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By Nikki Cabus

FAU Adams Center Director Wins Best Paper at National Conference

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Florida Atlantic University’s Director of the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship was awarded top honors at a national conference. 

Kevin Cox PH.D., Director of the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship at Florida Atlantic University‘s College of Business, along with Regina Thompson, Assistant Director of Strategic and Economic Initiatives in FAU’s Division of Research, won best conceptual paper for their research on prototype development at the “Forging Your Future Together” conference held by USASBE in January.

Founded in 1981, the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) is an inclusive community of educators, researchers, and entrepreneurs advancing entrepreneurship education through bold teaching, scholarship, and practice. Membership is open to all, as is attendance at USASBE’s hallmark annual conference. USASBE also publishes a peer-reviewed academic journal, Entrepreneurship Education & Pedagogy, and develops a variety of helpful resources and professional development opportunities for entrepreneurship educators as they create a positive impact.

Held January 10th – 14th in Birmingham, Alabama, the USASBE 2024: Forging the Future Together Conference aimed to shape and sharpen the dynamic discipline of entrepreneurship education through moulding effective pedagogy, recasting innovation, strengthening thought leadership. The world needs entrepreneurship education more than ever and the conference allowed attendees to share tools, technologies, and talents as they build community and forge the future together. Check out the conference program here.

Teachers share best practices, but also challenging existing paradigms of how entrepreneurship should be taught, to whom, and what ends. Researchers move the practice of entrepreneurship education forward and translating cutting-edge entrepreneurship research into teachable content. Program directors and practitioners complement classroom-based entrepreneurship education with practical immersion experiences in the broader entrepreneurship community.

The conference held their annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education Awards where Dr. Kevin Cox from Florida Atlantic Unversity’s Adams Center for Entrepreneurship accepted an award for Best Conceptual Paper. The paper, “Deconstructing the MVP: Fundamental Elements,” looks at practical applications for developing prototypes and the amount of resources that goes into it for start-up companies. The paper was coauthored by Jason Lortie, Sean DeRossett and Scott Kelly, all with Florida Gulf Coast University.

“I’m honored that the work my colleagues and I put into this research project focused on enhancing entrepreneurship theory and education related to prototype development was recognized by our expert peers and top entrepreneurship educators from around the country,” Dr. Kevin Cox said.

“This recognition also highlights our contributions to the development of new promising approaches for the future.”

Dr. Cox, who had been serving as the assistant director of the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship since 2016, stepped into the Director role in August 2023. He received his Ph.D. in business administration from Florida Atlantic University in 2016. His areas of research include entrepreneurship, new venture creation, and finance and social entrepreneurship. He is also the lead instructor at FAU’s Tech Runway New Venture Accelerator, a public-private partnership that helps accelerate tech development and start-up companies.

“We won Best Conceptual Research Paper at the #USASBE 2024 conference #forgingthefuture,” contributor Regina Thompson, M.B.A., wrote in a social media post.

“It was a great experience with a TON of brilliant entrepreneurial minds in one place. Very happy to have contributed with Kevin Cox, Jason Lortie, Scott Kelly, and Sean DeRossett.”

Working with both students andf the larger entrepreneurial community, Regina’s mission is two-fold. She aims to develop the best candidates for the workforce and entrepreneurship by engaging students in experiential learning opportunities, professional development programs and initiatives, and fostering corporate relationships. She accmplishes this by providing educational workshops, developing soft skills, and connecting community entrepreneurs and early stage startups with FAU resources that enhance our South Florida entrepreneurial ecosystem and promotes their success.

“Kevin Cox and colleagues’ winning this award at the conference highlights the contributions our FAU Management Programs faculty members are making in the field of entrepreneurship,” said Ethlyn Williams, Ph.D., department chair of Management Programs in the College of Business.

“Not only is our faculty advancing scholarship, but they are also providing students with innovative experiences in our entrepreneurship programs.”

To learn more about the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship and the work that Dr. Cox and his team are doing, visit www.business.fau.edu/centers/adams-center/about-the-adams-center/

By Nikki Cabus

Ryder CISO named winner in Top Global CISOs for 2023 by Cyber Defense Magazine

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Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE: R) announced that Ryder Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Joe Ellis has been named a winner of the Top Global CISOs Awards for 2023, sponsored annually by Cyber Defense Magazine.

Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE: R) is a leading logistics and transportation company. It provides supply chain, dedicated transportation, and fleet management solutions, including warehousing and distribution, e-commerce fulfillment, last-mile delivery, managed transportation, professional drivers, freight brokerage, full-service leasing, maintenance, commercial truck rental, and used vehicle sales to some of the world’s most-recognized brands.

Ryder provides services throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada. In addition, Ryder manages nearly 260,000 commercial vehicles and operates approximately 300 warehouses encompassing more than 95 million square feet. To secure this top honor, Mr. Ellis competed against thousands of candidates. Judges search for the most innovative candidates, with success in communicating with their boards and senior level executives, and who aim to build powerful risk reduction programs for their organizations.

Chief information security officers help corporations avert disasters and work tirelessly to allow companies to grow and expand by managing and mitigating cybersecurity issues on a day-to-day basis.

Joe Ellis has been Ryder’s CISO since 2018 and is responsible for the transportation and logistics company’s information security program. Prior to joining Ryder, he was CISO at Subway Restaurants. With nearly three decades of IT leadership experience, he is also a CISSP® – Certified Information Systems Security Professional, Certified Information Systems Auditor® (CISA), and Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer (CDPSE).

“We are thrilled to see Joe achieve this top spot in the industry and be recognized as a leading cyber innovator and defender,” says Ryder Chief Information Officer Rajeev Ravindran. “Joe has driven significant results over the course of his 27 years in the IT industry, and his impressive leadership and experience have proven even more impactful at Ryder.”

Cyber Defense Magazine was founded in 2012 by Gary S. Miliefsky, a globally recognized cyber security thought leader, inventor, and entrepreneur and continues to be the premier source of IT Security information. Managed and published by and for ethical, honest, passionate information security professionals. Our mission is to share cutting-edge knowledge, real-world stories and awards on the best ideas, products and services in the information technology industry. We deliver electronic magazines every month online for free, and limited special editions exclusively for the RSA, BlackHat, and Cyber Defense Conferences.

“We’re pleased to honor Joe Ellis as a winner among the small, elite group of information security professionals of our Top Global CISOs Awards for 2023, celebrating with them at CyberDefenseCon 2023,” says Gary Miliefsky, publisher of Cyber Defense Magazine.

This is Cyber Defense Magazine’s 11th year of honoring cybersecurity innovators, in this case the Top Global CISOs for 2023, on our Cyber Defense Awards platform. In this competition, judges for these and other prestigious awards include cybersecurity industry veterans, trailblazers and market makers Gary Miliefsky of CDMG, Dr. Lindsey Polley de Lopez of VentureScope, Robert R. Ackerman Jr. of Allegis Cyber, Dino Boukouris of MomentumCyber and with much appreciation to emeritus judges Robert Herjavec of Cyderes, Dr. Peter Stephenson of CDMG, and David DeWalt of NightDragon.

To view the full list of winners, visit: https://cyberdefenseawards.com/top-global-cisos-winners-for-2023/.

By Nikki Cabus

BrandStar Studios takes home two prestigious awards at the 44th annual Telly Awards 2023

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The Telly Awards has announced its 44th annual winners after a record-breaking year for entries. BrandStar Studios takes home not one, but two, awards this year!

The Telly Awards is the world’s largest honor for video and television across all screens. This year’s winners include some of the most prominent global brands and companies alongside smaller and independent production houses, including Cut+Run, Netflix, Disney Parks, Media.Monks, Paramount, National Geographic Society, and dynastic NBA team the Golden State Warriors.

Founded in 1979 to originally honor commercials made for cable and local TV, The Telly Awards has continually refreshed its categories to honor the evolving, broad range of work being made today – work that reflects the trends, issues, and topical matters of each year. This season, the Tellys unveiled categories to better recognize work across Pro Bono and CSR, video journalism, and those pushing boundaries across virtual production.

“The caliber of the work this season truly has reflected the theme of breaking out and standing out,” said The Telly Awards Executive Director Sabrina Dridje. “Our industry is experimenting with new technologies like never before, crafting truly compelling stories to draw attention to some of the world’s most pressing issues, and companies big and small are turning to more sustainable practices to break the cycle of past production processes.”

The Telly Awards’ 44th annual edition – “Break through the static” – boasted nearly 13,000 entries from across the globe, the most in a decade, with submissions flowing in from the US, Middle East, UK and Canada, as well as strong entries from Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and as widespread as Afghanistan, Sweden, New Zealand, Jamaica, and South Africa. 

BrandStar Entertainment and BrandStar Studios both shines bright with a double victory at the Telly Awards 2023 bringing home two bronze awards!

  • B2B Branded Content
    • Inside the Blueprint – Going Electric, Going Green: Forklifts for a Sustainable Planet
    • Senior Associate Producer, Robert Holodak, BrandStar
    • As the world’s largest supplier of forklifts and material handling equipment, Toyota Material Handling will help bring your company to the next level. For more than 50 years, this global market leader has successfully helped companies worldwide operate at their highest levels of efficiency and workloads.
  • Health & Safety Branded Content
    • Access Health – The Importance of Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease
    • Senior Producer/Writer, Amy Robinson, BrandStar
    • Join host Ereka Vetrini for an in-depth discussion on managing your brain health. Panelists will discuss the differences between healthy aging and Alzheimer’s, as well as reducing your risk of cognitive decline. Plus, we’ll also meet two very special advocates.

In the TV production business for close to 30 years, BrandStar’s founders made their mark through programs such as Access Health, Inside the Blueprint, The Balancing Act, Military Makeover, and Designing Spaces. Each show has a goal of helping people just be a little better at life.

Prominently displayed near the front entrance of BrandStar’s 43,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in Deerfield Beach, you will notice over 140 Telly Awards honoring the television and video production for multiple show airing on the Lifetime Television Network.

Along with the awards themselves, The Telly Awards continues to connect with its audience year round and provide a valuable platform for thought leadership and community. This season’s highlights included the expansion of The Telly Awards global screenings to include the production hub of Atlanta, and a packed panel with partner Green The Bid focused on sustainable production.

Meanwhile, season two of The Telly Awards Podcast made its triumphant return bringing together two leaders from the video and television community with similar expertise in different disciplines – including a candid conversation between Tribeca Enterprises and Alamo Drafthouse. The Telly Awards’ unfiltered, unrehearsed interview series “Hot Takes” also returned with industry experts on hot-button topics, with this year’s programming covering the impact of AI on the animation industry, how to stand out as a freelancer in a crowded market, and the critical work of partner We Are Parable in exhibiting Black Cinema.

The fan favorite, the “People’s Telly Awards”, which were chosen by the public, went to a diversified, solid roster of creative and production talent, from Netflix and MTV Entertainment Studios to Paramount Brand Studio and Sesame Workshop.

To learn more about BrandStar, visit https://brandstar.com/

By Nikki Cabus

Finalists Announced for the 13th Annual GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch

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GrowFL just announced the Finalists for the 13th Annual Florida Companies to Watch Awards and nine South Florida and Treasure Coast companies made the list!

A prestigious recognition program celebrating high-performing second-stage companies that demonstrate innovative business strategies and excellent potential for future growth, the 13th Annual GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch is brought to you by Duke Energy and Nperspective CFO & Strategic Services, in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation.

Companies to Watch is a unique way to acknowledge the remarkable achievements of second-stage companies that contribute significantly to the state’s economic vitality. These companies have successfully navigated through challenges and exhibited outstanding entrepreneurial leadership and innovation, creating a positive impact on their communities and industries. Since 2011, GrowFL has recognized 600 companies with this prestigious award. Many of the past honorees have now grown their companies to stage 3 and stage 4 businesses employing more than 500.

More than 150,000 high-growth second stage companies headquartered in Florida represent nearly 4 Million jobs. That’s almost 30% of the jobs from less than 5% of the state. Second stage companies are no longer worried about failing, but focused on growth and job creation bringing real economic impact to their geographic regions.

To qualify for the award, companies must have between 6 and 150 employees and revenue between $750,000 and $100 million in 2022. The finalists were selected from more than 550 nominations from throughout Florida and represent a diverse group of growing companies representing a variety of industries. Together, they reported a total of more than 2,770 jobs and generated close to $813 million in revenue in 2022. These companies anticipate growth of 29 percent in revenue and 21 percent in employment by the end of 2023.

“The companies selected as Finalists are a testament to the resilience and creativity of Florida’s entrepreneurs. They are thriving in an ever-changing business landscape, and their accomplishments inspire others to strive for excellence,” said Jennifer Taylor, president and CEO of GrowFL.

“Each finalist has demonstrated outstanding growth and innovation, positioning them as leaders within their industries. We are honored, year after year, to celebrate the outstanding success of the entrepreneurs in our state.”

One of the second-stage company Finalists in the running is Streann Media, a content-creation and streaming company, disrupting the content landscape. The company has built the most complete OTT platform in the world with a powerful Content Management System, Content App Editor and 150 tools to distribute, engage and monetize live and on demand content. Streann’s innovations include proprietary integration with Artificial Intelligence and Patent Technologies for Monetization. The Miami-based company has won multiple industry awards, has millions of active users and has been deployed in 141 countries.

Founder and CEO of Streann Media, Gio Punzo, told South Florida Tech Hub, “We are thrilled to be selected as a Finalist for the GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch Awards. This reconfirms the dedication and expertise of our talented team who consistently strive to provide innovative solutions and exceptional service to our clients.”

He continued, “We are delighted to be a part of Florida’s thriving business community and look forward to continuing our growth trajectory. We have grown to 70 million unique viewers in 141 countries around the world thanks to our breakthrough technology made in Florida.”

Finalists undergo a second round of judging before the top 50 companies are selected and emerge as Honorees. Honorees will be announced in early October and will be recognized at the awards ceremony on Thursday, February 15, 2024, at the Hard Rock Live, Universal CityWalk in Orlando, Florida. Tickets will go on sale in September.

GrowFL is driven by one goal – to cultivate second-stage growth companies across the state. Second-stage companies are the backbone of Florida’s economy and the definition of economic success and prosperity. Through our diverse programs and services, GrowFL provides proven methods to help overcome unique challenges facing second-stage companies as they grow.

Congratulations to the 12th Annual GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch Finalists from South Florida & Treasure Coast:

  • Flexxbuy (St. Lucie)
  • HelixVM (Palm Beach)
  • Hollywood Woodwork, Inc. (Broward)
  • Loupe Tech, Inc (Miami-Dade)
  • Pointer Construction Group LLC. (Broward)
  • PUR-FORM (Palm Beach)
  • Spot Pet Insurance, LLC. (Miami-Dade)
  • Streann Media (Miami-Dade)
  • Weedoo Greenboat, Inc. (Palm Beach)

To view the full list of Finalists, click here.

By Nikki Cabus

In partnership with the BDB, CareerSource Palm Beach County is named Workforce Employer of the Year 2023

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The National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) recently announced that CareerSource Palm Beach County has been named the 2023 Workforce Employer of the Year. 

NAWDP provides education, resources, and certification credibility to individuals seeking to thrive as thought leaders and innovators in the workforce development industry. As the leading advocate for workforce development professionals, NAWDP builds relationships and connections with other industry-leading organizations to challenge and collaborate for the advancement of the industry. The NAWDP is the heartbeat of workforce development.

“The Workforce Employer of the Year award recognizes a private-sector employer or employer consortium who partners and collaborates with their local workforce partners to create a positive impact in their local area,” said Melissa Robbins, NAWDP’s Chief Executive Officer. “CareerSource Palm Beach County has developed a lucrative partnership with the Palm Beach County Business Development Board that has increased the opportunities for jobseekers and businesses in the community.”

CareerSource Palm Beach County is the nonprofit organization chartered by the state to lead workforce development in Palm Beach County. During the past five program years, CareerSource Palm Beach County assisted nearly 45,000 residents find employment/reemployment ranging from entry-level to executive suite, with salaries from these jobs creating $700 million in annual wages. CareerSource also awarded $14.7 million in grants to area businesses and employees for job training and educational assistance during that time.

The two organizations work in partnership using comprehensive labor market information/analysis, job candidate sourcing, training grants, and placement support to attract, retain, and help businesses expand.

CareerSource Palm Beach County and the Business Development Board have convened/facilitated various collaborative programs in the Glades communities, including providing $1.7 million in grants to local employers and residents for training and educational assistance over the past 5 years. This, along with comprehensive job placement, hiring, and recruiting services provided by CareerSource Palm Beach County’s Belle Glade career center, has helped to significantly reduce area unemployment.

One effort of the partnership includes the recruitment of FinFrock, a major precast concrete manufacturer, to Belle Glade. This project will create more than 200 jobs with salaries starting at $19/hour with fully paid medical benefits. It is projected to bring a $242 million economic impact to the Glades communities.

The partnership has been fruitful with new industry data showing Palm Beach County as home to 463 corporate, subsidiary and regional offices, 2,897 financial services and hedge funds, 1,628 aviation/aerospace/engineering companies, 2,189 infotech companies, 5,496 healthcare companies, 682 distribution and logistics centers, and 1,424 manufacturing companies.

“We are incredibly pleased and proud that our achievements arising from our partnership with the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County have been nationally recognized with this award,” said Julia Dattolo, President and CEO of CareerSource Palm Beach County. “Our partnership has created a much more diversified, high-quality employer base, making our economy more resilient – and contributing to record low unemployment rates for more than a year.”

This is the second national award CareerSource Palm Beach County has recently received. The National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) presented their national Trailblazer Award to CareerSource PBC in 2021. The award recognizes a workforce board that has been a leader in developing comprehensive workforce solutions for its communities.

In addition to today’s award, the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County received nearly 10 national, state and local awards since 2022. The BDB also is one of only 66 in the world to be an Accredited Economic Development Board and has been internationally recognized in the past for marketing strategies and programs.

The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County is the official public/private economic development organization for Palm Beach County.  Founded in 1982 as a not-for-profit corporation, our primary purpose is to attract and retain new industry, business investment, high quality jobs and workforce development through corporate relocations, expansions and international trade. During the past five years, the BDB has assisted companies that have created more than 12,822 direct jobs with average salaries greater than $69,062, resulting in more than $777 million in capital investment to Palm Beach County and an economic impact that exceeds $6.87 billion.

“CareerSource Palm Beach County has been an impactful partner of the Business Development Board’s economic development efforts and it’s an honor to receive this prestigious award together. This partnership will continue to stimulate economic energy and enrich the vitality of Palm Beach County as more corporate citizens relocate to and expand in the Palm Beaches,” said Kelly Smallridge, President and CEO of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County (BDB).

FAU Adams Center Director Wins Best Paper at National Conference
Ryder CISO named winner in Top Global CISOs for 2023 by Cyber Defense Magazine
BrandStar Studios takes home two prestigious awards at the 44th annual Telly Awards 2023
Finalists Announced for the 13th Annual GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch
In partnership with the BDB, CareerSource Palm Beach County is named Workforce Employer of the Year 2023