Executive Vice President, Head of US Distribution at TD Bank
Ernie Diaz serves as the Regional President for TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank in Florida, where he is responsible for providing strategic direction and sales leadership to TD’s retail, small business, commercial and specialty banking operations and lending services throughout a network of more than 150 stores in Florida.
His banking career spans more than 28 years where he held positions at several financial institutions in Florida, including TD’s predecessor the South Financial Group; Mercantile Bank, Regions Bank; Terrabank; and the former Southeast Bank. Most recently, he served as Market President for TD Bank in South Florida.
A long-time South Florida resident, he currently serves as Chair of The Beacon Council Executive Board. In addition, he is a member of the Orange Bowl Committee, serve as the Director for the Florida Bankers Association board, and am a board member of Enterprise Florida. Lastly, he is the immediate past Chair for the Dean’s Council at Florida International University.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Florida International University and a Master’s degree in accounting from Nova Southeastern University. He is also a licensed CPA in the state of Florida.
Shareholder at Cozen O’Connor
Jeffrey Feldman is a trial lawyer who represents clients in intellectual property and business litigation matters. His cases have included patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, false advertising, unfair competition, contract, business torts, and civil RICO disputes in state and federal courts throughout the United States. He has tried a number of these cases to verdict, often for clients who were in late-stage litigation and had an eleventh-hour need for experienced trial counsel. In addition to trial work, Jeff also counsels clients about procuring, registering, protecting and licensing intellectual property rights and avoiding the intellectual property rights of others.
Jeff is board certified by the Florida Bar in Intellectual Property Law, a distinction held by only 138 Florida attorneys.
Jeff began his career in 1981 as an assistant state attorney in Miami-Dade County, a position he was appointed to by former State Attorney and U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno. Jeff rose to the rank of felony prosecutor and later, felony division chief, and his experience included prosecution of numerous cases as first chair trial counsel. In 1985, Jeff was appointed as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida. As a federal prosecutor, Jeff tried numerous cases to verdict and routinely conducted grand jury investigations, including several cases related to the Iran-Contra Affair. Both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Agency recognized Jeff for distinguished service in relation to matters he prosecuted for them.
Jeff entered private practice in 1988 as a civil and criminal trial lawyer and in 1994, he co-founded Feldman Gale, P.A., an intellectual property litigation boutique that remained in practice until 2016 when he and other members of his firm joined Cozen O’Connor.
Jeff has been listed annually in “Best Lawyers in America” since 2007, “Florida Super Lawyers” since 2006 and the South Florida Legal Guide since 2003. He is also a Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America, a national trial lawyer’s honorary society. Jeff has also been recognized by The International Who’s Who of Patent Lawyers, Florida Trend Magazine’s “Legal Elite,” and Managing Intellectual Property’s “IP Stars.” He is AV Preeminent rated by Martindale Hubbell since 1992.
Jeff is an active participant in various community organizations. He is a member of the executive board of the Miami Dade County Beacon Council — the city’s official economic development organization; a trustee of the University of Florida’s Law Center Association, a leadership and fundraising arm of the Levin College of Law; a director of the Lung Transplant Foundation of Florida; and a member of the Tocqueville Society of the United Way of Miami-Dade County. Jeff is also past president of the Miami Music Association, an organization that supported the Cleveland Orchestra’s residency in South Florida.
Shareholder at Cozen O’Connor
Lead Partner at RSM US LLP
Robert Feldmann is a Certified Public Accountant and lead partner at the Coral Gables branch of the accounting firm RSM McGladrey. He has been with the firm since 1990 and was formerly a senior manager in the audit department. He specializes in audit, accounting, business counseling and tax planning. He serves on Florida International University’s School of Accounting Advisory Board, and is a member of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Healthcare Association, the HFMA, the Government Finance of Officers Association and the Florida Government Finance Officers Association. He also serves on the Advisory Council of the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center.
Lead Partner at RSM US LLP
Chairman & CEO of Grove Bank and Trust
In addition to his Miami Dade Beacon Council involvement, he is on the Board of Trustees of Baptist Health South Florida, Board of Directors of U.S. Stem Cell, Inc., Miami Dade College Foundation, New World Symphony, Executive Committee of the United Way of Miami Dade County, Institute of Contemporary Art and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart.
Executive Vice President, Equitable Advisors South Florida Branch and Chair of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council
Hugo Castro, MBA, CFP®, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF is an Executive Vice President of the Southeast Region and co-branch manager of AXA Advisors’ South Florida Branch.
He began as a financial professional in 1992 and within two years of joining AXA Advisors’ South Florida Branch, he was promoted to District Manager. He was ranked as the #1 manager in his class in 1994, 1995 and 1996 and during those years, he also earned AXA Advisors’ Gold Superior Growth and Developing District awards for his outstanding recruiting and sales development. In 1996 he ranked #4, nationally, among all district managers in the company. In 1997, 1998, and 1999 he ranked #2, nationally, winning the Silver National Builders Trophy in each of those years. In
2000 he ranked #1, nationally, winning the Gold National Builders Trophy.
On May 1, 2002, Mr. Castro was promoted to join DEVP Luis G. Chiappy, CFP®, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF as co-branch manager of the South Florida branch. Within AXA Advisors, the South Florida organization has continuously ranked as one of the top field branch offices, receiving the company’s prestigious President’s Trophy – a measure of overall profitability, productivity and management effectiveness – an unprecedented 16 times. The President’s Trophy awards distinguish the branch and its associates for outstanding increases in sales volume, as well as associate retention and development. The organization is also one of the largest of its kind in the state of Florida, and is comprised of approximately 250 financial professionals.
Hugo brought to AXA Advisors over four years of commercial lending experience. He was previously associated with ITT, where he held the position of Commercial Finance Account Manager. He now uses his experience and knowledge to focus on providing retirement planning and other financial services to the small business and professional markets. He is responsible for hiring and training sales associates to work in similar capacities.
He is an active member of the South Florida community, and is involved with the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, and Florida International University’s Alumni Association. He is also involved with the La Salle Foundation, a charity dedicated to helping underprivileged children.
Hugo holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Business from Florida International University. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional and has also earned the prestigious professional designations of CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter) and ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant) from the American College. Hugo is also a LUTCF (Life Underwriting Training Council Fellow).