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Featured Business: Casa Valentina

Casa-Valentina-Logo

Our featured business this month is the non-profit Casa Valentina. We interviewed Wanda Finnie, Executive Director and Janice Graham, Education Director.

What is your business?
I am the Executive Director of an established non-profit (Casa Valentina) that provides affordable housing and life skills services to youth aging out of foster care in Miami-Dade County.

Where are you from?
I am from New Jersey.

If not Miami, why/how did you come to Miami?
I relocated in 2000 because my husband (Bryan) accepted a position in Miami.

What is your professional/business history?
I am an Attorney, executive leader, and educator.

What makes your business successful/unique? Anything you take special attention to or pride in?
Casa Valentina, a non profit agency, provides wrap around services for at-risk youth between the ages of 18 and 24. The mission of Casa Valentina is to help these young adults transition successfully from foster care to living independently. The vision of this organization is to make sure that those individuals who are coming out of the foster system, receive everything they need to reach their full potential.

How is it running a female locally owned business? Struggles? Advantages?
Casa Valentina, a non-profit, was started in 2006 by 5 women who cared about a cause; I am not a founder but came onboard 9/2015. Success comes by trial and error, but I believe leadership by women is much more accepted in the non-profit world than perhaps other business environments. Running any non-profit is challenging, particularly regarding fundraising.

Outside of running the business, what are some of your personal interests?
Advocating for children and families in all environments; friends and family time.

What is your business?
I am the Education Director for Casa Valentina.

Where are you from?
I am originally from Nassau, Bahamas.

If not Miami, why/how did you come to Miami?
I came to Florida to attend college.

What is your professional/business history?
Although I have worked in a couple of different industries, the main constant has been in the capacity of working with people and educating them. The last 16 years have been directly related to teaching in the Dade County school system, both public and private sector, and now working with these wonderful young adults at Casa Valentina.

What makes your business successful/unique? Anything you take special attention to or pride in?
Casa Valentina, a non profit agency, provides wrap around services for at risk youth between the ages of 18 and 24. The mission of Casa Valentina is to help these young adults transition successfully from foster care to living independently. The vision of this organization is to make sure that those individuals who are coming out of the foster system, receive everything they need to reach their full potential.