The Inaugural Cap & Gown Gala
Benefiting uAspire Miami
William Diaz-Rousselot, uAspire Miami Board of Trustees and Bob Giannino-Racine, uAspire National CEO

Debra Gauthier, Gala Co-Chair, Marty E. Davis, uAspire Miami Board Chair, Lucy Nunez, Gala Co-Chair and Keith Fletcher, uAspire Miami Executive Director

Maxima Cum Laude Sponsor-Northern Trust

uAspire Miami was proud to host its first annual Cap & Gown Gala at The Raleigh South Beach. The Cap & Gown Gala was not your traditional sit-down event but rather an enchanting celebration, with DJ Immortal, the Miami Beach Senior High Jazz Combo, mesmerizing fire performers, Hpnotiq and Harmonie lounge, SoBe Cigar girls, VIP Cabana seating and a “Hats Off After Party” on the penthouse floor. Guests enjoyed elegant cuisine designed by James Beard Award-Winning Miami Chef and restaurateur, Michael Schwartz.

This year, we had the privilege of honoring Jose Basulto, Deputy Mayor Russell Benford, Thomas M. Cornish and Norie del Valle. These community leaders are the First Ones (first in their family to graduate from college) and have contributed tremendously to make Miami a better place. Honoring these remarkable leaders, we are able to raise awareness of the power of higher education and its ability to propel young people out of poverty as well as inspiring the thousands of young people in our community who aspire to become First Ones themselves.

In attendance at the celebration were Gala co-chairs Lucy Nunez and Debra Gauthier, uAspire Miami Board President, Marty E. Davis, Dr. Mark Rosenberg, Deputy Mayor Russell Benford, Thomas and Trish Cornish, Jose Basulto, Edward and Chris Joyce, Bill Jones, David and Cristina Evensky, Steve Haas, Michael Sheldon, Austin Hollo, Jorge and Christina Mesa, Tere Blanca & Javier Juncadella, and Iliana Ramos-Sibilia. Joining them were over 300 hundred business and community leaders, including a special presentation made by the City of Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County proclaiming September 28, 2013 as uAspire Miami Day.

Thanks to our generous sponsors and supporters, uAspire Miami was able to raise over $110,000 to support our expert financial aid programs and increase awareness to the South Florida community about value of postsecondary education and affordable paths to college.

uAspire Miami is grateful to the following sponsors for their magnanimous support: TD Bank, Wells Fargo, Evensky & Katz Wealth Management, Northern Trust, Source Outdoor, Center for Social Change, Marty E. Davis, Esq. BB&T, MSS Media, Vizcaino, Gitlin & Zomerfeld, LLP, The Hollo Family, Kaufman Rossin & Co., Greenberg Traurig, P.A., Sara M. Mercado, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans®, Daily Melt, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, University of Miami, Miami Marlins, Florida International University, Marsh & McLennan Agency, Continental National Bank of Miami, KW Property Management & Consulting, Miami Innovation Center, Berger Singerman Attorneys at Law, Kirshner, Groff & Diaz, Attorneys at law, Miss Mancy, Youth Co-Op, Nouvelle Institute, Commissioner Juan C. Zapata, Jorge Luis Lopez Law Firm, LLC, Infante Zumpano, Becker & Poliakoff, DiazCarla Balonek Family Giving, The Raleigh, Miami Herald, J Productions, Bacardi, Casa Vinicola Zonin, Proximo Spirits, Heaven Hills Distilleries, Hpnotiq and Harmonie, Evan Williams Bourbon, Admiral Nelson’s Spiced Rum, PAMA, Dolce Vita, SoBe Cigars, Herff Jones, Tassel Toppers, Miami-Dade College Miami Beach Senior High Jazz Combo, Misha’s Cupcakes, Ronald W. Reagan Senior High School, Flour Child, and Nespresso.

uAspire Miami is looking forward to celebrating next year’s Cap & Gown Gala on Saturday, October 18, 2014. For more information and ways to get involved, please contact Erica at

Fire Performer

Hats Off After Party

Shelley and Jon Groff and Marty E. Davis, Esq.

Cum Laude Sponsor-Vizcaino, Gitlin & Zomerfeld, LLP

Marty E. Davis, Esq. uAspire Miami Board of Trustees Chair and Michael Acton Coles

Felipe Basulto, uAspire Miami of Trustees and Erica Herman, uAspire Miami Director of Development

Ashley Boroski and Danielle Hebert

DJ Immortal

The Raleigh, Silent Auction

Magna Cum Laude Sponsor-Mike Sheldon, MSS Media

Dr. Mark Rosenberg

First One Honorees- Marty E. Davis, Kira Grossman accepting for Norie del Valle, Deputy Mayor Russell Benford, Thomas M. Cornish, Jose Basulto and Keith Fletcher

Kevin V. Michael, Gina Polo and Richard Rey

uAspire Day named by Miami-Dade County- Debra Gauthier, Kira Grossman, Marty E. Davis, Deputy Mayor Russell Benford and Lucy Nunez

Marina Foglia, Sergio Trejos, Lucy Nunez and Maria Salas

Ian Kahn, Stacey Hatch, Jackie Kaplan and Avi Eckstein

Rosanna Galvis, Marina Foglia, Cameron and Leticia Gunn

Maxima Cum Laude Sponsor-SourceOutdoor

uAspire Day named by the City of Miami Beach-Debra Gauthier, Kira Grossman, Marty E. Davis and Lucy Nunez

Mike Simmons, Cameron Sisser, Matthew Anderson and JC Del Valle

Magna Cum Laude Sponsor-Sara M Mercado, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans

The Raleigh

Magna Cum Laude Sponsor-Kaufman, Rossin & Co.

Cum Laude Sponsor-The Hollo Family

Felipe Basulto, Rita and Jose Basulto

Summa Cum Laude Sponsor-Wells Fargo