Lead Instructor & Founder
After nearly two decades as a journalist and storyteller, I have reinvented myself as a digital marketer and educator. I’ve headed digital marketing at billion-dollar companies and software startups, and I’ve consulted for hundreds of businesses. I believe in the power of digital marketing to transform lives and businesses. And I want to share what I learned with you.
Some fun trivia about me: My first startup was founded by Eric Reis, author of The Lean Startup. I was interviewed for Tim Ferriss’s book The Four Hour Workweek. I was part of a Pulitzer Prize team while I was an intern at The Miami Herald. And I’ve performed in an improv troupe for more than a decade.
Our Certified Digital Marketing Training Instructors
Alex de Carvalho
Alex brings over 20 years of experience in social media marketing, starting with co-founding Europe’s leading e-mail marketing company in 1998, SmartFocus. His career highlights include creating a medical social network for doctors, managing Constant Contact in South Florida, serving as the first Knight Foundation Innovator in Residence at FIU, leading worldwide social media at IBM, and managing a startup of 20 people in the hearing industry for online e-commerce. Alex is fluent in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Finnish, and has lived in Europe, U.S., and Latin America. He graduated with an MBA from INSEAD and is the Honorary Consul of Finland in Miami.
Ricardo Berris is the founder and CEO of MI Group, which provides technology and digital media solutions for businesses across the Caribbean, Central and South America looking to grow their operations in the U.S. And he’s the founder of the startup Purpusly, an online marketplace platform for selling products that support causes. Ricardo is a serial entrepreneur with 17 years of experience growing and selling companies. The first company he built and sold was an education company tutoring children in math and English. And he owned and operated a music franchise in Bahamas to prepare stage bands for international competition; one of the bands came third in the world in the London finals. He is a graduate of a business management program run by Omega College in association with St. Thomas University
Sheryl has over 30 years of marketing expertise She recently joined the Nordis Technologies as Director of Special Projects to assist with new program development, process improvements, Six Sigma implementation and enhancing their digital presence.
Previously she held senior positions with Bluegreen Resorts where she worked for 10 years and with Bank of America as VP Digital Marketing in the Home Loan division. She was formerly applications manager in eCommerce for Mary Kay Inc., and earlier in her career, she was Director of Marketing of Travelocity.com.
In her teaching past, she created a full curriculum and taught online classes in digital marketing for the University of San Francisco.
Sheryl holds an MBA from Central Michigan University, a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from Michigan State University and holds certifications as a Scrum Master from Scrum Alliance, Scrum Master Product Owner from ScrumStudy and a Green Belt in Six Sigma from Virtualocity.
Alex Artiga is the vice president of digital strategy, accounting and operations for e-commerce startup Norte Women, an online retailer of its own line of sustainably-made women’s apparel. He is a former investment banker at Goldman Sachs in London and was the director of global operations and product development for Conitex Sonoco, a global producer of recycled paper and packaging products. Alex has an MBA from ESADE in Spain and is a certified mentor for Score Miami, a partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Blanca Stella Mejia has over 10 years of experience in digital strategy. Her career has spanned working with Microsoft and IBM on the social media teams to creating activations with Ford Latino and co-founding a web development and digital marketing consulting agency catering to small businesses. At IBM she launched the social media strategy and SME (subject matter expert) enablement for IBM Systems Latin America and was on the Global digital team for IBM Z Systems. It all began by starting a blog in 2008, where she networked and developed relationships with many bloggers in the Hispanic community and participated at many digital conferences. She was also very involved in the local grassroots Social Media community in South Florida and spoke at various events on topics such as SEO, WordPress and social media. Currently, she is a Digital Marketing Consultant with clients mainly in the medical field including a Global Non-Profit. In her spare time, she loves traveling as a digital nomad discovering great co-working spaces and connecting with people all around the world, works out at the gym and meditates.
Giovanni Insignares is the founder of Insignia Media, a boutique digital marketing agency based in Miami. With over 15 years in the digital space, Giovanni founded the company in 2016 with the goal of helping and teaching businesses how to leverage the reach and precision of social media advertising to grow their business. He is an instructor at Miami Dade College and worked at Mercantil Commercebank. He has a Masters in Management Information Systems from Florida International University and graduated from Nova Southeastern University. Giovanni was in Cohort 3 of BizHack’s The Digital Marketer’s Edge course. When he’s not geeking out over the latest digital marketing tools, Giovanni can be found enjoying live music around town.
Tatiana McDaniel is an account director at República Havas, a multicultural advertising agency owned by one of the largest global advertising and communications groups in the world. She oversees clients in industries as diverse as luxury brands, nonprofits and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG). Previously, Tatiana worked as an Account Manager at Young & Rubicam. She’s the former lead instructor of Facebook Marketing course at Miami-Dade College. Tatiana was in the 1st Cohort of BizHack’s The Digital Marketer’s Edge course in 2015. She comes from a bicultural background, is multilingual, and is passionate about new media, digital innovation, teaching, traveling, and the culinary arts.
Rafael Savino is the co-owner and Managing Director of Ascendance Studio, a multi-style dance academy in Doral. Rafael designs new digital marketing strategies to promote and grow the studio.
Before starting his own business, Rafael spent more than a decade working at Amazon, ExxonMobil and Carnival Cruise Lines.
He was Cohort 2 of BizHack’s The Digital Marketer’s Edge course.
Ernesto “Neto” Almanza is an award-winning creative hybrid who conceptualizes, produces and markets videos in the digital sphere with VideoWorks Miami. Neto has produced videos for Twitter, Univision, Mexico’s National Chamber of Commerce, Greater Miami Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Nearpod, Techlaunch, Venture Café Miami, Miami Made, Oscar-nominated actress Adriana Barraza’s AB Acting Studio and many more. Neto is a graduate of the Miami Ad School Europe in Germany and has degrees in marketing from The University of Texas at San Antonio and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Neto was in Cohort 3 of BizHack’s The Digital Marketer’s Edge course. He was born in the US and raised in Mexico, and he runs Facebook ads for the San Jorge School, his parents’ private school in Mexico for children age 2-15.
Angela Otero is the marketing and operational Manager at Otero Dental Centers, a group of six dentist offices in South Florida founded by her father, Dr. Antonio Otero. She runs digital, traditional, and events marketing for the dental group. Angela has an MBA from Lynn University and is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University and Florida International University. Angela was in Cohort 9 of BizHack’s The Digital Marketer’s Edge course, during which she ran one of the most successful series of campaigns in course history: During the 3-month course, she spent $1,958 on 11 Facebook ads that generated 52 leads, 23 new patients… and $53,259 in revenue. Angela was born and raised in Miami to a “very Cuban” family. “My family is big, loud and very close,” she says. “My family is just like the one in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”
Carmen Leal is a digital marketing triple-threat; she has worked at advertising agencies, inside large companies, and at startups. She is the head of growth at Spotless, a leading provider of home construction and integrated facilities services. She’s the founder of Actionable Planner, a company dedicated to help aspiring entrepreneurs hatch and validate their business ideas. She has worked with startups and Fortune 500 companies, such as Sears, Sears Hometown & Outlets, Zimmerman Advertising and Open English. She has an MBA in international marketing from Argosy University and an integrated marketing degree from the College of Business at Northern Illinois University. In her free time, Carmen cooks up new ideas for startups.
Andreina Santaella is the COO of Polestar Pilates Enterprise, one of the world’s leading providers of pilates teacher Training. Andreina has 9 years of experience in business development and is expert in increasing sales growth through the understanding of market trends, emerging technologies, platforms and partnerships. Previously, she’s worked at the marketing firm Cimacast and the Inter American Press Association. She has an MBA from IE Business School in Spain and a degree from the University of Florida. Andreina was in Cohort 7 of BizHack’s The Digital Marketer’s Edge course. She is a mother of two, is a pilates instructor, mentor and coach, and runs online ads for her mother’s pilates studio Pilates Zone in Key Biscayne.
Joy Schaaffe is the lead instructor of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program in Miami and the Scale Up program at The Idea Center at Miami Dade College. She has worked in marketing at Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines. Joy specializes in strategic assessment and planning, marketing strategy, planning and execution, marketing materials development, communications, public relations, business analysis and planning. Her daughter, Jodian, was in Cohort 9 of BizHack’s The Digital Marketer’s Edge course.
Yoel Gutierrez is the Owner and Operator of Mosquito Joe of Miami. An outdoor pest control franchise that specializes in mosquito control. Thanks to a multi-channel marketing approach, Mosquito Joe of Miami has gone from $0 in revenue from their start in 2015 to just under $2 million dollars in revenue in 2019. Yoel, a recent graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10kSB program and BizHack cohort 10, was able to acquire over $30,000 in LTV with just under $1,200 in ad spend. Yoel is now working on automating his digital marketing funnel in order to accomplish more with less.
Yoel is a Miami native and is also an owner of several businesses.
Marketing Coach Joel Levy is a partner at Screenko, a full-stack digital marketing & e-commerce agency. Screenko specializes in marketing products on e-commerce marketplaces in Latin America that compete with Amazon, such as Falabella, Mercado Libre, Linio, and Amazon. Joel has been an entrepreneur since he was 15. He has more than 10 years of experience in digital marketing & e-commerce, he works with top brands in retail, shopping centers, hotels, real estate, and finance. He’s earning an MBA in marketing. Fun fact: He’s a Karate World Champion.
Jorge H Gonzalez
Jorge H. Gonzalez is a data scientist at The Children’s Trust, one of Miami’s largest funders. He’s the co-founder and Executive Director of Beacon of Hope, a nonprofit empowering youth in Latin America. He’s a marketer with over 11 years of experience at the second-largest Hispanic-owned ad agency in Florida, JGA Marketing. He’s worked with startups and Fortune 100 companies, such as Humana, to leverage innovative marketing solutions to fuel their growth. Jorge has Bachelors and Masters degrees in business administration from Fordham University. Jorge was in Cohort 3 of BizHack’s The Digital Marketer’s Edge course.
Armando Martinez is the founder of SpiderBoost, a marketing agency part of the rbb Communications family of brands. Armando specializes in SEO, front- and back-end web development, mobile app development, user experience design, Pay Per Click (PPC), online reputation, and social media. Previously, he worked in online advertising at AT&T Advertising Solutions and Office Depot. He studied economics at the University of Florida.
Karla Arguello has been the Rhythm Foundation’s Communications Director since 2014. She manages digital marketing, social media, media and press relations; she also oversees production and administrative logistics for Rhythm Foundation concerts and events at the North Beach Bandshell. Previously, she was the media coordinator for the music festival Hulaween. For three years, she was the head of HR and Public Affairs at DemeTech Corporation, a leading manufacturer of surgical sutures and blades. Karla graduated from Wake Forest University in North Carolina with a double major in Communications and Spanish. Karla was in Cohort 8 of BizHack’s The Digital Marketer’s Edge course, where her peers awarded her “The BizHacker Award,” the class’s highest honor. Karla, a Miamian of Nicaraguan descent, has a passion for music, travel, arts and culture, and she has attended music festivals all over the country and internationally.
Abdul Muhammad II
Abdul Muhammad II is the CEO of MDM Ventures and former Chief Digital Officer and Partner at rbb Communications. He brings over 20 years of experience in internet marketing. He has created nationally recognized, award-winning digital marketing campaigns for companies across a variety of industries. His integrated approach to digital marketing has an intense focus on ROI, leveraging social media and mobile technology that deliver results.
Abdul has developed and led digital campaigns for a diverse group of corporate and entrepreneurial clients including Apple Leisure Group, Brown & Brown Insurance, DHL Express, Florida Power and Light Company, Jackson Health Systems, and Miami’s own Mangos Tropical Café, among others. Prior to joining rbb, he previously served as the Director of Social Marketing for Zimmerman Advertising where he worked with clients such as Facebook, White Castle, Pep Boys, Saks 5th Avenue and Party City.