As Executive Director of Citizens for a Better South Florida, Ms. Ziems cultivates community partnerships to develop effective collaborative programming and implements the organization’s mission to provide environmental education to the underserved community of South Florida. Prior to this position, she worked for the Earth Ethics Institute at Miami Dade College as an AmeriCorps VISTA Program Coordinator. She recruited and trained students for civic engagement and experiential learning opportunities related to environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and economic impact. She received her Master of Business Administration from Florida International University and her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Florida School of Natural Resources and Environment, as well as three minors in Mass Communication, Sustainability Studies, and Ethics. While attending the University of Florida, she also conducted research concerning tropical cyclones and received a certificate in Climatology and Meteorology.
Marina Barrientos is the Program Director and Lead Educator for CITIZENS’. Ms. Barrientos facilitates Community Science Workshops, which are after school programs designed to promote science and environmental awareness through experimentation and hands-on learning for students in grades K-12. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Sustainability and the Environment from Florida International University and an Associate in Arts degree in Environmental Science from Miami Dade College. Ms. Barrientos is also a former intern with Miami-Dade County’s Office of Resilience. She conducted research and collected data on current trends and developments related to sustainability for the community. Ms. Barrientos is a passionate environmentalist and has been actively volunteering with beach cleanups and park restoration events like Baynanza and International Coastal Cleanup Day, for over 22 years.
Raquel Martinez is the Program Assistant at Citizens for a Better South Florida pursuing a Bachelor’s in Arts Degree in Environmental and Sustainability Studies at Florida International University. Her desire for living sustainably and advocating for the preservation of our environment and the diverse species that thrive within has been fueled by her experience working with organizations that promote environmental protection and activism, such as the Earth Ethics Institute at Miami Dade College, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and the DuMond Conservancy for Primates and Tropical Forests. Raquel looks forward to gaining further experience at CITIZENS’, embodying her beliefs and working towards bettering the future of our environment and those who live in it.
Juan Gualberto Fernandez is CITIZENS’ Go Native! Nursery Manager. He graduated from the Institute of Higher Education in Cuba with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Education. He is a Certified Arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture and a native plant expert. Mr. Fernandez serves as a consultant to CITIZENS on Urban Greening and Community Forestry projects. He is the biologist who pioneered the ecological restoration of Virginia Key. Mr. Fernandez is currently the Senior Park Naturalist for the City of Miami.
Kaylah Clark is serving as an intern at Citizens for a Better South Florida. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology with a minor in English at Howard University. Her dedication to helping kids led to her decision to research how social, political, and economic factors influence our education system. She aspires to work at all levels in the education field (primarily urban education) and eventually become a tenured professor. Kaylah is the Community Service Director for the National Council of Negro Women. She is also on the HU Women Track and Field Team and is a canvasser for the “D.C. Tutoring and Mentoring and Initiative” program. Kaylah is excited to be a part of this amazing team and make a difference in her community.
Aleyah Julmiste is currently serving as an intern with Citizens for a Better South Florida. She is a rising third year Health Science student at Florida Agricultural Mechanical University. She is interested in hematology and oncology and plans to pursue a career as a physician’s assistant. Aleyah hopes to someday help build a foundation assisting children and families in low income neighborhoods who suffer from cancer. She is extremely passionate about volunteering in her community and has volunteered with both DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and A Prom To Remember. Outside of work she enjoys reading, playing volleyball, and cooking. As a future PA, Aleyah hopes to have an impact on every patient she encounters and empower them to live healthier lives.
Board of Directors
President, Milian Swain & Associates
AVP, Store Manager, TD Bank
Area Manager, External Affairs, Florida Power and Light
Alberto J. Herrera, Ph.D.
Vice President, Milian Swain & Associates
PCL Construction, Inc.
Gilbert C. Betz, P.A.
President, Bell Landscape Architecture, Inc