Our Team

Lilianne Rossel - President

Lilianne Rossel was born in Cuba and graduated from college in 1989 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. She came to the United States in 1992 and lived in Maryland for ten years where she married Juan Rossel and had three children. Carolina was born in 1996 with Down syndrome, Eric in 1997, and Antonio in 1999. Both Lily and Juan were very involved with a local organization that provided support groups and awareness events in the community.

Lily and her family moved to Miami in December of 2001. In 2002, she met a mom who had the same vision to connect families of children with Down syndrome in Miami-Dade. An idea of a picnic event was organized with the support of local businesses and families which resulted in great success. A few years later, in meeting other parents with the same vision, the association was created with the mission to provide support, education, and awareness in the community.



Ayleen Pinera-Llano was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She attended the University of Miami for undergraduate studies and University of Miami Medical School where she completed a Pediatric Residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital and is currently practicing Pediatrics in Miami.

Ayleen is married to Eduardo Llano and they have three children together, Gabriella, Eduardo, and Daniella. When Daniella was born with Down Syndrome in 2003, Ayleen discovered there was no support present in the local Miami Community and they felt very “alone.” Soon after Daniella’s birth, Ayleen and a group of parents met and decided to form a local organization to support other similar families and increase awareness about Down Syndrome in the Community.


Ayleen Pinera-Llano - VP

Nick Gutiérrez - Director

Nicolás J. Gutiérrez, Jr., Esq. is a founding partner at Gutiérrez, Zarraluqui & Franco LLP. Mr. Gutiérrez concentrates his practice in providing legal counsel to international clients for inbound and outbound business transactions, with an emphasis on Latin America. He has extensive experience in corporate, governmental relations, confiscated property claims, international trade, financing and asset control regulatory matters.

Mr. Gutiérrez is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar and has received an “A-V” rating from Martindale Hubbell, which is the highest professional distinction obtainable by attorneys. Mr. Gutiérrez is a graduate of the University of Miami (B.A., Cum Laude, 1985) and received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., 1988).


Krystina Jiron is the proud mother of 3 children.  She is a shareholder with the law firm of Atkinson & Brownell, P.A. in Miami, Florida. She practices in the areas of insurance defense, insurance coverage, bad faith and construction defect litigation. She is a member of the Florida Bar, the Dade County Bar Association, including the Young Lawyers Section, and the Cuban American Bar Association. She is also admitted to practice before the District Courts of the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida and has argued before the Third District Court of Appeals.

Krystina Jiron received her Bachelor of Arts degree in both Political Science and Philosophy from Loyola University, New Orleans, graduating cum laude in 2001. She received her J.D. from Villanova University Law School in 2004. While in law school, Krystina was the Managing Editor of Outside Works for the Villanova Sports and Entertainment Law Journal and was a member of the 2002 Jessup International Moot Court team.


Krystina Jiron - Counsel

Marta Noa - Community Relations

Marta Noa has a passion for helping and teaching special needs students. She is a Special Education teacher with the Miami-Dade County Public School System. Marta earned an undergraduate degree in Education from Nova Southeastern University and a graduate degree in Urban Education from Florida International University. She holds a State of Florida Certification in Special Education K through 12th grade.

Formerly, Marta held the position of Health Educator and Clinic Liaison at the University of Miami School of Medicine Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center teaching women at community health centers the importance of self-examinations and risk factors throughout Miami-Dade county with the Mobile Mammography Unit.

In 2002, her daughter Sophia was born with Down syndrome. She became involved with a group of moms who also had children with Down syndrome which later became organized as the Down Syndrome Association of Miami in 2006.

Marta serves on the board of the Down Syndrome Association of Miami and resides in Miami with her 3 daughters, Isabella and Anais who are twins, and Sophia.


Clara Gutiérrez De Castro is a mother of three: Nicolas, Cristina, and Elisa. When Elisa was born with Down syndrome in 2003, she felt that there was a need for support in the community for children and families of Down syndrome. Clara joined other parents, that felt the same way, in creating the DSAOM.

Clara is a graduate from the University of Miami, with a degree in Business Administration, specializing in International Finance and Marketing. She is an Assistant Vice President with a large International Private Bank in Miami.


Clara Gutiérrez De Castro - Co-Treasurer

Lillian Perez-Poveda - Community Outreach/Co-Treasurer

Lillian Perez-Poveda was born in Cuba and raised in Georgia. She is a graduate from University of Georgia with a degree in Psychology. She moved to Florida to pursue a career with the airlines where she worked for 15 years till the birth of her daughters. She is now a very busy stay at home mom.

Lillian joined the newly forming Association after her third daughter was born with Down Syndrome. She is dedicated to welcoming new babies born with Down syndrome and helping families with resources and social networking.


Jorge van Balen, father of Special Olympics athlete Valeria van Balen, has been a Program Coordinator for Special Needs Swimming Classes Program for 6 years..

Throughout his life, Jorge has acquired tremendous amounts of experience in the field of Swimming. He competed at “The Games of the XX Olympiad” held in Munich, Germany, year 1972, representing the country of Venezuela.

He was also a Director, and swimming instructor for 10 years at Van Balen Swimming Academy in the city of Maracaibo, Venezuela. Jorge’s other passion lies in Enology/Food Chemistry.

He received a masters degree in Enology/Food Chemistry from University of California, Davis. Currently he is an export agent at a heavy industry equipment company based in Miami, FL.

Jorge van Balen - Program Coordinator

Lisi Lopez

Stephanie Fernandez