With a career path that has taken her from bond trading on Wall Street to developing properties along some of Miami's trendiest streets, Avra Jain has earned a reputation for identifying the next it neighborhood. The recipient of three Sundance Film Awards for the documentary Dark Days, this industrial engineering graduate from Purdue University develops projects based around two of her favorite pursuits: art and architecture. Jain suggests “Through art and architecture, life and lifestyle are integrated. Through life and lifestyle, communities and neighborhoods are created.” To date, that vision has resulted in numerous boutique projects that range from converting a 100,000-square foot warehouse to luxury loft condominiums in New York's Tribeca neighborhood to the remake of The Vagabond, from Motel to Hotel on Biscayne Boulevard. When Avra is not re-imagining skylines, she spends time with her 13-year-old daughter Alexandra, whom she affectionately refers to as "my greatest accomplishment". Some of her most recent recognitions include: Urban Environment Leaders “2014 Orchid Award for Historic Revitalization”, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce R.E.A.L. “2015 Winner of Developer Commercial Category”, the Women’s Chamber of Commerce “15th Thelma Gibson Award of Excellence”, the AIA Miami “Developer of the Year 2016”, and the "2017 Community Catalyst Award", amongst others. Avra serves on the Miami Foundation Board, Dade Heritage Trust, Locust Projects, and University of Miami's Master of Real Estate Development + Urbanism Advisory Boards.
Laura Weinstein-Berman, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Laura is the Managing Director of the Historic Division at Vagabond Group Consulting. Mrs. Weinstein-Berman is a member of AIA Miami and USGBC Emerging Professionals. She is a Licensed Architect and LEED AP, serves on the board of the MiMo Biscayne Association, and manages the Miami Design Preservation League's Center for Resiliency and Sustainability initiatives. Graduating with the Faculty Thesis Award from Columbia University in the City of New York, she earned a Master of Science in Historic Preservation with coursework in Real Estate Development and Finance at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, and received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Miami with a minor in Art History, with Honors. In addition to managing the historic preservation initiatives at VGC, she is currently project lead on the 16 Corner Public-Private Affordable Housing Partnership, 555 River House, and the MiMo/Biscayne Boulevard National Register listing.
Having developed an interest in Puerto Rico’s vernacular architecture throughout her whole life growing up in the island, Natalia decided to base her studies in Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. After concluding her studies, she leaves the island looking for better job opportunities. This brought her to Central Florida where she worked for Charlan Brock and Associates, an award winning multifamily architecture firm in Orlando. While working there she got introduced to the “Business of architecture”, aka the world of development. This prompted her to make the move down south to Miami to pursue studies at the University of Miami’s Masters in Real Estate Development and Urbanism Program, where she graduated highest honor of her class. Today, Natalia works with The Vagabond Group as the Managing Director of Construction. She is currently spearheading the renovation of 23 affordable housing units with Miami Dade County and the adaptive reuse of an old shoe warehouse into Class A office in the heart of Miami’s Design District. Natalia is also an active member of AIA Miami, the Urban Land Institute and participates in the University of Miami MRED+U Alumni Committee.
Amanda Bonvecchio is Project Manager and Managing Director of New Development at Vagabond Group Consulting LLC. A homegrown Miami architect, Amanda graduated from the University of Miami school of Architecture with a double minor in Business, and Ecosystem Science + Policy, graduating the program with Honors. Shortly afterwards, she earned a Masters in Real Estate Development + Urbanism from her Alma Mater, graduating top of her class. She is a member of AIA Miami and is an accredited LEED Green Associate. From 2015-2016, Amanda spearheaded the restoration of the Historic Miami River Inn and transformed the oldest hotel in Miami into a cultural co-living destination with a thriving heartbeat.