Technology

eMerge Americas conference is getting a new leader. The old one isn't going far.

Steve Pierre, a communications manager at the University of Miami, plays a virtual reality game created by startup company Indie Level Studio at the eMerge Americas conference at the Miami Beach Convention Center in April 2018. The game is a tool for teachers to teach students foreign languages, biology, and astronomy.
Steve Pierre, a communications manager at the University of Miami, plays a virtual reality game created by startup company Indie Level Studio at the eMerge Americas conference at the Miami Beach Convention Center in April 2018. The game is a tool for teachers to teach students foreign languages, biology, and astronomy. emichot@miamiherald.com

Xavier Gonzalez, the CEO of the eMerge Americas tech conference, has left the company for another venture founded by Miami tech guru Manny Medina. Miami-born entrepreneur Felice Gorordo has been hired as eMerge CEO; vice president Melissa Medina has been named president.

When Medina established the conference in 2014, Gonzalez left Terremark — the firm Medina founded and then sold to Verizon — to become eMerge's first employee. The two-day conference is now billed as the most important tech event in the Americas. This year's conference, held in April, hosted 15,000 attendees and 400 different companies.

Gonzalez now joins Cyxtera Technologies, a cyber security firm founded last year by Medina. Gonzalez will serve as a vice president with a focus on community development and Cyxtera's own cybersecurity conference held in conjunction with eMerge.

"It's a company doing really exciting stuff, and it's here in our hometown, in our own backyard," Gonzalez said.

felice gorordo
Felice Gorordo

eMerge's new CEO is Felice Gorordo, a Miami-born entrepreneur with experience in both the public and private sector. Most recently he was entrepreneur-in-residence at StartUp Health, an entrepreneurial organization aimed at health "moonshots" such as curing cancer. Prior to that, he was CEO of L1BRE, a Mexico taxi-software platform. Gorodo served in both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations.

He moved back to the Magic City in 2013.

Gorordo, 35, said he will continue eMerge's efforts to serve as a showcase for emerging companies in the region, and as a gathering point where deals can get made.

"What it can be is a platform and catalyst for this ecosystem," he said.

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