Art Sotloff, Founder
Art Sotloff moved to South Florida in 1975. Originally from Philadelphia, Art fell in love with the warm weather and sunny beaches Miami had to offer since the day he arrived. He became involved with The Home Show Management Company in 1977. Art's uncanny ability to develop and grow the company was attributed to two main ingredients, his positive attitude and excellent rapport-building skills. Since 1977, he has helped grow the company to incredible heights, making the Home Show Management Company one of the largest and most attended yearly home show events in South Florida.
Art and his wife Shirley founded the 2LIVES Foundation soon after their son, journalist Steven Sotloff, was brutally murdered on international tv after being held hostage for one year. Their mission is to provide scholarships to women and men of excellence seeking careers in journalism in a changed world. After working tirelessly and successfully with President Obama to change U.S. hostage laws, Art hopes to continue developing 2LIVES with his team so that freedom of speech and freedom of the press remain alive in this changed world. His dream is to have it become a beacon of hope to hostage families who need assistance out of Washington, D.C., and to the next generation of journalists as they embark on their journeys toward becoming the world's future news reporters in a conflict-driven world.
Shirley Sotloff, Founder
Shirley Sotloff was born in Miami Beach, Florida and grew up in Miami. Her parents were both Holocaust survivors and very pro-Israel, providing an influence on her survivor skills, as well as her son Steven's desire to take on the Middle East conflict and his wish for peace in the region. After all that she has witnessed, including watching her son being beheaded on international tv, she has demonstrated a rare courage to make some changes listed in the next paragraph, while also continuing to be a mother to her daughter Lauren, and working at Temple Beth Am in Miami for over 25 years as a nurturing preschool teacher, teaching Pre-K, Nursery and Pre-Nursery.
Shirley, along with her husband Art, is committed to accomplishing the goals that Steven laid out to his parents in his last letter smuggled out to them while being held hostage. Some of these goals include giving back to the young women, and men, journalists of the next generation, who live in a changed world. Shirley's main dream is that the United States should take care of their hostages, and that we should "bring our journalists home alive."
Frank Urrutia, Board Member
Frank Urrutia was born and raised in South Florida and has been a longtime friend of the Sotloff Family. As a successful small business owner for over 20 years, he brings marketing, management experience and vision to the 2LIVES Foundation. He most recently represented 2LIVES at Columbia University and then in Paris at UNESCO, where the world's finest news organizations including Associated Press, Reuters, CNN and others, wrote a best practices for journalist safety, in memory of Steven Sotloff and others.
Frank is also a life coach and transformational speaker. With years of Toastmasters and improv acting experience, he inspires audiences to live their best lives possible and to begin doing so today. His most recent speech invitation has been at Columbia University, with many more planned in the next year.
Frank is very passionate about, and dedicated to, the philosophy quoted by Steven in his final letter to his family: "Everyone has two lives: the 2nd one begins when you realize you have only one."
In his spare time, you can find Frank scuba diving, boating and participating in obstacle course racing. He enjoys pushing through challenges and teaching others that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to.
Steve Bernstein, Board Member
Steve Bernstein has had a long, successful career in the music industry. He co-founded WMOT and Omni Records distributed by Atlantic, Columbia and Virgin Records. Steve has produced and garnered both a collection of Gold and Platinum records and numerous Billboard number one hit songs. Steve has been an entrepreneur his entire life, successfully owning, running, buying and selling a wide variety of businesses.
After the loss of his dear friend, Linda Creed, Steve was a cofounder of The Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation in 1987. Linda Creed, an inductee into Songwriters Hall of Fame, was Steve's inspiration in launching his very successful music career.
Steve has been a life long friend of Art Sotloff, Steven's father, growing up in Philadelphia together. They remain close friends to this day.
Steve attended Philadelphia University. He lives in South Florida and is the proud father of two children and grandfather to three grandchildren.
Ronald L. Book, Board Member
Ronald L. Book is a specialist in governmental affairs and administrative law, with a Juris Doctorate degree from Tulane University and a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Florida International University.
Ron served as Director and Special Counsel for the office of Cabinet and Legislative Affairs under former Florida Governor Bob Graham and was the Director of the Administrative and Governmental Law Department for Miami-based Sparber, Shevin, Shapo, Heilbronner & Book, one of Florida's most influential law firms from 1977 to 1987.
Ron's proficiency in legislative procedure and administrative law has translated into significant accomplishments for such clients as the South Broward Hospital District, VITAS, NASDAQ, Huizenga Holdings, Miami Dolphins, University of Miami Medical School, and more. His expertise in the Legislative Appropriations arena has resulted in funding for multiple top client proposed projects.
An active participant in the South Florida community, Ron has served as Trustee and Board Member of multiple councils and foundations, and was awarded the Alvah Chapman Humanitarian of the Year Award for his 16 years of service to the homeless in Miami-Dade County.
Ron serves as Chairman of the Lauren’s Kids Foundation, a charitable entity founded with his daughter, Lauren, to prevent childhood sexual abuse through education and awareness.
Read Ron's full biography here.
Tracy Ellyn, Board Member
Tracy Ellyn is an accomplished artist, designer and published author who brings extensive experience from top companies in Miami, New York, Hong Kong and India, including Diane Von Furstenberg, Christian Dior, Argenti, Calvin Klein, Liz Claiborne and Thinking Craft. Her designs have appeared in the top magazines both in the U.S. and Europe. She has created presentations for Google, MSN, AT&T and The Democratic and Republican National Committees. Additionally, her fine art pieces have been juried into The Louvre Museum, SCOPE/Art Basel, Wynwood and other venues in Miami, New York and Paris for the past 30+ years.
Tracy's contributions to the 2LIVES Foundation are particularly poignant given her own foundation experience, founding and directing The Zen Tov Project for Healing Through the Arts since 1996. She also serves as a partner with Greenspoon Marder Law Foundation's Community Arts Partnership. A tireless advocate for the healing power of the arts, Tracy created a memorial to Steven Sotloff after he perished on international TV. After sending the memorial to the 2LIVES Foundation for consideration, the Sotloffs accepted it, and Tracy has worked passionately with them ever since.