Women of Distinction Gala

Women of Distinction Gala


In partnership with the Dade County Bar Association


Program Chairs:

Jordan Dresnick, Jeffrey Rynor and Diana Diaz


 Award Winners Announced!

Honorable Lenore C. Nesbitt Federal Jurist of Distinction Award
Honorable Marcia G. Cooke

In-House Counsel Excellence Award
Karen A. Benson, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Judge Rosemary Barkett Award
Honorable Teretha Lundy Thomas

Trailblazer of Distinction Award
Honorable Maria Korvick

Solo Practice Award
Kishasha Sharp

Women of Distinction Pro Bono Award
Anastasia García

Public Interest Award
Frances Feinberg

Academia Award
Rene Tew

Government Award
Barbara Martinez

Rising Star (Less Than 10 Years) Award
Kristina Mills

Community Champion Award
Thema Campbell

Scholarship Award
Shirley Pimentel

10-30 Years in Practice Award
Miranda Lundeen Soto


Awards Selection and Host Committee Members

Zascha Abbott
Olanike A. Adebayo
Grisel Alonso
Loreal A. Arscott
Alvan Balent, Jr.
Tanya Brinkley
Adriana Collado-Hudak
Angela C. De Cespedes
Maria Espinosa Dennis
Deborah J. Gander
Dolly Hernandez
Amber Kornreich
Miguel Mirabal
Frank Quesada
Lisette Reid
Natalie M. Rico
John H. Ruiz
Katherine Fernandez Rundle
Jocelyn Santana
Effie D. Silva
Irma Reboso Solares
Janelle Vega
Betty E. Verdecia

Frank C. Quesada is the Chief Legal Officer of the MSP Recovery Law Firm. Quesada focuses his practice on health care litigation and, particularly, representing MSP Recovery, a data analytics company that purchases health insurance companies’ recovery rights stemming from their improper payments. Quesada oversees 30+ attorneys in-house and over 22 nationally recognized law firms...
Martindale-Hubbell AV rated attorney, John H. Ruiz, is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of MSP Recovery Law Firm. He is recognized as one of America’s pre-eminent trial lawyers, named 2019’s DBR Florida Trailblazer for his groundbreaking work in integrating data analytics into the practice of law and for the positive impact it is having...
Miranda Lundeen Soto is a partner in the Miami office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, where she is a member of the Business Litigation Practice Group. Miranda is Florida Bar Board Certified in Civil Trial Law and has tried more than 50 cases, bench and jury trials. Her practice includes from commercial and business disputes,...
Law School Student & Dade County Bar Association & MSP Forum’s Women of Distinction 2018 Scholarship Award Winner
Kristina Mills, Division Chief of our Misdemeanor Domestic Crimes Unit, has been selected by the Dade County Bar Association (DCBA) as one of their Women of Distinction as a Rising Star. Kristina received her undergraduate degree from Spelman College and her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in 2012. She began...
Barbara Martinez is the Chief of the Special Prosecutions Section for the U.S. Department of Justice, Miami U.S. Attorney’s Office, Criminal Division. In this role she supervises a group that specializes in prosecuting child exploitation, human trafficking and violent crimes cases such as bank robberies, home invasions, extortion, and organized gang-related activities. In 2011 she...
Rene Tew, Esq. is the Staff Attorney at the Office of the General Counsel, Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida located in Miami, Florida and focuses on Family Law. She received her JD from the University of Miami School of Law and has been a member of The Florida Bar since May 1, 2000. Dade County...
The Dade County Bar Association has named Frances Feinberg, director of the program that represents child victims and witnesses in Miami-Dade criminal court, as one of its Women of Distinction for 2018. Feinberg, who oversees Guardian ad Litem’s Criminal Court Project for the 11th Judicial Circuit, won the Dade Bar’s Women of Distinction Public Interest...
Attorney Kishásha B. Sharp hails originally from Chicago, Illinois. She has been an active member of the South Florida Community since completing her graduate and undergraduate studies at Florida Mechanical and Agricultural University, (“FAMU”). Ms. Sharp earned both a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a Masters in Business Administration degree from FAMU. Ms....
Karen Benson joined Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. in November 2011. She serves as the Director of the Global Compliance and Ethics Group within the Legal Department. In this role, she manages the global compliance and ethics program for Royal Caribbean and its five cruise brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Pullmantur Cruises,...
Marcia G. Cooke is a native of Detroit, Michigan. Judge Cooke is an experienced trial attorney and lawyer and has held a variety of positions in the public sector. Prior to being appointed to the Federal Bench, she was an Assistant Miami-Dade County Attorney. She represented Miami-Dade County in a variety of matters including litigation...
Anastasia M. Garcia is a licensed attorney in the State of Florida and has been practicing since 1992. She practices solely in the area of matrimonial and family law which includes all aspects of the litigation process along with representation of children as a Guardian Ad Litem. She is a member of the Executive Council...
Teretha Lundy Thomas is a county judge of the Miami-Dade County Court of Florida. She was re-elected in 2012 for a term that expires in January of 2019. 2012 election Thomas was re-elected in the primary on Aug, 14, 2012. She narrowly defeated challenger John Rodriguez with 50.3% of the vote. See also: Florida judicial...
In addition to her duties at Girl Power, Thema is also the executive producer of the annual “It Takes A Village Conference;” she serves as executive board member of the Miami-Dade Youth Crime Task Force; she’s a member of the Liberty City Community Action Agency; and a member of the Sojourner Truth Book Club. She...
Tanya Brinkley is the nonpartisan judge of the Miami-Dade County Court Florida Group 28 in Florida. Brinkley is running in the general election on November 6, 2018. Education Brinkley received her undergraduate degree in finance from Howard University in 1991 and her J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law in 1995. Career 2013-Present:...
Maria Marinello Korvick is a judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court, Probate Division, in Florida. She has served on this court since 1981. Her current term expires in January of 2019. Korvick was born in Cuba on February 23, 1946. She received her B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Miami in 1969...
Janelle M. Vega is an associate at the Verdecia Law Firm in Miami where she focuses her practice in the areas of personal injury including automobile accidents, slip and fall, trip and fall and premises liability. Prior to joining the Verdecia Law Firm, Janelle was a defense attorney primarily in the areas of first and...
Irma Solares’s practice focuses on complex state and federal litigation, representing both U.S. and foreign clients involved in commercial disputes and arbitration. She represents insurance carriers and financial institutions in market conduct examinations, regulatory investigations, and individual cases and class actions involving allegations of breach of contract, fraud, false advertising, breach of fiduciary duty, bad...
Jocelyn Santana is a partner at Goldberg & Rosen. She dedicates herself to serious personal injury claims, wrongful death and medical malpractice. The first Hispanic female attorney to join the firm at Goldberg & Rosen, Ms. Santana is fluent in Spanish and is heavily involved in the Cuban American Bar Association.
Katherine Fernandez Rundle is Miami-Dade County’s and Florida’s first Cuban-American State Attorney, having been re-elected six times since 1993. She was unopposed during the 2016 election and has commenced her seventh term as the County’s top law enforcement officer. Prior to that, she dedicated 15 years as an Assistant State Attorney. When she later served...
Lisette Reid is currently an Assistant United States Attorney serving in the Appellate Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Florida. Born in Trinidad, she moved to the United States with her family at the age of six and settled inMissouri. While growing up, she observed her father earn an undergraduate...
His parents, Maggie and Fernando Mirabal, left Cuba in 1960 as former political prisoners and exiles. With nothing more than a suitcase, his parents were forced from their homeland seeking safety, democracy and freedom in the U.S. Miguel’s parents always instilled in him their motto of “Fairness, Hard work, Education and Perseverance”. His father, Fernando...
Amber is a dedicated and passionate Family Lawyer with strong ties to the Miami community. EDUCATION American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Advanced Institute for Family Law Associates Florida International University College of Law, Dean’s Merit Scholarship Brandeis University, Magna Cum Laude Ransom Everglades School, Silver Knight Nominee in Music AWARDS & HONORS The Florida Bar...
Dolly Hernandez, Of Counsel to Richman Greer, P.A., focuses her practice on complex marital and family law cases. Ms. Hernandez represents high-net-worth individuals in matters that include dissolution of marriage, equitable distribution, alimony, child support, parenting and time-share issues, paternity, prenuptial agreements, and postnuptial agreements. Prior to joining the firm in 2017, Ms. Hernandez practiced...
Deborah J. Gander is a board certified civil trial lawyer with more than $100 million in verdicts and settlements for her clients. A partner at Colson Hicks Eidson since 2002, she represents clients who have suffered catastrophic injuries or who have lost family members; she also represents clients who face financial ruin because of insurance...
Maria Espinosa Dennis is a judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court, Family Division, in Florida. She was elected on September 5, 2000. Her current term expires in January of 2019. Dennis was born in Santiago, Cuba. She received her B.S. degree from Florida International University and her law degree from the University of Miami...
Angela de Cespedes is a partner in the Miami office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, where she is a member of the Business Litigation Practice Group. An experienced trial attorney, she has multi-state and international experience in complex tort and commercial litigation. Businesses and institutions enlist Angela to defend allegations involving business disputes, premises liability,...
Adriana Collado-Hudak is Senior Counsel in the White Collar and Criminal Defense practice group at Greenspoon Marder. She has defended hundreds of cases at all levels of the state and federal criminal justice system, from pre-indictment to trial. She is recognized as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer in Florida by The National Trial Lawyers Association...
The Honorable Bertila Soto, Chief Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, appointed Mr. Alvan Balent, Jr., Esq. as General Magistrate for Probate Matters effective July 2, 2018. Prior to his appointment as General Magistrate, Mr. Balent served as an Assistant General Counsel for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit since September of 2013, where he worked on...
Ms. Arscott joined the City of Miami Gardens in March 2016. Prior to joining the City, she served as a litigation attorney in the Corporate Law Department of a major insurance company, primarily practicing insurance defense. Ms. Arscott initially dedicated her practice to Family and Dependency Law; first as Program Attorney for the Guardian Ad...
Grisel came to Michael Moecker & Associates, Inc. in February of 2014 to serve as Director of Receivership and Fiduciary Services. Grisel acts as a court-appointed fiduciary in federal and state courts. She also serves as a court appointed Federal Equity Receiver and regularly serves as an Assignee for the Benefit of Creditors in state...
Olanike “Nike” Adebayo, was hired in 1997 as an Assistant State Attorney where she worked in the misdemeanor and felony domestic violence units. Ms. Adebayo worked her way up to the Chief of Litigation of the Juvenile Division and successfully tried over 50 cases. After 8 years at the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office she left...
Zascha Blanco Abbott is Counsel with the Firm and a member of the Labor and Employment Group. Ms. Abbott focuses her practice on the representation of public and private employers in labor and employment matters. She represents employers in federal and state courts in their employment law disputes. Her experience includes defending employers in a...
Global business attorney leading the Prepared Foods Business Unit Legal Team at Tyson Foods, the largest food company in the United States. Collaborating with Global Corporate Services and Global Litigation and Investigations, finding responsive solutions, and navigating a course for the future. Lead and develop team of lawyers and paralegals in the Business Unit. Manage...
Personal injury attorney Natalie M. Rico always wanted to be a trial lawyer. Taught to have great respect for the legal system by her grandfather, a well-respected attorney in his homeland of Cuba, Natalie takes great pride in providing distinctive client service and exemplifies the quality of injury attorneys at our firm. Prior to joining...
Buy Ticket
Bronze Sponsor
Buy Ticket
Silver Sponsor
Buy Ticket
Favor Sponsor
Buy Ticket
Gold Sponsor
Buy Ticket
Speaking Sponsor
Buy Ticket
Event Details