Local News

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Broward League of Cities Installs Mayor Greg Ross as 2016 President

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – The Broward League of Cities, an organization representing Broward County’s 31 municipal governments and more than 125 associate members, installed Cooper City Mayor Greg Ross as its new president during a ceremony on May 7 at the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort.

Mayor Ross shared his vision of “Connect ONE Broward,” which links Broward County’s 

31 cities with each other, with the County and with the state of Florida. “As elected officials, Broward League members all follow the ‘3 Cs’ — Collaboration, Cooperation and Communication. This coming year, we are adding a 4th C – ‘Connecting,’” said Ross. “By connecting, we become involved. We learn from each other, we create opportunities, we overcome barriers and we accomplish much more than we can individually.” 

Broward County Mayor Martin Kiar and City of Cooper City Commissioner Jamie Curran each read a proclamation declaring May 7, 2016 as Greg Ross Day. 

Ross follows Deputy Vice Mayor David Rosenof as League president. Rosenof was recognized for his leadership of “Building ONE Broward,” an initiative that identified ways to make development easier by streamlining permitting, and encouraging all cities to earn Platinum City designation through the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance. After he was honored, he presented the League’s 2016 President’s Award to Jack Benning of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance. 

Platinum participants for the installation dinner included City of Cooper City, Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Waste Management and Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman.

ABOUT BROWARD LEAGUE OF CITIES - Chartered in 1957, the Broward League of Cities is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and resolving issues facing Broward County’s 31 cities and municipalities. The organization’s membership is made up of elected officials from municipal governments and area businesses. The League is committed to increasing awareness and providing resolution to issues that affect day-to-day operations of local government, including legislation at the county, state and federal levels. For more information, visit www.browardleague.org


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Bank of America Awards MetroBroward a $10,000 Grant

Bank of America Awards MetroBroward a $10,000 Grant






Florida Community Bank Awards MetroBroward $2,500 Grant

Florida Community Bank Awards MetroBroward $2,500




Thursday, March 31, 2016

Entrepreneurship Training Pilot Program Launches to Aid Florida Veterans

FSBDCN State Office (Pensacola, Fla.) - The Florida SBDC Network, in partnership with Veterans Florida, welcomed the first class of participants in the new Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program, a statewide initiative offering qualified veterans the opportunity to receive an accelerated entrepreneurship education at no cost. The pilot program, which began the first of three phases March 15, received over 600 applications and accepted 400 participants.

Delivered through five participating institutions of higher education, the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program is an educational training program in entrepreneurship offered to military veterans that meet the following requirements: have been honorably discharged, are National Guardsmen or Reservists, or are active duty within one year of separation; reside in Florida, and demonstrate a strong interest in entrepreneurship.

The first phase of the program, an accelerated online training, seeks to equip participating veterans with the essential information to build their venture on a strong business foundation. The course entails developing business concepts, exploring feasibility, researching target customers, and gaining an understanding of Lean Startup and the Canvas Business Model, programs utilized in the phase two in-class training. Over a period of eight weeks, participants will receive exercises, readings, videos, and guidance from instructors from one of five institutions of higher education - the University of West Florida (UWF), University of North Florida (UNF), Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), Florida Atlantic University (FAU), and Hillsborough Community College (HCC).  

Due to funding support provided by the State of Florida, the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program is offered to participating veterans at no cost. In December, Veterans Florida, a non-profit created by the Florida Legislature to attract and retain veterans, selected UWF, through its Florida SBDC Network and Military Veterans Resource Center, to administer the program.

"Military veterans are 45 percent more likely to start a business than those with no prior active-duty experience," said Bobby Carbonell, Executive Director of Veterans Florida. "The support and training the program provides is designed to serve as a catalyst for veterans to kick-start the launch of their business concepts."

Michael Myhre, CEO and Network State Director of the Florida SBDC Network, described the positive response the program has received.

"Demand for the program exceeded resources, capacity, and our expectations," said Myhre. "Our initial goal was to recruit 400 qualified veteran applicants within six weeks - a feat we achieved within a two week period. Prior to suspending our statewide marketing efforts and closing applications earlier than planned, we received over 600 applications - demonstrating the significant demand and need for this type of program in the state."

Following the conclusion of phase one in May, participating veterans will attend six days of in-class training held over a period of three consecutive weekends at their assigned institution of higher education. Following successful completion, participants will receive up to six-months of ongoing mentorship from Florida SBDC business consultants to drive success.

The objective of the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program is to assist all participants realize their entrepreneurial potential and develop practical skills - both technical and behavioral - to achieve their entrepreneurial aspirations.

For more information, please visit www.FloridaVetBiz.org.

About the Florida SBDC Network: 
The Florida SBDC Network, the state's principal provider of business assistance, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2016. Since its inception, the Florida SBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for the state. In 2014, the initiatives of the Florida SBDC Network resulted in 42,664 jobs created, retained and saved; $5.8 billion in sales growth; $140.2 million in capital accessed; $210.2 million in government contract awards; and 952 new businesses started. A statewide network of over 40 centers, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners, with the University of West Florida serving as the network's designated lead host institution. The Florida SBDC Network is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

About Veterans Florida: 
Veterans Florida was established by the Florida Legislature in 2014 as part of the Florida GI Bill to serve as an innovative corporation to encourage recently retired or separated military personnel to make Florida their permanent residence. The 501c(3) corporation will reinforce Florida's standing as the most veteran-friendly state in the nation by helping veterans to bring or develop the skills needed by Florida businesses to the state. The board of directors is comprised of nine individuals from across the state. For more information, visit www.veteransflorida.org.

Reminder: Annual Report Filing Season for Business Entities

Reminder: Annual Report filing season for business entities in Florida is January 1 to May 1 each year.  Mark your calendar and be sure to file your annual report on or before May 1 to avoid late fees.  File Early, Florida! Visit Sunbiz.org to file your report today.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Coding bootcamp launches third location

By Nancy Dahlberg, Miami Herald

Wyncode Academy, Florida’s first bricks and mortar coding bootcamp, is expanding in South Florida.

Wyncode, which teaches computer programming in nine weeks, will be offering its bootcamp at a third location: WeWork in Miami Beach. That’s in addition to The LAB Miami in Wynwood, its original location and its headquarters, and General Provision in Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Arts and Technology Village. WeWork is a creator and provider of shared workspace and services for startups, freelancers and growing businesses.

“WeWork shares Wyncode’s passion for building community,” said Juha Mikkola, who co-founded Wyncode with his wife Johanna. “We believe that the foundation for a successful tech ecosystem is coding talent that can build amazing things. That talent is right here in Miami Beach, they just need to get access to the right type of training.”

Wyncode launched in 2014 and its intensive, full-time program has attracted people without a programming background from a variety of careers: chefs, lawyers, salespeople, accountants, concierges, marketing executives and entrepreneurs. For instance, after graduating from Wyncode, Mario Aguayo launched My Style Blox, a marketplace for models and their clients to discover, book and manage projects. Agauyo had been a talent manager and also worked in retailing before learned to code at Wyncode. Frank Ortiz, a former chef, was also was a Wyncode graduate, then was hired by Wyncode and is now working full-time in technology for Fusion Recruitment Labs.

The program focuses on tech skills like Ruby, Javascript, HTML and CSS and also on the business skills that startups require to be successful. It’s one of a number of new resources that have developed here focused on narrowing the gap of 400,000 unfilled jobs in tech expected by 2020. The Mikkolas, who were chosen as Endeavor Entrepreneurs this summer, have participated in White House programs about the need for coding education.

The Head Instructor for the Miami Beach campus is Auston Bunsen, a long-time Miami tech leader, programmer and entrepreneur. He is the former chief technology officer of 1Sale and founder of Miami tech conference SuperConf. Bunsen has written code that has powered millions of visits across platforms using Python, Ruby and JavaScript.

A quarter of Wyncode’s last cohort in Wyn-wood came from out of state, including students from New York, Seattle, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. Wyncode Academy is licensed by the Florida Department of Education and has graduated more than 180 Wyncoders in 10 cohorts, maintaining a 90 percent placement rate within three months of graduation, the company said. Of those, 96 percent are working as developers with the majority receiving full-time offers to stay in South Florida’s tech ecosystem. Wyncode is the third most student reviewed program on the global coding-school industry site Course Report, earning a 4.9 out of 5 star rating from its 66 reviewers.

Wyncode’s first cohort in Miami Beach will begin on Jan. 25 and is limited to 10 seats. Wyncode is also starting cohorts in Wynwood and Fort Lauderdale in January; it offers financing partners for all programs and runs a scholarship program.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Former Alliance staff member named IEDC Young Economic Development Professional of the Year

Former Alliance staff member, Peter Tokar, was named IEDC Young Economic Development Professional of the Year. The award recognizes outstanding achievements by young, emerging leaders in the economic development profession.

2015 Peter Tokar III, MBA

Peter Tokar III is the Economic Development Director for the City of Alpharetta, one of Georgia’s prominent cities in North Fulton County dubbed “The Technology City of the South”. He began his work in Economic Development in 2006 after completing his Master’s degree at the Huizenga School of Business & Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University. His natural leadership, aptitude and work ethic has catapulted him into leadership positions within the industry early on in his career. Currently in economic development, he has led local, regional and state level economic development organizations with success and prosperity.

Peter’s versatile and diversified background sets him apart from other economic development professionals. Having earned a Bachelor’s in graphic arts from Liberty University, he has been able to serve as both the creative mind as well as the business mind behind his projects and initiatives. This creative thinking led him to develop such programs as the first ever business assistance television series which begins broadcast in the South Florida Area in October of 2012. He has managed not only financial incentives plans for recruitment projects, but complete marketing and branding campaigns, print and web designs and business and strategic plan development.

Since 2006, Peter has been leading economic development projects resulting in over 4,000,000 square feet of new business space, close to $3 Billion in capital investment, job creation of over 3500 new jobs and job retention of over 7000 jobs. Together with Alpharetta City and Elected leadership, he is leading recruitment, retention and expansion initiatives for the city which include the $600M Avalon development, Alpharetta City Center development, President of the Alpharetta Technology Commission, Alpharetta Development Authority and building the city’s award winning ED website, GrowAlpharetta.com.

Peter also enjoys a background in community involvement and leadership, having served as a volunteer to community organizations, chambers of commerce, and professional development organizations.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Family’s cancer struggle inspires device

This story, by Marcia Pounds, was published in the Sun Sentinel on October 26, 2015.

Entrepreneur Matthew Kim keeps a photo of his smiling parents on his desk. It’s the only photo his mother likes.

The photo was taken in better times for the family. In March, his father, Kyung Sang Kim, died at age 79 after surviving oral and other cancers for 15 years.

His mother, Yun Kun Kim, is a five-year survivor of oral cancer. His parents’ struggle with the disease inspired Kim to start Vigilant Biosciences, which is developing an early cancer-detection test for oral cancer.

“I felt so helpless because she was going through such an aggressive battle,” said Kim, 42, whose family emigrated to the U.S. from Seoul, Korea, when he was 6.

“She’s a fighter,” he said of his mother, who has been cancer-free for five years — a significant survival mark for a cancer patient.

Vigilant Biosciences recently opened a new headquarters in Fort Lauderdale and is getting ready to launch its early-detection product for oral cancer risk called OncAlert. Kim hopes the two-product system eventually will be used routinely by dentists, primary care doctors and physician assistants.

Kim said he gets his entrepreneurial spirit from his father. With degrees in law and biology, Kim has been a business and legal executive as well as an entrepreneur.

Last week, state industry association BioFlorida recognized Kim with its Weaver H. Gaines Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Kim is pleased but almost embarrassed to show the globe statue.

As a Korean-American, he was raised to be humble, he explained.

But he does like to talk about his product, OncAlert. It is a simple test using a patient’s saliva. After a saline rinse, a patient spits into a cup. The OncAlert is inserted into the saliva and less than 15 minutes later, a colored line appears to indicate the risk level.

If positive, a more extensive test is sent to a lab.

The test was developed as a result of the 15 years of scientific research by Dr. Elizabeth Franzmann, a University of Miami faculty member who now is chief science officer for Vigilant. Franzmann, a surgeon, has studied more than 1,000 patients with oral cancer.

She treated patients at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, where she saw patients whose malignancy had advanced and they had only a 30 percent chance to survive five years. “It was really frustrating to see patients with big tumors,” Franzmann said.

But if oral cancer is caught earlier, there’s a 90 percent chance of survival, she said. While genetics play a part, patients who stop smoking and drinking and eat healthier can reduce their risk of the disease occurring or advancing, she and other health experts say.

In her research, Franzmann identified certain protein markers, or risk factors, that align with the disease.

Kim, who was living in Atlanta at the time, discovered her work in a Google search and contacted her.

Dr. Linda Niessen, dean of the College of Dental Medicine at Nova Southeastern University, serves on Vigilant’s board. She joined Vigilant’s board because of Franzmann’s research — “she’s just fabulous,” Niessen said. She also sees a big need for the product.

Oral cancer “is a devastating, dehabilitating disease,” said Nieseen, a dentist who specializes in geriatric dentistry and has seen the effects first hand. “You can’t eat, speak. You can’t smile,” she said.

Vigilant expects to launch its product in Europe, where it is completing its product certification. The company already has exclusive distribution deals in France, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia — even before receiving regulatory approval.

Vigilant hopes to be able to offer its early-detection test in the U.S. by 2017.

Kim also sees India, where people grow up chewing tobacco, and China, where smoking has become prevalent, as major markets for OncAlert.

Because the research was done at the University of Miami, which holds the patents, the university is now an equity shareholder in Vigilant.

To help the company raise money, Florida’s Institute for Commercialization of Public Research initially gave $300,000 to be matched by private investors. Vigilant has leveraged that, raising $8 million from investors that include White Owl Capital Partners in Berlin; early-stage venture fund venVelo in Winter Park; and individual dentists and surgeons.

“We support and fund companies that spin out of university technology,” said Jane Teague, chief operating officer for the Institute, which has invested in 43 Florida companies. “We look at the same things as angel investors: good management; deep market opportunity; a product that has potential to be adopted in the marketplace; and a big market for an unaddressed need.”

Kim said his investors are not pressing him toward an exit strategy, such as a sale or initial public offering. There’s still much to be done to market OncAlert, and the company has additional products in its plans.

He has learned, through an earlier entrepreneurial experience, that he cannot please all stakeholders. What’s important, Kim says, is “to stay true to your vision.” mpounds@tribpub.com

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Broward Public Library Foundation launches new website

The Broward Public Library Foundation has a fresh new look, a new website and a special offer for library-lovers.

 The colorful logo is designed to convey a sense of place – sunny South Florida … and mission – supporting Broward County Library programs and services.  The new website, at www.bplfoundation.org, is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate. It is also easier to donate online, with immediate processing of donations.    

The Library Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations, funds such Library programs as the Summer Reading Program, free computer classes for adults and  SAT/ACT workshops for high school students.

To enter a drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card, visit the website and sign up to receive the Library Foundation’s bimonthly e-newsletter. The drawing will be held in mid-October. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Mockingbird Trail Comes to Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale’s first urban art trail is gearing up for the official launch of phase one of the exploration-based project. Currently in the fabrication period, the anticipated sculptures are scheduled to launch on October 17th, 2015. The 2-mile route will wind throughout Flagler Village and was designed by Cadence - Landscape Architects, Girls’ Club, Flagler Garden and sculptor - Valeria Yamamoto. To date, the trail has garnered considerable local support, while the team continues to search for additional financial backers for sculpture production costs and ongoing maintenance.

Ensemble member Cadence, a progressive Landscape Architecture and Urban Design practice, transforms their Flagler Village based office space into a pop-up gallery on the last Saturday of every month and will begin the countdown leading up to the Trail’s launch by hosting Mockingbird Trail advocated events in conjunction with the August and September Flagler Artwalks. 

August 29th, 6-10pm — The August Artwalk exhibit, Tell Us Your Story, is a compelling display of narratives from the individuals, companies and organizations who make up our constantly evolving neighborhood. The exhibit will also introduce the latest culinary creation from the be nice restaurant group, Top Hat Delicatessen, by debuting a sneak peek of their delectable menu selections before their grand opening. The restaurant, derived from a heartfelt family story, is located within Flagler Village and is the Trail’s first ‘Off the Trail’ member as well as a Legacy donor to the project. Both Mockingbird Trail and Top Hat Delicatessen aim to engage with Flagler villagers through their outlets by offering the public a unique amenity of exercise and public art viewing followed by a stop at the neighborhood delicatessen for refreshments.

September 26th, 6-10pm — For the September Artwalk, participants will have the chance to create their own authentic work of art! Starting at 6pm, the NSU Art Museum’s AutoNation Academy of Art + Design will take over the Cadence gallery space for a Drawing and Watercolor Workshop directed by Lark Keeler, Lead Art Instructor at the Academy. In a creative and comfortable atmosphere, attendees can strengthen their skills or budding artists can experiment in a relaxed setting. The evening’s theme will focus on our feathered friends in honor of the launch of Mockingbird Trail later in October.

The official launch of Mockingbird Trail in Flagler Village will be held during the sixth annual Art Fallout hosted by ensemble member, Girls’ Club on October 17th, from 5-9pm. Celebrated during National Arts and Humanities Month, Art Fallout unites the contemporary art spaces in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Cadence Pop-up Gallery will be an official trolley stop on the evening’s gallery route for this art-filled event and will have knowledgeable Mockingbird Trail volunteers at each sculpture site to assist in guiding those who explore the neighborhood. For that night only, Cadence Pop-up Gallery will become the main hub for information on the Trail and will exhibit the progress of the past 17 months of production.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

LaunchCode, The Idea Center, and Harvard University Partner to Offer Technology Skills Training to the Communities of Homestead and North Miami-Dade

Due to high demand, The Idea Center at Miami Dade College, in partnership with LaunchCode, a nonprofit organization revolutionizing technology education and job placement, will expand its CS50x Miami program to more underserved communities in the South Florida area. Classes will be taught at additional locations, including Homestead and Northern Miami-Dade County, allowing CS50x Miami to bring its mission of upwardly-mobile technology jobs to the South Florida public.  Registration is now open.   

The 20-week class provides students with a foundational understanding of computer science principles, with six weeks highlighting web and mobile application training. Classes begin August 31st. The $299 course fee covers all materials and expenses.

LaunchCode and The Idea Center will offer three free information sessions at each of the CS50x Miami locations:

Friday, July 31, 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at The Idea Center @MDC

Monday, August 10, 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at MDC  Homestead Campus

Tuesday, August 11, 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at MDC North Campus

“We’re making better jobs accessible through world-class education,” says Leandro Finol, Executive Director of The Idea Center at MDC. “Now, with three locations and extended supplemental tracks, CS50x Miami is poised to offer even more expertise and support to students pursuing technology careers.”

CS50x Miami graduate Iván Corchado-Ruiz, now working at Zendo, a Ft. Lauderdale based home automation startup, can attest to the program’s ability to open doors.

“I heard about CS50 and couldn't believe I was so lucky to be at the right place at the right time, I wanted to become a developer, but hadn’t found a way to make it happen, CS50x Miami gave me an amazing education and the courage to stop daydreaming,” said Corchado-Ruiz.

Registering for CS50X Miami can help other students enjoy similar success.

“The ability to work in an in-demand, upwardly mobile career is empowering, and LaunchCode is committed to offering this opportunity to as many Miamians as possible,” said Matt Mawhinney, LaunchCode South Florida Community Manager. “Stories like Iván’s show that CS50x Miami equips students to pursue their dream job in technology - we’re very excited to offer this opportunity to a broader range of Miami communities than ever before.”

For more information and to register, please visit www.launchcode.org/cs50xmiami

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Improved Transit is the Key to Broward’s Future

(The following is an Op-Ed piece from Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry that appeared in the Sun Sentinel on June 4, 2015)

Broward County is the epicenter of a growing metropolitan region of 6 million people. Our little slice of this paradise has a year-round population of 1.8 million and another 500,000 seasonal residents and 14.3 million visitors annually. Our climate and favorable business environment attract thousands of new residents annually, and most of those who live, work, visit and do business here travel daily on our roadways and regionally across county boundaries.

Residents identify commuting and traffic congestion as quality of life issues, especially during rush hour. But traffic congestion is not a symptom of too few roads. It is a problem of too many cars. In southwest Broward, for example, the daily capacity of Pines Boulevard east of Interstate 75 is 67,300; the number of daily trips is 76,000. Capacity east of 160th Avenue is 50,300; daily trips are 66,000.

Broward County planners are in a perpetual race to improve roadways to catch up to population growth and changing commuter patterns. Engineers use the latest technology to optimize traffic flow on major roads, but these tools can only do so much to lessen traffic congestion. More or wider roads may not even be options, due to rights-of-way and the proximity of residential and commercial properties.

Appealing and accessible public transportation is vital to our quality of life and economic competitiveness. That’s why Broward has made expansion and continual improvement of transit a top priority.

Adding more transit services in southwest Broward has been a major focus that is paying off with growth in ridership on both regular and express routes, which provide popular non-stop service to major destinations across county lines. Unfortunately, bus service in southwest Broward has to originate from facilities in northeast or central Broward, which makes servicing this corridor costly and inefficient. We need a new transit operations facility in southwest Broward to keep up with transit demand.

Earlier this month, the Broward County Commission agreed to purchase a vacant U.S. Postal Service distribution center on Pines Boulevard in Pembroke Pines for a future southwest Broward Park and Ride and transit operations facility.

This new facility will provide for more environmentally responsible and responsive transit services by basing transit vehicles in southwest Broward rather than having them travel empty to and from facilities elsewhere. The result is higher quality, faster and more efficient service on established routes, and new routes that can be established based on ridership demands. More transit service and riders equal fewer cars on our crowded roads and less gridlock.

Other community benefits include a well-designed, state-of-the-art facility that will integrate with its surroundings, protect views from nearby residential areas and revitalize a large, abandoned parcel fronting Pines Boulevard. The new facility also will strengthen the local business community, retain the services of a smaller postal facility and offer new retail opportunities. I encourage everyone invested in retaining Broward County’s quality of life to support and embrace this project — and help ensure transit for all.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Laurie Sallarulo Named President and CEO of Junior Achievement of South Florida

As Junior Achievement of South Florida expands programming and rolls out innovative technology, the non-profit organization has named veteran executive and longtime children’s advocate Laurie Sallarulo as president and CEO.

“Laurie’s track record for shaping change in South Florida’s corporate and non-profit sectors -- and her tireless work to improve the lives of our community’s children -- make her an ideal fit for our mission,” said John Ray, III, chair of the Junior Achievement of South Florida Board of Directors. “She’s built exceptionally strong, innovative partnerships for more than two decades to benefit our area’s families, working closely with the region’s business executives, non-profit leaders and elected officials.”

Sallarulo, who since 2013 had served as CEO of Leadership Broward Foundation, now leads one of the nation’s largest Junior Achievement chapters. Junior Achievement’s purpose is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. The financial education and entrepreneurship organization reached more than 50,000 elementary, middle and high school students with programming in Broward and south Palm Beach counties this school year, at no cost to families. In addition to reaching every fifth and eighth grade student in its service area through a partnership with the Broward School District, Junior Achievement of South Florida will increase programming for area high schools this year, Ray said. The organization is also introducing new technology for delivering programs in classrooms and at its 60,000-square-foot JA World Huizenga Center at Broward College hands-on learning facility in Coconut Creek.  Wide-ranging private-sector support from businesses, individual donors, foundations and the community funds the operations and programs.

“Touching the lives of thousands of students from all parts of Broward through Junior Achievement, helping them see new possibilities and understand the financial world around them are tremendously exciting,” said Sallarulo. “I’m deeply honored by this opportunity to help give all our community’s children the best chances in life.”

With an extensive background in management, strategic and financial planning, fundraising, organizational development and program operations, Sallarulo significantly increased revenues and membership while heading the non-profit Leadership Broward Foundation, where she created successful initiatives including a women’s leadership program. Previously, she managed PNC Bank’s community relations and Foundation operation team for the southeast Florida region. Earlier in her career, she was CEO of SHAPE, a youth leadership program, and a key executive with 211 Broward and Habitat for Humanity of Broward.

As a dedicated advocate for children – especially those at risk or with special needs – she serves as the Governor-appointed chair of the Early Learning Coalition of Broward, and of the Florida Early Learning Advisory Council to the Governor. She has served two four-year terms as a Governor-appointed member of the Children’s Services Council of Broward.  She is also vice-chair of the Broward County Children’s Services Board and a member of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance Board.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Broward League Installs David Rosenof as New President

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL — (May 21, 2015) — The Broward League of Cities installed City of Parkland Commissioner David Rosenof as its new president during the organization’s 2015 annual installation dinner held recently at Congregation Kol Tikvah in Parkland.

Rosenof has served as a city commissioner in Parkland since February 2008.  He has also served as deputy vice mayor and vice mayor. He owns Big Dog Construction Services, Inc., based in Parkland.

“I am honored to be named president of the Broward League of Cities,” said Rosenof. “My initiative for this year is ‘Building ONE Broward.’” It includes a plan to create a unified permit application based on best practices for all cities throughout Broward County, as well as working to grow and streamline ePermitting to facilitate online permit applications. Easy and fast permitting will be a powerful economic development tool to attract new business and help businesses grow within our cities.”

The Broward League of Cities represents Broward County’s 31 municipal governments and more than 120 associate members. The organization – which serves more than 1.8 million residents and more than 125 associate government, non-profit and business organizations – is dedicated to raising awareness and resolving issues affecting municipalities within Broward County, as well as provides leadership on issues of local, regional, state and national concern.

Platinum, Gold and Silver Sponsors of the installation dinner included: The Charter Schools of Excellence, Waste Management, Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman, Calvin Giordano & Associates, CAP Government, Republic Services, Southern Waste System/Sun Recycling, Baptist Health South Florida, Comcast, Goren, Cherof, Doody & Ezrol, P.A., GrayRobinson, P.A., Lennar Homes LLC, Progressive Waste Solutions, TECO Energy and Waste Pro.

For more information, visit www.browardleague.org

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Federal Certification Review of the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization (Broward MPO)

The Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization (Broward MPO) will host Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) as the two agencies administer a public federal certification review. This process is required by law every four years and is held to verify that the Broward MPO has conducted business in compliance with federal regulations. Additionally, the MPO will host a Public Meeting to provide the general public with the opportunity to express their thoughts and comments which will allow the Federal Review Team to have a better understanding of the community’s issues and inform the public about federal transportation planning requirements. If you are unable to attend please send your comments via e-mail to info@browardmpo.org or call 954-876-0036 to receive a comment form. Comments are due by Monday, June 8.

Certification Process:

  • Monday, May 4th from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Tuesday, May 5th from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM

Public Meeting: 

  • Monday, May 4, 2015 at 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM


  • Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization
    Trade Centre South Building
    100 West Cypress Creek Road, 8th Floor, Suite 850
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

For more information about the Broward MPO Federal Certification Review visit: http://www.browardmpo.org/services/federal-state-certifications/federal-certification-review-2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

Cooper City Mayor Greg Ross to Represent Broward League of Cities on Florida League of Cities Board of Directors

Greg Ross, Mayor of Cooper City, will represent the Broward League of Cities as its newest board member of the Florida League of Cities.

Ross is Second Vice President of the Broward League of Cities. He joins the following Broward League of Cities members on the 13th District of the Florida League of Cities board of directors:

  • Patricia Asseff, President of the Broward League of Cities and Commissioner, Hollywood
  • Margaret Bates, Commissioner, Lauderhill
  • Gary Resnick, Mayor, Wilton Manors
  • Donald Rosen, Commissioner, Sunrise
  • Susan Starkey, Councilwoman, Davie

Headquartered in Tallahassee, the Florida League of Cities is the official organization of the municipal governments in Florida, designed to serve the needs of Florida’s cities and promote local self-government. The League is governed by a Board of Directors composed of elected municipal officials.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Wyncode Academy adds to tech vibe of FAT Village

This article was written by Miriam Valverde, and published in the SunSentinal.

A computer programming academy that got its start in Miami’s artsy Wynwood neighborhood is making its way up to Fort Lauderdale’s FAT Village, set on strengthening the village’s tech community.

Wyncode Academy started a year ago at The Lab Miami teaching young entrepreneurs and people seeking additional training or a career change the skills and tools needed for Web development, coding and programming.

Juha Mikkola, co-founder of Wyncode Academy, said so many people are driving to Miami from Fort Lauderdale to learn programming that it just made sense to bring the classes up to them instead.

The first 9-week boot camp in Fort Lauderdale is slated to start Monday at co-working space General Provision. About a dozen students have enrolled for the $10,000 training.

“It was just a perfect match for us,” Mikkola said of industrial-themed General Provision, a co-working space that’s home to artists, programmers, marketers, designers and startups. Wyncode students will gather for classes in a conference room-type area toward the back of the space.

FAT Village, which stands for Flagler Arts and Technology, is home to about 15 businesses centered around film, marketing, arts and technology, says founder Doug McCraw.

General Provision and Wyncode’s partnership will likely lure even more tech-driven companies to the area just north of Broward Boulevard, he says.

“It’s a very sticky business,” McCraw said. “When you have one anchor, it begins to attract more technology companies, they want to be close to the action.”

More tech companies and incubators are already knocking on FAT Village’s doors for potential space, McCraw said.

“We have much more demand for space than we have space to accommodate, which on one side, is a good problem to have,” McCraw said. “Technology is an integral part of what we are about at FAT Village.”

Membership-based General Provision opened about a year ago to serve as a gathering spot for an eclectic mix of innovators who like working surrounded by other creative people, said co-founder Tim Hasse.

“We want to bring all disciplines together,” Hasse said. “Arts and technology can have a great marriage. It’s working in Wyn-wood.”

Mikkola, Wyncode’s co-founder, said the academy is open to people of all skill levels.

“Our expectation is that you are not a programmer or developer,” Mikkola said. “We’ll teach you to become one.”

Students who finish the program walk out ready with the knowledge of a junior developer, with the potential for starting salaries ranging from $45,000 to $70,000 in the South Florida area, he said.

“We want to bring all disciplines together.”
Tim Hasse, General Provision cofounder

Sixty-eight students have finished the program, and about 90 percent of them have landed jobs in related fields, according to Mikkola. Among employers of Wyncode graduates is Cloud Logistics, a West Palm Beach-based company that provides Web-based logistics solutions for transportation businesses.

“The difference between someone coming fresh and someone coming from Wyncode has been astronomical,” said Scott Tesoriere, director of technical operations at Cloud Logistics, which has employed four Wyn-code graduates.

Wyncode students fully commit and emerge themselves in the day-long, nine-week sessions, said Mikkola, the academy’s co-founder.

“They’re coming in, rolling up their sleeves and saying, ‘I’m all in,’” Mikkola said. “That’s the mentality that resonates with South Florida people, the hustle to have a better life.” 

Monday, March 9, 2015

LaunchCode Recognized by President Obama as National Model for Bridging Tech Talent Gap

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- LaunchCode, an organization that creates pathways to economic opportunity and upward mobility through apprenticeships and job placement in technology, was recognized today by President Obama as part of the White House TechHire initiative.

Jim McKelvey, co-founder of LaunchCode, and Brendan Lind, co-founder and executive director of LaunchCode, attended the launch.  The White House also invited LaunchCode candidate LaShana Lewis as a special guest.  Lewis grew up in East St. Louis and worked as a bus driver before finding LaunchCode in 2014.  By introducing her to relevant education platforms and facilitating an apprenticeship with MasterCard, LaunchCode provided Lewis with the tools and the platform to demonstrate her qualifications on the job. Lewis is now a full-time employee at MasterCard. You can learn more about her story here.

“LaunchCode is an opportunity to prove yourself.  I always had the drive and ambition, but LaunchCode provided the pathway for me to go from working as a bus driver in East St. Louis to a full-time job at one of the biggest companies in the world in three months,” said Lewis.  “LaunchCode gave me an opportunity to change my life, and I know they’re going to do the same for a lot more people like me.”

The TechHire Initiative is a bold, multi-sector initiative launched by President Obama in partnership with 20 cities across the US to get more Americans rapidly trained and into well-paying technology jobs. The US Dept. of Labor projects that 1 million jobs in programming alone will go unfilled by 2020. President Obama highlighted LaunchCode’s innovative apprenticeship and job-placement program as a national model for bridging this talent gap.

LaunchCode partners with over 300 employers nationwide to place job seekers from non-traditional educational backgrounds in paid apprenticeships in technology jobs. LaunchCode currently has offices in St. Louis and South Florida and places apprentices in 10 different states with a goal of operating in all 50 states by the end of 2015. Over 90% of LaunchCode apprentices are converted to permanent hires within 90 days. Learn more about LaunchCode here.

“Our nation’s most pressing problems also present our biggest opportunities.  With LaunchCode we have created a pathway to upward mobility for people in pursuit of a better life,” said Lind.  “The reason we’re growing as fast as we are--we have applicants and corporate partners from across the US--is because there’s tremendous demand for what we do.”  

“An investor’s dream is finding a scalable solution to a massive problem.  LaunchCode is a scalable solution to some of the biggest economic challenges we’re facing as a country, including unemployment, underemployment, wage stagnation and an under-skilled workforce,” said McKelvey.  “We are honored that President Obama included LaunchCode as a model for how we can give Americans, especially lower and middle-class Americans, access to job training resources while addressing a nationwide need that threatens American competitiveness.”    


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

LaunchCode Opening Event Held

LaunchCode opened applications for its apprenticeship program and celebrated the start of its computer science course in partnership with The Idea Center at Miami Dade College on March 4, at the Wolfson Campus. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez spoke at the event in support of The Idea Center and LaunchCode’s mutual mission to provide technology talent to the South Florida region. 

LaunchCode is a tech-employment non-profit co-founded by Square's Jim McKelvey. Mayor Gimenez shared the stage with other speakers including McKelvey; Matt Haggman, Miami program director for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which provided major support to bring LaunchCode to Miami and establish The Idea Center; as well as Jorge A. Plasencia, an early LaunchCode supporter and co-founder & CEO of República. Both The Idea Center at Miami Dade College and LaunchCode are Knight Foundation grantees.

LaunchCode announced the opening of the application process for its apprenticeship program, which includes over 100 South Florida companies such as Burger King, Miami Children’s Hospital, Ultimate Software, Rokk3r Labs, Univision, Fusion, and República. In order to be considered for the first round of placements, candidates are encouraged to submit their applications through LaunchCode’s website (www.launchcode.org/apply) by April 1.

“LaunchCode apprenticeships will help many Miami-Dade residents advance their careers,” said Mayor Gimenez. “Miami-Dade County has committed to hiring LaunchCode apprentices for our IT department and I encourage all South Florida companies to consider this innovative program,” he added.

Miami-based República is the first South Florida company to hire a LaunchCode apprentice. Nate Beers, a recently-trained web developer, started with the advertising and digital agency last month.

“República is proud to have hired South Florida’s first LaunchCode apprentice,” said Plasencia. “Nate has been doing great work and we look forward to bringing on more LaunchCoders in the future.”

In order to equip more people with computer programming skills, The Idea Center in partnership with LaunchCode, started its first Fundamentals of Computer Programming cohort. Based on Harvard University’s CS50 class (offered through edx’ free platform) the 16-week course supports more than 100 students who attended their first class yesterday.

“LaunchCode’s tech-centered job placement program, which works to expand economic opportunity, blends perfectly with The Idea Center’s mandate to create the next generation of young Miami entrepreneurs,” said Haggman. “The partnership is exemplary of the type of collaboration and connections needed to foster talent in our city and create a healthy, innovation ecosystem.” 

“We’re excited to start placing apprentices here in South Florida,” said McKelvey. “Now is when the fun begins, when we start making companies more productive and changing people’s life.”  


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hispanic Unity of Florida Helps Provide Free Tax Preparation Assistance

Hispanic Unity of Florida has teamed with local organizations and the IRS to offer free tax preparation services for working families who made $53,000 or less in 2014, persons with disabilities, veterans, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns.

For more information, visit vitataxesfree.org 

Leadership Finance Program

Leadership Finance® is a unique and time-flexible program designed to further the advancement of financial leaders in prominent organizations. Graduates of the program emerge with broader relationships, knowledge and influence in the world of finance. Originally created at the recommendation of CFO’s to aid in the development of leadership and relational skills for high potential future leaders in the world of finance, Financial Executives International (FEI) South Florida Chapter selected the program to augment leadership development opportunities for its finance members. 

The program is supported directly by sponsorships from local leading universities such as Florida Atlantic University, as well as leading service providers, whose primary expertise is to support finance teams of leading companies. To support the Program, leading local and national organizations in the broader finance community team together to provide each of the sessions in this 9-month program where participants have to meet certain minimum achievement requirements to earn their certificate of completion. Strategically comprised of 1 meeting per month at various host locations, the program takes place over lunch from 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., where the group learns from Subject Matter Experts the “ins and outs” of being a leader in the broader world of finance. The program is ideal for the busy, working Finance Leader’s schedule.

Eligible Participants
The Participants in the program include current or future finance executives at the Vice President, Director/Manager Level who have been identified as high potential professionals for broader roles in Finance. Each Participant will emerge from the program with significant relationships among leaders in the finance community and a high sense of pride and confidence as part of this leadership community. They will also gain a more in-depth understanding of the extended finance resources necessary for company success and a broader understanding of how their leadership aligns with today’s other leaders in finance. For more information visit the Website at http://leadership-finance.com/

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tech Group Sponsoring Social in Fort Lauderdale

Code for Fort Lauderdale will hold a meet-up, “Discovering Technology Social,” on Feb. 25.

The event is an informal eat and learn for those interested in the intersection of the Internet, computers and people. DiscTech will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at General Provision, 525 Nw 1st Ave. in Fort Lauderdale.

Code Fort Lauderdale holds monthly civic hack sessions using technology for good. For more information, go to codeforftl.org

— Marcia Heroux Pounds, Sun Sentinel

Monday, February 16, 2015

CareerSource Broward Offers Free Workshop on Disability Hiring 2/25

Earn Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) credits at this free Careersource Broward Employer Workshop on February 25 on Disability Hiring. To register, click here: http://go.emaildir3.com/l/j/z9i/5l/_/_/nni/signup.htm

Monday, December 29, 2014

Leadership Finance Program

Leadership Finance® is a unique and time-flexible program designed to further the advancement of financial leaders in prominent organizations. Graduates of the program emerge with broader relationships, knowledge and influence in the world of finance. Originally created at the recommendation of CFO’s to aid in the development of leadership and relational skills for high potential future leaders in the world of finance, Financial Executives International (FEI) South Florida Chapter selected the program to augment leadership development opportunities for its finance members.

The program is supported directly by sponsorships from local leading universities such as Florida Atlantic University, as well as leading service providers, whose primary expertise is to support finance teams of leading companies. To support the Program, leading local and national organizations in the broader finance community team together to provide each of the sessions in this 9-month program where participants have to meet certain minimum achievement requirements to earn their certificate of completion. Strategically comprised of 1 meeting per month at various host locations, the program takes place over lunch from 11:30 am-2:00 pm, where the group learns from Subject Matter Experts the “ins and outs” of being a leader in the broader world of finance. The program is ideal for the busy, working Finance Leader’s schedule.


Monday, December 8, 2014

You are Invited to Comment on the MPO Draft Public Participation Plan

The public is invited to review and comment on the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization's draft Public Participation Plan.  This plan guides community outreach and public participation efforts.  The draft plan will be taken to the Broward MPO Board for approval on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.  You may submit your comments until close of business on February 11, 2015. Comments can be submitted in various ways:

  • Email: info@browardMPO.org Please insert “Public Participation Plan” in the subject of the e-mail.
  • Mail: Broward MPO, Trade Centre South Building, 100 West Cypress Creek Road, Suite 850, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309.
  • Phone: 954-876-0036.
  • Fax: 954-876-0062.

CLICK HERE to view/download the draft plan as a PDF.

Or to view as a Flipbook CLICK HERE

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

CBS's 60 Minutes Reports on America's Neglected Infrastucture and the Gap in Funding

On Sunday Steve Kroft reported on why our roads, bridges, airports and rail are outdated and need to be fixed the 15 minute segment can be viewed on the Broward MPO's Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/SpeakUpBroward The report includes an interview with Ray LaHood.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Broward College Supply Chain Video

Broward College has launched a new video for prospective students of the Supply Chain and Logistics field.

To view the video, please click here.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Speak Up Broward to Host Televised eTownHall Meetings and Launch Online Survey

The Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (Broward MPO) outreach initiative, Speak Up Broward, will host four televised eTownHall meetings to continue the dialogue regarding Broward’s transportation future and encourage participation in its online survey. These Let’s Talk Transportation eTownHall events will be held on Wednesday, September 17; Thursday, October 2; Thursday, October 9; and Wednesday, October 15 from 7-8 p.m.

The Broward MPO will host this eTownHall series via BECON TV (WBEC Channel 19 for Comcast users and Channel 63 for AT&T, dish Network and Direct TV users) and it will be streamed at www.SpeakUpBroward.org where you can participate in our online chat room. Jade Alexander, iconic South Florida radio and TV host, will moderate the live meetings, which will feature a panel of transportation leaders and government officials. 

During the live events participants can call 1-877-353-4701 to join the discussion or via Twitter by using the hashtag “#SpeakUpBroward”. The Broward MPO will provide an opportunity to view and participate in these events from its offices, but there is limited capacity. For more details, call (954) 641- 8141.


Broward residents are also encouraged to take Speak Up Broward’s online survey to provide their opinions on the future of Broward’s transportation system. The online survey will be available beginning September 12. For more information, visit www.SpeakUpBroward.org

First EB-5-funded Multi-Tenant Office Building in Broward Opens with Strong Leasing Activity from Small-Space Users

Riviera Point Development Group has completed the first multi-tenant office building in Broward County fully funded by job-creating international EB-5 investment.  

At the recent opening ceremony for the Professional Center at Riviera Point’s first 32,000-square-foot lakefront building, Rivera Point Development Group CEO Rodrigo Azpurua, CCIM, said that designing the space to meet small-space users’ needs has already drawn a diverse tenant roster.  Built “green oriented” to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards from the U.S. Green Building Council, the four-story structure has leasing commitments from more than 20 professional and entrepreneurial firms, he said.

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief helped with ribbon-cutting honors at the opening event.  “While many have talked about the potential for EB-5 foreign investment to create commercial spaces that attract new jobs in our communities, the Riviera Point team’s expertise and determination made that vision a reality,” she noted. “We applaud their progress and the fresh momentum this center’s tenants will add to the local economy.”

“Bringing the Miramar market its first new Class A office development since 2009 has proved a powerful draw,” Azpurua said, noting that a total of $17 million in EB-5 funding is in place for the two-building Professional Center at Riviera Point office complex.

The newly completed, four-story building offers a total of 46 suites of 850 to 1600 square feet.  “Start-ups and growing firms in insurance, accounting law, marketing and advertising are responding to the upscale work environment, easy access to area expressways -- and to having their choice of suites sized to their needs,” said Noel Epelboim, Riviera Point Development Group COO.  

To successfully bring the area’s first EB-5 funded office building to market just as the economy is on the upswing, Azpurua’s team had to purchase and develop the four-acre property in the heart of the recession. They have delivered the building on budget and on schedule, working with Corrales Group Architects and general contractor Itasca Construction Associates.  

Under the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) program, the EB-5 program allows a foreign national interested in obtaining permanent U.S. residency to do so by investing in a commercial enterprise that generates at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers for two years.  The EB-5 Visa then becomes permanent.  The qualifying investment for a project such as Riviera Point’s Miramar office center, located within a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), is $500,000.  

Riviera Point Development Group has purchased properties for additional planned EB-5-funded developments within Targeted Employment Areas in Miramar and Doral, Azpurua said.  A prominent EB-5 expert, he is a frequent presenter at EB-5 conferences in the U.S. and abroad.  His development background includes over 1 million square feet of office space in Florida projects, and he authored a book, EB-5 Visas & Real Estate Development, to guide developers through the complex EB-5 process.  Epelboim’s development track record is also well established.  He was a founding member of Constructora Arquinpro C.A. (Caracas, Venezuela) with 50 completed projects to his credit in Venezuela, including over 2 million square feet of high-end condominiums, plus commercial and office buildings.  His South Florida portfolio includes a 65,000-square-foot commercial center in Parkland, a 40-unit condominium in Hallandale and a 25-unit condominium in Bay Harbor Islands, among others.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors to hold 2014 Housing Forum

The Greater Fort Lauderdale REALTORS® is consistently exploring ways to discuss housing topics and trends with not only its member base, but also the rest of the South Florida Community. The Annual Housing Forum allows for a complex, in-depth conversation on issues impacting our neighborhoods, cities and municipalities.

Topics to be discussed this year will include (but not limited to): Housing & Urban Development (HUD), Federal Housing Administration (FHA), A Legislative Review & Forecast, State of Florida’s Housing Market, Affordable Housing Needs in Broward County, A Focus on Fannie Mae, An In-Depth Broward County Conversation and more.

“Events like this allow us to help connect experts in their field with the community at large,” said Marnie E. Allen, e-PRO, GRI, President of the Greater Fort Lauderdale REALTORS®. “The 2014 Housing Forum will not only be extremely beneficial for the nearly 9,000 GFLR Members, but also those looking to hear directly from an elected official, research economists and those in charge of some of the most important infrastructure we have in Broward County.”

To register for the 2014 Housing Forum, or to see a full list of topics and speakers, please visit:  http://www.r-world.com/housing-forum.php#.VBbvN2d0zct. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Statewide Export Financing Assistance Available Through FEFC

A major hurdle for many businesses seeking to take advantage of the opportunities offered by expanding in foreign markets is access to affordable working capital. The State of Florida, working in partnership with the federal government and the State’s banking community has lowered this hurdle for small and medium-size businesses.

The Florida Export Finance Corporation (FEFC) was created by the State of Florida in 1993 as a not-for-profit corporation with the mandate to expand employment and income opportunities to Florida residents by increased exports of goods and services resulting from assistance given by the FEFC to Florida companies. Information, technical and consulting assistance is offered. However, financial assistance is the primary service offered by FEFC. Guarantees are transaction-specific but normally issued as a revolving line of credit.

The FEFC is a member of the City/State Program and offers Florida exporters access to export assistance programs offered by the Ex-Im Bank and SBA. Services include packaging for Ex-Im Bank and SBA export working capital guarantees, and other loan, insurance and guarantee programs offered by these agencies.

Please call the FEFC office for further information on program limitations and criteria.

Florida Export Finance Corporation (FEFC)
Tel: 786-845-0400
Fax: 786-845-0404
10400 NW 33 St, Suite 200
Miami, FL 33172

Friday, August 22, 2014

Tamarac to offer training on electronic permitting system

Tamarac is taking more steps to stop using paper. The city has started an ePermits program to allow residents, businesses and contractors to submit an application electronically, make a payment and monitor their permit status.
To learn how to use the new system, call 954-597-3422.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Help name the "Grand Finale" event for the County Centennial

In the spirit of celebrating creativity, the grand finale will bring together the diverse talent that can be found in Broward through a countywide finale October 2-4, 2015. A group of Broward’s creative minds assembled to develop a unique approach to showcase our local talent in a series of performances. The grand finale will bring thousands of people together to celebrate Broward County’s 100th birthday through art, culture, and entertainment. It will also launch an annual signature event to showcase the talent of Broward County, create global connections and set the stage for the next 100 years.

To help name the centennial finale event, please click here.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Invitation to the June 3rd 95 Express Phase 3A Public Workshop

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), District Four, will host a public workshop for the implementation of the first segment of the 95 Express Phase 3 in Broward County, Florida.  The purpose of the public workshop is to share information regarding the implementation of the project and to give the public an opportunity to offer comments.  The workshop will be held on Tuesday, June 3, 2014, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the FDOT Broward County Operations Center, 5548 Powerline Road/N.W. 9th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309, with a formal presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m.  A project and meeting location map is attached.

The purpose of the 95 Express Lanes is to improve mobility, relieve congestion, provide additional travel options, enhance transit services, accommodate future growth and development in the region, enhance emergency evacuation, and improve system connectivity between key transportation facilities in South Florida. Invitations to the meeting will be sent to all property owners and residents within the study corridor; and other public officials, organizations and individuals interested in the project.  Your attendance is encouraged and appreciated.

Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability or family status. If you need special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or require translation services (free of charge) please contact the Project Manager by phone or in writing at the phone number and address provided, at least seven (7) calendar days before the meeting date.

For more project information visit www.95express.com/phase3 or you may contact Robert Bostian at (954) 777-4427 or via email at Robert.Bostian@dot.state.fl.us

Monday, May 12, 2014

Jobs Supporting Infrastructure are Growing, Report Says

This article, by Marcia Heroux Pounds, Sun Sentinel, was published on May 9, 2014

Jobs connected with South Florida's infrastructure are expected to grow in coming years.

Already, they number 217,000, or 10 percent of all jobs in thePompano Beach-Fort Lauderdale-Miami metro area, according to a report Friday from the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program.

"These are long-term opportunities for workers, not short-term shovel-ready construction jobs," said Joseph Kane, author and researcher of the report.

Brookings, a research organization in Washington, D.C., did not include Palm Beach County in the report.

The report expands the traditional definition of infrastructure employment. Besides construction workers building roads and bridges, researchers included operational jobs such as water treatment plants, nuclear plants, ports and other infrastructure.

Of the infrastructure jobs in South Florida, more than 35,000 are laborers, freight, stock and material movers, according to the report. Nearly 15,000 are heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, and 14,000 are light and delivery-service truck drivers. Packers and packagers make up 12,000 of the jobs, Brookings said.

About 1.1 million new jobs are expected to emerge nationally between now and 2022, based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fast-growing occupations include wind turbine service technicians and solar installers, whose employment is projected to expand more than 20 percent.

At the same time, 2.7 million workers, or nearly one-quarter of the infrastructure workforce, will need to be replaced as workers retire or leave the industries, according to the report.

"There are millions of job opportunities out there that will be need to be filled in coming years," Kane said.

In South Florida, increased trade is likely to boost infrastructure jobs as the ports expand to accommodate super-container ships coming from the Panama Canal.

Broward College is preparing workers for logistics with a program it launched last year in supply-chain management. Last week, Alberto-Romero Partida, 43, was the program's first graduate, and he already has a job lined up, with Cargill, a global food and agriculture company, in Fort Lauderdale.

Kane said the majority of entry-level infrastructure workers tend to earn more money than their counterparts. The lowest-paid truck driver gets paid more than a retail store cashier, for example.

Among the best-paying infrastructure jobs are nuclear engineers and environmental engineers, he said.

mpounds@tribune.com or 561-243-6650

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

eMerge Americas Offers Help for Startups to Grow

May 5, 2014|By Doreen Hemlock, Sun Sentinel
To read the article on the Sun Sentinel site, please click here.

South Florida shines as hotbed for new companies, but very few scale up into big businesses, studies on entrepreneurship show.

Now, local leaders are working to help more ventures grow. Efforts include an expanded business accelerator at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton,speakers said Monday at the eMerge Americas conference, designed to position South Florida as a technology hub for Latin America.

FAU is looking to invest $3.5 million to develop a roughly 30,000-square-foot building next to Boca Raton's executive airport to expand its accelerator program. It also has requested $1.5 million in statefunds to help finance early-stage ventures that would work with mentors and pursue training at the facility, said Kimberly Gramm, director of FAU's Adams Center for Entrepreneurship.

"Ideas are a dime a dozen. Execution is everything," said Will Weinraub, chief executive of Miami-based video chat site LiveNinja, which has raised $1 million and employs 10. Strong execution involves polishing a business plan, researching the market and meeting top players to find mentors and investors.

"If they are going to a talk in Fort Lauderdale or Boca Raton, as plenty of them are, that's where you need to be," Weinraub told attendees at a panel on emerging entrepreneurs. The session featured Boca Raton high school student Jared Kleinert, co-founder of youth movement 2 billion under 20.

The eMerge conference featured nearly three dozen panels Monday on topics from the future ofbanks to IBM's Watson, an initiative that analyzes massive volumes of data fast and provides complex answers in what's been called "Siri on steroids."

A sprawling expo also featured booths from such Broward and Palm Beach companies ascloud computing giant Citrix of Fort Lauderdale, high-tech sales supporter Optime Consulting of Weston and accounting firm Daszkal Bolton of Boca Raton.


Fort Lauderdale Startups Among Tech Award Winners

May 5, 2014|By Doreen Hemlock, Sun Sentinel

Four companies from Broward and Palm Beach counties were among winners of 2014 technologyleader awards presented during the eMerge Americas TechWeek conference in the Miami area.

Startup clearCi of Fort Lauderdale, which helps businesses with competitive intelligence, was honored as tech company of the year in the eighth annual honors given by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

The 3-year-old business serves more than 10 percent of Fortune 1,000 companies, employs 15 people and has doubled its revenues yearly — all without outside investment, the chamber said.

Bioscience company of the year went to Biotest Pharmaceuticals, which owns and runs plasmapheresis centers nationwide and has invested more than $50 million in a Boca Raton operation. It employs more than 850 people nationwide, including 500 in Florida. It is part of Germany's Biotest.

For international tech impact, the award went to Coconut Creek-based MotionPoint Corp., which translates and localizes websites for businesses to expand into new markets overseas.

Honored as tech entrepreneur of the year was Ricardo Villadiego, who started data security Easy Solutions of Sunrise. His firm helps companies protect against fraud online.

The eMerge Americas conference, which aims to propel South Florida as a tech hub, wraps up Tuesday night.

dhemlock@sunsentinel.com, 305-810-5009, @dhemlock on Twitter

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Narayan Murthy, Dr. Rajendra K Pachauri and Shabana Azmi along with Indian CEO delegation to participate in FICCI-IIFA Global Business Forum in Tampa

The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) is globally recognized for promotion of businesses opportunities, trade relations and cinema opportunities between India and the IIFA’s host nation. Keeping in line with this, a joint initiative of IIFA and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry - the FICCI-IIFA Global Business Forum is scheduled to take place at the Tampa Convention Center on April 24-25 during the 15th Videocon D2H IIFA Weekend.

With the trade relationship between India and America at its acme, the theme for the FICCI-IIFA Global Business Forum will see business delegates discuss "Indo-U.S. Partnership: A Catalyst for Economic Growth".  The effort is being led by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), University of South Florida College of Business, Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt Ltd, and the Tampa Bay Trade and Protocol Council. Other notable partners include Enterprise Florida, Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, Visit Tampa Bay Visit Florida, USIBC and TIE.. The forum will stand witness to the coming together of some of the biggest change drivers and opinion leaders and business leaders from top brands and business houses to engage in dialogue and explore new and promising commercial possibilities. 

Some of the visionaries include Dr RK Pachauri, who spearheads the Nobel prize winning UN Intergovernmental panel on Climate change; NR Narayanmurthy, Executive Chairman and Founder of Infosys, Ron Somers, President USIBC, Dr Didar Singh, Secretary General FICCI, Consul General of India - Ajit Kumar, and Congressman Gus Bilirakis.

Some of the prominent women leaders addressing the business forum include Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Nisha Desai Biswal, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Shabana Azmi, renowned activist and Indian actor, Judy Genshaft, President, University of South Florida and Renu Khator, President of University of Houston.

Business icons leading discussions include Bharat Desai, Chairman, Syntel, Harshvardhan Neotia, Chairman, Ambuja-Neotia group, Ranjit Yadav, President Tata Motors, Vivek Lall, President  & CEO, Reliance Industries, Mukesh Aghi, CEO, L&T Infotech.

Among the renowned guests who will grace the forum are over 100 business leaders and policy makers. These eminent personalities will share their precious insights on and examine the copious benefits of a partnership between the two economies.

Today, the Indian-American community has been at the forefront of innovation, knowledge-based services, and entrepreneurship, creating jobs and contributing to the U.S. economy. Two-way trade in goods between India and the U.S. crossed the $60 billion mark in 2012, but there is potential for reaching the $100 billion mark. The Indian economy has grown to be the10th largest in the world, and experts project India will become one of the top five economic powers by 2050.

The 2-day long forum will convene a galaxy of prominent personalities representing industry, government, academia and intelligentsia. Sectors that power Trade, Commerce & Investment, along with promising areas of cooperation between India and America such as Media & Entertainment, Education, Tourism and Environment & Clean Technology will come under the scanner.

To register for the FICCI IIFA Global Business Forum, head on to www.iifa.com or www.usf.edu 

This is the 10th edition of the FICCI-IIFA Global Business Forum, which is an integral highlight of the Videocon d2h IIFA Weekend powered by LAVA Mobile, which commences from April 23 in Tampa Bay Florida and ends with the pinnacle of Indian entertainment, The Tata Motors IIFA Awards.

Some of the key partners of the IIFA US celebrations are: Videocon d2h, Tata Motors, Freedom Health Insurance, Lava Mobiles, Visit Tampa Bay Visitors and Convention Bureau, Visit Florida, Hillsborough County Commission, Jammu & Kashmir Tourism, Vishal Fashions, UST Global and Intuit.

Other support partners include Mosaic Company, Tampa Steel Erecting Company, and Patina Solutions.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Michael and Dianne Bienes Cancer Center at Holy Cross Hospital Now Offers a Multi-Disciplinary Gastrointestinal Clinic

The Michael and Dianne Bienes Cancer Center at Holy Cross Hospital has created a multi-disciplinary gastrointestinal clinic in which patients can get the treatments they need under one roof and in one cohesive plan that can often progress from diagnosis to treatment in a matter of two to three weeks.

“Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in men and women and is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the nation,” said Maureen G. Mann, executive director of the Michael and Dianne Bienes Cancer Center at Holy Cross Hospital.  “Patients at the GI clinic can streamline their care by eliminating multiple visits traveling between various providers.  Through the clinic, the medical team will create, coordinate and provide a comprehensive care plan that may include diagnostic testing, counseling, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.”

The clinic will be staffed by physicians and health providers in all disciplines including gastrointestinal, colorectal surgery, medical oncology and radiation oncology. In addition to meeting physicians, patients and their families will have the resources of nutritionists and oncology social workers.  Spiritual care is also available for those who desire it.

The day following a patient’s visit to the clinic, the multidisciplinary team meets to discuss a recommended course of treatment including any clinical trials for which the patient may be a candidate.  One physician takes the lead with each patient to review the care plan and arrange for treatment.

The clinic also accommodates snowbirds and international visitors since services can be provided in a condensed period of time. The clinic is located on the second floor of the Michael and Dianne Bienes Cancer Center at 4725 North Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale.  Call 954-492-5764 for more information or to schedule an appointment. 


Monday, March 10, 2014

Fort Lauderdale Welcomes its 18th Sister City: Mataro, Spain!

On February 18th, 2014, The City of Fort Lauderdale officially established its 18th sister city relationship with the City of Mataro, located 20 miles north of Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain. Mayor John P. “Jack” Seiler and Commissioners Roberts, Rogers, DuBose and Trantalis welcomed Mataro Mayor Joan Mora Bosch to the City Commission Meeting where the Mayors signed the official twinning documents, exchanged their city flags and addressed the audience about their future plans to enhance this relationship and bring these two very similar cities closer together.

Greater Fort Lauderdale Sister Cities International (GFLSCI), the non-profit organization that develops sister city relationships for the City of Fort Lauderdale, was represented by many board members including Mr. Antonio Marcelli, President of GFLSCI, who emphasized the importance of the cooperation between the two cities as reflected by the recent business exchanges between Mataro and South Florida. Mr. Luis Alvarez, Deputy Trade Commissioner of Spain, who oversees 9 US states from the Miami office, also congratulated the cities of Fort Lauderdale and Mataro on their sister city twinning.

The relationship began through collaborative efforts initiated by Mr. Miquel Rey, Director of Technocampus and Financial Chancellor of the City of Mataro and by Mr. Ivan Mutis, CEO of GM&L Business Consultants. In June 2013, The Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development hosted a delegation of  'start up' businesses from Mataro to explore internationalization at the Broward College Center for Entrepreneurship and the incubator at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). The Technocampus later signed a memorandum of agreement with Florida Atlantic University.

Following the signing ceremony at City Hall, Mr. David Moore, Associate Vice President for International Education at Broward College, welcomed the delegation and guests at a reception at their downtown campus . Mr. Enrique Triay, who coordinates the Broward College Center for Entrepreneurship, was also in attendance and spoke of discussions with Mataro in their soon to be completed incubator program at the North Campus of Broward College. Al Battle, Fort Lauderdale Economic Development Director and Paola Isaac Baraya, Economic Development Specialist - International Trade at the Broward County Office of Economic Development and Small Business, also welcomed the guests and highlighted some of the opportunities that lie ahead.

Mataro is the largest coastal city between Barcelona and France and is strategically positioned to be a nautical and maritime capital. It has also joined Barcelona and Maresme to become an integral part of the nautical cluster of cities of the Mediterranean Sea. The Board of Directors of the Harbour of Mataro is working with marine industry operators from Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in order to continue with the project together.

Also known as the center of the textile industry, Mataro has become a pioneer and innovative city in knitwear, earning recognition as a real Spanish and European capital in this sector.

Lastly, Mataro houses two significant centers for research and development: Cetemmsa, a technology center that focuses on innovation through research for different industries and TIC Salut, which works to promote the development and use of ICT and networking in the medical sector.


Fort Lauderdale and Mataro look forward to an everlasting relationship as they set out to enjoy collaborations culturally, economically and technologically.  According to the 2010 U.S. Census, more than 20,000 Spanish citizens live in South Florida. This new sister city partnership creates much excitement for the entire Spanish and South Florida community at large.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute Returns to South Florida

Broward Cultural Division, The Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC), and ArtServe announce the return of the very successful Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute (AEI) for South Florida artists. The program, to be presented on four Saturdays in June, will be held at ArtServe,1350 E. Sunrise Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. Artists of all disciplines are encouraged to attend including but not limited to, sculptors, illustrators, metalworkers, writers, dancers, jewelers, musicians, performers, media/filmmakers, photographers, crafts, designers and all interdisciplinary artists. More than 400 artists have graduated from this groundbreaking Institute.

AEI is a course of study designed to assist individual artists by cultivating and advancing their business skills, and helping them to strengthen their operating infrastructure and expand their business. To date, more than 400 South Florida artists have graduated from the Institute, and many with exceptional success stories that follow. AEI will be offered as 20 classes convening during full-day sessions, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on June 7, 14, 21 and a Business Plan Clinic and Workshop on June 28, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Registrants will receive an AEI course book, an indispensable resource for artists. Developed by CPAC, the course book features exercises and readings to prepare for each session, and is tailored to the specific needs of artist entrepreneurs.

The Business Plan Clinic's topics, Working Effectively with Lenders and Developing a Brand, will guide participants through preparation of a simple business plan, an essential tool for any artist. In addition, participants will learn how to work effectively with lenders to obtain financial support.

Designed to help artists operate in the marketplace more successfully, the AEI course curriculum covers all aspects of developing an artistic business. It helps identify and develop a personal brand, develop strategies for communicating with target markets, raise capital and identify a variety of tools for protecting one’s work legally. The curriculum offers critical support, enabling artists to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the larger urban arts and culture sector. Sessions include a mix of lectures, panels, group discussions and practical exercises.

Participation costs $100 and includes light refreshments and free parking. For members of ArtServe, registration is $75. RSVP Online; and for more information contact Adriane Clarke, at 954-357-7530.

View the Artist as an Entrepreneur webpage for more information about the course and its history, and read news coverage from past years. 


Friday, February 28, 2014

Congratulations Maggie Gunther!

The Alliance is pleased to congratulate its own Maggie Gunter, Manager of Communications and Programs, who was named one of Lifestyle Media Group's 2014 Up and Comer Winners last night.  Maggie was recognized in the economic development category.  To see all the winners and read more about the exciting event, please click here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I-595 Express Corridor Improvements Project

The I-595 corridor, which has been under construction since early 2010 is on target to be completed in the summer of 2014. The project includes the reconstruction of the Florida’s Turnpike Interchange, the addition of auxiliary lanes on the I-595 mainline, operational improvements to frontage roads, the addition of braided ramps and bypass ramps between SR 84 and I-595, and a new reversible express lanes system in the I-595 median. The three tolled, reversible express lanes are on schedule to be open by spring 2014. All motor vehicles, including trucks, will be allowed to use the Express Lanes. All users will be charged a toll and must have a SunPass transponder and an associated pre-paid account. No cash transactions will be allowed.

The amount of the tolls will be based on a system known as congestion pricing and will be displayed on electronic message signs prior to the entry points to the Express Lanes. Tolls will vary and be higher during peak periods, when there are more commuters on the highway, and lower during non-peak hours.The reversible lanes will typically be open on weekdays to eastbound traffic between 4 a.m. and 1 p.m. and for westbound drivers between 2 p.m. and 2 a.m. The Express Lanes will normally be closed between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. and between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. for routine maintenance. On weekends, the Express Lanes will normally be open in the eastbound direction only.

There will be entrance and exits to the Express Lanes in each direction. Eastbound drivers will enter from access points west of 136th (i.e. I-595, I-75, and Sawgrass Expressway) and exit either to Florida’s Turnpike or east of SR 7. Westbound drivers will enter from I-595 west of I-95 or from Florida’s Turnpike and exit after 136th Avenue before the I-75/Sawgrass Expressway interchange.

More information on the I-595 Express Corridor Improvements Project, please visit the project’s website at www.I-595.com.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Six Pillars Broward County 2014 First Annual Report to the Community Released

Broward County Commissioners were in attendance today for the release of the Broward County 2014 First Annual Six Pillars Report to the Community.  The three-year long project involved numerous county and city leaders, business organizations and volunteers charged with developing a visioning plan through the year 2030. An implementation plan with action steps was incorporated into the report.  The Six Pillars framework was set by the Florida Chamber.  

Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca co-chaired the Six Pillars Steering Committee. The report incorporated research to determine metrics that compared Broward to six other urban counties.  The identified counties were Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, Orange, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Duval. 

To read more, please click here

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Start-Ups, Entrepreneurs, Investors, Established Businesses Gather Together

The Gold Coast Venture Capital Association (GCVCA) will be holding its inaugural Expo at the Embassy Suites in Boca Raton on Wednesday, February 26th from 5-8 pm.  The Expo features twenty-two innovative start-up firms from across the state of Florida.  Eighteen corporate sponsors will exhibit alongside the start-ups.  

"The concept here is to give a large group of entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase their ideas to a large group of investors, service providers and professionals in an open exposition type format.  There are no speeches or keynote addresses.  We want to bring together a couple hundred bright people with resources and experience to visit the entrepreneurs' booths and mix and mingle as they see fit.” stated Bob Fitts, President of the GCVCA. He continues, “It's organized in that we're bringing them all together, but we want to let people gravitate to where they want, and go from booth to booth meeting these sharp entrepreneurs.  This is great for the entrepreneurs as they get the opportunity perhaps to meet potential investors, they get to make connections with area professionals who may offer services or have connections that would be benefit these young firms and they get to practice articulating their business plan.  It's also a great opportunity for area investors to see some of the better start-ups that the organization has met in the past year.  And given that we expect several hundred professionals and investors to attend, the Expo is a great venue for area businesses to exhibit and make business connections as well."

Corporate sponsors thus far include Palm Beach based legal powerhouse Gunster, Miami-based web design, networking and development company DS Express, and Miami based EarlyShares, a crowdfunding platform that has been receiving significant local and national attention as of late.  Oppenheimer & Co., Christopher & Weisberg, Searl Technology, Gustie Creative, EarlyShares, Mallah Furman, Young America Capital and Trident Global Advisors are also sponsoring the Expo.  

Entrepreneurs slated to exhibit are all Florida based start-ups and include Renewed Waters, FlyInStyle, Elebev, Cydec, Demeter Power, RoomSurf, Appworx, Stadson Tech, Deliver Lean, Bar Maxx, AdMobilize, Design Comfort Shoes, Skulpt, Feathr, Logzilla, BoatSetter, BoaterRated and CleveMed.  Many of the entrepreneurs have participated in and won area, regional and national business plan competitions and several are products of local incubators such as the Coral Springs based Enterprise Development Corporation of South Florida.

David Bates, Chairman of the GCVCA states, “We're very excited about the Expo.  Our mission is to provide support and education and opportunities for Florida's growing companies to meet investors and the Expo is a fun and dynamic way to do that.  I believe this will be an important event for the South Florida entrepreneurial community for years to come.”

About Gold Coast Venture Capital Association: The Gold Coast Venture Capital Association is a not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to provide information, association and capital formation opportunities in support of the entrepreneurial community in South Florida.  Although the Association does no direct funding or matching of investors with those seeking funding, it develops and presents monthly programs which are designed to provide information and assistance to start-up, emerging and established growth companies while offering a unique venue for investors and invests to come together.  The GCVCA meets the last Wednesday of every month at the Embassy Suites in Boca Raton. Sponsorships opportunities for the Expo still remain. Please visit GCVCA.org for additional information.  


Monday, January 27, 2014

Enterprise Florida Leads Companies to Arab Health 2014

Secretary of Commerce and Enterprise Florida (EFI) President & CEO, Gray Swoope recently announced that EFI will host the Florida pavilion at Arab Health 2014, showcasing 21 small and mid-sized companies marketing their medical and healthcare products to an international audience. Arab Health is the second-largest medical trade show worldwide and will be held in Dubai on January 27-30. Florida was the first state to participate in Arab Health and has attended the show for nearly a decade.

Secretary Swoope said, “Our team is proud to introduce 21 Florida life science companies to the Middle East market at the Arab Health Show. This collaborative effort is a cost-effective opportunity for companies to showcase their products to an extensive and exclusive international audience. By helping to promote trade opportunities for these companies, we are helping them expand their reach and grow, creating new jobs for Floridians.”

The Florida Showcase, the largest state exhibit in the U.S. Pavilion, allows small and mid-sized life science companies to cost-effectively exhibit their products. Of the 21 companies, 12 of them were awarded a Target Sector Trade Grant. Without the assistance of EFI’s International Trade and Development efforts, many of the companies would not be able to attend and, without the pavilion, they would not be as successful and efficient in reaching such a large audience.

Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward companies and organizations participating in Arab Health and the Florida Pavilion this year include:


·         AOTI, Inc. – Tamarac

·         Genadyne Biotechnologies, Inc. – Fort Lauderdale

·         Phoenix Healthcare Solutions, LLC – Fort Lauderdale   

STAT Medical Devices’ Director of Sales, Jack Huls said, “My goal at Arab Health is to increase the exposure of Stat Medical Devices and our wide array of offerings to the diabetic community in the Middle East and Africa. Exhibiting in the Florida Pavilion gives us the opportunity to be a part of a professional group of organizations who happen to be from the same geographical area. I am really looking forward to the many business opportunities that will undoubtedly present themselves at this show with the help and assistance of Enterprise Florida.”

Integrity Life Sciences’ International Sales Manager, Gary Dixon said, “Arab Health has risen to international prominence and exhibiting there is a major focus each year. It is not only a great opportunity to exhibit our products regionally, but also a great opportunity to present our products globally. The great reputation of Florida medical device companies is well known. Therefore, exhibiting as part of the Florida Pavilion makes it easy for current and prospective customers to seek us out. Enterprise Florida provides essential resources to help us understand the healthcare market represented at Arab Health and to ensure we get maximum exposure.”

Gulf Fiberoptics Group’s Vice President, Craig Vogeley said, “This is Gulf Fiberoptics’ initial visit to Arab Health as an exhibitor. This trade show provides us unprecedented access to one of the few remaining regions of the world where we desire increased exposure for our products. Enterprise Florida continues to be an extremely valuable business partner for our international marketing efforts.”

Mercury Medical’s Director of International Business, Ivette Compton said, “This is our fourth year at Arab Health. We feel that our consecutive presence at this event demonstrates that we are committed about servicing the Middle East and doing business with our Arab partners. Enterprise Florida has supported companies in the biotechnology and medical device fields throughout the years, being part of the Florida group also helps us network amongst ourselves. Enterprise Florida acts as ambassadors on our behalf!”

Felipe Lerida, CPSGT from Neurovirtual USA Inc. of Doral said, “Arab Health is the largest medical health care exhibition and congress in the Middle East, as first time exhibitor attendees, we hope to establish strong distribution channels with knowledgeable vendors in the region for neurology and sleep diagnostic products. With a total of 3,000 exhibitors at Arab Health, the Florida pavilion allows companies of our size to distinguish our brand from the rest as a first world product based in Florida who meets the highest standards of the American and worldwide market. The assistance and support provided by Enterprise Florida is crucial for the worldwide distribution expansion of niche market companies like us and provides a much leveled playing field.”

Rumex International’s Marketing Manager, Margarita Maltseva said, “Rumex has been working in the surgical instrument market for 20 years, and during all this time we have developed partnerships with medical organizations of more than 50 countries. The Middle East is one of the markets where our presence is still insufficient and we hope to increase it over time. Arab Health 2014 is an enormous and ambitious event to participate in. It will help grow our local business contacts. As many healthcare professionals of Middle East take interest in the best quality and service that US companies have to provide, exhibiting in Florida pavilion is very convenient for us.”

Florida has nearly 1,000 biotech, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, making it third in the U.S. for pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing businesses. Additionally, there are more than 44,000 healthcare establishments around the Sunshine State. In all, more than 700,000 healthcare professionals are employed in the state.

EFI maintains an extensive schedule of overseas trade missions and exhibitions worldwide. From January to November 2013, EFI hosted 15 major overseas events with 225 participants generating more than $775 million in actual and expected export sales by Florida companies.

Reported and documented sales from recent EFI international events include:


·         HOSPITALAR, Brazil

Nine Florida companies reported combined total actual and expected export sales of $19 million.

·         MEDICA, Germany

Florida exhibitors who attended the Germany-based show reported $158,785,500 in total projected sales.

·         Dubai Air Show, Dubai

Dubai Airshow resulted in more than $67 million in expected sales for 11 Florida aviation and aerospace businesses.

Arab Health is the second-largest event for the medical sector and the largest medical trade show in the Middle East. For nearly 40 years it has been established on every expert’s calendar. Arab Health is where the medical sector meets – 65,677 m² of floor space, 3,900 exhibitors from 64 countries, 38 country pavilions, and numerous forums and congresses. Enterprise Florida plans to attend MedExpo in Kenya, Africa and will be the first U.S. state to have a pavilion in this upcoming medical trade show.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Bring back shop class (Op-Ed by Mike Moore from January 13, 2014 Sun Sentinel)


Across all segments of South Florida's growing manufacturing industry and in skilled trades nationwide, one key issue is becoming increasingly apparent — a shortage of skilled workers. My firm, Kaufman Rossin, partnered with Broward College to convene a forum between manufacturers, educators and the South Florida Manufacturers Association. Although progress has been made, it's more evident than ever that businesses and educators need to work together to develop tomorrow's technical workforce.

The most interesting revelation at the forum was that many local educational and training institutions offer specific programs geared toward this industry, and some manufacturing companies have already engaged with area colleges, technical centers and the SFMA.

However, there are still obstacles to overcome. Manufacturers face an aging workforce and need to attract younger workers with the right technical and soft skills, like tinkering. Companies want workers who are passionate about figuring out how things work and why. It's great to see the Maker Movement start to take root locally, but it's up to both manufacturers and educators to spark that innovative interest in young people as early as possible.

When I was a freshman in high school, I had the privilege of touring IBM's New Orleans facility. I was awestruck. It was that trip that piqued my interest in the power of technology for business and set me on the path to the career I am in today. Shop class reinforced my curiosity, giving me an opportunity to tinker with tools and technology.

So how can we instill in tomorrow's workforce a desire to design, engineer and build products that will propel our economy? Here are three ideas:

Bring back shop class – A modern version of shop class including robotics, aero tech and computer programming would spark interest in STEM careers and skilled trades.

Invite more students to visit shop floors — For example, medical manufacturer NIPRO Diagnostics partners with Boyd Anderson High School to invite students to tour its Fort Lauderdale facility.

Build labs/workshops in high schools and middle schools — Incubators and maker spaces are popping up from Miami-Dade to Palm Beach counties, but businesses could lead the way by sponsoring hands-on labs within schools.

If manufacturers and educators work together to shape today's students into tomorrow's skilled workers, the future of manufacturing in South Florida will be bright.

Mike Moore is a director of business advisory services in Kaufman, Rossin's Miami office. He can be reached at mmoore@kaufmanrossin.com.

Copyright © 2014, South Florida Sun-Sentinel


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Broward County Earns its Third Triple A Bond Rating

Broward County was recently awarded its third triple-A rating when Standard & Poor's raised the County's general obligation bonds to AAA from AA+ based on the County's strong economy and "very strong" budget profile. 

Moody's Investor Service and Fitch Ratings had previously given the County triple-A ratings. The action affects more than $301 million of outstanding debt and will allow the County to obtain funds for capital expenses at a more competitive interest rate. Broward County is one of just four counties in Florida who have the triple-A ratings; the other three are Hillsborough, Palm Beach and Sarasota.

S&P reported the outlook on Broward's general obligation debt is stable and reflects the "County's consistent financial performance, which is supported by strong management." The upgrade is also the result of recent revisions to S&P's methodology for assigning general obligation ratings.

"We are proud to have obtained this level of recognition by S&P and the other agencies," said Dr. Scott Miller, CFO and Director, Broward County Finance and Administrative Services Department. "We have made a commitment to develop and implement best practices in our financial and investment policies, in our fiscal management, and recruiting and retaining excellent financial staff."

S&P cited the County's strong economy and "very strong" budgetary flexibility with fiscal 2012 audited reserves at 25.6 percent of expenditures and adequate budgetary performance due to a proactive management team that has cut expenditures in response to declines in revenue.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Applications Now Being Accepted for Community Real Estate Development Certificate Course

Applications are now being accepted for the Community Real Estate Development Certificate.  

The challenging field of community real estate development requires practitioners to know how to use public and private resources, and demands skill sets in real estate development, finance and project management. 

The three-module program is designed to give participants the tools to carry out successful, affordable housing and community development initiatives. It supports the work of non-profit community-based and public agencies involved in or responsible for the delivery of community and economic development related services. 

To learn more and to register, please go to http://fiog.usf.edu/trainings/cred/


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Jim Moran Institute Offers Free Small Business Executive Program, for Business Owners & Non-Profit CEOs

The program is designed with for-profit and non-profit businesses in mind. It is ideal for CEOs, entrepreneurs, business owners, and presidents of small businesses. Created to be a world-class learning experience that accommodates the busy schedule of small business owners, you will emerge as a stronger leader ready to capitalize on business opportunities, implement best-practice management, and turn challenges into a strategic advantage. For more information, click here

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