The Senior Management Team

Deborah Spiegelman | Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Deborah Spiegelman is the CEO of 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 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.

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 the Museum’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. 

Elaine Blattner | Chief Development and Business Relations Officer

Elaine Blattner has joined Miami Children’s Museum as its Chief Development and Business Relations Officer. She comes to the organization with 20 years’ experience in promoting philanthropy, relationship development and leadership in a business environment with competing needs. She has built strong relationships with various sectors – public, private and not-for-profit – throughout South Florida; and, her expertise focuses on major gift fundraising, campaigns, advancement operations and coaching/mentoring.

Most recently, Blattner served as the Assistant Vice President – Development/Senior Director at Miami Dade College Foundation where she provided direction for the fundraising efforts by leading a team that focused on major gift fundraising, corporate relations and foundation gifts.

Prior to that she served as Senior Director of Development at Nova Southeastern University where she worked with several colleges, including Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography, the College of Engineering and Computing and Fischler College of Education. Blattner also held several positions at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce and Girl Scouts of Chicago.

Her community involvement has included serving as President of Funding Arts Broward and the Broward Women’s Alliance. She has also served on the Broward County Planned Giving Council, The Florida Bar’s Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee and the Governor’s Council of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance. Blattner holds a bachelor’s degree in Education and Human Services from The George Washington University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University.

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 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 Aguiar-Perez | Director of Education

Betty has more than 24 years of experience in education and is responsible for overseeing the Early Childhood Institute Preschool (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 the Museum 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.