Lileana de Moya, President/CEO and Founder
Lily is a long time advocate for the rights of children and adults with disabilities. She is a registered nurse (B.S.N.) and obtained her Masters of Science in Special Education (M.S.Ed.) from the University of Miami. She has extensive training in the field of mental health, disabilities, and advocacy. She joined Parent to Parent of Miami in 2001 and held the position of Training Director until 2006. In 2008 she served on the Board of Trustees and served as President until 2013. She was Director and Founder of JAG Education Consultants, Inc. She held consultant positions with Florida International University, University of Miami School of Law, and other community agencies. She founded Project Panther LIFE: Learning is for Everyone, a college transition program for students with Intellectual Disabilities at Florida International University in Miami.
Governor Rick Scott appointed Lily to The Children’s Trust Board in 2011. She is currently the Chair of the Program Services/Childhood Health Committee and the Vice-Chair of The Board of Directors. She served on Florida International University’s College of Education Dean’s Advisory Council, the State Advisory Committee for the Education of Exceptional Students, the University of Miami Mailman Center for Child Development Advisory Committee, the Florida International University Special Education Advisory Board, and the State Secondary Transition Interagency Council. Mrs. de Moya has always been a fierce advocate for the rights of children with disabilities and their families.
She was awarded the “Henry Bandier C.A.M.P for Justice Fellowship” by the University of Miami Children’s Youth and Law Clinic for her work with children and young adults in foster care with disabilities. She is the mother of two grandchildren and two sons, the youngest having an intellectual disability.
Alexander de Moya, Vice President
Alex de Moya works full time at The de Moya Group where he is his supervisor’s helper along with another assistant. He plays flag football and goes to UM games in his free time. He helps the Foundation by fundraising and helping to plan events.
Sofia Forteza, Treasurer
Sofia was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and has two sons. She has a BS in Journalism and International Studies from the University of Miami and an MBA with a specialization in HealthCare from Florida International University. She currently works in the healthcare industry.
Alvaro de Moya
Alvaro de Moya is the Vice President and General Superintendent for The de Moya Group with over 30 years of experience in highway and bridge construction. As a business owner and a father of an adult with a disability, he understands the importance of building independence and is fully committed to creating employment for young adults with disabilities.
Carlos Manuel Valdes grew up in Havana, Cuba. Arrived in the United States in 1981 at the age of fifteen. He is a technologist and a social entrepreneur. Has founded three successful companies, all working in some fashion to eradicate the digital divide in America.
Carlos started his technology career at the Miami Herald in 1987. He grew from programmer to manager of systems support.
While at the Herald, Carlos founded Zipdata.net, a twenty four year old technology and support company in Miami, Florida. He provides strategy consulting and technology investment advice to major non-profits in Florida. Working with the Health Foundation of South Florida, has served as a technology rider for non-profits organizations. He improved their technological capabilities with grants from the Foundation.
Carlos is also the CEO of Bluejeanware, a software development company with clients like the Knight Foundation and the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida. Bluejeanware employs many recent immigrants as software developers. One of Carlos’ great accomplishments is to help bridge the cultural gap for these individuals in the American economic landscape. He has many stories of immigrants embracing their own American dream.
Carlos co-authored the WELS System. A web software that measures the quality of child care facilities and helps improve it. The software makes education in child care measurable and accountable. WELS works with the ELC, the children’s trust, the University of Washington State, City University of New York, Florida International University, University of New Mexico, and others to improve the quality of subsidized childcare for all.
Carlos is a past board member of the WOW Center in Miami. He is currently a member of the Cuban studies group for Harvard University.
For fun, Carlos enjoys sailing on Biscayne Bay, he is an avid barbecue connoisseur, and a software developer at night. He has five children and wishes they did not play so many video games. He predicts that in the future, machines will build things, not humans. And programmers will be in high demand.
Joni Jones Harris
Joni Jones Harris is a fierce advocate for children and adults with disabilities in Miami-Dade County. Her commitment and dedication to our community is evident in the time and passion she dedicates both professionally and personally as one of the founding advisory board members of The de Moya Foundation. Her experiences through her life long journey with human resources and disabilities have proved to be an invaluable asset to the mission of the Foundation. Joni joined the board in March 2015 and serves in the Grant Proposal and Employment Groups.
Jorge de Moya
Jorge de Moya is our Media Relations Consultant, Board Member & the older brother to Alex de Moya. Jorge has been an advocate for his younger brother from the start when professionals would attempt to put a label on him but Jorge never would. He continues that philosophy now with helping the young adults and the foundation in any capacity possible. Jorge works as the Marketing Director for Flint Stone Media & Content Producer for 90 Miles Media focusing on new media & digital content creation. An avid dad, husband, brother & son, Jorge will do whatever is necessary to assist The de Moya Foundation in moving forward.
Kirsten Schwarz Olmedo
Kirsten Schwarz Olmedo is the Director of Design Therapy of Miami, she was born and raised in Miami, FL and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from the University of Florida. She went on to earn her Master of Science Degree from Nova Southeastern University where she is currently completing her doctoral degree in education with a major in speech-language pathology. Her current research focuses on the language-literacy connection.
Kirsten has also worked with Miami-Dade County Public Schools for over 14 years servicing elementary, middle, and high school students. Kirsten is fluent in American Sign Language, serves as a faculty member at the University of Miami, within the College of Education, and also provides baby sign language workshops for parents and families.
Kirsten has always strived to stay up-to-date on the latest research and evidence-based practices. In 2001, Kirsten earned her National Board Teaching Certificate as an Exceptional Needs Specialist, focusing on students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing. Kirsten truly loves working with her clients and their families as well as providing local, state, and national trainings for educators, other team members, and families to further enhance early intervention and appropriate referrals as well as increase the carryover of skills learned in therapy.
Maria Luisa Gonzalez
Dr. Monica Gilbert, Psy.D., BCBA-D, LMHC
Dr. Monica Gilbert is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst- Doctoral (BCBA-D), a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), and the founder of Crystal Minds New Beginning and Crystal Minds Psychological Services. For more than 11 years, Dr. Gilbert has acquired extensive experience working with infants and toddlers, children, adolescents, and adults.
Dr. Gilbert has completed both her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Florida International University (FIU). Dr. Gilbert continued on to pursue a second Master’s of Science in Psychology from Albizu University (AU) and after, completed her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (PSY.D) where she acquired more knowledge in the application of treatments and testing with children and adults.
Dr. Gilbert has presented on behavior analysis techniques at workshops, Parent-to-Parent training, internationally, UMCARD, various autism awareness events, private/public schools, charity events, and foster homes and shelters in both Spanish and English. Dr. Gilbert has been invited as an expert guest speaker on television shows such as Despierta America (Univision), EVTV, Estrella TV, and Amor 107.5 and Improving Lives (Radio shows). Dr. Gilbert has been invited to conduct international trainings in Cuba, Curacao, Chile, Ecuador and Costa Rica. Dr. Gilbert is an adjunct professor and teaches Applied Behavior Analysis courses at AU. She is thrilled to join the advisory board of such a great cause!