Public-Private Partnerships: Addressing the Complete Spectrum of Civil and Infrastructure Projects


Carlos A. Gimenez
Carlos A. Gimenez was re-elected as Miami-Dade County Mayor in August 2012. As the County’s top elected official and chief administrator, he leads nearly 25,000 employees with an annual budget of over $6 billion.
His focus is also on job creation, expanding international trade, and diversifying Miami-Dade County’s economic base.
Prior to being elected in 2004 as the County Commissioner for District 7, Mayor Gimenez had a distinguished 25-year career in the City of Miami Fire-Rescue Department, followed by three-years as manager of the City of Miami.
Edward Marquez
Deputy Mayor
Mr. Edward Marquez was appointed as Deputy Mayor of Miami-Dade County Government in August 2011 by the Honorable Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. As Deputy Mayor, Mr. Marquez is responsible for overseeing the internal management functions of the County, which include the County’s Office of Management and Budget, Human Resources, Internal Services, Finance, Audit and Management, and Information Technology departments. In addition to serving as Deputy Mayor, Mr. Marquez is also serving as Finance Director/CFO of the County.
Prior to becoming Deputy Mayor, Mr. Marquez was Senior Vice President of First Southwest Company, an investment banking and financial advisory firm, and managed the Miami Office.  He has also served as chief financial officer of the Miami-Dade County School Board -- the fourth largest school board in the country with operating and construction budgets of $2.6 and $1.7 Billion, respectively. 
Prior to his tenure at the School Board, Mr. Marquez served as City of Miami Manager where he directed the development of the Five-Year Fiscal and Operational Recovery Plan, and coordinated a joint business-government blue ribbon task force to improve municipal efficiencies. As a result, Mr. Marquez effectively guided a near bankrupt city government, with a $400 Million operating and capital improvement budget and a workforce of 3,500, toward fiscal well-being.
In addition, Mr. Marquez previously worked at Miami-Dade County as Audit Manager, Assistant Controller, Controller, and served as Finance Director from 1986 to 1996.
Jack Osterholt
Deputy Mayor
Jack Osterholt is Deputy Mayor of Miami-Dade County and Director of the Regulatory and Economic Resources Department. He is responsible for the Miami-Dade Aviation Department PortMiami and the Water and Sewer Department. Additionally, he is the Mayor’s liaison to the Metropolitan Planning Organization, Beacon Council, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, Downtown Development Authority, South Florida Regional Planning Council and the Sports Commission.
Prior to joining the County, Osterholt was president of Osterholt Consulting, Inc., a strategic planning and management, and economic development consulting firm with a full range of clients from the private and public sectors. His clients included multi-national corporations, medium and small businesses, and progressive and dynamic governments and public agencies.
Osterholt served as the County Administrator for Broward County, Florida. As the County’s chief executive officer, he was responsible to the Broward County Commission for the day-to-day management of the County government that included over 7,000 employees, an annual budget of over $2 billion, and assets of over $700 billion.
During his tenure as the County Administrator, Osterholt was responsible for the development and financing of the home of the Florida Panthers, a 110-bed homeless assistance center; the planning for a $1 billion expansion of Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport; and an expansion of Port Everglades which will increase its cargo handling ability by over 100 percent.
Before becoming Broward’s County Administrator, Osterholt was the Executive Director of the South Florida Regional Planning Council. Prior to returning to South Florida, Osterholt was Deputy State Budget Director and head of policy and planning for then-Governor Bob Graham.
Osterholt received his Masters Degree in City Planning from Georgia Institute of Technology, and his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Louisville.
Frank M. Rapoport
Mr. Rapoport concentrates his practice on construction, government contracts, infrastructure development and public-private partnerships (P3s). He represents project sponsors, equity investors, lenders and contractors in connection with transportation, social infrastructure, energy, water and parking projects in the United States. Mr. Rapoport is highly regarded for strategizing and implementing successful business-capture plans for clients pursuing P3, design-build and complex infrastructure projects. He combines a deep understanding of the legal and political framework for P3s with the experience of having handled big-ticket government contracts and construction litigation. His knowledge and respect for the political issues in P3 deals have led to many successful collaborations with key government officials.
Mr. Rapoport serves as the Chief Strategy Advisor for the Association for the Improvement of American Infrastructure (AIAI), the P3 industry’s advocacy nonprofit corporation. He has also been collaborating with the National Governors Association’s Best Practice Center on the establishment of a national P3 best practices center.
Neal I. Sklar
Neal Sklar's primary area of practice is focused on the representation of general contractors, construction managers and infrastructure contractors in a variety of construction related matters. These matters include providing counsel on state and federal government projects as well as Public Private Partnerships (P3s) involving transportation, commercial, heavy and social infrastructure, energy and multifamily residential projects.  Mr. Sklar's services include the preparation and negotiation of a variety of construction contracts, including Preliminary Development Agreements, Design Build Agreements, Design Building Finance Maintain and Operate Agreements and the like as well as the negotiation, mediation, arbitration and litigation of construction contract disputes, construction lien claims, construction-defect claims, design-defect claims, bond claims, insurance claims and related matters. 
A substantial portion of Mr. Sklar's practice involves providing on-site counsel and day-to-day guidance to clients on small, midsize and some of the nation's largest construction projects including those involving P3 delivery systems. Mr. Sklar's practice is unique in that he helps to fashion relationships between qualified entities in the pursuit of P3 and similar significant projects both domestically and abroad.  Once a P3 or similar project is awarded, Mr. Sklar uses regularly scheduled meetings with project management staff to identify potential pitfalls, help maintain contractual compliance, assist in statutory/regulatory compliance issues, and recommend methods to solve problems and avoid risk.  He advises clients in litigation and transactional matters providing sound business advice and legal strategies calculated to advance his client's goals in a tactical manner.
Steven M. Charney
Steven M. Charney is the Chairman of Peckar & Abramson, P.C. and is widely regarded as one of the nation's foremost construction attorneys. He has successfully resolved numerous construction-related disputes in litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute forums and has represented Engineering News Record ranked Top 10 contractors in many of the most prominent construction projects in the United States and abroad. In addition to his practice at Peckar & Abramson, Mr. Charney currently serves as general counsel to the Building Trades Employers’ Association of New York and often publishes commentary and holds speaking engagements on critical topics affecting the industry. Prior to joining Peckar & Abramson in 1990, Mr. Charney spent nearly a decade with Turner Construction Company. He has a Master of Science degree from the School of Civil Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology and a law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law.
Simon Waterman
Simon Waterman has been a devoted Miami-Dade County employee in the field of construction management for over 30 years.  He began his career as a maintenance repairer working his way through the ranks to Division Chief in the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department (MDCR).  As Division Chief of Construction Management Division, he is responsible for directing activities of the MDCR Capital Improvement and Development Program, and Facilities Management Bureau. He manages the coordination of physical plant services, capital projects, life safety, correctional integrated security systems, design construction activities, and other comprehensive capital projects such as the 40-year recertification of facilities.
Mr. Waterman received his Bachelor in Business Administration from the Union Institute and University. He has earned several designations in the field of construction including the State of Florida Building Contractors License; Build Owners and Managers Association Real Property Administrator, LEED Accredited Professional and is a graduate of the Florida University Strategic Management program.
Eduardo Villavicencio
Eduardo Villavicencio has been a dedicated Miami-Dade County employee in the field of facilities management for over 19 years.  He began his career as a Facilities Manager working his way through the ranks to Bureau Commander in the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department (MDCR).  As Commander of the Facilities Management Bureau, he is responsible for assisting with activities related to the MDCR Capital Improvement and Development Program and the administration and supervision of the daily construction, renovation and safety related activities including fire prevention systems and security surveillance systems, as well as the coordination of contractors. 
Mr. Villavicencio received his Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering in May 1983 and his Master’s Degree in Human Resources Development in May 1991.  He has certifications in Acquisition Management Level I and Program Management Level II from the Defense Logistics Agency. 
He has over 25 years of Military Service with the United States Air Force Reserve with multiple deployments in support of the Global War on Terrorism and retiring at the rank of Colonel.  He has also earned certificates in Conflict Management and Negotiation from the National Defense University and Peace Operations from the Pearson Peacekeeping Center.
Jack Kardys
Jack Kardys is the Director of the nationally accredited and Gold Medal Award winning Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces Department (MDPROS), one of the largest and most diverse park systems in the country with 260 parks on 12,800 acres of land. Built on a foundation of organizational excellence and the pillars of Health, Placemaking and Conservation, MDPROS serves 2.5 million residents and 10 million visitors annually. The system includes 5 golf courses, 6 full service marinas, 16 miles of beaches, the 750 acre Zoo Miami, The Deering Estate, the Crandon Tennis Center-home of the Miami Open (formerly Sony Open), 15 swimming pools, campgrounds, restaurants, gymnasiums, a gun range and hundreds of sports fields and concessions throughout Miami-Dade’s 2000 square miles.
George Navarrete
 Deputy Director
George Navarrete is the Deputy Director of the nationally accredited and Gold Medal Award winning Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces Department (MDPROS), one of the largest and most diverse park systems in the country with 260 parks on 12,800 acres of land. Built on a foundation of organizational excellence and the pillars of Health, Placemaking and Conservation, MDPROS serves 2.5 million residents and 10 million visitors annually. Mr. Navarrete is responsible for Planning and Development, Park Stewardship and Health and Fitness. The park system includes 5 golf courses, 6 full service marinas, 16 miles of beaches, the 750 acre Zoo Miami, The Deering Estate, the Crandon Tennis Center-home of the Miami Open (formerly Sony Open), 15 swimming pools, campgrounds, restaurants, gymnasiums, a gun range and hundreds of sports fields and concessions throughout Miami-Dade’s 2000 square miles.
Michael Spring
Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director
As director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Michael Spring is responsible for supervision of a public arts agency with an annual budget of more than $30 million. In 2014, Mayor Carlos Gimenez expanded his responsibilities by appointing him to serve as a Senior Advisor for the County’s Cultural Affairs and Recreation portfolio, including the arts, parks and libraries. He serves in local, state and national leadership roles with key cultural and civic organizations and has helped build Miami-Dade County’s cultural community into a more than a $1 billion annual industry comprised of more than 1,000 non-profit cultural groups and thousands of artists.
Gia Arbogast
Gia Arbogast is the Director for the Miami-Dade Public Library System.  Ms. Arbogast has more than 20 years of administrative and operational experience which includes management of front-line service, coordination of training and programming services and overall management of the Library System.  Her trajectory in the Miami-Dade Public Library System provides her with a solid platform to address the rapidly changing trends in library service. Ms. Arbogast also manages all outreach services and leads all internal and external marketing communications as well as all system-wide programs.
Miriam Singer
Chief Procurement Officer & Assistant Director of the Internal Service Department
Miriam Singer is the Chief Procurement Officer for Miami-Dade County and serves as Assistant Director of the Internal Service Department. Her responsibilities comprise the countywide purchase of goods, services, design and construction services, countywide risk management operations, as well as the Department’s budget and finance function. Previously, she served as Director of the Department of Procurement Management for 6 years.  Ms. Singer is a seasoned county executive with over 30 years of public service investments in a variety of front line and management roles. Ms. Singer is a results-oriented executive who is committed to promoting high quality procurement, design and risk management functions. Significant innovative management and legislative reforms have been instituted under her watch. Through her leadership, the County continues to promote the implementation of a pro-competition agenda and transparency in its business processes to achieve best value through its work with the County’s 25 client departments, 14,000 vendors, and 27,000 County employees, and serves over 2.5 million residents. Ms. Singer is a Certified Public Purchasing Officer and is a Florida Certified Purchasing Manager and Agent, and holds a Green Belt Lean Six Sigma Designation.
José A. Ramos
Division Director
Mr. José A. Ramos is currently the Division Director for Aviation Planning, Land-Use and Grants Division. He has 18 years of professional airport planning experience including airfield, terminal, and airport operations gained steadily during his tenure with the Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD).
Mr. Ramos is responsible for overseeing the orderly and efficient development of MIA and the MDAD general aviation airports to meet aviation demands and assure compatibility with the surrounding communities. He is responsible for all aviation system and master (strategic) planning and forecasting of aircraft activity, airfield planning, on-airport facility development and off-airport proposed land use development reviews. He directs and manages the Strategic Airport Master Planning 2015-2050 effort for the Aviation Department’s system of airports, and is the lead technical liaison with the responsibility of coordinating with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in administering the Federal and State grants-in aid program for the County’s system of airports.
Mr. Ramos is a State of Florida registered, LEED AP Certified
architect. He earned a Master of Architecture degree in
1985 from the University of Florida.
Alice Bravo
Alice Bravo was appointed Director of Miami-Dade Transit in July 2015. Miami-Dade Transit is the 15th largest public transit system in the United States, and the largest in Florida. Ms. Bravo oversees the planning and provision of all public transportation services in the County. She leads the effort of improving and expanding transportation in the community by working closely with the federal government, Florida Department of Transportation, Miami-Dade County Metropolitan Planning Organization and Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, among others.
As Director, Ms. Bravo oversees accessible transportation services in Miami-Dade County. This includes the Metrobus fleet that runs approximately 28.9 million miles through most areas of Miami-Dade County; the electrically-powered, elevated, 25-mile rapid transit Metrorail system; the 4.4-mile elevated Metromover; and the paratransit service (Special Transportation Service) that meets the needs of the disabled.
Throughout her career, Ms. Bravo has been responsible for managing a number of diversified public-private partnership projects involving design, construction, finance, operation and maintenance, including the $1 billion PortMiami tunnel; the innovative I-95 Express Project; and the $550 million S.R. 826-S.R. 836 interchange reconstruction project. These projects have helped improve commuter mobility throughout Miami-Dade County.
Lester Sola
Lester Sola is the Director of the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department.  As Director of the largest utility in the Southeastern United States, Mr. Sola is responsible for providing high-quality drinking water and wastewater disposal services to more than 2.6 million residents, businesses and visitors on a daily basis.   The Department provides direct service to more than 432,000 accounts, wholesale water service to 15 municipalities and wholesale wastewater service to 13 municipalities.
During the next 15-20 years, the Department is tasked with implementing a $13.5 billion capital improvement program to upgrade the County’s water and sewer infrastructure.  This capital improvement program is the largest in Miami-Dade County’s history.  Mr. Sola’s experience in County operations, capital design, construction management, contract administration and negotiations will prove invaluable as this capital improvement program progresses.  Mr. Sola manages more than 2,600 employees and annual operating revenues of $732 million.
Prior to his appointment to the Water and Sewer Department, Mr. Sola had been the Director of the Internal Services Department since October of 2011. The Internal Services Department is responsible for the Procurement of Goods and Services, Small Business Development, Architectural and Engineering selection services, Capital Improvement Program, Design and Construction Services, Facilities and Fleet Management, Risk Management, Parking Operations,  Printing and Graphics Services, and Surplus Asset Disposal and Countywide Capital Inventory oversight. Mr. Sola managed an operating budget of $370 million, capital projects totaling over $400 million, and over 850 employees.
Mr. Sola has served in several senior management positions and accomplished numerous task that have benefited the county.  A few of the highlights are:
•          Several departmental reorganizations
•          Negotiated and restructured sizable capital development contracts
•          Examined operations and delivery of services to better serve residents
•          Established several minority, small and local business programs
•          Reviewed County contracts to increase participation
•          Eliminated contract barriers to benefit local and small businesses
Mr. Sola began his career with Miami-Dade County Government in 1992 as a member of the County Manager Management Training Program. He has held several high-level positions including: Contract Coordination Officer in the County Executive Manager's Office, Architectural and Engineering Consultant Coordinator for the County Executive Manager's Office, Assistant to the County Manager, Associate Director for the Aviation Department, Deputy Director for the Department of Business Development and Supervisor of Elections.
During his career with Miami-Dade County, Mr. Sola has been responsible for the reorganization of several county departments; coordination and refocusing of the capital program at Miami International Airport; the establishment of small and minority-based programs for the procurement of goods and services; establishment of centralized systems for the tracking of County capital expansion programs and professional services; the provision of management direction to County Departments, Management Agreements and agencies (Aviation, Seaport, Beacon Council, Performing Arts Center, American Airlines Arena).
Mr. Sola has a Master's Degree and Bachelor's Degree in Public Administration with a minor in organizational psychology from Florida International University.
William A. Marino
Founder & Managing Partner
William A. Marino, Founder of Star America and Managing Partner of Star America Infrastructure Partners, LLC began his career in the surety field where he discovered his passion for construction insurance and bonding. Bill founded Allied North America, a “construction only” brokerage in 1979, laying the foundation for what developed into the largest private construction surety and insurance brokerage in the US. He sold his organization to Aon in 2009.
Today, Bill devotes his time to North American infrastructure and the development of Public Private Partnerships though his work at Star America. Bill’s intimate knowledge of the industry and the relationships he has developed over the years creates a strong foundation for the organization. Star America embodies Bill’s core principles of outstanding service, ethics and overall excellence.
Star America was founded as a result of his vision to offer a financial services organization with deep seated industry knowledge and an innate ability to create joint venture and M & A opportunities and a strong vehicle for investing into America’s infrastructure.
Chief Judge Bertila Soto
Chief Judge Bertila Soto has been a judge in Miami-Dade County since 1997 and is currently in her first term as Chief Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit - the first woman and first Hispanic chief judge.
Judge Soto established CourtCare in Criminal Court – a child care program for those who need to come to court but don’t have babysitting. As Chief Judge, she established the International Commercial Arbitration Court - the second in the nation.
Chief Judge Soto teaches litigation skills at the University of Miami School of Law and is a former mock trial skills coach for Our Lady of Lourdes Academy. She is a moot court coach for the University of Miami Hispanic National Bar Association Team.
Chief Judge Soto is the recipient of many awards for her accomplishments. Among them: the 2010 Mario P. Goderich Legal Ethics Award from the Dade County Bar, the 2013 Justice Award from the League of Prosecutors, the 2013 Women Making History Award from the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, the 2014 Katherine Fernandez Rundle Award from the Miami-Dade League of Cities, and the 2015 In the Company of Women Award from Miami-Dade County.
Ken Pyatt
Deputy Director
Ken Pyatt is the Miami-Dade County Aviation Department's Deputy Director responsible for overseeing all aspects of airport operations, security, and facilities management at Miami International Airport (MIA) and Miami-Dade County's four general aviation airports. MIA is the second busiest international airport in the U.S. with passenger traffic in excess of 34M per year.
At Miami International, Mr. Pyatt directs a workforce of over 800 employees responsible for MIA's terminals and its four-runway airfield. His common sense, customer-centric management style has earned him an industry-wide reputation for management excellence.
Prior to joining MDAD, Mr. Pyatt spent over 30 years in airline operations including ramp and terminal operations at large airports such as JFK, LaGuardia, Chicago O'Hare and MIA.
Mr. Pyatt holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queens College in New York. He lives in Miami with his family and enjoys tennis and distance running.
Judge Jennifer D. Bailey
Judge Jennifer D. Bailey has been a highly rated circuit court judge in Miami-Dade’s 11th Judicial Circuit for over twenty-three years.  She is the Administrative Judge for the Circuit Civil Division located at the Dade County Courthouse and is responsible for day-to-day court operations management in the courthouse. She also handles a Complex Business Litigation caseload. Previously, she was assigned to the Complex Civil Trial section, the Family Division, and the Criminal Division.
Judge Bailey currently serves as a member of the Civil Justice Initiative, a 24-member national task force created by the Conference of Chief Justices of the United States to evaluate and recommend best practices to reduce cost and delay in state civil courts, and chairs the Court Operations subcommittee. Judge Bailey also served as Dean of the Florida College of Advanced Judicial Studies, as Chair of the Florida Bar Civil Procedure Rules Committee and on the Florida Supreme Court Civil Jury Instruction Committee. She was appointed Vice-Chair of the Florida Court Education Council, oversight board for judicial education throughout Florida, by four consecutive Chief Justices of the Florida Supreme Court. 
Judge Bailey also chaired the 2009 Florida Supreme Court Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Task Force and led efforts to deal with the foreclosure crisis in Miami Dade, overseeing a complex system of division judges, senior judges and staff which successfully reduced the case backlog. 
During two decades of teaching, Judge Bailey has served as faculty for the Florida New Judge’s College, the Florida College of Advanced Judicial Studies, the Conference of Circuit Court Judges, and as an Adjunct Professor in Judicial Process for the University Of Miami School Of Law. She is a magna cum laude double graduate of the University of Georgia (B.A., 1980, J.D. 1983).
Tara C. Smith
Tara C. Smith was appointed the Director of the Internal Services Department (ISD) in May of 2015. Ms. Smith has over 17 years of professional experience, and has proven leadership and operational abilities in large and complex environments.
Ms. Smith has held a number of leadership positions at ISD since 2013, with the most recent being Assistant Director with oversight of some of the most critical areas of the department.  During her tenure at ISD, she has taken significant steps to streamline and focus operations to assist other departments in the area of design and construction contracts, real estate development, and facilities management. She has accomplished a number of critical milestones for the Department, including the negotiation and closeout of 6 major capital projects in FY2014-15 - the new Northside Police Station, the Lillie Williams Arcola Head Start Center, the Gran Via Affordable Housing Apartments for the Elderly, the Tax Collector’s offices, the Children’s Courthouse and the Historic Hampton House; as well as the groundbreaking of the Caleb Community Center and the New Animal Services Shelter.
On a day-to-day basis, she has assisted in the departmental oversight of all ISD operations, including over 60 County facilities encompassing more than 6 million square feet of space that are critical to County operations and infrastructure, a complex power distribution grid and two district cooling loops in downtown Miami that feed seven County facilities; maintenance and management of over 13,000 pieces of light and heavy fleet equipment across 29 fleet maintenance facilities; management of the County’s real estate inventory database including over 4,700 parcels of property across 48,000 acres; and construction management of over 55 capital projects valued at over $550 million.
In 2007, Ms. Smith joined the Elections Department as Chief Deputy Supervisor of Elections, managing the largest elections operation in the state and supporting three presidential elections. She was later appointed as part of the County’s Management Watch Team to turn around the Jackson Health System, consistently proving her abilities as a consensus builder and problem solver.
Before joining Miami-Dade County in 2004 as a Management Trainee, Ms. Smith worked in the non-profit sector managing a program within the juvenile justice system. After obtaining a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, she joined the public sector and has risen through the ranks of leadership as she has tackled one assignment after the next with competence and efficiency.
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