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:

Miami to Draw Thousands of Fashion Reps, Investors as Apparel Textile Sourcing Miami Show Gets Underway May 28-30

Miami’s fashion industry is getting a major revival, thanks to new global investment with the return of the Apparel Textile Sourcing Miami (ATSM) to the Mana Wynwood Conference Center May 28-30.

The second annual event — the largest apparel and textile sourcing trade show in the Southern U.S. and Latin America, which coincides with Miami Fashion Week — will put Miami on the map for its leading showcase of the latest

More than 4,000 local and international visitors are expected to attend ATSM, representing brands, retailers, e-commerce sellers, designers, importers and buying offices. They will have an unprecedented opportunity for networking and education as more than 300 exhibitors from over 15 countries converge at the show — including fabric mills, ready-made garment factories, service providers, wholesalers, trade offices and home textile suppliers. The overlap with Miami Fashion Week will increase this number to more than 10,000 fashion industry professionals visiting the Magic City at that time.

Backed by unprecedented support from a wide range of local and national industry, trade and commerce organizations, including the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, ATSM delivers a one-of-a-kind opportunity for attendees and exhibitors to cross-network, forge affiliations and identify new business growth strategies.

As part of ATSM 2019, show organizers have announced that the first Asia-US-Latin American Investment Summit will take place on May 28 in the show’s VIP Lounge, bringing major Chinese investors to the city. They will be focused on local investment opportunities in Miami and Fort Lauderdale in the areas of logistics, ports, commercial/residential real estate, infrastructure and technology. Organized in conjunction with the Investment Association of China (IAC), the Miami summit is the next stop for China’s One Belt, One Road global trade initiative, which has injected billions of dollars into different world economies across numerous industries since its inception in 2001.

ATSM will also bring to Miami a Latin American delegation of apparel and textile producers, ready to facilitate “near-sourcing” business with attendees. With recent geo-political tension and technology changing the global production landscape, an increasing number of companies are looking to Latin America as a viable solution to source apparel and textiles without going overseas. Guatemala, for one, has seen an explosion of business as a result, and representatives will be on site to discuss opportunities for Florida businesses.

What’s more, show visitors will reap the benefits of a unique Florida Business Panel, providing insight into local industry opportunities and services.

The event will also include the return of the much-anticipated ATSM fashion show, representing both local and international designers, up-and-coming student talent and global fashions presented by show exhibitors. Miami designers who sell both nationally and internationally will be featured in the Best of Miami segment, and students of Miami International University will showcase womenswear and menswear.

According to industry leaders, such as celebrity designer Rene Ruiz, Miami’s No. 1 fashion innovator and ambassador of solidifying South Florida as a global fashion talent magnet, ATSM fills an important market gap in bringing much-needed global opportunities to Miami, and providing designers and sourcing professionals global reach to manufacturers.

ATSM is produced by JP Communications INC , publisher of North America’s leading of B2B wholesale and manufacturer trade platforms and The Apparel Textile Sourcing trade shows are produced annually in Miami, Toronto, Montreal and Berlin.  Registration to the three-day event is free-of-charge. For more information and to register, visit

Miami’s Innovators – Get to Know the Disruptors of Trade & Logistics

How will technology and innovation continue to change our business lives? Can industry disruption transform long held business norms and traditions?

These gnawing questions motivated the Miami-Dade Beacon Council’s Trade and Logistics Committee to create its Innovation Subcommittee with a mandate to identify and encourage innovation within the booming, but conventional, trade and logistics industry. An industry that is estimated to account for 20+% of Miami-Dade’s jobs.

Committee Chair Gabriel Rodriquez welcomed committee members and guests and shared his goals for the year. Namely, he spoke about a desire to see locally based businesses engage with each other and work together to increase collaboration and drive our continued success as a region. Additionally, Rodriguez reiterated a commitment to ensure businesses are connecting with the talent that is being trained by our many educational institutions.

Innovation Subcommittee Chair Nabil Malouli, VP, Global Ecommerce Lead for DHL Supply Chain invited company leaders who are disrupting the global trade and logistics space to share their company goals and the void they were seeking to fill at a recent Trade & Logistics Committee meeting.

Seven companies presented their “market – trend – solution” business plan to an audience of 100+ trade and logistics industry leaders at the Intercontinental Hotel.  The goal was to educate committee members about Miami’s innovation economy and create excitement about these budding entrepreneurs and innovative startups changing the face of trade and logistics.

Each company made a short presentation focused on: 1) explaining the critical need identified in the marketplace; 2) sharing trends and observations about their niche and most importantly; 3) explaining their solutions and business concept. Audience members followed each presentation with rapid fire questions to gain additional insights and learn more about the companies.

Get to Know the disruptors transforming South Florida’s trade and logistics industry:

MobiWork- smartphone and cloud-based software solution to manage and optimize a company’s mobile operations and workforce. Services include route planning and optimization, mobile sales orders, load management and more.

Octopi – Octopi was created to help the global trade industry operate more efficiently using modern software. They build and sell a Terminal Operating System (TOS) which helps seaport terminal operators manage their operations, track their cargo, and communicate electronically and in real-time with their commercial partners.

71 lbs. – For anyone shipping merchandise, 71 lbs. helps interpret complicated polices, rules and costs to help shippers make better business decisions and save money. Services include late delivery refunds, shipping discounts, damaged goods, carrier contract negotiations and more cost-saving

Qualitat – A Chilean, virtual reality education and training company offering modern simulated training techniques that are proven to increase adult learning comprehension and help reduce on the job accidents. Qualitat’s client list includes well-known companies such as PepsiCo and Komat’Su among others around the world.

Neighborhood Fuel – Neighborhood Fuel is an on-demand mobile gas station the delivers gas to homes, offices, company fleets, commerce parks and communities. Using a convenient mobile app, customers access on-site service, free delivery and competitive prices.

Palletized – We all know the success of co-working spaces. Palletized has pioneered the concept of co-warehousing space to meet the need of businesses needing office and warehouse space and the logistical support team to move goods.

Park-O-Truck – Lack of safe, secure parking costs the trucking industry significantly in lost time and theft. Park-O-Truck solves the truck parking challenge by connecting truckers to available parking spaces and allowing lot owners to monetize their asset during off hours.

Beacon Council CEO Michael Finney described the organization’s new B2B initiative which will connect local small businesses like the ones described above to large established companies to create opportunities to do business together. The committee’s program helped create awareness and interest in some of Miami’s most interesting entrepreneurs.

The Progressive Miami International Boat Show is back for its 78th Year, Continues its Impact in Miami

The Progressive Miami International Boat Show returns to Virginia Key from February 14-18, 2019, marking the annual event’s 78th year here in Miami. The Show is a must-see for recreational boaters, but there’s a lot more to it than just the latest and greatest in boats and marine gear.

Whether you’re a boater or not, the Show’s impact on our local economy should catch your attention. Nationally, recreational boating is a $170 billion industry – that’s according to the Boat Show’s parent organization, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). When that impressive figure is broken down by state, Florida makes up the biggest slice of the boating pie at $23.3 billion in economic impact. The Miami International Boat Show itself generates an impressive $854 million statewide economic impact every single year, greater than the impact of hosting two – yes, two – Super Bowls here in Miami-Dade County. In total, the event draws approximately 100,000 attendees each year, filling 3,000 room-nights in downtown Miami alone, and drawing visitors from 35 countries to Miami-Dade County.

If you go beyond the numbers and take a look around Miami-Dade County, it also becomes clear just how much the recreational boating industry supports our local economy and provides jobs to residents. From local marine manufacturers like SeaVee and Cigarette Racing (boats, engines, and accessories); to their suppliers, dealers and retailers; to services such as repairs and marinas; boating activities and trips; and business tax revenue, the impacts of recreational boating on Miami-Dade County are hugely beneficial to our community.

To purchase tickets to the Miami International Boat Show and get a firsthand view of just how big our local recreational boating industry is, please click here.

Fridays are for Fierce (South) Florida Females

Inspired by our Chair, Fierce Female Penny Shaffer (Market President – South Florida, Florida Blue), The Beacon Council will be joining the #FierceFemaleFriday movement. We’ll be highlighting some of our business community’s many strong, influential women on our social media platforms, as well as in our newsletter. Our goal is to inspire and empower a whole new generation of leaders by celebrating these incredible women’s many successes and sharing their stories.

While we have many Fearless Females that come to mind, we are counting on YOU to help us find the best stories to share with our community. If you are a Fearless Female doing business in Miami-Dade (or know someone who is!), please submit your nominations for consideration to Tere Garcia (