Adrian Alfonso ‘98 | *Board Chairman, Executive Committee Member
A tax principal in the public accounting firm of Kaufman Rossin. He has more than 20 years of experience providing accounting, business advisory, and tax services to clients, including corporations, high net worth individuals, and family‐owned corporate and partnership entities. He specializes in providing professional services to high‐net‐worth families and real estate investment entities. He received his Executive Master of Science in Taxation and a Bachelor's in Accounting from Florida International University. He is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Florida and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and past president of the Cuban American Certified Public Accountants Association. He has served on the CCHS Alumni Executive Committee and was appointed twice by Governor Rick Scott as Chairman for the Early Learning Coalition of Miami/Dade & Monroe.
Luis de la Aguilera ‘77 | *Marketing Committee Chairman, Executive Committee Member
Luis de la Aguilera is President, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and a member of the board of directors at U.S. Century Bank. Established in 2002 and headquartered in Miami, U.S. Century Bank is one of the largest Hispanic-owned community banks in the State with assets of nearly $1 billion and 17 full service banking centers throughout Miami-Dade and South Broward counties. He is also a member of the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences Visiting Committee, Beacon Council, and CMO Council. He has served on the advisory board of Christopher Columbus High School's CCNN and on the boards of the Dade Public Education Fund, the Spain-U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Our Lady of Lourdes Academy.
For the past five years, Luis has been involved with Castaways Against Cancer, a local charity whose mission is to help find a cure for cancer. He kayaks 160 miles from Miami to Key West to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of the Lower Keys. Since joining the Castaways, de la Aguilera has helped lead the team in generating over $1,000,000 in sponsorships. Last year alone, he was the charity’s top fundraiser, raising over $100,000.
Thomas Kruczek | *Executive Committee Member
Following an extensive nationwide search, the Board of Trustees announced that Mr. Thomas Kruczek would be appointed Columbus' second president.
With a thirty-plus year career that has successfully encompassed higher education and the business world, Tom is a proven leader and mentor with extensive experience in management, strategic planning, finance, and marketing. In addition to serving as the President of Notre Dame College for the last five years, Tom led South Florida based Lynn University’s College of Business & Management as Dean and served as the Executive Director for the Center for Entrepreneurship at both Syracuse University and Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. A strong fundraiser and networker, Tom has played a central role in the funding and establishment of numerous programs and facilities at four colleges that he has served, including a role in the $15 million College of Business building at Lynn and establishing the Caring Hearts Fund for students faced with financial emergencies at Notre Dame.
Mick Maspons ‘81 | *Finance Committee Chairman, Executive Committee Member
Miguel 'Mick' Maspons is a 1981 Columbus grad who went on to receive his BS from Harvard University and JD from Boston College. He represents foreign and domestic companies in a variety of corporate transactions and in many cases effectively serves as their outside general counsel. Mick possesses significant experience in a wide variety of business transactions, including entity formations and restructurings, corporate and shareholder disputes, mergers and acquisitions, venture and growth capital investments, divestitures, private equity and venture capital investments, complex joint ventures and related general corporate matters. He has represented general partners, private equity funds, entrepreneurs, and private and public companies in a variety of strategic and financial matters and transactions, employment matters as well as corporate governance matters.
John Adams '82
A leading strategic consultant in the area of construction and development, John Adams is the Managing Director of Strategic Redevelopment Group, a development company specializing in acquisition and redevelopment of commercial and investment grade real estate. Recently, John and SRG have been involved in projects including Dixie Belle Shops (Pinecrest), Miami Seaquarium Dolphin Harbor & Penguin Encounter, and SeaVee Boat manufacturing facility (Medley). John attended the U.S. Air Force Academy and received a Bachelor of Science from Florida International University's School of Engineering. In 2016, he helped to start the Internship Program at Columbus and has since hosted over 100 students. John was a 3-sport athlete (football, basketball, baseball) at Columbus and is a member of the Columbus Athletic Hall of Fame.
Br. Herbert Baker, F.M.S.
Br. Herb was born in New York and entered the Marist Brothers formation program in 1962. He first taught at St. Helena School in New York from 1967 – 1972 and then he taught and
coached at Pace High School in Miami from 1972 – 1980. He also taught and was the head baseball coach for two years (1980 – 1982) at Biscayne College, now St. Thomas University.
For 35 years (1982 – 2017) Br. Herb has served Christopher Columbus High School. He taught AP and Honors American History for 33 years and was the head baseball coach from 1982 – 1996. During his tenure as coach, Br. Herb and his team won many district, GMAC, sectional, and regional championships.
In 1991 he became the school’s Athletic Trainer, a position he holds to this day. Under his leadership, Br. Herb has developed an outstanding Training and Sports Medicine Facility where he and his team manage the overall health and wellness of Columbus’ student-athletes. His exceptional work has led to Columbus being named a “Safe Sports School 1st Team” by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. Recently, he spearheaded an effort in collaboration with Nicholas Children’s Hospital and the U.M. School of Nursing & Health Studies to provide mandatory comprehensive examinations, including EKGs, to all student-athletes (the first high school program of its kind in Miami-Dade County).
In addition to all his responsibilities at Columbus, Br. Herb still found time to be the Director of the Columbus Marist Brothers Community for 18 years.
Graduated from University of Florida’s School of Business in 1964 where Jim was also a starting linebacker and defensive captain his senior year. From 1965-2010, Jim ran a State Farm franchise. This private business ownership allowed for time to pursue a passion for coaching. Throughout the 1980’s and 90’s he coached football, basketball and baseball at Boys and Girls Clubs, Coral Gables and South Miami Khoury leagues and Epiphany Elementary. Currently, with the assistance of his daughter, Jill, manages Bernhardt Property Management.
In the 1990’s, Columbus was going to stop the 9th grade baseball program. Jim attained permission from the school to continue the program. He coached and ran program for one year and it is still running strong today. During this time, Br Angelo, Columbus Principal, stated the school’s administrative structure will be changing. Part of this change was to incorporate a board of directors. In 1998, Br Angelo asked Jim to help start the board and to serve as chair of the new executive board which he did for the first three years. Served as past chair of the Boys and Girls Club Executive Board of Miami-dade. April 24th 1993, admitted as an affiliated member of the Marist Brothers of the Province of Esopus.
Daniel Brea ‘95 | Marist School Life Committee Chairman
Danny is currently an Independent Financial Advisor with Total View Advisors. He has over 20 years’ experience working with high net worth individuals, working professionals, business owners, and executives. Danny received a Bachelor’s degree in International Finance and Marketing from the University of Miami. Shortly after graduating, he returned to the University of Miami and obtained a Masters in Business Administration with a specialization in Personal Financial Planning. Prior to becoming an Independent Financial Advisor, he was a Senior Wealth Manager at BNY Mellon Wealth Management.
Danny is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM, a designation he obtained in January of 2006. He was also recognized in Poder Hispanic Magazine in their “20 Under 40 Latinos Going Places” list in June of 2013.
Pat Call | Academic Committee Chairman
Pat Call has served Christopher Columbus High School for over 40 years as a teacher, administrator, and guidance counselor. The Massachusetts native, started her career at Columbus in 1977 when she started as an Advanced Biology Teacher and subsequently became the Science Department Chairperson. Serving as Academic Dean from 1992 to 2013, her leadership enabled the school to implement a more comprehensive program of studies and start a dual enrollment partnership with Florida International University. Pat holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Education in Counseling from Fitchburg State University and has earned post graduate credits at Nova Southeastern University. She is a proud member of the Columbus Hall of Fame.
Cristina Capote is the principal of St. Brendan Catholic Elementary School. She graduated from FIU with a bachelor’s degree in education and continued her studies at Nova Southeastern University where she earned a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. She began her career in 2000, working for the Miami Dade County Public Schools and then in 2003 returned to the Catholic school system as a teacher at St. Brendan Elementary School. Shortly thereafter, in 2007, she became the Assistant Principal of the school. Her role as AP prepared her to assume the position of Principal in 2013. Under her many years of stewardship St. Brendan Elementary has grown to become one of the largest Elementary school’s in the Archdiocese of Miami. With academics remaining as one of her primary focuses, she has integrated technology at the center of all classrooms to promote a more engaging method of teaching and learning. In 2021, she led the school into achieving STREAM Certification from the Florida Catholic Conference.
Michael Carricarte '86
Michael Carricarte is a highly regarded seasoned veteran in the insurance industry with more than 30 years of experience in the Latin American and Caribbean Market. Michael and his family founded Amedex Insurance Company along with its medical network USA Medical Services, which generated more than $300 million in medical premiums and serviced over 1 million clients in 42 countries. When these companies were sold to Bupa Worldwide, Michael stayed on board supervising the transition and also led Pan-American Life Insurance's International Major Private Client Division as President. Today, Michael is the President and CEO of the new and robust AMEDEX ASSURANCE COMPANY which focuses on Term Life Insurance, combined with first level service and advanced technology. Michael is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Owner/President Management Program.
Santiago Eljaiek ‘91
A 1991 Columbus graduate, Santiago is the founding and managing partner of Marin, Eljaiek, Lopez & Martinez, PL., a full service law firm with offices in Coconut Grove and Orlando, Florida. He serves as the head of the Transaction Department for the Firm and focuses his practice on commercial and residential real estate, mergers and acquisitions, asset based and structured lending and general corporate agreements. He is a member of the Florida Bar, Business Law and Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Sections, Dade County Bar Association and Cuban American Bar Association. He received his Bachelors of Science, with honors, in Business Administration and Management from the University of Florida and received his Juris Doctorate degree from the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida. Santiago also serves as outside general counsel for a variety of profit and not-for-profit Corporations and Condominium Associations. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for Kristi House and is a member of the CCHS Alumni Executive Committee. Santiago attended Columbus from 1987 – 1991. He is married to Patty Eljaiek, and they have three children, Sofia Cristina, Daniela Patricia and Lucas Santiago.
Dr. Joseph Fernandez ‘80
Dr. Joe Fernandez graduated from Tulane University School of Medicine and completed a fellowship in Sports Medicine, Arthroscopic and Reconstructive Surgery at the American Sports Medicine Institute with Lawrence Lemak, M.D, James Andrew, M.D., and William Clancy, M.D. Dr. Fernandez is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons, and a member of the Arthroscopy Association of North America.
He has been in private practice for over 15 years and is the Chairman of the Department of Orthopedics for Baptist Hospital of Miami. Dr. Fernandez is a sports medicine specialist who specializes in sport related injuries and arthroscopic surgery. He lectures all over the world on topics related to sports injuries of the knees and shoulders. He has been a tournament physician for the Key Biscayne Lipton, NASDAQ, and Sony Erickson since 1995. He has been a master instructor in shoulder surgery for the Arthroscopy Association of North America, and routinely treats world class professional, college and high school athletes.
Robert Grillo '87 | Technology Committee Chairman
Robert Grillo is Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at Florida International University. Robert has been a leader in the I.T. industry for more than 20 years. His passion for leading FIU’s Division of Information Technology is fueled by a commitment to delivering the most innovative technological advancements to the university community. Robert has fostered partnerships and collaborations with local organizations and businesses to bring technologies to the South Florida community, with particular emphasis on STEM programs. Robert has a B.A. from Florida International University and a Masters in Finance from Nova Southeastern University. Robert has received several awards and recognitions, one of them being 2018 HITEC (Hispanic IT Executive Council) Top 100 winner. He graduated from Columbus in 1987 and his son Alejandro is a 2020 alumnus as well.
Br. Daniel J. Grogan, F.M.S.
Shirelle Jackson is currently the Senior Associate Athletic Director of Student/Athlete Development at the University of Miami. Shirelle also oversees the Hurricanes’ track and field and cross country programs. She has worked within the athletic department field for the last 19 years. She graduated with a B.A. from Bowling Green in 1994 and a master’s degree in counseling from Central Connecticut State in 1998. She is currently a doctoral candidate in higher education leadership at Nova Southeastern in Davie. Shirelle is very active within her community and has received several award such as, NCAA Helper-Helper Division I Community Service National Championship award, panelist and speaker for the Women in Sports Forum 2016 and 2018, and even received the Women Leaders Nell Jackson
Administrator of the Year Award for her efforts engaging student-athletes, department staff and campus partners with an inclusive environment. Shirelle two sons are graduates of Columbus High School Justin, Class of 2017 and Jordan, Class of 2021.
Cesar Llano ‘81
Cesar Llano graduated from Columbus in 1981 and received his undergraduate and master degrees in architecture from Tulane University. He has a career in real estate investments that spans over thirty years that includes acquisitions, financing, development and construction. He currently serves as Director of Capital Asset Improvements for COFE Properties, LLC. Prior to COFE he served on the executive team of two major residential real estate developers. He has served as a Board Member of the Latin Builders Association and Committee Member of The Builders Association of South Florida; two prominent local building industry organizations. He is also a former Board Member of the Miami-Dade County Expressway Authority. Cesar is married to his wife Vivian and has three children; Vivianne, Andrea and Cesar ‘17.
Carlos Luis ‘85 | Development Committee Chairman
Carlos is the president of Carlos Luis State Farm Insurance Agency.
Carlos began his career with State Farm Insurance in 1990 as a fire claims adjuster. In 1999 he was selected to be a State Farm Agent. The Carlos Luis State Farm Insurance Agency opened its doors in March of 2000. In his first year as an agent, he was ranked number one in the country for all new agents. In 2004 & 2006 he was ranked as the top agent out of 18,000 agents in the US for both life policy sales and raw new autos. He continues to rank in the top 1 percent of State Farm Agents.
Carlos has been very involved with Christopher Columbus for many years. He has served 6 years in the Alumni Committee, the last three years (2013-2016) serving as President. In 2016 Carlos was inducted into the Christopher Columbus Hall of Fame. Carlos has also served in the Board of Rebuilding Together and has also been very involved in the Boys & Girls Club.
Carlos played football, basketball and track while at Christopher Columbus. He later went on to play football at Joliet Junior College and Western Illinois University. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management from Western Illinois.
Carlos has been married to wife Patricia, a CPA, for twenty two years. He has two sons, Carlos Jr. and Franco Luis. Carlos Jr. is a graduate of Columbus, class of 2016, was a MAS Scholar and is currently at the University of Miami, Franco is currently a senior at Columbus.
Jose Mas ‘89
Jose R. Mas, 46, is Chief Executive Officer of MasTec, Inc., one of the largest and most diversified infrastructure services providers in North America. During Mr. Mas’ tenure as CEO revenue has grown from $930 million in 2007 to over $5.0 billion in 2016 and EBITDA in the same period has gone from $57 to almost $450 million. Today, MasTec has more than 20,000 team members serving multiple industries throughout 375 locations in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Additionally, MasTec has consistently been ranked among the top specialty contractors by Engineering News-Record for the last 5 years.
Since assuming the Chief Executive position at MasTec, Mr. Mas has completely transformed MasTec from a predominantly telecommunications contractor to the most diversified specialty contractor in North America. Mr. Mas diversified the company by expanding into the growing fields of oil and gas pipeline construction, high voltage electric transmission line construction, power generation, and wireless infrastructure construction. Mr. Mas also expanded its traditional communications business, which now includes both broad-band infrastructure and installation-to-the-home satellite, home automation and security services.
Jose Mas grew up in the business and over 20 years worked his way from the field to the boardroom. He is a graduate of the University of Miami where he obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration. He serves on the Board of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Miami. He is also an active supporter and coach of various youth basketball teams.
Mr. Mas was awarded the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the year award in 2011, the South Florida Business Journal Ultimate CEO award in 2012 and was also featured in the season finale of the CBS hit show Undercover Boss. Additionally, he was voted as the #1 engineering and construction CEO for 2014 by Institutional Investor Magazine.
Jose Muñoz '90 | Building & Grounds Committee Chairman
Jose Muñoz is the CEO of BCC Engineering one of the largest Transportation and Civil Engineering firms in the Southeast United States and Puerto Rico. He has over 30 years’ experience in the engineering and construction industry and his firm has been responsible for the design of many of the largest infrastructure projects in Florida, including the SR-826/ SR-836 Dolphin-Palmetto Interchange. He graduated from Florida International University with a degree in Civil Engineering and is a licensed Professional Engineer in several states and General Contractor. Jose was one of the early founders of the Columbus STEM program and has continued to support it ever since. He is continually focused on the future of the engineering industry and is dedicated to promoting careers in STEM and engineering at the high school and college levels. Jose graduated from Columbus in 1990 and his son Max will graduate this year, Class of 2022.
Anthony Petisco '00
Anthony Petisco is a First Vice President and Branch Manager for the Wells Fargo Advisors, Coral Gables branch (Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company). He has been helping clients in the financial institute field for the last 22 years, and received his B.A. in Political Science from Florida International University in 2003. Anthony currently serves on the Miami Dade Community Council 10 board. He has previously served on the, Columbus High School Alumni Association Executive Committee and is a former Vice-Chairman of the Miami Dade Community Council 12. Anthony graduated from Columbus in 2000.
Danny Rodriguez '08
Danny Rodriguez is the Cofounder and President of BLUE Missions, a non-profit organization that connects rural communities to clean water and sanitation while inspiring a generation of global citizens through service-driven travel. After traveling to the Dominican Republic to work on a water project as a 16 year-old student at CCHS, Danny felt a calling to do more to address the global water crisis. During his time at FIU, where he obtained a BBA specializing in Finance and International Business, Danny co-founded BLUE Missions in 2010, which has provided clean water and sanitation to over 30,000 people across 130 rural communities throughout Latin America. Over 2,500 high school and college students have traveled with BLUE Missions to assist in the construction of these projects opening their eyes to great needs that exist on our planet and helping them realize the power they have to change the world. Since its inception, BLUE Missions has raised over $5,000,000 to advance their mission of ending the global water and sanitation crisis in our lifetime. Danny graduated from Columbus in 2008.
John Spiegel ‘67
Following graduation from Columbus, John attended and graduated from the University of South Florida, and soon after graduating from USF, he joined what was then known as the Dade County Public Safety Department as a police officer. His police career spanned 13 years, the majority of which he worked as a homicide detective and homicide detective sergeant. John was selected as the Dade County Police Officer of the Year in 1974. After serving 10 years with the police department, John began attending law school at the University of Miami while continuing to work full time and enjoying promotions to the ranks of police commander and police lieutenant. After graduating from the University of Miami Law School, cum laude, John entered the private practice of law as a civil trial attorney. His career as an attorney continues.
John was also a member of the Columbus Athletic Club Board during the 1980's when his son, Danny (’89) was a student. While John served on the Board of the Athletic Club (the precursor to the current School Board) he worked on a number of fund-raising projects and served as President of the Athletic Club during the 1987-1988 school year. While President, the Athletic Club established the first building fund for the school, which over time became the CCHS Development Fund. The Development Fund has successfully raised substantial sums for the construction of the many new buildings and upgrades to the Columbus campus.