BRIDG Monthly Newsletter | October 2017
Chester Kennedy Headshot
As Hurricane Irma left its impact on Florida, I am moved by the power of community as people joined together to recover and rebuild after the storm. My thoughts continue to be with those still affected by the recent hurricanes. It reminds me that in times of major hurricane threats, the BRIDG facility is where you want to be. With the safety measures built into the core of our building, its sturdiness was tested during the hurricane and held true to its unwavering foundation. Aside from some palm trees being tipped over, there was minimal damage. We briefly lost power, but our backup generator and other systems performed as expected bringing us back online with hardly any downtime. With Hurricane Irma now behind us, I am excited to move forward in the continual evolution of BRIDG and NeoCity.

Part of that excitement is due to a newly initiated partnership with Osceola County Schools – a revolutionary new STEM-focused demonstration high school to be built right here to NeoCity! Many know that the BRIDG team shares my passion for promoting STEM and demonstrates that passion by serving in various volunteer organizations and initiatives focused on instilling a passion for science, technology, engineering, and math (and physics, too). As this new school gets up and running, we are proud to play a small role in its program and are excited to help partner in growing our future workforce. This is one more example of how the partnership of BRIDG and NeoCity provide infrastructure for the multi-generational evolution of the region.

Along the lines of workforce, a major topic of interest from significant entities I’ve met with center around access to skilled talent in the region. They often ask, “Can the region support the demand for top talent – both near term and over the next decade?” Personally, I love encountering this topic of discussion. Having spent the past three decades growing large technical teams as a key element of leading a major global company, the relative ease of staffing those teams in Central Florida when compared with other domestic and international locations has been effortless. Not only is the breadth and depth of technical talent in Central Florida available, the eagerness of people wanting to come work in Central Florida is boundless. And BRIDG’s growing partnerships with universities throughout the state and across the southeast region of the US continues to reinforce the strength of the “ready now” workforce.

It’s times like these that I realize how much we have to be grateful for. It is an honor to stand alongside our partners as we continue to strengthen and diversify the economic tapestry of our state. Come join us as we invent the future of our dreams!
Chester Kennedy
NeoCity Fortifies STEM Initiatives:
Demonstration High School Announced
Osceola County recently announced plans to build a new STEM-focused demonstration high school at NeoCity in continuing commitments towards STEM initiatives. Enabled by the vision of the Osceola County Superintendent, Dr. Debra Pace, this new approach is a bold step in ensuring the pipeline of talent to support the growth in NeoCity for the next decade and beyond.

Although BRIDG will not be directly involved in teaching or instruction, it will help provide the inspiration. Students will have the opportunity to observe exciting technology advances while interacting alongside members of BRIDG professional staff. This will be integral in paving the pathway of learning.

“Having grown up in a very rural Appalachian community, I have a special appreciation for the positive impact that early inspiration can play in the life of students,” stated Chester Kennedy, BRIDG CEO. “The football coach (and part time guidance counselor) at my High School noticed my aptitude for math and personally inspired my own pursuit of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering.”

Plans are to recruit a class for Fall 2018 to initially be housed in temporary space within a new NeoCity office building (currently under development) and have a separate school building ready by Fall 2019. Although it will be small, the school will incorporate open spaces to promote collaboration and innovation.

“Everything that we’re doing is really trying to look toward the jobs 2030 report and the kind of high-tech workforce that envisions,” Pace said. "The talent pipeline is a critical piece of that economic development.

Read more in the Orlando Sentinel here .
UCF Ranked Among Nation’s ‘Most Innovative’
The University of Central Florida ranks alongside Harvard, MIT, Stanford and Duke as the most innovative universities in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges 2018 guide. The rankings are published at , and the printed Best Colleges 2018 guidebook will be in stores Oct. 10. You can read the full story here .
Please be sure to read the updated digital version of the award-winning magazine, florida.HIGH.TECH 2017 from the Florida High Tech Corridor Council . In addition to a story on BRIDG, new stories have been added to the digital version of the magazine that covers the people and organizations behind high tech industry growth and innovation throughout Central Florida’s 23-county region.
October – Dedicated to Manufacturing 
Governor Rick Scott recently issued a proclamation to recognize the month of October as Manufacturing Month in Florida to help expand knowledge about the value that manufacturing brings to Florida’s economy. This is also a joint effort in recognizing National Manufacturing Day, which occurs on the first Friday in October. Visit to learn more about National Manufacturing Day.
Representative Larry Ahern Visit to BRIDG  
Recently, we had the pleasure of hosting State Representative Larry Ahern and his wife at BRIDG for a site visit and full community briefing. Representative Ahern represents the 66th District of Florida that includes northwestern Pinellas County from Clearwater to Seminole. Thank you for taking the time to see visit us and see the amazing transformation happening at NeoCity FL in Osceola County!
Florida Photonics Cluster – September 21
Dan Holladay, Executive Director of Operations & Technology Programs at BRIDG, provided an update on BRIDG and NeoCity to the Florida Photonics Cluster during their general meeting held at Northrop Grumman on September 21. The mission of the Florida Photonics Cluster (FPC) is to support the growth and profitability of the photonics industry through the strength of a unified voice and to make Florida the place to go for photonics solutions. To learn more about the Florida Photonics Cluster, please visit
Photonic Integration Conference – September 26
Dan Holladay recently presented the BRIDG open innovation platform for new semiconductor-based products at the Photonic Integration Conference . This year’s conference focused on how integrated photonics drives next generation semi-conductor business and why integrated photonics is vital to keep our world communicating and connected in the 21st century.
Defense Innovation Technology Acceleration Challenges Summit (DITAC) – October 3-5
BRIDG is currently exhibiting at the Defense Innovation Summit and Showcase in Tampa, Florida (October 3-5). If you are attending DITAC, please be sure to visit us at Booth # 100. Details on this summit can be found at
CEO Lunch & Learn – October 11
Chester Kennedy, CEO of BRIDG, will be the guest speaker at an upcoming Lunch & Learn hosted by SCB Marketing in Indian Harbour Beach, FL. Please join us to hear Chester share the impact BRIDG’s unique collaborative model brings to the manufacturing development of advanced technologies in smart sensors, imagers and advanced devices. The event is being held at Eau Gallie Yacht Club from 11:30 am - 1:00 pm.  Click Here to register to attend.
United Way Corporate Leadership Breakfast – October 11
Fran Korosec, BRIDG Chief Operating Officer, will join a group of business leaders as a panelist at the next United Way Corporate Leadership Breakfast, featuring Tim Giuliani with the Orlando Economic Partnership. Conversations will focus around the job skills gap and what that means for the business community. The event is being held at the Hilton Orlando Altamonte Springs. For more information, visit Heart of Florida United Way at
Junior Achievement of Central Florida – October 14
Join BRIDG as we participate in the Junior Achievement Bat-Tacular Bowling Event on October 14 from noon to 2pm at Boardwalk Bowl in Orlando. This event supports Junior Achievement of Central Florida and all funds support programs in Central Florida. Click here for more information. 
  BRIDG is located at NeoCity in Osceola County, Florida.