Kare Carbonell has passion to help nonprofits succeed



Coral Gables resident Karelia “Kare” Martinez Carbonell is any charitable organization’s dream. A woman with a passion for non-profit work, Kare Carbonell combines that with the knowledge and experience needed to help those she serves succeed.

Born in Cuba, her family immigrated to the United States when she was 5 years old. On arrival at Miami’s Freedom Tower, they were welcomed with food and clothes. After staying for a while with family in Miami, her family moved to Riverdale, NY, for seven years and then to Fort Lauderdale where Kare graduated from Westminster Academy.

Following her high school graduation, her family moved to Coral Gables. She has been a Gables resident ever since pursuing higher education at Florida International University where she earned a BA in marketing as well as an MBA. Carbonell also continued her studies at Nova Southeastern University, graduating with a DPA (doctorate in public administration) with a concentration in not-forprofit management and also has earned her CFRE designation.

Happily married for 29 years to Dr. Marino Carbonell, a private practitioner and certified addiction professional, Karelia brags about her 27-year-old son, Capt. Brenden Marino Carbonell, who was recently commissioned a U.S. Air Force JAG (judge advocate general) and is stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, MS, where he will be practicing law for the next few years.

As for this proud mother and wife, Carbonell started her volunteer work as a young mother involved in her son’s elementary school, St. Philip’s Episcopal. At St. Philip’s, she took on volunteer positions ranging from yearbook and gala to president of the Parents Association. She found these activities so personally rewarding that she was hooked and continued volunteering beyond the school and to other local non-profit organizations.

Fifteen years ago, Carbonell discovered a wonderful opportunity in the Junior League of Miami (JLM). She credits the organization with allowing her to develop as a professional in the field of philanthropy and to develop as a community leader, a favor she returned by serving as the JLM’s president for the past two years. Kare Carbonell recently joined the Coral Gables Community Foundation as chair of its Development Committee.

When Kare is not serving her community, she is an independent fundraising and communications consultant who most recently served as director of alumni relations at Ransom Everglades. Previous to that she served for 10 years as director of development at Carrollton.

World travel is top on her list of favorite things to do. With her family she has traveled to more than 25 countries, sailed on the QE2, flown on the Concorde, traveled the Yangtze River, lived in a Berber tent, trekked the Sahara, and even enjoyed an African safari.

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A graduate of the University of Florida with a major in Spanish, Burns has an extensive background in advertising, marketing and reciprocal trade, travel as well as non profit consulting and management. Burns' volunteer activities led her to become a columnist writing Gloria’s Gab, a column that focuses on the non-profit activity. Burns was Executive Director of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee for 6 years and then served as the first Executive Director of Coral Gables Community Foundation for 14 years after which she helped the emerging Community Foundation of Pinecrest. Active in many non profits, she received the 2011 Florida Federation of Women’s Club Volunteer of the Year for the District 11 and the Rotarian of the Year Award. Among her list of current responsibilities, Burns co-chairs two annual student recognition breakfasts for the Coral Gables Friends of Education, co chairs the Doral Business Council Forum and is a DBC Ambassador, is Parliamentarian and serves on the board of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club and is on the board of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables and sings in the choir of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. She can be reached at gloria@communitynewspapers.com

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