Vice President, International Economic Development
Ilona has been working in the economic development field for over 15 years. She comes to The Beacon Council from the Miami Downtown Development Authority (Miami DDA), an independent agency of the City of Miami. In the almost five years she worked at the DDA, Ilona led Business Development efforts promoting downtown Miami to domestic and international businesses and targeted investors. During her tenure, she worked closely on strengthening and growing downtown’s finance sector and the Wall Street South brand. The finance sector grew by 52% within the downtown district during her time at the agency, and some of her big wins include iSquared Capital, aXpire and Canaccord Genuity, among others.
Before joining the Miami DDA, she worked for Enterprise Florida (EFI), the state’s official economic development organization, for 11 years. At EFI she supported Florida companies with their global business and export development initiatives, and helped generate expected export sales of over $120 million.
At Enterprise Florida she also recruited foreign companies to the state of Florida, helped over 200 foreign companies establish Florida operations, and referred over 1,000 foreign direct investment leads to Florida counties statewide.
Ilona is a fluent Spanish speaker, and is proficient in French and Portuguese. She is a Certified Economic Developer, has a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, and a Bachelors from Villanova University.