Inner Circle of Twelve
Presented by American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society will honor local philanthropists for their commitment to our community at the Eighth Annual Inner Circle of Twelve Luncheon and Fashion Show. Also, in honor of their commitment and efforts to make this luncheon one of the most successful, the prestigious Inner Circle of Twelve Legacy Award will be presented to founding Event Chairs Dorothy St. Jean and James “Jim” Murphy. The luncheon will be held at the J.W. Marriott Marquis Miami on Friday, October 23. Tickets are $200. For information, call Karla Pascua at 305-779-2879.
Dorothy St. Jean
Recipient of the Inner Circle of Twelve Legacy Award
Dorothy St. Jean was born in New Jersey where she still goes to class reunions and keeps in touch with friends she has known for over 65 years. After high School she did secretarial work in NYC but came back to Miami in 1952. She was married to the late Harvey St. Jean, a criminal defense attorney. After his untimely death, she worked for 10 years at the Jockey Club doing public relations and directing social activities. Dorothy has been active with many charities, including Children’s Resource Fund, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and she has been a volunteer for 40 years for the American Cancer Society. She started back in 1972 on the Executive Board of the Doral Eastern Open. For over 17 Dorothy was one of the Chairs of Miami’s Ten Best Dressed Women, one of the elite fashion luncheons of Miami. A gal with a great sense of humor, Dorothy loves a good story and does everything with a flair for fun. If she could choose dinner partners, it would be Shirley MacLaine, the late Monica Hefler and Eleanor Holm Whalen – Al Pacino and Kevin Costner wouldn’t be bad either! Her favorite saying is “I love Miami because it is so close to the United States!” Dorothy is best known as “The Spirit of Miami,” thanks to her role as a chairmen for the Grand Prix Gala. Dorothy was instrumental in the founding of the American Cancer Society Inner Circle of Twelve Luncheon in 2008.
James “Jim” Murphy
Recipient of Inner Circle of Twelve Legacy Award
James “Jim” Murphy is a graduate of Stetson University where he received an Honorary “Quarter Century Diploma” in 1988 for “High ideals of character and good citizenship that may serve as an inspiring example to students of this and future generations.” Jim arrived in Miami in 1963 and almost immediately began volunteering with organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters, March of Dimes, Bascom Palmer, Beaux Arts and many more. Jim has been an active interior decorator for many years, creating beautiful decor in buildings and homes around South Florida. He served two terms as President of The Vizcayans and continues to support the arts. His cheery and upbeat attitude wins over friends from all over, resulting in even more friends! Murphy’s mission in life is to help and serve his community. He served as a chairmen of the Ten Best Dressed Luncheon in Miami; is one of the founders of the 12 Good Men, an annual benefit for Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida; and, most importantly, Jim has been a pinnacle to the American Cancer Society Inner Circle of Twelve Luncheon in which he has served as an event chair since the beginning. James Murphy is a humble man and his many accomplishments and attributes are too numerous to count.
Yolanda Berkowitz was born in Cuba and raised in Chicago, Yolanda returned to Miami in 1995, and continues to call Miami home. Along with husband Jeff, Yolanda is deeply involved in numerous charitable organizations in Miami. As a current board member of United Way of Miami-Dade and committee member of the Center for Excellence in Early Education at United Way, Yolanda continues to make our community’s children her priority. Yolanda has volunteered for nearly 20 years with the Guardian ad Litem Program, directly advocating for abused, abandoned and neglected children in dependency proceedings in Miami-Dade County, and with Voices For Children Foundation, raising funds and raising awareness to support that effort. Yolanda enjoys spending time with her husband, his two sons and their families, as well as their many pets. An avid animal lover, Yolanda’s second passion is issues related to the well being and protection of animals in Miami-Dade County and beyond. Other organizations that the Berkowitz family supports are Miami Children’s Museum, Chapman Partnership, The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, Humane Society of Greater Miami, Jackson Health Foundation and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Victoria Cummock is an activist, designer, philanthropist, mother of three, grandmother of two and a fierce advocate for American victims of terrorism and international air disasters. Subsequent to the 1988 terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie Scotland, which killed her husband John along with 269 other people, Victoria became a formidable activist for victims rights. Her work primarily focused in the areas of Disaster Crisis Management, Aviation Security, Counter-terrorism and creating the protocols for restitution of American Terror Victims. She was instrumental in forming the Pan Am 103 family support group and has represented them before US Congress, the United Nations, the media and internationally to the Crown and Scottish authorities. Victoria has worked under two presidents and was White House Commissioner of Aviation Safety and Security under President Clinton. Formerly, she served on the National Board of Governors of the American Red Cross in Washington DC and
on the board of Vizcaya Museum. Currently she serves on the Board of the American Friends of the Louvre Museum in Paris and on the Advisory Board of Mindful Kids Miami-Miami Mindfulness. She is a strong supporter of the Women’s Fund, the United Way, Dade Heritage Trust, Casa Valentina, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Chapman Partnership, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens and the American Cancer Society.
Margaret Eidson, M.D.
Margaret Eidson, M.D. grew up in South Carolina but moved to Miami with her husband, Mike Eidson, in 1972. She then joined the faculty of the University of Miami School of Medicine. For 20 years Margaret was also Regional Director of the State of Florida Children’s Medical Services’ Pediatric Endocrine/Diabetes Program. She has served on an advisory panel for Kristi House and on the President’s Council of the University of Miami. Margaret and Mike fell in love with Miami the moment they moved here. Mike is a partner in the law firm Colson, Hicks, Eidson. Over the years, they have been dedicated to a wide range of philanthropic interests in health, education and the arts. Their support has included the University of South Carolina Nursing Program and History Program, the Emory University Law School where they initiated scholarships for women law students, the University of Miami School of Medicine and Nursing School, the YES organization, Kidz Hear Now, Kristi House, the American Cancer Society, Miami Children’s Hospital, Jackson Health Foundation’s Guardian Angels, and The Red Cross. Margaret and Mike have been particularly involved in the arts community. Margaret is now a member of the Board of Governors of Miami City Ballet.
Yvonne Damiano Eldredge
Yvonne Damiano Eldredge is a native of Miami. Born in Coral Gables, she is the only child of Emily and Victor Damiano. She is married to Charles Eldredge and has two sons. Yvonne is living her dream of supporting organizations devoted to the welfare of children and animals. After twelve years of supporting “The Unicorn Children’s Foundation,” Yvonne was selected as The Foundation’s Honoree at the 2011 “Orient Express Gala” at Mar-A-Lago. At the heart of Yvonne’s generous spirit has been her extraordinary support for the St. Jude Research Hospital for the prevention and cure of pediatric catastrophic diseases. A true passion for Yvonne is her work with The Humane Society of Greater Miami and a particular joy is being at the annual “Pawpurrazzi” Gala, whose mission is to aid homeless and abandoned pets. In its seventh fabulous year, Yvonne’s invaluable contributions to this celebration for the animals has led to “Pawpurrazzi’s” incredible success. Yvonne was recognized at the Bascom Palmer’s Eye Institute’s “Evening of Elegance Vision of The Eyes” Gala, dedicated to Pediatric Ophthalmology at The Children’s Eye Clinic. She was also Treasurer of the Women’s Committee for Bascom Palmer.” Yvonne was the 2011 Gala Benefactor for the Young Patronesses of The Opera’s (YPO) “Magic of Broadway Gala.” Her other community leadership and fundraising roles include: Kristi House, Child Advocacy Center, Barry University, The Frost Museum of Science, Dr. Mehmet Oz’s HealthCorps and Chairman of The Surf Club Debutante Ball Committee in 1997. Since 1994, the Eldredges have remained committed to keeping the Debutante Ball tradition alive.
Ana de Figueroa Cisneros
Ana de Figueroa Cisneros has been married to Tony Figueroa Cisneros for 11 years, and they have two beautiful daughters, Katherine, age 7, and Juliette, age 6. Ana was born in Brazil where she completed her Master’s degree in Psychology at the top ranked university, Universidad de Sao Paulo. Within her first year after moving to the US, Ana dedicated herself to the Organization of American States in Washington, DC, helping to organize the participation of Foundations and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) at the Summit of the Americas. Ana has contributed to different projects for children in need with the help of her husband and his family. The projects range from the purchasing of a container of wheelchairs for people in need in Venezuela to making sure that locally as many children as possible would have turkey for Thanksgiving or a present for Christmas. Ana and Tony Figueroa Cisneros served as International Chairs for the Miami Children’s Hospital Diamond Ball in 2013, when the event raised $5 million, and in 2014 they served as Chairs for the Diamond Ball when it raised $6 million. Ana will continue to dedicate her life to helping others since she believes that this is the best source of happiness.
Jeanie Hernandez, a native of New York City, received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Latin American/Caribbean Area Studies from Binghamton University. Her community activism began when people recognized her talents in the entertainment industry, enabling her to work closely with fundraising events benefiting the Latin Grammys Organization, AIDS Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, City Year, Breast Cancer Awareness, Miami & Fort Lauderdale International Film Festivals, The Women’s Alliance, as well as many other not-for-profits. She has been actively involved in and has received numerous awards for outstanding leadership and community contributions. including the 2015 Co-Chair for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami Annual Gala, the 2015 Host Committee for Power of the Purse benefiting the Women’s Fund of Greater Miami, 2014 Honorary Co-Chair for the Chapman Partnership annual Women’s Luncheon, and many more. In 2000, she worked for Comcast’s advertising division in promotions and marketing earning the “most valuable player award” within her first year. Jeanie has been strategically involved in the acquisition of the Global Spectrum management contract of the Miami Beach Convention Center and the most recent merger of the Comcast/ NBC Universal partnership. Jeanie is single and lives in Miami Beach. She enjoys spending time and mentoring her 13-year old “little” Denise Manus, enjoying her time with family and friends, traveling, dancing, boating, golfing, dining, and finding ways to contribute to the community.
Sheila Kuhl has spent the last 30 years building Miami’s most comprehensive home design store. She has a background in fashion design and art that helped build a business with one of the most unique collections of décor, art and accessories found anywhere. Sheila came to Miami 1981 with her husband Frank and three small children. A Fashion Design major from Southern Illinois, she honed her talents for painting while stationed in the Philippines where she studied with a renowned professor of Chinese Brush painting. With the encouragement of family and friends, the Kuhls purchased a tiny frame shop in Coconut Grove and set about growing their business and raising their family. Over the years the business has evolved to include an amazing array of products for the home, a huge art gallery, house to home move-in services and much more. In 2008 youngest daughter Janel joined Frank and Sheila at the gallery. She brought with her a degree in Interior Design and Marketing from UF and 7 years experience in commercial design. Sheila has focused on community service serving 7 years on the Board of the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce. Over the years the gallery has hosted numerous charity events including CPHI, Teach for America, The American Heart Association, Charlee’s House, and many others. Sheila served three years on the Board of The Vizcayans and is currently on the Board of the Humane Society. Sheila, Frank, and Janel live and work in the Grove and continue to support a wide variety of neighborhood and community events while enjoying the many long term relationships with clients who have long ago become friends.
Miriam Salazar was born in Havana, Cuba, and moved to New Jersey in 1959. Five years later she came to Miami and worked as Executive Assistant to the President of Exxon Caribbean and Latin America, where she met her late husband Germán. They lived in Buenos Aires for many years where she was a board member of the American Women’s Club, visiting inner-city communities and providing books, clothes and toys to underprivileged children; she also was Vice President of the Argentinean International Women’s Association. While in Argentina Miriam acted in community theater. Back in Miami, she served on the boards of the Society for Abused Children and Children’s Home Society Council, volunteering at the Teen Shelters. She is a Founder and Membership Chairman of a Women’s American ORT Chapter; lifetime member of Inter-American Chapter of Hadassah; founding member of the Cuban-Hebrew Congregation, Temple Shmuel; worked with Jack Levine, Executive Director of the Florida Center for Children & Youth in Tallahassee; volunteered with Building Community Partnerships for Family Preservation and Florida Children’s Campaigns. For over twenty years Miriam has held different positions on the board of the Women’s Committee of Big Brothers Big Sisters Miami and is a past Miracle Maker honoree. She is currently a Chair of the Lori Brener Scholarship Fund named in memory of her daughter. For the last three years she has been Vice President of the Board of the ExxonMobil Retirees Association. She has been acting for many years in films and made-for-TV movies. Currently she appears on several TV commercials, prints and an HBO International TV series shown in Europe. Miriam wears many hats, but what she is most proud of are her 12 grandchildren and Liora, her two year old great-granddaughter.
Joanne Schulte is a native Miamian whose pioneer family arrived here almost 100 years ago. She is an internationally recognized concert organist and pedagogue who has performed throughout the U.S. and Europe, including a recital at St. Ignatius in Rome and played Mass for Pope John Paul II at St. Peter’s in the Vatican. A graduate of Indiana University School of Music, Joanne has devoted more than 45 years to our state’s arts and arts education. As a member of the Fine Arts Council of Florida, she created the professional grants panel, and served as Chair of the Coral Gables Cultural Development Board. Her devotion to Vizcaya began in 1969 as organist of the newly restored pipe organ and continued as Chairman of the Foundation for Villa Vizcaya where she created the Chamber Music series, and was instrumental in building a coalition to establish the Vizcaya Trust. Joanne served as President of the Prelude Committee of the Miami Philharmonic and board member of Beaux Arts, Junior League, Young Patronesses of the Opera and the Red Cross Ball Committee. Presently, Joanne is Director of Organ Studies at FIU. As founding chairman of Seraphic Fire, she is dedicated to fostering its educational initiative, the Miami Choral Academy, which reaches more than 10,000 children from inner city schools. Joanne wed her husband, attorney John Schulte, 50 years ago, and their family includes daughters Elizabeth Roth, the late Carolyn Beasley and three grandchildren.
Alexandra Villoch (Alex) is President and Publisher of the Miami Herald Media Company. She is responsible for both the Miami Herald and the Spanish-language el Nuevo Herald newspapers and their print and digital products, including INDULGE luxury magazines and travel and tourism media subsidiary HCP/Aboard Publishing. She had previously served as Senior Vice President for Advertising and Marketing. Prior to joining the Miami Herald, Alex was the General Manager for Miami International Airport & the Caribbean for United Airlines. She is a past-Chair of The Beacon Council; Chair Emeritus of the One Community, One Goal Initiative of The Beacon Council; and member of the Board of Governors of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce; and past-Chair of the United Way’s Women’s Leadership Initiative. She was honored with the 2012 International Economic Development Council’s Citizen Leadership Award, and earlier this year, she received the Thelma Gibson Award of Excellence by the Miami Dade Women’s Chamber of Commerce. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and an MBA from the University of Miami, and resides in Coral Gables with her husband.
Josephine Wang was born in China to a business family associated with international diplomatic accord, educated in the finest Catholic schools in China and the US, wherein she was instilled in discipline, culture and the pursuit of excellence – three qualities she continues to hold in the highest regard. Josie’s husband, Dr. John Wang, is a renowned hydraulic and ocean engineer. They moved to Miami where Josie became a real estate broker. Her professional awards are legion, and she has nearly $2 billion in sales in exclusive, high-end properties. She has attained the Legend’s Society Number One Sales Associate in Florida a remarkable five times. She was a founding Board member of the Master Brokers Forum, a group of elite Real Estate professionals in South Florida, and she is a member of the esteemed International Women’s Forum. Josie’s heritage has provided her with a deep respect for humanity and a tradition of charitable giving. John and Josie are Founders of the Baptist Health Foundation. In addition, Josie is a staunch supporter of the American Cancer Society, Baptist Women’s Breast Cancer Center,. Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Cancer Link for the UM Sylvester Cancer Center, Catholic Charities, Doctors’ Hospital, Project: Newborn, UM Rosenstiel Marine School, UM Medical School, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, and many others. Josie has dedicated herself to the welfare of her community. She and her husband are blessed with an incredible family of two wonderful sons, Alex and Michael, and a beautiful daughter-in-law, Joyce – all of whom are in finance and real estate.