One Community One Goal’s Access Breakfast Focuses on Attracting, Retaining, and Growing Top Talent in Miami-Dade County

What can we do as a community to make Miami-Dade County known as a place for a high-quality workforce?

That was the theme at the One Community One Goal Access Breakfast sponsored by Bank of America and hosted by the University of Miami (UM) held on August 27th. More than 300 participants engaged at UM’s Watsco Center to hear highly recognized leaders share their insights about strengthening the talent pipeline and the new world of work.

The event kicked-off with a premier networking session where exhibitors showcased Miami’s assets in early education, entrepreneurship, internships, primary and secondary education.

OCOG Co-Chairs, Sheldon T. Anderson, Business Consultant & Community Leader, and Nitin Motwani, Managing Principal at the Miami Worldcenter, captured the audience’s attention with highlights of the current successes of the One Community One Goal initiatives.

The distinguished panelists then gave a series of mini-ted talks about the Future of Work and Education.

Moderator, Jane Wooldridge, Business and Visuals Arts Editor at the Miami Herald, followed up with an insightful discussion on how companies are using more technology, how employees are seeking new ways of working and how new skills are required for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

and shared their insights about Talent, Trends and Transformational Business Practices.

Speakers Included:
Johné Battle – Associate Client Partner-Miami, Korn Ferry
Alberto M. Carvalho – Superintendent, Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Dr. Julio Frenk – President, University of Miami
Adriene McCoy – Corporate Vice President and Chief HR Officer, Baptist Health South Florida

Please join us on September 16th for the One Community One Goal Annual Report to the Community learn about the Future of Tech and Innovation and make new business connection.

Miami Gets Moving, Leveraging Innovation to Promote Connectivity

By David Winterstein, Co-Founder and CEO

and Eldredge Bermingham, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Velocia, Inc

Getting where you want to go in your community within reasonable time is key to a productive, enjoyable life. Connectivity impacts the economic expansion of most communities; here in South Florida, two Mayors — one former and one serving — challenged Salim Ismail, the founding Executive Director of Singularity University to consider new options to better connect the citizens of Miami-Dade to work, to school and to one another. Salim was asked to explore new mobility opportunities that might work synergistically with the many on-going efforts and resources in place that are helping to improve connectivity across Miami-Dade.  With strong support from the Knight Foundation, Codina Partners, MDX and the Office of Mayor Carlos Giménez, Salim and the Fastrack Institute established a 16-week competition to develop new private enterprises with the sole aim of encouraging our citizens to get out of their single-occupant vehicles — at least sometimes. The Fastrack teams recognized that providing solutions in Miami required shorter-term, human-centered business solutions coupled to the longer-term, infrastructure-rich SMART Plan. Imagine the disruptive strength of Lyft, Uber, Airbnb focused on providing solutions to how we get around our county and cities and you have the Fastrack solution, Velocia.

Velocia is a free mobile phone app that rewards people for getting out of single-occupant vehicles. Velocia has partnered with both the Public and Private sectors to create a mobility ecosystem that spans all forms of mobility. The app rewards you for riding Metrobus and Metrorail, hopping on a Citi Bike or e-scooting that first mile/last mile on a Bolt scooter. We have big rewards for sharing your car on Getaround or forsaking car ownership altogether and using a shared-Getaround vehicle for those trips when you just have to have a car. We will be experimenting with sweepstakes rewards from SwiftSeat to crack the carpooling nut, especially for university students across Miami-Dade. Velocia rewards you for walking to promote good living and provide a healthy alternative to the first mile/last mile mobility dilemma. Just by pairing your existing mobility apps on the Velocia platform you can help Miami solve mobility issues, reduce carbon emissions, save some money and just have more fun getting around our cities and county.

Velocia is generous. We understand the potential positive impact incentives and rewards can have on our community. Therefore, we have made it easy for users to earn and redeem on the platform. Today, you can see campaigns such as: walk 10 miles and earn enough VELOS to redeem for a $5 Lyft credit or Download the Getaround app and Velocia rewards you enough VELOS for $10 off your next trip with Uber or on a JUMP e-scooter. Velocia rewards you with VELOS every time you board Metrobus or Metrorail, with bonus VELOS for riding Metrorail to the airport or carpooling to the North Dadeland Park & Ride.

Velocia has global aspirations for delivering new mobility solutions that begin here in Miami! Miamians are diverse, energetic and entrepreneurial and provide a rich fabric for learning the ins-and-outs of mobility reward economics. The community and its political leaders have been extraordinarily supportive and with your help Velocia will provide a positive return to Miami for its investment, innovation and confidence.

If Velocia encourages each of you to spend one day less a week in a single-occupant vehicle with Rewards that Move You, then you begin participating in a virtuous cycle of decreasing congestion and decreasing carbon emissions, while increasing savings and more healthy living. As leaders in the Miami Business Community, we are asking you to help spread the word about Velocia. Your reach spans across organizations, employees, communities and much more. We are looking for 2000 users to help us test the app, earn and redeem rewards and provide feedback to make Velocia the best it can be for Miami.

Velocia is available both on iPhone and Android phones. Please download the app from the Velocia website at and invite your colleagues and employees to do the same. Please get in touch with fellow Miamian Eldredge Bermingham ( with questions or comments about Velocia.

Kaseya Looks to Strategic Community Partnerships to Develop Top Talent

Blog Article Contributed by Kaseya

Last week’s blog ⁠— Kaseya Forges Strategic Partnerships for Career Opportunities and Community Engagement ⁠— showcased Kaseya’s best practices in partnering with universities for maintaining a robust talent pipeline while creating exciting career opportunities for young professionals. This week’s blog showcases Kaseya’s strategic partnerships with multiple community partners as they work collaboratively to develop top talent and foster Miami’s entrepreneurial tech ecosystem.

Relationships with Community Partners

Beyond fostering deep connections with local universities, Kaseya has also engaged in a variety of ways with a number of community partners committed to developing top talent for employers.

The Miami-Dade Beacon Council has been an active partner with Kaseya over the last 18 months in support of Kaseya’s community engagement efforts. Michael A. Finney, President & CEO of The Miami-Dade Beacon Council, recently coined the term “the Kaseya effect,” highlighting Kaseya’s leadership role in attracting other companies to Miami and in promoting Miami as a preferred global business destination for technology companies and private equity firms. In mid-2018, Kaseya partnered with the Beacon Council and took the unique step of inviting over 30 community partners to its corporate offices to highlight its desire to be a leading corporate partner on vital, entrepreneurial and technology community-building initiatives. Christine Johnson, Vice President, Innovation, Economic Development at The Miami-Dade Beacon Council highlighted Kaseya’s community impact, stating “not only did Kaseya express its desire to take a leading role in shaping our growing tech community, it has taken action and superbly delivered on its promise to aid in the development of Miami’s tech ecosystem, for which our entire community is grateful!”

For example, Kaseya has been working for nearly 12 months with Year Up,  one of our community partners, whose mission is to close the opportunity divide by ensuring urban youth gain the skills, experience and support, which will, in turn, empower them to reach their potential. Kaseya HR leaders visited Year Up’s student cohorts multiple times, spoke to their students and alumni on career readiness, hosted a group for a corporate tour at Kaseya and served as a judge at Year Up’s student business plan competition. This direct involvement ultimately led to the recent hiring of two additional Account Management interns from Year Up.

Kaseya has also developed relationships with coding schools and academies in South Florida in order to tap into the talent graduating their respective programs. Discussions continue with the likes of Ironhack, LaunchCode, Wyncode, and 4Geeks to discover the best way to capitalize on a robust partnership.

Moreover, Kaseya has actively sought out community partners, who are actively building the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Miami and beyond. For example, Kaseya has hosted youth entrepreneurship groups from Biznovator, a Miami-based organization, whose mission is to empower and enable youth entrepreneurship, social innovation and global leadership. Juan Casimiro, Founder & CEO of Biznovator, highlighted the uniqueness of Kaseya’s engagement by stating: “Kaseya has generously offered its facilities, tours, and executives’ time for the benefit of our camp participants, who get to see first-hand corporate social responsibility (CSR) in action.”

Kaseya is also seeking to deepen its relationship with several business incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces. Most recently, one of Kaseya’s executives spoke to a joint gathering of leaders from Enterprise Florida and the Beacon Council about Miami as a preferred (tech) business destination at the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), one of Miami’s foremost centers for supporting entrepreneurial business ventures.

In the future, Kaseya seeks to develop a formalized program with the CIC as well as other ventures such as LAB Miami, the Venture City, 500 Startups Miami and Endeavor Miami, whereby Kaseya managers and senior leaders will mentor and advise start-up companies to accelerate their development.

Fred Voccola, CEO of Kaseya, stated proudly “Kaseya recently received a $500M investment valuing our organization at over $1.75B, making Kaseya Miami’s first true tech unicorn. While we are excited about this acknowledgement of our IT Complete strategy, overall business success and growth trajectory, we are equally enthusiastic about collaborating with our community partners to boost Miami’s standing and recognition as a preferred business and investment destination.”

To learn more about how your organization can partner with Kaseya to build a mutually beneficial long-term relationship please contact Ken Finneran directly at


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Advantage Miami Magazine Continues to Have Far-Reaching Effects Promoting Miami and Local Businesses Worldwide

As the official publication of The Miami-Dade Beacon Council, Advantage Miami is a valuable resource guide that serves to help national and international businesses in their decisions to relocate or expand their business and executives in Miami-Dade.

Content includes Miami’s tech scene, commercial and housing real estate, banking, educational offerings, municipality profiles and so much more. In addition to strategic distribution points in Miami’s consulate offices, chambers of commerce and global economic development conferences and trade shows, a Digital Edition of the publication is e-mailed to over 30,000 contacts and posted on the Beacon Council website.

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the 2020 edition and promote your business around the world. Deadline to participate is September 6. Contact Cristiana Glassford at 305-376-5252 or before time runs out.

TDN Now Accepting Nominations for Top Internships and Interns in South Florida

The Talent Development Network is now accepting nominations for South Florida’s Top 10 Internship Programs and Top 10 Interns. Nominate your organization’s internship program here and nominate exceptional interns here. Application Deadline: September 6. Find out how you can celebrate South Florida talent on #TalentDay, September 6, here.

You can use the verbiage above for promoting on social media as well. Here are some more samples of ways to promo #TalentDay on social:

  • Do you have one of the best #interns in #SouthFlorida? Let @tdnmiami know why & nominate your intern as one of South Florida’s Top 10 Interns! Application deadline: September 6 #HireMiami #TalentDay
  • Do you have one of the best #internship programs in #SouthFlorida? Nominate yourself to get ranked as one of South Florida’s Top 10 Internship Programs here:  #HireMiami #TalentDay
  • Are you ready to take the #TalentDay pledge? We pledge to celebrate our #Miami talent, interns, employers & internship programs on Sept 6 during @TDNMiami‘s #TalentDay social media celebration! Learn more about #TalentDay & how you can participate here: 

GrowthX Founding Partner, Sean Sheppard, to Keynote SUP-X: The StartUp Expo

SUP-X: The StartUp Expo, Florida’s premier early stage technology conference, announced today that Sean Sheppard will keynote the event, to be held Thursday, July 25, 2019, at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center. Sheppard is one of the Founding Partners of GrowthX, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund that also operates a corporate and civic innovation practice helping companies and economies harness disruption for new profitable growth opportunities.

“I’m excited to deliver the keynote to the growing audience at SUP-X,”  Sheppard said. “Founders in Southern Florida should not have to leave their homes and move to Silicon Valley to build great companies. Proximity to customers is far more important than proximity to capitalists.”

It used to be that technology was expensive and complex and product talent was sparse. So, the biggest risk for startups was in the product itself. But now, the costs and complexity of technology have been greatly reduced, and product talent is plentiful. We’re now living in what Sheppard calls the “Age of Applied Technology.”

The risk has shifted away from product development and toward market development. However, the way startups function has not. Most founders are incredibly product-focused. Business accelerators exacerbate this problem when they help founders build their product and raise money, rather than helping founders market their product and make money.

“We’re super excited that Sean will be headlining SUP-X this year.” said Bob Fitts, Founder and Producer of SUP-X. “Like Sean, I agree that startups spend too much time chasing capital and not enough time figuring out how to generate sales.  I’m certain that having Sean share his wisdom about product-market fit will greatly benefit the early stage entrepreneurs in attendance.”

About SUP-X: The StartUp Expo

SUP-X is Florida’s premier early stage technology and venture capital conference and is held annually in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The event is in its sixth year of production and annually attracts 1000-1500 attendees from throughout North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. The all-day conference has six stages and over 70 panels, speeches, pitches and demos and a startup competition with $25,000+ in cash and prizes.  The event begins with a morning forum called #women4women, that is devoted to female founders, entrepreneurs and investors.  Over 100 startups, service providers, non-profits and entrepreneur support organizations will exhibit at the event.  For more information about SUP-X, visit, or contact

About GrowthX

GrowthX was founded in Silicon Valley in 2014 as a seed stage venture capital fund. From inception, the goal was to practice innovation investing differently – from an investment approach of helping as due diligence, to a wide area of interest and activity beyond check writing, and a celebration and support of all founders wherever they live. The industry of innovation capital has the power to drive both private value creation and sustainable, positive societal transformation. GrowthX strives to direct capital and expertise to create shared value by accelerating the pace of innovation through funding, commercialization, training and growth.

For more information about GrowthX visit or email


Innovation Week Miami

eMerge Americas

The last week of April was a busy week for all the tech and innovators in Miami. It kicked off with eMerge Americas, followed by Rise of the Rest and ended with the Miami Herald’s 2019 Startup Pitch Competition.

Joining eMerge Americas for the 6th consecutive year we leveraged the theme ‘Miami Powers Innovation’ during the two-day conference inviting people to come power up and learn why Miami is the best U.S. City for startups. This year our booth was designed as a coworking space where we had the opportunity to engage with attendees interested in learning more about why Miami.

On Day 1 of eMerge Americas we also curated one of the sessions for the Texpert Stage ‘Inclusion in Technology: A Fresh Conversation (Beyond the Obvious)’ which took a deeper dive into inclusion in South Florida’s technology and innovation landscape. The session was moderated by Nancy Dahlberg, Business & Entrepreneurship Writer and led by Monica Simo Black, Partner at TheVentureCity and Carlos Vazquez, CEO of MiamiEdTech.

Rise of the Rest

The Rise of the Rest tour bus powered by Steve Case’s Revolution made a stop in Miami giving the opportunity to South Florida startups to participate in a pitch competition. During the Miami stop, as well as the other city stops, Steve Case and the Rise of the Rest team along with other key players in South Florida’s tech and startup scene, spent the day touring and visiting entrepreneurs, local business, government leaders, and startup ecosystem builders. The pitch competition took place at The Citadel food hall located in Miami’s Little River neighborhood.

Miami Herald’s Startup Pitch Competition

Marcelo Claure, the Miami investor who founded Brightstar and then became president of Sprint, is now operations chief of SoftBank’s technology portfolio and a partner in Miami’s soccer franchise, was a judge at the 2019 Miami Herald Startup Pitch Competition. The event was sponsored by Florida International University’s Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center and was a free community event that reflected Miami’s startup culture. Our own Michael A. Finney was invited to share thoughts on Miami’s tech and innovation scene while introducing Marcelo Claure on stage.

Trade & Logistics Committee – April Meeting

The Trade & Logistics Committee Meeting hosted a program titled, Help Wanted: Bringing Employers and Job Candidates Together, in early April. The event was curated by the Talent Pipeline Subcommittee to focus on connecting locally educated talent with business leaders from Miami-Dade’s booming trade & logistics industry. The meeting was held on the FIU main campus and included faculty, career counselors and students from Miami’s higher education institutions as well as high school students already pursuing an educational foundation in the logistics industry.

The meeting’s purpose was to facilitate cooperation between the schools which are graduating talented potential employees, and employers who are seeking trained or even untrained but educated employees. The subcommittee is tasked with identifying ways to bridge the talent and skills gap by identifying and addressing problem areas.

The committee was seeking answers to such questions as: Are current recruitment strategies working?  How do schools and job seekers find relevant job postings? How do they differentiate themselves on job posting sites?

Students and employers met in small groups during the program and answered questions regarding how students seek employment and how employers search for candidates and fill positions.

Takeaways from the small group discussion focused on the importance of:

  • Mentorship/internship/apprentice type programs for employers and students to get to know each other (ex. Talent Development Network);
  • YearUp is a program that helps motivated young adults move into meaningful careers through training and internships;
  • Opportunities for student to grow professionally;
  • Ways for students to stay connected to industry professionals.

A high-level panel of industry professionals presented tips and best practices for recruitment and retention of talent moderated by Sarah Tuskey, Department Chairperson – Business, Miami Dade College and Co-Chair for the Talent Pipeline Subcommittee. Panelists included:

Chelsie Taveras, Global Trade Operations & Compliance Director, Cargill

Brian Wood, Group Director, Enterprise Technology Services, Ryder

Joe Rodriguez, Managing Director, SeaLand North America & Canada

There was consensus from the panel on the skills needed for today and tomorrow’s workers:

  1. Critical analytic skills including the ability to analyze data and communicate analysis;
  2. Soft skills such as using common sense, challenging status quo, group dynamics and organizational skills;
  3. Be brave. Be bold;
  4. Be a lifelong learner…be curious;
  5. Take advantage of internship and networking opportunities to meet future employers;
  6. Know how to troubleshoot – be adaptable, be a problem solver;
  7. Get to know artificial intelligence and machine learning and know how to optimize its use.

Companies are using strategies such as internships, social media marketing, and programs like Year up to recruit entry level employees. “Go with Maersk” was used as an example of the type of program trade & logistics companies are using to recruit managerial level talent all over the world. Employers also recognize the importance of retaining top talent and are promoting programs within companies for employees to be continuously trained to pursue opportunities in other parts of the business.

Look for follow up data and recommendations from Education & Workforce Training subcommittee including continued attention on last year’s Trade & Logistics committee survey focusing on the talent and skills connection.

World Trade Month Kicks Off with a Collaborative Effort

The month of May is internationally recognized as World Trade Month. The Miami-Dade Beacon Council was proud to collaborate with World Trade Center Miami and WLRN Media on a joint program that launched our local celebration of the role trade plays in our local economy on May 1. The three organizations organized and hosted a breakfast that featured two panel discussions and was attended by more than 100 professionals engaged in international business.

The first panel was moderated by Terence Shepherd, Business Editor for WLRN Media, and comprised of three trade commissioners, Elaine Brouca – Canada, Lissette Elias – Dominican Republic, and Inmaculada Gutierrez – Spain. The second panel was moderated by Peter Quinter, Chair of the Customs and International Trade Law Group for GrayRobinson, who was joined by Ali Germi, Owner of Acco Terramar; Gary Goldfarb, Chief Strategy Officer for Interport; and Sergio Lozano, President of Alpha Brokers Corp.

For more information on other programs that have taken place and that are still coming during World Trade Month in Miami, visit

Among the upcoming programs is the Beacon Council’s next Trade & Logistics Committee program on May 23. You can see more details on this program and register to attend online.

Positively Disruptive: 2019 World Happiness Summit


By Dyan Brasington, Executive Vice President, Economic Development, Miami-Dade Beacon Council

I embarked on a new adventure just a day or so ago and had the opportunity to attend the World Happiness Summit, held on the gorgeous campus of the University of Miami.  My quest for this adventure was to learn about the science of happiness; positive psychology.  After all, as a professional economic developer for Miami-Dade County, I feel quite positive about my chosen “hometown” and wanted to make sure that this happiness thing wasn’t just about the job.

Typical of many promotional agencies, we tout our rankings and Miami—among many other impressive rankings—is #1 among the Happiest Cities to Work, according to FORBES. Well, I was about to put that ranking to the test.

The 2019 World Happiness Summit (WOHASU) was attended by over 1,000 participants hailing from 30 different countries.  The room was packed with positive energy and excitement, so much so that in these divisive and adverse times, I felt no less than part of a happiness revolution.

So, what defines happiness?  What makes you happy?  In business and government, we often use the term “well-being” when referring to happiness.  Well-being, of course, is both physical and mental.  (I’ll mention another Miami ranking here: #1 city for Healthy Lifestyle Choices, according to When you combine the fact that we have a diverse, culturally-rich community that is used to welcoming new people and a location and climate that encourages mobility and healthier choices, it’s no surprise that we are among the lucky that can foster both our physical and mental well-being if we make that a priority for ourselves.

We learned through the experts and the research that, to feel happy, people need to feel like they matter and are valued. We need social connections and relationships to be happy.  Happiness is a serious business.  If we are serious about it, we need to build a wellness movement and change the culture of stress.  To construct a wellness movement means living our values and demonstrating acceptance as change inevitably happens. We learned about the connection between happiness and morality, and those things that lead to happiness: taking time, being honest, and giving. Delight, hope, passion, love, gratitude, joy, kindness, and curiosity. Practice these and you “feed the good wolf”, as the Cherokee legend goes. 

Finally, the Action for Happiness organization recommends ten keys to being happier that I will share here: Giving, Relationships, Exercise, Awareness, Trying Out new things, Direction, Resilience, Emotions, Acceptance, and Meaning. For more on each of these:

My latest adventure encapsulated all the keys to happiness through sharing with the many positive people I met from all over the world, as well as from my local tribe who attended WOHASU with me.  What place is better equipped to host the World Happiness Summit® than Miami, the #3 Most Fun City according to Career Bliss. The weekend workshop left no doubt that my happiness doesn’t just stem from my job, but from the community that I feel happy to call home.   #WOHASU


The World Happiness Summit® is a 3-day event that unites the world’s leading experts in the science of happiness and well-being with a global audience to learn practical tools for a happier life. To learn more how to choose your happy as you plan for next year’s summit, log on to: