About Us

BlackBerry Empire, commonly known as BBE, is driven to deliver BlackBerry anywhere and everywhere. BBE offers a friendly BlackBerry oriented community that connects users all across the globe. BBE strives to always deliver the latest, breaking news, merchandise, and a brand new forum that allows our readers to engage the staff and fellow BBE readers. Our team actively pursues all aspects of BlackBerry coverage to keep you up-to-date on the latest and greatest BlackBerry smartphones as well as all other aspects of the mobile computing world, related to BlackBerry.

Founded in late 2009, BlackBerry Empire.com continues to grow the dedicated reader base. Everyday BlackBerry is recognized for its prominence in communication and scalability, and we’ve made it our responsibility to keep our readers informed with complete and current coverage. Tune in to our never ending stream of publications and join our Empire community in the day to day BlackBerry discussions over at our newly designed, user friendly, mobile forum system.


The BlackBerry Empire Team


Michael Heredia
Founder & Creator

Here is the man who not only founded BlackBerry Empire but singlehandedly built it. Growing up, Michael has always had a passion for computers and electronics. While in High school he picked up his first BlackBerry which at the time – the track ball wasn’t even in existence yet. Despite its bulkiness Michael found the device to be very useful and productive. Since then, Michael has found a way to upgrade to the latest BlackBerry before it even hits shelves. With a Major in Computer Science, Michael figured out how to mix his love for BlackBerry and skill with the creation of BlackBerryEmpire.com. While not working on BBE Mike enjoys working out, shooting hoops, and spending time with his family. Michael can be found at @MichaelHeredia on Twitter and at Michael@blackberryempire.com. BB PIN 26702A91.


Kristopher Alvarez
Executive Editor

The one next in charge is our Executive Editor Kris. His BlackBerry love started since day 1 of having picked up his first BlackBerry, the (88XX). Fast forward to some years and a few Berries later, into the launch of BlackBerry Empire, Kris was asked to help join mike in running BBE where he was put in charge to man the blog. Kris is currently a graduate with a Bachelor in Political Science from A&M-CC with a passion for Punk Rock and going to shows, sports, computers and of course BlackBerry smartphones. Coming from the same family as Mike, we’re food loving cousins from South Texas who love watching the Dallas Cowboys (NFL) and San Antonio Spurs (NBA) play. You can find him at @Kris0521 on Twitter and reach him at kristopher@blackberryempire.com. BB PIN 280ACD7B

 TurgmanAnthony Turgman
Associate Editor

Born and raised in San Francisco, Anthony spent his early years studying technology, patiently waiting for the perfect device to come along. Tinkering and manipulating these new technologies became his obsession, even all throughout his time in school. He attended the University of California, Riverside where he obtained a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, followed by a graduate degree in Brewing Science and Engineering from the University of California, Davis. He stumbled across BlackBerry in 2006, with his first device, the 7105t, growing into an unhealthy obsession. He then joined the BlackBerry community, converting “dumb phone” users and assisting them with their technical issues. Among his friends, he is known as the “BlackBerry Guru”. He joined the BlackBerry Empire team in 2011 and, despite a brief hiatus, has returned in March of 2013 to help contribute and spread the good word of BlackBerry. Anthony specializes in opinion posts, editorials, and business news – and is now a veteran of BlackBerry Live, having attended in May of 2013. He lives by the motto: “Stop babysitting that sh*t”, inspired by events that transpired at BlackBerry Live. Anthony now resides in Los Angeles, where he spends his time doing more than he wishes to list. Find him on Twitter @the_ruined or on BBM, PIN: 333D7B6B


Ipsan Gonzalez
 Associate Editor

I was born and raised in Union City, New Jersey. After high school, I joined the United States Marine Corps where I completed a combat tour to Kabul, Afghanistan and two others to Fallujah, Iraq. After the Corps, I worked in retail as a Sales Leader then promoted to Co-Sales Manager at Express, LLC. About a year and a half later, I started college. This past April, I graduated from Miami Dade College with an Associates in Arts, in Psychology. During my time in college, I also participated in school clubs and organizations such as Student Government Association, Phi Theta Kappa, and Psi Beta. In Fall 2011, I started my new journey in the world’s capitol, New York City.  I’ve been attending John Jay of Crimnal Justice in order to obtain my Forensic Psychology, Bachelors in Arts degree. In the meantime, I’ve teamed up with a few good friends and started CushyBerry.  CushyBerry is the brand that will bring mobile applications for smartphones and tablets all across the multiple platforms.  I am commited to bringing the best user experience possible.  We intend to develop for BlackBerry, Android, iOS, and Windows mobile. My hobbies include reading, photography, video games, art appreciation, cooking, writing for BlackBerryEmpire.com, and learning javascript and HTML5. I’m a christian, happily married, have a son who I adore, and I am always a step away from the American dream.  This continues to keep me determined and focused on what’s next. “Master the present and prepare for the future.” -Ipsan G

Isaak Ruiz
Associate Editor

My name is Isaak Ruiz, I am an editor for BlackBerry Empire. I am the father of two beautiful girls Zaida and Khloe Alexandra. I am very lucky to have met my wonderful wife Zaida unexpectedly but we share a bond and a love that is timeless. We are a close family, most importantly a BlackBerry family. I just recently started writing for BlackBerry Empire, but it feels like I have been doing it for a while already. I am a hard working, obsessive learner which has made my transition to BlackBerry Empire smooth yet I am still have long way to catch up to some of the other editors who have been doing this for a while.  In my “offline” life I am a Project Coordinator for The City of Eagle Pass in Texas. Between my job, family, and BlackBerry Empire I stay busy but I would not change that for the world. I had the privilege of meeting the creator and the editor in chief of BlackBerry Empire not online as a lot of readers may met them but in person being that we are from the same city and share a relationship outside of BlackBerry Empire. They both have taught me a passion for BlackBerrys that I may have never had if it weren’t for BlackBerry Empire. I hope you continue to visit our site and keep up to date on the latest BlackBerry News, provided by BlackBerry Empire. “Every job is a self portrait of the person who does it. Autograph your work with excellence.” -Isaak Ruiz

JoMarie (Jaydee) DiTata
BlackBerry Theme Specialist

JayDee is one of our theme review editors here at BBE. JoMarie DiTata is a relative newcomer, having joined the staff at BlackBerry Empire about a year ago. In that time, no theme has escaped her review…or her Bold 9650! JoMarie is an educator in her home town; in New York’s Capital District. She received a BS in Education from The College of St. Rose in Albany, NY and also a Masters in Library Science from the State University of New York at Albany. JoMarie is NYS permanently certified in English grades 6-12 and taught English in local schools for a number of years. As she finishes up what will be her 32nd year in education this year, JoMarie is currently working as a high school librarian/media specialist. She also is a CCNA and teaches Cisco Networking Academy at the same high school. Having been a geek her whole life, JoMarie wired her own home network (complete with a Cisco 24 port switch and miles of Ethernet cabling). She also has interests in: computers; gadgets; reading; cooking; BBE; sports, especially football; and of course, her Bold! JoMarie is a Fantasy Football Commissioner and a diehard fan of the Washington Redskins (sorry Michael and Kris!) She lives with her husband, Joe; their son, Joel, and their 4 cats.


Geoffrey Smith

Associate Editor & Public Relations BlackBerry Empire Canada 

I live in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada in the sunny Okanagan Valley.  I am a Police Dispatcher and Telecommunications Operator Civilian Member with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and beyond my operational duties, I facilitate and train.

Perking Lot 2013 02 18I had the opportunity to be a part of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in an operational capacity, where I picked up my first BlackBerry, a Storm 9500, which I discovered was a powerful tool in keeping up with events, as well as being in contact with my family while being seconded for 3 months.

I have previous experience writing, editing and producing material for websites, as well as experience in communications strategy and social media.  I currently have a personal blog, Living Like A Boss at

I now consider myself a “power-user” of BlackBerry products, using them not just for business, but also pleasure. I have found that personally, BlackBerry enables me to be more productive, yet still are fun to use.   I personally believe when it comes to these devices, I want tools, not toys.

I am a BlackBerry lover and addict who is always exploring and finding new ways to use these marvelous devices.

You can find me in the forums under Morbium, and on Twitter @Geof_Smith, on Tumblr at www.geofsmith.tumblr.com or email geofsmith@blackberryempire.com

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Zaibun Alexander

BlackBerry Theme Specialist

Zaibun is a relative new comer to the BlackBerry world, but you wouldn’t have guessed it.  After picking up her first BB Bold 9650 last year, she’s hooked and hasn’t looked back since.   A self-proclaimed theme junkie, Zaibun started writing Theme Reviews for BBE in the spring of last year.  There isn’t a theme out there that she hasn’t looked at or tried.   In addition, Zaibun also beta tests themes and creates BW sets for the popular weather app BerryWeather.   Zaibun is a graduate of the University of Toronto with BA in Political Science.   She’s worked at Dell, IBM, and Nortel.   Currently she works part time and the rest of the time is either with her husband and son, or working on all things BlackBerry.  She’s become the resident expert and most come to her for help.  Zaibun is an avid hockey fan –having grown up in Toronto, and loves the Maple Leafs.  One day they will win the cup again… She enjoys working out, writing for BBE, reading, cooking, and of course BlackBerry.  In addition to a new 9810, she now has a Playbook.  Best of both worlds, don’t you think?


Oscar Mwanandimai
Associate Editor

I am Oscar, editor and part of the family here at BlackBerryEmpire.com and a BlackBerry evangelist. I’m a true BlackBerry fanboy since my Curve 8520 in 2011, the experience led me to my Torch 9800 a few months later and now I’m a proud owner of a Bold 9900 and a PlayBook. When I’m not on BBE I’m developing BlackBerry themes, learning BlackBerry WebWorks or immersed in my web development projects. I just recently finished a four year Hons Degree in Business Information Systems at the International University of Management here in Namibia where I live and I’m currently working on setting up a consultancy.

You can connect with me on twitter @scarwizkid | scarwizkid@gmail.com | Amekmani on BlackBerry App World




Allan Joseph Gamboa
Associate Editor

Ever since Allan got his first BlackBerry phone, the Curve 8520, he’s been hooked on BlackBerry.  He quickly learned more and more about the BlackBerry platform and has since focused on sharing what he has learned with people around him.  Among his huge network of contacts and friends, he is known as a certified BlackBerry Fanatic, helping them with their BlackBerry (smartphone and PlayBook) concerns.

At BlackBerry Empire, Allan continues to share his passion for BlackBerry with our growing number of global readers and followers.  In the course of writing excellent features and reviews for the site, Allan has built his BlackBerry network in Asia Pacific, ranging from Developers to Accessory Manufacturers.

Although Allan maintains a busy schedule as an Organization Development Consultant and an Entrepreneur in the Philippines, he always finds time to promote BlackBerry and help people with their BlackBerry concerns, globally.

You may contact Allan by email at allan@blackberryempire.com.  You can also visit his about.me page for more information.


Igor Magun
Associate Editor

I’m Igor, a high school student going into his senior year with a plan to pursue journalism in university. I currently live in Toronto, Canada. At the young age of 14, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to receive my first smartphone. While everyone else began flocking to the iPhone, I had my sights firmly set on one phone – the BlackBerry Bold 9780. Ever since then, I have continued to stick with the BlackBerry brand, upgrading to a Torch 9810 and, most recently, the Z10. I also purchased a 32GB PlayBook, my first tablet, as a companion to my phone. To me, my BlackBerry is a productivity workhorse. Even though I may not run a business, I need a device to help manage my school life and my personal life. All of my BlackBerry’s have excelled at this – and my Z10 is a pretty cool little gaming machine too!

Whenever I’m not engaged in the world of BlackBerry, I am a huge gearhead – planes, trains, trucks, and above all, automobiles, are a huge passion of mine. I even used to run a car blog, The Blog of Cars, though lately I have not been able to find much time for it.

If you would like to get in touch with me, you can find me on Twitter (@IgorMagun) or through email (igormagun@blackberryempire.com). I also post on the BlackBerry Empire forums, under the name Igor.

Get signed up here > www.blackberryempire.com/forum


Harmonized, the BBE Editing team consists of  web editors who showcase both their adherence for quality journalism, as well as respect towards the BlackBerry mobile platform. Together, BlackBerryEmpire.com is driven to deliver our audience with extensive arbitrary analysis, detailed content, and the most readily, captivated BlackBerry news to hit the web.