The Senior Management Team

Deborah Spiegelman - Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Deborah Spiegelman is the CEO of the Miami Children’s Museum. She is an accomplished not for profit specialist with over thirty years of experience. Having raised all of the funds for the building of the Miami Children’s Museum and opening the 56,500 square foot facility, Ms. Spiegelman secured over $20 million from government, corporate and individual donors. She has earned the respect of the community and policy makers alike. The leadership of the museum relies on her critical insight, clear and straightforward communications and community connects to successfully lead the operations of the institution on Watson Island.

Ms. Spiegelman was responsible for developing the operational model, staff plan and institutional strategic framework for the opening of this community treasure. Ms. Spiegelman has been an advocate for children and children’s issues. Her career highlights also include working for University of Miami/Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, University of Miami/Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Greater Miami Jewish Federation and Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Tanya Reid - Chief Financial Officer

Tanya Reid comes to Miami Children’s Museum from Carnival Corporation where she spent two years as Manager of Corporate Financial Planning & Analysis. There she provided ongoing reporting support to the Senior Executives. Prior to that, she worked at RLJ Development, a hotel Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) in Bethesda, MD as Associate Director of Reporting and Assistant Controller. She gained her public accounting experience at PricewaterhouseCoopers where she spent four years after college. She holds a BBA in Accounting from Howard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She also holds a CPA license. Tanya has always been committed to philanthropy and has volunteered her time with organizations such as Chapman Partnership, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and her local church, among others.

Belissa Alvarez - Chief Business Development Officer

Belissa Alvarez recently rejoined Miami Children’s Museum as the Chief Business Development Officer. In this position, she oversees the development, marketing and community relations efforts for the Museum. Prior to Miami Children’s Museum, Ms. Alvarez was at Baptist Health Foundation as director of development initially overseeing the fundraising efforts for Baptist Health Breast Center and subsequently for South Miami Hospital and Doctors Hospital. Prior to joining the Baptist Health Foundation, Ms. Alvarez served as the director of development for Miami Children’s Museum where she was responsible for leading the fundraising efforts in close partnership with the CEO, Board of Directors and committees. She had oversight of the major gifts program, corporate partnerships, grants, special events and direct mail programs, as well as the Museum’s membership program. Ms. Alvarez’s professional accomplishments include the management of the fundraising, grants and scholarship programs for Burger King Corporation’s philanthropic arm, Burger King McLamore Foundation, Inc. She also managed community relations initiatives for the corporation, including partnerships with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Muscular Dystrophy Association and Amigos for Kids. She holds a B.A. in International Relations from Mount Holyoke College and earned a M.S. in Mass Communication from Florida International University. Ms. Alvarez serves as the co-chair of the Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade’s Young Professional Group and has volunteered at Posse Miami for several years recently as a writing and career coach.

Lúcia Williams - Chief Innovation and Experiences Officer

Mrs. Williams started her museum career in 2000 at the American Museum of Natural History. She then worked for 12 years at the Miami Science Museum with progressive roles in exhibits and programs that support informal science education. In 2012, she joined MCM’s Senior Management Team with responsibility for public programs, visitor services and exhibits. Mrs. Williams is a strong supporter of family learning and community engagement. She lives in Miami with her husband and two daughters. 

Hannah Hausman - Director of Development and Special Events

Bio coming soon.

John Laurence - Director of Facilities

With a degree in Business Administration, John has worked in Facilities Management for eighteen years. He began his career at the Miami Science Museum in 1985 in both Exhibits and Facilities. In 2003 he joined the Miami Children’s Museum. In addition to overseeing the original construction of the existing facility, he has led all expansion projects since opening on Watson Island. John recently completed the Department of Energy’s Conservation and renewable energy projects.

Betty Perez - Director of Education

Betty has more than 24 years of experience in education and is responsible for overseeing the Early Childhood Institute (ECI) at the Museum, including curriculum and resource development, networking, and programming. She began her career as a Pre-K teacher and Curriculum Specialist and later became a family, marriage and mental health specialist for counselling centers. Betty’s passion for education continued as she became a tutor at the Sylvan Learning Center, a Mentor/Coach for early childhood teachers and volunteered as a Pre-K Standards Trainer for VPK Teachers and Directors at Florida International University. Betty is inspired by the Reggio Approach and in furthering the ECI program at MCM with continued quality of learning.

She holds a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling with a dual specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy (CACREP – Nationally Accredited Counseling Program), a Bachelor of Arts of Psychology from Florida International University, and Associates in Arts in Psychology with Specialization Training in Early Childhood Education from Miami-Dade Community College.

Cristina Rodriguez - Director of Marketing, PR and Sales

Bio coming soon.