South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Nikki Cabus

SoFlo DevCon 2024: Celebrating Tech Talent and Building the Developer Community

Read Time 5 Minutes

The South Florida Developer Conference, or “SoFlo DevCon,” has celebrated its 20th year leaving attendees inspired and energized.

The conference which began two decades ago as “Code Camp” was founded by President & CEO of Computer Ways, Inc., local software developer and tech community advocate, Dave Noderer. In 2021, Dave approached South Florida Tech Hub about acquiring the conference and helping continue its impact in the community. Since its inception in 2005, SoFlo DevCon has morphed into a one-day geekfest for developers, designers, project managers, educators and even tech investors. We were honored to have Dave Noderer in the building with us celebrating this special milestone.

Held Saturday, May 4th, this year’s theme was fittingly “May The Source Be With You” bringing in the ever-so-popular Star Wars attire, decor, presentations and even Chewbacca himself to the day’s activities. The first 300 guests received an exclusive tshirt, sponsored by Streann Media and Sherlock Talent, comemorating the event. The conference was held in the Carl DeSantis building at Nova Southeastern University’s Davie campus in Broward and all guests were provided breakfast and lunch at no charge thanks to our wonderful sponsors,  Dexian Signature Consultants and SQA Advisory

This year’s conference exceeded expectations, drawing over 1000 participants and featuring an impressive lineup of sessions, workshops, and keynote. Marking its 20th anniversary, this milestone event demonstrated why SoFlo DevCon remains a cornerstone in the tech community’s calendar, providing a dynamic environment for learning, networking, and innovation. In order to create a more inclusive and accessible  tech community, American Sign Language, or “ASL” was sponsored by CITY Furniture.

The conference kicked off with a captivating keynote by Meggie Soliman, Director of Strategic Innovations, Applications at DSS, Inc, an experienced healthcare technologist with a passion for Innovation. Her talk, titled “Unlocking Innovation,” set an ambitious tone for the event, exploring how emerging technologies are revolutionizing industries and creating new opportunities for developers. Meggie’s insights resonated deeply with the audience, sparking conversations and ideas that permeated the entire conference.

SoFlo DevCon, sponsored by NSU’s College of Engineering, provides a specialized environment for attendees to learn, collaborate, and innovate. The conference featured a well-structured array of tracks, catering to various interests and expertise levels. Attendees had the opportunity to dive deep into Web Development, Mobile Applications, Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, Emerging Technologies and a mulitiude of other topics. Each track offered sessions that were both informative and cutting-edge, thanks to the expertise of the speakers and the relevance of the topics discussed.

The numerous workshops and hands-on sessions, offered a deep dive into various technical subjects such as “ABCs of GenAI, LLMs, and Why I Should Care?” by Todd Albert to “Integrating Automated & Performance Testing into the Software Development Lifecycle” by Delvis Echeverria to “Navigating a Multi-Cloud Organization” by Teddy Wagnac and so many more!

“I’m thrilled to extend my gratitude to South Florida Tech Hub for hosting an incredible SoFlo DevCon 2024! Speaking at this event was not only a great honor but also an exceptional opportunity to engage with so many talented developers and industry leaders.,” shared Marlon Atherton, Founder & CEO of ATEAM Solution Services, SoFlo DevCon speaker and attendee.

“The energy and enthusiasm at the conference were truly inspiring. A huge thank you to the organizers and attendees alike for making it such a memorable experience. I’m already looking forward to the next one!” Marlon spoke on the topic of “Ai & Cybersecurity: Ethical Implications & Defense.”

These sessions were particularly valuable for those looking to enhance their practical skills. Workshops ranged from advanced coding techniques and user experience design to agile project management and educational technology. The hands-on nature of these workshops ensured that participants not only learned new concepts but also applied them in real-time, reinforcing their understanding and capability.

SoFlo DevCon 2024 emphasized the importance of community, connection and collaboration. Networking opportunities abounded, from meet-and-greet sessions to a Leadership Luncheon, sponsored by SIM South Florida, to a social after party and wine down. These interactions fostered connections among attendees, encouraging the exchange of ideas and the development of lasting professional relationships. Thafter party allowed attendees to unwind, enjoy music (and some karaoke), and engage in informal conversations with peers and speakers. The relaxed atmosphere fostered a sense of camaraderie and community that is often hard to achieve in more formal settings.

A dedicated exhibit showcased the evolution of the conference, featuring memorabilia, photos, testimonials from past attendees and speakers, and awesome tshirts wall from over the years. This nostalgic look back was a reminder of how far the conference and the tech community have come, and it set a hopeful tone for the future. This display was thanks to Alex Funkhouser, Founder & CEO of Sherlock Talent and one of the original supporters and volunteers for Code Camp over the years.

The success of SoFlo DevCon 2024 would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Nova Southeastern University (NSU), Streann Media, Sherlock Talent, SIM South Florida, CITY Furniture, SQA Advisroy, Salgo Music, Microsoft TEALS, Talent MSH, TurboDocX, ShowUp Event App, and Synchronized Technologies. Their unwavering commitment and contributions were instrumental in making this event a resounding success, allowing us to provide a top-notch experience for all attendees.

As the curtains close on SoFlo DevCon 2024, the sentiment among attendees is overwhelmingly positive. The conference’s commitment to delivering high-quality content, fostering innovation and sense of continued learning, and building a strong community was evident throughout the event. Participants left with new knowledge, valuable connections, and a renewed sense of enthusiasm for the future of technology and software development.

Reflecting on the success of this year’s event, it’s clear that SoFlo DevCon continues to be a must-attend conference for anyone involved in the tech industry. Here’s to SoFlo DevCon 2025!

Want to see if you made this year’s photo album? Visit https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjBrje6 📸

By Nikki Cabus

NSU’s Board of Trustees Announces Succession Plan for NSU Presidency

Read Time 4 Minutes

At its September 21, 2023 meeting, Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) Board of Trustees and President Dr. George Hanbury finalized plans for him to step down as president and CEO and continue to serve NSU in a new role as of January 1, 2025. At the same meeting, the Board voted unanimously for Harry K. Moon, M.D., currently NSU’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, to become NSU’s 7th President and CEO. Dr. Moon will begin his tenure as president, also on January 1, 2025.

The decision by the President and Board to make this announcement now gives the university and its executive leadership abundant time to implement a well-thought-out transition period to ensure the long-term success of the university, its students, faculty, staff, alumni, patients, partners and the communities it serves.

“George Hanbury has led Nova Southeastern University through years of unparalleled achievement. The university is financially sound and well on track to continue its rise to preeminence among national research universities,” said Mr. Charlie Palmer, Chair of NSU’s Board of Trustees. “We have recognized the strong and effective partnership between President Hanbury and Dr. Moon over these past five years and we see that promotion from within will serve the university’s best interest.

“Dr. Moon has contributed significantly to NSU’s growth and brings recognized strategic planning and vision to this role,” Palmer continued. “He can build upon President Hanbury’s considerable legacy and lead NSU to continue its rise to preeminence among national research universities. Having such a clear succession plan and process will ensure an intentional and effective transition at the executive level. We are confident this appointment will help ensure continuity, stability, and the fulfillment of NSU’s destiny.”

President Hanbury, who has served as president of Nova Southeastern University since 2010, will continue to serve NSU in a new role as Chancellor and creator of a new Institute of Citizenship, Leadership, and International Affairs.

“Serving the students, faculty and staff of this great university has been the most noble thing I have ever done in my life. My job became my passion at NSU, and because I loved what I was doing, I feel like I never worked a day. I love being president of the NSU family,” said Dr. Hanbury. “As my contract draws to an end, I’m blessed to be healthy and happy, and it’s time to prepare to pass the gavel to the next and seventh presidency of this fine institution.

“I’ve been considering and planning for this transition for some time now, and I couldn’t imagine a better successor than Harry Moon,” Dr. Hanbury continued. “When I recruited him to the senior leadership position of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer – a position I held myself for 12 years at NSU before I became President – I had this kind of opportunity well in mind. We’ve worked well as collaborators and I strongly endorse Dr. Moon’s selection by the Board as NSU’s seventh President in order to continue the University’s measured progress toward preeminence. We will continue to work closely over the next 15 months so that I can impart the knowledge I have gained, and to seamlessly transition leadership responsibilities.”

Dr. Moon currently serves as NSU’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, a role he has held since July 2018. Additionally, Dr. Moon is Chief Operating Officer of NSU Health, a patient-centric integrated health care network encompassing the university’s many clinical operations. As NSU’s EVP/COO, he oversees the units of Innovation and Information Technology, Facilities and Public Safety, Business Services, Internal Audit, Environmental Health and Safety, Engagement Center, Regional Campus Administration, University Library, NSU Art Museum | Fort Lauderdale, and the Grande Oaks Golf Club.

“I am humbled and honored that NSU’s Board of Trustees and President Hanbury have placed their trust in me to be the next president to lead this extraordinary university,” said Dr. Moon. “President Hanbury has built a strong foundation for the university. It has been his vision and drive that has led us to our emergence as a preeminent national research university; my goal is to continue that upward trajectory. And, as it has been with Dr. Hanbury, my vision also starts with the core mission of the university: its students.

“My goal is to ensure NSU continues to provide a high-quality educational experience for all our students – K-12, undergraduate, graduate and professional – as we also continue to strengthen our fiscal foundations and endowment, and focus on strategic growth in our research, athletics and health care enterprise,” said Dr. Moon. “NSU is ready to take the next dynamic steps forward on its path to preeminence, and I am honored to be chosen to lead our next chapter.”

The university will begin a national search for the institution’s next Chief Operating Officer to prepare for the presidential transition that will take place as of January 1, 2025. Additionally, in alignment with these changes and in recognition of his many years of service as NSU’s fifth president, Chancellor Ray Ferrero Jr., J.D., will be granted the new title of President Emeritus.

By Nikki Cabus

Broward-based minority-owned businesses receive $10k grants from Fiserv

Read Time 3 Minutes

Two Broward-based minority-owned businesses were awarded $10k grants from Fiserv at this year’s 2nd Annual EmpowerHER event held at the Nova Southeastern University Davie campus. The effort is part of Fiserv’s Back2Business Program.

Fiserv’s Back2Business program is a $50 million initiative to provide financial grants, community support and critical resources, including complimentary consulting and leading technology solutions such as the Clover® point-of-sale platform, to minority-owned small businesses.

Eligible businesses may use the grant funds to assist with payroll, rent or lease payments, technology or equipment purchases, or premise redesign.

This year’s grant recipients were two black-owned and woman-owned healthcare businesses based in Broward County: Cornerstone Medical Group Inc. and the Preventative Health & Wellness Center.

Cornerstone Medical Group Inc is lead by Dr. Sabine Delinois Elisee, a Board-Certified Family Medicine Physician who is fellowship-trained in Hospice Palliative care and holds a Master’s degree in Public Health. Just prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the Fall of 2019, Cornerstone Medical Group opened its doors in the city of Coral Springs, FL

Born and raised in South Florida, Dr. Elisee is vested in the community and actively participates in outreach events. The heart behind Cornerstone Medical Group is to Transform Healthcare through Patient Education and the Reconnection of Physical Spiritual and Cognitive Health to enhance Quality of Life. It was fitting for Dr. Elisee to receive the grant at this event being her Alma Mata is Nova Southeastern University College of Medicine.

Preventative Health & Wellness Center is lead by Atou Diarra, a nurse practitioner with over 17 years of nursing experience with a true passion for health and fitness, disease prevention and improving overall health. The center recently opened it’s doors in Coral Springs, FL.

Originally born and raised in Marseille, France, Atou moved to the U.S. in 2000. She attended Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA where she graduated in 2004 with a degree in Bachelor of Nursing Science. As a traveling nurse she found her way to South Florida, which she is now proud to call her home. In 2013, she earned her Master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner from Barry University in Miami, Florida.

The EmpowerHER event included guest speakers from Fiserv, a panel discussion with South Florida Tech Hub CEO, Nikki Cabus, Executive Director of Environmental Health and Safety at Nova Southeastern University, Beth Welmaker, and Moderator and VP of Business Development & Strategy at Fiserv Corporate Social Responsibility, Shane Caldwell.

Partner organizations included Clover, Coral Springs Coconut Creek Regional Chamber, Nova Southeastern University’s Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center, Nova Southeastern College of Computing & Engineering, South Florida Tech Hub, and Broward County Black Chamber of Commerce.

Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV) is a leading global technology provider serving the financial services industry, driving innovation in payments, processing services, risk and compliance, customer and channel management, and business insights and optimization. For more information, visit www.fiserv.com.

SoFlo DevCon 2024: Celebrating Tech Talent and Building the Developer Community
NSU’s Board of Trustees Announces Succession Plan for NSU Presidency
Broward-based minority-owned businesses receive $10k grants from Fiserv