Category Archives: Members

Francesca Menes, FIU ’08, ’13


Women’s HERStoryMonth: FIU Alumna Francesca Menes

Congratulations to FIU Alumna Francesa Menes, recipient of the Marie Claire Heureuse Leadership Award” at the Haitian Women of Miami/FANM’s 22nd Annual Gala.

Francesca Menes, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator with the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC), was born and raised in Miami, Florida in the community of Little Haiti. In 2008, she graduated Cum Laude from Florida International University (FIU). Francesca majored in Political Science and Women’s Studies; minored in Philosophy, and was a 2008 Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Scholar. Additionally, in Spring 2013, she graduated from FIU with her Master’s of Public Administration with a certificate in Community Development.

Francesca assists with the development and implementation of strategic broad-based campaigns, conducts legislative targeting based on shifting demographics and composition of districts, policy analysis, and tracks and analyzes legislation before federal, state, and local bodies. For 2 years, Francesca was the coordinator of a national network of organizations fighting for the designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Additionally, she represents FLIC at various strategic tables, including the Black Immigration Network (BIN).

In 2011, Miami-Dade County (MDC) Commissioner Sally A. Heyman appointed her to a 4-year term on the Commission for Women, where she is a past 2nd Vice-Chair. Francesca was re-appointed by Commissioner Heyman to serve an additional 4-year term until 2018.

Furthermore, Francesca was appointed by Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Jean Monestime to the Community Action Agency (CAA) Board. CAA is an advisory board to the MDC Board of County Commissioners regarding the development, planning, implementation and evaluation of Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) programs and other programs administered by the Community Action and Human Services Department (CAHSD). In April 2014, Francesca was elected to a 2-year term as Secretary of the CAA Executive Board.

Most recently, Francesca was named one of the 20 under 40 emerging leaders in South Florida by City Year and the Miami Herald and received the Marie Claire Heureuse Leadership Award from Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami, Inc. / Haitian Women of Miami.

Francesca also serves as the Vice-President of Communications and Administration for the Miami-Dade Young Democrats (MDYD).


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Taylormade Strategies, LLC

Merdochey T. LaFrance

March-Merdochey LaFranceMs. LaFrance is a proud alumna of FIU and the newly appointed Vice President of Operations for the Black Alumni Chapter. Ms. LaFrance is no stranger to leadership as she has served on numerous boards across South Florida warranting her induction into the Women Who Impact coalition, additionally earning the coveted Juila Award by the Women’s History Coalition of  Miami-Dade County, Inc. Furthermore, the City of Miami and the Board of Commissioners announced through proclamation on March 2nd as her own day! Currently she serves as chair for Young Women’s Leadership Symposium hosted on April 26th, 2014. For more information about this amazing alum visit her company site here.


InspireMany CEO

Casandra Roache

Former VP of BAC
Former Vice President  of Black Alumni Chapter

InspireMany’s CEO is a proud alumna of FIU, who has taken her experiences at FIU and beyond and created a brand built on empowering women to set and reach their goals. She just finished kicking off a phenomenal “News Years Resolution Retreat” and has more in store. She served as Vice President of the Black Alumni Chapter for three years and although her presence is missed on the executive board, she remains committed to the chapter. Stay in the loop with all these her company InspireMany has to offer.

Upcoming event: On Feburary 22nd, Coach Cass is hosting a Love Vision Workshop! If you want more love in your life, join her