2023-2024 GSCBWLA Leadership


Officers

Lotoya K. BrownPresident 

Jae Lofton, President-Elect 

Iris A. Elijah, Vice President

Alexa Philossaint, Secretary

Benaejah Simmonds, Treasurer

Michele Samaroo, Immediate Past President

Directors

Mark Berrios-Ayala

Richardine Estaba 

Ashley Gantt 

Monifa Hall

Miracle Haynes
Camielle Green Owens 
Sylvie Rampal


Lotoya K. Brown, Esq. • President 

Lotoya K. Brown, Esq.  is a Project Attorney in the Put Something Back Project. She previously worked as Legal Counsel for Childnet., Inc,  and as  Senior Associate at Andell Brown & Associates, a boutique family operated firm in Aventura, FL. She has experience in business transactions, estate planning & legacy building education. She also provides healthcare directives, power of attorney and notarial services. Lotoya has also gained experience in municipal law as the previous Interim Deputy City Attorney of the City of Sunny Isles Beach.

Lotoya earned her Juris Doctor from Shepard Broad College of Law at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law (2017) and her undergraduate degree from Florida State University. She is a proud alum of both schools. During law school, she was a repeated Dean’s List recipient, Law School Ambassador, Moot Court Member, an Executive Board Member for the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA), PULSE! Health Law Association, and a general member of the Caribbean Law Students Association. Currently, she serves as Board Member for the Caribbean Bar Association, member of the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law section of The Florida Bar and of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. When not working, Lotoya enjoys spending time with her family and cultivating new ways to expand her legal knowledge and community impact.


Jae Lofton, Esq. • President-Elect

Ms. Lofton is currently an Attorney at Liebler, Gonzalez & Portuondo:  a law firm based in Miami,   Tampa and Orlando Florida servicing banking, business, commercial, and real estate law needs   throughout the State of Florida, Southeastern United States and the US Virgin Islands.  Her     background hails from Wall Street whereas she was an Investment Banker in the area of Asset     Backed Securities. After graduating law school, Ms. Lofton served as an Attorney Advisor for the   Washington, DC Court Systems, then transitioned out of public service back into the private sector at   Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe law firm where she worked in the Fixed Income Group, then later clerked for Honorable James S. Carroll.

Janeen received her B.A. & B.S. from Xavier University and her J.D./M.B.A. through the Howard University/Texas University consortium. Currently, Janeen works in LGP’s Commercial Banking Litigation Group premised on her extensive experience in banking law litigation and regulation litigation practicing USVI matters and managing Florida trials.  She is a community advocate happy to serve as a Board Member of Gwen S. Cherry’s Black Women Lawyers Association, Board Member of Miami’s Bach Society, an active member of the Young Patronesses of the Opera, member of the Bach Miami Symphony as a violinist, a member of Junior League Miami, and actively leads programs for Camillus’ House community.


Iris A. Elijah Esq. • Vice President

Alexa Philossaint, Esq.  Secretary

Mrs. Alexa Philossaint is a passionate advocate for families. She graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor’s in English and Africana Studies and a minor in Child Psychology. Mrs. Philossaint also attended the University of Miami School of Law where she received the Outstanding Public Interest Scholarship and a Public Service Award for her work in the Law School’s Oral History Project on Coconut Grove’s Black community. Mrs. Philossaint currently works as a Family Law Staff Attorney and is fluent in Creole. She is a member of the Florida Bar (2016), Haitian Lawyers Association, former member of the Broward County Bar Association, graduate of the 2022-2023 Dade Legal Aid Leadership Academy. 

She formerly worked as a Legal Advisor for the Injunction for Protection Project through the Coordinated Victim’s Assistance Center where she assisted victims of violence to obtain permanent injunctions against their abusers. Prior to this role, Mrs. Philossaint worked as a Senior Program Attorney for the Guardian ad Litem Program where she had the privilege to serve in RISE Court, a newly developed court that focuses on assisting victims of human trafficking who are also dependent children. Mrs. Philossaint strives to bridge the dialectal and cultural gaps by working with all clients and communities and advocating for them within the justice system. She thoroughly enjoys participating in presentations and trainings that will enlighten the legal community and the community at large. 

Beneajah Simmonds, Esq.  •Treasurer  

Benaejah Simmonds is an experienced attorney at Louis Law Group, PLLC., where she primarily focuses her practice on the representation of clients who suffer losses to their property caused by accidents or natural disasters. She is committed to protecting her client's rights when it comes to property law and works tirelessly to get her clients a proper compensation. 

Mrs. Simmonds is originally from Texas. She completed her undergraduate studies at Oakwood University. Mrs. Simmonds earned her law degree from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, at which she achieved the Dean’s List multiple semesters, was awarded the Book Award for earning the highest grade in Legal Research and Writing, served as an editor for law journal as well as the Vice President of the Black Law Student Association. 

Before joining Louis Law Group, Mrs. Simmonds represented carriers in the area of first party property and personal injury at Cole, Scott & Kissane P.A. Mrs. Simmonds also interned under former Senior Judge Ursula Ungaro of the United States District Court of the Southern District of Florida and practiced in various areas of civil litigation.  

Michele Samaroo, Esq.  Immediate Past President

Mark Berrios-Ayala, Esq. • Board Member

Mark Berrios-Ayala currently is In House Counsel to Jefferson Capital Systems, LLC. Previously,  Mark worked at two firms dealing with personal injury and bankruptcy while a student at the University of Central Florida. Mark also worked as the legal intern for the Honorable Migna Sanchez-Llorens of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida in Miami. Mark also served as a Certified Legal Intern at the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.

Being a first-generation college graduate, Mark graduated from Florida International University College of Law in the spring of 2017. During law school, Mark was awarded the pro bono medallion for over 200 pro bono hours completed while in law school. Mark obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida in 2014: graduating honors in the major. Mark obtained his Associate of Arts degree from Valencia College in 2011. In his free time, Mark authors articles on trending topics in the Puerto Rican community, is the Vice President of Communications of PROFESA, community organization, and enjoys traveling around the world.

Richardine Estaba, Esq.  Board Member

Richardine Estaba is a Defense Attorney. Ms. Estaba’s primary practice area is first-party insurance litigation defending insurance companies. Born and raised in New York, Ms. Estaba has resided in South Florida since 2009. She is admitted to practice in Florida, New York and the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.


Prior to first-party insurance litigation, Ms. Estaba worked as In-House Counsel for a real estate developer, where she focused on corporate governance and contracts, while negotiating and closing a variety of client deals. In her down time, Ms. Estaba enjoys her family, reading and traveling. She is excited to be a part of this 2023-2024 board and is ready to see Gwen Cherry soar to greater heights.

Ashley Gantt, Esq.  Board Member

Monifa Hall, Esq.  • Board Member


Monifa Hall is an associate in the Litigation and Intellectual Property practice groups at Greenspoon Marder LLP. Ms. Hall focuses her practice in the areas of complex commercial and intellectual property litigation matters in both federal and state courts. Ms. Hall has experience representing clients in contract related disputes, international arbitration, intellectual property litigation, and evidentiary and civil procedure issues.

Ms. Hall has been recognized by South Florida Business & Wealth’s Legal Awards as a 2022 Honoree in the Junior Associate category. In 2023, she was named to the Lawyers of Color's Hot List. And just recently, she was named to U.S. News and World Report's “Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch” 2024 list for her work in Commercial Litigation. Ms. Hall is currently a member of Leadership Broward Class XLII as well as the Young Professional's Council for Legal Services of Greater Miami. Ms. Hall earned her Juris Doctor from American University Washington College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and African American Studies from the University of Florida. Ms. Hall is a South Florida native and enjoys spending her free time in the sunshine with her dog, Cherry.

Miracle Haynes, Esq Board Member 

Ms. Haynes is an attorney with multidimensional legal experience serving private entities and city governments as a litigator and mediator. Ms. Haynes is passionate about reaching underserved communities and the next generation through leadership. She currently serves on the board of directors of Sprouting to Success, Inc., a non-profit private school based in Miami, Florida, impacting the community one student at a time. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School, mentoring future lawyers is her delight.


Camielle Green Owens, Esq.  • Board Member 

Camielle Green Owens is a corporate and securities attorney who currently serves as in house counsel and corporate Secretary for OPKO Health, Inc., a NASDAQ-listed, Miami-based, multinational biopharmaceutical and diagnostics company. She works closely with the executive management team in operating the company’s legal department and has gained experience in many facets of the Company’s legal landscape, including labor and employment, tax, and general litigation.

Prior to going in-house, Camielle worked as an associate at K&L Gates in its corporate and securities department where she worked with private companies in various stages of development, and public companies. She has helped companies in their efforts to raise funding, undertake merger and acquisition activities, go public, and prepare and file required filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Camielle currently serves as a Board Member to the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association. Camielle is married with 3 children under the age of 5 who keep her busy and thoroughly entertained. 

Sylvie Rampal, Esq Board Member  


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