Meet the Team
Richard is the founder of Empire Title Services and a Senior Partner with Breger | De Biase. Richard is a native Floridian who attended the University of Miami and Boston University before graduating from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Richard continued his higher education at the University of Florida and graduated from its law school with honors and as a member of the school’s prestigious Law Review, in 1981. To further his education, Richard returned to law school at the University of Miami and earned a Master of Laws (LL.M.) Degree in Estate Planning in 1995.
Over the years, Richard has handled countless residential and commercial real estate closings. Richard’s law practice involves advising clients on complex matters such as Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA) withholding, seller and buyer rights and duties under the Condominium Act, boundary or encroachment issues appearing on surveys, homestead protections, and estate planning. Richard’s involvement in the community includes service as past President of the North Dade Bar Association and past President of The Forum of North Dade. Richard has also been serving as a Miami-Dade County Civil Traffic Infraction Hearing Officer since 1993.
Cynthia Cohen is the Vice President of Empire Title Services. Cynthia was born in Caracas, Venezuela and moved to Miami in 1994. While supervising the day-to-day operations of her family’s export business, Cynthia earned a degree in Business Administration and International Marketing from Florida International University.
Cynthia joined Empire Title Services in 2003 and worked alongside Richard Breger to learn every aspect of Empire’s business. From there, she helped Richard Breger cultivate a network of both domestic and international buyers and sellers of real estate with unique legal needs. Cynthia prides herself on her work ethic and commitment to assisting every party to a transaction handled by Empire while maintaining professional and personal relationships through organizations such as the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County.
Cynthia’s focus and commitment to providing 100% customer satisfaction has allowed Empire Title Services to grow and prosper in the often-tumultuous South Florida real estate market. Now, as a co-owner of Empire Title Services, Cynthia is more dedicated than ever to ensuring that everyone’s experience at Empire Title Services surpasses their expectations.
Kim serves as In-House Counsel at Empire Title Services and is the Managing Partner of Breger | De Biase. She was born and raised in New England and earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Rhode Island. Kim started her real estate career by serving buyers and sellers of residential property as a real estate salesperson for an international brokerage. When the opportunity to pursue a legal education under a full-tuition scholarship to the Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center presented itself, Kim relocated to South Florida and has been here ever since.
Kim obtained her Juris Doctor Degree, cum laude, in 2009 and is licensed to practice law in multiple states, including Florida. Over the years, Kim has successfully represented consumers facing forfeiture of their earnest money deposits, real estate brokers seeking unpaid commission dollars, and investors suing for specific performance of real estate sale and purchase contracts or to quiet title after a tax deed sale. Kim currently focuses her law practice on residential and commercial real estate transactions, private lender representation, probate administration, and landlord-tenant disputes but prides herself on connecting people in need with someone who can help if the issues fall outside of her areas of specialty.
Lana Ivanov serves as a Senior Title and Closing Agent at Empire Title Services and is an Associate Attorney with Breger | De Biase. Lana graduated magna cum laude from Mount Holyoke College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Literature and obtained her Juris Doctor degree from Florida International University’s College of Law.
Lana was admitted to The Florida Bar in 2014 and has run the Empire’s South Beach office since its launch in 2015. Lana specializes in short and long-term residential leasing, landlord-tenant disputes, corporate formation, Schedule B-I title commitment requirement resolution, and Remote Online Notarization. Lana’s fluency in the Russian language along with her understanding of Russian culture brings great value to the parties she assists.
Maricel Cruz is Empire Title Services’ Title Officer. Maricel speaks English and Spanish fluently. She is responsible for preparing Title Insurance Commitments, Title Insurance Policies, Deeds, Powers of Attorney, and other legal documents relating to real estate transactions. Before joining Empire Title Services, Maricel processed medical claims for the New York City Police Department while working for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. Outside of real estate law, Maricel devotes herself to her family.
Vanessa Wilock is Empire Title Services’ Marketing Director. Vanessa was born in Manhattan, New York and moved extensively, living in 5 countries before the age of 18. She is fluent in both English and Spanish. Vanessa graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. After earning her degree, Vanessa moved back to New York City to work as a Realtor® and fell in love with all things real estate.
Vanessa brings over 10 years of customer service, administrative, sales, and managerial experience to the Empire Title Services team. As the Marketing Director, Vanessa skillfully showcases Empire Title’s strengths and consistency in print, online, and in person. She provides strategic direction for marketing initiatives and is responsible for communicating Empire’s vision of service to the general public while increasing brand awareness. Vanessa skillfully uses her upbeat personality and go-getter attitude to get things done. Vanessa has a passion for people and uses her empathic nature to put herself in the shoes of others. Whether you are the first-time homebuyer or the seasoned investor, closings can be stressful; Vanessa is here to guide parties and agents through the closing process every step of the way.
Lorena is a Florida Registered Paralegal and title processor with Empire Title Services. She is a native Floridian and attended Miami Dade College-Wolfson Campus where she earned an Associates of Arts Degree and an Associates of Science Degree in Paralegal Studies. Lorena became well-versed in government banking laws and learned the value of exceptional customer service to clients during her tenure at JP Morgan Chase. She also has over five years of paralegal experience in many areas of the law. Lorena is committed to ensuring that all parties who place their faith in Empire Title experience efficient and smooth closings.
Maria is one of Empire Title Services’ most experienced title processors. Maria comes to Empire Title after having spent 25 years working in all facets of the title insurance industry. She enjoys the intricacies of title requirement clearing and enjoys working with a diverse group of buyers and sellers. Maria prides herself on her willingness to go above and beyond for each and every party involved in the transactions she handles in order to ensure they get to the closing table on time and with a smile. Maria’s wealth of experience allows her to help families achieve the American dream of home ownership. In her spare time Maria loves to travel and garden.
Stephanie Velar is Empire Title Services’ Office Manager. Stephanie was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She is of Cuban descent and speaks Spanish fluently. Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Strayer University. She has nearly 10 years of administrative experience to draw upon when working to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of the office. Stephanie is involved in many aspects of the title and closing process from opening new office files to obtaining title commitments and finalizing owner and mortgagee title insurance policies for issuance to the insured. Outside the office, Stephanie dedicates her time to her family, traveling, reading, and watching movies.
Adrielly is an administrative assistant who splits her time between Empire’s Boca Raton and Aventura offices. She was born in Brazil and moved to the United States in her early childhood. Adrielly is fluent in both Portuguese and English, and conversational in Spanish. She is well-versed in the types of matters handled by the attorneys of Empire Title’s sister law firm, Breger | De Biase, and specializes in communicating with potential and existing clients to gather pertinent transaction information and schedule legal consultations when needed. Adrielly is pursuing her degree in business administration. Outside the office, Adrielly devotes herself to serving her local church and living a healthy lifestyle.
20801 Biscayne Blvd, Ste 300
Aventura, FL 33180
1000 5th St, Ste 300
Miami Beach, FL 33139
1200 N. Federal Hwy, Ste 200
Boca Raton, FL 33432
1931 NW 150th Ave, Ste 260
Pembroke Pines, FL 33028