Grace Solares, President
Grace Solares has been an advocate for the community for close to two decades. Her extensive community involvement includes her service as current President of the Miami-Roads Neighborhood Civic Association, co-founder and current Vice-President of Miami Neighborhoods United, Member of the Miami-Dade County “Arts in Public Places Trust”, Member of the Board on the Status of Women – City of Miami, Member of the City of Miami Charter Review Committee, and current President of the Urban Environment League. Born in Cuba, Grace and her family fled the Castro regime in 1960 and moved to Miami. Grace quickly learned English and began working at a law firm in the late 1960s. In the early 1990s, while working full time and raising her two children, Grace went back to school where she graduated from the University of Miami, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with a major in History and Minor in English. Today, Grace works at a law firm in Downtown Miami. She is a mother of two children, devoted grandmother of four fantastic grandchildren, and an avid painter in her spare time.
Gregory Bush, Vice President
Alberto Ruder, Treasurer
Alberto Ruder served as a Town of Bay Harbor Islands Council Member for almost nine years, including serving one year as the Town’s Vice Mayor. Mr. Ruder, who earned an MBA Degree, has over 23 years of public sector and about 10 years of private sector work experience . His public sector experience included serving as the City of Miami Parks and Recreation Director for more than 14 years beginning in 1988. Prior to that he held several Executive level positions in the City of Miami Manager’s Office, including Assistant and Special Assistant to the City Manager. His other City of Miami positions included Economic Development Department Business Development Division Manager and International Trade Promotion Department Assistant Director. Mr. Ruder began his public sector career by working one year for Miami Dade County as a Community Relations Specialist in the Miami Dade County Manager’s Office Division of Latin Affairs. His private sector experience included holding the positions of Sales Audit Department Financial Section Manager and Special Financial Project Manager for Burdines Department Store as well as working as the Manufacturing and Financial Administrator for the import and export firm National Trading, Inc. In 1993, Mr. Ruder completed the prestigious Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University’s JFK School of Government. He currently serves as the Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors of the non-profit organization Nature Links for Lifelong Learning, Inc., and is Secretary and a member of the Board of Directors of the 9300 Harbor Terrace Condominium Association, Inc. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Urban Environment League of Greater Miami for approximately 10 years.
John De Olazarra
Bradley Knoefler attended Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and then worked as a business strategy consultant at Bain & Company in Boston and Paris. In 1994 he founded AXS Telecom in Paris, where it was sold to LVMH in 2000. Upon moving to Miami, he has specialized in redevelopment and adaptive reuse of architecturally significant buildings, the latest project being the renovation of the Grand Central building, a 1920s train depot where the live music venue is located. In 2010, he founded the Omni Parkwest Redevelopment Association, a not-for-profit that created the largest temporary park / skate park on the site of the Old Miami Arena. He remains active in lobbying elected officials for smart development and improving the myriad of quality of life issues in Downtown Miami.
Mr. Milano earned a Bachelor of Science (Zoology) Degree from the University of Florida and a Master’s Degree in Marine Biology and Coastal Zone Management from Nova Southeastern University. He has published numerous technical papers on coastal habitat restoration and marine fishery population dynamics. In 1974, he started his career with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. He went on to work as a fisheries biologist for the Florida Department of Natural Resources, Florida Marine Research Institute from 1975-1980. Gary administered the Coastal Habitat Restoration Program for the Miami-Dade County, and has successfully completed over 55 habitat restoration efforts during his 32 years with the County. He has coordinated and managed the restoration of over 600 acres of wetlands, 160 acres of coastal strand and dune community, 160 acres of tropical hardwood hammock, 22 islands in Biscayne Bay, and two large-scale barrier island ecosystem restoration projects. He has received the 2011 Urban Environment League Award for Natural Areas Restoration, the 2010 Tropical Audubon Society Dan Beard Government Service Award, and the 2008 Natural Areas Association Carl N. Becker Stewardship Award, among other achievements. His commitment and enthusiasm has enabled him to gather widespread government and public support and participation from the community for ecosystem restoration.
Pablo J. Schwiep is an avid cyclist and environmentalist who regularly commutes to his law office by bike. In addition to serving on the Urban Environment League board, Pablo currently serves as Chair of Miami Dade County’s Citizen Independent Transportation Trust and before that was a member of the County’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. Pablo is a partner at the law firm of Coffey Burlington and has represented numerous environmental organizations such as The Sierra Club, Biscayne Bay Waterkeepers, and the Natural Resources and Defense Council in important local cases including involving rock mining in the west Miami Dade County, the deepening of the Port of Miami channel, and required improvements to Miami Dade County’s sewage collection, transmission, and discharge system.
Skip Van Cel
John Van Leer