About us

Maribel Alvarez, Founder and President, Altima International, Inc.

In 2000, Maribel Alvarez founded Altima, a Private Relations© and concierge firm catering to wealthy and powerful individuals across the globe. Her work at the United Nations and education at Duke, Georgetown, and Switzerland’s Le Rosey led to the forging of strong relationships. Altima emerged as a leader in luxury brand, real estate and event management marketing and public relations. Related Group of Florida, Emilio Pucci, Graff Jewelers, Salvatore Ferragamo, Frederic Fekkai, Vilebrequin, International Polo Club, Institut Le Rosey, Black River Caviar, Harry Winston, Bice Restaurants, Le Bilboquet and the Royal Bank of Canada are among the brands that have benefited from Altima’s network and sales.

Maribel’s entrepreneurial and creative spirit flourished as founder, publisher and executive editor of quarterly luxury magazine 95 East. This success inspired the launch of Altima Preferred newsletter, a subscription based platform offering affinity marketing opportunities targeting the affluent.

Contact : maribel@altimapalmbeach.com

Carolina Buia, Principal/Media Relations

Buia has 20 years in multi-media, from Yahoo to NBC, Telemundo to TIME, Billboard to Modern Luxury Palm Beach. A former journalist, today Buia teams up exclusively with  Altima to ensure a strong, multi-faceted experience for clients.  She has secured media coverage in major international, national and local outlets. Buia has received and been nominated for ASME (American Society of Magazine Editors) awards and is also the author of an award winning cookbook (HarperCollins).

As the former host of MAKE HOME A HAVEN, one of the most watched shows on Yahoo, Buia featured celebrity homes around the world. She also served as a spokesperson for Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate for 5 years, shooting segments all over the country.

Buia has made appearances on The View, The Today Show, Food Network, NY Times and others. Buia specializes in real estate, food, interiors, and lifestyle storytelling. She is also a contributing lifestyle writer for Palm Beach’s Modern Luxury Magazine and has written covers for many other Florida and national magazines. A graduate of Duke University, Buia is sought for her uncanny ability to spin a yarn and architect a story.

Ann Lally

Ann Lally, Principal/Marketing and Content Strategy

Ann has developed and executed communications programs for luxury and consumer brands like Starwood Hotels, Orkin, Randstad Staffing, Simmons Bedding and McCormick Spices. She has also worked with Twinings Teas and global beverage companies, leading projects for web analytics, guest experience, CRM, and SEO-SEM. Her marketing toolbox includes Altima’s proprietary Digital Discovery Brief©, Customer Journey Map©, and Communications Efficiency Assessment ©.

She is also an accomplished business development expert for business services and products, having performed trade and consumer CRM for all above companies and many others.

A former partner and account director at WPP companies JWT and Ogilvy, she and Maribel have been friends and collaborated since their college days at Duke University.

Ann is a board member of two community foundations. Her White Papers, “How to Assess Your Digital/Search Agency Needs” and “Selecting a CMS,” were published for members of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). Her articles have appeared in Hotel-Motel Management and The New York Times Sunday Supplement sections.

Contact: Ann@altimapalmbeach.com

Catalina Cortez, Director of Operations

A born and bred New Yorker with razor-sharp intellect and a fierce work ethic, Catalina Cortez prides herself on a proven track-record of managing the broad, dynamic inner-workings of a diverse range of organizations. With her keen eye for implementing the right processes and practices to propel an enterprise to success, she oversees the day-to- day operations of the Altima Brand and is intimately involved with all the accounts and their main players.

Based in Miami Beach, FL, she most recently spent over 2 years on the sales team for Sunreef Yachts. Working with the likes of F1 racer Fernando Alonso and tennis champion, Rafael Nadal; Cortez, alongside the Regional Sales Director, brought in over $100M in revenue during her tenure.

Cortez started her career in New York real estate on a team that exclusively represented the new 172 Madison Avenue development. At the time, it was home to the city’s most expensive publicly listed residence, at $98 million. She then transitioned to operations at the project’s development firm, Tessler Developments. Bringing over a decade of operations experience, she has served as a true right hand to some of Manhattan’s most high-powered executives: managing long standing family offices as well as being instrumental in several successful, industry-disrupting startups. Cortez saw the digital agriculture company, Bowery Farming, through its last and most significant round of funding, raising $300 million. This led to the venture’s most audacious expansion, making it the United States’ biggest vertical farm, valued at over $2 billion.

In her off time, she is a freelance writer and enjoys spending time on the beach with her Australian Shepherd, Frida and partner, photographer Dean West.

Contact: catalina@altimapalmbeach.com

Jessie Lison, Media Relations Consultant

Jessie Lison has almost 15 years of public relations experience, successfully representing clients within the lifestyle, home design, food & wine, and fashion space. Notable brands she has worked with include Martha Stewart, Drew Barrymore’s FLOWER Home, Hunter Douglas, Blake Lively’s Betty Buzz, Chandon Sparkling Wine, Kings of Cole, Fendi Casa and Dedar.

Lison resourcefully garners impactful media exposure across both national and regional outlets. She understands the nuances of social and traditional media and develops winning strategies for Altima’s clients.

Originally from New York, Lison cut her teeth in the world’s media capital and today oversees many accounts that are based in both New York and Palm Beach. Lison is a graduate of Boston University, where she obtained a degree in Public Relations. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and anything relating to interior design and decorating.

Contact: jessie@altimapalmbeach.com

Alexis Posada Testrake, Luxury Fashion Director

Alexis Posada-Testrake brings decades of fashion marketing, merchandising and retail experience to Altima’s clientele. As Fashion Director, Posada-Testrake spearheads services for an elite roster of fashion, jewelry, and accessory designers. She also builds strategic partnerships among brands and serves as Creative Director for the Altima Newsletter and its social media platforms.

Educated at Palm Beach Day School and Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland, Posada-Testrake pursued a degree in marketing at George Washington University before launching her career as a junior account executive at Altima Palm Beach. Three years later, she traded palms for skis and went to work for the global fashion line, Theory. Alexis has also worked for corporate icons like Ralph Lauren Corporation and Kate Spade & Co. In 2010, she returned to Palm Beach and founded VENUE, the first pop up store to hit Palm Beach, showcasing a revolving cast of fashion and jewelry designers. She then was hired as the manager of Juicy Couture on Worth Avenue, where she led the highest conversion rate in the country.

Today, Posada-Testrake has returned to her roots. When she’s not guiding the fashion narrative for Altima’s blog, she’s working as a fashion stylist and expert closet curator. Of course, if you ask her, she will tell you the most fashionable way to spend a weekend is entertaining at home with her family.

Contact: alexis@altimapalmbeach.com

Hollis Bradley Pica, Events & Private Relations

Hollis Bradley Pica, a  graduate of Georgetown University, brings 15 years of experience in both the fashion and hospitality industries. Her career began in New York City as a Buyer for Polo Ralph Lauren. Hollis also worked as a consultant and ambassador for other designer brands including Rag & Bone, Peach Athleisure, Fendi Casa and Rent the Runway.

After several years in fashion, Hollis moved back to Washington, and shifted gears into hospitality, focusing on marketing and event planning for several upscale restaurant groups including Lettuce Entertain You (Joe’s Seafood Prime Steak and Stone Crab), The One Group (STK), and Charlie Palmer Group (Charlie Palmer Steak).

Hollis played an integral part of planning one of the premier parties in DC at STK following the White House Correspondents’ Dinner that included a 1,500-person guest list including A-List celebrities, political figures, and prominent media personalities.

Heather Buchanan, New York/Hamptons

Heather’s love of the Hamptons dates back to when she first dipped her toes in the sand at three weeks old. A beloved summer home in Sagaponack led to a full-time residence in Sag Harbor Village since 1999. With an undergraduate and graduate degree in Communications from Northwestern University, Heather has had a successful career honing her writing and marketing skills. She is a contributor to Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, Hamptons Real Estate Showcase and writes the nationally award-winning column Kiss & Tell for the James Lane Post. Heather shares her local real estate knowledge with buyers and sellers as an agent at Sotheby’s International Realty in Bridgehampton.

Heather was tapped to handle lifestyle PR and marketing for The Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington Florida, the Central Park Horse Show in NYC, and the Longines Masters in Paris, the premiere equestrian events in the world. She has also served as editor in chief of international equestrian luxury lifestyle magazines Equestrio and Puissance America, having spent winters in Palm Beach. Through her marketing and PR Company HHB Media she has worked with various clients from fashion to yachts to charities and high-end events. Heather is very connected in the cultural community of the Hamptons where she founded the Hamptons Film Festival Screenwriters Lab and has run the festival’s VIP department. She is thrilled to share her hands-on local knowledge and personal experience of the best ways to enjoy the Hamptons.

Dominique Galluzzi, New York – Fashion, Jewelry, PR & Branding 

Dominique Galluzzi brings over two decades of experience in both the Luxury Watch/Jewelry Industry, Luxury Fashion and Publishing as PR & Events Manager and Advertising Director for numerous luxury brands such as David Yurman, Ebel/LVMH and Baume & Mercier, as well as MANHATTAN, Gotham and HAMPTONS magazines.

A native New Yorker, Galluzzi prides herself in building strong relationships with the media, her clients and their unique audiences. She has been instrumental in forging partnerships with celebrity endorsements and influencer product placements. She is well-versed in the luxury space and provides Altima an important NYC presence.

When not working, Dominique loves spending time with her family and traveling to exciting destinations.

Candace Jorritsma, Principal/Real Estate Marketing

A 20-year career in real estate and hospitality has provided Candace with an unmatched talent for creatively managing sophisticated marketing campaigns that translate into sales. Nationally recognized for creating the gold standard concept of equity and no-equity private club membership programs, sales management, marketing & development planning, amenities programming and project management, Candace leaves lasting impressions on each project or property she is involved with.

With clientele including LXR Luxury Resorts—a division of Blackstone Real Estate Advisors, WCI Communities Inc., and The Trump Group,  her track record speaks for itself. Candace graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Communications from the University of Louisville

Contact : candace@altimapalmbeach.com

Arron Tsipis, Digital Marketing & Social Media Management

Arron has 5 years of digital marketing, social media management, SEO, and brand development experience. Arron incorporates the newest techniques and technologies available, while representing a brand’s story with easy to digest marketing materials.

While pursuing degrees in Marketing and Sociology from the University of Florida, Arron founded a live event coordination company called Elevate Entertainment. There he directed teams in logistics and marketing, successfully hosting 30+ events with over 50,000 people in attendance. Arron’s focus on his clients’ needs, his hands-on approach and clear lines of communication continuously lead to impressive results.

Gabriela Passos, Social Media Coordinator

With a degree in International Relations from Boston University and a background in both hospitality and luxury brand marketing, Gabriela brings a new perspective to our Social Media Marketing team. Staying on top of the latest trends and curating travel destinations is her specialty. Her hospitality background is evident on @Altimapalmbeach Travel Tuesdays where Gabriela uncovers what’s trending in all things luxury travel around the world.

Patrick McMullan, Preferred Photographer

Patrick McMullan is an American photographer, columnist, philanthropist, businessman and documentarian. Born in New York, he was educated at NYU, majoring in business while “minoring in Studio 54.”

A celebrity and social photography pioneer, PMc (www.patrickmcmullan.com) has been photographing A-listers, fashionistas, designers, models, actors, artists, socialites and captains of industry for decades. PMc has garnered a level of caché that grants its agency access to exclusive and desirable events.

PMc has the New York, Los Angeles, and the Hamptons social scene covered. The website attracts visitors from all over the world, hoping to see and feel what it would be like to attend the party. Altima Palm Beach is honored to partner with this icon.

Nick Mele

Nick Mele, Preferred Photographer

Nick Mele (www.nickmele.com) is a lifestyle, fashion and interior design photographer known for his whimsical take on American elegance.  Nick began his career in New York taking society photos for Patrick McMullen, before moving to Palm Beach where he has made a name for himself as a “modern day Slim Aarons”. Nick’s photos have been featured in a myriad of online and print publications including Town & Country, The New York Times, Avenue, Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Vogue and Vanity Fair. His commercial clients include brands such as Ralph Lauren, Sam Edelman, J.McLaughlin and Lilly Pulitzer, as well as several high end hotels and interior designers.  One of Nick’s favorite subjects is his own family and it’s not unusual to see him on the other side of the lens as well.  His family’s tongue and cheek adventures though America’s favorite preppy and affluent stomping grounds can be seen on Instagram @A.Social.Life and he is often written about by the very publications for which he shoots.