Hernán Guerrero Applewhite
I have been a resident in 33133 for the last 10 years and of the West Grove for the last 5 years. I currently run a small urban planning and community development consulting practice, teach as a Visiting Adjunct Teaching Professor at the FIU School of Architecture and am the father of 2 children attending local public schools.
My background is in Geography, Urban Planning and Architecture. I spent a large part of my career creating digital mapping systems for cities and counties in the Northeast and developing affordable housing and revitalizing neighborhoods through historic preservation in Brooklyn. I have straddled theory and practice by working on many master plans and corridor studies locally and across the country but also assisted the construction of 3 affordable homeownership opportunities in the West Grove.
I believe our neighborhood has a lot of potential to grow and thrive while continuing to be a walkable community. How can we leverage the increased density and economic growth in Coconut Grove to spur mixed-income, mixed-use development that allows us to retain a semblance of the village character in the ‘West Grove’? As your elected member, I want to ensure that the ongoing redevelopment become a tide that allows for all boats to rise, for the collective success of Coconut Grove. I commit to listening to the community and advocating for our best interests.
I’ve lived and worked in Miami 30+ years and been a homeowner in Coconut Grove since 2012. We raised 4 kids who attended local pre-K through high school, so I’m familiar with the Grove’s intriguing history, diverse neighborhoods, lush vegetation, local businesses, transportation, local architectural treasures and educational options.
I have no experience in local government, but my life includes experience in the U.S., Caribbean, Latin America and Asia with American Express, Mastercard, Pfizer, my own marketing company and Keyes. My roles included sales, new product development, consumer insights, process management, branding and general management with P&L responsibility. I like developing teams, so I believe these skills and my collaborative experiences will prove useful on complex Grove issues.
Why Coconut Grove Village Council now? Since I retired from corporate life in 2017 and joined my wife as a realtor, I have greater flexibility and time to contribute back to my neighbors next door and blocks away. Neighbors with whom my kids went to school, played sports and grew up with at Carver, St. Hugh, Gables and Columbus. And as a resident, there are issues that get me excited—especially neighborhood conservation and protecting families and homes from the more recent issue of short-term rentals that have broken the tranquility of homes (I helped shut down one with the support of the local Commander, Assistant City Attorney and Code Enforcement). Most importantly, I want to listen to the Grove community and help on those issues that help the most people.
Dr. Chris Baraloto is the Director of the International Center for Tropical Botany at The Kampong, Associate Director of the Institute of Environment and Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at FIU. He is also a Professor in France at INRAE/CNRS and in Brazil at INPA.
Chris and his family moved from French Guiana to Coconut Grove in 2015, and his children attend Coconut Grove public schools.
Chris is an expert in tropical biodiversity science, working to inventory tropical forest plants, fungi and insects in remote areas across Amazonia. Chris also works locally to contribute to data-driven solutions to environmental issues in our neighborhoods. A noteworthy example is the Grove ReLeaf program, which has inventoried more than 10,000 urban trees around Coconut Grove, and which is measuring eco-benefits of urban trees, including how they keep our neighborhoods cool. These data will help us to preserve trees and identify priority areas that need more trees—and also to make critical decisions about trees that may need replacement.
Chris has joined the CGVC to help promote objective, reasonable solutions to urban development that respect the environmental benefits we all derive from our natural resources. Key among these are limiting waste such as single-use plastics, mitigating runoff into our bay, and maintaining green spaces and urban canopy cover.
Born and raised in Manhattan, I moved to Miami in 1980. During that time, I lived in Kendall and worked in Brickell and Coral Gables, spending my leisure time at many of the local hangouts like The Taurus, The Mutiny and the Coconut Grove Playhouse. I have lived in Miami for many years, witnessing the many changes that have taken place in the Grove and have always dreamed of living here. That dream finally became a reality when I moved to my home in the Douglas/Grand area in February, 2019.
My professional background is in marketing, advertising and communications. I have held senior management positions in ad agencies in New York, Chicago and Miami. During 2007-2017, I was the co-founder and COO of Hola Networks, the first online advertising network dedicated to the US Hispanic market. I am a member of the Coconut Grove Women’s Club and a prior member of the CG Chamber of Commerce. When I first moved here, I volunteered with Grace Inc. to distribute housing questionnaires. Later, during the Covid crisis, I volunteered to bring food to my West Grove neighbors and provided food to both the Thelma Gibson Health Initiative and our local “Freegerator” on Grand & Plaza.
I joined the CGVC board because I want to be an active member in my community. There are many issues facing this ever-changing neighborhood, and I want to serve by reaching out to our neighbors and make their voices heard. Based on my professional experience, I think I can best do this by serving on the Visibility and Civics/Park/Green committees.
Thank you for this opportunity and I hope to meet you all soon in the future.
I am an author, Broadway playwright, motivational speaker, corporate trainer, and international sports marketing consultant. I founded Citizens Opposing Profile Police Stops in 1995 and lobbied for H.R. 118, the 1998 Traffic Stops Statistics Act, in the 105th Congress. I have been featured in the New York Times and U.S. News and World Report, and I was part of a White House/U.S. Department of Justice problem-solving group focused on policing, working with Attorneys General Janet Reno and Eric Holder. My passion for justice comes from my relative and idol, civil rights lawyer Constance Baker-Motley, who was Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall’s law partner on major cases involving Martin Luther King and Brown vs. Board of Education.
My most important job of all is being a father to my two sons, who grew up in the Grove. Both were International Baccalaureate students at Coral Gables High School. My older son has an MBA from the University of Miami, and my younger son went to Georgia Tech and has a Bachelors from Tennessee State University. I explained to my sons that the great aim of education is not wisdom or knowledge, but action! Uplifting our youth is a necessity, as I exhibited when serving as VP of Virrick Park Executive Committee, where I brought HBO and NBA All Stars to provide a free life skills clinic to over 100 West Grove youth.
After producing NBA star Alonzo Mourning’s golf tournament in Virginia in 1999, I came to “Zo’s Groove,” Miami, and found home. The Grove has some of the best amenities in the world, while the West Grove struggles. For that reason, I am now a member of Village Council. I see a need for more alliances, coalitions, and collaboration, and as a member of the Village Council I will work toward that goal.
I have spent a lifetime in Coconut Grove.
I graduated from Ransom Everglades High School in 1984.
I have a child that attended Coconut Grove Elementary and Ransom Everglades.
Married to Kellie Henley (20 years) with 2 kids – Maya (16) and Deshay (22).
My profession: Owner/Broker of Grove Properties, real estate brokerage; Partner, Oxford Design & Build, developer and general contractor.
Efforts and Accomplishments
Family-owned business since 1980 in Miami—focused on green and sustainable construction.
I consider myself a Miami 21 zoning code and NCD expert and actively pursue changes to preserve the Grove but still encourage smart development.
Created GP Cares program at Grove Properties. We donate a minimum of $300 for each closing to a local charity.
Co-founded ARC+ the nonprofit architectural resource collaborative with the FIU School of Architecture to educate students on sustainable building concepts.
A Board of Trustees member for Miami Waterkeeper.
I write blogs about sustainable building and preserving the Grove.
Chair of Coconut Grove Village Council from 2017-2021.
Successfully appealed many tree removal permits.
Very active with many issues at City Commission meetings and regulations.
Dedicated hundreds of hours of research to organize efforts to protect and preserve life in our Village .
As a member of the CGVC I want to
Finish the efforts to revise the NCD zoning and building codes and Playhouse project.
Continue to support all of Grove 2030’s initiatives especially ,mobility within the Grove.
Bring affordability to housing in the Grove—homeownership and rentals.
Encourage business growth in the Grove that supports residents and local businesses .
Advocate changes to the NCD regulations and sustainable new developments.
Encourage more youth programs by utilizing more resources available in the Grove.
I am excited and proud to be a member of the Coconut Grove Village Council. I was raised in West Coconut Grove from the age of two, with a sense of pride and respect for my community. Growing up, I interacted with ministers, educators, and community leaders from an early age, a practice that guided and inspired me to help others to become the best they can be. My focus is on helping to develop sustainable, healthy community through leadership, business development and economic change.
I will work with all to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion to ensure our community is a safe and socially just environment for all who live here. If elected, I would like to serve on the Civic, Cultural Life, Parks, and Green Spaces Committee. My platform will be built on Service Leadership: Heart to Serve + Call to Lead + Courage to Engage = Service Leadership
Entrepreneur, College Instructor, Athletic/Fitness Coach, Leadership Life Coach.
Founder/CEO- Leadership Prep Foundation Inc. (A Youth Leadership Org.)
In 2015, Founded the Coconut Grove Sports Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony and 2020 Hall of Fame Museum Curator, recognizing West Coconut Grove residents of Bahamian and African-American descent who have exemplified outstanding sports accomplishments and achievements in their professional and personal life.
Owner/GM of soon to open “Taste of Coco-Bahamas” Entertainment & Food Venue located in West Grove.
Special Congressional Recognition for Invaluable Service to the Community presented by the late Congressman John Lewis.