Monday, August 1, 2011

Finding the "lost" classmates

Last updated at 1:30 p.m. CT August 2. Thanks to those who have sent me updates.
Companies specialize in tracking down classmates who are "lost." When I worked in Alumni Relations, we had a company do this once a year to track down people that moved and changed addresses, may have got married and changed names, etc.
But since we have no "seed money" to start the process, I'm relaying on YOU, our fellow classmates, to help us locate over 300 people who aren't on the Facebook group page for our 10-year reunion.

Because they aren't on the group page doesn't mean they are "lost" so-to-speak; maybe they don't have Facebook or maybe they aren't in the group. Either way, we need to try to find them and let them know to either a) join the group or b) stay in touch with me so I can keep them updated on the reunion. Or - maybe they are on Facebook but are under a different names. There's several reasons as to why someone who was listed in the yearbook is listed below as "lost."

Listed below are people who are NOT on the Facebook page but are listed as Class of 2002 seniors in the yearbook. If you know where any of these people are, please e-mail me IN PRIVATE. Some people may not want their contact information, or their business, "on blast." is my e-mail address.

Thanks and have a 'Cuda day!
--rick '02

UP NEXT:  Some early prices we received based on the results of the survey

List of seniors from the yearbook who aren't on the Facebook group page. (as of August 1, 2011)
Aaron Abramoff
Angelique Aguirre-Wong
Jonathan Airado
Jonathan Ajagbe
Ricardo Aleman
Jason Allgair
Alexandra Almedya
Aynar Alvarez
Jonathan Alvernaz
Jayson Angelet
Eduardo Anton
Stephanie Atkins
Indira Aviles
Wenndy Ayerdis
Carlos Babich
Kevin Bally
Juan Bassett
Gladlyne Baton
Jason Beckles
Brain Belliveau
Patrick Benitez
Thomas Berdugo
Jermaine Betancourt
Stephanie Black
Daniel Blas
Frenny Bodden
Tracy "Blake" Bowden
Michelle Boyle
Jonathan Brand
Jason Brown
Nicole Brown
Raynisha Brown
Rachel Brush
Shereka Buchanan
Rebecca Bulman
Shenita Cabey
Lourdes Cabrera
Roger Cabrera
Vanessa Cabrera
Rakhshan Cain
Estefania Candelaria
Tasha Canty
Amanda Caparro
Travis Carter
Paola Caruso
Christian Caso-Rosendi
Ivan Castro
Marianne Cerda
Francesca Chalvire
Nathalie Chazyn
Stephanie Chizzini
Christopher Clark
Scott Cohen
Komaal Collie
Tremisha Collier
Tomas Concha
Katherine Cooke
Antoinette Cordova
Phillip Crownover
Cristina Cuadrado-Clark
Shauna Daley
Didier Deibeau-Charle
Sukaya Devot
Vanessa Diaz
Luis Doria
Alethea Duncan
Everette Dupree
Alba Duque
Frank Echanique
Archie Edwards
Nicole Edwards
Gustavo Fernandez
Jason Fernandez
Eric Firestone
Marcelle Forte
Fabrice Frederic
Veronica Ganivet
Beatriz Garcia-de-Prad
Carlos Garcia
Edwin Garcia
Jose Garcia
Ryan Garcia
Vanessa George
Adrian Gessen
Robert Gibson-Pierre
Joseph Gibson
Brandon Gillis
Robert Gonzalez
Ramon Gordon
Lilia Granda
Delano Gray
Dimitri Guerrier
Maria Guzman
Kathryn Hahn-Hussey
Lindsday Haig
Siterra Hall
Hazel Hamann
Gail Hamilton
Anissamari Harris
Jose Hernandez
Syreeta Hillard
Ana Holmes
Catherine Hovde
Tia Howard
Robert Hunt
Utibe Ikpe
Crissy Izaguirre
Nicholas John
Cassandra Johns
Michael Johnson
Jonathan Jopling
Carlos Jorge
Jeremy Key
John Kotowski
Lauren Lacotera
Christina Lascano
Raquel Lauture
Ashley Lawrence
Sharonda Lebrun
Jennifer Levine
Yamilie Lano
Robert Longworth
Derek Lopez
Marie Lucas
Cheryl Lui-Hing
Natalia Maldonado
Monica Mandel
Michelle Mantelle
Cynthia Marcos
Francis Marquez
Cristina Martin
Debbie Martin
Daniel Martinez
David Martinez
Virginia Martinez
Carl Matherne
Maneka Maxwell
Michelle McKenzie
Cynthia Mendoza
Andrew Meza-Valdes
David Miguez
James Molina
Serge Mondelus
Ana Morillas
Erica Naess
Leonardo Obregon
Andre Oliveira
Charlene Olton
Monica Ortiz
Mwai Osahar
Juan Otalora
Richard Overton
Jennifer Pachon
Natalie Palatkina
Loren Palmer
Javier Parrilla
Monique Parris
Erin Patterson
Michael Pedrianes
Christopher Pena
Alexis Peplinski
Vanessa Pereda
Lissett Perez
Mesra Phanord
Kristina Piedra
Lara Piedra
Rachel Pierrelouis
Jared Pinnix
Tate Probet
Jennifer Quintana
Juan Qintero
Shonsuree Rambo
Marcia Ramirez
Vanessa Ramirez
Niyama Ramlall
William Ramos
Lauren Rangel
Brandon Reed
Heather Rera
Alexander Restrepo
Gabriel Reveron
Darrian Roberson
Alexander Rodriguez
Roberto Rodriguez
Vanessa Rodriguez
Bridget Rollins
Davie Rosario
Evan Rosen
Mallory Ross
Andre Roster
Maria Ruiz
Stephanie Salamanca
Aria Salas
Henry Sanchez
Yadira Sanchez
Sheena Santiago
Kelly Scavella
Tramaine Sealy
Liliam Sevillanos
Kimberly Sharpe
Tracey Sieper
Brandon Smith
Latonya Smith
Laura Smith
Sudi Smith
Akira Spann
Marla Spann
Meadow Spisak
Kimberly Spurlin
Monica Suarez
Steven Torregrosa
Dynci Torres
Jorge Trespalacios
Allin Valville
Annette Vargas
Ricardo Vargas
Andrew Vasconcellos
Israel Vasquez
Luis Vasquez
Melissa Vega
Alonso Ventura
Diane Walters
Lindsay Webber
Stephanie Webster
Leigh Wellington
Daniel Westberry
Travis Whitley
Alana Williams
Ursula Williams
Samuel Wilson

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Remembering the Class of 2002 Senior Superlative Awards

Stemming from "Kobe Xzavier Durden's" idea on Facebook of having new superlative awards, I decided to look back at the Class of 2002 superlatives, as voted on by our fellow classmates.

I've asked each person to write a short biography of themselves following a format. Their responses are below. Enjoy! (some small grammatical edits may have been made to entries)

(Some people didn't send a response. If I didn't have their e-mail address, I contacted them via Facebook message.)

Most Popular: Ashley Boxer and Kimani Davis 

Best Personality: Vanessa Fortun and Greg Bacourt
Vanessa Marie Fortun graduated from Florida International University in 2006 with a Criminal Justice Administration Bachelors Degree. She is currently employed at Abadin Cook, where she is a Legal Assistant/Paralegal who focuses on assisting attorneys in the Corporate Transactional aspect of the law. She is engaged, expected to marry on March 3, 2012 and living in Miami. Vanessa also won Best All Around Superlative.

Gregory Bacourt graduated from Florida A&M University in 2005, summa cum laude, and quickly began work with Parks & Crump law firm. In 2006, he returned to Miami to pursue his master's degree at Florida International University, graduating in 2007 with a 4.0 GPA, and a master's degree in social work. He was hired as the program director of Restoring Dignity under the provisions of The Children’s Trust. Restoring Dignity is a program dedicated to educating at-risk youth, k5 to 8th grade. Gregory worked for over two years as the program director helping to develop the program into an exemplary resource in the community.

Best Hair: Loren Beer and Brent Kossally
Brenton Kossally graduated from Florida International University in 2006 with a BBA in Marketing. He has since worked professionally in the corporate marketing arena conducting marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 and 1000 companies in the consumer electronics, finance, consumer services and telecommunication industries. An entrepreneurial spirit--specializing in online marketing and e-commerce, Brenton is always looking for the next big idea. If you have one, he’d love to hear it!…and hair? What hair?

Best Dressed: Latonya Smith and Adrian Gessen

Most Likely To Succeed: Mollie Farber and Greg Bacourt
Molissa Farber graduated from Yale University with honors in 2006. She double majored in Sociology and Political Science. Her senior thesis in Sociology was published in the Yale Journal of Sociology and her thesis in Political Science was published in the Columbia Journal of Politics and Society. She earned an M.S. in Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007, where she was top in her class. Molissa enrolled at Columbia Law School in 2008. During law school, she interned with Judge Richard Sullivan of the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. She also took up running and ran a marathon, two half marathons, and a ten miler during her time in school. She graduated from Columbia in 2011, earning distinction as a Stone Scholar for all three years. Molissa is currently studying for the New York Bar Exam and will start work in the fall as an Associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, and Garrison, LLP in Washington, D.C. In her spare time, she enjoys running, biking, baking, traveling, and playing poker.

Gregory Bacourt (continued from his previous entry) Inspired by the election of President Obama, Gregory applied to the doctorial program at Howard University. He was accepted with a full scholarship. In addition to being a full-time student and maintaining a 3.7 grade point average, Gregory works for Medicare, providing educational interventions on diabetes and health management in the elderly African-American community. In his free time he also works with Center City Charter Public schools as a math and reading intervention specialist.Gregory is single and living in Washington, DC. He hopes to graduate in 2013 and pursue a career in academia.

Best Leader: Edwina Bullard and Rick Smith
Edwina Bullard- Simms graduated from the University of Central Florida (UCF) in the Spring of 2006 with her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Minor in African American Studies. While at UCF she served two consecutive years on the SGA Executive Cabinet as their Director of Student Lobbying, served as President of the UCF African American Student Union, and became a member of the Mu Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority Incorporated. Post graduation, Edwina became a Middle/High School History teacher for Orange County Public School. After two years working for the public school system, she elected to pursue her passion for non-profit management and began working for American Cancer Society. In 2010, Edwina obtained her Master’s in Public Administration from Strayer University. Today, she is happily married to her high school sweetheart, Gavin Simms, and continues her work in non-profit management as the Southeast Regional Development Director for Huntington’s Disease Society of America.

Rick Smith graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 2007 with a degree in multimedia journalism. At FAU, Rick was involved in Student Government, student media (where he won a national award for writing in 2005),and took on leadership roles such as Interfraternity Council President, student-spirit group president, and a resident assistant. After FAU, he moved to San Antonio and worked for over two years in alumni relations at University of the Incarnate Word while earning a master's degree in sports management, graduating at the top of his class. He then left alumni relations and was a full-time faculty member teaching sports management and physical education. Currently, Rick is still at UIW as an adjunct faculty member and external business manager for UIW Athletics, and has taken on an additional role of event manager for UIW's fall concert. He is single and living in San Antonio, Texas. He also is a member of FAU's National Alumni Association Board of Directors and was inducted into the Parliament of OWLs, a "hall of fame" of sorts for alumni that made a significant positive impact on the university community during their years as a student.

Most Athletic: Marilyn Stephens and Bryant Salter
Marilyn Stephens graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 2006 with a major in Health Administration. She was a member of the women's track and field team and presently hold's the 400 meter record along with the 4x100, 4x200, and 4x400 meter relay records. She also was a NCAA regional qualifier in the 400 meter dash, 4 x 100  meter relay and the 4 x 400 meter relay. Marilyn is a certified personal trainer, teacher, and track and field coach. She was a reading resource and first grade teacher before becoming the physical education teacher at Booker T. Washington Senior High School. Marilyn plans to pursue her master's degree in hopes of moving her career into the college level. She is currently engaged to a wonderful man, Mr. Marco De La Cruz, and resides in Pembroke Pines, Fl.

Most School Spirit: Carla Castro and Rick Smith
Rick (see bio above). Additionally, and in line with the superlative, Rick is the founding father of FAU's student-spirit squad.

Best Car: Lori Lorenzo and Tarik Jallad
Lori Lorenzo graduated from Florida International University in 2006 with a degree in psychology and minor in criminal justice. She worked for her family's businesses a couple of years and then decided to go to graduate school for business & finance; which was also the academy she was enrolled in at Coral Reef. Lori will be graduating from Nova Southeastern University in the summer of 2011 with her Masters in Business Administration in Management. Currently, Lori is pursuing possible business ventures in hopes to become an entrepreneur in the near future and successfully own and run a business. Lori is engaged to be married September.

And about the superlative for "Best Car”... she won the award with her white 2-door Honda Civic with modifications. Nine years later she still loves cars, and drives a red 4-door Mercedes Benz Kompressor.

UP NEXT: Finding our classmates who are "lost" so-to-speak... one of the hardest tasks of all.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Reunion Survey Results

My previous entry stated that the next blog entry would be about the Senior Superlatives. I'm still waiting some classmates to send me their bios though. So.... instead .... here are the survey results. (Sorry - the formatting is off when I copied and pasted from Word.)

There were a total of 107 respondents… and only the first 100 were collected because I don’t have a subscription to Survey Monkey, So the numbers are slightly off; however, I think the results are still somewhat clear in what our classmates want. (At least the wants of our classmates that responded!)

Overall, here’s my unprofessional summary, based on the results:
  • Most respondents expect to be living in Florida
  • A majority of respondents want a one-day event. Sorry out-of-towners (me included)
  • A weekend-night in June or Memorial Day weekend works best
  • An overwhelming majority of respondents want a casual event with a DJ; leading me to assume that respondents rather mix-and-mingle with music in the background
    • A good number of respondents want a plated meal and something more formal than a mix-and-mingle event
  • Most respondents want the reunion somewhere near water: Coconut Grove, hotel, or private boat charter; but not a four-day cruise
From the survey results and the summary above, this is what I gather: most respondents want a one-night reunion event in the beginning of summertime, where people can mix-and-mingle, and dance if they choose to, and want it to take place near the water.

I’ve included the detailed results below.

What's your opinion?

Have a ‘Cuda Day!

Up Next: Senior Superlatives ...I hope - as long as I get everyone's bios! *cough* :)


Which date/dates do you think most people would attend? All dates are in 2012 (Notice that some of the dates include "holidays" that most people may have off from work anyway)

Saturday, May 26 – 28 (Memorial Day Weekend)                     (25)
Thursday, July 5 – Sunday, July 8 (Day after July 4)                (18)
Saturday, September 1 – Monday, September 3 (Labor Day)     (12)
A Friday – Sunday in June                                                       (28)
A Friday – Saturday in July                                                      (8)
A Friday – Sunday in August                                                    (3)
·        doesn't matter
·        A Friday-Sunday in either June, July or August. Holiday weekends can be rough and people want to usually spend them with their families.
·        The Friday after Thanksgiving (or, I guess Labor Day weekend)

Rate each event’s level of importance based on what you feel needs to be at the reunion. (This question is centered around what events you would like to have AT the reunion if the reunion was a weekend-long activity)

Must have
Need to have it
It would be Nice
Don’t want it!
A casual event with drinks, appetizers and music

A formal event with a plated meal, drinks and music
A day trip (fishing, Everglades tour, etc.) for those that are coming in from out of town
A comedian

Other ideas:

·        I think the best idea and cheapest would be an after dinner cocktail party
·        The cruise idea is something I would definitely like to do.
·        Highlights of the four years... memory lane type segment
·        event during the day for the whole family (including children), and then an event in the evening (no kids)
·        How about a cruise?
·        Alcoholic drinks and music are a must.

If the weekend was a weekend-long event with several activities scattered throughout the weekend, which is most appealing to you?

This is OK
I wouldn’t attend
Four-day cruise
Timeshare location on the beach
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
A hotel on South Beach
Why is it a weekend thing? It should only be a one-night event.

Other ideas:
·        Not sure why... you could only pick one option choice...
·        This isn't letting people select the same answer for more than one
·        maybe 2 events over the same weekend, a cocktail event on a friday or saturday night and a bbq or picnic on another afternoon for people to bring their families.

If the reunion was only going to be a one-day event, indicate which location(s) you would like to have the event(s) hosted at.

A hotel on South Beach                                    (51)
A hotel in Coconut Grove                                 (43)
A banquet hall of some kind                              (20)
A private charter boat for the evening    (51)
Key Largo                                                        (17)
A restaurant                                                      (19)

Where do you anticipate living/traveling from for the reunion. Please list city and state, and/or country.

Florida                                                 52

California                                             1
Colorado                                             1
Georgia                                                4
Illinois                                                  4
Massachusetts                                      1
Michigan                                              1
Washington                                          1
New Jersey                                          1
New York City                                    6
North Carolina                         3
Oregon                                                 1
Out of country                          4
Tennessee                                            1
Texas                                                   4
Vermont                                              1
Virginia                                                2
Washington DC                                   6

Which would you rather have?
A live band playing cover music                                                (19)
A DJ                                                                                        (70)

Earth Wind & Fire
Jazz/Big Band
both, playing together

What “fun stuff” would you like to see at the reunion
Appearance(s) from teachers and administrators from our time at CR       
Senior Video
Senior Superlatives from 2002 and where those superlatives are now       
A wall of pictures then (2002) and pictures now (2012)
with short bios of each person  
Appearance of school mascot

·        Its not really "fun" but something for OUR lost ones..
·        NONE OF THESE.
·        categories: highschool sweethearts,most talented, career
·        None of the above. Good times with friends is fine.
·        I think superlatives were only important to those that were the superlatives or part of the popular crowd. Just something to think about.
·        Update on CRHS and new superlatives for 2012
·        Mr. Barber from Agriscience would be HILARIOUS!
·        A tribute to those whom we have lost :( scrap books or items or pop culture during our high school tags with high school senior photos. Speaker from each magnet or "group" talk about their experiences

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Planning Begins

This may or may not be a creative way to keep classmates "in-the-loop" of how the planning is going for our 10-year reunion. But, I figured why not give this a try. Since a lot of people can't commit time, or maybe don't want to commit the time, to help plan it, reading AND commenting on the blog could be the way classmates provide feedback.

A lot of us have experience planning events of varying sizes. After talking with some people, the most logical first steps were:

1. Find out if the school plans it, if we (alumni) plan it, if there is a budget, etc. (ANSWER: school is not allowed to have an active part in planning it. No, there is no money for us to start with)

2. Get the word out (Facebook - it's free and a good way to begin letting people know about the event)

3. Find out what our classmates want. Which... if I remember correctly... our classmates have varying opinions and are not afraid to vocalize them. Remember the senior t-shirts, the senior video, pizza at prom, etc.? We always tried to cater to the majority, but the majority was always very close to a 50/50 split. And... true to form... there's varying opinions on the Facebook page about doing a weekend-long reunion vs a one-night reunion; cocktail hour vs. formal event; a family-style event vs. an adult-only event, etc. etc.etc.

From here... the next logical step, at least in my mind.... is to analyze the survey results (which as of the time of writing this, are almost a 50/50 split on every question), and talk with a core group of classmates who have volunteered to plan the event and figure out what to do next.

But... while you're reading this... here are some things to keep in mind:
  • We have no start up money, which means we have no money to secure a banquet hall, etc. because we don't have the $$ for a deposit. This is a challenge.
  • I'd be surprised if more than 100 classmates show up, which apparantly is on-par with 10-year reunion averages. With most people still living in Miami and/or going to college together, AND with the invention of this thing called "social networking/media," people have stayed in touch. Reunions are about getting together and catching up on old times. But if we all hang out in the sames places, with the same people, and/or Facebook stalk former classmates (LOL), there's nothing new to see or hear!
  • This is going to be AWESOME - if nothing more, it gives people like me who live out of town a reason to come back to Miami and enjoy the beach. :)
That's all for now. Let's hope more classmates take the survey!

Have a 'Cuda day,


UP NEXT: Remembering the Class of 2002 Senior Superlative Awards