Area Chambers Reaffirm Their Committment to Expanding Health Care Coverage in Letter to Hillsborough & Pinellas State Senators

The Board Chairs of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce and the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce contacted the members of the Florida Senate representing Hillsborough and Pinellas counties to thank each for their leadership in providing a pathway to meaningful health care reform.  The expansion of health care coverage remains a top priority issue for the Chambers and its members and we each look forward to a viable solution.

Click here to view the letter sent to each senator.

Member Highlights: April 19 – 25, 2015

Inside this Week’s Member Highlights

Member News

Member Events

Member Accolades

Member News

Ana G. Méndez University System and Valencia College Join in Historic Collaborative Agreement for the Development of Bilingual Professionals in Law Enforcement

CP 4 valencia suagm

Responding to a high demand for bilingual professions trained in the field of law and order, the Ana G. Méndez University System (SUAGM) and Valencia College announced a collaborative agreement which will mark a new era in education in the United States, while defining a new kind of bilingual public service.

“We are pleased to have developed this collaborative agreement with Valencia College and to provide opportunities which will position students who graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from SUAGM favorably in the hiring process,” commented Ramón Nieves, Provost for the Florida Campuses.

The purpose of the agreement is to combine academic efforts that will permit students at the Ana G. Méndez University System to complete a bachelor’s degree from the bilingual Criminal Justice program and, at the same time, be certified through the School of Public Safety at Valencia College. Likewise, students at the School of Public Safety at Valencia College can complete their bachelor’s degree through the bilingual Criminal Justice program at SUAGM.

“The School of Public Safety at Valencia College is proud to establish this collaborative agreement for education and training at the Ana G. Méndez University System in Orlando. This agreement will produce some of the best bilingual candidates in law enforcement in Central Florida. With an increasing Hispanic population in Central Florida, it is imperative that these two academic institutions produce highly qualified professionals who reflect the population and meet the expectations of public safety within our diverse community,” commented Dr. Jeffrey Goltz, Director of the Criminal Justice Institute at Valencia College.

In the City of Orlando, 26% of the population is of Hispanic origin; however, Hispanics represent only a 16% of the police force, a difference that is already being addressed by local government agencies. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunities (FDEO) reported an annual need of 179 positions for law enforcement officers and deputies in the Orlando metropolitan area, as well as 1,449 throughout the state of Florida.

“No society, state or nation can develop and prosper without the fundamental concept of law and order as its base. This important collaboration between our two renowned institutions comes at an ideal time when our government is expanding its Hispanic labor force,” said the Hon. Tony Ortiz, Commissioner for the City of Orlando, who has taken on the task of ensuring the promotion of Hispanics to higher positions within the public service sector in the City of Orlando.

Orlando Rolón, Deputy Chief of the Orlando Police, as well as Captain Carlos Torres, indicated their enthusiasm with the announcement of Valencia College and the Ana G. Mendez University System, describing it as “extraordinary.”

“This initiative will be of benefit to all the law enforcement agencies in Central Florida which seek to recruit bilingual Hispanic candidates certified in law and order,” added Orlando Rolón, Deputy Chief of Orlando Police.

“The new program will prepare a new generation of bilingual police officers with the skills to effectively manage their relationships with members of the community, working with them to create a safe and orderly society, bearing in mind the sensitivities of a changing community and the full compliance of the law” concluded Mayra Ramos Miró, Director of Public Relations and Communications, SUAGM USA.

For additional information please contact: 1-877-64SUAGM 1-877-647-8246

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Port Tampa Bay Touts Newly Released Economic Impact Numbers for Coastal Ports Nationwide

Port Tampa Bay leadership is pleased to endorse study results released today that show dramatic increases in the economic impact numbers that can be directly tied to the activity of the nation’s coastal seaport system.

The 2014 National Economic Impact of the U.S. Coastal Port System, an updated port economic impact study, completed by leading economic assessment consultant Martin Associates, was released today at the annual Spring Conference of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) in Washington, D.C.  This critical new report cites $4.6 trillion in economic value that U.S. coastal ports provide in terms of business revenues, personal income and other economic output by importers and exporters—a solid 43% increase over the 2007 assessment by the firm.  That $4.6 trillion figure represented 26% of the nation’s $17.4 trillion economy in 2014, up from 20% of 2007’s $16.1 trillion economy.

Other key gains cited by the new report include:

  • $321.1 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues generated by port-sector and importer/exporters revenues (51% increase over 2007)
  • 1 million jobs generated by port-related activity (74% increase over 2007)
  • Personal wages and local consumption related to the port sector doubled from 2007, and in addition the average annual salary of those directly employed by port-related businesses equated to $53,723.00

Economic impact studies are important drivers in the decision making processes regarding strategic and master plans for ports nationwide, as well as funding acquisition processes and business development direction for ports, shippers and global carriers.  Individual ports and port authorities utilize critical data and figures to state their own business cases as they build infrastructure and facilities that contribute to the economies of their localities, regions and states.

“These impressive new figures underscore what we in the port industry have known for many years—that seaports generate huge economic impact and jobs, and ports represent the backbone of our economy, as well as our connection to the world and our very quality of life. Martin Associates’ findings show how important it is that we work hard to invest in our ports and landside transportation infrastructure so that the U.S. can remain a global competitor, providing these positive impacts for generations to come. Here at Port Tampa Bay, we represent $15.1 billion in economic impact and over 80,000 direct, indirect and related jobs, positioning the port as the region’s largest economic engine,” Paul Anderson, Port Tampa Bay president and CEO, said.

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JLL Completes 31,000SF Headquarters Lease at Corporate Center Two in Tampa

JLL (NYSE: JLL) announces the completion of a 31,000-square-foot office lease on behalf of BioSpine Institute, an institute focusing on minimally invasive spine surgery led by Dr. James Ronzo and Dr. Frank Bono, for the firm’s headquarters at  Corporate Center Two at International Plaza, a class A office building located in the Westshore submarket.

“After exploring office space options in the Tampa market, we selected Corporate Center Two because it offers close proximity to our state-of-the-art surgery center in Tampa, allowing our patients to have quick and easy access to both locations,” said Dr. James Ronzo of BioSpine Institute.

Gary Godsey

Gary Godsey

JLL Senior Vice Presidents Gary Godsey and Brent Miller represented the tenant, BioSpine Institute, while Ron Ruffner, Senior Vice President, and Clayton Sovich, Vice President, of DTZ represented Corporate Center Two.

“JLL and BioSpine partnered to secure a unique office location that would benefit the tenant’s space needs, while also providing close proximity to BioSpine Institute’s surgery center in Tampa,” said JLL’s Gary Godsey. “We worked with the company to ensure the office address would provide excellent brand exposure and a premier space that would fit strategically with the company’s long-term mission and vision.”

Brent Miller

Brent Miller

BioSpine Institute uses advanced minimally invasive surgical technology and Dr. Ronzo and Dr. Bono have used their skills and techniques to bring relief to over 30,000 patients over their successful medical careers.

“Our vision was to create an experience for our patients that is truly unrivaled in the industry – a medical practice that combined a technology-advanced facility, an education rich environment, and a setting that provided both elegance and comfort for our patients.  Gary and his team understood that and were able to identify a perfect location for us at Corporate Center Two,” said Dr. Frank Bono of BioSpine Institute.

Over the past three years, the JLL duo of Mr. Godsey and Mr. Miller has represented over 240,000 square feet of office lease transactions at the Corporate Center office complex. Located at the intersection of Boy Scout Boulevard and Columbus Drive, the 290,648-square-foot office property provides numerous amenities including a café, banking services, fitness center, covered parking and on-site security.

“The Westshore market continues to be highly desired by companies seeking a premier business address and central location for their business operations, as tenants recognize the value this office submarket offers and seek premier office properties like Corporate Center,” JLL’s Brent Miller concluded.

About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. With annual fee revenue of $4.7 billion and gross revenue of $5.4 billion, JLL has more than 230 corporate offices, operates in 80 countries and has a global workforce of approximately 58,000.  On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services for a property portfolio of 3.4 billion square feet, or 316 million square meters, and completed $118 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2014. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $53.6 billion of real estate assets under management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit

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The Phoenix is Florida Poly’s Official Mascot

15 0422 Florida Poly Mascot Reveal Rocket Science Photography-5

VIDEO: Introducing the #NextGreatMascot (Unveiling Video)

VIDEO: Creating the #NextGreatMascot

PHOTOS: Introducing the #NextGreatMascot Event

On the final class day of its first academic year, Florida Polytechnic University has introduced the Phoenix as its official mascot. The concept was developed and voted on by students in the University’s inaugural class.

phoenixThe Phoenix, which derives from Greek mythology, is a long-living bird that is reborn again and again, rising from its ashes in a sign of regeneration and hope. The Florida Poly Phoenix is a symbol of renaissance and renewal, designed to inspire students and faculty to generate new ideas, continue a lifelong quest for learning, and rise to any challenge.

The Florida Poly Phoenix has a clean design, but is full of imagery. The head of the Phoenix is looking skyward, aiming for great heights. The wings are reminiscent of the louvers on the University’s iconic Innovation, Science and Technology (IST) Building. On each wing, four feathers symbolize the four STEM disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, as well as four core values that are essential for advancing technology and engineering: Adaptability, Collaboration, Innovation and Leadership.

“Students made an excellent choice in the Phoenix to represent Florida Poly,” said University President Dr. Randy K. Avent. “It is a stellar symbol of our spirit and culture, and it conveys that Florida Poly is a place of creativity, problem solving and purpose. Our Inaugural Class should take great pride in defining this part of our legacy, and I look forward to seeing how they and our incoming class continue to shape our campus and traditions.”

Hundreds gathered in the IST Building Wednesday morning for the introduction of the University’s mascot. Florida Poly unveiled the Phoenix via video to a crowd of cheering students and supporters who contributed to student scholarships and were on campus for the University’s scholarship luncheon, which took place the same afternoon. School leaders also handed out Florida Poly Phoenix t-shirts, buttons and other items to celebrate the occasion and showcase their new symbol of school spirit.

“Selecting a mascot is a big moment for our University, and you can certainly feel the sense of excitement and school pride on campus,” said Director of Student Affairs Dr. Steven S. Warner. “We’re especially proud of the Phoenix because it was created and selected by our students.”

Florida Poly kicked off the process to develop its mascot in January 2015. In the months that followed, 20 #NextGreatMascot Concept Teams, made up entirely of student volunteers, collaborated to develop and pitch mascot concepts, receiving expert advice and coaching along the way.

Driven by the University’s mission of providing applied learning opportunities, these Concept Teams participated in a one-time, introductory “Design Thinking” course that immersed students in the constructs of problem definition, market research and creative production.

A selection committee narrowed down the concepts, and students voted in March for their favorite.

“The process of making the new mascot, it was an amazing experience,” said Veronica Herrera Perez, a freshman who was on the team that developed the Phoenix concept. “The Phoenix represents rising from the ashes. Florida Poly, as the newest university in the state, rose from the ground up.”

“I really wanted to find a way to incorporate the [Innovation, Science and Technology] Building, because up until now, that’s kind of been our mascot,” said freshman Jacob Livingston, who was on a team that pitched a different concept for the mascot. “When they showed the reveal video with the louvers going up and the wings rising, it was a perfect match.”

About Florida Polytechnic University: Florida Polytechnic University is the state’s 12th public university and the newest member of the State University System of Florida. Dedicated exclusively to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), the University blends applied research with industry partnerships to give students an academically rigorous education with real-world relevance. The campus, located in Lakeland, Fla. along the I-4 High Tech Corridor, opened for classes on Aug. 25, 2014.

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Member Events

April 25: 32nd Anniversary Celebration of Asian-Pacific Heritage Month

ASIAFEST PROGRAM 2015 4-9 -15 (2)

Click here to view the Asia Fest Program.

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April 27: Carrollwood Country Club Wedding Show

Please Join Us At The Carrollwood Country Club’s Wedding Show!


Experience an intimate and unique way to gather everything you need for your BIG DAY! Join us at Carrollwood Country Club Monday, April 27th, 2015 from 6pm to 9pm for our Wedding Show.

Come see our stunning ceremony courtyard and stroll through the Grand Ballroom filled with the very best event professionals Tampa Bay has to offer! Enjoy savory hors d’oeuvres, complimentary champagne and amazing decor all absolutely FREE.

Register At:

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May 1 – 5: Join Tijuana Flats for “Cinco Daze Mayo”

2015_CincoDazeMayo_Flyer (2)

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May 4: Brazil-Florida Business Council, Inc. Networking Reception

Join us for a special 2-hour networking event that will convene members and prospective members who are interested in networking and meeting the Council leadership and board members.



14306 N. Dale Mabry Hwy. Carrollwood, FL 33618

WHEN/TIME: Monday, May 4th, 5-7 PM

CHEF INSPIRED MENU: Mini Crab Cakes, Rustic Chicken Skewers, Antipasto Platter (Meat, cheeses, & olives), Edamame Hummus & House Made Pita Chips and Arugula, Quinoa & Avocado Salads, Champagne and red/white wine

ATTIRE: Business or Casual Chic

ADMISSION: BFBC Friend/Prospective Member: $25.00, BFBC Member: Complimentary

Thank you if you already registered. Please forward the invitation to your business associates. Space is limited, REGISTER today. Bring your business card for a chance to win a Carmel $35.00 gift card.

Join the BFBC today and begin enjoying your membership benefits!

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May 13: Complimentary Lunch & Learn hosted by The Omnia Group: “Manage & Retain the Four (Sometimes Five) Generations in Today’s Workplace”


LUNCH & LEARN with us! Carolyn Eagen will be presenting on this topic and Omnia will provide food & beverage.

Here’s the presentation description:
Fifty percent of staff turnover is a result of incompatibility with something in the workplace. You, the boss, are the single largest culture/workplace influence. Attendees will learn the key elements of employee retention starting with the “right” way to bring a new employee into your organization. Realizing and maximizing your staff’s potential improves both morale and productivity. Specific tactics such as maximizing personalities, leadership preferences, development preferences, and ways to identify development opportunities will be revealed both from class discussion and instructor led solutions. Come network and learn from your peers!

RSVP Today Space is limited!
***To register, click on FIND TICKETS***

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Member Accolades

Port Tampa Bay Again Receives Credit Affirmation and Upgraded “Positive” Outlook by Fitch Ratings

Port Tampa Bay is pleased to announce that Fitch Ratings has reaffirmed the port’s credit rating of A and has provided the authority with a “Positive” outlook. The announcement this week represents an upgrade in Port Tampa Bay’s outlook in recent years from “Stable” and shows a continued trend in favorable ratings affirmations received in recent years by other top ratings agencies such as Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.

Attainment of consistent credit ratings performance and positive outlooks have been increasingly difficult for ports to achieve in the economic climate of recent years. However, in its findings, Fitch continues to cite the port’s achievements in revenue generation, relatively low debt service levels, strong liquidity position, and the economic conditions in Hillsborough County as key factors in their analyses.   Other pertinent factors cited as strengths refer to the port’s long-term lease revenues, diverse business mix, and the state of Florida’s significant population growth.

Historically, the port relied on high-volume, low-value bulk cargoes such as phosphate and petroleum for the majority of its business.  The port’s subsequent diversification throughout the last decade, including strong cruise activity and increased container operations, has enabled the port to expand its revenue mix.  Additional strengths are the port’s increasing intermodal connectivity—including the recently-completed I-4 connector—and the TPA’s taxing authority.

In recent years, the port authority has been working toward a strategic, aggressive capital campaign that has focused on expansion of container facilities, augmentation of bulk cargo berthing capacity and rehabilitation of petroleum docks, which are critical for the west and central Florida market.  Practical financial decisions, guided by a business-model approach and an eye on diversification, have enabled the port to experience financial success.

“We are very pleased to once again receive affirmation of our credit rating and very excited and proud of the upgrade in our outlook from “Stable” to “Positive” from Fitch Ratings this year.  Such recognition of our financial strength and long-term performance enables the port to continue to build upon its capital infrastructure and strategic plan in all areas and is a confirmation of the direction Port Tampa Bay is headed. Port Tampa Bay is fortunate to have a board of commissioners and staff carrying out the major strategic decisions for the port.  We will continue to engage in wise investments and develop a world-class port.  Consistent high ratings help guide our every step, and we are committed to carrying on what has become a very fine tradition for the organization,” Paul Anderson, president and CEO, said.

Port Petroleum Terminal Complex Wins Award


Pictured, left and right: aerial views of the Port Tampa Bay Petroleum Terminal Complex, which is the site for the importation of 40% of the fuel that serves the large and growing consumer market of West and Central Florida. Middle: Frank Nelson, senior vice president and general manager of Batson Cook’s Tampa office, holds the prestigious Eagle Award with Bruce Laurion, chief engineer, Port Tampa Bay.

Port Tampa Bay proudly announces that one of its largest capital projects to date has been honored with a prestigious Eagle Award by the Associated Builders and Contractors’ Florida Gulf Coast Chapter.

The award recognizes “Port Tampa Bay’s Petroleum Facilities Improvements Project” as the most outstanding project in the $25-100 million Industrial category, and was presented to the joint venture partners of Batson-Cook Company and Balfour Beatty Construction at the April 17 awards ceremony, held at the Hilton Tampa Downtown.

The Eagle is one of the industry’s premier honors, which identifies top construction projects based on complexity, innovation, unique challenges overcome, workmanship, and safety. This particular effort was a multi-phased project that effectively consolidates facilities that are shared by multiple users, increases berthing space for ships and allows for more vessels and larger ships to dock and offload product. The $54 million project is one of the largest investments ever undertaken at any Florida port and carries extremely high benefit for the region’s quality of life, and meets the needs of the region’s large and growing population and tourist base.

“We at Port Tampa Bay are very excited that our newly modernized petroleum terminal complex has been honored with this top honor,” Paul Anderson, port president and CEO, said.  The port is the energy products gateway, handling approximately 40% of the motor fuel for West and Central Florida.  This thriving business sector has a massive influence on our economy and the daily lives of our large and growing population.  The Batson-Cook and Balfour Beatty Construction team, working with our engineering team, created a highly sophisticated and efficient system that benefits our customers, tenants and the residents of the entire region and will provide economic benefits for years to come. We owe a great amount of thanks to the State of Florida for providing strong financial support for this tremendous project, as well.”

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Greenberg Traurig Tampa Shareholders Peter W. Zinober and Richard C. McCrea Jr. Recognized by Prestigious Chambers Global Guide

Peter Zinober

Peter W. Zinober

Peter W. Zinober and Richard C. McCrea Jr., shareholders in the Tampa office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A., have been recognized in the 2015 edition of the prestigious Chambers Global legal services directory.

Chambers and Partners, a UK–based publisher, selects attorneys for inclusion in its guides based on thousands of interviews with practicing lawyers and clients from around the world.  Attorneys, practice areas, and firms are ranked by placement in bands, with “Band 1″ being the highest placement. For a full explanation of the rankings, please click here.

For the second consecutive year, Zinober and McCrea have been recognized in the

Richard C. McCrea Jr.

Richard C. McCrea Jr.

Chambers Global Guide for their work in the Labor & Employment practice area.

Zinober serves as Co-Chair of both the firm’s Global Labor & Employment Practice as well as the Global Human Capital Solutions Practice. Zinober concentrates his practice on the defense of employment discrimination cases in state and federal court, both jury and non-jury, as well as wage and hour, disability discrimination, Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, and other whistleblower defense, age and all other types of employment litigation.

At Greenberg Traurig, McCrea specializes in employment, civil rights and restrictive covenant litigation. He is one of the very few Florida lawyers dual-Board Certified in both Labor & Employment and Civil Trial. McCrea has been repeatedly recognized as one of the foremost employment litigators in Florida by various independent legal ranking services.

Both Zinober and McCrea are longtime members of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

About Greenberg Traurig -Tampa

Greenberg Traurig’s Tampa office represents clients in a broad array of civil and criminal litigation, trial, and appellate practice in state and federal courts—including complex and high-stakes trials—both in Florida and around the country.  We also regularly represent clients in labor & employment, real estate, environmental, land development, corporate, bankruptcy & creditors’ rights, public finance, tax, and other business planning and transactions.  We work closely with our Orlando office to offer clients full-service representation in the region, with our six other Florida offices to provide seamless state-wide representation, and with dozens of Greenberg Traurig offices in the United States and abroad to provide clients with both local expertise and global reach. Nine Greenberg Traurig Tampa practices are listed as top-tier by U.S. News–Best Law Firms®. And, members of our team are recognized in Chambers and Partners USA Guide, The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, The Legal 500 United States, Florida Super Lawyers, Florida Trend magazine’s Florida Legal Elite, and Best Lawyers in America.

About Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig, LLP is an international, multi-practice law firm with approximately 1800 attorneys serving clients from 37 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The firm is among the “Power Elite” in the 2014 BTI Client Relationship Scorecard report, which assesses the nature and strength of law firms’ client relationships. For additional information, please visit

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Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Recognized as Three-Star Chamber of Valor by Hiring Our Heroes

Top Honor for Local and State Chambers That Demonstrate Leadership in Connecting Companies with Talented Veteran and Military Spouse Candidates

AWARDThe U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation announced on April 17 that the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce has been honored by Hiring Our Heroes with the three-star Chamber of Valor award. The Chamber of Valor award acknowledges the contributions of local chambers, industry associations, and business development organizations that join the Hiring Our Heroes mission of finding meaningful employment for veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses.

“When it comes to supporting not just veterans and military families, but the local businesses hiring them, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce is setting a standard for others to follow,” said Eric Eversole, vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and president of Hiring Our Heroes. “The Greater Tampa Chamber has critically engaged and educated its membership on hiring talented veterans and military spouses throughout the state, and their community is stronger for it.”

Eligible chambers and business organizations may apply for the Chamber of Valor designation or be selected based upon previous accomplishments. Honorees then receive a one-star, two-star, or three-star level designation. The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce is a three-star Chamber of Valor award recipient noted for routinely organizing, promoting, and assisting with recruiting events targeted towards veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses.

“The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce is proud to work with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Hiring Our Heroes program. We are honored to be recognized as a Chamber of Valor,” said Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Rohrlack. “Through the work of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s Military Council, and our partners in the public and private sector, including our colleges and universities, Tampa continues to be a great place for transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses to find meaningful employment and advance their careers.”

Hiring Our Heroes is a nationwide initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment. Working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s vast network of state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, Hiring Our Heroes has helped hundreds of thousands of veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment through more than 870 job fairs in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and Germany; a suite of free online career-based resources; and the Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness and educating the public on how the free enterprise system improves society and the economy.            @HiringOurHeroes 

Member Highlights: April 12 – 18, 2015


Inside this Week’s Member Highlights

Member News

Member Events

Member Accolades

Member News

Florida Poly’s Annual Industry Partner Summit Brings Together Leading Minds in High Tech

John Tonnison, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Tech Data, speaks at the second annual Industry Partner Summit at Florida Polytechnic University, which drew more than 100 representatives from high-tech firms.

John Tonnison, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Tech Data, speaks at the second annual Industry Partner Summit at Florida Polytechnic University, which drew more than 100 representatives from high-tech firms.

Business leaders in innovation and technology from throughout the Southeast traveled to Florida Polytechnic University’s campus Wednesday for Florida Poly’s Second Annual Industry Partner Summit.

The event brought together more than 100 professionals from industry-leading firms, including Nielsen, Tech Data, Florida Blue, Publix, Mosaic and Saddle Creek Logistics, to help inform the University’s curriculum and connect them with additional opportunities to collaborate with the University. The summit culminated with a keynote address by John Tonnison, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Tech Data, one of the world’s largest distributors of technology products and services and a Florida Poly industry partner.

“Our goal at Florida Poly is to prepare students to enter the workforce as innovative problem-solvers,” said University President Dr. Randy K. Avent. “Working closely with industry is the best way to guarantee our degree programs meet real-world industry needs, and our partners know that by helping to shape the next generation of STEM leaders they’re investing in their own future success as well.”

As part of its robust industry partnership program, Florida Poly works closely with more than 90 high-tech companies from across Florida and the United States to spur innovation and produce real-world solutions to problems facing government and industry. The partnerships also provide hands-on opportunities for students.

“Our students have the chance to work closely with companies that will potentially hire them one day, and that’s a major early advantage in today’s competitive workforce,” said Florida Poly’s Director of Industry Partnerships Sean Malott. “Offering internship and job opportunities to Florida Poly students also gives our partners early access to emerging STEM talent. So it’s a win-win opportunity.”

Industry leaders participating in the summit offered feedback on ways to enhance Florida Poly’s curriculum and received information about additional partnership opportunities with Florida Poly such as joint research, product development, service on advisory boards and internship programs.

John Tonnison, Tech Data’s Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, delivered the keynote address about the importance of collaboration between industry and higher education, particularly in regard to the rapidly evolving STEM fields.

Tonnison is responsible for the worldwide innovation strategy, IT capabilities and operations at global giant Tech Data. Headquartered in Clearwater, Fla., Tech Data Corporation is one of the world’s largest distributors of technology products, services and solutions. Its advanced logistics capabilities and value added services enable 115,000 resellers to efficiently and cost effectively support the diverse technology needs of end users in more than 100 countries.

“At Tech Data, we continually look to recruit and retain the best and the brightest employees,” said Tonnison. “That’s one of the reasons that we are thrilled to be an industry partner at Florida Poly—so we can work together to support STEM education programs and ultimately prepare graduates for high-tech careers.”

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Schifino Lee Utilizes Locations throughout Tampa Bay to Shoot New Television Commercial for Westshore Pizza

Schifino Lee Advertising + Branding has produced a series of new television commercials for the largest regional pizza chain in Hillsborough and Pasco counties, Westshore Pizza. The new commercials were shot in various locations across Tampa Bay and are an extension of the company’s successful 2013 “We. Love. Good.” rebranding and advertising campaign.

The “We. Love. Good.” concept used in both the 2013 and 2015 campaigns is based around the idea of “the good life”. Friends, family, fun, good food, and how Westshore Pizza can help enhance or quite literally deliver those aspects of “the good life” are the focus of the campaign. To illustrate this concept, Schifino Lee shot a series of vignettes around the Tampa Bay area: a fun-loving beach bonfire on St. Petersburg Beach, a spirited little league baseball game held at Tampa Bay Little League, an enjoyable front porch party at a Bayshore Boulevard bungalow, and of course tons of pizza imagery shot on-location at Westshore Pizza.

“Not only do we love the work Schifino Lee has done for us, we love the results,” says Keith Koehler, Co-Owner & CFO of Westshore Pizza. “They’ve helped to dramatically increase sales, web traffic, and investor interest. Paola, Amanda, and the team are the best!”

Following Westshore Pizza’s 2013 rebranding and advertising campaign produced by Schifino Lee, in one year the company saw a 22% increase in sales. The current advertising campaign will serve as an effort to continue to build and sustain customer loyalty and increase sales in 2015.

View the 2015 :30 TV Commercial Here:

About Schifino Lee:
Schifino Lee is a national branding agency with a proven track record for building brands through integrated communications in digital, traditional, experiential and social media. Schifino Lee clients include WellCare Health Plans, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, Gerdau, M.E. Wilson, Vigo Importing/Alessi, and The Bank of Tampa. Information is available at

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Ain’t Misbehavin’ Celebrates the Harlem Renaissance at Stageworks

Get ready Tampa Bay,
the Jazz Revolution is coming to the Channel District!

Ain't M at piano

Cast member Tron Montgomery and Musical Director David Estevez. Photo by Erica Sutherlin

Fats Waller’s Ain’t Misbehavin’

May 1-17
Stageworks Theatre

Preview: Thursday, April 30

The Harlem Renaissance will be reincarnated on May 1 as Stageworks Theatre gets ready to welcome back the Roaring ’20s with Ain’t Misbehavin’ – the critically acclaimed musical based on jazz legend Fats Waller’s musical genius that left Broadway audiences enthralled with a magical 1,600-performance run.

 (from L to R) Production Manager Mariana Hunt, Cast members Latoya McCormick, Naomy Ambroise and Tia Jemison, Musical Director David Estevez. Photo by Erica Sutherlin.

(from L to R) Production Manager Mariana Hunt, Cast members Latoya McCormick, Naomy Ambroise and Tia Jemison, Musical Director David Estevez. Photo by Erica Sutherlin.

Starring Tia Jemison, Latoya McCormick, Tron Montgomery, Frank Edmondson and Naomy Ambroise – five outstanding “Triple Threat” actors – and directed by Erica C. Sutherlin, this rendition of the Tony Award-winning play will have audiences feeling like they are in Manhattan’s Cotton Club or The Savoy enjoying Waller standards such as “Loungin’ at the Waldorf” and I Can’t Give You Anything But Love.

One of the most popular, well-crafted musical revues of all time, Ain’t Misbehavin’ began its amazing Broadway run in 1978 starring stage legends Nell Carter, Ken Page, Charlayne Woodard and Armelia McQueen and winning the New York Drama Circle Best Musical Award that year.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ has left generations of audiences wanting more of the high-energy,

Set design model. Photo by Frank Chavez.

Set design model. Photo by Frank Chavez.

heart-pounding Waller-style jazz which was the inspiration for other legends such as Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk.

Under the musical direction of David Estevez, Ain’t Misbehavin’ will be the must-see musical of the season.

For tickets visit or call 813-374-2416.

For updates on the play follow us in Twitter (@StageworksTampa), Instagram (stageworkstampa) or Facebook (Stageworks Theatre).

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Port Tampa Bay Receives Shipment of New Embraer Aircraft Components from Brazil


Pictured left to right: The Embraer Phenom 300 Business jet (Photo courtesy Embraer). Embraer aircraft components from Brazil being offloaded from an NYK RoRo vessel at Port Tampa Bay and destined for the Embraer manufacturing facility in Melbourne, Fla. (Photo Port Tampa Bay)

Port Tampa Bay is pleased to announce the arrival and the delivery of aircraft components destined for Embraer’s Executive jet assembly plant in Melbourne, Fla.

Embraer’s Executive Jets Campus is part of Embraer S.A., one of the world’s leading manufacturers of commercial and business jets headquartered in São José dos Campos, Brazil. The Melbourne facility currently manufactures the Phenom 100E and Phenom 300, and is slated to begin manufacturing the Legacy 450 and Legacy 500 aircraft in 2016.  The aircraft components, produced in Brazil, will be used in the final assembly of Embraer’s executive jets.

The assemblies were delivered from Santos, Brazil to Tampa by NYK RoRo on March 18, 2015 through the NYK North South service.  This is the inaugural call in Tampa for the NYK service which includes calls in Brazil, Mexico, Aruba, Venezuela, Curacao and Argentina.  NYK RoRo is a division of Tokyo-based NYK Line, one of the world’s largest shipping and transportation companies.  Stevedoring and terminal handling were provided by Ports America.               Of note, the Phenom 300 was the most delivered business jet in the world, for two consecutive years, 2013 and 2014.

“We are excited to work with a successful global leader like Embraer. They continue to lead the way throughout the world and specifically here in Central Florida, with their ever-growing and industry leading executive jet manufacturing facility. Port Tampa Bay has had the trust of many global companies with the handling of specialty project cargoes such as these components, and we look forward to providing critical logistics services for Embraer for years to come,” Paul Anderson, president & CEO of Port Tampa Bay, said.

About Port Tampa Bay

Port Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest port and the largest economic engine in west central Florida, supporting nearly 80,000 jobs and generating almost $15 billion in annual economic impact. In addition to being a top 10 U.S. cruise port, the port handles a wide array of bulk, break bulk, containers and roll-on/roll-off cargoes, and is a major shipbuilding and repair center.

About Embraer

Embraer S.A. (NYSE: ERJ; BM&FBOVESPA: EMBR3) is the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial jets up to 130 seats, and one of Brazil’s leading exporters. Embraer’s headquarters are located in São José dos Campos, São Paulo, and it has offices, industrial operations and customer service facilities in Brazil, China, France, Portugal, Singapore, and the U.S. Founded in 1969, the Company designs, develops, manufactures and sells aircraft and systems for the commercial aviation, executive aviation, and defense and security segments. It also provides after sales support and services to customers worldwide. For more information, please visit

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The Iron Yard Offers Scholarships for Programming Courses

The Iron Yard is offering a $1,000 Diversity Scholarship and multiple $3,000 “What Would You Build” Scholarships sponsored by Mad Mobile and the St Pete Chamber for our next classes starting on May 4th.

Our info pages are below for each program we offer here in St. Petersburg – Tampa. At the bottom of each page, you’ll find a link to apply to the session & course. Classes start May 4th in St. Pete!

Front End Engineering

Rails Engineering

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OAI Visual Branding Services Support Tampa Bay Rowdies Branding Program

RowdiesAs the preferred graphics provider of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, OAI Visual Branding has created a new look and feel for Al Lang Stadium that will drive attendance, enhance fan experiences, deliver branded impressions and increase sponsorship benefits through the use of compelling visual environments.

“We are so pleased that OAI Visual Branding products are playing such a huge role in the rebranding of AL Lang Stadium for the Tampa Bay Rowdies,” said Crystal Richardson, Sales Manager of OAI Visual Branding. “The community is already responding positively to the renovations at the facility, and we believe the new look and feel provided by our products will continue to enhance attendee experiences for seasons to come.”

The updates to Al Lang Stadium provided by OAI Visual Branding create a total fan experience both inside and outside of the property. The Tampa Bay Rowdies’ goal was to make Al Lang Stadium feel like home; OAI Visual Branding delivered on this goal by utilizing team images, colors and logos across various surfaces including: field walls, stencils for field graphics and mural painting, window graphics, sponsorship signage, wallscapes, grandstand wraps, concourse signage, breezeway covers and much more.

About OAI

OAI provides Visual Branding solutions that enhance brand identity while increasing impressions such as the design, production and delivery of high-resolution displays, décor packages, pole banners, billboards, signage and ad specialty items along with media buying services. 

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Member Events

April 20: New Life Village Hosts Young Professionals Event

+New Life

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May 5: FrankCrum Staffing Hosts Cinco De Mayo Fiesta Benefiting My Hope Chest  


Dear Tampa Chamber Members,

FrankCrum Staffing invites you to join us for our Cinco de Mayo Fiesta benefiting My Hope Chest  on Tuesday, May 5 from 5:30 PM- 8:00 PM at the FrankCrum Staffing Headquarters. This event is in conjunction with “Give Day Tampa Bay” (A 24 hour day of giving, raising money for local nonprofits) to make a difference in breast cancer survivors’ lives by helping to fund the final step of breast cancer treatment: breast reconstruction.

Come out for an evening of fun, music and entertainment, inspirational speeches from breast cancer survivors, 50/50 raffle & raffle items, free appetizers including a chip and dip station, cash bar and much more.

This is going to be an event not to miss. 

Purchase your ticket(s) for this event today!:

Minimum $25 Donation

Can’t make it to the event on May 5th, but still want to donate?

DONATE HERE on May 5th- starting at 12:01 am: 

My Hope Chest is the ONLY national organization funding breast reconstruction for uninsured and under insured breast cancer survivors. Their mission is to restore self-esteem, dignity and confidence to breast cancer survivors after mastectomy. 

To learn more about My Hope Chest and to donate visit

Sponsorship and volunteer opportunities:
Contact (727) 488-0320 or

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May 12: 44th Annual Tampa Bay Mayors Prayer Breakfast

2015 Prayer Breakfast_Save the Date_Page_2

2015 Prayer Breakfast_Save the Date_Page_1

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May 13: The Society of Emotional Intelligence Hosts “Emotional Intelligence: Who Needs It?”


Getting started: One week prior to attending the seminar, you will take the *EQ-i 2.0 emotional intelligence assessment. The EQ-i 2.0® has been used by over one million individuals worldwide making the EQ-i 2.0® the first scientifically developed and validated measure of emotional intelligence. The results of the assessment will be used to highlight potential areas for development. Having an accurate assessment is a must for improving EI.
Purchase this seminar here.

Trenam Kemker Shareholder Nikole Garcia Receives AV Preeminent Rating

Garcia, NikoleTrenam Kemker is pleased to announce that Nikole D. Garcia has received the rating of AV Preeminent from Martindale Hubbell.  Nikole is a Shareholder and works in the firm’s Real Estate and Lending Transactions Group.  She is based in the Tampa office.

Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® PEER REVIEW RATINGS™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.  AV Preeminent is the highest rating.

Founded in 1970, Trenam Kemker ranks among the largest law firms in Florida, with offices in Tampa and St. Petersburg. Trenam Kemker works regionally with clients in the following practice areas: bankruptcy, creditors’ rights & insolvency, business transactions, commercial litigation, construction law and government contracting, employment law, health care, employee benefits, private client services and real estate transactions and lending. The firm is committed to the service of its clients, the community and the improvement of the legal profession. For more information, visit Trenam Kemker online at

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Leadership Tampa: Tallahassee – 36 Hours of Action

By: Luis Martinez-Monfort, Gardner Brewer Martinez-Monfort, P.A.

Martinez-Monfort, LuisOne of the benefits of being a member of LT ’15 (Best Class Ever!) is that in nine short months you get access and exposure to people and places that are otherwise unattainable to the average Tampa resident. No part of the program highlights this fact more than the annual Leadership Tampa Tallahassee trip – a 36 hour tour d’ force through our great state’s capitol while the legislature is in session.

Like most amazing journeys, ours started with a rather uneventful first step – a 5:45 a.m. pre-dawn gathering at Busch Gardens’ parking lot to board the buses that would, roughly 4 ½ hours later, bring us to our destination.  On the ride up (after the obligatory silence until after the Lake City stop for coffee and breakfast), LT ’15 discussed the current legislative session and the pending bills and issues that are pertinent to the Tampa area. Our discussions were led by Wendy Brill (Tampa Chamber Sr. Director, Government Relations) and Michael Maurino (Tampa Chamber Director, Government Relations). From complicated state budget issues to funding for USF’s medical school in downtown Tampa to the plea of local micro-brewers for the right to sell their wares in 64 ounce growlers – we arrived in Tallahassee at the Double Tree Hotel well-armed with an understanding of the topics currently being tackled in this legislative session.

Our tour d’ force hit the ground running upon arriving in Tallahassee with a strong lunch time presentation on the present and future political landscape by Steve Schale (political strategist and one-time state director for the 2008 Obama campaign in Florida) and Sarah Bascom (president of Bascom Communications & Consulting, LLC). Their presentation was lively, informative, interactive and, at times, very funny. They gave tremendous insight on the inner workings of statewide campaigns, politics in Tallahassee and the dangers of Florida’s political future presented by the growing trend of political ideology over bipartisan cooperation (a theme repeated throughout our visit).

jhgFrom lunch, LT ’15 ventured on to the Florida Historic Capitol. The Old Capitol building was completed in 1845 just before Florida’s entry into the Union as the 27th state and was renovated and added onto over the years as Florida grew. Facing demolition in the 1970s to make way for the new Capitol building, it was rescued by the citizens of Florida and restored to its 1902 appearance. It now serves as a museum providing an insightful view of Florida’s unique cultural and political heritage.

From ancient Native American artifacts to a perfectly intact and preserved “hanging chad” Florida Election booth 456igufrom the 2000 presidential election, the museum has an amazing array of artifacts and informative displays that kept LT’15 enthralled during its visit. 

After a walk-through of the museum, LT ’15 had the opportunity to meet a group of our area’s State representatives and senators who took time out of their schedules (some running out of ongoing committee meetings) to meet and continue our dialogue on the issues being wrestled by the legislature this session. These informal discussions gave way to the afternoon’s panel discussion facilitated by none other than Former Speaker of the Florida House Mr. H. Lee Moffitt, and included Mr. Justin Day (from the Advocacy Group at Cardenas Partners), Mr. Ron Pierce (President of RSA Consulting, LLC), Mr. John McKager “Mac” Stipanovich (former Chief of Staff to Florida Governor Bob Martinez and current of council at Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, PC) and Mark Walsh (USF System Assistant Vice President for Government Relations). 


The lively panel provided an honest discussion of not only the most challenging issue facing the legislature this session – the budget issues surrounding the Senate’s proposed expansion of Medicaid and the House’s vehement stance against it (which most presumed would require an extended session to resolve) – but also of the power of special interest groups to drive policy and the breakdown of problem solving when political ideologies override practical solutions. By providing a historical and contemporary analysis of the legislative process, the panel was able to provide LT’15 a unique insight into the future of Florida politics. We even learned when and how to apply the classic Florida political colloquialism “beat him like a rented mule.”

LT ’15 closed out its first day in Tallahassee with a legislative reception at the Double Tree highlighted by introductory remarks from our Class Chair Mr. Jim Porter, recognition of the various politicians in attendance (including a delegation from our own Hillsborough County School Board), thank yous to our day sponsors and small presentations by several of our distinguished guests including Representative Janet Cruz and Senator Arthenia L. Joyner. The informal setting allowed for casual conversation with the various people we met during the day. Well attended and well apportioned, the cocktail party was the perfect blend of politics, hors d’oeuvres and beverages. LT ’15 then rolled out to dinner and camaraderie where a good time was had by all.

IMG_5442Day two started off with a tour of the Florida Supreme Court’s chambers and a wonderful meet and greet session with Supreme Court Justice Peggy Anne Quince, the first African-American woman appointed to our state’s highest court. Justice Quince was approachable, insightful, inspiring and humble. Being from our area (a prior local attorney and 2nd District Court of Appeal Judge), she had a particular fondness for our group and left open the invitation for us to hear the Court in session the next time we were in Tallahassee.


From the Supreme Court’s chambers we ventured to the new Capitol building (1970s being deemed new relative to the Historic Capitol) where we had another opportunity to meet more of our local state senators and representatives carrying on our continuing dialogue of the current legislative agenda and the issues impacting our specific region. As with the prior day’s presentations, the frank and honest discussion of the issues, regardless of political affiliation, provided amazing insight to LT ’15. Over these two days, LT’15 had the pleasure of discussing Florida politics with State Senators Jeff Brandes, Jack Latvala and Tom Lee along with State Representatives Shawn Harrison, Edwin Narain, Chris Latvala, Dwight Dudley, Darryl E. Rouson and Chris Sprowls.

lj56klnAfter two straight days of Florida politics, we moved on to one of Florida’s other great passions – college football. Thanks to the Chamber and its many supporters, LT ’15 was treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of Florida State University’s athletic facilities at Doak Campbell stadium. LT ’15 was given guided tours through the weight rooms, training areas, locker rooms and coaches’ office. There was even a brief surprise run-in with the NFL’s potential No. 1 draft pick during the tour (who laughed at the serendipity of running into a tour group from Tampa this close to draft day). The tour was highlighted by a wonderful lunch at the top of Doak Campbell Stadium catered by FSU’s Dedman School of Hospitality.


After feasting on lunch and picking up some FSU merchandise at the stadium gift shop, we once again boarded the buses to travel to our final and surprise stop before heading back to Tampa – the Governor’s Mansion. The 1957-built home had a Florida feel to it – not overly grand or pompous but casual and approachable. The home is full of Florida specific accoutrements and mementos like the silver place settings from the battleship Florida to the manatee water fountain sculpture in the back yard. The outside walkways and driveway were paved with bricks from Ybor City donated by Tampa leaders during construction. Our current first family’s personal pictures seamlessly blended in to the home’s general decor and feel.


After the mansion tour, we once again boarded our buses and Tallahassee slowly faded into the background as we began our 4 ½ hour bus ride back to Tampa, bringing an end to an amazing 36 hours.    Special Thanks to our Day Chairs Mike Griffin (Vertical Integration) and Merritt Martin (Moffitt Cancer Center) and our day sponsors Adams and Reese, LLP (thank you Laurel Corriveau) and Moffit Cancer Center.

Member Highlights: April 5 – 11, 2015

Inside this Week’s Member Highlights

Member News

Member Events

New Hires & Promotions

Member News

Fifth Third Bank Partners with Metropolitan Ministries to Fight Hunger

Local Bank Pledges to Feed 10,000 Families to Celebrate Fifth Third Day

The “Fifth Third Feeding Families” food drive – aimed at collecting enough non-perishable items to feed 10,000 families throughout Tampa Bay, Central Florida and Jacksonville – will run from April 1 through May 3 (“Fifth Third Day”).

In Tampa Bay, for the sixth consecutive year, Fifth Third Bank is partnering with Metropolitan Ministries in their efforts to fight hunger in the Bay area.

“We believe that an ongoing investment in our community can make a meaningful impact,” said Brian Lamb, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank (North Florida). “We’re proud to once again be working with a great organization like Metropolitan Ministries to help families and children in need throughout Tampa Bay.”

Metropolitan Ministries is one of the leading nonprofits in the area that provides support to hungry children and families in the four-county Tampa Bay area. The collected items will be distributed to people in need in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Polk counties.

“The need for food in our community continues to grow, and the donated items will directly help people right here in our own backyards,” said Tim Marks, president and CEO of Metropolitan Ministries. “We are humbled that Fifth Third Bank has once again focused on contributing to our mission to fight hunger and provide hope.”

Food collection bins are set up at all 107 Fifth Third banking centers throughout Tampa Bay, Central Florida and Jacksonville markets. Bank employees and customers – as well as local businesses and community residents – are encouraged to donate non-perishable food items, such as canned fruits and meats, rice, boxed cereal and beans.

To donate, stop by your local Fifth Third banking center or visit to find a location near you.

About Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. As of December 31, 2014, the Company had $139 billion in assets and operated 15 affiliates with 1,302 full-service Banking Centers, including 101 Bank Mart® locations, most open seven days a week, inside select grocery stores and 2,638 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Investment Advisors. Fifth Third also has a 22.8% interest in Vantiv Holding, LLC. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of December 31, 2014, had $308 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $27 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the NASDAQ® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858.  Member FDIC.

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Member Events

April 11: Dress to Impress for 13 Ugly Men “White Party” Hosted at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Pool

The highly anticipated 13 Ugly Men “White Party” returns to Seminole Hard Rock Tampa this Saturday, April 11, at 7 p.m.

The 13 Ugly Men White Party has been labeled the “Signature Party” in Tampa Bay and traditionally has attracted over 1,000 people – all dressed to impress in white attire. This year’s party will be bigger and better than ever.

The party hours have been extended until 2 a.m. and table game felts and dealers will be supporting the cause dressed in all white attire.

Proceeds from the party will be used for Julie Weintraub’s Hands Across the Bay, a charity that provides resources by assisting and mentoring hardworking families in need, including those who have encountered domestic violence.

Tickets for the event are $49 for women and $69 for men and can be purchased at White Party.

Included with the event, Seminole Hard Rock Tampa will be offering guests casino cuisine throughout the evening including: “A Taste of Rock & Raw,” “A Taste of Rise” and “A Taste of Fresh Harvest.”

A bonus is the late night menu offered by Hard Rock Cafe (from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.) which will include sandwiches and barbeque.

With five events annually, the 13 Ugly Men Foundation raises money for local charities and organizations that benefit children’s issues, women’s issues, crisis intervention, law enforcement and the military.

About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is the premier entertainment destination of Central Florida and the place where celebrities love to stay and play. Owned and operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, this electrifying casino destination is one of the most successful and largest casinos in the world and is located in Tampa, Florida off of I-4 at North Orient Road and Hillsborough Avenue, between I-75 and I-275, about 10 minutes east of downtown Tampa. Featuring high stakes table games along with thousands of the hottest slot machines, the rock star amenities at this AAA Four Diamond rated hotel and casino range from seven award-winning Zagat-rated restaurants, a newly renovated Rock Spa® and VIP services galore. The casino offers a valet service or free, self-parking. For more information, please call 866-502-PLAY or visit us online and via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

About Hard Rock International

With a total of 199 venues in 63 countries, including 153 cafes, 21 hotels and 10 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website. HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands. The company owns, operates and franchises Cafes in iconic cities including London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Dubai. HRI also owns, licenses and/or manages hotel/casino properties worldwide. Destinations include the company’s two most successful Hotel and Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, Fl., both owned and operated by HRI parent company The Seminole Tribe of Florida, as well as other exciting locations including Bali, Chicago, Cancun, Ibiza, Las Vegas, Macau and San Diego. Upcoming new Hard Rock Cafe locations include San Juan, Rio de Janeiro and Marrakech. New Hard Rock Hotel projects include Daytona Beach, Dubai, Los Cabos, Tenerife, Abu Dhabi, and Shenzhen and Haikou in China. For more information on Hard Rock International, visit

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April 16: LilyPad Solutions Webinar – “Drive Sales through Smarter Activity: Motivation with a Focused Approach”


Drive Sales Through Smarter Activity: “Motivation with a Focused Approach”

Thursday, April 16th, 2PM EST

Join Jay Robinson, Regional Manager at  Oskar Blues Brewery and Eric Rabinovitz, CEO of  LilyPad Solutions, as they share how Oskar Blues leverages LilyPad to motivate their sales team, simplify data collection & increase activity based selling. You’ll learn:

  • Why Activity Management is a hot topic and what you need to know about it.
  • How to expand your account universe.
  • How social sharing plays a significant role in daily motivation and coaching.
  • Why your ‘CRM’ may not be the entire solution.

Who Should Attend:

  • VP, Sales & Operations
  • General Managers
  • Sales Managers
  • Operations Managers

Reserve your seat today. It’ll be well worth your time.

Click here for more details:

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April 16: Operation Helping Hand Monthly Dinner


This month’s Operation Helping Hand dinner will be on Thursday, April 16, at 6PM at the James A. Haley VA Hospital SCI Building.

Since 2004, Operation Helping Hand has extended all necessary efforts to assist and support over 950 military wounded/injured being treated at the James A. Haley VA Hospital, and many of their visiting families.  We’ve been blessed with very generous donations from so many generous individuals, organizations, corporations, etc. We are indeed fortunate to have outstanding volunteers and the required support over the past 10 years, and we will continue our mission as long as we are needed.

For more info, please contact:

Bob Silah, Captain, USN (Retired) 
Chairman, Operation
Helping Hand or 

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April 23: La Segunda Central Bakery Celebrates 100 Years!

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New Hires & Promotions

Gina Giacusa Joins Trenam Kemker’s Tampa Office

Giacusa GinaThe law firm of Trenam Kemker is pleased to announce that Gina Giacusa has joined the firm as an Associate and will practice in the Business Transactions Group.  Gina has experience assisting businesses with entity formation and maintenance, contract negotiations, licensing agreements, consulting agreements and various other general business transactions.

Before joining the firm, Gina was an associate at Lalchandani Simon PL.  She received her undergraduate degree from University of Florida and her J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law.

Founded in 1970, Trenam Kemker ranks among the largest law firms in Florida, with offices in Tampa and St. Petersburg. Trenam Kemker works regionally with clients in the following practice areas: bankruptcy, creditors’ rights & insolvency, business transactions, commercial litigation, construction law and government contracting, employment law, health care, employee benefits, private client services and real estate transactions and lending. The firm is committed to the service of its clients, the community and the improvement of the legal profession. For more information, visit Trenam Kemker online at

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Greenberg Traurig Tampa Adds Jamie Moore Marcario as Labor and Employment Associate

Marcario_Jamie_M_v1International law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. has added Jamie Moore Marcario to its Tampa office as an associate in the firm’s Labor & Employment practice.

Marcario focuses her practice on labor and employment law, with an emphasis on defending employment discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, retaliation, and civil rights cases in state and federal courts.  She also represents clients before administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Florida Commission on Human Relations, and National Labor Relations Board.

“In addition to excellent academic credentials, Jamie has significant private-sector business experience that will provide added value to clients.  And, as the seventh former judicial law clerk in our office, Jamie brings that valuable perspective to her practice as well.  We are very pleased that Jamie has joined our team,” said David B. Weinstein, Managing Shareholder of the firm’s Tampa office.

Prior to joining Greenberg Traurig, Marcario defended clients in highly regulated industries, including healthcare, transportation, and aviation.  Marcario has significant experience with federal and state regulatory issues governing healthcare clients—e.g., PSQIA, Florida’s Amendment 7, HIPAA, HITECH Act, EMTALA, and STARK. She has represented hospitals, physicians, and physician practice groups in medical malpractice, licensure, peer review, breach of contract, and employment disputes.

“Greenberg Traurig is an incredible firm comprised of intelligent, dedicated and authentic people. As a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment team, not only do I have the opportunity to learn from national-caliber lawyers like Pete Zinober and Rich McCrea, I have the chance to use the combination of my regulatory knowledge, litigation skills, and writing experience to assist our clients in smoothly navigating complex legal waters,” Marcario said.

Prior to her legal career, Marcario gained valuable experience in the pharmaceutical industry and subsequently served as the Director of Editorial Services for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

About Greenberg Traurig -Tampa

Greenberg Traurig’s Tampa office represents clients in a broad array of civil and criminal litigation, trial, and appellate practice in state and federal courts—including complex and high-stakes trials—both in Florida and around the country.  We also regularly represent clients in labor & employment, real estate, environmental, land development, corporate, bankruptcy & creditors’ rights, public finance, tax, and other business planning and transactions.  We work closely with our Orlando office to offer clients full-service representation in the region, with our six other Florida offices to provide seamless state-wide representation, and with dozens of Greenberg Traurig offices in the United States and abroad to provide clients with both local expertise and global reach. Nine Greenberg Traurig Tampa practices are listed as top-tier by U.S. News–Best Law Firms. And, members of our team are recognized in Chambers and Partners USA Guide, The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, The Legal 500 United States, Florida Super Lawyers, Florida Trend magazine’s Florida Legal Elite, and Best Lawyers in America.

About Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig, LLP is an international, multi-practice law firm with approximately 1800 attorneys serving clients from 37 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The firm is among the “Power Elite” in the 2014 BTI Client Relationship Scorecard report, which assesses the nature and strength of law firms’ client relationships. For additional information, please visit

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Are You Insured for the Unexpected?

By: Barry Kanner

BarryKannerUsually the biggest stress in having a party is getting every RSVP, but being a host can expose you to more than a partygoer’s critiques of the décor and food.

If you have a holiday party at your office or home and you serve alcoholic beverages, you could be exposed to liability if one of your guests causes a car accident on their way home. If the guest fails a sobriety test and an injured party alleges that you negligently allowed an intoxicated guest to leave your premises, will your insurance cover you?

Florida law says you are not liable, unless you intentionally or mistakenly allowed an underage person to consume alcohol at your function or if you served someone you know who abuses alcohol. You must still check your insurance policy to be sure that your insurance carrier will defend you if are sued for negligently serving alcohol at your party. In some cases, even if you can prove you are not responsible, your insurance company will not provide a defense for you, therefore it is important to consult with an attorney.

Should you have any questions regarding your insurance coverage, please call Englander Fischer at (727) 898-7210 to see how one of our attorneys can assist you.