BRIDG Monthly Newsletter | June 2018
Chester Kennedy Headshot
Having recently spent time with key leaders in both the U.S. House and Senate discussing the importance of microelectronic device development and production to both the national economy and to the foundation of our national security, and reading articles such as this one from The New York Times , I’m humbled by how important it is for us to work with partners at all levels in the lifecycle to transition products across the valley of death and into practical application. 

So how can we protect the workforce that will carry the country forward in the next decade despite the very limited access to microelectronic development in the U.S.? While no single answer completely answers that question, I can proudly say that we are doing our part. In addition to providing a domestic alternative for the developers of the next generation of devices and products, especially those used in critical applications, our team is actively involved in numerous STEM-related initiatives. From the dynamic partnership we have with schools (including NeoCity Academy), to the internship program mentioned below, to the on-the-job mentoring our highly experienced team members provide, we are working to ensure a sustainable talent pool in Central Florida and all throughout the nation. 

Central Florida is slowly being recognized for its breadth and depth of talent and the technology-based innovation that many of us have known was here all along. BRIDG and NeoCity are proud to be known as advocates for continuing the growth of that reputation. Join us as we build tomorrow’s future here today in NeoCity!

Chester Kennedy
BRIDG Opportunities for Students Program Continues to Grow
We are pleased to welcome the Summer 2018 interns to our team! Launched in May of 2017, the BRIDG Opportunities for Students (BOS) program offers career exploration opportunities to undergraduate and graduate level university and college students. Students who are selected for the program gain hands-on experience working with BRIDG staff members in various departments. 

Over the last year, the BOS program has nearly doubled in size, expanding from just a handful of students working on the research and development of smart sensors and other advanced devices at the BRIDG facility to include multiple students in the finance and marketing departments, as well. The program has brought many talented individuals through our doors and we are proud to offer students the opportunity to leverage BRIDG’s unique activities and mentorship to enhance their professional capabilities and help clarify their long-term career goals. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@FollowBRIDG) to learn more about each of our awesome interns!
(L to R): David Masselink, Reese Fritz, Oakley Attaway, Veronica Arvelo, Maria Paula Gomez, and Jenna Bainter. 

Not pictured: Derik Rivas, Austin Wrigley, and Jacob Wrigley.
Dr. John Fijol
Dr. John Fijol currently works with IP Group, an early stage venture investment firm, where he is a member of the Business Development team helping to evaluate early stage technologies and manage the existing investment portfolios. 

Dr. Fijol has spent his career building and scaling technology companies. Before joining IP Group, Dr. Fijol was a critical member of the leadership team at Pixtronix, a manufacturer of the world’s first direct view MEMS displays. Dr. Fijol helped scale the business from its founding in 2005 to acquisition by Qualcomm in 2011. After the acquisition, Dr. Fijol remained with Qualcomm for five years as Vice President of Engineering leading commercialization efforts with their manufacturing partner in Japan. This work included building a first-of-its-kind manufacturing facility combining LCD and MEMS fabrication technologies. Earlier in his career, Dr. Fijol held senior position with several startups including Confluent photonics, which was acquired by Auxora, and Standard MEMS. 

Dr. Fijol received a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from Western New England University as well as a Masters and Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Florida.
Giving Back with Give Kids the World 
BRIDG recently spent the day volunteering with Give Kids the World , an 84-acre, nonprofit “storybook” resort in Central Florida where children with critical illnesses and their families are treated to weeklong, cost-free vacations. Our team members and their families served meals and bussed tables at the resort’s volunteer-run cafeteria to support the organization and help make a difference in the lives of these individuals. We are proud to volunteer with our Osceola County neighbor and look forward to continuing our involvement with this amazing organization.
Florida Chamber Foundation Summit 
Our CEO, Chester Kennedy, recently joined community leaders, industry experts, elected and local officials, business leaders and education and workforce professionals from across the state to discuss the workforce needs of the future at the Florida Chamber Foundation’s “ Learners to Earners Workforce Summit ”. Kennedy and other members of the “Insights from the Edge of Innovation: Preparing for the Talents Demands of Today and Tomorrow” panel discussed innovation and the steps we can take to secure Florida’s future. 
Upcoming Events
SEMICON West – July 10-12, 2018 
BRIDG will be exhibiting alongside our partners from the  Orlando Economic Partnership  during  SEMICON West , one of the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturing and materials tradeshows. The event will be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. If you are attending, be sure to visit us at booths #6155 and #6157. 
  BRIDG is located at NeoCity in Osceola County, Florida.