The Immokalee Foundation Names Marie Hernandez Rubenstein Vice President of Philanthropy

Marie Hernandez Rubenstein has been promoted to vice president of philanthropy for The Immokalee Foundation.

The promotion comes after Hernandez Rubenstein’s success identifying, advancing and soliciting major and planned gifts for the Foundation as their director of philanthropy. Additionally, since joining the organization in May of 2021, Hernandez Rubenstein has cultivated new donors and increased tremendous awareness of the Foundation’s mission. Under Hernandez Rubenstein’s direction, The Immokalee Foundation’s 2022 Charity Classic Pro-Am raised $610,000 to benefit the Foundation’s students and programs—the highest amount raised in the signature event’s 14-year history.

During her time at the Foundation, Hernandez Rubenstein has spearheaded innovative approaches to community engagement and corporate partnerships. She established The Immokalee Foundation’s CEO Leadership Summit, an annual event that serves as a networking opportunity for business leaders from throughout Southwest Florida to connect with high achieving high school juniors and seniors from the Foundation. Hernandez Rubenstein has also been the driving force behind inventive event marketing initiatives to engage new donors such as the “30 for 30” Dine for a Cause celebration. The highly successful event, which celebrated the 30th anniversary of The Immokalee Foundation, enlisted 30 local restaurants to donate a portion of their proceeds to benefit the Foundation.

“After working alongside our students, board members, donors and staff for an entire year, I couldn’t help but really fall in love with the mission of the Foundation and all we are accomplishing for our students and the community of Immokalee,” said Hernandez Rubenstein. “I’m honored to be a part of a record-breaking year for the organization and look forward to all
we will continue to accomplish to provide our students the bright future they deserve.”

Before joining The Immokalee Foundation, Hernandez Rubenstein served as the advancement and events manager at the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, where she helped raise over $2.5 million through the museum’s annual gala, Night at the Museum. She previously served on gala committees for the STARability Foundation, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and JDRF; co-chaired the American Cancer Society’s Cattle Baron’s Ball in Fort Myers; and served on committees for various other humanitarian and environmental philanthropic endeavors. Hernandez Rubenstein was recognized as one of Gulfshore Life’s notable 40 Under 40 in 2021. A Naples resident and mother of three young boys, she is also an advocate for families with autism in the Southwest Florida community. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and marketing from Emory University.

“As the mother of three and an advocate for families of children with autism, Marie’s commitment to children and children’s causes is unparalleled,” added Noemi Y. Perez, president and CEO of The Immokalee Foundation. “A respected and dynamic member of the Naples philanthropic community, Marie is changing the lives of the students of Immokalee every single day. We are truly honored to be the professional home of her phenomenal skill set.”

For more than 30 years, The Immokalee Foundation has been preparing the next generation of leaders through a 100% focus on education, career readiness, and professional development for students in Immokalee—from kindergarten to postsecondary education. The Immokalee Foundation offers new pathways to success and financial independence through robust programming that prepares students for well-paying, in-demand professional careers in Business Management & Entrepreneurship, Education & Human Services, Engineering & Construction Management and Healthcare. For additional information call 239-430-9122 or visit

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