Margarita’s main interest has been in supporting education, which she has done through the Rotary International at local and district levels. For around 9 years, she was part of the interview team for the Thomas Brown McClelland Medical Scholarship Program, and volunteered as an interviewer and advisor for the Rotary Club of Miami and Rotary District 6990 Ambassadorial Scholarships, and the Miami Senior High School 4-Way-Test Scholarship before moving to the Rotary Club of Coral Gables. At the Coral Gables Rotary Club, Margarita has been an active part of the Scholarship Committee for the Coral Gables High School since her arrival in 2010.
She was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany in 1992 and helped chip down the Berlin wall. Margarita had the honor of working as a Presidential appointment to the J. William Fulbright International Education Board of Directors for two consecutive terms in 1992 to 1995. Under this appointment Margarita was instrumental in supporting a number of programs for undergraduate and graduate students. Also she was able to work closely with the Fulbright offices in Central and South America. At this time she was working at the University of Miami as Associate Director of International Programs.
Margarita and her family have been blessed with good fortune and feel the need to give back to the community. That is one of the main reasons why we have created the Tonkinson Foundation as a vehicle to serve and contribute to the causes we feel are important to us.
The Tonkinson Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit private foundation started in 2017. The mission of the Foundation is to make the community a better place through supporting charities the Tonkinson family is passionate about because of what they are doing for others.
Rick has been a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) since 1991 and built the family business, Tonkinson Financial, into a multimillion dollar financial service firm with his wife, Margarita, and their son, Steven.
Rick has been involved in community service since 1976 when he was a Peace Corp volunteer in Columbia where he met Margarita and their son, Steven, was born.
Rick studied at night school for 3 years to earn a master’s in Business Administration (MBA) and a master’s in Public Administration (MPA) with a specialization in Budgets from the University of Miami. Rick graduated with Phi Kappa Phi honors.
He completed the certificate in banking program through the FIU School of Business in 1986.
Rick believes in “tithing” 10% of his gross income to the community. He and Margarita currently financially support 30 charities.
They have a passion for the arts which includes the Arsht Performing Arts Center, Miami City Ballet, Florida Grand Opera, Cleveland Orchestra and the Ring Theatre at the University of Miami.
Rick serves as a board of director Miami Music Association (Cleveland Orchestra) and the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI).
He is Chairman of the FIU Board of the College of Communications, Architecture and the Arts.
From an early age, Steven learned what it meant to volunteer and give back to the community. From beach cleanups with the Webelo’s all the way up to his Eagle Scout service project, the Boy Scouts played a big roll. At Coral Gables High, he was part of the National Honors Society and Interact, volunteering at Doctors Hospital or at the Lipton Tennis tournament. All of this volunteering help lay the foundation for community service to be a pivotal part of his life.
Now Steven is very active with 3 particular organizations: ShelterBox, a disaster relief charity specializing in emergency shelters and other lifesaving aid , where he is a Response Team Member (SRT); Special Olympics Florida – Miami-Dade County, where he is a coach, unified athlete and mentor; and the Underline, a 10-mile linear park that will transform the land below Miami’s Metrorail into an urban trail and living art destination, where he is part of the Young Professional Organization (YPO) and a member of the Development Committee.
“Being able to give back with your time and effort along with whatever financial assistance you can provide gives you a wonderful feeling. You do it because you want to not because you have to but then there’s a point that you see the difference you’re making and becomes such an important and meaningful part of your life that you now need to do it.”