Michael Goldstein is the President and CEO of LAN Infotech, an IT managed services and cybersecurity company based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

We discuss the importance of community in the tech industry. Michael shares his experiences with various organizations and events. He also mentions his involvement with charitable organizations such as Joe DiMaggio Memorial and Jamison. Michael also talks about stumbling upon a FEMA grant program that helps not-for-profit organizations increase their security, both physical and cyber. 


The Tech Bar Ep. 55: https://www.youtube.com/live/VFa7skjmSM4?feature=share

The Florida Panthers joins the Acronis #CyberFit movement, with LAN Infotech as the #TeamUp partner: https://tinyurl.com/3vcm2pur

Florida's infamous "Croczilla" smiles for the camera: https://tinyurl.com/2p8j666h

The Florida Man Song (KVJ Radio Show): https://tinyurl.com/yckr7hz9

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Hello, friends. Welcome back to another episode of the I T Business podcast. I am your host, Marvin Bee coming at you from the lovely State of Florida, home base, Fort Lauderdale, Florida where we have probably been under a severe thunderstorm warning. A severe flood warning.

Uh, there was a tornado watch earlier today. It is not your typical sunny state. We probably had, I'm going to guess a foot of rain today. And the guest that I have coming on later tonight will confirm that we have Michael Goldstein with LAN Infotech.

He is one of the tech veterans that you should get to know if you don't already. And, uh, we'll come up and we even have a couple of Florida man stories to share. So we're going to do all that tonight. But first, let me get you started with the news and the first bit of news is I want to start with, I had announced a couple of weeks ago, maybe three weeks ago that I was going to be starting trials.

Now, normally, you know that I don't do trials until the end of the year, but I had so many vendors reach out to me and I actually had a need where it's time for me to get a PSA. That was because I was going to hire a tech full time. It's been the first time since I had a full time tech since 2012. If you don't know my story, I've got four subcontractors now and we take care of it, of everything for my clients across the state. But I need somebody that's here in the office, taking care of stuff when I leave or somebody that I can send when uh you know, some little stuff needs to be done, I can stay at the office. So I figured it's time for me to come full circle.

Get a PSA. So I started a trial with Synchro and that trial is now over. So just to let you know synchro, I like the program. I like the people.

If I were starting an MSP today, Synchro might be the package that I go with. But because of where I am with my business right now, the tools I've got the stack, I couldn't make the switch just yet. So I am still in search of that PSA to add to my stack. Uh I've let the people at synchro know uh I just, you know, I wanted it to be the thing but it just quite wasn't.

We'll go into all those reasons later. You can catch me off air, message me do whatever, but I'm not going to go into all of that now, just know that tried to do it. Uh, just not yet, maybe soon. Uh, I do want to thank some people in the MSP unplugged crowd.

I had put a post in there couple of days ago. Um, because of, well, I was going to say because of COVID but not really see when I stopped playing ball and stopped being active, going to the gym, doing all that stuff. I started to get fat. I'm just going to say it no candy coating there, put on some weight and you know, I listen, I had gotten to the point where I said I'm done. I don't need to impress anybody. Wife's been with me for 20 years.

I think I'm good to go. But many of you have made comments that it looks like I drink a lot, which I don't. But for some reason I'm getting a belly and I think my butt getting big. Uh I've broken two chairs in my office in the last couple of years now.

Granted I've been buying cheap Office Depot chairs for 100 bucks or something. So I said it's time for me to man up and get a real chair. So I asked people for the cheers that they use. Uh got some great ideas, man. Are they expensive? But I'm going to have to take the plunge.

I've gotten some great, uh some great brand names, Herman Miller steel case. Some other names I've never heard of before but, uh, I will be probably going to some used business stores here, uh, looking at some of these chairs, seeing if I can get one on the cheap, you know, $300 something like that. Do you have any ideas on a good quality chair?

Now, listen, I'm not a big guy. I mean, I'm probably, well over 200 that I should be. I 200 is where I should be. I'm a little bit above that. So not 2 50 don't go berserk. But uh you know, for my size, I, I'm a pretty big guy so I need to find a nice chair and I want it to be a good mesh chair. Don't want leather. Florida gets hot sticks to my legs if I wear shorts, don't want that. So if you have any thoughts on chairs, go ahead and send me a message and let me know. Let's see here. Oh, I did an appearance on the Tech Bar episode 55.

If you want to see me there with good friend Way Orsini and uh see how I fared in Florida. Not Florida. Uh head over to the website ITBusinessPodcast.com.

I have put a link to the video right there on the home page so you can see me in my glory on Tech Bar number 55. And let's see, I was going to read a press release because now that I'm a member of the press, I get info and I don't think I downloaded it, but just so, you know, you know, Rob Ray, my good friend, Godfather of the channel has gone over to packs eight and they are now just reeling it in. They have more people joining them and let me see here it is. Pats eight announces David Powell as V P of sales strategy. So the writing is too small for me to read it now, but maybe I'll put a link to that there. So they have a new person there that is going to be working uh with managed service providers to develop and strengthen their cybersecurity offerings. So pack eight man, they are kicking it and Pat a beyond happening this June 11th through the 13th, I will be there. So that should be pretty good.


Yes, I am flying west of the Mississippi for a second time in a year. So, uh I look at my good friend, Eric Anthony. Uh oh, Eric, do I have your so ignite? Oh. Oh, here it is Eric Anthony.


If you're still watching, uh I had this, this is a pin that I picked up while at exchange and while I did not put this in the final running for the swag of the event, I picked this up for whatever reason to look at it thinking it was a pin, but it's not, it is actually a screwdriver set. So you screw off the handle and all the little bits pop out and this is a horrible thing to do for a podcast. But if you're watching the video, I've got all the little bits and things in here and you stick it in the top of the pin that you would normally write with and it becomes a screwdriver, but it looks like a pin. So I know that this is horrible for an audio podcast. So if you're listening, I would say go to the video to see this, but the video is not doing it justice either because it's a silver pin and all of the white light in this room is bouncing off of it so you can't even see the logo.


But, so Eric, thank you for the, oh, it's called the mini Tool kit. It's what it's called there. So our good friends over at night and uh for those of you that don't know, Eric actually has a show that he does just before this, he starts at seven PM Eastern and rolls over into this one. And uh we keep talking about getting together, Eric. So I, I, I know I sent you the link to sign up and say hello. So uh just uh sign up.


Let's, let's, let's make this thing happen. All right, let us do this. Let's say hello to our sponsors and get the show going. I've got our guest in the room here. So of course, The I T Business podcast is presented by NetAlly, your Ally for Networking Solutions in the channel.


Are you tired of spending hours troubleshooting network issues? Check out net allies, family of handheld network testers where you can quickly get complete copper and fiber network connectivity tests in just minutes. Deploy, manage and maintain today's complex network troubleshooting with now ally net ally your partner in network testing and wireless uh analysis. And the live show is presented by computers done, right?


A managed services company providing IT support and management in Venice Florida and surrounding areas. They prioritize good customer relations and provide top notch care. Not only do they provide computer repair and virus removal, they also do website design, social media and customized business solutions. So for all of your computer repair needs, go to computers done, right dot com. And we have a new sponsor.


Many of you will recognize our good friends over at Instant Housecall, Corey Fruman reached out and uh said hello. So I'd like to welcome Instant Housecall to the family and we'll play this new sponsor commercial in honor of them support tool. Look no further than Instant Housecall with unique features like personalized branding, auto PC repair and unattended remote access. Instant Housecall is the perfect solution for I T professionals and MSPS. Try it free for 15 days, no obligation and no credit card needed. Visit Instant Housecall dot com today. All Right. Thank you for all of your support. I am joined as promised by the President and CEO of LAN Infotech, an award-winning IT services company here in South Florida. Michael Goldstein is in the house, Michael. How are you? Hey, Marvin, how you doing, man?


I'm happy to be here. Oh, great, great, great. Now, just to let everybody know Michael and I both are here in Fort Lauderdale. In fact, our offices are about 2.1 miles apart, but we never see each other.


We got to see each other at events. Yeah, we gotta go to, to Dallas or to DC or Orlando to see each other or we do a Zoom call on ask, that's it. Uh And today we had talked about doing the podcast in studio here or at your office. Thank God, we did not decide on that because today was the worst day of rain that I have seen.


I mean, probably since a hurricane. I agree. I agree last year. It's crazy. Oh, man. Uh, so Michael is here in South Florida now.


You weren't always here in South Florida. No, no. You know, I, some might consider me a long term transplant because I'm here 26 years. But, you know, like most of us Floridians, there aren't too many that are born and bred here. So, uh, yep. Started up in New York up, up on Long Island in New York City. Oh, ok. Long Island there you go. Can't shake that accent. What is it? The Long Island Medium? Is that uh is that where she's from? Yes. Yes, I wouldn't say that's their claim to fame, but yes, everybody knows that. Ok. All right, Mike. So for those that do not know you, uh LAN Infotech is the company name. And when did you, I'm trying to remember because I, I think I get you confused with another land company down here. So give us a little bit of history. So LAN Infotech is tw is actually 14 years old, you know, last month. Um Prior to that, I was a partner in another firm out of Long Island that was out there called Land Associates. And we been doing business down in uh South Florida since, you know, early nineties. But listen, I started off there 25 plus years ago, you know, three of us, you know, grew it up to 65 you know, people, three cities, four cities actually, you know, New York, Washington, Raleigh and South Florida and eventually moved my family down here, you know, I was, I was moonlighting, let's call it or, uh you know, in the heyday firms would pay, put me up down here, you know, fly me down. But after missing a couple of uh winter storms, you know, my wife came down and was like, this is where I wanna be.


So, uh separated out from my partner, you know, uh 14 years ago, you know, where we got a big vertical in the legal industry, not for profit, you know, kind of grew this and, you know, like you, we all become staples in this community. There's too many of us that come and go. Yeah. Yeah. Um All right. So I was, I, I was almost going to say the name but I wasn't sure.


But, yep, I know the name, Land Associates as well and I think I came across them because we share the same vertical. I also have predominantly lawyers in my portfolio and I think we went up, you know, against each other in some business and I think I won one and you won all the rest. Hey, you know what? We all try to be fair, right? You know, we all have to be good, you know, good citizens in our MSP market. So let me ask you, what was it that drew you to law firms and did that? Was that by choice? Was it by accident?


I will say by accident, I do know, um you know, I was so my oldest son is 36. So 36 years ago, I was hired by one of the largest law firms in the US um to come in and be a PC coordinator. That's what it was called there.


They had a, a 10 $12 million IBM mainframe that was there and the firm had eight P CS with no network when we started. So in the end, you know, those days, you know, we remember the old Westlaw days Westlaw came into play at a large firm and offered us 100 P CS based on three years of dial up time into the Westlaw. Those IBM PC A s if anyone remembers and you know, right away 80 88 or 80 86 80 86 has started on that and moved to 80 88. So the interesting thing is that, you know, PC started to take off. So I went from just the PC guy, you know, that would, was in place.


And, you know, we kind of developed with that firm, you know, we, we figured out a way to put a third party product into an IBM mainframe and give the attorneys the ability to dial into it. And then my life was never the same. You know, my son was born that, you know, you go back to the days of, uh, 1987. And, uh, you know, in reality, I remember being my son was in the hospital out on Long Island and, uh, I heard my name being paged over the PA system. Yes, no pagers, no cell phones, no anything. And I went to the phone and, uh, it was the managing partners assistant and said, listen, Mike while you're, while we're talking to your wife's being showered with gifts. Congratulations. On your new son. Of course, no privacy laws either.


At that point, you know, we know that you're going home tomorrow. We arrange to have someone pick you up, you know, AAA nanny to come stay with you, but we'll give you a day and a half at home and we need you to fly to Dallas for a case and after that connecting up a computer, you know, doing this, my life never changed. Yeah. Sorry. My life really went crazy because as these cases came up, if I was flying out of our office was right in one battery park plaza overlooking Statue of Liberty. And as cases came up, you know, they, they would say, hey, Mike, we need you to fly here. Go up to the 34th floor of the travel agency, get tickets. And if I was flying at JFK, I'd actually take a helicopter over there, didn't know where I was going as I got to the places and if I flew out of LaGuardia, it would be a speed boat.


You get to this place, you know, big cities. I'd, I'd have PCs waiting. You know, I, I didn't bring clothes enough time to go home. I didn't have anything. And what would happen is the Brooks Brothers guy would come out and knock on the door, you know, measure, you have suits clothes, underwear, everything that would be out there and everything be charged to the firm. So I, I, I'd start living that life there and, you know, in those old days, you know, we didn't have document management, we didn't even have a network. So in reality, you know, we were writing code for everything and, but at that, at that time, you probably weren't even getting Westlaw on CD yet, were you? It was, it was pure, you know, 9600, 1200 bought on Hayes modem dial up.


So, so in reality, you know, we put a token ring network in, we did a whole bunch of things, but I, anything that we needed, we would write the code for. So I kind of learned document management. I kind of learned O C R. We had Ray Kurzweil come in and show us the first O C R programs, but we had a word processing center that was seven by 24 3 65 you know and started with the old word Perfect. And then in a year and a half, we went from 100 PCs to 650 PCs.


So, you know, it did that, you know, kind of left that firm after I burnt out after four plus years. And, you know, their managing partner at the time was Cyrus Vance senior, the ex-Secretary of State. There were many times where we were in the office and you know, Ronald Reagan would be calling in and, you know, had represented all different kinds of crazy clients. So, you know, learn the industry from the town up and you probably say the same thing that yes, the words changed, but the tech really didn't change.


You know, lawyers still have to do litigation support. We still need some form of document management. They're typing, doing product need to find files.


We were kind of secure, we were doing these things. So I kind of grew up in the legal industry and, you know, over time we, you know, started Atlanta Associates, we hooked up with PC docs or Solutions, you know, Nobel Groupwise and we've been an unmanaged partner for 30 plus years. So we kind of understood the legal industry from inside out.


Yeah, it's, uh it's, once you get in, it's, I'm not going to say it's hard to get out, but there is a, a breadth and depth of tech that is needed and, you know, it's gotta be done faster and faster and it's more, you know, volume, the amount of stuff that they need to do to prepare for trial. And I remember, you know, years ago when, you know, they would hire people just for trial prep, you know, to get all the documents managed to get, you know, put all their, you know, PDFs in order and, you know, get their dockets and all of that stuff. It was, it was a lot of stuff. Listen, you know, I remember inside, you know, there was, uh, you know, there was an office for docketing inside this large firm. And I will tell you, it was like a mega size book that filled the giant table and they would actually handwrite in the docket dates. And when the New York law Journal had an online system to track the docketing. So in reality, you know, listen, you go out there, you do these things.


We used to have full tech search with a product called B R S search. We used to box all those litigation documents, ship them to the Philippines to be coded and came back with those sheets and that's how they got their coding sheets. You know, this is before the FedEx days. So, you know, worked on a lot, a lot of large cases. So I think, you know, a lot of it really hasn't changed and I, I really understood the power of understanding an industry, talking their language. Yes. You know, the building blocks for all of us across industries are really kind of the same, but you have to talk their lingo, understand this and understand that if I could save every attorney 10 seconds on an hour, every day for that period, what kind of money that brings into the?


Well, I learned that if you could tell them I can save you a 0.1 here and a 0.3 there that translated for them. So time money, you know, no different than, than us. But, you know, we, we, we offer, you know, we do a lot of document management work through, I manage, you know, I'll say all over the country.


A lot of client, we have a lot of Caribbean clients and some that I've been out there when I went to their partner conference in, in uh Chicago in January. You know, their CEO hangs out with me, you know, uses my name inside of and, and I manage to represent 85 85 of the top 100 law firms in the country. So when that guy says, hey, my old buddy Mike Goldstein, where are you there in front of, you know, 500 people, including attorneys. It's kind of cool. So I think that, you know, like you, we were all, we all have to be experts in our industry.


You know, I won't say that legal is everything, you know, which also led to not for profit, but like we won't turn down a different industry because building blocks and doing a good job and it's all about good service. Yeah, that is right. So I've got a few others as well.


I've got my medical clients, got my, my architects and my accountants. Uh but the bulk is, is law firms and once you get in, they love to refer. So that has helped me tremendously. And once they understand the amount of up time that we can provide them with giving them the right equipment you know, it used to be lawyers were always called the cheap ones because, you know, they wanted to stay on WordPerfect 4.2 for as long as they could step seven. Yeah. Uh but once they made the change saw the benefits and realized they could stay up, uh selling them, the stack wasn't that hard. And I think that I, I don't know about you, but every time when I meet some fellow MSPS, we talk about verticals, you mentioned, you know, lawyers, you know, they sit out there and they give you that face and, you know, it's like anything else, right?


You know, if you understand an industry and you go out there just like I said, they appreciate that. And that's the difference between, you know, the $200 an hour lawyer to the $1000 guy. That's the expert in his field, you know, or on that side of it. And I think we're just the same way.


Now, you also mentioned not for profits. So I had to limit myself, I only have two, not for profits. I actually went through a period where I was getting a bunch of them and I had to kind of pull back for me and just, I had two that I've kept and stay with my other stuff. You seem to make that a staple as part of your client base is, am I reading that correctly? You are a 100% Right. So couple things a there's nothing like giving back. Right? I think you have, you, you see that, you know, and I always do say that lots of times anybody could write a check but when you're out there going out and we volunteer for their events, um you know, what we did is we developed a couple of things.


A we developed AAA we call it gift. It's a grant, intelligent funding program. And you know, we have these not for profits, we will promise not to spam them, go out there. But when they fill out an AAA gift form, we call it, we have a dedicated person.


I hate to say, I say my, one of my sons because my two older sons work for me. But, you know, multiple times in a week, we're hitting those grant databases that we're gifted into for, for this. And, you know, we've, we've gotten, you know, thousands of dollars out and it doesn't have to be in technology grants.


You know, it could be toilet paper for a, for a, for a homeless shelter. It could, you know, we're just funding that piece and when we saw what we were actually doing, you know, between that and the Microsoft, you know, not for profit or tech, you know, now that it's called Technology For Social Impact program. Feels good to kind of get in there and, and, and get our hands dirty with them. Now, are you actually helping them for the grants because I always, you know, have helped them with, you know, things like tech soup and getting their, you know, discounted software and then they would present me with the technology grants. But are you, am I hearing that? Right? You're actually going out and looking for grants for your clients?


We are, we are looking for that. And then since we're a tier one direct with Microsoft, you know, tech Soup is like my competitor because you know, on the Microsoft side of it, you know, I'll get them approved inside the Microsoft partner portal. And within minutes, you know, we're gifting them licenses, you know, business, you know, listen, we can, we can, we can, we can, we can give a limited number of Microsoft 3 65 business premiums out to these not for profit.


So, you know, Azure gifts, Azure grants that are out there. So, you know, we're kind of knee deep into, into doing that. And if it's a small job, we donate some of our migration services, others were helping with various, you know, pieces and we're tied up with a few grant writers because listen, when we find the grant, there's some work that has to be done and you know what we refer out grant writers and they're happy to, they, they're happy to find these, you know, you know, diamonds in the rough. So of course, my question is going to be, do you have to be of a certain size to get into that Microsoft portal for doing this, you know, gifting of, of uh not for profit stuff you don't. And if anyone's out there and doesn't, you know, doesn't like licensing, you know, definitely reach out to me.


Um, you know, it's just a matter of getting them into the portal correctly. And again, they have to truly be a true not for profit filed correctly because it's not me or Microsoft, that's making the decision, you know, they go out, they use a third party database, you know, once they're put in there as you know, a not for profit type of license, you know, boom, first of all, they get email for free. So lots of times we do these little events through the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber, Greater Pompano Chamber and Hollywood Chamber, we call it, you know, IT toolkit for not for profits, you know, and we kind of explain to them. Hey, listen, I'm a potential donor.


We're well past those days of you using a Yahoo or Gmail or an AOL or a Bell South account to try to fundraise and you know, the days of the, you know, let me cut up the cut up the, the cardboard to make business cards. They have to put some skin in the game. We would tell them how to get some of these things started, what to look for. You know, before my, before Amazon killed the smile program.


Things that they can use. So we, we're, we're kind of giving them this stuff and listen, you know, some of you shake your head and go out there and say, hey, how many of these can you do? Listen, not for profits, some of these, not for profits and a lot of them don't have to be those name brand, not for profits do need technology, health funding.


There's a lot of, there's a lot of pieces that are out there. We just stumbled upon, you know, a FEMA program. You know, it's funny that today we have our bad day in Florida, but FEMA actually has a grant program that could be, you know, the state of Florida backs this that are for faith based organizations as well as not for pro or they'll say for not for profits that can, can get grants to go out there and increase their security. And that security is a very vague word, right? You know, some of its physical, some of its cyber.


So, you know, we're finding a way to work on this FEMA grant program. You know, it's $200 million a year that's up for grabs, we stumbled upon it. So again, some things are more, it's just really kind of cool.


And, you know, our sales team is um two people that are very engrossed into the community and I refocused everything about 56 years ago and instead of them being account exec, they are community resource people. They're dedicated to our chambers, to our organizations and it really has been great to not only give back and to go out there to be part of, you know, this not for profit community of things that you might never have heard of that. That, that you're like, oh my God, you know, how could I help these guys? Well, we are definitely going to have to talk off the air because I've got uh one that, so they've spent the three years of COVID trying to move into this new building and of course, prices have skyrocketed. Uh I just helped them with a $25,000 grant to upgrade their security. So we were able to do that for them and they were looking for other things that they could do to get some, you know, they want, they need new hardware, they need some new stuff. So definitely I'll uh reach out to you for that. And I always do say also that remember, it's not just, you know, overall what we think of as not for profit.


Faith based organizations are, are out there. We're all part of, you know, we have, we have churches, we have synagogues, we have mosques, we have things that we never even knew were, you know, faith based, that are out there. My own personal synagogue.


I, you know, donate pieces of, of, of, to and other things like that. So, you know, there's a lot of them that are out there that really are targets on that list and we really want to try to go out there and help them out. And in reality, a lot of these organizations, you know, have funding, just like you just said, approve rating there, they just need help. Yeah, that is true. All right. I've got a couple of other questions.


I want to ask you about, uh, some other organizations that you're involved with here in South Florida. But I want to take another quick break and uh do a quick commercial for an upcoming conference that I will be attending this fall. Are you ready to unplug? Are you ready to connect with the brightest minds in tech? Then join us for tech unplugged 2023 from September 7th through the 10th.


You'll have the chance to connect with a community of like-minded tech professionals who share your passion and drive, attend hands on workshops and breakout sessions to learn new skills and gain fresh perspectives. It's not just about the work. There's also plenty of time to unwind, relax and have fun with your fellow attendees. Paco says it's where the magic happens. Don't miss this incredible opportunity to unplug recharge and take your tech career to the next level. Get your early bird tickets now at tech con unplugged dot com. All right. So I will be in attendance there hosting as the MC of Tech Con Unplugged.


Hope to see you there, Mike, you and I are going to be heading out to Denver soon looking forward to that or beyond and, uh, our good friend Rob Ray and what a staple in that community. Right. Yeah, it is. So, before I ask you about other involvement here, let's quickly talk about that. So we know each other from a, uh, we've been to a bunch of events here. Uh, you've been a veteran in this, in this industry for what? 35 years? Yeah. Yeah. The gray hair showing.


Yeah, it's here too. So, one of the things that I'd like to ask is what are some of the values that you place on memberships, uh, peer groups and things of things like that in our industry. You know, you know, it's hard to put a price tag on those kind of things.


I gotta tell you, you know, we've both been at the Ask E events, we've been on those calls, we go out there. How often do you kind of get an unplugged kind of piece unmonitored to talk with our peers, right? You know, you look at that, you look at those Ask events.


I'm on the exchange board. Um You know, the, the, the, the channel company events are just, you know, amazing to, to meet peers to go out there and have these vendors come out, um, you know, or local organizations, you know, we're part of South Florida tech hub. So it's not just the big ones that are in our industry, you know, we're part of A I A MC P for Microsoft. So I think, you know, I, I, I think we're only as good as the last 10 minutes. Right. Where are we going to find some cool things of maybe you, where can we go out to our peers to find out about A PSA Marvin?


You know, you or a new product out there. So I gotta say if you're not involved, you got to get involved, you know, more. We might have never personally got, got involved if we didn't meet in an event like this. Right? You know, so I think it's important that everybody, you know, picks that group picks what works for there and you know what, just don't be a fly on the wall.


You know, you think about how many asking members more of it and we go on that monthly call and there's, you know, 2030 40 people not taking advantage of, you know, their membership and, you know, forgetting the discounts and all the other things, just meeting your peers. Yeah. Well, think about it.


This, as I mentioned earlier, we are literally 2.1 miles apart in Fort Lauderdale now for some towns that may be too close. Yeah, but here in Fort Lauderdale, we, we've got a pretty dense population so, you know, you could be here and never run into somebody that's literally right down the street. And so being a part of these organizations, uh, I can tell you this, I've had many chats with your good friend, Don Seiser. And, uh, she has said you have got to hook up with Michael and she even, she even told me to show up at your office one day. But I think you were, you were, you were out doing something medical. So that was where we hosted the Pax8 event.


That was, you know, parking lot, you know, all of our competitors, you know, the year before I was there. But, you know, all, you know, all of our community, I don't even want to call them competitors, you know, packs eight did this great tour rolled down everything, put everything in our parking lot and it wasn't about us. We raised, we, we uh had food, donated, you know, canned items for a local not for profit that were there. We all get to hang out, play games, you know, it was great to show you a community and have a, a partner like pack, bringing us all together. Yeah. So when you say community, let's do a quick shift here because one of the things I wanted to ask you is your involvement, not just with these groups and organizations.


You have also been you, I think you were president of the Technology Council, uh the Fort Lauderdale Chamber. Uh I used to be a part of that. I haven't done as much.


I reminded when I read that I'm like, oh, I gotta do more with the Chamber, but you have become a staple with South Florida sports. So I know that there are, there are companies out there that are just dying for the kind of exposure that you have. So I wanted to ask you, how did that start? And can you describe to people what it actually is? So if you haven't noticed from behind me or on my shirt today, I have been a Florida Panthers season ticket holder since 1996 since I moved down here. And about seven years ago, we've always, we've done business with the Florida Panthers for a while. About seven years ago.


Their IT manager had left and actually came to work for us and for four years we ran what's now the F L A live center, you know, an 18,000-seat arena, you know, Florida Panthers hockey club plays there, you know, concert venue. And for four years, you know, we were I T there, you know, year two, we, we, I'm a corporate sponsor because, you know, when you work with these teams, it's, you know, it's, it's give and take on that and, you know, it's been, it was amazing for me. You know, my, my kids grew up in, in none of us play hockey, but we've been avid fans. So, uh, probably about a year ago, uh, good friends of Pax8, you know, reached out to me, you know, Ken Patterson Frank over there, Frank Bauer, all the guys and Aron has this very unique program that's in place called Team Up. And it's not just that you become, I'm the official cyber partner of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, it becomes a relationship that goes out there. So through Pack Eight and Aron, you know, they connected us with the Florida Panthers, we did some interviews, we did some, some pieces that are out there. Um Aron became a staple in what we do on there.


But, you know, we had the opportunity this year, you know, us kind of tomorrow night's the last game of the season, but we put, they put together an amazing package where not only are we the provider for Florida Panthers, you know, we get, you know, we get major exposure. So after every game on the game cards or during the games, you know, our names on the, the, the, the social posts that are out there, if you are lucky enough to get bally sports or sunshine sports, when we watch a game, you know, the NHL has a pretty cool technology where, you know, they might be playing in Montreal and lo and behold, you know, the, the hockey boards change to various vendors and our logo comes up with a Cronus, our logo goes on the ice and, you know, it's been an amazing experience for us with the Aron team up now at the Aron partner event and in some meetings, you know, we get to meet with other people. One of my competitors has the New York Islanders. You know, there's the Buffalo Bills, there's, I'm just thinking of the teams, the Colorado avalanche stuff, the Boston Red Sox. So we all become kind of a cool family. But for me, you know, I think I was on a networking call the other day.


Actually, it was a quick past partner advisory council. We're all introducing them. There was someone I didn't and I, I recognized the name and he was, he was in West Palm Beach. We were all talking about it and quick pass, knew about this mention something. And when you hear your competitors say, oh my God, Mike, I saw your logo on there. How the heck are you advertising up in Canada? You know. So it, it really has been a great experience for us there being huge hockey fans.


I have my own personal tickets through the program. We're able to, with the Florida Panthers, um, uh foundation donate money to not for profits. We're going to have a Cyber summit at the arena.


You know, I, I had a couple of sweet nights where we, our first sweet night, we actually had, you know, veterans come to our suite, we do some work with B P S Howard Broward County Sheriff, Broward County Sheriff's office, you know, I bring my family there. We've closed a lot of business and we've given away tons of tickets, donated jerseys sticks, all care of that too, to all around the community. So for me, if you can't tell, elated, that are out there and I will say that for every game that was broadcast on TV. I actually have a picture of my logo when the hockey boards come out every center of the ice. If you any of you guys out there are hockey fans where it could be, you know, in a T D garden in Boston Mon, I got a whole slew of pictures and the Aron team is just as excited each time as I send them pictures and the Panthers make us feel like, you know, where when I went to A AAA couple of sponsor nights, I'm there with Geico, I'm there with big hospitals.


I'm there with Joe DiMaggio Memorial. You know, I'm there with Jamison and here I am, you know, Mike Goldstein, little IT owner compared to that. So it's been a really great experience.


Thank Pax8 for it. And it really had given us a lot of exposure. Well, little I T company, my ass, I mean, come on now and, and folks just to give you an idea. So when the Florida Panthers first came into existence, I wasn't in tech yet.


I was marketing director for Junior Achievement of South Florida and we did a partnership and those are air quotes that you see with the Florida Panthers. And we got to be a part of stuff and we got to be a part of the first, uh, was it 90 when, whenever they went to the playoffs the first time, uh, Brie's book and all of that, we were, were a big part of that and then of course, it just evaporated. I don't, don't know what happened and, uh, uh, a big deal and ownerships that were out there. And that's true. He was big in junior achievement and then when he sold his part, yeah, it's a lot of changes but it's, it's a big deal. So, you know, for, you know, I T companies out there MSPS that are wondering, can it be done? Here's an example. It was done. First of all, you were able to lure away the I T person from the Panthers. So that, that says you had something going really good with your company and you know what, it, it, it's kind of cool this whole aspect of it today because they treat me like I'm the Coca Cola of the world, you know, in this thing, you know, we had three sweet nights, you know, I got to bring my, my family out to the penalty box.


See the players, we, we had an event a couple of weeks ago, they call it paint the ice. I got to bring my grandkids. So I have a three year old boy, 2.5 year old girl, a 2.5, a two year old girl and a five month old boy. So the three and the 2.5 love hockey, they're yelling and screaming.


We had to go walk the ice with paint brushes, paint on the ice, you know, see that, you know, I got to ride the Zamboni with a, with a, with a sweep full of my clients looking out there taking pictures, you know, so it was kind of fun and we got to share and I think that's the biggest thing in majority of my tickets. I've donated, I've donated to auctions. We have um a Gilder's club event in a couple weeks, took a jersey that was signed, gave him some tickets for future next season out there because their event is April 20th, you know, so you can do a lot with this besides just flashing the logo out there. And now along with all the glory that comes along with it, you still gotta do the tech. I do. How do the tech without, without going behind the curtain?


What can you tell us about, you know, that type of tech that you, you're providing. So we've partnered up with them. We haven't had hands on, on their tech, but, you know, a Cronus is in their stack of things, you know, for them, you know, uh you know, seven years ago, six years ago when we ran I T there are different, different tech that's out there than it is today.


You know, Wi-Fi is lit up and lit up throughout all over the place, secure. You know, it, it's a different, it's all about the fan experience now and I think that's throughout all the arenas that, you know, scoreboards. Amazing, you know, and even when we did tech there, so right now we're not hands on, you know, we're just the cyber partner out there.


You know, listen, it's the same old, you got reporters, journalists, people coming in gotta get on Wi-Fi, gotta print, you know, but, you know, the coolest thing and it's not current, but even when we were out there, you know, seeing them on a weekend in December to have, you know, a Friday night hockey game, the Y 100 you know, concert series on a, on a, on a, on a Saturday hockey on a Sunday, you know, they do the Orange Bowl classic and see them convert, you know, a single purpose arena into basketball. You know, it's, it's pretty cool and then when you see that, you know, that game ends and, you know, you had some tech that was out there and it doesn't make a difference if it's a win or loss or if you think you have a bad team or not, it's somewhere on ESPN, it's somewhere in a scoreboard thing and tech needs to keep those arenas running and the teams live on it. And the best part about that is if nobody talks about the tech, you've done your job, 100% agree. And, you know, I will say, and I asked the other Aron team of partners, I said, you know, am I crazy when I take all these? And the guy goes, you mean, you take pictures every time you see a logo and people that have been doing this for a couple of times, it's, it's kind, it's really cool to be able to watch a game and, you know, start seeing the text go up.


Hey, Mike, I saw this, you know, it's kind of cool. How do you do that? And I think that's it.


And, you know, we, we evaluated this program and we evaluated a Cronus beforehand and, you know, it was an interesting partnership and like I said, we will be having a Cyber summit that we'll talk about, you know, at the arena, we'll get the arena to ourselves, you know, we'll be able to have, you know, do things for the, for the Aron Foundation. You know, there, there are cool things about it. All Star game was down here this, this year, you know, we participated in a beach cleanup. Uh, you know, we're very involved with local Broward County government, you know, right before the all-star game, we're going to a VIP event, you know, when the mayor comes up to you and the county commissioners and, you know, it's, it's really kind of cool compared to everyone else that's in that room.


So, you know, look for it. Go out there, these teams need tech, they need security, you know, think about everything that goes on there and it's pretty amazing. Now, the event that you're doing on the 20th and we didn't talk about this beforehand. Do you have a link that I can put in the show notes for the episode that people can see?


We have the event so great for us that the Florida Panthers just clinched a spot in the playoffs. But now we're delaying our events because now I need them, you know, the bad part about trying to do an arena event is that you compete with playoffs. Hopefully we go far.


I will get you to put in a future show that that's in place there. We're dealing with that in concert. So it's hard for us to, to pin all this down, but it's kind of cool and what we are going to focus on and to show you a different side of it, we are going to talk about security, but we're also going to lean into how this feeds the bad guys and some things that are dear to my heart that we do a lot of speaking on is, you know, I hate to even bring it up but, you know, listen, I it it's exploitation, bullying of Children and those type of thesis. So we are going to, you know, talk about this, bring up some of our not for profits to talk about this because we all know that, you know, the, the cyber part of it affects businesses, but it also feeds the bad guys that are out there. So we want to highlight some of our not for profits that are doing this. But we also want to try to do a day in the life of, you know, you come to the Florida Panthers game, going to a concert, going something and how the Florida Panthers Organization protects us as consumers that are out there, participants, their vendors. And we want to just do something a little different than feeds and speeds and, you know, honor some of our not for profits that are helping out including, you know, the Panthers Foundation and the Aron Foundation.


All right, Mike, you have been a true advocate for tech. You have been an advocate for MSPS throughout the community. I want to commend you for that and thank you for that.


And, um, you know, you do a lot of uh educational stuff. Uh I saw you on a recent uh podcast with the MSP startup stories. But the question that I do have for you is I've, I've not seen a recent episode of 15 minutes with Michael it. I will say so. I am part of a uh CEO group and we did the 15 minutes.


Our next piece is to turn around and put something together that will be ask Michael. And what we're going to do is we're going to get some people from various industries that are in the South Florida area to come on and unscripted, you know, bring your tech questions, your tech challenges and we'll be putting something together like on that scale because it's just something different. You know, we all do our canned pieces that are out there. We're going to try to do this semi live and we are going to focus as you can imagine in not for profits that are, you know, asking these technology challenges. So almost like ask, ask the expert. All right. So ask Michael, look for that coming up soon. All right. Well, Mike, we are, we had a lot of stuff we thought we would get to, but we're running out of time but because you are a transplanted Flo Floridian, we have to uh oh my soundboard is off. Look at that. It's the storm. It, that is our Florida gator sound and we are going to talk Florida man and I do want to put up a notice for those of you that are watching the video.


You will want to stay afterwards because we have a special exclusive Florida Man song that a local radio station has put together. Uh Mike, you, you've uh you mentioned why 100 earlier based out of Palm Beach, uh Footy and uh that crew, I remember them Well, I actually did I T services for footie at his house. Really? Very cool. Meeting them in person and see all the stuff that's there.


I remember Footy, I did an event with him, uh, where he grabbed the mic out of my hand. It was fun there. But a local group that I follow. Now KVJ, uh, on 97 9. Did that? Uh, do you watch them?


Uh, it is, uh extremely hilarious and obviously, as you get, I'm glad you put up the little warning because it uh yes, uh viewer discretion advise. So it will not be a part of the regular uh podcast, the audio portion. So you'll want to come back to either the show notes or the video and get the link to that. But um Mike, so you have uh been here, what did you say? 26 years, 20 six years. And so you have seen your, your share a Florida man. Do you have a great Florida man story that you'd like to share?


I will say that in my early years of coming back and forth, we used to go down to the keys a lot. You know, I was first pulled over, saw a, you know, saw that gator on the side of the road and I saw a crowd around it. So, you know, pre cellphone days, you know, you stopped there and instead of kind of lifting it up, people are just harvesting it right there. It was like the craziest kind of thing I've never seen, they're like, hey, it's gator, you know, and it was just one of those crazy kind of things that I never thought I'd see. You know, it's almost like if you're up north and the deer is out there, they're not trying to help or move it off the road, they're just carving it up. So it was the craziest thing I kind of saw uh 000 on the road live and of course, pre cellphone days. So you'd be amazed people waiting online to get their piece crazy stuff. Yeah. Well, I'm not going to actually do a story. I'm just going to go through a bunch of pictures here. So I'm going to share my screen and see if I can do this properly.


I did not prep for this but for those people that love gator stories. So five days ago, one of the most famous gators down here in South Florida named Croczilla was spotted sunbathing. Croczilla is estimated to be 18 ft and almost £2000. So to get pictures of him, uh was pretty amazing and I'm going to go through another quick picture here. He is so famous that he has had uh posters and stories made up about him in 2013, Crocs the DVD.


We go back and find some other stuff here. Uh Zilla. Now, I don't think it was just our particular Godzilla.


I think that this is just a made up of a giant uh crocodile out of there. But uh that is what is floating around down here. I, I don't have the actual story. I will have the link in the episode notes, but uh he was huh. Crazy. Yep. So, um you have heard stories of alligators being big but crock 18 ft £2000 a sighting and basically just sunbathing and eating other reptiles is basically what that was. So that is your Florida man story for this week. Oh man. All right. So Mike, uh I probably should have asked you some other questions, but I'm going to have to have you back on and I think the good flow of dialogue went, went well.


You know, it did, it did. Uh ladies and gentlemen, let's see, as I mentioned earlier to head over to I T business podcast dot com to see the video of me in tech bar. You should also go there and get caught up on any past episodes that you've missed. Uh check out our sponsors and affiliates, NetAlly Computers done, right? And our newest my good friend Corey Fruitman at Instant Housecall and we are going to be back. So the month of April seems to be all MSPS and all Florida people. I was going to say Florida men. But my guest next week is a Florida woman who is now residing in my hometown of Satellite Beach. So she will be our guest, Allie Johnston of um Bell Tech uh services up there in Satellite Beach. So Michael, thank you for hanging out and uh we'll catch up again soon. And ladies and gentlemen, thank you for downloading and subscribing to the show. Hey, let your friends know. Got a good little podcast here. Hope to keep it going and if you are here with the video, stay with us uh right afterwards and we will bring you the new Florida Man song. Everyone else, we'll see you next time and until then.