Committed to the Cause
Caamaño provides an entrepreneurial perspective enhanced by operating companies, managing diverse projects, and building strategic alliances that support economic development and entrepreneurial programs in Central Florida and internationally. His passion for entrepreneurship began shortly after embarking on his business endeavors. He is a member of the International Business Incubation Association. He holds an MBA and industry certifications. Caamano is part of the Management Team for the University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program providing early-stage companies with the tools, training, and infrastructure to become financially stable, high growth enterprises.
Ricardo Garcia recently joined the GuideWell Innovation Team to develop and manage programs reimagining the future of health through entrepreneurship and innovation. Garcia develops and manages health tech accelerator programs and innovation challenges aimed at helping people and communities achieve better health. Garcia co-founded the UCF Veterans Entrepreneurship Initiative (VEI), a program focused on providing entrepreneurship counseling and training to military veterans at the idea stage. The mission of the program is to empower veterans through business guidance, education, mentorship and resources designed to accelerate their entrepreneurial success. In 2015, Garcia established a relationship with the State of Florida securing funding to launch and manage the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program at University of Central Florida (UCF).
Prior joining GuideWell Innovation, Garcia managed government resources at the University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program (UCFBIP). Garcia provided support and direction to incubator companies pursuing government business/grant opportunities. Whether the client company was engaged in research & development, involved in the commercialization of new technologies or providing a solution to the government, Garcia leveraged databases to identify opportunities and applied aeronautical fundamentals to develop process tools and checklists designed to streamline the process. During this period, Garcia assisted more than 35 incubator companies who successfully secured over $400 million in federal government contracts as the prime contractors; excluding subcontracts and state/local contracts. Additionally, incubator companies sustained more than 4,710 local jobs, and have had a total impact of $1.51Billion in regional sales and $2.48B in regional economic output. Prior to joining UCF, Garcia specialized in health care management as a member of the U.S. Air Force. Garcia deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, where he enabled uninterrupted Force Protection to $3 billion in International Security Assistance Force resources, and coordinated medical evacuation support by triage for further care or treatment at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
Garcia graduated Magna Cum Laude from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelor of Science in Technical Management. Garcia is an active member of the International Business Innovation Association (INBIA) and has earned the Business Incubation Management Certificate. Garcia volunteers with the Camaraderie Foundation, an organization that helps military veterans and their families. Garcia serves on Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy’s Veterans Advisory Council and the board of the Florida Association of Veteran Owned Businesses (FAVOB). In his free time, he enjoys adventurous activities and learning new skills with his wife.
Rebecca Hertz currently serves as the Program Manager at the Veterans Entrepreneurship Initiative. She has been with the program since 2016. Her role as Program Manager is to provide Veteran Entrepreneurs with the resources needed to explore entrepreneurship and to help guide them through their journey.
Rebecca graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Editing, Writing and Media and Political Science. She continued at FSU to earn a Graduate Certificate in Project Management. In 2016, she attended the Graduate Columbia Publishing Course at Oxford University, in England. She is currently working towards becoming a certified Project Management Professional. Rebecca has a diverse background in technical writing, editing, marketing, design, project management, event planning and most recently business operations, management, and logistics with a company based in England.
Rebecca comes from a military family. Both of her parents and grandfathers served in the U.S. Air Force. Her experience as an Air Force brat has allowed her to better connect with the Veteran Community. Her goal is to make sure Central Florida Veterans have the ability to explore and succeed in entrepreneurship, whether they just returned from a deployment or served in Vietnam.