Executive staff

Executive staff 2022-02-28T17:00:16-04:00

Joe Zubizarreta

President & CEO

Joe Zubizarreta assumed the role of Interim President and CEO of United Way Miami in November 2021. Prior to joining the organization, Joe served as a United Way Miami board member where he chaired the marketing committee and was also a member of the volunteer engagement committee.

With over 30 years of experience, Joe brings a wealth of knowledge in marketing and advertising to United Way Miami. Throughout the years, he has worked closely with brands such as Ford Motor Company, J.P. Morgan Chase, Dunkin Donuts, American Airlines, Walgreens, S.C. Johnson, Pizza Hut, The J.M. Smucker Co. and Mars, Incorporated, to name a few. Joe is widely known for his role as CEO of Zubi Advertising for 27 years, where under his leadership, he elevated the business from a local agency to one of the largest Hispanic advertising agencies in the country. A dedicated community leader, he served as the SVP of Communications for the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and currently acts as an advisor to the Florida International CasaCuba campaign. He is also a member of the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications Hall of Fame. Joe’s commitment to United Way is embedded in his DNA as his mother, Tere, was a long-time supporter and leader in the organization.

In his role, Joe is committed to supporting and standing by the dedicated staff and volunteers at United Way Miami and leading the organization in its mission to build a thriving and equitable community where all people have access to quality education and the opportunity to lead financially secure and healthy lives by bringing hearts, minds and resources together.

Joe graduated from the University of Florida and has lived in Miami for most of his life. He has a passion for the outdoors, mainly golfing and boating.

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.