Chris grew up in the Northeast where he attended college receiving his BS in General Biology from the University of New Hampshire, his MBA from the University of Rhode Island, and his Masters in Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. After completing his Master’s degree he moved to Miami to continue his career in the field of fisheries as well as teach college courses in oceanography and environmental science. He joined the Deering Estate in the fall of 2016.
Eileen has lived in Miami for most of her life, moving with her parents and brothers from Cleveland, Ohio. She graduated from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton with a B. S. in Marketing. She has been the Deering Estate Business Manager since 2004. She manages budget and financial planning and reporting, cash handling, the RMS sales system, accounts payable/receivable and procurement. In addition to enjoying family time, her interests include reading, photography, travel and raising orchids.
Andres currently serves as the Manager of Grounds and Maintenance. He has been with Deering Estate for over 20 years. In the past he has been recognized by Professional Grounds Management Society and Landscape Superintendent Magazine for his excellence in grounds skills, dedication and management.
Bethany Gray moved to the Miami area in 2015 from Central Florida where she was the Curator of Collections for the Art & History Museums of Maitland. Bethany studied Art History and Archaeology at Rollins College in Winter Park where she held a museum fellowship and later became the Exhibits and Facilities coordinator at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum on the Rollins Campus. She did graduate work at Johns Hopkins University in the Museum Studies program. Bethany manages Historic Preservation work, capital projects, Grounds, Security and the Curatorial teams at the Deering Estate. She is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and enjoys photography, local history and genealogical research.
Cathy graduated from Florida International University with a Master in Public Administration (MPA) Degree and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature. She also studied abroad at Charles University Read More
Cathy graduated from Florida International University with a Master in Public Administration (MPA) Degree and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature. She also studied abroad at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. Cathy began her employment with Miami-Dade County in 2003 with the Department of Cultural Affairs. In 2006, she moved to the Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) and served as the Department’s Public Information Officer. In late 2006, Cathy joined the Deering Estate as the Marketing Manager.
Rosana joined the Deering Estate in 2008 as a Guest Services Representative and was promoted to the Assistant to the Business Manager in 2013. She assists with daily and monthly attendance reports, daily sales system data, accounts payable system processing, creating purchase orders, monitoring of the online sales system and more.
Jenna has a degree in Recreation and Leisure Services Administration. She started at Deering in 2009 as a summer camp counselor and continued as part of our Education Team. In 2011 she transferred to the Special Events department as the Special Events Manager.
Karen Solms has a Master’s Degree in Marine Biology from NOVA Southeastern University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology with a minor in Environmental Science from University of Florida. Karen Read More
Karen Solms has a Master’s Degree in Marine Biology from NOVA Southeastern University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology with a minor in Environmental Science from University of Florida. Karen began her career with Miami Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department in 2000 as the lead naturalist for the Sea Turtle Awareness Program at Crandon Park. Karen became the Visitor Services Manager for the Deering Estate in 2013.
Jennifer took on the role of Deering Estate’s Director in 2014. She has been with Deering for over 10 years previously serving as the Assistant Director and the Director of Deering Estate Foundation. She brings more than 10 years of experience in natural and cultural resource management to our community and more than 19 years of experience in financial management. Jennifer received a Master of Science degree in Environmental Studies, Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation, and Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance and Marketing.
Vanessa TrujilloConservation & Research Specialist
Vanessa grew up in North Florida and attended college receiving her BS in Biology from the University of Florida and her PhD in Biology from Florida International University with a specialty in nonnative freshwater fish. Her research interests are in developing programs that bring together stakeholders, scientists, and the public with a common goal of conserving the natural and historic legacy of the Estate and South Florida. She joined the Deering Estate in the summer of 2017.
Born in Miami, Brenda grew up enjoying visits to the Deering Estate, which sat just a mile away from her home. In 2013, she moved to Tallahassee and gained many valuable experiences working at environmental nonprofits and exploring nature refuges. After graduating summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Science degree in environmental studies from Florida State University, Brenda moved back to Miami and joined the Deering Estate in July 2018 as the Assistant to the Director. She continues to learn even more about the estate’s rich history and multifaceted allure than what she had been exposed to as a young visitor. Brenda is passionate about solving environmental issues through policy and strategic management, and enjoys spending her downtime biking, eating Peruvian food, and playing piano.
Joseph is a U.S. Marine veteran, born and raised in Miami, Florida. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management, a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), and is a Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor with various other instructor level certifications in the field of security and law enforcement. As the Safety & Security Manager at the Deering Estate, Joseph leads a team of security professionals, ensuring the safety of our staff and visitors and the protection of the park’s rich cultural and natural resources.
UPCOMING SIGNATURE EVENTS
The Deering Estate Foundation, Inc. is a community-based charitable 501(c) 3 Florida Corporation dedicated to preserving and enhancing the Deering Estate, one of South Florida’s largest and most significant historical, archeological, architectural and environmental treasures.