Describe your relevant work history, awards, and accomplishments in 300 words or less.
I serve as co-executive director of Tampa Bay Tech (formerly the Tampa Bay Technology Forum), the council representing Florida’s largest fastest growing tech hub, and on the board of directors for the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research, the only combined eye bank and ocular research center in the world, and RNG Tampa Bay, the region’s largest, in-house, corporate recruiters group.
Previously, I worked as founding associate director of the Entrepreneurship program at USF St. Petersburg, and earned the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Program Award and the Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s Educator of the Year Award.
Additional honors for my community leadership include being named the US Small Business Administration’s 50th Anniversary State of Florida Business Advocate of the Year and a four-time Tampa Bay Business Journal Up & Comers honoree.
I’m proud to say that the Tampa Bay Times described me as “one of Tampa Bay’s best-known leaders in the business startup community”. Also, the Tampa Bay Business Journal named me to their Power 100 rankings as one of the region’s “most influential business leaders.” Florida Trend identifies me as “one of Florida’s economic impact players,” with my efforts “raising the profile of the region as a tech hub.” TechCrunch states that I’m “getting Tampa Bay’s name on the map”. I, along with the entire Tampa Bay Technology Forum board was named the inaugural Tampa Bay Business Journal “Outstanding Small Nonprofit Board of Directors” for our impact on the region’s tech community. Making my family proud!
In addition to owning my companies, I have personally advised hundreds of entrepreneurs and was a partner in Tampa Bay’s first seed-stage fund.
What do you love about the Tampa Bay area?
Everything is here. Great food? Check. Craft drink? Check? Amazing cultural institutions? Check.
And now that I’m a parent, I love having Orlando just an hour and a half away.
What are some of your favorite things to do around town when you aren’t working?
At the moment, all family-friendly activities, and there are tons… Florida Aquarium, Lowery Park Zoo, Busch Gardens… We love getting the kids out and seeing their community.
How do you give your time back in the community?
Serving on the Advisory Boards for The Dali Museum Innovation Labs, David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts IT department, Keiser University – Tampa, Pinellas Education Foundation’s Next Generation programs, South University’s Information Systems and Technology program, St. Petersburg College’s Tampa Bay New Skills at Work Initiative, Suncoast Developers Guild, University of South Florida Muma College of Business’ Information Systems Decision Sciences program, and Urban E Recycling.
Tell us about the tech project that you are most proud of.
I hand-built a cool project in my late twenties that allowed startups to answer some simple questions and get a report that walked them through their industry and competitive research, capital requirements, and financial projections. At the time, I just wanted to see if I could both architect and build a project that could help other entrepreneurs. It gained steam and even national coverage in places like Entrepreneur Magazine (https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/159838).