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Changing Roles in Code for South Florida’s Leadership

TL:DR; Our founder, Gregory Johnson, is leaving his role as Executive Director at Code for South to focus on a new opportunity that he believes will push this work forward.

This week, I step down as Executive Director at Code for South Florida. The past 2 years transforming Code for Miami, Inc. into a powerhouse civic technology charity centered around a partnership that took user design and open data into rapid prototypes at scale. This experience was some of the best impact moments I can remember. We have been fortunate to have advisors, recruit talent and volunteers, and receive support from many in South Florida who believe government can work for the people, by the people in the digital age.

The end of 2020 made a few things clear to me. Our region is in great shape with local leaders to steward better government for the people and as an organization. Our staff and partners have all the skills to bridge that for the future. As we think about delivery-driven policy some of the biggest problems facing both our public and private sector are how we handle our data and technology infrastructure.

Over the years we have received many asks by c-suite leaders to have a better model of serving data infrastructure projects. Often these projects required more resources in terms of dedicated staff with bigger budgets as a vendor. In response to that, I will be leaving to focus on a new challenge aimed at solving those problems which will require my full attention. To date, as an organization our bank account is 7x higher, our staff is 5x in size, and our project delivery success is higher than ever.

Our Program Manager Livio Zanardo and Partnership Manager Joan Lee will take the reigns of the organizations with my full support sitting as interim co-program leaders. The rest of the board will continue to support and I will offer advice as they drive Q2 program goals and set up Q3. Livio was recruited in 2019 and after his first meeting was recommended by Julie Kramer as a perfect fit to support the organization in storytelling. Joan Lee was brought in 2020 and after adding value to our partnership and volunteer strategy has shown leadership and commitment.

Code for South Florida has accomplished so much from our inception in 2019 as a reinstatement of a charity called Code For Miami. We made a drastic shift from a slack-based and event community into a partner-based and digital service organization. In a network of 90 different organization, we became top 2 second to New York City’s BetaNYC, and across we stood in the top 5 for an organization with paid staff. Under the leadership and talent, we have had the highest impact, revenue, partnership, and outcomes in FY20 higher than in recent years combined.

My last commitment last quarter was to position us to be a tech-led practitioner community where today we stand on pillars in our community who are serving various spaces in expanding diversity, technology, and leveraging open source. This setup in my belief can position us to establish the relationships and resources we need to flourish in years to come building pipelines for talent to co-build.

Thank you to all who have worked with, helped, and cheered for Code for South and this important work throughout my leadership. On behalf of myself, Joan, Livio, and the whole team, we look forward to a continued partnership.

Your former Executive Director,

Gregory Johnson