Board of Directors

Constance Collins, J.D., President and Directoris the President and Executive Director of the Sundari Foundation, Inc. dba Lotus House, a non-denominational 501c3 public charity. She is also the President of Lotus Endowment Fund, Inc., a 501c3 foundation organized and operated to support the Lotus House and other initiatives of Sundari Foundation.  A lawyer and former businesswoman prior to founding Lotus House, she serves the Foundation as a full time volunteer, overseeing the development, operations, programming, services and growth of Lotus House, in addition to other initiatives of the Foundation and Lotus Endowment. Additional initiatives of the Foundation include: Lotus House Thrift, LLC, operating a donations center and job training programs; and Lotus Wellness Center, LLC, a free health clinic offering women’s wellness exams and screenings to uninsured, indigent women.  She is now spearheading the redevelopment of Lotus House to double capacity as Lotus Village.

Ms. Collins’ work on behalf of the Foundation is preceded by over twenty-two years of business, finance, real estate and legal experience. She served as the chief operating and financial officer, general counsel, and co-founder of a full service real estate investment advisory firm, Urban Investments Advisors, LLC (and its predecessor Starwood Urban Investments) and real estate holding company, Starwood Urban, LLC, and its subsidiaries, responsible for the management and operation of a national commercial real estate investment portfolio, overseeing growth and value-added strategies, development, financing, accounting, and reporting for portfolio revenues, until the successful disposition of those investments in 2005. Prior to Starwood, Ms. Collins was in private law practice, representing institutional investors and lenders in structuring, negotiating and documenting real estate, business and financial transactions, credit recovery, litigation oversight, and repositioning of investment properties. She graduated Order of Coif with a Juris Doctorate Degree from University of Colorado School of Law, Boulder, Colorado, and earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut.

Lotus House honors include: 2014 All Star Award – Innovation by Switchboard; 2014 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award by Unites States Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; “Best Charity” by New Times 2013; 2013 Community Spirit Award from the Commission on Women; 2012 Outstanding Service Excellence Award from the American Society for Public Administration – South Florida Chapter; Neighborhood Builder Award of the 2011 Neighborhood Excellence Initiative of Bank of America; Leave a Legacy 2010 Donor Next Door award presented by the Health Foundation of South Florida; 2010 Unity Award by Theodore R. Gibson Memorial Fund; 2010 Health Care Hero Award by Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce; “Best of Miami Shelter” by New Times, 2010; 2010 Woman of Vision Award by the Weitzman Institute; 2008 Local Hero Award by Bank of America; 2007 Honoree, Women Who Make a Difference by Junior League of Miami, Inc.; 2006 Commendation For Women Builders of Communities and Dreams, National Women’s History Month, by the City of Miami and Miami Commission on the Status of Women; and 2005 and 2006 Networking Deal of the Year for Sundari Foundation, by Miami CREW, for Lotus House.

 

Anna Frusciante, Secretary only, not Director

 

Julie Lotspeich, Vice President and Director, is a highly accomplished operations executive with a proven track record of achievement in inventory management, pricing, financial analysis, purchasing, technology transfer, training and development, and strategic planning. Ms. Lotspeich worked as the Executive Vice President for All Interior Supply Inc. She created a top acquisition target for United States Gypsum and its subsidiary, L & W Supply, by developing the business into a best-in-class building materials distributor. She served as chief operating officer prior to L&W Supply’s purchase of the company. Ms. Lotspeich graduated from the University of North Carolina with a B.S., Economics, with Highest Honors. Ms. Lotspeich is a proud member of the Board of Directors for the Sundari Foundation, Inc., dba Lotus House, Lotus Supporting Foundation, Inc., and the Lotus Endowment, Inc.

 

Martin Z. Margulies, Director, is a man with a passion for art, a fact that influences every facet of his life. A graduate of the Wharton School of Finance of the University of Pennsylvania, and a successful developer of South Florida luxury real estate projects for the past 45 years, he began collecting in 1976 with the purchase of a work by Isamu Noguchi, and has gone on to build one of the major collections of contemporary art in the world today.

Consistently named to lists such as the ARTnews 200 The World’s Top Collectors, and the top 25 photography collectors in the world, the Margulies Collection is considered by curators, critics, artists and dealers as one of the most important collections of its kind. Focusing on seminal works by important artists, the collection includes European Modernism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop, Minimalism, Conceptual, Arte Povera, Video, Vintage and Contemporary Photography, and Installation Art.

Mr. Margulies is deeply involved in the nation’s visual arts community. He is a Grand Founder of the Lowe Art Museum of the University of Miami. He has served on the Collector’s Committee of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. He served on the Board of the International Sculpture Center in Washington, D.C. and received a Doctorate of Fine Arts, Honoris Causa from Florida International University, Miami. Mr. Margulies also served as a board member of the Smithsonian American Art Museum Commission and on the Board of Trustees of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum. He was named by the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City as a distinguished leader of the global art community, citing his role as a collector, philanthropist and enthusiast whose long standing commitment to contemporary arts and artist’s best reflects the New Museum’s belief that contemporary culture is a vital part of life. In April 2013, Margulies received the American Art Award from the Whitney Museum of American Art.

While many of the paintings and smaller sculptures in the collection are displayed throughout his own home in Key Biscayne, Florida, the Margulies Collection of photography, video, installations and larger sculptures has been housed since 1999 in a 45,000 sq. ft. retro-fitted warehouse in Miami’s Wynwood Art District. It is frequently used as an educational venue for local and out-of-town groups studying the visual arts. The purpose of The Warehouse, according to Mr. Margulies, is to bring together cutting edge work by both established and emerging artists, and he is well known for acting as a highly knowledgeable “tour guide” for visiting school groups.

The father of four children, Mr. Margulies is recognized as a dedicated community activist, with a longstanding commitment to the welfare of underprivileged youngsters. He funded $2.5 million for the construction of the Overtown Youth Center in downtown Miami. The 18,000 sq. ft. facility provides much needed social, recreation and educational programs, including computer classes, sports and arts and crafts. Margulies has also been a major contributor to the Lotus House Shelter for Homeless Women and Children also in Overtown. He provided funds for the shelter to expand and provide services to pregnant women and their newborn infants and recently he established an endowment which will allow the shelter to continue to provide for poor, disadvantaged and distressed women.

In 2008, the Margulies Collection published a beautifully illustrated hardcover book, The Martin Z. Margulies Collection: Painting and Sculpture. The 350 page volume offers an overview of the Margulies’ painting and sculpture collection widely considered by critics, curators, artists and dealers as one of the most extensive and renowned contemporary art collections in the world. Commentaries written by Margulies and his longtime curator Katherine Hinds, about why and how certain works were added to the collection give the readers insight into the heart and mind of a collector. Also included are introductory essays by Newsweek critic, Peter Plagens and well known writer and curator, Klaus Kertess. All proceeds from book sales and admission to the Warehouse support the Lotus House Shelter for Homeless Women and Children.

The Martin Z. Margulies Foundation was organized 35 years ago with the mission to provide arts education free of charge to the public. Believing that education can help break the chain of poverty the philanthropy and programming of the Foundation focuses on students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The foundation has made major gifts benefiting: Miami Dade College;
Florida International University;
University of Florida;
University of Miami;
Cornell University;
ICA Miami;
The Overtown Youth Center;
The Lotus House Shelter for Women and Children;
The Overtown Optimist Club;
Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle, WA;
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, NY (Promised Gift);
The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, NY (Promised Gift); New World Symphony.

 

Dr. Kathryn Villano, M.D., Director , is a third generation Miamian and graduated from Ransom-Everglades. She attended Wesleyan University and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She has been involved with the Lotus House since before it opened. In addition to serving on the boards of the Sundari Foundation, Inc. and the Endowment Fund, she provides acupuncture to guests and teaches a cooking and nutrition class.

 

John Sumberg, Director, managing partner at Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP, served as the Real Estate Group chair for over 20 years, and has been practicing in the area of commercial real estate for over 40 years. He routinely handles all types of complex real property transactions and has represented clients in a wide variety of matters involving commercial and residential properties, including regional malls, mixed use, entertainment and resort facilities, shopping centers, office buildings, condominiums, condominium/hotels, hotels and apartment complexes, community developments, golf courses, marinas, industrial properties and large tracts of undeveloped land. In the corporate area, John provides counsel to a variety of closely held businesses including family businesses, representing clients in asset and stock purchases, corporate acquisitions, joint ventures, partnership formations and general corporate matters.

John has received Chambers USA’s highest ranking in Real Estate since the publication’s inaugural year in Florida and has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America for over a decade. In 2014 and 2015, John was selected as one of the South Florida Business Journal‘s Top 100 Power Leaders.

 

 

Debi Braman Wechsler, Director, was raised in South Florida.  She currently chairs her family’s foundation and serves on the boards of several other local organizations.  She is the capital campaign co- chair for the University of Miami Hillel. She has 4 kids, 3 living and working in the Miami area and the other away at college. She and her husband Jeffrey live in Coral Gables.

 

Angela Whitman, Director, has been a resident of Bal Harbour, Florida for over 30 years. Prior to that, she lived on Miami Beach. She moved to Florida over 70 years ago from sunny California. She attended school in Ohio and California. She is a big believer in the diversification of South Florida. She is a proud board member of the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and a founder of the University of Miami Health System with Bascom Palmer.

 

Anita Broad, Director, is a lifelong resident of Miami, Dade County, Florida and currently residing in Coral Gables. She is the mother of Anthony Egus Broad, 44 years and now the proud grandmother of Emma and Sara Broad, 14 and 11. She began her adult life studying Business and International Finance at Barry University. She then studied fine arts at the University of Miami. In the mid 70s she became acting director of finance for a multinational corporation, subcontractor of Northup Grumman and Tumpane Company doing business in the Middle East, Asia, Central and South America. During those times she completed an internship with Citicorp and Wells Fargo international letters of credit divisions. She then entered the field of institutional investments and once again did a dual internship with Solomon Brothers, secondary marketing division and Kaufman, Alsberg NY, currency futures. In 1981 she joined American Savings and Loan Association of Florida with an asset base of $3Bil, managing their capital and arbitrage portfolio. Today she is part of several philanthropic efforts including The Shepard Broad Foundation, The Morris and Anita Broad Philanthropic Fund and the Ruth K. Broad Biomedical Research Foundation at Duke University.

 

Richard Bermont, Director ,received in BA in Economics/Finance from the University of Texas. He was the Senior Vice President of H. Hentz & Co for nine years, the Senior Vice President for Bache & Co. for two years, the Senior Vice President and Resident Manager for Drexel Burnham Lambert for 15 years, and since 1989, has been the Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Management Director for Morgan Stanley. He was selected by The Winner’s Circle, As South Florida’s Top Financial Advisors. He is a sponsor of UM Business School “Bermont/Carlin Group Scholars”, Provides New York Job and Internship Interviews for Outstanding Students; University of Miami, Honorary Alumnus, Former Trustee, Past Chairman-UM Citizens Board; Past President, Economic Society of South Florida; Bankers Club – Miami, Fl, Board of Governors – Past Chairman; Active in Fundraising for a Number of Community Organizations and the University of Miami; United Way of Miami Dade, Membres de la Societe.