Advisory Committee Members
Lynare Robbins, World Affairs Council of Miami
Lynare Robbins is a veteran of the United States Navy and serves on the Florida Advisory Committee for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC), an organization which promotes bipartisan support for international development and diplomacy to strengthen national security and international relations. The USGLC’s Florida Advisory Committee brings together more than 260 business, faith, non-profit, and political leaders who understand how American global leadership matters for Florida as a global business hub at the commercial crossroads of the Americas, as well as its well-developed port infrastructure, and multilingual workforce. Lynare holds an Associates in Arts in Behavioral Science, a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and Masters of Arts degrees in Human Behavior and International Relations & Conflict Resolution. Her Master's Thesis involved research work identifying how technology and innovation can promote equality and equity. She is the founder and president of Robbins Global Innovations, a boutique international relations consultancy firm specializing in communications & strategic external relations, curriculum development and internationally driven programs. Lynare works closely with the British American Business Council of Miami as a Consultant. Additionally, she is the Director of the Miami Chapter of the Global Chamber, a thriving community of professionals, mentors and innovative companies connecting throughout the world of global business that exists in 195 countries with chapters in 525 metropolitan areas. In her free time Lynare enjoys volunteering in the local community where she serves on the LGBTQ Tourism Advisory Committee for the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau; as well as an Advisory Board member of the Miami-Dade County International Trade Consortium, appointed by The Honorable Eileen Higgins to represent District 5. Lynare is a member of the board of directors for Care Resource Community Health Centers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) with four locations located in: Midtown Miami, Little Havana, Miami Beach, and Fort Lauderdale that provides compassionate, competent, and committed healthcare and support services to address the full health care needs of South Florida's pediatric, adolescent and adult populations. She is a founding board member of the World Affairs Council of Miami, a nonprofit organization established to engage members of the South Florida community on global affairs issues, where she serves as the board Secretary and Programs Chair. Lynare is an honoree of the World Trade Center Miami's 2022 International Women's Day award.
Desmond Alufohai, Division Director, Protocol & International Affairs, Miami International Airport (MIA), Miami-Dade Aviation Department
Prior to joining Miami-Dade Aviation Department, Mr. Alufohai served as Senior International Trade Coordinator and head of the International Trade Programs for Miami-Dade County’s Economic Development and International Trade Agency. He also served as Executive Director and head of membership services & training department for Junior Chamber International (JCI) as well as JCI’s Director for Growth & Development for Africa and the Middle East.
Mr. Alufohai has worked as a leader in the international community for more than 30 years. He continues to travel extensively throughout the world, conducting trade missions, workshops, organizational fieldwork and essential professional development training. He made notable contributions during his tenure at JCI as the liaison to the following organizations: United Nations Agencies (UNICEF & UNESCO); World Health Organization [WHO]; and the African Union (AU). He was a delegate to the International Model United Nations (IMUN) in New York (1991).
Mr. Alufohai obtained a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree from the University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Anna Maria University in Paxton, Massachusetts, USA.
Mr. Alufohai is fondly referred to as “Mr. International” by his peers and associates due to his extensive international travels and proficiency in international affairs, intercultural etiquette, protocol, and diplomacy. He was instrumental in establishing the Sister Cities engagement between Miami-Dade County and Dakar, Senegal and Miami-Dade County and Cape Town, South Africa.
Marie Gill, M. Gill & Associates, Inc
Marie Gill is one of Florida’s successful entrepreneurs whose mission to assist small, minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses to successfully compete and grow in the domestic and global markets. As Founder & CEO of M. Gill & Associates, Inc., a management, economic development, and specialty consulting firm which she founded in 1990, Marie and her Associates also develop and manage strategic growth, and supplier diversity initiatives for corporations, government, and educational institutions to influence their contributions to the growth and inclusion of minorities, women, and veterans in financing and diversity procurement programs. A Champion for minority and women businesses, Marie Gill is the first African American, and the first woman entrepreneur to have been awarded a federal contract from the U.S. Department of Commerce – Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to provide technical assistance to minority businesses in Florida. Marie’s company operates a Small Business Center for the City of Miami. In July 2021 her company was re-awarded five-year contracts to operate the Miami MBDA Business Center (2021-2026) and the Florida MBDA Export Center (2021-2026). She also received a CARES Act grant to operate the MBDA Corona-virus Response and Relief Center. Her Team is providing an array of services primarily to businesses in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Currently the #1 Operator in the MBDA’s Network of some 40 Centers, Marie’s MBDA Programs have achieved the highest levels of performance nationwide. During her 22-year federal contracting with MBDA, her MBDA Business Center & Export Center Programs have sourced and facilitated over $6.1 Billion MBDA-verified financing and contract awards for minority, women and veteran businesses, creating and retaining over 18,000 U.S. jobs. Before migrating to the U.S., Marie held major positions with the private sector and government of Jamaica. She served during the 1970s and 1980s helping to build affordable housing for Jamaica’s impoverished sugar workers, helped hundreds of sugar workers and residents of marginalized communities to start and grow businesses, as well as advanced the country's tourism product through her marketing consulting role with the Jamaica Hotel & Tourism Association. Marie has been a business correspondent and columnist with the Jamaica Daily Gleaner Newspaper since the 1970s and still makes feature contributions. In the U.S., Marie has made significant contributions as an economic development practitioner in New Jersey with the Newark Coalition for Neighborhoods, and in Colorado with the Denver Economic Development Corp. She is still a supporter of Denver South. Marie moved to South Florida in 1989 and has grown to become one of Florida’s most respected business consultants, running Miami-Dade County's Empowerment Zone Program, and helping hundreds of small, minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses to start, develop and grow, both locally and worldwide. As an economic development practitioner, bilateral trade advocate, and community volunteer, Marie has contributed her personal time and treasures to support various initiatives, including her roles as founding president of the Jamaica USA Chamber of Commerce, founder of the National Association of Caribbean Businesswomen, Vice President of the Bi-National Chambers of Commerce in Florida, and Founder of the M. Gill Her Foundation—her latest nonprofit venture that aims to uplift businesswomen of color through mentoring, funding, and technical support. Marie also serves on the Boards of the World Trade Center Miami; the Saint Lucie County Chamber of Commerce for Florida's Treasure Coast; and was recently named to the Board of the South Florida Regional Planning Council, that provides financing for minority businesses. Marie’s work and voluntary contributions on behalf of small, minority women and veteran-owned businesses have been widely recognized by various media, trade, academic, and government institutions and publications. Her resume reveals a lifelong contribution of service to the under-served, advocacy for multicultural inclusion of minorities in domestic and global economic development initiatives, and helping minority students and women to advance in their careers and business ventures. Marie graduated from the University of the West Indies in her homeland, Jamaica, with a B. Sc. Degree in Economics, and from the University of Toronto with an M.A. Degree in Mass Communications, and an M.B.A. where she majored in Finance & Marketing, and graduated summa cum laude. She is a Certified Fast Trac Trainer (CFTT) with the University of Florida.