Where do you live?
I’ve lived in Pinecrest for 14 years and 9 in our current home.
Where are you originally from?
I was born and raised in Miami. I went to school in Charleston, South Carolina and then finished up in Indiana at the University of Notre Dame. After graduation, I returned to Miami.
Would you share a little about your family?
I’m married with three kids, 10, 5 and 2. My two-year-old is the one that always drinks your Rainbow smoothies with me. We always go to the market just for that.
Where did you meet your wife?
I met my wife in Miami as well. I met her at a happy hour. She was at law school at the University of Florida. She was in town visiting some friends and the rest is history.
I know you are on the road today, where are you and what are you doing?
I am in Orlando. We just had a full day at a conference. It’s a big show called the Florida Educational Technology Conference. It’s the second largest education technology conference in the United States, so it’s one to be at – and it’s in our backyard. We try to attend the conference as exhibitors every year.
What are you showing?
We have a school security platform. It’s an iPad-based software company. We like to say that the software “provides schools with an extra security layer.” Our software system can scan any U.S. driver’s license and then can perform a sex offender database check and it can reconcile against a no-entry list instantaneously. We also have a dismissal module that tracks and records early release of students and aftercare pickup.
Are you working with other markets outside of schools?
Our niche seems to be in the educational vertical. We also work with healthcare and assisted living facilities, and we sell to corporate businesses like Citrix and Carnival who use our visitor management solution.
You’re targeting two fast-growing markets, healthcare and school security. Was this part of your business plan or did these markets find you?
We were working with a school in Miami on another project and we noticed that there was no audit of who was walking in and out of the facility. I am a parent, and this was an alarming revelation for me.
We had a conversation with the school about building something that would account for all visitors and vendors walking into the school. That is how the idea for the software was created and we then piloted the first version of the software with that school.
How did you get into technology?
As I was coming out of college, my father was starting a new software company. I started learning “programming” at a local vocational technology center and then learned from my Father and on the job. I’ve been doing it now for 14 years.
What do you enjoy about it the most?
The creative aspect of it. It’s very cool to have an idea and then the skillset to build it out and make it a reality. What’s even more exciting is when somebody likes the product and needs it
and is willing to pay for it.
Where is your office?
We work out of TamboWorks in South Miami. It’s a co-working spot. It’s affordable, comfortable and you get the opportunity to network with a lot of interesting people in different industries.
How often do you come to the market?
We try to go every Sunday. It’s a tradition for us. We try to go to the 9:30 mass at St Louis Covenant School in Pinecrest and then we hit the market.
What’s your ritual like when you get there?
My wife and two girls go in to get the pizza and I say, ‘I’m going to LNB Grovestand’ and we come to get a Rainbow smoothie for me and the little guy.
What else do you get from our stand?
I sometimes get the turmeric tonic. I used to get the one with water in it, but now I get the concentrate. I love the guacamole as well. I started using the turmeric tonic when I was having hip issues. I’m a runner and I was getting some hip pain. I started taking the concentrate every day and believe it or not, I think it really works. I am now pain-free.
Also, what I find really great about what you guys have to offer is all the unique local fruits that you don’t see all the time and then you’re able to make these delicious smoothies with them.
What do you think our market is missing?
Number one, the market is missing live music. Number two, more seating.
What’s a favorite activity you enjoy doing with your kids?
There’s many, but two in particular are bike riding and tennis. We used to bike ride to the market, which was nice. I really enjoy playing tennis with my oldest daughter. We go as a family to different tournaments that she’s playing at. It’s great to be out there on the tennis courts and just watch her.
What restaurants do you like to go out to?
We go to a lot of family friendly restaurants around Pinecrest. The kids love the margarita pizza at Piola. I get the lasagna; it’s heavy but delicious. We also go to Flanagan’s, which is probably the most kid-friendly restaurant in Miami.
What about for a special occasion?
We like Trattoria Luna in the same shopping center as a Brooklyn Pizza – which we also like.
What do you like to cook at home?
I like to grill out and my kids love barbecue. I like to make churrasco, vegetables, corn on the cob, chicken wings, things like that.
What do you think is the area’s best-kept secret?
I would say, Fairchild. The grounds are beautiful, and they always have great events like the Mango and Chocolate Festival.
What’s a good rainy day activity?
Playing board games with the kids. My entire family loves playing Monopoly. My oldest daughter always wins.
Where’s the most romantic spot in town?
I would have said Red Fish Grill, but I don’t think it is open anymore. Since they’re no longer open, I would say Amara at Parasiso off of Biscayne Bay.
Are there any community events that you participate in that you would like to share?
I am part of a local group called Refresh Miami. It’s a tech community that comes together to discuss different topics with respect to technology. The community also has some hackathon events for a good cause. I remember attending one of these events where a local company wanted to build out a communication tool for people in Cuba to get the news in the U.S. and around the world. To get around the data restrictions imposed on Cuban citizens, we created a program that returned free news data based on whatever the question was in the subject line of the email. My parents are Cuban, so this was an interesting project for me.
Is there a question you would like to ask us?
What new products are you going to have at the market?
(A+W) This weekend we will finally have our Florida Cranberry Syrup (AKA Roselle Syrup). It’s a delicious topping for everything from pancakes to yogurt or make your own soda. Also, we are working on packaging for our dried fruit rolls. We also will have our Turmeric Golden Coins which a fantastic healthy snack.