The Miami and the Beaches Environmental Film Festival (MBEFF) will, once again, bring the most cutting edge environmental films and documentaries to South Florida with the intention of educating, motivating and inspiring participants about global sustainability challenges. We believe that educating our community through visual arts will inspire them to become advocates for the environment and that they will further spread the message about the importance of environmental preservation and sustainability.
FESTIVAL CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR
ECOMB Executive Director, Community Leader, Eco-Warrior
Luiz Rodrigues, a native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, holds a Bachelors degree in Biological Oceanography from the University of California, Santa Cruz and Masters degree in Aquatic Biology from the University of California Santa Barbara. Luiz’ passion for aquatic sciences has taken him to various parts of the world including the Caribbean, Bermuda, Tahiti, Southern Africa, the Florida Keys, and Brazil, where in 1992 he served as a representive to the United Nations Earth Summit and Global Forum in Rio de Janeiro.
Since his relocation to Miami Beach in 2000, Luiz has been actively involved with local environmental issues, chaired the Beach Preservation Committee for the City of Miami Beach for five years and, on September 2001, was hired as the new Executive Director for the Environmental Coalition of Miami & the Beaches (ECOMB).
Besides managing ECOMB, he also runs a for-profit green consulting company, Eco-Logical Solutions, serves on the Board for the “Sustainability Committee” for the City of Miami Beach (co-founder), for the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce “Sustainable Business Council”, for the Greater Miami & the Beaches Hotel Association “Green Hospitality Council” (co-founder) and, more recently, for the “Green Commission” for the City of Miami.
Environmental Engineer, Sustainability Advocate, Social Entrepreneur
Michael Laas wants to elevate the environmental and social consciousness of South Florida. As an environmental engineer working for Gannett Fleming Inc., Michael puts his practical skills towards the sustainable planning and design of regional public transportation projects. Combining his expertise in the sustainability field with his track record of executing inspired ideations of environmental initiatives, he also founded and acts as principal of Environmental Creative Solutions, a boutique consulting firm focused on developing innovative solutions for corporate and consumer brands committed to environmental sustainability.
His passion for the environment and dedication to making Miami a better place also manifests in the creation, leadership and support of various local non-profits and institutions. He is heavily involved in Surfrider Foundation where he served as past Chairperson and currently serves as Strategy & Development Officer; is a board member and past Board Chairperson of Environmental Coalition of Miami and the Beaches; serves on the Executive Committee of Friends of the New World Symphony; and is a member and supporter of Chapman Partnership, Museum of Contemporary Art and Miami art Museum.
Combining his professional skills, personal pursuits, and creative skills he has launched projects committed to social and environmental causes. In 2004 he co-founded Sails for Sustenance, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing subsistence fishermen in Haiti with recycled sails material donated by the U.S. sailing community. In 2010, Michael co-founded Miami Surf Archive Project, which is dedicated to preserving Miami’s rich surfing history.
In 2011, he co-founded and acts as director of the first Miami & The Beaches Environmental Film Festival, to create awareness of environmental issues and promote informed decisions in everyday life.
FESTIVAL DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS AND ADMINISTRATION
Michelle always had a passion for Marine Science and Oceanography. After relocating to S. Florida from Pennsylvania to attend the Oceanographic Center at Nova Southeastern University, Michelle made the decision to change her major to Education. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Nova Southeastern University in 1997. Shortly thereafter she began her career in the Non-Profit sector when she was substituting at Ransom Everglades and a full time opportunity opened up in the development office. Since then she has worked at many non-profit organizations in the South Florida community. She is a seasoned non-profit professional with over 15 years development experience, over 20 years management/administration experience and extensive database and process improvement knowledge.
Michelle is actively connected to the multi-cultural South Florida philanthropic community. She is a singer and songwriter for Miami’s eclectic Latin funk ensemble The Baboons and has released two critically acclaimed CDs, Global Gumbo in 2001 and Evolution in 2000, winner of New Times Miami’s ‘Best Album of the Past Twelve Months.’ She is currently working on her third album ‘Spanglish,” which is scheduled to be released in 2015. Michelle hosts the weekly world music radio show, Global Gumbo with Majica & Mano P., on Miami-based Public Radio International affiliate WDNA 88.9FM. She is also a board member of Community Arts and Culture.
FESTIVAL PROJECT COORDINATOR
Shamina de Gonzaga is the co-founder of What Moves You?, an educational media consultancy, with projects including the "MEXUS" series on Mexico-US relations, the "Indocumentales/
CINEMA GREEN PROJECT COORDINATOR
Alexsis Fletcher was born and raised in the beautiful city of Miami, where she attended Coral Reef Senior Highschool and studied under the Visual and Performing Arts Piano performance program. Alexsis has a deep appreciation for the arts and sharing it with the local community, as well as a love for environmentally friendly and sustainable practices. She is a 2014 graduate of Florida Internation University where she earned her bachelors degree in Sustainability and the Environment. This combination of passions led her to becoming a Cinema Green Coordinator at ECOMB and putting together the screenings of several documentaries with various environmental themes from Ocean Science and Climate Change to the Animal Agricultural Industry. She is a 2014 graduate of Florida Internation University where she earned her bachelors degree in Sustainability and the Environment.
FESTIVAL DATABASE AND MEMBERSHIP COORDINATOR
(TO BE ADDED SOON)
FESTIVAL SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR
Angelina Williams was born and raised in Gothenburg, Sweden to a Swedish mother and an African American father. At the age of 19, she left Sweden for New York City to pursue her dreams of obtaining a Bachelors degree in Business Administration and Marketing. In 2010, she graduated from Berkeley College in New York City. After 10 years in NY, she decided to move to Miami Beach. Angelina grew up in an environmentally conscious country and want to bring the same environmental awareness to the American people that she is accustomed to in Sweden and that is why she deiced to join ECOMB. She assists in spreading the environmental awareness through various Social Media channels and educational events such as the Miami & the Beaches Environmental Film Festival 2015 (MBEFF).
FESTIVAL PROGRAM ASSISTANT
ECOMB – Environmental Coalition of Miami & the Beaches
210 Second St.
Miami Beach, Florida 33139