Orlando Organizes Concert in Favor of Puerto Rican Entrepreneurs

“For love of Puerto Rico ” will be held on February 24th under the auspices of Hermes Croatto

(Translated from LaPrensa – February 12, 2019)
A non-profit organization Foster Advance Initiative (FAI) and Emmy-winning Puerto Rican singer Hermes Croatto have joined forces to carry out a special concert entitled ‘ For the love of Puerto Rico ‘. The concert revenue will be allocated to Puerto Rico Business Harbor, a social impact campaign aimed at helping Puerto Rican entrepreneurs displaced in Central Florida after Hurricane Maria.

The charity event will take place on Sunday, February 24th at 5pm at the Orlando Art Museum, 2416 N. Mills Avenue.

Croatto is a new folklore-style artist. With his music he seeks to keep alive the culture and identity that celebrates the history of Puerto Rico. Son of the legendary Tony Croatto, Hermes inherited the love of music and composition, so on February 24th he will be delighted with the audience with familiar songs from his father and original compositions written by him.

On the other hand, Central Florida has become the second natural home for thousands of Puerto Rican families composed of professionals and entrepreneurs who work to recover, be self-sufficient and contribute to the economy of the state of the sun. There are also Puerto Rican entrepreneurs who are trying to expand their companies to the Orlando metropolitan area.

“In order to help these newcomer entrepreneurs, Puerto Rico Business Harbor was established, which aims to provide commercial guidance, access to tutoring, connections and access to seed capital for selected participants. For this reason, this concert is special because it will benefit this platform and allow to carry out tutorials, workshops and trainings specifically designed for Puerto Rican entrepreneurs who want to be part of the Florida business System, ” Gabriel Ruiz, founder of FAI, said.

Last year was difficult for many Puerto Ricans, especially for those entrepreneurs who have had to struggle with the recovery after the devastation that Hurricane Maria left. But the bright side was that the world discovered the beauties that the island of Enchantment has to offer its visitors. The Puerto Rican people inspired the world with its cheerful heart, courage and resistance from many heroes, innovative leaders and commercial propellants who acted quickly to help rebuild the beautiful paradise and now need support to grow and Expand your business opportunities here in Florida.

“We encourage the community, the government, the private sector and academia to join us in this special event and support the concert ‘ for the love of Puerto Rico ‘ that will open the door to great resources and growing opportunities that will help create a smooth landing, for Puerto Rican entrepreneurs who come to Central Florida, “Ruiz added.

Tickets for the concert are now on sale at Ticketerapr.com/hermes-croatto. For more information about the Puerto Rico Business Harbor Program and how to get involved, visit: www.fosteradvanceinitiative.org.

Orlando Tech Entrepreneur Creates Nonprofit

AITC Tech Exec Launches The Foster Advance Initiative

AITC CEO Gabe Ruiz Forms The Foster Advance Initiative™ to Support and Empower Entrepreneurs, Family and Business Leaders Displaced by Hurricane Maria

One year ago, Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico. In the effort to rebuild, many U.S. Citizens of the island migrated to the State of Florida.  With the influx of more than 500,000 people, many who are skilled workers, family leaders, dedicated professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs, the challenge exists to start over and rebuild a new life in Central Florida.

Concerned with the socioeconomic immersion of U.S. Citizens of Puerto Rico migrating to Florida, Gabe Ruiz, president and CEO of Advanced IT Concepts (AITC), is uniting leading members of the Central Florida business and the Puerto Rican community to aid those that want to achieve their goals and aspirations.

In July 2018, Ruiz created THE FOSTER ADVANCE INITIATIVE™ (FAI), a not-for-profit organization dedicating its efforts to “the empowerment and development of the population we are all part of in one way or another.”  By leveraging the skills and business strategies he’s developed as a successful entrepreneur, Ruiz is focused on giving back to the community.  Today, with the informed and generous collaboration of investors, donors, and participants from various industries, FAI’s first project, the PUERTO RICO BUSINESS HARBOR™ was launched on the heels of the anniversary of Hurricane Maria.

The PUERTO RICO BUSINESS HARBOR is a venue for structuring the thorough and effective advancement of assistance to the wave of newly displaced business entrepreneurs, workers and family leaders seeking to restart their lives.  The PUERTO RICO BUSINESS HARBOR objective provides wise economic integration to support entrepreneurs, business and family leaders obtain value added training, certifications, mentoring and partnerships with established businesses that will help our community prosper.

“We are proud to launch this exciting initiative.  Giving back is such an integral part of being successful and paying it forward can make such a positive impact.  By giving a hand up and not a hand out, we can empower, mentor and support these entrepreneurs, business and family leaders to make positive contributions in our communities.  Together we can rise and accomplish great things,” says Gabe Ruiz, President and CEO.

The PUERTO RICO BUSINESS HARBOR will have an advisory board consisting of members from the Central Florida business community.  Currently FAI is raising approximately $500K to fund the first project.  For more information and to be part of something great, visit fosteradvanceinitiative.org.

AITC Secures Fort Jackson Security Contract

AITC was awarded a three-year contract to update the US Army’s security infrastructure.

The United States Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command (MICC) at Fort Jackson, South Carolina has awarded Advanced IT Concepts (AITC), Inc. a three-year contract (base year with two options) to update its security infrastructure.  Headquartered in Orlando, AITC is a Network and Systems Engineering and Information Technology (IT) Professional Services company.  AITC was awarded the contract based on its cybersecurity services experience and expertise and past performance successfully supporting transition of information systems from traditional Certification and Accreditation to the Risk Management Framework Assessment and Authorization (A&A).

“AITC is thrilled to support this effort,” says Gabe Ruiz, President and CEO.  “We’ve invested in our people’s training for security systems and Cyber Security certifications and it’s fantastic to be supporting the Army to keep our future warfighters safe.  We hit the ground running with a fully capable team at Fort Jackson, our client is happy, and we will continue to make it happen for them,” adds Ruiz.

Fort Jackson is the largest and most active Initial Entry Training Center (IETC) in the United States Army, training over 50 percent of all soldiers and nearly 60 percent of female soldiers entering the Army each year. They provide highly trained, disciplined, motivated and physically fit warriors that use hundreds of facilities; living quarters, dining facilities, offices, warehouses, exchange stores, a military community hospital and mission support structures requiring security systems and compliance.  The contract provides Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), operations and maintenance, monitoring and repair, and network and system equipment updates, and upgrades necessary for transition to the Risk Management Framework (A&A).

“We are proud to receive this contract to provide the Enhanced Separate and Secure (ESS) security services

for Fort Jackson’s training facilities.  We are working with the Army to enhance their security systems for (A&A) and ensure our soldiers have a safe and secure environment during basic training,” says Jeff Lohrman, AITC’s Director of Programs.

AITC Team Secures New Multi-Year Contract from the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority

(From left to right: Rafael Arroyo (IT Systems and Security); Todd Martin (Network Engineering); Gabriel Ruiz (President/CEO); Jeff Lohrman (Director of Programs) and Dave Balleweg (Director of Sales and Marketing).

Advanced IT Concepts (AITC), Inc., an Orlando-based Information Technology (IT) Systems Engineering and Professional Services company, is pleased to announce that it was selected as a continuing contractor with the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) Information Technology Consulting Services Contract. The services include; program and project management; information technology research, analysis and product evaluation; data analysis and strategic planning; infrastructure support; systems engineering support; applications design, development, installation, configuration and testing; database management and administration; cyber and physical security; network operations and management, amongst other IT consulting services.

AITC established a program team and partnered with incumbents to support the functional area services required by the contract. The teaming partners include: AceApplications, EPIC Engineering and Consulting Group and ARCHIS Technologies.  AITC is a certified veteran owned small business located in the Orlando area that specializes in IT support services and solutions, cyber security and network operations and maintenance. The company manages multiple warehouses and a solution center and is Top Secret facility cleared.

“AITC appreciates the opportunity provided to us by the GOAA Professional Services Committee. This was a team effort and a solid match to our core competencies. Together with our teaming partners that bring legacy system experience as well as systems and applications development knowledge and expertise, we are confident in providing the support services required by the contract,” says Jeff Lohrman, AITC Director of Programs and acting program manager for the contract.

AITC was one of four companies recommended by the Professional Services Committee for contracts with the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, all with somewhat different core capabilities to support the Aviation Authority’s service needs.

“We are excited to have been selected to support GOAA and expand AITC’s local public-sector business partnerships.  We strive to further develop Orlando based jobs and team with locally developed and competent partners.  Our team has extensive capabilities to offer and we are ready to make IT happen for GOAA,” says Gabriel Ruiz, AITC President and CEO.

AITC Receives New 7-Year Multi-Million-Dollar Army TADSS Maintenance Program Contract

AITC is pleased to announce that it was selected as part of the Army Training Aids, Devices, Simulators and Simulations (TADSS) Maintenance Program (ATMP) contract as a sub-contractor to Lockheed Martin Corporation Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS). ATMP, a program under the Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI), will provide worldwide maintenance support for TADSS, Digital Ranges, and Combat Training Center Instrumentation Systems.

AITC is currently supporting several PEO STRI efforts, to include modernizing the Combat Training Centers (CTC’s) under the Army Combat Training Instrumentation Contract (ARCTIC) and the Army Test Ranges under the Test Network Modernization (TNM) contract. Under ATMP, AITC will provide Technical Expertise such as Simulation, Electronics and Supply Technical Support, Information Systems, Training Development, Production Control and more, in support of training systems such as Homestation Instrumentation Training System (HITS), Reconfigurable Vehicle Tactical Trainer (RVTT), and several Aviation Maintenance Trainers.

“AITC is privileged to support the ATMP effort and extremely grateful to Lockheed Martin for having included us as part of their team. This contract signals AITC’s recognition as an excellent provider of Information Technology and related Training and Professional Services to the U.S. Army,” says Gabriel Ruiz, AITC President & CEO.

ATMP signifies an estimated $45-$50M in additional revenue over the 7 years of the contract and the addition of 65 new employees to support efforts at Ft Bliss, TX, Ft Eustis, VA, Ft Sill, OK, Camp Edwards, MA, Camp Grayling, MI, Camp Santiago, P.R. as well as Houston, TX and West Jordan, UT.

“For more than ten years AITC has been supporting critical training missions under PEO STRI by deploying Information Technologies, Training Devices and Simulators, and the required Subject Matter Expertise for a successful implementation. We are excited about this opportunity to expand our PEO STRI and PM TRADE support as a valued Small Business partner to Lockheed Martin,” adds Ruiz.

AITC Welcomes Respected Industry Experts to Senior Team

AITC continues to evolve and expand as businesses and government agencies face challenges in finding qualified professionals to support their information technology (IT) needs. Veteran-owned AITC has added three respected industry experts to their senior team to help the company meet this growing demand.

Craig Ravenell joins AITC as a Program Manager to lead the planning and implementation and introduction of new systems and technologies in support of AITC’s military customers.  Primarily he will focus on meeting project commitments and client communications to ensure customer’s mission success.  A retired U.S. Army Acquisition Officer (Colonel), his extensive experience includes managing cost schedule and performance goals for complex defense acquisition programs (i.e. chemical and biological defense equipment, ballistic missile defense systems, modeling, simulation and training technologies, etc.).  Mr. Ravenell is the former product manager for the Digitized Training Program Office at PEO-STRI in Orlando, Florida, where he was responsible for modernizing Army Digitized Ranges to deliver more effective and realistic training.  Mr. Ravenell earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Voorhees College and an M.S. in General Administration from Central Michigan University.

Edward “Ed” Petrow also joins AITC as a Program Manager to lead teams in the delivery of state-of-the-art IT, audio visual, and related end-to-end systems and solutions.  Building upon six years of military service in the United States Navy, Mr. Petrow is recognized as a highly successful senior level program manager and engineer with extensive experience in systems and project engineering, engineering management, agile methodologies, hardware and software engineering, and program management.  Mr. Petrow excels at collaborating with team members and stakeholders to perform analysis and design of complex systems and sub-systems.  AITC will leverage his professional experience as a leader with the academic credentials and technical background required to interact with clients while leading development teams to deliver mission critical systems. Mr. Petrow has held prior positions with respected industry leaders such as AVT Simulation, SAIC/Leidos, and Universal Systems and Technology/Lockheed Martin.  Mr. Petrow is a graduate of St. Leo University with a B.S in Computer Engineering and Colorado Technical University with a Masters of Business Administration in Finance and Technical Management.  He is also certified in CMMI® and PMP.

Robert “Bob” Faber joins AITC as a Senior Infrastructure Architect Project Manager to lead the design and implementation of complex information Technology infrastructure to support AITC’s customers’ growing requirements.  In this capacity, he will analyze system requirements and develop architecture solutions to ensure that designed systems offer required capabilities, performance and security.   Mr. Faber will work with customer’s senior management and technical personnel to identify and address technology gaps, strategic goals and business imperatives impacted by infrastructure technology.  Mr. Faber brings AITC more than 30 years of extensive expertise acquired in the fields of structured cabling systems design, implementation, sales, project management, technical instruction, cabling infrastructure design and installation.  Mr. Faber is a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University with a B.S. in Economics.  He is a member of BICSI, a professional association supporting the advancement of the information and communications technology (ICT) community and he holds a Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) certification and Network Technology Systems Designer credentials.

“We are continually seeking opportunities to offer clients the most qualified and advanced IT services and solutions on the market,” explains Gabriel Ruiz, LTC, USA (Ret) President/CEO of AITC. “I’m thrilled about the expertise these three esteemed professionals bring to our senior team to enhance our offerings,” Ruiz added.

 

Superheroes vs. Villians – OGB Gets Set for 5K/10K Walk Run and Stroll and 1 Mile Kids Event

#AITC is proud to announce that we will participating as the Gold Sponsor of the 7th Annual Operation Giveback(OGB) 5K/10K Run.Walk.Roll Superheroes vs. Villains event, and the Warriors Kids 1 Mile Race. The event is scheduled for Saturday, May 13th at #UCF from 6am – 10:30am.   This year we are honoring seven World War II heroes whom are members of the elite 65th Infantry Division, The Borinqueneers!

18158020_1649385991745811_2373641469099142694_nOGB is a non-profit org. created by Veterans of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, committed to helping the men and women of the U.S. military who have been wounded in action, recognizing that they have served our country with pride, distinction, and honor. With everyone’s help, needs will be met, homes will be built, jobs will be created and essential rehabilitative medical care will be provided to our service members through contributions and donations. 100% of the proceeds from the event will be used to help our wounded warriors, their families, and children of Fallen Heroes.

The Orlando, FL OGB event features AMAZING, FAST RACE ROUTES!

In Adddition to the always popular 5K & 10K races, the event includes:

  • Superheros vs Villains Costume Contest – $100 prizes for the best adult and child costumes
  • “Superhero vs Villains” Kids Race – 1 mile / .5 mile / 400m (see below for details)
  • A Kids Zone full of activities for kids of all ages
  • Salute to Veterans – This year we are honoring 7 World War II Heroes whom are members of the elite 65th Infantry Division aka: The Borinqueneers
  • The Annauncement of the Inaugural OGB High School Junior ROTC Drill and Ceremony Competition 2017 Champions – the winner of the competition receives a $500.00 prize!
  • Vendor/Sponsor Displays
  • A Silent Auction
  • Food and Drinks for all registrered participants
  • Awards for the fastest race finishers (individual and team), biggest fundraisers (individual and team), and largest group of registrants (Boots on the Ground)

Please support this effort as a runner or walker. Gather a team or do it as an individual – but sign up today! https://www.classy.org/events/-/e114814
#OGB #WoundedWarriors #FallenHeroes #Military #UCF #5KRun #10KRun

US Department of Agriculture Forest Service Awards AITC Three Contracts Valued at $10 Million

ForestServiceLogoOfficial.svgAdvanced IT Concepts (AITC) has secured three contracts with the  U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The first was a $3.2 million contract to support the U.S. Forest Service, where the primary network equipment is reaching the point of being replaced and updated.  AITC is helping to address the security concerns of the older equipment with new replacements and modernizing current technology.

 Over the past five years, the U.S. Forest Service’s network capacity has increased rapidly with increased user demands and new technological requirements.   The Forest Service will procure new Cisco products and licenses to refresh its current network equipment deployed in the Forest Service Network Sites throughout the country.

 The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.

 “We are excited that we have the chance to work with the USDA Forest Service again on a larger scale.  As we have shown over the past ten years, we have been a reliable and valuable resource for the federal government to obtain cost-effective, innovative technology solutions.  This is a great opportunity to cultivate additional business for long-term relationships,” says Gabe Ruiz, AITC President & CEO.

The total value of the USDA contract is $3.99 million.  AITC continues to make headlines receiving 10 new contracts (including the USDA) in total with an additional $13 million in value.  The U.S. Army awarded the company its largest contract award ever, a $70 million over five years. AITC was awarded the contract based on several years of exceptional past performance in a similar capacity. 

 “Being awarded the USDA Forest Service contract represents a growing business relationship that we look forward to developing as we continue to move forward with our accelerated sales goals.  We have received high remarks for the fact that our team has consistently met and exceeded expectations on reporting and project management from previous contracts which led to this success,” says Lydia Perez, AITC Field Sales Manager.

AITC Adds Top Talent

OUTSIDE-BUIDING-4AITC’s employees are our greatest asset! With a history of proven success and outstanding customer service, we stand ready to serve our customers. AITC hires only the best and the brightest talent, so we can continue to innovate and exceed our customer’s expectations.  We are pleased to welcome the following new team members:

AITC Headquarters – Winter Springs, FL

  • Rafael Arroyo, Systems Administrator
  • Andy Bennett, IT and AV Project Manager
  • Jason Marrero, Telecommunication Tech I
  • Cody Master, Telecommunication Tech II
  • Steve North, Senior Systems Engineer
  • Mario Ravelo, Senior Project Coordinator
  • Lilly Segui, Task Order Manager
  • Brian Smearman, Telecommunication Tech II
  • Michelle Tenn, Comptroller/HR Manager

Patrick Air Force Base – Cocoa, FL

  • Jason Gregory, System Administrator/Network Tech

TIB/ARTR Kelly Ops – Fort Huachuca, AZ

  • Ronald Martin, Signals Intel SME
  • Ronald Timmer, Hum Intel SME
  • Mark Ulatowski, GEO Intel SME/Lead

“We’re thrilled to have these talented individuals join our team,” said Gabe Ruiz. “Hiring top talent is an aggressive growth plan for AITC, where he will manage organizational activities focused on company growth and customer service.  These individuals not only bring tremendous industry experience with them, but also invaluable insight and diversity, which will serve us well in supporting our clients.”

SBA Names District Small Business Person of the Year

Gabriel Ruiz of Advanced IT Concepts Receives Honor Representing Orlando Area

Gabe Ruiz, President and CEO of AITC
Gabe Ruiz, President and CEO of AITC

Making headlines in the first quarter of 2017, AITC President and CEO, Gabriel Ruiz LTC (Ret.), was named the 2017 Small Business Person for the North Florida District.  The news was announced by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) North Florida District Office, which includes the top 43 counties of Florida covering Pensacola to Orlando and Jacksonville.

“Congratulations to LTC Ruiz on this recognition for his hard-work and dedication. This award is very competitive and our office received nominations from all over the northern part of the state. I look forward to presenting this award in May as we celebrate Small Business Week,” says Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, SBA District Director.

The North Florida District Office will present its business and lender recognition awards during the 2017 Small Business Week Celebration hosted by the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of North Florida on May 4, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.   Ruiz will be honored at a private event hosted by the SBDC at the University of Central Florida (UCF), on May 16, 2017 at the Citrus Club in Orlando, Florida. 

“It is truly an honor to receive such a prestigious award.  I have appreciated the support that I have received through the mentoring and advisory support from the SBDC at UCF, which has encouraged me as I have grown AITC to achieve greater success.  I am truly grateful and honored to receive the award and represent the North District,” Says Ruiz.

Every year since 1963, the president of the United States has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week.  National Small Business Week is set as the first week in May, and this year its April 30 – May 6, with national events planned in Washington, D.C., New York City, Indianapolis, Dallas and Fresno, California.

For a full list of winners for Small Business Person of the Year or for more information about National Small Business Week, please visit www.sba.gov/nsbw/nsbw.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. We recognize that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America’s future, and to helping the United States compete in today’s global marketplace. Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.