We had the good fortune of connecting with Edward McGovern and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Edward, how do you think about risk?
Risk is everywhere, it is what we measure against the return on investment, our reward. Every action you take changes your life trajectory and puts you on a new course that is filled with new risks and rewards. Coming from a career in law enforcement, risk goes to a whole new level. The majority of my career was spent working undercover on a Narcotics Task Force, probably one of the most dangerous jobs in the profession. I was also a SWAT Operator and Sniper for a good part of my time. As I moved up the ranks, the types of risk changes, but the amounts of risk are the same. While I may not be on the front lines, everyone I oversee is, and I am responsible for everything they do and making sure they go home at their end-of-watch

Beginning a Tech Startup is no different, the risk/reward balancing act is still in play. This is especially true because we are building mission-critical technology. If your Candy Crush app goes down, it is a mild nuisance. Our software means the difference between life and death. Also, it’s not like I walked into this with a a $10 million-backed company. CERA was literally started from scratch from a computer in my house. I not only walked away from being a six-figure Police Executive, but put my life savings into the business to start it. It can be very disconcerting at times, like walking a high-wire with no net. But it is a mission I am resolved to see through, so it’s almost no choice. That only comes with the experience of standing if the chaos and tragedy of critical event scenes, you begin thinking more toward purpose.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
CERA-Critical Event Response Applications, is more mission than business. When I was a cop, I responded to a number of critical incidents, including the Fort Lauderdale Airport mass shooting (2017) and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas attack (2018). Standing in the aftermath of these two tragedies is what propelled be into this venture. I saw this huge void in how we communicate and operate, and knew where technology could help Public Safety response. One of my favorite movie quotes that I apply to everyday life comes from National Treasure: “When something is wrong, those who have the ability to take action have the responsibility to take action.” That rings true for Police, Fire and CERA. We have the ability, so we all have the responsibility for taking action to save a life. What excites me most is the process of problem solving. I was that kid who had the most fun building the fort, not playing in it after. Seeing us take one problem that cops or firefighters have, and hand them an turnkey solution, is an amazing moment. It’s knowing you make a difference.

Probably the most difficult challenge for me is the time it takes. I want to be in overdrive at every moment, and so many things I have no control over can pump my brakes. When Covid hit, I’m out here trying to talk to schools about safety and there are no kids in schools. Education is just trying to survive remotely. Brakes pumped! Even now, we are in a fundng round to accelerate our company, and the war in Ukraine hits. Suddenly, the markets are volatile and people naturally want to hold onto money. Brakes pumped! I’ve had to learn a lot about patience to stay focused.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m half Italian, so food comes first. Bulla Gastrobar, either Doral or in the Gables. Forget a plan, just start ordering tapas until you burst. Equally, Dr. Limon is on the top. I could eat ceviche every day, and if I did it would be from Dr. Limon. After that, I would put my wife, Marilyn Morejon-McGovern, in charge! A Cuban and lifelong Miami resident, she knows every area. But these are some of the places that are Mari-approved. If you want dancing, Prohibition in Wynwood was the spot for one of our iconic first dates. Walking Wynwood is also a great experience to see the art and culture. I would also have to put in a Lincoln Road walk in Miami Beach, and maybe brunch at the Biltmore in Coral Gables to see an iconic Miami landmark. There are no shortage of museums like PAMM or History Miami Museum to visit. You can grab a drink and apps on the deck of Lido Grille at The Standard, and spend some time mid-beach for sun and ocean. Wrap it up with traditional croquetas y cafecito at Isla Canarias Bakery. Miami experience, complete.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Without a doubt, my wife, Marilyn, and our kids are first on that list. We are a blended family and came together with three teenagers (I have a daughter and son, she has a daughter) in 2017, the month after I began this company when I was still in Law Enforcement. They are my rock, and we joke that our home is the Fortress of Solitude, our peaceful place no matter what is happening in the world. Marilyn keeps me pushing forward, no matter what challenges I’m facing, and I do the same for her. We make such a great support system for each other. Our two girls are in college and our son is in high school. Marilyn is also pursuing her Doctorate degree, and runs our charitable non-profit, The Blended Foundation, dedicated to improving our community. So we definitely have a lot on our plate. Our chemistry and mutual support makes it happen. We could never do all of this without each other, and our kids all help. I am a very blessed and fortunate person.

Website: ceraapp.com

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/edward-mcgovern-62674a10/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ceraapp

Image Credits
Photo 1: Melissa Roukous Photo 2: Rob Trujillo

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