Jason is a native Floridian who started building for the web as a teen in the mid-’90s, so he’s been a web developer for about as long as anybody. Co-founding the Tampa Ruby Brigade in 2006, Suncoast Developers Guild in 2015, Jason takes pride in being a leader in the local tech community. After stints in academia, startups, and as a consulting freelancer, he’s found great joy in mentoring and sharing the knowledge gained along the way. He’s also a game development enthusiast, passionate about cryptocurrency, and loves animation. Jason is a father, a skeptic, entirely too opinionated, and prefers a word count in powers of two. When the world gets heavy you can find him either unbuilding LEGO® sets as catharsis or harnessing his power animal—the panda.
Toni was born in South Carolina, raised in Virginia, and lives in Florida, where she learned to love the southeast, sunny weather, and Chihuahuas. After receiving her MBA at the University of Tampa, she began to share the impact of how technology can help nonprofit organizations touch more people. As former Campus Director of The Iron Yard, she understands the needs for talented developers. Her passion is people and believes technology can help people achieve better results, quicker. She is excited about the warm welcome from St. Petersburg/Tampa and looks forward to collaborating with the community to develop amazing developers who want to make awesome things.
Gavin is a native of Florida and currently resides in St. Petersburg. Fearful he would someday melt under the Florida sun, Gavin took a break from the Sunshine State and studied mathematics and computer science in Rochester, New York and Management Information Systems in Tucson, Arizona. Gavin has been writing software since programs were saved on tape and source code was printed in magazines. When not programming, he can be found wondering if he will ever finish book four of the ‘A Song of Fire and Ice’ series, promoting a future of electric cars, convincing his girlfriend that PopTarts™‚ should go in the shopping cart since they are healthy because they contain seven minerals, and recently trying his hand at improv comedy.
Mark has seen success in both the government and commercial arenas of software engineering. Graduating from University of Pitt at Johnstown with a BS in Computer Science, Mark has fostered a love of being a lifelong learner. Through his journey of building a wide variety of software, Mark has found a passion for revolutionizing industries and a drive to improve people’s lives through new technology and paradigms. When not trying to change the world, Mark can be found outside enjoying the sun in his hammock, learning a new hobby or redesigning a bad user experience. Over the years, Mark has developed a passion for mentoring young and ambitious talent, and wants to bring developer training to the next level.
A Florida transplant that originated from Michigan, Katherine is an alumn from The Iron Yard. After joining the TIY team, she soon found her love for supporting the local tech community, especially the Kids Academy classes. She uses her experiences as a developer and former student to help elevate the experience on the SDG campus. As Campus Director, Katherine is our community liaison for events on campus, our volunteer coordinator, and handles career support and student success.
A resident of St. Petersburg, FL and a student currently enrolled in the College of Education at St. Petersburg College Denise is a simple person passionate about education and is devoted to making a better, smarter world we can all live in. Her professional passion revolves around education, specifically finding new ways to create innovative educational opportunities for all and communication stating, “I love to meet, talk, and correspond with new people as I believe that communication is the key to exchanging ideas and forging partnerships within the educational community and beyond.” Personally, she is a hobbyist and loves to dabble in anything DIY. She is also known to run a mean campaign as DM (Dungeon Master) Extraordinaire and is a total gaming fanatic (carpal tunnel permitting) with fave games being: Destiny, PUBG, and Rocket League.
Lauren was born in Missouri, moved around quite a bit to different states (and even a different country), and for the past 10+ years is proud to call St. Pete her home. She will soon be a graduate of USF and will have her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. In and outside of work, Lauren has a strong passion for anything creative: writing, video editing, drawing, and brainstorming/proposing new ideas. St. Petersburg is a fitting community for Lauren because she is always striving to change and grow for the better. She looks forward to finding new ways to get involved with its dynamic businesses, entrepreneurial individuals, and ever-growing community.
Born in a small city outside of Tokyo called Kawasaki (not the motorcycle brand!) Kento has lived in Japan for 10 years until he and his mother made their way to Florida in ’03. Kento’s life passions include film photography, road trips, cooking, and solving problems. Graduated with a photography studio art degree at USF, he found the darkroom to be the place he loves to spend the most time in. That being said, he is always enthusiastic about being exposed to new things and stepping out of his comfort zone. His life motto is simple and concise: leave the world a better place for his children and generations to come. Enthralled to be a part of the Suncoast Developers Guild team, you will find Kento to be the person to talk to about getting your life started as a developer and guide students on a career path with the skills you will achieve with SDG. If he’s not on campus or anywhere else for that matter, you will most likely find him in his apartment bathroom in which he converted into a darkroom.