Do you have what it takes to be a leader?

Do you have what it takes to be a leader?

By Life@TheU

Do you have what it takes to be a leader?

By Life@TheU
Engage with leaders from the University and South Florida on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at the Watsco Center Fieldhouse, to learn about their path to leadership.

If you’ve ever wondered about what it takes to be a leader, then you won’t want to miss the opportunity to join a panel discussion where leaders share how they have worked their way to the top. University of Miami faculty and staff are invited to join an engaging conversation, moderated by Laura Kohn-Wood, professor and dean of the School of Education and Human Development,  with leaders from throughout the University and South Florida who will discuss the pivotal experiences and decisions that have shaped their careers and personal growth.

To get the conversation started, we’re sharing a preview of the featured panelists and details about how you can secure a seat at the event. Light breakfast and refreshments will be served. Seating is limited.

Event details

Discovering Your Path to Leadership
Wednesday, Feb. 19
Watsco Center Fieldhouse

9 a.m.— Registration and refreshments
9:30 a.m.— Panel discussion
10:30 a.m.— Q&A and networking

register now 


Meet the moderator

Laura Kohn-Wood
Dean of the School of Education and Human Development, University of Miami
Laura Kohn-Wood will moderate the conversation between colleagues and local leaders. With vast knowledge and research experience on race, ethnicity, and culture in relation to the experience of psychological phenomena among diverse populations, Kohn-Wood will bring her unique perspective to the conversation.

Meet the panelists

Ryan C. Holmes
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, University of Miami
As an accomplished educator and leader in identifying and managing the complex trends in student campus life and higher education overall, Ryan C. Holmes joined the Division of Student Affairs as the associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students in summer 2017. In this role, Holmes oversees judicial affairs, Greek affairs, campus chaplains, crisis management, and student-community relations. Nationally, Holmes has delivered various presentations on topics including social justice, race and gender bias, as well as conflict resolution and entitlement.

Charmel Maynard
Associate Vice President and Treasurer, University of Miami
Prior to joining the University of Miami in 2016, Charmel Maynard had a 10-year career as a vice president with J.P Morgan’s Investment Bank in New York City. Now, Maynard leads the University’s efforts to invest assets, including endowment and pension funds. He is also responsible for the University’s capital structure, including liquidity and debt issuances. Additionally, he manages treasury, cash management, and collections.

Beverly Pruitt
Assistant Vice President for the Office of Workplace Equity and Inclusion and the University’s Title IX Coordinator
With a Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law, Beverly Pruitt approaches human resources business practice and leadership through a unique lens. Pruitt provides consultation services to University HR partners in the areas of performance management, employee relations, and compliance. She is responsible for the development and interpretation of HR policies, administration of unemployment compensations claims, oversight of Title IX coordination and discrimination investigations, and management of the University’s Affirmative Action Plan.

Melvin Kirk
Former Chief Technology Officer, Ryder System, Inc
As an award-winning global executive, with extensive experience in multiple industry segments, Melvin Kirk has gained a broad base of leadership experience by having led successful business operations at companies such as General Electric, General Mills, Pillsbury, and Robertshaw Controls. In his position at Ryder System, Inc., Kirk was responsible for identifying, evaluating, and implementing emerging customer facing technologies such as electric trucks, autonomous trucks, freight sharing platforms, big data, and artificial intelligence solutions.

Stephanie Sylvestre
Chief Programs Officer/Chief Information Officer, Children’s Trust of Miami-Dade County
A passionate leader, Stephanie Sylvester has advanced degrees in development economics and Latin America studies. She also has hands-on experience in information technology (IT) for Subway and Burger King franchises. At Children’s Trust, she has successfully launched initiatives around capacity building, cross-funder collaboration, and innovation. As South Florida Business Journal’s CIO of the year in 2019, Sylvestre was recognized for transforming the IT infrastructure to reduce busy work. This allowed time for high impact, high value interactions with clients. Sylvestre is an alumnus of the University of Miami, having earned a Master’s in International Studies and International Economics.

Do you have questions for the panelists to address during the event? Send them to, and we’ll do our best to include them in the panel discussion.