Meet the Twelve Good Men of 2018
Each year Ronald McDonald House Charities honors outstanding men in our community at its Twelve Good Men Luncheon. This special event honors a select group of distinguished men whose generous contributions and community and civic involvement are worthy of recognition and appreciation. This year’s event will be held at the Coral Gables Country Club on Thursday, April 12, 2018, at 11:30 a.m. Chairs are Linda Levy Goldberg, Jim Murphy and Sonia Gibson. Tickets are $225 per person and can be purchased online at www.RMHCSouthFlorida.org or by calling 305-324-5683.
David was born and raised in southern Michigan. He graduated from Oakland University in Michigan before moving to South Florida in the early 70’s where he now owns several businesses. David and his wife, Mercedes, support philanthropic causes through The Carlson Family Foundation. Among the Carlson’s favorites are: The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, the Diabetes Research Institute and the Humane Society of Greater Miami. The Carlsons have two sons, Ronnie and wife Gigi, John-Martin and wife Kirsten, and two granddaughters, London and Lennon. Gigi and Kirsten assist the David and Mercedes in their humanitarian efforts. Ronnie and John-Martin were involved with their mom with a Travel Auction fundraiser benefitting Ronald McDonald House in the late 80’s.
Marco Contreras, M.D.
Dr. Contreras began his dental career in the early 1990’s at Venezuela’s Central University (Universidad Central de Venezuela, Dental School, Caracas, Venezuela), the country’s leading educational facility for Medical Dentistry. He furthered his studies in Miami at University of Miami‘s Jackson Memorial Hospital. Dr. Contreras’ practice includes implant dentistry as well as cosmetic and restorative dentistry. He is active and proactive in continuing education courses and keeps abreast of the latest innovations. He is committed to providing a lifetime of optimum oral health and strives to develop relationships with his patients based on mutual trust, excellent customer service, and the best patient care available. He believes that every patient deserves to be treated honestly, fairly and with the utmost in personal integrity, therefore practicing to the highest ethical standard within his profession.
Manny Hernandez is a photojournalist chronicling social media, Latino culture, and arts and entertainment. His images frequently publish in The Miami Herald, Ocean Drive magazine, Billboard, People, and Vanity Fair. Manny was born and raised in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood to a Cuban father and Chilean mother. An alumnus from both Miami Dade College and Florida International University, he specialized in Communications and proceeded to photograph jetsetters, celebrities, and club kids during the city’s new renaissance of the 1990’s. In the last few years, Manny launched MannyofMiami.com, a site and new branding that has blog posts and event galleries. In 2014, All Access Booth was formed creating a photo marketing platform with social media activations for companies like Swatch, BMW, Moët, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and JP Morgan. Wynwood Books has published Manny’s first book, “CANDIDS Miami,” a 100-page book of Miami’s 90’s scene and includes 35mm, negative film, photographs of Gianni Versace, Celia Cruz, Madonna, and more. When not working, Manny enjoys traveling, cooking, playing chess, golf and hot yoga.
Danny Jelaca is an American stylist. He is the founder of the Danny Jelaca Salon in Miami Beach and has worked with celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Padma Lakshmi, Milla Jovovich, Naomi Campbell, Cameron Diaz, Sharon Stone, Ivana Trump, Savannah Guthrie, and local celebrity Real Housewives of Miami’s Adriana de Moura. Danny grew up in Chicago before studying at the Horst Education Center, now known as the Aveda Institute, in Minneapolis. He relocated to Miami and began working at salons including 13 years as styling director at Stella Salon. In 2009, Allure Magazine recognized Jelaca as a “Makeover Pro” of Miami. He has also been featured on NBC’s Today Show with Kathy Lee Gifford. After over 20 years in the industry at the age of 43, he opened the Danny Jelaca Salon in Miami’s South Beach where he is a stylist and in charge of the day-to-day operations. He has stylized models for runway shows including Yves Saint Laurent, Diane von Furstenberg and Donna Karan. The salon has been recognized for “Best Hair Salon” at the Floridian Awards in 2013; the “Best Cut Miami” by InStyle; a “Salon of Distinction” in 2014; and a Salon and Stylist Award from Modern Luxury in 2015. Danny Jelaca traveled to Honduras in 2016 to raise funds for an orphanage. He also participated in styling models for the Miami Make-A-Wish Ball runway show. He moved his salon to a new location that includes an enhanced makeup studio and med spa components. Jelaca was selected to be a contestant on the Lifetime network show, American Beauty Star, which aired in September 2017.
Rudy Kranys has served in a variety of engineering positions since attending Carnegie Institute of Technology. He started as a field engineer for Philco Corporation and Martin Marietta Corporations specializing in military telecommunications, radar and data transmission. In 1965 he cofounded Medrad Incorporated, a medical device company specializing in medical devices, specifically Angiographic Injectors and disposables. He has several patents in this area. That company has revenues of over $750 million. Medrad formed a subsidiary company, Intec, to develop the first Automatic Implantable Defibrillator (AID). Mr. Kranys was Vice President of Product Development for that company. After successfully developing the first AID, that company was sold to Eli Lilly Corporation. He subsequently became President & CEO of Medical Research International (MRI) & International Development Corporation (IDC), a pioneer in the development of High Frequency Jet ventilators. Both companies were acquired by Sybron Corporation. Subsequently he was hired by Cordis Corporation, a publicly held company, where he served in various positions, including President of the Angiographic Product Division, Senior Vice President North American Operations and Vice President World Wide Re-search & Product Development. Cordis was acquired by Johnson and Johnson in 1996 in a stock-for stock transaction valued at $1.8 Billion. Mr. Kranys then consulted for Miravant Incorporated, a company specializing in Photodynamic Therapy, to recruit a Vice President of Operations and served in that capacity until the position was filled. Mr. Kranys then joined Syntheon LLC, a medical device company, as a partner. Rudy Kranys has retired from the medical device industry but continues to be active in the community. He’s served on the Board of Family Counseling Services, Chair of the Children’s Home Society Foundation of South Florida, Chair of JA of Miami and The Cancer Support Community of Greater Miami. He currently serves on the Board and Executive Committee of Goodwill Industries of South Florida, Board of directors for Doctors Hospital, Chair Emeritus of the Baptist Health South Florida Foundation and the Board of Trustees for Baptist Health South Florida .
Brad McMorris taught himself the stock market in his early 20’s and turned $2,000 into $8,000 with the help of his grandfather, whom he admired dearly. The stock market fascinated Brad and after numerous interviews, he was given a chance at a major financial institution where he received formal training to become a financial advisor. Years later he was recruited to bring his clients over to what is now Wells Fargo Advisors where he works today as co-founder of the “Arch & McMorris Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors” and manages more than 600 clients and hundreds of millions of dollars. Brad was a self-made man by 27, the same year his father was diagnosed with PD. For the next decade, Brad and his brother took care of their father. Brad began experiencing waves of rigidity while walking and he felt like his body and brain weren’t communicating when doing everyday tasks. He decided to see a neurologist in Miami. His father’s PD symptoms worsened, and he passed away in 2015. After a DAT scan and multiple tests, Brad was diagnosed with YOPD (Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease). Brad immediately became involved with the National Parkinson Foundation’s South Florida Chapter in Miami after hearing about its to mission to make life better for people with PD. In seeking an exercise program to make his body feel more normal, he met Bradley Murcia, a personal trainer, who worked with Brad to integrate exercise with PD awareness. They launched a fitness program called “Monday Madness,” a free, intense boot camp style class that is open to everyone. Brad continues to fight Parkinson’s and support the PD community by promoting exercise.
Brad Meltzer has over 25 years professional experience in the construction industry, starting at Plaza Construction in 1989. His educational background in architecture, paired with his vast construction background, gives him a unique perspective. He has demonstrated particular strength working hands-on with projects requiring critical advance planning, difficult staging and logistics, fast-track schedules, and maintenance of ongoing operations. His portfolio of projects encompasses new out of the ground facilities as well as high end interiors. To every project, he brings innovative solutions and informed leadership, successfully meeting clients’ goals with the highest level of quality. Select projects include high-profile hotels and condominiums in Miami, including The Marquis, Canyon Ranch Living, and The W Hotel South Beach; commercial and retail projects such as Miami’s TownCenter One at Dadeland, an office tower. His experience with office build-outs includes work on a number of projects including Credit Suisse First Boston and Credit Suisse Private Banking in Miami, Barclays Capital and Pfizer, Inc. in New York, and Union Bank of Switzerland in San Francisco. Mr. Meltzer is immediate Past President the CEA, a board member of the Construction Association of South Florida, and a member of the U.S. Green Building Counsel. He is also a member of the Associated General Contractors of America, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, board member of Miami Beach JCC, and advisory board member of Tulane School of Architecture.
Matthew Pinzur is the vice president and chief marketing officer at Jackson Health System, helping direct the system’s patient-experience strategy and overseeing the staff that manages Jackson’s public face through media relations, marketing, advertising, community outreach, branding, and digital media. Jackson is among the nation’s largest and most respected public hospital systems, with more than 2,000 beds and global leadership in specialty care. Matthew also serves as a senior advisor to Jackson’s chief executive office, serving on his President’s Council and helping direct Jackson’s strategy and tactics, including the massive financial turnaround that reversed more than $425 million in losses over five years into five consecutive years of multimillion-dollar surpluses beginning in 2012. In 2017, he was named a Power Leader in Marketing by South Florida Business Journal. Prior to joining Jackson’s executive team in 2011, he was a special assistant to the Miami-Dade County Manager and spent more than a decade as a newspaper reporter, including 6 years as a reporter for The Miami Herald covering government and public education. Matthew is a member of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, The Education Fund of Miami-Dade’s Board of Directors, the Public Policy Council for the United Way of Miami-Dade, and the Health & Wellness Advisory Committee of The Underline. He is an active member of the Emory Alumni Association and the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center. Matthew lives in Hollywood with his wife and daughter.
Rene Ruiz strikes a balance between old-world craftsmanship and modern glamour by blending Miami’s sultry sexiness with graceful elegance. His designs succeed in fusing the region’s beauty and diversity inspiring the international social set from Los Angeles to Palm Beach and Zurich to Ontario. ?His eye for high-quality fabrics and personalized attention to the creation and tailoring of each garment has created an international following for our luxurious, original and sophisticated designs. In blending the brands inspirations with Miami’s rich cultural heritage in our artistry, Rene Ruiz designs are also known for their own fabrics, accentuating the meticulous detailing which inspires sensuality for the modern woman. The Rene Ruiz collection is available at Rene Ruiz stores located in Aventura and Boca Raton, at exclusive specialty stores worldwide, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue. The Aventura atelier also showcases one-of-a-kind custom couture, ready-to-wear, bridal and men’s collections and can be visited Monday through Saturday by appointment.
Seth R. Thaller, M.D., D.M.D.
Seth R. Thaller, MD, DMD, has been practicing medicine for 43 years. He professor and chief of the division of plastic surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital. He is currently chief of plastic surgery at Miami Veteran Affairs Healthcare System. Formerly, he was professor and chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery at the University of Miami Health System. He is passionate about returning a smile to the faces of countless of children in the community and other parts of the world, who are born with a cleft lip, palate and craniofacial defects. As a medical volunteer for Project Medishare, he has traveled to Haiti dozens of times to perform surgery on babies and children who need cleft lip, palate, and craniofacial reconstructive surgeries. He recently participated in the launch of the breast cancer post-mastectomy reconstruction surgery program, and hand surgery program with Project Medishare. He is also a volunteer for Spreading Smiles, and supports the organization’s fundraising efforts and research, as well as management of kids born with a cleft lip and palate. He also supports the fundraising efforts of University of Miami Health System’s Miles for Smiles: Cleft Lip and Palate, a 5k Run/Walk that raises funds for children with this congenital defect. Dr. Thaller has authored and co-authored eleven books and has written more than 200 papers in medical journals. He earned his doctor in medicine degree from the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and Doctor of Medicine in dentistry degree from Boston University School of Graduate Dentistry. He completed a general surgery residency at St. Vincent’s Hospital & Medical Center and was a resident of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center. He also completed a craniofacial fellowship at UCLA.
Jonathan Vilma is an entrepreneur, investor and media personality. He is in his second year as a college football commentator with ESPN and served as a football analyst on NBC’s Pro Football Talk with Mike Florio as well as a pre-game and halftime analyst for NBC’s coverage of Notre Dame Football prior to joining ESPN in 2016. Prior to becoming a media personality, Jonathan played 10 seasons in the National Football League for the New Orleans Saints and New York Jets. The three-time Pro Bowl linebacker was the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2004 as the Jets’ first-round draft pick. He was an integral part of the Saints where, as Team Captain, he led the defense to their first Super Bowl Championship in 2009. A college standout at the University of Miami both academically and athletically, he was part of the Hurricanes National Championship football team in 2001 and an Academic All American his entire college career. Jonathan lives in Miami, Florida where he is growing his budding empire in the fast-casual food franchise sector. He is a Master Franchisee for two popular food concepts in the South Florida area – Pincho Factory and Brother Jimmy’s. Pincho Factory is a fast growing, award winning burger and kebab restaurant in the South Florida area. Brother Jimmy’s is a popular chain of barbecue restaurants in Miami and New York. Jonathan looks forward to growing both brands and taking on new concepts as he continues to grow his franchising enterprise.
Timothy Walker is a seasoned executive with nearly 15 years’ experience in the arts and philanthropy sectors. In Miami, Walker served as the Director of the Capital Campaign for the Perez Art Museum Miami for 5 years, seeing the Herzog & de Meuron designed project from pre-construction, opening and its first two years. Subsequently, Walker spent time in New York City, helming fundraising efforts for the New Museum of Contemporary Art, before deciding to return to his chosen home of Miami. Ransom Everglades brought Walker on board to collaborate on the school’s capital campaign, ReInventing Excellence. The campaign will fund the largest building project in the school’s history and transform its bayside campus over the next 5 years. As Principal of Walker Cultural, he continues a focus on connecting the worlds of art, design and philanthropy and in the past year has collaborated on projects with a number of partners including internationally acclaimed artist Nathalia Edenmont and Stockholm’s renowned contemporary art space Wetterling Gallery. Walker believes that Miami and its burgeoning cultural community is vital to the city’s continued growth. Walker is active in volunteer roles as well, having served for four years on the National Board of Governors for The Human Rights Campaign. Along with his husband, Matthew Lieberman, he supports a number of causes including Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, Locust Projects, The Bass, PAMM, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, and Care Resource.