Patricia Dean, ARNP, MSN is Clinical Coordinator of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami, Florida. Patricia Dean received her BS in Nursing from Downstate Medical Center and her Masters of Nursing at the University of Miami. Ms. Dean is nationally recognized for her work with children with epilepsy and has been involved with the consumer side of epilepsy on local, state, and national levels. She was formerly a Board member of the Epilepsy Foundation of America and is Immediate Past President of Epilepsy Florida. She is the recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award from the national Epilepsy Foundation organization. She served on the Governor’s Task Force on Epilepsy. Dean is a highly sought-after lecturer and has published numerous articles. Her research interests are on the antecedents of developmental pathology in intractable epilepsy and self-management skills in epilepsy. The Foundation’s new annual award, the Beacon Award, was renamed the Patricia Dean Beacon Award in 2012 in honor of Pat’s “diligent and tireless efforts to improve the lives of those living with epilepsy through exceptional and passionate care services”.
Don Brennan served as the chief merchandising officer and senior executive vice president at Kohl’s Corp. from September 2007 to April 2014 and served as its executive vice president, general merchandise manager, from April 2004 to August 2007. Prior to joining Kohl’s in 2001, Don served as senior vice president and general merchandise manager at Burdines Department Stores, a division of Federated Department Stores, Inc. He is a graduate of Marquette University with a degree in Business Administration.
Member at LargeSteve Feig is the founder and owner of Foreign Parts Distribution, Inc. located in Hialeah, Florida. Mr. Feig received his Masters in Psychology from Mont Claire State College. He has served on the boards of various non-profit and business organizations. For 10 years, Mr. Feig served on the board of Epilepsy Florida and became Board President during his tenure. The founder of the Clayton Feig Fund, he has continuously held annual fundraisers to help support several Epilepsy Florida programs for children with Epilepsy. The fund was created in memory of his son, Clayton Feig, who in 1993 at the age of 18 years old, passed away from complications he suffered due to epilepsy. Each year, Epilepsy Florida will select one youth in each location to receive the Clayton Feig Youth Award. The award not only commemorates those like Clayton who battle with seizures, but highlights the important work of those who are dedicated to removing the stigma and misunderstandings that have been associated with epilepsy.
A. G. "Terry" Newmyer III
A. G. Newmyer III is a "lifer" in the epilepsy community. Known as "Terry," he had a couple idiopathic seizures during his teenage years (the last was 50 years ago) and has spent decades trying to help others with the disorder, particularly kids.
Terry has had a diverse business career and is the founder of The Newmyer Organization, based in Palm Beach County, focused on a broad array of investment and consulting activities.
Terry served for almost 20 years on the national board of The Epilepsy Foundation. He held several officer positions -- including Treasurer -- and was on the executive committee as well as the search committee to recruit the CEO. Terry chaired The Governor's Council in the late 1990's, an organization to recognize the foundation's largest donors. After moving full-time from Washington, DC, to Florida at the end of 2004, he joined the EF board and was nominated by our organization as an affiliate director of Epilepsy Foundation. Over the years, he was asked to chair the Epilepsy Foundation national and state organizations; he declined due to time constraints and other commitments.Terry, a graduate of Yale, has served on numerous boards of non-profit and business organizations. He has four children and two grandchildren.
Sara Widing graduated from The Ohio State University with a Masters of Health Administration in 2004. Sara works as the Administrative Director at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. She previously worked at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital as the Brain Institute Service Line Administrator –where she lead and oversaw The Brain Institutes daily operations and strategic planning for the health system including hospital, ambulatory and employed physician practices. She also served in a variety of senior executive and managerial positions at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. She has more than 15 years of operations management and strategic planning experience in healthcare industry and experience building and implementing cross functional, strategic, and business planning programs.
Adam Adache has extensive experience in various aspects of the real estate industry including finance, acquisition, development and construction. He is a managing partner of Cavache Properties, a real estate development and Investment Company and manages the various aspects of the day to day operations of the company. As a principal in various entities he has been involved in multiple commercial, multifamily and residential real estate projects throughout the state of Florida. He currently serves as managing partner of Adache Real Estate and is a partner in Adache Group Architects. Adam is also a principle and co founder of Cavache, Inc. a dredging, marine and land development contractor that has site developed over 2,000 acres of land throughout the state of Florida and has performed dredging and marine work for various private and public entities. He is a certified licensed General Contractor and a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Florida.
Adam lives South Florida with his wife Monica and two daughters, Maya and Ana Camila. His oldest daughter Maya has suffered from intractable epilepsy since having her first seizure at 6 months old. She has been on multiple medications throughout her life and had brain surgery at the age of 8. Adam and his family continue to fight the fight. They know firsthand how Epilepsy and many of the associated health issues can affect a family. Finding a cure, new treatment options and improving the lives of patients and families that suffer from Epilepsy is very important to Adam and his family.
Beth Alcalde serves as managing partner of Akerman’s Palm Beach County offices. A noted employee benefits lawyer, author, and speaker, she represents Fortune 500 companies and other public and private entities, including those in the hospitality, healthcare, and higher education sectors, throughout the United States.
Beth provides counsel on employer-sponsored benefit plans, from compliance with ERISA, the Affordable Care Act, and other federal regulations, to internal audits and benefits-related implications of corporate transactions. She assists clients in defending and responding to audits conducted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Beth is a contributing author on benefits compliance topics for the Employee Benefits Institute of America and a frequent speaker on employer compliance, privacy, and security issues. She has been recognized as a “Power Leader in Law” and one of the “Top 25 Influential Business Women” by South Florida Business Journal.
Nicholas X. Duran
DirectorNicholas X. Duran is a South Floridian who lives in Coconut Grove with his wife Danielle and two kids. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, and a law degree from New York Law School. Nick was elected in November 2016 to the Florida State House of Representatives for District 112. In his first two sessions in Tallahassee, Nick quickly developed a reputation as a thoughtful, policy-oriented legislator, with a uniquely credible voice on health care, education and small business issues. Over the years, he has served in a variety of leadership roles in health care policy and community engagement. In 2010, he joined The Children’s Movement of Florida, one of state’s largest early childhood organizations. Currently, he is the Executive Director of the Florida Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, serves on the board of directors for The Children’s Trust, is the immediate past chair for the University of South Florida Covering Kids and Families State Coalition and a member of both Leadership Florida and the Florida Bar.
Bryan Filson is a Financial Planner and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He has spent the past 14 years in the financial services industry working with Trust Departments, Private Banking Departments, Certified Financial Planners®, CPA’s and Estate Planning Attorneys. Bryan concentrated his efforts on incorporating banking and securities training to create a composite background geared towards customized Financial Planning. Through a prior firm, Bryan held the FINRA series 6, 63 Licenses. Bryan currently holds the Series 7, 66, Florida Long-Term Care Certification as well as the Life, Health and Variable annuity license. He also has his CRPS® Designation from the College For Financial Planning. He formerly was on the board for the Economic Development Council for the Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce and was previously a Trustee for the General Pension Fund for the Bonita Springs Fire Control and Rescue District. Bryan is currently a Board Member for The Heights Foundation. Bryan uses his experience and community involvement to create financial plans like fingerprints, customized to each individual situation.
Carlos J. Gimenez
Carlos has a wealth of experience dealing with permitting authorities in Miami and specifically with building departments that allow his clients to engage in a close working relationship to ensure a smooth permitting process. Carlos has also successfully represented several clients before governmental entities, specifically clients competing for contracts issued by public procurement. His representation of clients has also included successful legislative lobbying efforts to make changes, modifications or additions to current law to forward public policy efforts by his clients. Additionally, Carlos provides public outreach advice to firm clients, especially with regard to politically sensitive issues. His knowledge in this area often leads to identifying issues before they become problems, leading to effective and efficient resolution to a given matter.
J. Nick Hansen
Nick Hansen is a graduate of the University of Florida. He and his wife Riley reside in Hillsborough County with their five children. Nick is a Florida native with over fourteen (14) years of experience in Florida government and politics, in both the public and private sectors. He began his career in politics in 2005, working as a campaign manager in a State House campaign for the Republican Party of Florida. In 2009, Poli Solutions Consulting, LLC was formed to manage both corporate and political clients. The founder and CEO, Nick Hansen, primarily focuses on political clients, while his partners and employees focus on various other corporate ventures that include real estate development, property and investment management, financial analysis, corporate operations, business development, and an online education provider. Currently he is the Director of Government Affairs for the Southeast United States for MedMen, a national cannabis retailer in the United States.
Hind Kettani, M.D.
Dr. Hind Kettani is a board-certified neurologist who specializes in neurology and epilepsy. Dr. Kettani has a private practice, Premier Neurology Center in Stuart, FL. Dr. Kettani earned her medical degree from Université Hassan II, Casablanca, Morocco in 2001 and completed her residency in Neurology at St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan in 2009. She completed her fellowship in Epilepsy at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. She served as assistant professor of Neurology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Dr. Kettani is fluent in English, French, Arabic and Moroccan.
Jeff Klauk graduated from Florida Southern College in 2000. During his last three years at FSC, Jeff won the NCAA Division 2 National Championship. Jeff was also fortunate to win the Individual title his senior year. After graduating, Jeff turned professional in the fall of 2000 and the following year he qualified for the Web.com Tour. In 2003 he won his first professional golf tournament at the Web.com Wichita Open, which was one of two wins during his Web.com Tour career.
In 2006 Jeff experienced his first tonic-clonic seizure. It happened on a Friday night after he had finally played well the first two days of a tournament. Jeff was forced to withdraw from the event. About one month later he experienced his second tonic-clonic seizure. This seizure forced him to go home, undergo medical testing, and start prescribed medication. That was when he was diagnosed with having epilepsy. Thankfully, with the proper medication, Jeff’s tonic-clonic seizures were controlled.
In 2008, Jeff finished third on the Web.com money list and earned his PGA Tour card, a dream he had since he was a child. Jeff had one win and three 2nd place finishes in 2008 that helped him qualify for the PGA Tour. In 2009, during his rookie year on the PGA Tour, Jeff had three 4th place finishes allowing him to retain his exempt status. Jeff eventually finished 71st on the money list. He was able to play in The Players Championship, another life-long dream. Then, on Christmas Eve, as Jeff and his family where headed to church, he had his first complex partial seizure, which came as a shock to his family. The complex partial seizures didn’t happen every day, but they would happen several times a week that would last 1 to 2 minutes each. Jeff started 2011 on the PGA Tour, but after eight events, he realized that he needed to come home, figure out what was causing these seizures, and get some help.
Jeff tried many different medicines and had many tests done but was unsuccessful in finding a medication that could control his seizures. Finally, in April of 2012, Jeff underwent intracranial-monitoring surgery at Emory Hospital to locate the place in his brain where his seizures started.
The monitoring revealed that Jeff’s seizures were originating in the left frontal lobe, which is the part of the brain that controls motor skills. He decided not to proceed with a second surgery that would remove the spot in his brain where his seizures originated because of its location. He eventually tried a different medication called Vimpat, which he says changed his life and has controlled his seizures.
After a successful and long career in golf, Jeff recently announced that he will retire from the sport and focus more on his health, family, and charitable initiatives around epilepsy.
Commissioner Joe A. Martinez, Miami – Dade
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe A. Martinez was first elected to District 11 in October 2000. He is the only Commissioner to have been elected twice to serve District 11. Commissioner Martinez has served as the Chair and Vice Chair of the Budget, Planning, and Sustainability Committee. He has been appointed as the Chair of the Public Safety Committee, including Government Operations, Housing and Community Development, Airport and Tourism and Recreation and Cultural Affairs. Commissioner Martinez's 17-year career with the Miami-Dade Police Department was exemplary. He received more than 70 awards and commendations; including 2 prestigious Gold Medals of Valor, the Silver Medal of Valor, the Exceptional Service Award, and the Lifesaving Award. Commissioner Martinez is very proud that in February 2008, President George W. Bush at his urging signed into law H.R. 1216, requiring the Department of Transportation to issue regulations related to power window safety, rearward visibility, and rollaway prevention intended to reduce the incidence of child injury and death occurring inside and near motor vehicles. Commissioner Martinez, who was born in Miami, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration from Barry University.
State Representative, Daniel Perez
Daniel Perez was elected in 2017 to the Florida State House of Representatives for District 116. He was an attorney at Cole, Scott & Kissane P.A. law firm located in Miami. He received his J.D from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law where he also served as the President of the Student Bar Association. Mr. Perez has served his community for the past 4 years. In 2012, he become part of the Christopher Columbus High School Alumni board and began to serve as a lector for St. Theresa, Church of the Little Flower. In addition, he volunteers as an educator for the CCD program at Church of the Little Flower. Since 2014, he has served as the Vice Chair of the Hispanics Affairs committee of Miami Dade and is contributor with BLUE Missions Group.
Steve is a governmental and public affairs strategist from Tallahassee, where he’s led Democratic campaigns and advised corporate clients for more than sixteen years. Steve began his career in Florida politics in 1996, where he managed the political efforts and legislative office for State Representative Doug Wiles. In 2002, he moved to Tallahassee becoming the Communications Director for the Florida House Democratic Caucus and in 2005, Schale stepped over to the Florida Democratic Party to run their State House political operation.
In 2008, Schale was tapped by then Senator Obama to run his successful Florida operation, and again in 2012 by President Obama to serve as his Florida strategist. In 2010, he served as Senior Advisor to Dan Gelber’s successful Attorney General primary win before becoming a Senior Advisor to Alex Sink’s campaign for Governor. Steve has been named one of Florida’s most influential political figures by the Tampa Bay Times, Campaigns and Politics Magazine, and was named one of the top 100 Movers and Shakers in Florida by Florida International Magazine.
Today, Steve runs Schale Strategies, which assists corporate clients with their governmental and public affairs needs, serving clients such as Walt Disney World, AT&T and the Florida Hospital Association. He is also serving as a Senior Strategist for Gwen Graham’s race for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District of Florida. Steve is a graduate of the University of the South in Sewanee, TN with degrees in History and Political Science and has an MA from Florida State University in Communications. A native of the Chicago area, Steve grew up in St. Augustine and has lived in Tallahassee for the last decade with his wife Nikole, who is a Regional Vice President with the American Heart Association.
Tarek Zakaria, MD
Dr. Tarek M. Zakaria is a board-certified neurologist who specializes in neurophysiology and epilepsy.
Prior to joining Memorial Healthcare System, Dr. Zakaria served as the director of the epilepsy program and as co-director of the epilepsy surgery program at Norton Neuroscience Institute in Louisville, Kentucky.
Dr. Zakaria earned his medical degree from Damascus University in 1998, and completed his internship in internal medicine at West Virginia University Charleston Area Medical center in 2005. He completed his residency in neurology at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in 2008. He completed his fellowships in neurophysiology and in epilepsy at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, where he later served as assistant professor.