As President and CEO of the Arts & Business Council of Miami for the past 25 years, Laura Bruney has helped strengthen the cultural community through leadership and board development programs, audience development and marketing initiatives, volunteer programs for the arts and networking and community events. She is responsible for the day-to-day operations and management of Council staff, policy and programs. Ms. Bruney works closely with the governing board to develop and implement the Council's strategic plan, interfaces with the cultural community on behalf of the Council, and is the Council's chief spokesperson.
Connect with Laura Bruney
Jean Blackwell Font
Jean has lived and worked in Miami and the Beaches since 1990 in wide-ranging roles in the Arts, Hospitality, and the Non-profit sector. Years of collaborating and working with programs, exhibitions, digital marketing, and social media have manifested in a successful content-driven, strategic approach for marketing the Arts. As a practicing visual artist, she shares a studio in the Bird Road Arts District with her husband, Ignacio Font.
Her position with the Arts and Business Council of Miami is the culmination of all of her past experiences of programs, events, marketing, and community-building here in Miami. Jean oversees the Miami Arts Marketing Project (MAMP), Arts Board Match, Artburst Miami, Patent Pro Bono Florida, and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA), and continues to look for even more ways to serve our creative community.
Carmen Cecilia Rodriguez, M.B.A.
Director of Programs & Events
Carmen Cecilia Rodriguez is an experienced marketing & events professional driven by innovation, creativity, and collaboration. Her passion for building marketing campaigns and operating event logistics can be traced back to when she started working in retail where she played key roles in executing the marketing campaigns, visual merchandising as well as monthly incentive events for loyal customers. It was through these roles that she was inspired to pursue a career in marketing & events.
She takes pride in developing her career from when she started as a Marketing Promotions Intern at the Adrienne Arsht Center to now being the new Director of Programs & Events for the Arts & Business Council of Miami. Throughout her career, Carmen has always valued connecting with people therefore she values cultivating partnerships that create long-lasting working relationships wherever she goes.
With 7+ years of hands-on experience, Carmen specializes in brand marketing, experiential marketing, event logistics operations and partnership development. Carmen is best known for inspiring teams to think outside the box, innovate and creating win-win scenarios for all parties working towards a common goal. Looking ahead, Carmen aspires to become a leading professional in her field, achieving recognition for her impact in the community, as well as mentoring young professionals to always go after their dreams.
In addition to focusing on her professional development, Carmen is also involved in giving back to community volunteering as a Big Sister mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami. Outside of the office, Carmen enjoys dancing, listening to music, health & fitness, re-watching Grey’s Anatomy, reading books, and spending time with her quarantine puppy Bailey Boy. Pre-COVID, you could find her at a karaoke bar singing all the SELENA hits or the all-time favorite “Sweet Caroline”.
Connect with Carmen Cecilia Rodriguez
Josie Gulliksen is a freelance writer and major arts advocate and enthusiast who loves everything cultural and is excited to live in such a thriving community as Miami. A Miami native, she currently writes for Rundown.com/MIA, Miamionthecheap.com, Citybuzz.com and Design District Magazine. She worked for nearly a decade at Miami Today covering the arts community, calendar of events and restaurant scene. She has also worked in public relations in non-profit for the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, in travel and tourism for Newman PR and at the Miami Science Museum. She has written for Florida Travel + Life Magazine and Florida Monthly Magazine.
Connect with Josie Gulliksen
Official Photographer of Arts Biz
Keith Spurlock has over 30 years’ experience in film photography including darkroom and printing before the digital age. In addition to digital photography and editing, he has edited both film and digital movies. Keith is experienced in IT and web designs too. He has traveled with his many different cameras throughout his life capturing photos and movies all over the world. He started as free-lancer photographer in his high school years in Miami and has covered sporting events, weddings, advertising, model composites, bar-mitzvahs, family portraits, events, street photography and landscapes. Born with a hearing impairment, Keith’s vision has that extra touch that helps him excel in photography.
Connect with Keith Spurlock
Daniela Perez Miron
Graphic Design Associate
Daniela Perez is a senior at the University of Miami double majoring in Management and Studio Art. Born in Guatemala but raised in Miami, she values the diverse culture and rich history of her hometown. Her main passions are graphic design, arts management, and painting. Daniela has interned for the Brooklyn Arts Council and See Ya Group as well as working as a research assistant in the child psychology department at the University of Miami. On campus, she serves as the president for the Association of Commuter Students as well as public relations and marketing chair for two student organizations. At the Arts & Business Council of Miami, Daniela is excited to be working on the Miami Arts Marketing Project and looks forward to continuing to explore Miami’s rich culture and contribute to the emerging arts scene.
Connect with Daniela Perez Miron
Melina De Rose
Melina I. De Rose is a veteran editor and communications specialist with a special love for all things Miami (and for making sure they get promoted!). A longtime resident and FIU grad, De Rose spent 22 years at the South Florida Sun Sentinel in roles such as section editor, department head, social media specialist and web producer. She worked in almost every editorial section of the newsroom – including in the Features, Business and Community News departments – and served as lead editor for high-profile projects. She especially enjoyed working with arts and entertainment stories during her time as Assistant Features Editor. De Rose authored Travel and Sports stories in English and Spanish, and was a script writer for the Sun Sentinel documentary, “The Hidden Hungry,” which premiered at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival and earned an Emmy Award nomination. In addition to her work at the Sun Sentinel, De Rose had stints at The Miami Herald, the River Cities Gazette (Miami Springs) and the Austin-American Statesman (Texas). The Argentina native loves music, dancing, literature, art and all Miami sports teams.
Connect with Melina De Rose
Maria is a consultant with more than 30 years of marketing, public relations, events and management experience in South Florida and international markets. Her clients have included The Arts & Business Council, The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, ODM Performance Solutions and Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.
Maria has used her branding and product launch expertise as Marketing Director for Dolphin Mall, Marketing Manager at QUALCOMM Latin America, and Senior Manager, Communications at Discovery Communications, Latin America; all positions held during product launch phase.
Additional key marketing and management roles have included Director of Media Relations at the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Assistant Director of Operations at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, and most recently Senior Marketing Manager at Shops at Merrick Park.
Maria’s community involvement has included The Junior League of Miami and the Arts & Business Council of Miami as well as board positions in Leadership Miami, The American Cancer Society, Dade Heritage Trust, The Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce and The Rhythm Foundation.
Maria is a drummer and dancer and has performed with groups including Venus Rising Women’s Drum and Dance Ensemble and Fusion Gitana. She also served as manager of the 14-member Venus Rising Troupe for 3 years.
Through a life-long interest in what makes us tick, Maria has completed courses including LifeSpring, CoachVille and The Artists Way. With a focus on healing, personal growth and self-expression, Maria has taught drum and dance classes and facilitated drum circles and sound healings. In both corporate and volunteer organization environments she has facilitated sessions on creative goal setting, vision boards, developing mission statements and media interview skills.
Connect with Maria Llorca
Artburst Spanish Language Editor
Orlando Taquechel has been a dance writer and dance researcher for over 35 years with articles published in Cuba, Mexico and the United States. He is also a professor, choreographer, and artistic director. Orlando graduated with a degree in Architecture, a Bachelors in Theater and Drama, and with a Masters. He is the recipient of the Medal to the Merit of Dance CIAD in July 2009 and the “Criticism and Culture of Ballet” Life Achievement Award at the XIX International Ballet Festival of Miami in September 2014. He’s the author of “Metodología para la Crítica de Ballet,” “Definición de la Escuela Cubana de Ballet” and “La danza en Miami (1998-2017): las reseñas cuentan su historia.” He is the Spanish-language Editor as well as the dance critic for ArtBurst.
Connect with Orlando Taquechel
Kala Villamizar is passionate about sharing skills and inspirations with others, especially when achieving a common goal. She strives to create relationships and learn from accomplished professionals as she pursues a career path in marketing.