Barry Richard Cohen – Vice Mayor
Barry is a graduate of the University of Miami where received a business degree. He owned and operated a hospitality supplies business while in college. He later received his Juris Doctorate degree from Pepperdine University School of Law in California and has been a practicing attorney for almost 30 years.
He is a member of the Federal Trial Bar Association for the southern district of Florida and a member of the Florida Bar Association. His practice has focussed on commercial litigation, real estate, transactions, personal injury and foreclosure defense.
Barry is a corporate member of both the Dade and Broward Real Estate Investors Association where he frequently provides seminars to members.
He served as the chairman and the vice chairman of the Surfside Planning and Zoning Board from 1988-199 and as a board member of the Miami Dade League of Cities.
He was born and raised on Miami Beach where he attended elementary, junior and senior high school. He has been a Surfside resident since 1985 where he and his wife raised their 3 children and where he maintained a law office for 5 years.
Barry looks forward to the opportunity to serve surfside, provide excellent representation to its residents and take surfside from good to great while maintaining its unique charm.
Barbara Cohen – Chair
Barbara is a committed resident of Surfside, who possesses a great love and vision for this Town. She resides in Surfside with her husband Louis, with whom she shares five children and 11 grandchildren.
Barbara has seen the Resort Tax grow from the low six figures to one of seven figures. It was her initiative to send a Surfside “turtle” to Newtown, Connecticut which created an emotional experience for many residents of both Surfside and Newtown after the heartbreaking event.
During her time on the Board she oversaw Shakespeare on the Beach, Jazz on the Beach, and Battle of the Bands on the Beach, events which drew hundreds of Surfside residents and visitors to the crown jewel of our town!
In her 22 years living in Surfside, her fondness for the community has continued to grow as well as her desire to keep Surfside a Town of which all residents can be proud.
Jessica Weiss Levison – Vice Chair
Jessica Weiss Levison is an attorney and business owner. She owns Serendipity Creamery, an artisanal ice cream company with locations in Surfside, Wynwood and Miami Beach. Ms. Levison lives in Surfside (her favorite spot on planet earth) with her husband Brent and two small children, Mila and Leo (her favorite people on planet earth).
Marianne Meischeid – Secretary
Marianne brings her passion and energy for making good things even better to the Tourism Board. She bought a condo at the Four Winds 14 years ago. Back then, she split her time between living and working in New York, Surfside, and with her aging parents outside Philadelphia. Three years ago, she became a full-time Surfside resident and semi-retired residential realtor.
Throughout her long career in medical sales, she received many achievement awards that included trips to the travel capitals of the world; through both business and pleasure travel, she has experienced first-hand what makes a place “visitor-friendly”. For decades, she welcomed visitors from around the world to one of tourism’s high-points, as the giant Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons came alive just a block from her NYC apartment. Ahh, the joys of tourism!
She is proud of the strong advocacy role she played on the Sand Committee, which resulted in the restoration of our beautiful beach. She can often be found there, enjoying life in paradise with fellow citizens. On the Tourism Board, she look forward to balancing the small town feel that we love with the tourism dollars that we need and is grateful for the opportunity to contribute
Duncan Tavares – Tourism, Economic Development & Community Services Director
Joining the Town Administration in December 2008, Duncan graduated from the Florida International University School of Hospitality and Tourism Management with a Bachelor of Science in Travel and Tourism Management. He brings a wealth of experience from previously held positions. Formerly, he acted as Area Marketing and Sales Manager of New England, for an island destination. In addition, Duncan has extensive experience in the hotel industry with the Marriott Corporation and a Relais et Chateaux property.