Ronald L. Book, P.A. – President
Ronald L. Book is a specialist in government affairs and administration law, with a Juris Doctoral degree from Tulane University and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Florida International University. An active participant in South Florida’s professional arena, Book is a trustee of the Council of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and sits on the Legislative Affairs and State Affairs committees. In addition to serving more than 20 community organizations, Book is a founding member of Lauren’s Kids. Mr. Book currently operates his own lobbying practice in Aventura and Tallahassee.
Lauren Book, M.S.Ed. – Founder, CEO
Lauren Book, M.S. Ed, is an author, educator and internationally respected and renowned child advocate. As founder and CEO of Lauren’s Kids, Lauren seeks to create a world where the exploitation of children is not tolerated. She has been named a PEOPLE All-Star Among Us, L’Oreal Woman of Worth and is the recipient of a Congressional Medal of Merit for her tireless work to protect childhood.
Since 2002, Lauren has advocated for the passage of laws to better support survivors of abuse and protect children from predators, including the enactment of the nation’s toughest mandatory reporting laws, the creation of child safety zones and the elimination of the Statute of Limitations for prosecution of sexual crimes committed against children. Since 2010, Lauren has walked 1,500 miles across the state of Florida annually to raise awareness and empower survivors with the message that “It’s OK to Tell.”
Book is committed to empowering children to protect themselves against abuse by teaching in-school curricula that provide children with the necessary tools to act as the first line of defense against abuse.
She is an EMMY nominee and Gracie Award-winning television producer and has been featured by national media outlets including Cosmopolitan Magazine, the Huffington Post, USA Today, FOX News, CNN’s HLN, ABC’s Katie Couric Show, Our America with Lisa Ling and Maria Shriver’s Architects of Change.
Heather Gray – Executive Director
Heather Gray is the newest addition to the Lauren’s Kids family. She brings over 10 years of experience in the non-profit field to the Executive Director role; from special events, sponsors, logistics, to everything in between, Heather is no stranger to wearing many hats in a dynamic and ever-changing organization. A native of South Florida, she earned her Bachelors degree in Psychology, with a Minor in International Relations, at Florida International University. Always a passionate and outspoken advocate for helping those in need, Heather is proud and honored to play a role in battling childhood sexual abuse and supporting the transformation of those who not only survive, but thrive, through support and guidance. When she isn’t working alongside her incredible colleagues at Lauren’s Kids, she can be found exploring as many countries as possible and trying out the latest foodie hot spot in town.
Claire VanSusteren – Communications Director
Claire VanSusteren began working with Lauren’s Kids in 2011 as part of the foundation’s external communications team and was instrumental in the implementation of Lauren’s 1,500-mile “Walk in My Shoes” campaign in 2012 and 2013. Over the years, Claire’s role with the organization has grown; she now directs all foundation communication, bringing energy and light to the sometimes dark and difficult issue of child sexual abuse. Claire is most passionate about prevention and legislative change, and most enjoys working on the foundation’s curriculum and advocacy efforts.
Prior to joining the Lauren’s Kids foundation, Claire worked as an Account Executive at Sachs Media Group, communicating on behalf of various public education and health-related clients. She has also worked in Washington, D.C., expanding her skill set while working for zcomm, a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise and one of D.C.’s top 15 agencies.
Claire graduated from Florida State University’s College of Communication and Information, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, and was the recipient of the College’s Outstanding Public Relations Student Award. She holds certificates in Leadership Studies and Developmental Disabilities and is a five-time FPRA Image Award winner.
Randal R. Perkins
Randal “Randy” Perkins is the founder of AshBritt, a Florida-based, international rapid-response disaster recovery and special environmental services contractor. He is an invaluable part of the Lauren’s Kids team, providing and powering the “Walk in My Shoes” campaign bus and enabling us to reach tens of thousands across Florida with our message of prevention, hope and healing. Randy holds seats on the Board of Directors of several national charitable organizations including Lauren’s Kids, and is very active in state and local charitable endeavors.
Manny Kadre is currently the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MBB Auto Group, a premium luxury retail automotive group consisting of Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Jaguar and Volvo dealers in New York and New Jersey. Mr. Kadre also serves on the Board of Directors of two publically traded companies, Republic Services, Inc. and Mednax. In addition to serving as a member on the board of Lauren’s Kids, Mr. Kadre serves as a member of the University of Miami Board of Trustees (member of the Executive Committee, Chairman of the Finance Committee and a member of the Presidential Search Committee).
From honored Army veteran to founder of two businesses – which have since been acquired – to serving as officer and Vice President of a bank to valued Lauren’s Kids board member to dedicated husband to lovely wife Lisa, Charlie Fernandes has worn many hats in over the course of his life and career. Two things that have remained constant? His signature smile and sense of humor.
Keith Kenner is a managing member of Dade Media, a Coral Gables, Florida-based, diversified Out-of-Home Media Company with many nationwide media relationships. Keith is a graduate of CW Post College of Long Island University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and History and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (MPA). Keith is passionate about helping others and is proud to support Lauren’s Kids’ varied education and awareness efforts throughout the year.
Beth Rosenstein is the Operating Vice President and General Manager of Bloomingdale’s at The Falls in Miami. Beth’s business acumen, kind heart and eye for beauty have made her an invaluable member of the Lauren’s Kids team, and she always makes sure Lauren looks – and feels – her best. In addition to serving on the board of Lauren’s Kids, Beth serves on the Sandy B. Muller Breast Cancer foundation.
Rochelle S. Matza
Rochelle Matza is the President and Owner of Rochelle S. Matza, CPA, P.A., and the Vice-President of Treasury Management and the Director of Human Resources at Automated HelthCare Solutions LLC & Affiliates. In addition to being a tax and compliance wiz, Rochelle is an avid South Florida sports fan and serves on the board of several charitable entities including the United Way of Miami-Dade and PRIDE Enterprises.
Stanford Blake, Circuit Judge, Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Miami, Florida (1995-present). Currently assigned to the Family Division. Former Administrative Judge for the Criminal Division from 2002-2010. B.S. (with high honors) University of Florida (1970), Juris Doctor, University of Miami School of Law (1973), Assistant Public Defender (1973-1978), private practice (1978-1994). Judge Blake has received numerous awards since being on the bench such as the Justice Gerald Kogan Judicial Distinction Award, The Thomas Davison III Memorial Service Award 2012, Florida Council of Crime and Delinquency Distinguished Service Award, 2012,League of Prosecutors 2010 Justice Award, The Jewish Legal Society, Rodef Shalom Award 2011, and The Dade County Bar Criminal Justice Award, and the Alan Schwartz Judicial Excellence Award (2013). Judge Blake was the Chair of the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges 2005-2006. Judge Blake was President of the Board of Directors of the Haven School for the Developmentally Disadvantaged in the mid 90’s. Judge Blake is active with the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club and the Transplant Foundation, having given his brother a kidney in 1996. Judge Blake teaches at the New Judge’s College twice a year, has been the Dean of Handling Capital Cases Course for Advanced Judicial Studies and is an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law teaching Litigation Skills and is a member of Iron Arrow. Judge Blake was a lecturer for the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. in February, 2010 for a national symposium on indigent defense in the United States. Presenter, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, 48th Annual Conference, June 1-4, 2011. In 2012, in the Miami-Dade County Bar Poll, Judge Blake was rated number one with almost 99% exceptionally qualified/qualified rating. This was the highest rating ever achieved in this poll.