Cesar was born and raised in Miami. He is a government affairs and communications consultant for tech companies at Converge Government Affairs. His clients include some of the world’s most innovative tech companies such as Zillow, REEF, Nuro, Revel, EA, Lilium, Vivid Seats, etc.
Prior to joining Converge, Cesar managed Uber’s government affairs work before state and local government in Florida for three years and was instrumental in the passage of statewide ridesharing regulations. His advocacy at Uber also extended to autonomous vehicle legislation, negotiating a multi-million dollar settlement with Miami-Dade County, and leading strategy for contract negotiations with a half-dozen Florida airports. Shortly after, Cesar transitioned to a role on Uber’s Public Policy team for Central America and the Caribbean, where he represented the company’s interest before the national governments of seven countries.
Maria Derchi Russo is the Executive Director of Refresh Miami, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting and growing South Florida's tech and startup community. She is also the founder of Women in Miami Tech (WIMT), a group dedicated to supporting and advancing women in technology in South Florida.
Before joining Refresh, Maria spent the first ten years of her career running marketing programs for startups including Travelzoo and ParkJockey (now REEF Technology).
Native Miamian, Founder of Refresh Miami, Director of The Launch Pad at the University of Miami.
Brian is the Director of The Launch Pad at the University of Miami. At The Launch Pad, Brian teaches, mentors, and supports the university’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. Brian has been supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Miami since 2004.