Darlene Fernandez is a wife, mother, professional engineer, Executive Director of MDX, and campaign Chairwoman of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Miami all in one
It has been an eventful year for Darlene M. Fernandez, P.E., after being named Executive Director of the Miami Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) in early 2022, and now she has served as the American Cancer Society's "2022 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Miami" Chairwoman.
It is incredible how she has managed to be a wife, mother of two boys, and the first woman to be the Executive Director at MDX and she still finds time to spread awareness against breast cancer.
We had the pleasure of interacting with Darlene and learning about the numerous professional responsibilities she has and how she does it all.
Who is Darlene M. Fernandez?
Darlene M. Fernandez is the first woman to serve as the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority's (MDX’s) Executive Director. She is working with an interdisciplinary team of transportation professionals to address the transportation needs of Miami-Dade while utilizing her communication skills and her knowledge in civil engineering to lead the authority. She has also supported MDX as a former member of the Authority’s Board of Directors.
Fernandez graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, which helped develop her talent and love for engineering, a profession mostly dominated by men. She soon began her professional career at the Florida Department of Transportation, before working for the City of Miami Beach and several significant engineering firms in the private sector.
She has participated actively in professional and civic organizations and recently earned an award for the Company of Women 2022 from the Miami-Dade County Commission on Women & the Parks Department.
Her involvement in the Making Strides Campaign
When Fernandez was approached by the American Cancer Society for the "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Miami" campaign, Darlene could not have been happier.
"It was a huge honor for me as I lost my mother due to breast cancer at a young age and because other women in my family have also been affected, I am a huge advocate for early detection," said Fernandez. "Being a chairwoman of the Making Strides Campaign really helps me to be a part of the effort in a significant way. Whether it's participating in panels and discussing my story with the public and creating awareness of how we can really make early detection happen way before the recommended ages because that makes a huge difference in addressing the problem early on."Darlene M. Fernandez
The American Cancer Society Miami organizes a Breast Cancer Awareness event every October. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Miami is a chance for the community to come together in honor of breast cancer survivors, to spread knowledge about what people can do to prevent breast cancer. It is also an opportunity to raise awareness as well as money to support the American Cancer Society's efforts to combat the disease by funding breast cancer research, education, and support services as well as ensuring that women have access to mammograms. The event just took place this October 22 and was an enormous success.
Darlene Fernandez on her Executive Director role at MDX
"I am very proud and appreciate that the board believed and put their trust in me" said Fernandez.
The Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) Board of Directors unanimously selected Darlene Fernandez to be the organization's executive director. On May 2, Fernandez officially assumed her new position, succeeding Javier Rodriguez and Servando Parapar, who both have served as MDX's Executive Director for 15 and 12 years, respectively. She is the first woman executive director in the organization's 26-year existence.
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