FLIC Team

Based on a shared mission to protect immigrants in Florida, FLIC’s team members are working hard each day to create a tangible change in our culture and community.

Executives

Tessa Petit

Executive Director

Tessa Petit

Tessa Petit

Executive Director

Born and raised in Haiti, Tessa moved to the United States in 2001.  She worked in social services for the Haitian community and with families experiencing homelessness. She brought her passion for justice to FLIC in 2016, where she helped to expand direct services and advocacy with a mission to change hearts and minds. As she leads FLIC, a now 83 organizational member statewide coalition, Tessa aspires to foster collaboration among all immigrants, including Black Immigrants, and to expand FLIC’s civic engagement to build immigrant power for a Florida where everyone can live, labor, and love without fear.  Tessa has a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Barry University.

Renata Bozzetto, PhD

Deputy Director

Renata Bozzetto

Renata Bozzetto, PhD

Deputy Director

Renata Bozzetto is a Brazilian immigrant who has been making Florida a home since 2004. A trained researcher and an avid change-maker, Renata crafts transformative actions by weaving analytic rigor to everyday practices. Her prior experiences working in the informal economy and as a member of a mixed-status family help to inform strategies to reach and engage immigrants who are navigating multiple challenges as they settle in the US. Today, Renata has the honor of serving the 80+ organizations that make the Florida Immigrant Coalition – a statewide, non-partisan, intergenerational, multi-ethnic and member-led coalition working to make Florida a true home for all, including immigrants.

Renata first joined FLIC as a volunteer in 2010, and actively participated in the 2011 campaign that prevented a copycat of Arizona’s SB1070 law from being implemented in Florida. FLIC became Renata’s political home, and she has expressed her commitment to intersectional coalition building while serving on multiple boards and committees of organizations supporting racial justice, women’s rights, economic equity, and our democracy. Prior to joining FLIC’s team, Renata worked for 9 years as a teaching assistant/instructor at South Florida public universities. She received her MA in Women & Gender Studies from Florida Atlantic University and her Ph.D. in Sociology from Florida International University.

Stephanie Wall

Director of Finance and Operations

Stephanie Wall

Stephanie Wall

Director of Finance and Operations

Stephanie Wall was born in Sogamoso, Colombia and came to the United States at the age of four with her immediate family. After graduating from high school, Stephanie attended the Miami Dade Honors College where she became an active member and leader in the immigrant rights community organizing against deportations and family separation while advocating for the passage of the Dream Act and Immigration Reform. Soon after, Stephanie transferred to the University of Central Florida where she studied psychology and sociology. She joined City Year, an education nonprofit organization, where she led a team towards closing the graduation gap in a low income community in Orlando. Stephanie is currently pursuing a Master degree in Nonprofit Management at UCF while working with the Florida Immigrant Coalition as their Lead Organizer. Stephanie’s work with FLIC involves supporting member organizations on intentional capacity building and strategy, leading civic engagement and political education workshops, cultivating leadership among membership and promoting purposeful lobbying and organizing efforts for national, state, and local campaigns.

Civic Engagement

Ana Maria Hernandez

Field Director

Ana Maria Hernandez

Ana Maria Hernandez

Field Director

Ana Maria Hernandez is driven by her passion for community empowerment and social change, and has years of experience in organizing, focusing on educating and mobilizing diverse and underrepresented communities to participate in our democracy. She was born in Medellin, Colombia and immigrated to the United States at 10 years old. Her activism started back then, and today she spends her time fighting for immigrant rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, recovery rights, climate justice, and more. She went to the University of South Florida for a degree in Political Science, and for the last several years has been working in issue based electoral work.

Community Services

Sandra Fish Mathurin

Director of Services

Sandra Fish Mathurin

Sandra Fish Mathurin

Director of Services

Sandra brings over 15 years of experience in direct services delivery by funders and providers involving community development, advocacy, and youth development program management as well as coordinating program evaluation of family stabilization. A firm believer in giving back to the community, Sandra has volunteered in the local communities for at least 25 years. She has maintained externally facing roles managing relationships of providers in the community with a heavy emphasis on team management and development while establishing and maintaining standards of performance across all programs. A native of Haiti and resident of South Florida, Sandra has a Bachelor’s Degree cum laude in Administration and a Specialization in Human Resources.

Annabella Pashell

Volunteer and Hotline Coordinator

Annabella Pashell

Annabella Pashell

Volunteer and Hotline Coordinator

Born in Guatemala, Annabella Pashell is a Journalist and has enjoyed a rewarding career as a Radio and Television Producer. She has been a Producer with NBC-Telemundo Network and Univision, working directly with the most prominent personalities in the US Hispanic television market. She has worked as General Producer on the radio program, hosted by the famous Mexican actress, singer, and businesswoman, Thalia. Annabella was part of the editorial board of Cala’s TV show on CNN, and later launched and directed Ismael Cala’s radio program. She has experience in copy editing scripts and books and directing audiobooks, she directed the series of meditations recorded by Cala and Deepak Chopra. Annabella also studied Digital Marketing and SEO. She loves nature and is a Leader and Mentor of the Climate Reality Project, founded by ex Vicepresident Al Gore. In Geneva, Switzerland, she supported an international organization that works alongside the United Nations for the rights of people with disabilities.

Fredeline Milien

TPS Organizer

Lilly Milien

Fredeline Milien

TPS Organizer

Born on the vibrant island of Haiti and raised in The Bahamas, Fredeline is a resilient individual whose journey is characterized by diversity, education, and a fervent dedication to the betterment of both herself and her community. She embarked on her academic pursuits at the Universidad Adventista Dominicana in the Dominican Republic, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in clinical psychology. This foundation not only honed her understanding of the intricacies of human behavior but also ignited her passion for mental health advocacy. Inspired by her personal experiences and her deep empathy for others, she resolved to make a lasting impact in the realm of psychological well-being.

In 2018, she relocated to the United States and amplified her academic prowess by attaining an associate degree in Business Administration from Miami Dade College. A certified specialist in business management, she pairs her administrative finesse with a personal touch shaped by her own immigration experience. As an immigrant, Fredeline not only navigated the complexities of U.S. immigration procedures for herself but extended her expertise to family and friends, cementing her reputation as a dependable resource. This journey ignited a fervent dedication to supporting and educating fellow immigrants, a commitment that continues to grow.

Beyond her professional pursuits, Fredeline is an avid enthusiast of sewing, crafting, and engaging in imaginative DIY projects. She finds solace and inspiration in music and dance, encapsulating her vibrant spirit and zest for life. In a world where compassionate guidance is paramount, she stands as a beacon of empathy and empowerment, fostering a sense of community among immigrants. With an indomitable passion for aiding those on similar paths, she envisions a future where each immigrant’s story is marked by resilience, growth, and shared success.

Roberto Benavides Wong

New American Voters Campaign Coordinator

Roberto Benavides-Wong

Roberto Benavides Wong

New American Voters Campaign Coordinator

Coming soon.

Karlene Maxwell-Williams

Citizenship Coordinator

Karlene Maxwell-Williams

Karlene Maxwell-Williams

Citizenship Coordinator

Karlene Maxwell-Williams is a highly respected community member known for her unwavering dedication to activism and volunteerism. She is originally from Kingston, Jamaica, and has been passionate about immigration-related issues since childhood. Karlene is committed to helping immigrants with their immigration documents and driving initiatives to enhance the lives of community members. Currently, she serves as a Commissioner for the City of Lauderdale Lakes. She is a management graduate who has played a vital role in promoting positive change and social justice in her community. Additionally, she is a Department of Justice Accredited Representative.

In her personal life, Karlene is a devoted wife and mother. She loves spending quality time with her family, exploring new and exciting destinations, and indulging in her passion for shopping. Karlene’s extensive experience and unwavering commitment to service have earned her the respect and admiration of her community. She continues to work tirelessly to promote social justice and positive change.

Communications

Adriana Rivera

Director of Communication

Adriana Rivera

Adriana Rivera

Director of Communication

Adriana is a native of Puerto Rico and has a BA in Communications from the University of Puerto Rico. She has worked in the private and non-profit sectors, bringing forward her knowledge on marketing strategies. She excels in digital marketing and has a passion for  social justice, especially when it concerns disadvantaged communities, disparities and inequities. In her spare time she likes to teach her skills to others and is passionate about traveling, world cultures, and genealogy.

Natsumi Panelli

Digital Strategist

Natsumi Paneli

Natsumi Panelli

Digital Strategist

Natsumi was born and raised in Japan and moved to Florida in 2013 to pursue B.A. in Communications and Advertising at Flagler College. She has also earned an MBA from Webster University in 2018 and since then she’s been working in the Digital Marketing field with the focus on operations and SEO. While she has mostly served in the fitness and sports media industry, she’s very excited to be a part of FLIC to take on a new challenge. As an immigrant herself, she struggled with immigration system for 10 years and is passionate to help immigrants so they can strive in their lives without fears and worries.

Nicole Nuñez

Social Media Organizer

Nicole Nuñez

Nicole Nuñez

Social Media Organizer

Nicole Nuñez was born in Quito, Ecuador and moved to the U.S. at 2 years old. Nicole has a passion for photography and videography, as well as an appetite to create valuable content across social media to inform and educate others on important topics.She graduated from Florida International University with an English degree in 2020, wanting to share stories and uplift the voices of those who need it within our communities. While studying at FIU, she served as an E-board member for Her Campus FIU as their social media chair where she was able to get them to become a Pink chapter. She was also a member of Alpha Chi Omega, a sorority that held a philanthropy that she holds close to her heart, Domestic Violence Awareness. Nicole is excited to continue working alongside communities in need in order to amplify their voices and stories to create a better and safer Florida for all.

Andres Zambrano

Graphic Designer

Andres Zambrano

Andres Zambrano

Graphic Designer

Andres is a graphic designer and part of the FLIC communications team. Born in 1993 in Valencia, Venezuela, he has experience in the field of arts and graphic design. He arrived in the USA in 2017 as a political refugee due to his work as an independent journalist and reporting the realities of his country to the world. He sought in America the opportunity to start over and be free to express his worldview through art and photography.

Campaign Organizing

Yareliz Mendez-Zamora

Federal Campaign Lead

Yareliz Mendez-Zamora

Yareliz Mendez-Zamora

Federal Campaign Lead

Born and raised in Miami, Yareliz grew up listening to her Nicaraguan family’s immigration stories and constantly draws inspiration from them. She graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s in English and History, as well as a Minor in Latin American Studies. She was a coordinator of the Latin@ Diaspora in the Americas Program, a Student Government Senator, interned at the Broward Public Defender’s Office, was an ambassador at La Casita, a contributor for The Huffington Post Latino Voices, and is 1/6th of the online Latina Rebels collective. Currently, she is earning her Master’s degree at the University of Miami in Community and Social Change. Yareliz is passionate about centering voices that were deliberately silenced, a proud feminist, and lives by the Gloria Anzaldua quote “Wild tongues cannot be tamed, only cut out.

Pierre Uwimana

Refugee Organizer

Pierre Uwimana

Pierre Uwimana

Refugee Organizer

Pierre Uwimana was born and raised in Rwanda and went to college in Kenya where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a Master’s in Finance. Upon completing his studies, Pierre played a significant role in rebuilding his country of Rwanda that was torn apart by the genocide which happened in his country in 1994. During his service in Rwanda, he started as Program Expert in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, he later moved to Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Agency as Deputy Managing Director in charge of Export Promotion. After a successful service, he was promoted to Kigali City Manager. As he kept on growing in his professional life, Pierre realized that his passion to see the most vulnerable lifted out of misery is not being realized as he wanted to, he decided to move to a service in non-profit organization and he joined World Relief Rwanda where he served to empower the local church to serve the most vulnerable in the capacity of Program Director. In 2010 when the earthquake broke in Haiti, his passion compelled him to move to this Caribbean country and he served as Country Director for World Concern Haiti. In January 2014, Pierre and his family immigrated to United States and upon arriving he joined World Relief again in its refugee resettlement program and he was helping refugees and other immigrants to integrate into American Society as responsible citizens. In his tenure in all these roles, Pierre has seen various lives of the needy beneficiaries lifted to a satisfactory life changing level and he strives to keep seeing lives of his community and other communities in general changed and uplifted. Pierre is married and during his spare time, he enjoys reading, playing with his children and learning more about investment opportunities. He also enjoys riding a bike. Pierre joins Florida Immigrant Coalition as A Refugee Organizer.

Pedmarlin Occelus

Central Florida Membership Organizer

Marlin Occelus

Pedmarlin Occelus

Central Florida Membership Organizer

A native of Haiti, Pedmarlin Occelus moved to the United States when he was eleven years old. He has been living in the state of Florida ever since. He attended and graduated from Valencia College with an Associate Degree and from Florida Atlantic University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. Before joining FLIC, he was a Regional Field Director in a Climate Focus role. Another role Pedmarlin has excelled at is sales. He is a licensed real estate professional. Being a realtor and witnessing how climate change affects real estate prices, immigrants, and low-income communities, made him even more passionate about Climate Justice. His hobbies include reading, traveling, candle-making, and helping those in need.

Danielle Chanzes

Climate Justice Organizer

Danielle Chanzes

Danielle Chanzes

Climate Justice Organizer

Bio coming soon

Administrative

Patricia Bernal

Office Manager

Patricia Bernal

Office Manager

Patricia came from Colombia to live in the United States in 2000. She has a degree in Marketing and Administration and more than 25 years of experience with multinational companies in Colombia and Miami. Since she was a teenager, she joined the YWCA (Association of Young Christian Women)and the Red Cross with her mother, helping social justice programs for the neediest in Bogota. Patricia has been working for FLIC since 2013 as Office Manager. Since 2018 she has continued improving the office organization and now assists with IT coordination, Logistics, and HR. For 3+ years, she also has volunteered with the detainees’ visitation program at BTC through FOBD org.

Gämer Al Hassan

Data Manager

Gamer Al Hassan

Gämer Al Hassan

Data Manager

Hello, I’m Gamer/Gämer. I migrated from Sudan to Florida when I was five years old. I graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2020 with a degree in neuropsychology and minors in global health politics and cultural anthropology. For the past 5 years, I’ve gained experience in full-stack development, data analytics, and operations management. I’m passionate about advocacy around drug stigmatization, bioethics, abolition, art, land and environmental justice, and community care. I am excited to build with the organization.

Olga Derpic

Human Resources Manager

Olga Derpic

Human Resources Manager

Olga is from Bolivia; she moved to Florida in 2016 after living in Mexico for almost ten years, working in the human resources area for different local and multinational organizations. As an immigrant herself, she has always been conscious of the difficulties people have to go through when arriving in a foreign country. She’s a Psychologist with an MA in Human Resources and has 15 years of experience in HR. She’s also passionate about working with different causes, such as environmental and mental health. Since she arrived in Florida, she has volunteered with an organization that creates awareness about water pollution and as a crisis counselor supporting people in crisis.

Edwin Castro

Accounting Manager

Edwin Castro

Edwin Castro

Accounting Manager

Edwin Castro was born in Cartagena, Colombia, and came to the United States at seventeen. Edwin pursued a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Business Administration at Northwestern State University in 2019. He is currently doing an MBA at Atlantis University. His biggest Dream is to create a Foundation to offer resources to the international student community as he received before and to transfer his motto that “Giving Up is not an option in this country.”

Jack Maguire

Development Manager

Jack Maguire

Jack Maguire

Development Manager

Jack is a second generation immigrant from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He moved to Miami to pursue his PhD in sociology with a focus on immigration at Florida International University (FIU) where he threw himself into the immigrants rights movement. He co-founded the Global Immigration and Migration Initiative at FIU, organized events at FIU to provide space for students, professionals, and faculty to produce policy ideas for an inclusive immigration system, volunteered at several non-profits in the Miami area which support immigrants with various services, and helped organize and participated in protests in both Miami and Washington D.C. that advocated for humane immigration policies. Jack brings his extensive writing and research experience to the fore in his position as Development Manager and thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to serve those on the front lines of the fight for immigrants rights.

Martine Alcenas

Administrative Assistant

Martine Alcenas

Martine Alcenas

Administrative Assistant

Martine Alcenas, born and raised in Haiti, immigrated to the United States eight years ago to reunify with her mother. She grew up in a household where her parents emphasized the importance of education and hard work. After settling in the US, Martine attended Miami Dade College where she pursued a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Resources. Graduating in 2022, she excelled in her studies opening a pathway for her understanding about human resources and its huge impact on an organization’s success. She joined a FLIC in September 2023, and provides her support to assisting HR, accounting, operations and logistic. Martine is deeply passionate about the fight of immigration struggles and issues.  Martine treasure spending time with her mother, whom she deeply respects and admires. In her spare time  she enjoys reading, listening to music, and practicing yoga.