Board Of Directors

Diana Susi, President and CEO, MSW, MFT, CMHP Project Director

Masters level Social Worker, 40+ years experience as Projects Director, Executive and CEO of AYUDA guiding staff, board and families to provide excellent service to clients. Has started and directed clinics for special needs populations and ensured that inclusion programs prevail in school settings. Has advocated for human rights issues in Miami-Dade County, has mentored, taught and supervised Bachelor and Master level Mental Health and Social Work Interns. Has written grants that get regranted since 1990. Implemented and protects the value system of AYUDA as an agency that serves its client base from infancy to the end of life with dignity and respect.

DeAnne Connolly Graham, Board Chair

DeAnne Connolly Graham has been a Board member with Ayuda since 2006. As the current Chair, her focus is on bringing more awareness and private funding for Ayuda’s programs.  DeAnne is President of ROI Media Consultants, Inc., a company that guides businesses with their media buys and marketing strategies to ensure they achieve a positive Return on Investment.  DeAnne is well known throughout Miami’s hospitality and tourism community and holds leadership roles with a number of influential organizations throughout South Florida.

Esther Dollar

Esther Dollar, Board Secretary

Esther joined Ayuda in 2014 after years of dedicating time to the organization as a volunteer. As a Board member, she developed a youth empowerment program focusing on self-esteem for teen girls. Esther is a model and pageant titleholder. Additionally, she can be seen regularly on Univision in lifestyle and entertainment segments.

Raymond Edward Aporta, Board Member

Raymond Edward Aporta graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. He has 20 plus years’ Operations and Project Management experience in market leading financial services firms, specifically in banking and insurance. Having worked and traveled extensively throughout Latin America, he has developed a keen understanding of the distinctive business environment throughout the region where he has been brought in to manage complex projects and critical initiatives.

Monica Bayarri, Board Member

Monica Bayarri is the CEO and founder of MEV Studios, a full scale digital marketing agency. Monica received her Communications degree from Hollins University an all women’s college that has been ranked as one of the best national liberal arts college by The Princeton Review. Certified by Google, Facebook, Bing, and Digital Marketer, Monica has helped many businesses thrive with their online presence for over 5 years. MEV Studios has offices in Asheville NC, Houston TX, Nashville TN, Miami FL, and Valencia Spain. Monica also offers her expertise to charities, and is a volunteer at heart.

Jacob Brunell , Board Member

Jacob Brunell is a senior account executive and public affairs specialist at JeffreyGroup—a marketing and communications agency for global companies doing business in Latin America. Jacob graduated with a B.A. in Government and minors in Latin American Studies and International Relations from Cornell University. Before joining JeffreyGroup, he served as an English Teaching Fellow for the Colombian Ministry of Education in the city of Bucaramanga, Colombia. He is fluent in English and Spanish.

Brian Burlingame, Board Member

As CEO of JeffreyGroup Brian leads a company of more than 130 professionals in seven offices across four countries. JeffreyGroup is the leading independent marketing, corporate communications and public affairs agency helping multinational companies and global brands engage and influence audiences and stakeholders throughout Latin America.  Brian’s expertise in the Latin American business and marketing landscape has been developed over a 20+ year career living and working in the region. In addition to overseeing JeffreyGroup’s seven wholly-owned offices, Brian manages the firm’s agency partner network that provides JeffreyGroup with local market insights and capabilities across the Americas. He holds a MBA and Masters in International Business from the University of Miami, and speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Diego Caiola, Board Member

Diego Caiola, Born in Argentina but grew up in North Beach. Attended Nautilus Middle School and Miami Beach Senior High. Over 18 years of Marketing/Advertising.  President of CMG, a Consultant, Cross Marketing company. Director of the North Beach Business Organization. Publisher of the Miami Beach Life Magazine.

David Dweck, Board Member

David Dweck is a Native Floridian born and raised in Miami Beach, Florida.  He is a retired Law Enforcement  Officer having served Communities in South Florida and Middle Tennessee for over  25 years.  David is a Past President of the Tennessee Association of School Resource Officers, Greenwave Civitan Club and Past Master of  Hibiscus Lodge No 275 F.&A.M.  David began his second career of Real Estate moonlighting part time at Century 21 in South Miami in 1988 and in Tennessee in 1990 while working in law enforcement.  Currently, he is the Broker at Southeast Regional Realty Corporation with offices in Miami Beach and Middle Tennessee.  He serves on the Board of Governors for the Broward Council of Miami Association of  REALTORS and as a member of the Board of Directors at Florida REALTORS.  David Volunteers his time with the American Red  Cross instructing Disaster and Health and Safety Classes to Volunteers & Staff, Pastor at The Church For Life and has been a Board Member of Ayuda, Inc. since January of 2011.

Maxine Hanchard-Foote

Maxine Hanchard-Foote was born in Montego Bay Jamaica, and my parents emigrated to the US when I was 15 years old. I graduated from Miami Norland Sr. High in 1981, and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting, and an MBA in Finance from Barry University in Miami Shores. I have been a resident of Miami Shores for over 19 years. I am divorced and have an amazing son, James. After graduating from Design & Architecture Sr. High School, James earned his undergraduate degree from Rhode Island School of Design. He currently lives and works in Tokyo Japan, where he has taught English for the past 5 years.  I began my banking career 32 years ago with Commonwealth Federal Savings and Loan in Pennsylvania. I have been in the South Florida Banking industry since 1993. I am now currently the Vice President & Branch Manager of Ocean Bank. Over these 32 years, I have enjoyed helping our Consumer and Small Business clients achieve their financial goals, and I truly believe it is our responsibility to be of service to each other and to the community.

Maria Iglesias Ramesar, Board Member

Maria Iglesias Ramesar was born in Cuba, raised and educated in New York City and    relocated to Miami in 1995.  She came down with a Marketing Manager’s position to call on Latin American Banks with a large computer manufacturer (Unisys).  The division closed before she took the position and instead of returning to NYC with her husband, they decided to give South Florida a shot.  After several years in marketing and shortly after becoming a new mom, Maria got certified to teach for the Miami Dade County School Board and has been teaching for 14 years at our neighborhood school, Biscayne Elementary.  Several of the students that have passed her class have also been part of the Happy Kids After School Program.  She understands the value of Ayuda to our community first hand and decided to join our board in 2015.

George Mohama, Board Member

Sales professional with excellent work history. 14+ years of excellence in the
telecommunications industry. Ability to convey complex technical concepts into understandable language. BS in Information technology. Proven ability to perform well under pressure with excellent leadership, strong financial understanding (MBA), exceptional influencing and negotiating skills, excellent interpersonal, communication and presentation delivery skills, management, communication, customer service and problem-solving skills.

Ashley Ward, Board Member

Ashley was born and raised in West Africa, Nigeria. She moved to the United States as a child with her parents in 1997. She spent her middle school, high school, and college years in Atlanta, GA. After graduating with a B.A in Business Administration from Georgia State University, Ashley decided to relocate to sunny South Florida. Ashley works as a realtor in residential and commercial sales, and she works with real estate investors and first time home buyers. Ashley loves to volunteer in her local community helping the homeless with Miami Homes for All. She wrote a children’s book in 2016 “ABC for the Affluent Child”, to help teach positive financial education to children.

Marjorie York

Marjorie York is a community activist who is on many Boards in Miami Beach and throughout the County. I especially enjoy helping to plan events where everyone can gather to exchange ideas and discuss legislative issues. It is very gratifying to witness people receiving needed services provided by AYUDA.