Alumni Board of Directors Executive Committee

Maribel Perez Wadsworth, B.S.C. '93


Board Director, Associated Press
Maribel Perez Wadsworth, president of the University of Miami Alumni Association, is a Miami native, a product of Miami-Dade Public Schools. Last year, she was inducted into the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Hall of Fame. Perez Wadsworth became the first in her family to graduate from college when she earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Miami School of Communication in 1993. She has dedicated the last three decades to journalism and its role in protecting democracy, working as a reporter and editor before transitioning to run the business.

Devang Desai, A.B. '97, J.D. '03

Immediate Past President

Partner, Gaebe, Mullen, Antonelli & DiMatteo
Devang B. Desai is an experienced and highly rated lawyer and partner at Gaebe, Mullen, Antonelli & DiMatteo. In the past, he has served as Interim Ombudsperson and Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Miami. He has also served as president of the UM Law School Alumni Association and is active in many organizations.

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Darren Dupriest, B.B.A. ’91


Founder & CEO, Validity Screening Solutions
Darren Dupriest is the founder and CEO of Validity Screening Solutions, an enterprise technology company specializing in background screening, substance abuse testing, and occupational health services.Since graduating with a B.B.A. in finance in 1991, Dupriest has been actively involved with the University of Miami. He has supported various areas across the U, including athletics as a Hurricane Club member, and student affairs as the naming donor of the Ibis Yearbook editor-in-chief’s office at the Shalala Center and his most recent commitment to naming the “Dupriest Family Residential Lobby” in the Lakeside Village.

Joshua A. Cohen, A.B. ’96

Vice President

Financial Advisor, Northwestern Mutual
After graduating from the University of Miami, Josh joined Northwestern Mutual in 1999. For over 23 years, he has been working closely with business owners and high-level executives to help achieve their personal and business financial security goals. Several years ago, Josh founded Legacy Financial Group, which has allowed him to focus on multigenerational planning with his clients. He remains affiliated with Northwestern Mutual.

Allison Gillespie, B.A.M. ’91, M.S.Ed. ’95, M.S. ’03


Assistant Provost, University of Southern Mississippi
Allison Gillespie is a three-time graduate of the U, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in music, a Master of Science in education, and a Master of Science in computer information systems. Allison has served on the University of Miami Alumni Association Board of Directors since 2017. Continuing her extensive involvement as an undergraduate, she serves as an alumna volunteer for Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority in a variety of local and national volunteer roles, including province director of chapters, district standards specialist, district risk management specialist chapter advisor, and leadership academy facilitator. Allison has a passion for providing education, mentoring, and leadership development opportunities for young women.

Felicia Williams Hale, B.B.A. '00


Chief of Staff, The Coca-Cola Company
Felicia leads the strategic planning and long-term growth initiatives for the North America Operating unit while driving seamless communication and collaboration across the organization. Prior to her current role, Felicia was the Equipment Strategy lead for the North America Operating Unit at the Coca-Cola Company. She served as the General Manager for the Freestyle business, managing a $1B P&L, while also leading the long-term strategy for Beverage equipment solutions for the company.

Shannon High-Bassalik, B.S.C. ’88


Chief Creative Officer, HighBall Media Group
Shannon High-Bassalik is the chief creative officer for HighBall Media Group. An expert in media across all platforms, Shannon works with companies to create, execute and analyze strategies to develop, grow, and monetize video content. From network to local news to digital content, Shannon’s background as a news and entertainment executive allows her to identify content that people will watch and share, and develop strong strategies to capitalize financially on it.

Juliana R. Wheeler A.B. '92, M.A. '94


Senior Advisor, Lambeth Palace
Juliana Wheeler is a senior financial services marketing and communications executive with more than 17 years’ experience. Juliana is currently a Senior Advisor at Lambeth Palace, working with the Archbishop of Canterbury and his team, prior to which she was Head of Financial Communications at the Church of England. In that role, she led communications and media relations for the Church Commissioners for England, a £10 billion endowment that is a leading global responsible investor, and the Church of England Pensions Board, which ethically manages £4 billion of pensions assets.

Erica M. Arroyo, B.S.C. ’03, M.A.L.S. ’08


University of Miami Division of Development and Alumni Relations
Erica Arroyo is the Associate Vice President of Engagement at the University of Miami. She has been with the University for 13 years and is responsible for the following areas: lifelong engagement of alumni, parents, faculty/staff, and friends of the University through a variety of programming; family relations, which includes the Parents...