Executive staff

Executive staff 2021-09-08T15:59:47-04:00

Maria C. Alonso

President and Chief Executive Officer

Maria C. Alonso assumed the role of president and CEO of United Way Miami in August 2017, after a 22-year career with Bank of America.

Prior to joining the organization, Maria served as a United Way board member and led the redesign of our community investment process to a more strategic, collective impact approach focused on education, financial stability and health. Her rich history of community leadership includes chairing the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and New World School of the Arts, serving as co-chair of One Community One Goal initiative and currently serving as a board member of the Beacon Council. She has also served on the boards of the Miami Foundation, Camillus House, Miami Dade College Foundation, among others.

As president and CEO, Maria is responsible for engaging the passion and expertise of thousands of contributors and hundreds of corporate and community partners in support of United Way’s mission of building community by helping people care for one another. Working alongside a team of nearly 200 professionals, she guides the strategic direction, operations and finances of the largest private funder of health and human services in Miami-Dade County.

Maria holds a master’s of business administration in marketing from Florida International University and a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Miami. She resides in Coral Gables with her husband Alex Montague and furry members of their family.

Christina Blanco

Cristina Blanco

Chief Communications Officer

Cristina joined United Way as chief communications officer in April 2019. Over the last 18 years, she has led marketing, communications and fundraising teams to enhance brand image and revenue results in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. In her role, she is responsible for the planning, development and execution of the organization’s strategic initiatives, and leading the corporate communications, external affairs, marketing and engagement teams. Prior to United Way, she was senior vice president and director of marketing for TotalBank where she was responsible for the development and management of the bank’s integrated marketing platform.

Actively involved in the community, she spearheaded the rebranding of Miami’s regional historical association to HistoryMiami, helped found the local member-based human rights advocacy group Miami Chapter of U.S. National Committee for UN Women and worked with members of the judiciary to create the 11th Judicial Circuit Historical Society and its portfolio of events. Cristina earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and a master’s in nonprofit administration from Florida State University and is a graduate of New World School of the Arts.

When outside the office, Cristina shares her passion for the arts and mentoring through teaching classical ballet and contemporary dance to children and teens and serves as member of the board of City Theatre Inc.

Norie Del Valle

Senior Vice President, Development

Norie began her career at United Way over 25 years ago as assistant project director to the first AmeriCorps program in South Florida which focused on rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Andrew. She then joined the Community Investments team where she worked until joining the Development team as vice president in 2013.

Norie has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in Public Administration both from Florida International University.

Among Norie’s many accomplishments, she led the team that created the United Way Center for Financial Stability which opened in 2009. Norie has served as a grants reviewer for the Alliance for Human Services, The Health Foundation of South Florida and the Children’s Trust. She served on the boards of UAspire and the Thelma Gibson Health Initiative. She is a graduate of Leadership Miami as well as a past chair of the program and founding member of the Youth Leadership Miami.  She is currently Vice-Chair of the Chamber’s Non-Profit Business Committee.

Mary Donworth

Senior Vice President, Community Impact

Mary is responsible for the strategic investment of United Way community plan dollars to further our work in education, financial stability and health. A United Way professional since 1990, oversees a team of professionals and volunteers who determine how best to invest United Way dollars to achieve outcomes and then monitor those investments to ensure effective program delivery and results.

Mary represents United Way on various boards, including the Emergency Food and Shelter Program Local Board, William Watts Foundation, and Miami-Dade County’s CBO Advisory Committee.

Mary has a bachelor’s degree in history from Barry College and a master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University. Prior to joining United Way, Mary worked at a non-profit in New York focused on international cultural and professional exchange.

Mary is an avid reader and traveler.

Carlos Molina

Chief Financial Officer

Carlos joined United Way Miami in 1990, having served previously as a financial executive in the public and for-profit sectors. In his current role, Carlos oversees the financial and accounting operations of the organization, manages the organization’s investment portfolios and supervises fiscal agent operations provided to local not-for-profit organizations. In addition, Molina oversees the management of campus real estate, tenant/landlord relationships, information technology and human resources.

Carlos earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Colorado State University and a master’s in finance from Florida International University. He is currently a member of the United Way Worldwide Financial Issues Committee and founding member of the South Florida Non-profit Financial Executives.

Carlos enjoys traveling, reading and coaches his two sons in youth sports.

Gladys R. Montes

Group Vice President, United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education

With a passion for providing high quality early childhood education and nearly 30 years of experience, Gladys joined United Way in 2005 to open United Way’s nationally recognized world-class United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education.

Prior to joining United Way, Gladys worked as a preschool teacher, a childcare center director, associate director for Catholic Charities’ early childhood division, a federal reviewer for Head Start and a validator with the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Gladys was instrumental in the development of the Birth to Three Learning and Development Standards, a project sponsored by the Florida Partnership for School Readiness and the Florida Institute of Education.

Gladys has a bachelor’s degree from University of Puerto Rico and a master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University.

Celio Romanach

Chief Marketing Officer

Celio joined United Way in February 2016. As chief marketing officer, he is responsible for the planning, development and execution of the organization’s marketing activities that bring the United Way mission to life. He leads the marketing team responsible for branding, message strategy, market research, marketing collateral, website and creative services. Previously, Celio had a long career in consumer marketing, most recently serving as vice president/brand managing director at Bacardi USA, Inc.

Celio was educated locally at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School and Miami-Dade College where he received an associate’s degree.  He graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in advertising. He is married with four grown children, and is interested in pop culture, classic cars and Eighties music.

Juan Carlos Urquiola

Vice President, Creative Services and Interactive Communications

Juan joined United Way in 1992, having worked previously at Burson-Marsteller and Florida International University. In his current role, Juan is responsible for leading two key areas that support the brand and marketing strategies of the organization: the Creative Services area which develops and produces innovative marketing and communications materials, and the Interactive Communications team, where he is responsible for the development, design and maintenance of the organization’s website and electronic communications.

Juan is proud of his local education having earned an associate’s degree at Miami-Dade College and a bachelor’s degree at Florida International University. He is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts. He is interested in the arts, traveling and technology.