South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Nikki Cabus

Team Llamaa wins Tech Hub’s “Hack for Humanity” community hackathon 2023

Read Time 4 Minutes

The 2023 Tech Hub Hackathon aimed to “Hack for Humanity” building solutions for problems faced by two of South Florida’s local nonprofits, American Cancer Society and Habitat for Humanity Broward. 

A Hackathon is an overnight event where participants form teams, vet ideas, create a project, then present their work to an expert panel of judges. This year, teams were asked to solve a wide range of problems, including streamlining donations, coordinating pickups, improving data management for Habitat for Humanity Broward, and promoting American Cancer Society’s “Get Screened” campaign to individuals and corporations, with a focus on HR benefit integration and process monitoring.

This year’s first place winning team created a solution in support of Habitat for Humanity Broward – Team LLAMAA!

According to the Habitat for Humanity Broward website, Broward is one of the nation’s most cost burdened housing markets, making homeownership out of reach for 94% of families. Habitat for Humanity Broward is on a mission to change that.

Founded in 1976, Habitat for Humanity of Broward brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Habitat Broward offers a “hand up” not a “hand out” to empower families who are willing to work hard to improve their family’s lives through affordable home ownership.

Together, Team LLAMAA which is an acronym for the first letters of each team members name; Leon, Lia, Ashley, Maria, Ashley, Aimee, created a software solution to aid the non-profit Habitat for Humanity of Broward which aimed to streamline the potential home owner application through digitization enabling tracking in a more convenient way for the employees, hard-skill volunteers and potential home owners.

“There is nothing like being in the presence of bright minds, tirelessly and enthusiastically working to increase the reach and impact for organizations like Habitat for Humanity of Broward and American Cancer Society who are tackling community and societal challenges,” said Nathan VanDeman, Habitat for Humanity Broward’s VP of Housing Development.

“I made many new friends, saw numerous great concepts and we’re excited to work over the coming weeks with the teams and organizers to see which can be developed and put to use.”

The Hackathon was held at the CITY Furniture headquarters in Tamarac where guests had the opportunity to tour the CITY facilities, meet with leadership and the technical team, and learn about the expansive and fast-growing tech department at CITY, all while enjoy the first-ever hackathon in CITY’s history working with two of their closest nonprofit partners.

With 16 teams presenting, over 100 hackers, and over 50 volunteers, coaches, and judges, there were many innovative ideas and projects created that could support both nonprofits.

Our judges panel included Mick Feller, Sr. Principal Software Engineer @ ODP Corp, Giovanni Punzo, Founder & CEO @ Streann Media, Michelle Bakels, Program Director @ G2i, Christy Poe, former Sr. VP of IT @ Garden of Life, Nathan VanDeman, Habitat for Humanity Broward’s VP of Housing Development, and Stephanie Watts, American Cancer Society’s Senior Director, Corporate Relations.

Thank you to all our major sponsors for the event. We would not have been able to make it happen without the support of CITY Furniture, The ODP Corporation (Office Depot), Florida Power & Light (FPL), OZ Digital, Streann Media, TechStrong Group, and Adam & Joe’s.

We also had the support of student sponsors this year from Cox Science center & Aquarium, CareerSource Palm Beach County, FAU’s College of Engineering & Computer Science, and the Tech Hub Foundation.


The top three projects chosen by our esteemed panel of judges were as follows:


  • Nonprofit: Habitat for Humanity Broward
  • Solution: On-boarding platform to support administrators in managing housing applications and their progress
  • Team Members: Ashley N Dennis, Asiangel Moua, Leon Kipkoech, Aimee Gonzalez-Cameron, Maria Bruno, Ashley Clayden Moss
  • See Presentation
  • See Github


  • Nonprofit: American Cancer Society
  • Solution: Custom Campaign Portal for “Get Screened” Campaign
  • Team Members: Shashank Mishra, Prakash Raghothamachar, Jasmine Kloub, Ryan Young
  • See Presentation
  • See Github


  • Nonprofit: Habitat for Humanity Broward
  • Solution: Donation quality inspection and intake process optimization
  • Team Members: Pinak Upadhyay, Angel Diaz, Daniel Muthama, Rabea Abdelwahab, Alexander Aranda, Adrian Perdomo
  • See Presentation
  • See Github

Click here to view ALL TEAM PROJECTS and here for PHOTOS FROM EVENT. 📸


Stay tuned for updates on project implementations. . .

By Nikki Cabus

OZ Digital introduces two new SVP hires amid growth

Read Time 4 Minutes

OZ Digital Consulting announces their two new SVP hires – Jason Milgram and Steve Bakanov..

The South Florida-based company leverages modern technologies that empower businesses to digitally transform and accelerate growth globally.



Jason will be Oz’s first ever Senior Vice President responsible for the Azure Cloud Ops practice.

“For more than a quarter century, OZ has been about innovating from our core principles,” OZ CEO Amjad Shamim says.

“Which is to say, we evolve constantly, focus on outcomes, and pursue and celebrate success as a team. In this, Jason is a kindred spirit. From successfully leading the launch of SaaS, PaaS, B2B, and B2C solutions in complex global, hybrid, multi-cloud, and edge environments to earning recognition from industry leaders such as Microsoft—where he received the Microsoft Azure MVP award thirteen times and co-authored the Azure Strategy and Implementation Guide—Jason lives those OZ core values. I am very excited to see the future we build together.”

In his new role as SVP, Azure Leader, Milgram will, in partnership with the OZ R&D team, establish the Azure Technical Architecture vision, define architectural standards, and collaborate with technology practices to deliver cutting-edge solutions for clients, alongside an Azure Cloud Operations technology practice.

The goal: Fully leveraging current and emerging technology products by Microsoft—and channeling those capabilities into even more innovative products and services.

“This is a pivotal role as OZ continues to seek the leading edge of innovation—and Jason is the perfect fit,” OZ Chief Solutions Officer Manny Ramos adds. “With over 25 years of industry experience, Jason brings not only a wealth of knowledge and a future-focused mindset to our practice but also a real track record of transformative leadership.”

As an Industry Chief Technology Officer at Hitachi Solutions America, Milgram most recently spearheaded pre-sales and delivery strategies for the financial services industry. His role encompassed innovation, marketing, and security/compliance for Azure, Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, and Power Platform.

Milgram’s expertise extends to federal projects as well, having served as the Chief Architect for the U.S. Department of Interior – Inspectors General, where he conceptualized and implemented a cloud data analytics platform for auditing federal funding. His leadership roles at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), City National Bank of Florida, and Champion Solutions Group have further demonstrated his ability to drive strategic change, architect solutions, and foster partnerships.

Milgram is a prolific speaker, mentor, and author, with numerous publications on cloud strategy and implementation.

“I first met OZ Founder and CEO Amjad Shamim fifteen years ago while we both were speaking at the same conference,” Milgram says. “It’s amazing to finally be working together—and in such an exciting role. I’m very much looking forward to placing the technical skillset I’ve been honing since I bought a Timex/Sinclair 1000 in sixth grade and taught myself basic programming at the disposal of OZ, a company I’ve long admired on the forefront of the digital transformation revolution.”




As OZ’s new SVP of Digital, Steve is focused on the future of digital innovation.

“It’s very exciting to introduce such dynamic talent to the OZ leadership team,” OZ Chief Solutions Officer Emmanuel Ramos said.

“Steve brings a wealth of experience in strategic technology leadership and business growth, with a focus on driving digital transformation. His journey has seen him excel in impactful roles, contributing significantly to his teams and organizations.”

Throughout more than a quarter century working in technology and digital engagement strategy, Steve Bakanov has built a skillset encompassing a broad spectrum of domains—cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), data analytics, business intelligence—and industries ranging from financial services, pharmaceutical, and insurance to healthcare, manufacturing, and government.

Bakanov’s leadership positions have included Global Technology, Strategy, and Applications Leader at Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Global Senior Applications, Automation, and DevOps Leader at Deloitte. Further, working with Fortune 500 companies, including Pfizer, Aflac, SAP, IBM, Microsoft, Cigna, ABB, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, CareFirst, USA Mutual Insurance, Liberty Mutual, Hartford, Deloitte, and AWS, Bakanov drove digital transformation and deliver innovative solutions to address complex business challenges.

Bakanov holds a bachelor’s degree in economics, both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science, and a PhD in business administration.

“I am thrilled to join OZ because of the company’s unwavering commitment to innovation and excellence,” Bakanov says. “OZ’s core philosophy—which emphasizes a culture of creativity, disciplined approaches, and a ‘can do’ attitude—aligns perfectly with my own values and professional aspirations.”



Just this year, Oz Digital Consulting celebrated their 25th anniversary and welcomed the community into their new Ft. Lauderdale office space.

Founded on the belief that modern technologies like AI, Machine Learning, and Data Analytics can accelerate business performance, OZ has grown into a global digital technology consultancy trusted as a software delivery & development partner leading innovation for business acceleration.

The company which currently has over 300 employees has been growing quickly. In a time where good talent is hard to retain, OZ Digital prides itself in the ability to attract and retain high-level talent – some over 20 years. This allows them to build strong relationships with their clients.

Amjad Shamim, Co-Founder & CEO of OZ, has shared that “OZ Digital Consulting has a customer retention rate of around 90%, which is much higher than average for services firms.”

To learn more about OZ Digital Consulting, visit

Team Llamaa wins Tech Hub’s “Hack for Humanity” community hackathon 2023
OZ Digital introduces two new SVP hires amid growth