass communications, with a focus in public relations and concentration in Spanish from Boston University.


Hedrick Brothers Construction has hired two. Megan Looby was hired as an assistant project manager. She has experience in healthcare and lean construction. Looby graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering.

Tara Woodend was hired as an assistant project manager. She has experience in commercial real estate development, sales and interior design. Woodend graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science in interior design.


Peter Cowley has been appointed general manager of Toojay’s in Boynton Beach. His responsibilities include managing daily operations and overseeing human resources, in addition to customer service, food preparation, and administrative organization. Cowley has worked for Toojay’s for 30 years. He is a resident of Jupiter.

David Viviano has been named executive chef at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa. He will oversee all culinary operations of the oceanfront property including fine dining room Angle, alfresco eatery Breeze Ocean Kitchen, Temple Orange Mediterranean Bistro, Stir Bar & Lounge, in-room dining and social events. Viviano has over 20 years of culinary experience in dining restaurants and luxury hotels. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.


Ackerman Link & Sartory has hired two. Eleni Kastrenakes Howard has been hired as a senior associate to practice in business and commercial litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Howard worked for Holland & Knight. She is a graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law.

Christine B. Gardner has been hired as an associate attorney to practice business and commercial litigation. Prior to joining the firm, she served as a law clerk for judge Martha C. Warner at the Fourth District Court of Appeal. In addition, Gardner worked as a trial court law clerk at the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit of Florida. She is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law.


Kathryn B. Rossmell has been seleted to join Leadership Palm Beach County’s 2018 class of Leadership Engage. She practices law at Lewis Longman & Walker in West Palm Beach, focusing on land use, environmental, local government and natural resources law.

Brooke Wiener has been accepted as a Frank Family Leadership Institute’s Frank Family Fellow for 2017-18. She is a volunteer with the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County. Wiener is actively involved in Palm Beach County’s Jewish community. She is a resident of Boynton Beach and an attorney for Howard J. Wiener & Associates.

Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League has been certified by Points of Light as a service enterprise.

The Boca West Community Charitable Foundation has hired Jennifer Bate as its executive director. She will be responsible for the implementation of board policies, and oversee public relations, marketing and communications efforts. She will also oversee the development of a new website and conduct a review of all existing programs.


Justin Wichman has been promoted to manager of Truly Nolen Pest Control’s West Palm Beach office. Some of his responsibilities will include maintaining business visibility and promoting the company’s core values. Wichman previously worked in the hospitality industry. He graduated from Waukesha County Technical College with a degree in culinary arts.


Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices has hired Nancy Paradise as a full-time realtor. She is a member of the Jupiter Tequesta Hobe Sound Association of Realtors, in addition to the Jupiter Inlet Beach Club. Paradise is a graduate of the French Institue of Notre Dame de Sion, Loretto Heights College and the University of Kansas. She carries the GRI designation from the Realtor Institute and has also completed a leadership development program from the Association of Realtors. Paradise has 27 years of experience in the industry.


JF Hillebrand Group has appointed two area directors. Thomas Barfoed has been named area director of North America. He has worked for the company for 17 years and has held positions in its wine and spirits markets.

Laura Montilla has been named area director of Latin America. She has worked for the company for 20 years and has held leadership roles that include country manager for Chile and Argentina.


Lumitec announced the hire of Alex Lehman as territory sales manager for the state. He has 10 years of experience in various industries such as communications and real estate. In his position, Lehman will work to strengthen customer relationships and cultivate growth opportunities. He previously worked for Professional Sales Agents and Equity Residential. The company is located in Delray Beach.


PBI Executive Real Estate has opened in Palm Beach. The company offers high quality properties to high-income, executive clientele. Partners Russ Dise and Robert W. Prier have 35 years of experience in aviation sales, leasing, finance and charter business. Dise attended The Ohio State University. Prier attended St. Lawrence University and then signed with the Ottawa Senators prior to becoming a hockey coach at Princeton University.


West Boca Medical Center has been named a 5-Star Recipient for labor and delivery care by Healthgrades. The hospital has received this rating three years in a row.

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