Recap: Emerge Tampa Bay Professional Development Speaker Series

Photo by: Senior Airman Jenay Randolph, 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Photo by: Senior Airman Jenay Randolph, 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

By: Sara Greco, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

Sara-Greco_webCol. Daniel Tulley, 6th Air Mobility Wing commander on MacDill Air Force Base, spoke at Emerge’s Professional Speaker’s Series event on July 15. It was a unique event for me to attend because I am a United States Air Force veteran and reservist who has successfully transitioned to civilian life and now works at the Chamber.

Before I separated from the Air Force, I had the opportunity to work with Col. Tulley for a short period of time as his public affairs officer. I witnessed his leadership techniques as he took command for the 6th Air Mobility Wing. He strived to be engaged with Airmen, saw the big picture of his decisions and was extremely approachable. Overall, I considered him a great commander during my short time working with him.

It was enlightening to see Col. Tulley speak to a diverse audience of young professionals, including military members, from around the Tampa area. To be completely honest, I had expected the same leadership briefing I had received over and over throughout my military career. However, what he did was turn a military leadership lesson into a very exposed discussion about what he had learned throughout this career and how everyone, young professionals and military alike, could use those lessons in their careers. I have rarely seen this side of a commander throughout my short career, but when I have, I have grown huge respect for them because it shows they are human as well as a humble leader.

Another great part of the event was the interaction between the military and the civilian young professionals. The one thing I have learned in my short time at the Chamber is that the military world can seem mysterious, as not many people in the public get to interact with it. This was such a great opportunity for young professionals to get to see a military leader in a more relaxed setting as well as talk to military members at their same stage in life.

Overall, I know everyone took away small bits of advice from the event like, “in communication, brevity and clarity are lost arts,” as well as a list of leadership books he recommended.

Member Highlights: July 19 – 25, 2015

Inside this Week’s Member Highlights

Member News

New Hires & Promotions

Member Accolades

Member News

JLL Secures Lease Renewal for Manning & Napier in Downtown St. Petersburg

Jimmy Ullrich

Jimmy Ullrich

JLL (NYSE: JLL) announces the renewal of investment management firm Manning & Napier’s 10,438-square-foot office lease in the Morgan Stanley Tower, a class A office building located at 150 Second Avenue North, in St. Petersburg’s Central Business District.

JLL Vice Presidents Jimmy Ullrich and John Heald represented tenant Manning & Napier in the renewal transaction. Manning & Napier, a national firm that manages $43.1 billion in assets under management, will continue to occupy the ninth floor of the 187,538-square-foot Morgan Stanley Tower. The office building is owned by a joint venture consisting of affiliates of Feldman Equities, Tower Realty Partners and Second City Capital Partners.

John Heald

John Heald

“We are pleased to see Manning & Napier’s commitment to downtown St. Pete and all it has to offer its employees,” said JLL’s Jimmy Ullrich. “The downtown St. Pete market is experiencing a second renaissance. The area grew substantially during the nineties by catering to the Baby Boomer population with residential towers. Today, St. Pete is adding the junior executive housing and shopping components required to achieve the work-live-play environment that Millennials crave.”

Among the key reasons Manning & Napier chose to remain in Morgan Stanley Tower are the bay views and immense amenities including adjacent Sundial St. Pete.  Furthermore, Feldman Equities is investing $3 million in Morgan Stanley Tower, including a comprehensive lobby renovation commissioned by Gensler.

“From a regional perspective, Manning & Napier’s commitment demonstrates the strength in the financial services sector in the Tampa Bay market,” said JLL’s John Heald.  “8.3% of Tampa Bay’s employment base is in the financial services sector, a number that has increased by 1.4% in the past 12 months.”

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New Hires & Promotions

Schifino Lee Hires Media Planner/Buyer and Production Designer

Schifino Lee Advertising + Branding announces the hiring of Harra Little as Media Planner/Buyer and Mitch Feickert as Production Designer.

harra littleHarra Little – Media Planner/Buyer: 

Harra’s diverse background in both digital and traditional media makes her a valuable asset to Schifino Lee’s media team. Before coming to Schifino Lee, Harra has worked on projects for Visit Florida, The Dali Museum, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Reeves Import Motor Cars, and the University of South Florida. Before moving to the media side of the business, Harra was an account manager at House & Home magazine. Harra earned two Bachelor degrees, one in Interior Design and one in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing from Ford Institute of Technology.

Mitch FeickertMitch Feickert – Production Designer: 

Mitch comes to Schifino Lee after gaining seven years of valuable experience with print and pre-press campaigns. He has worked on projects for national clients like Kraft Foods, Coca Cola, Proctor & Gamble, Target, Unilever, and Johnson & Johnson. Before starting his career in advertising, Mitch worked in the print industry as a consultant working hands-on in press production for clients such as Busch Gardens, Time-Life, and National Geographic. He also earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from The International Academy of Design and Technology (IADT) where he won several illustration awards.

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Tindale Oliver Design Welcomes New Landscape Architect

bonnie bernardoWe are pleased to welcome Bonnie Bernardo, PLA, as a new landscape architect in the Tindale Oliver Design group. Bonnie is a registered landscape architect with more than 24 years of experience and is known for her work in the design of parks and trail systems, redevelopment projects and streetscape design, construction administration, code/development review, and ADA assessments of parks. She has worked as a planner, designer, and project coordinator for Orange County, the City of Maitland, and several engineering firms. She joins our Community Planning and Design Solutions team and will be working out of the Tindale Oliver Orlando office.

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Member Accolades

Mamarazzi Foto Photographer Earns Lydia Darragh Medal from The National Society Sons of The American Revolution

CapturePenny Rogo of MamaRazzi Foto, Inc was recently awarded the Lydia Darragh Medal at the National Society Sons of the American Revolution in Louisville, KY for 30 years of photography services.



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Port Tampa Bay first port in nation to receive StormReady designation by National Weather Service


Port Tampa Bay, the largest seaport in Florida, announces its designation this week as “StormReady,” by the National Weather Service (NWS). The StormReady program recognizes communities or organizations that have protocols in place to mitigate weather disasters and promote the protection of life and property. For the state’s largest seaport, this is no small task, and port staff have been working diligently to ready the port and its critical assets for potential destructive weather events.

In Florida, every county is StormReady certified, along with several communities and organizations such as USF, Busch Gardens and Disney World.  Port Tampa Bay is the first port in the country to receive this certification, and, according to the National Weather Service, the port’s application will be considered as the template for other ports, in their efforts to receive the same distinction.

“Safety and security are key priorities at Port Tampa Bay, and port management and operations staff have worked diligently to make sure the port is as prepared as possible for a hurricane or other comparable weather event.  We are honored to receive recognition as ‘StormReady,’ knowing that readiness is always a work in progress, and that we will be constantly seeking ways of improving our position in this regard,” Paul Anderson, port president and CEO, said.  “Port Tampa Bay is grateful to the National Weather Service and its StormReady Advisory Council for providing us with a proud distinction, and we look forward to setting the example for other ports to follow.”

For information on the StormReady program, visit

Member Highlights: July 12 – 18, 2015

Inside this Week’s Member Highlights

Member News

Member Events

New Hires & Promotions

Member Accolades

Member News

Absolute Mobile Solutions Makes it Easier for Customers to Learn About AstraCare’s Services with Revamped Website

AstraCare, a home health care services company, prides themselves on providing exceptional care to those in need. While AstraCare’s ability to provide comfort to people needing home healthcare and peace of mind to their families is demonstrated through countless thank you letters, they needed to expand the number of people who know about their services. They also needed a website that made it easier for potential clients to locate pertinent information and file insurance claims. AstraCare recently added exciting new services, including pet-assisted therapy, and needed a way to showcase them.

To aid them in this initiative, AstraCare partnered with Absolute Mobile Solutions, a Tampa digital marketing agency that specializes in responsive website design and digital marketing strategy, to produce a responsive website that features a bright, easy-to-navigate interface and an enhanced ability to schedule consultations. The new site also features clear information for consumers making insurance claims and a profile of AstraCare’s new therapy dog, Bentley.

AstraCare specializes in home health care for seniors, people recovering from surgery and the disabled or frail who prefer to live in their own homes rather than relocate to an assisted living facility or a nursing home. AstraCare strives to create an experience that’s comfortable for clients and worry-free for their families.

“It’s our great pleasure to work with outstanding companies like AstraCare that have such a positive impact in the lives of those in need,” said Alfred Goldberg, president of Absolute Mobile Solutions. “It’s our hope that the new website will allow people to easily find pertinent information and learn about AstraCare’s services via the site.”

“I’d like to thank Absolute Mobile Solutions for working so diligently to produce a beautiful website. I not only appreciate their skill and attention to detail but their ability to capture what we do and represent it in the best possible manner,” said Tanija Constantaras, CEO of AstraCare.

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The Iron Yard is Offering Scholarships

The Iron Yard

What would you build with a $1,500 scholarship to The Iron Yard?

Bisk Education and the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce are each offering a $1,500 scholarship to our Front End Engineering and Back End Engineering courses starting August 24th, where you can learn web development and build the app of your dreams. Apply now and provide a short 250 word essay explaining what you would build when you graduate from The Iron Yard.

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JLL Completes Lease Renewal with Centre Club at One Urban Centre in Tampa

Centre Club Photo

JLL (NYSE: JLL) announces the completion of a 14,139-square-foot lease renewal with Centre Club, a Tampa establishment offering members upscale and casual dining, private dining and meeting rooms and special programming, business and social events at One Urban Centre. The class A office building at 4830 W. Kennedy Blvd. is located in Tampa’s principal business district of Westshore.

Deana BeerOccupying the top floor of the office tower’s parking garage, Centre Club plans to make a significant investment to renovate the dining and meeting space. JLL Vice President Deana Beer represented the landlord, TIAA-CREF, in the transaction, while Brandon Wood and Tim McCune, Vice Presidents at Corporate Realty Advisors, Inc., represented the tenant in the renewal.

“As a cornerstone of the Tampa Bay area, Centre Club is an attractive amenity for tenants in the office building and nearby, as it offers a space for executive dining, private luncheons and a popular spot for networking, making it a valued amenity for the office building and the Westshore business community,” said JLL’s Beer.

The 550,000-square-foot trophy building features a number of on-site amenities including the InterContinental Hotel, Shula’s Steak House, two full-service banks, fitness center, conference center, Illy’s coffee bar and much more.  The office building’s premiere location in Florida’s largest suburban office market is within walking distance to more than 25 restaurants.

The operators of Centre Club are investing more than $1 million in upgrades that will bring a stylish new décor with enhanced dining and social amenities.

“We are pleased to recommit to One Urban Centre, home of the Centre Club for the past 30 years,” said Tim Jarrett, Centre Club’s general manager. “The upcoming renovation project will ‘reinvent’ the club but allow us to continue to serve our many members located in the building and surrounding areas.”

One Urban Centre currently has a high occupancy rate of 90 percent, with 51,314 square feet of office space available for lease. For leasing opportunities, contact Deana Beer of JLL at (813) 387-1298.

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NorthStar Bank is Pleased to Announce its New Loan Production Office in St. Petersburg

Julie-Stapf NorthStarBankNorthStar Bank is pleased to announce the opening of its new Loan Production Office in St. Petersburg, Florida. Pinellas County native and long time banker, Julie Stapf, will lead NorthStar Bank’s newly opened office located at 100 Second Ave S., St. Petersburg. Julie joined NorthStar Bank in 2013 and has more than 25 years of banking experience in the Tampa Bay Area serving the Corporate and Commercial Markets.

Julie is actively involved in the community and currently serves as a Board Member of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay and has been active on the Board since 1999.

NorthStar Bank’s new Loan Production Office is a significant and exciting addition to its existing footprint in the Tampa Bay Market. David Stone, President & CEO commented, “…As part of our continued growth plan, we believe forming an LPO and having an experienced banker run it will further meet the lending needs of our clients and community.”

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Member Events

July 24: Brazil-Florida Business Council Boat Tour and Happy Hour

Brazil Florida

You are invited to the July 24th Brazil-Florida Business Council networking event being hosted by Port Tampa Bay aboard the Bay Spirit II. Port Tampa Bay Marketing and Business Development team will welcome all attendees, followed by a narrated tour of Port Tampa Bay. This special event will provide a unique experience to see Florida’s largest port from the water!


Complimentary parking is being provided by Port Tampa Bay at Cruise Terminal 3 (815 Channelside Drive, Tampa). Plan to arrive at 3:45 P.M. A Port Tampa Bay representative will meet you there and escort you to the dock to depart on the tour. The boat tour will start at 4 P.M. and last approximately 1.5 hrs.

Important safety notice:

Passengers must be able to cross the gang plank from the wharf to the boat and back on their own or with assistance from another person in their party. Due to changing tide, the gangplank can potentially require up to six steps to board and disembark from the vessel. Wheelchairs can be brought on board the vessel after guests have physically traversed the gang plank.

Complimentary drinks and appetizers will be offered at the port after the boat tour. Friday casual is the suggested attire. We thank those who have already registered, please forward this message to your business associates.

Almost booked. Register today by clicking here.

We look forward to an informative and fun event.

Welcome aboard!

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July 24: Demo Day at The Iron Yard

Join us July 24 at The Iron Yard

Our 8 engineers will present full applications, the culmination of their 12 weeks of training at The Iron Yard to an audience of local tech companies, engineers, and supporters of the tech community. All are welcomed to attend!

Presentations will be from 2pm – 3pm and followed by a happy hour on-site so you can get to know the instructors & graduates in an informal setting. Thanks for joining, we can’t wait to see you there!

RSVP here:

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New Hires & Promotions

OAI Announces New Director of Sales for South Florida Market

Ray Perry OAIOutdoor America Images (OAI), the leading provider of visual branding solutions, announces Ray Perry as Director of Sales for South Florida. In this role, Perry will provide executive sales and operational management, while focusing on new business and financial opportunities to increase OAI’s market share in the South Florida region.

“Ray is a 20-plus year sales and marketing veteran, his impressive background and experience in the professional sports and marketing industry will serve as a major benefit to our clients and organization,” says Michael Garcia, President and Founder of OAI. “We are thrilled to have Ray’s drive and expertise as part of OAI’s team.”

His extensive sales and operational experience in sports sponsorship sales, development and management in his former role as the Director of Network Operations for the Beasley Broadcast Group and as a member of the Orange Bowl Committee, will provide OAI’s dynamic sales team with executive management and methods for strategic market planning. Perry’s thorough understanding and working knowledge of the out-of-home advertising industry from his former role as the Regional Sales Manager for GSM Worldwide Media will provide expert guidance for creating innovative marketing campaigns to OAI’s diverse markets.

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Thomas Howell Ferguson P.A. CPAs Welcomes Gabe Crook and Trevor Godfrey

Thomas Howell Ferguson P.A., a professional accounting, assurance, and tax services firm headquartered in Tallahassee welcomes Gabe Crook and Trevor Godfrey to the Assurance Services Department.

In 2007, Gabe Crook received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Florida State University in Panama City, Florida. He transitioned into public accounting from the Office of Insurance Regulation where he supervised 60 insurance companies, reviewed quarterly data, and handled inquiries from regulated companies. As an accounting manager from 2012-2013 at Dothan Acceptance Corporation, Gabe managed a 1.5 million dollar floor plan and monthly audits. His total professional experience includes over 12 years of accounting and management in the property and casualty, governmental, and automotive industries.

Trevor Godfrey received his Bachelor of Accountancy and Master of Accountancy from Missouri State University. He is a licensed CPA, and has three years of accounting experience working with not-for-profit, governmental, and retail industries. He has worked on various projects producing financial statement audits, agreed-upon procedures, financial statement compilations, and bookkeeping. Trevor will be working from the THF Tampa office and is a member of the Tampa Bay Emerge and the Clearwater Young Professionals.

Both Gabe and Trevor are members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Thomas Howell Ferguson welcomes Gabe and Trevor to the Assurance Services Department.

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Monica B. Mason Joins Trenam Kemker’s St. Petersburg Office

Mason, MonicaThe law firm of Trenam Kemker is pleased to announce that Monica Mason joined the firm as Senior Counsel and will practice in the Business Transactions Group.  Her practice will focus on intellectual property law with a specific focus on company representation in trademark, copyright and domain name matters.  Prior to joining the firm, Monica was a Shareholder/Senior Attorney at Fowler White Boggs which merged last year with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney.  She received her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her J.D. from the University of Florida Levin College Of Law.

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Member Accolades

Adams and Reese Tampa Partner Appointed Chair of the Business Law Section of The Florida Bar’s Bankruptcy/UCC Committee

Sherman_Lynn_hsAdams and Reese Partner Lynn Sherman, in the firm’s Tampa office, has been appointed Chair of the Business Law Section of The Florida Bar’s Bankruptcy/UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) Committee. Sherman will serve a one-year term as Chair.

Sherman has served on the Business Law Section’s Executive Council for eight years, and is a former Vice Chair of the Section’s Bankruptcy/UCC Committee, and Chair and Vice Chair of the Communications Committee.

The purpose of the Business Law Section of The Florida Bar is to provide an organization within The Florida Bar for members interested in corporation, banking, business, bankruptcy, computer and cyber law, anti-trust and franchise law, litigation and related areas of law, as well as to provide a forum for the discussion and exchange of ideas leading to the improvement of the laws relating to these areas of law.

Practicing law since 1983, Sherman represents financial institutions, special servicers of securitized commercial mortgages, creditors, trustees, landlords, debtors, and other parties in all aspects of Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 bankruptcies, out-of-court workouts, loan modifications and restructuring, foreclosures, enforcement of judgments, enforcement of security interests, and creditors’ rights litigation.

Licensed in both Florida and New York, she has been recognized among the top Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights attorneys by Florida Super Lawyers®, Best Lawyers in America®, Florida Trend Magazine’s Legal Elite, and listed among “Tampa Bay’s Top Attorneys” by Tampa Bay Magazine. In 2014 and 2015, Sherman has been ranked among the Top 50 Women Florida Super Lawyers® and also the Top 100 Overall Florida Super Lawyers®.

Sherman is a frequent speaker and author on matters involving creditors’ rights, secured transactions, and bankruptcy law.

Sherman is a former adjunct professor at her alma mater, Stetson University College of Law, where she earned her J.D. in 1983. She also received an LL.M. in Taxation from the New York University School of Law in 1989. Sherman received her bachelor of science at Florida Southern College in 1980.

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Six Allen Dell Attorneys Named Super Lawyers; One attorney Named Rising Star

Six attorneys from the Allen Dell law firm have been named as Super Lawyers for 2015.  One attorney was named by Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star.” The attorneys receiving these honors are:

Super Lawyers         

  • Donna L. Longhouse, Tax, Trust and Estates
  • Marian P. McCulloch, Marital and Family Law
  • Cynthia A. Mikos, Health Care and Administrative Law
  • Joseph W. N. Rugg, Health Care and Corporate Law
  • Amy D. Singer, Marital and Family Law
  • Gary Walker, Health Care and Corporate Law

Rising Star

  • Michelle G. Hutt, Family Law

Super Lawyers selects attorneys using a patented multiphase selection process. Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with independent research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement (

The Allen Dell law firm, with 22 practicing attorneys, provides representation in over 30 areas of the law, including the three areas mentioned above, and serves the Tampa Bay area as well as clients throughout Florida.  For more information, go to

Allen Dell

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Three Bayshore Solutions Websites Are 2015 “Stevie” American Business Award Winners

Stevie AwardsBayshore Solutions is pleased to announce three customer websites as 2015 “Stevie” American Business Award winners. The Awards program selected the websites of J.C. Newman Diamond Crown cigars, BioSpine Institute and HealthPlan Services for top recognition in their respective categories.

The American Business Awards are a premier national business awards program. Nicknamed the Stevies for the Greek word meaning “crowned,” the awards recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. More than 3,300 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories, and more than 200 executives worldwide participated in the judging process to select this year’s Stevie Award winners.

Bayshore Solutions’ website design for J.C. Newman Diamond Crown Cigars won a Silver Stevie Award for consumer products websites. Bronze Award Honors were given to BioSpine Institute for healthcare websites and to HealthPlan Services for insurance websites.

“We are extremely impressed with the quality of the entries we received this year. The competition was intense and every organization that won should be proud,” said Michael Gallagher, President and Founder of the Stevie Awards. “To those outstanding organizations that received Stevie Awards, the judges and I are honored to celebrate your many accomplishments. You are setting a high standard for professionals nationwide.”

“The American Business Awards is a prestigious competition that Bayshore Solutions submits our work to for evaluation,” said Kevin Hourigan, President and CEO of Bayshore Solutions. “We are honored that our work has earned three 2015 Stevie Awards, and that J.C. Newman, BioSpine Institute and HealthPlan Services are receiving such national recognition.”

Click to read more about these 2015 “Stevie” American Business Award-winning websites.

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Calhoun International Celebrates 10th Anniversary


As Calhoun International marks our tenth year in business, we take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to our business partners.  Thank you for helping us make the past ten years so successful.

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Florida Trend Names Hill Ward Henderson Attorneys to Hall Of Fame, Legal Elite and Up & Comers; HWH Cited by Chambers USA 2015

Thomas Henderson

Thomas Henderson

Hill Ward Henderson is pleased to announce that Founding Shareholders, Thomas N. Henderson, III and Benjamin H. Hill, III and Shareholder David T. Knight have been named to the prestigious “2015 Florida Legal Elite Hall of Fame.” This is the seventh year in a row that both Mr. Hill and Mr. Henderson have been recognized with this designation and the second year for Mr. Knight. The Hall of Fame honors long-term legal career excellence.

Ben Hill

Ben Hill

Less than two percent of the active Florida Bar members who practice in the State of Florida are listed in the Legal Elite Hall of Fame. Attorneys listed have been consistently ranked in the top tier in Legal Elite voting over many years.


David Knight

The following 10 firm attorneys were named “Florida Legal Elite” throughout the state of Florida for their excellence in legal service: Rocco Cafaro, Amelia M. Campbell, Mark J. Criser, Timothy C. Ford, Troy A. Fuhrman, Robert M. Fulton, Linda D. Hartley, Thomas N. Henderson, III, Benjamin H. Hill, IV, R. Craig Mayfield and Ethen R. Shapiro. In addition, Shane T. Costello and David L. Luikart, III were named “2015 Florida Up & Comers.” This was the first time Mr. Costello has been listed.

Hill Ward Henderson received many rankings and citations for its attorneys and practice groups for the 14th consecutive year in the recently published Chambers USA by the internationally acclaimed research group Chambers & Partners, based in London.  Four practice areas of the firm were highlighted and ranked in the publication for excellence in service – Corporate M&A and Private Equity;  General Commercial Litigation, Taxation and Real Estate.

In addition, 13 attorneys at the firm were cited as “leaders” in their respective practice areas being ranked by Chambers USA:

  • E.D. Armstrong, III – Real Estate: Zoning / Land Use
  • John C. Connery, Jr. – Tax
  • Ben Dachepalli – Construction
  • David S. Felman – Corporate M&A and Private Equity
  • Katherine Frazier – Real Estate
  • Thomas N. Henderson, III – Real Estate
  • Benjamin H. Hill, III – General Commercial Litigation
  • Timothy A. Hunt  – Construction
  • David T. Knight – General Commercial Litigation
  • James Robbins, Jr. – Real Estate
  • Brian Sparks – Tax: Estate Planning
  • Dennis P. Waggoner – General Commercial Litigation
  • Alton C. Ward – Tax: Employee Benefits

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Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen Attorneys Recognized as 2015 Florida Super Lawyers

Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen congratulates the following attorneys who have received recognition as a 2015 Florida Super Lawyer

 Rising Stars

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Thompson, Sizemore, Gonzalez & Hearing Attorneys Recognized by Chambers USA; Attorney Receives Florida Bar President’s Award of Merit

We are proud to announce that Gregory A. Hearing continues to be recognized by Chambers USA. Mr. Hearing’s expertise ranges from union bargaining work to employment litigation.

We are proud to announce that Thomas M. Gonzalez has been recognized again this year by Chambers USA for his comprehensive knowledge across labor and employment issues.


kdj2015-119x148The law firm of Thompson, Sizemore, Gonzalez & Hearing is proud to announce that Kevin D. Johnson received a Florida Bar President’s Award of Merit at The Florida Bar’s 65th Annual Convention last week at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton.

Gregory W. Coleman, the 2014-15 Florida Bar president thanked Johnson for leading the creation of The Florida Bar’s new Practice Resource Institute, or PRI.

While Johnson was serving as chair of the General Practice Solo and Small Law Firm Section of The Florida Bar in 2013-14, he was asked to serve on the Vision 2016 Technology Committee. In May 2014, Coleman, then president-elect of the Bar, asked him to chair the newly created Special Committee on Technology/Office Tools and Resources with a fast-track assignment: to assemble a toolbox of technology solutions for Bar members and create a website presence with practice information and assistance.

“Within just a few months, Kevin and his committee were ready to unveil The Florida Bar’s new Practice Resource Institute,” Coleman said. “This is an accomplishment that is unheard of in Bar years. The new PRI platform is one of the best member benefits we have ever created.” Johnson is a shareholder in the Tampa firm Thompson, Sizemore, Gonzalez & Hearing, P.A., where he concentrates his practice on employment law.

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Guest Column: Congresswoman Kathy Castor

112_castor_fl11The United States and Cuba will officially reestablish diplomatic relations and reopen embassies on July 20. In doing so, we have turned the page on 50 years of acrimony between our two countries. The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce has been an important part of making progress. Thank you. The Obama Administration’s change in policy is intended to empower the Cuban people and support the emergence of a democratic, prosperous and stable Cuba. An embassy in Havana will enable America to effectively promote our interests, protect and assist American citizens traveling to Cuba, and increase engagement with the Cuban people. An embassy is not a gift to a foreign country, but represents a sign that two countries are committed to deepening bilateral relations.

Formal diplomatic ties are especially important to families in Tampa Bay and throughout Florida. Our state policymakers should follow suit to boost student, cultural, religious and business exchanges. I have discussed opening a consulate in Tampa with U.S. State Department and Cuban officials. I am hopeful such discussions will bear fruit, especially with the support of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and so many leaders in our community who understand the historic ties between Tampa and Havana and the economic opportunities that come with becoming a Gateway to Cuba.

A couple of months ago, I was reminded of our deep, historic roots with Cuba when I DSC_0451smallmet with the former Tampa Cuban Consul, Raul Villamia, 90, to review the history of the Tampa-based consulate, coincidentally at the exact same time that Cuba was officially removed from the U.S. State Sponsor of Terrorism list, which has been cited as a stumbling block for more meaningful engagement between the United States and Cuba. I pledged to him that Tampa Bay would work to return the consulate to Tampa. With the Chamber’s help, we can make it a reality.

Thank you Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce for seizing the opportunity to lead on engagement and encourage human rights and economic reforms in Cuba.

Parke Wright, III Spotlight: Rhea Law (LT ’91)


What do you see as the biggest change in Leadership Tampa since 2002?
The Leadership Tampa program has not only increased in depth and quality over the years, it has become highly competitive. The knowledge and community engagement required for consideration to be accepted to the program is significantly higher. The resulting benefits to the community are greatly enhanced, which is exactly the vision of Parke Wright, III when he founded the program in 1971.

 What’s new with Rhea Law?
I continue to serve as Chair, Florida Offices for Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney. Since our merger we have doubled the size of our Government Relations practice in Tallahassee and are seeking significant growth in South Florida. In addition, I have become the Chair of the Florida Council of 100, a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of business leaders, which exists to promote the economic growth of Florida and improve the economic well-being and quality of life of its citizenry. The Council serves as a liaison with the Governor and Legislature on public policy issues for the State of Florida.

What would you like to see happen in the future with Leadership Tampa?
Leadership Tampa is a significant program that helps educate our future leaders on the economic engines driving our region. I would like to see continued growth and recognition of this program as a premier leadership program with expanded opportunities for LT Alumni to continue development of the relations formed to foster deeper involvement in the issues of the community.

Rhea Law
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney | Fowler White Boggs

Member Highlights: July 5 – 11, 2015


Inside this Week’s Member Highlights

Member News

Member Events

New Hires & Promotions

Member Accolades

Member News

Port Tampa Bay Applauds Cruise Partner Carnival Corporation’s New Cuba Itinerary

Port Tampa Bay congratulates its cruise partner Carnival Corporation on its news today that—pending full approval from the government of Cuba—the world’s largest cruise line will be sailing to Cuba from Port Miami, via their newly launched “fathom” brand. fathom is a new social impact travel brand providing purpose-oriented, social impact experiences, initially in the Dominican Republic, according to the press announcement released by Carnival Corporation.

Having received the necessary U.S. approval for these travel purposes, this long-awaited first step is a boon for Carnival. Beginning in April 2016, fathom will embark on weekly seven-day voyages aboard the MV Adonia, a 710-passenger vessel redeployed from Carnival Corporation’s P&O Cruises (UK) brand.

Today’s news bodes well for future opportunities for Port Tampa Bay, which is well positioned as one of the closest cruise ports to Havana, to one day serve this new cruise destination.  Port Tampa Bay has the facilities and key partnerships in place for the cruise and ferry business to grow and thrive and is “Cuba ready.” Tampa also has a strong Cuban history and heritage from a population and trade standpoint.

Port Tampa Bay looks forward to working with our private sector partners in the cruise industry for years to come. The port is ready to serve their guests, the Cuba market and has the proper facilities in place to provide a high level of service that all of our cruise passengers have come to know.

  • Port Tampa Bay is a top ten cruise port in the U.S., with nearly one million passengers in FY2014
  • Port Tampa Bay is home port to 6 cruise ships representing Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, and is a port of call for AIDA Cruises
  • Port Tampa Bay is 290 nautical miles from Havana, Cuba
  • Port Tampa Bay has three modern cruise terminals, all within close proximity to one of the nation’s top airports—Tampa International Airport, as well as the entertainment hub of Ybor City, The Florida Aquarium, Busch Gardens, some of the nation’s top beaches and the entertainment mecca of Central Florida and Orlando

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Tampa Bay Lightning News


Tampa Bay Lightning right wing, Martin St. Louis, announced his retirement last week. St. Louis, a favorite among fans, totaled 391 goals and 642 assists for 1,033 points in 1134 regular season games, while earning many NHL honors over the course of 16 National Hockey League seasons. In other Tampa Bay Lightning news, the team announced their 82-game regular season schedule for the 2015-16 season, opening on October 8 as the Bolts raise their Eastern Conference Championship banner when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers at Amalie Arena. To become a Lightning Season Ticket Member, visit

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Member Events

July 11: Sky Zone Grand Opening Celebration

Sky Zone grand opening celebration July 11th Noon – 4:00 PM Prizes, Specials and FUN!


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July 16: Operation Helping Hand Monthly Dinner


This month’s Operation Helping Hand dinner will be on Thursday, July 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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New Hires & Promotions

Englander Fischer Hires New Marketing Coordinator

Tyler Killette headshotThe law firm of Englander Fischer LLP is pleased to have brought Tyler Killette on as its new Marketing Coordinator. Ms. Killette holds a B.A. in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, where she served as editor-in-chief of the school’s student-run newspaper, The Crow’s Nest.

Coming from a background in newspaper reporting and digital marketing, Ms. Killette brings with her professional experience in writing, marketing, content creation and media relations. She will be applying her experience as she handles a variety of tasks for Englander Fischer, from keeping its newly re-designed website up to date to planning and organizing the firm’s many events.

“Tyler brings marketing and writing experience that will prove helpful in continuing the success of the firm.” says Leonard S. “Lenny” Englander, founder of Englander Fischer.  “We’re delighted to have her aboard.”

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Attorney Matt Westerman Joins Fisher & Phillips in Tampa

Westerman-MattThe Tampa office of national labor and employment law firm Fisher & Phillips LLP is expanding with the addition of Matt Westerman as of counsel attorney. Board Certified in Labor and Employment law by the Florida Bar, he counsels businesses in virtually every aspect of the employer-employee relationship.

Westerman joins Fisher & Phillips with significant experience in defending corporations in employment litigation claims. He represents clients before federal, state and local administrative agencies and counsels clients with respect to their traditional labor relations matters. He also devotes a considerable amount of his practice to assisting businesses with their day-to-day human resources issues.

In addition, Westerman has extensive experience in representing businesses in immigration and naturalization matters. His business immigration experience includes non-immigrant visa strategy and planning, visa preparation and filing, green card and labor certification processing, and immigration compliance audits and training.

Actively involved in the Tampa Bay community, Westerman is a graduate of Leadership St. Petersburg’s class of 2015, and serves on boards for Career Source Suncoast and Adoption Related Services of Pinellas. He is a member of the St. Petersburg Bar Association and the labor and employment law section of The Florida Bar. He is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Most recently, Westerman was partner in the St. Petersburg, Florida office of Blalock Walters, P.A. He received his juris doctor from Stetson University and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida.

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Frameworks of Tampa Bay Promotes Amanda Page to Director of Development and Marketing; Promotes Kimberly Williams to Chief Education Officer

Amanda Page, Director of Development and Marketing


Time at Frameworks: May 2014

Bachelor of Arts, Mass Communications, University of South Florida

Relevant Work Experience:
Amanda has a diverse marketing background working in the fields of radio, television and online content strategy. She enjoys being an active member of the Tampa Bay community and is a board member of the Professional Philanthropy Network. She has served on the board of directors of the young professional’s organization affiliated with the American Advertising Federation, Ad 2 Tampa Bay and Ad 2 National. While president of the local chapter, Amanda was awarded President of the Year at both national and district levels and was the Pinstripe Service Excellence Award recipient for her dedication to education in the community and the organization. Amanda participated on the Ophelia Project’s Young Women’s Leadership Board in 2005 and was a co-founder of S.O.U.L. in Tampa, Inc., a non-profit providing volunteer opportunities for female college students and comprised of her YWLB peers. Amanda is a current member of the Greater Tampa Bay Chamber, Emerge Tampa Bay, and AFP Suncoast. She is also trained in leadership by Dale Carnegie Training and certified in advertising ethics by the American Advertising Federation and Institute for Advertising Ethics.

Why You Work at Frameworks:
I have been passionate about this organization and its mission since my first introduction to the Ophelia Project in 2004. I support teaching strong social and emotional skills to make healthy and positive life decisions and believe in the value Frameworks offers our Tampa Bay community.

Kimberly Williams, Chief Education Officer

Kim2-300x300Time at Frameworks: May 2013

Education: Degree in Rehabilitation Education from the Pennsylvania State University.

Relevant Work Experience: I helped to build the Evidence-based Prevention and Intervention Support Center at Penn State University. This organization provides technical assistance and research for agencies and schools implementing evidence-based programs to prevent poor youth outcomes such as juvenile delinquency, drug and alcohol use, anti-social behaviors, and bullying.  I am also a Master Trainer for PATHS® Education Worldwide and provide training for PATHS®, an elementary social emotional curriculum, both nationally and internationally.

Why You Work at Frameworks: My passion for working with youth to develop SEL skills has been fueled by my experience as a child and the support and love I received from my teachers, neighbors, and family. They gave me hope and I want to give hope to others by giving them the tools they need to be successful.   I’ve worked in many schools and have  directly seen the positive impact SEL skills can have for individual students as well as whole schools.

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Member Accolades

Eleven Adams and Reese Attorneys Named Among 2015 Florida Super Lawyers, Rising Stars

Adams and Reese had 11 attorneys from its Jacksonville, Sarasota, St. Petersburg and Tampa offices named Florida Super Lawyers and Rising Stars for 2015, included in the Florida Super Lawyers magazine, to be published in July.

Tampa Partner Lynn Sherman was also named among the “Top 50: 2015 Women Florida Super Lawyers” and “Top 100: 2015 Tampa Bay Super Lawyers” in this year’s rankings.

Only five percent of attorneys in Florida receive the honor of Super Lawyer. The selection process includes peer nomination and voting, review by a blue-ribbon panel and independent research. Rising Stars are lawyers who are 40 years old or under, or who have been practicing for 10 years or less.

The Adams and Reese Florida Super Lawyers include: David Bernstein (Real Estate), Jim Dickson (Construction/Surety, Construction Litigation, Environmental), Bob Gill (Eminent Domain, Business Litigation), Eric Partlow (Business Litigation), John Rogerson (Business Litigation, Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights, Insurance Coverage), Lynn Welter Sherman (Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights), Tim Volpe (Business Litigation, Insurance Coverage) and Laura Whitmore (Insurance Coverage, Appellate, Civil Litigation).

The Adams and Reese Florida Rising Stars include: Marshall Moorhead (Business Litigation, Creditor Debtor Rights: Business and Banking), Ryan Owen (General Litigation, Business Litigation, Construction Litigation) and Caroline Prieto (Business Litigation).

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Englander Fischer Attorneys Named Super Lawyers

Englander Fischer LLP is proud to have two partners rated by Super Lawyers in 2015. The firm congratulates senior partner Leonard S. “Lenny” Englander on earning the prestigious title of “Super Lawyer” for the sixth consecutive year, as well as partner Courtney Fernald for making the Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list for the fourth consecutive year.

Mr. Englander is recognized for his work in business litigation. As a founding partner of Englander Fischer, he has 40 years experience representing commercial clients and high net worth individuals in all aspects of commercial and business disputes. Mrs. Fernald is recognized for her work in appellate law and business litigation. She has successfully handled a wide a variety of cases, from interlocutory appeals to commercial contract and lease disputes.

“It is a great honor to be recognized among the top attorneys in the country and I am proud to share the honor with Courtney Fernald, who is truly an asset to the firm,” says Mr. Englander. “We appreciate the recognition from our peers and the legal community.”

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas. Those given the title have attained a high level of peer recognition and personal achievement. No more than 5 percent of attorneys in a state are given the title of Super Lawyer and no more than 2.5 percent are named to the Rising Stars list.

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Five Greenberg Traurig Tampa Attorneys Named to 2015 Florida Trend Legal Elite

International law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A.announced that five Tampa attorneys are included in Florida Trendmagazine’s 2015 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of lawyers practicing within the state.

Tampa Labor & Employment Shareholder Richard C. McCrea Jr., and Tampa Managing Shareholder David B. Weinstein received special recognition as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame. Weinstein also serves as Chair of the firm’s global Environmental & Toxic Torts Litigation practice. Attorneys awarded the Hall of Fame distinction have been recognized in the Legal Elite every year for at least the past decade.

Recognized for the first time in 2015 is Michael G. Cooke, an Of Counsel in the Tampa Environmental practice.

The nomination process for Florida Legal Elite is open to all Florida Bar members, who are asked to “name attorneys whom they hold in the highest regard or would recommend to others.” Florida Trend magazine recognizes attorneys across 24 different practice areas ranging from Appellate Practice to Real Estate.

The following Greenberg Traurig Tampa attorneys are listed among Florida Trend’s Legal Elite honorees:

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Laser Locators Makes Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Fast 50 of 2014

Laser Locators, announced today that they have been acknowledged as one of Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Fast 50 of 2014. An awards luncheon will take place July 23rd where the Tampa Bay Business Journal will recognize the fastest growing, privately owned businesses in Tampa. They will also announce the ranking of these 50 businesses based on a three-year percent revenue growth.

As a world-wide leader in selling ophthalmic lasers and diagnostic equipment, Laser Locators has been on a fast track to success from the beginning. They have managed to maintain triple digit growth, based on percentage of revenue for the last three years.

“We take pride in our accomplishments and it’s always nice to be recognized for our hard-work. I am blessed with an amazing staff that helps me make this constant growth possible,” said CEO and President of Laser Locators Sean O’Donnell.

Founded in 2004, Laser Locators is an $8M privately held company with 11 employees and conducts business in over 100 countries around the world.

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Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP Associate Elected Co-Chair of Hillsborough Education Foundation’s 2015 Teaching Tools Luncheon

Curran_GThomas__HIThe law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, is pleased to announce that G. Thomas Curran, Jr., associate in the Tampa office, has been elected Co-Chair of the Hillsborough Education Foundation’s 2015 Teaching Tools Luncheon.  The Mission of the Hillsborough Education Foundation is to engage business and community partners in the support of Hillsborough County Public Schools and the academic achievement of all its students

Tom primarily focuses his practice in bankruptcy, creditors’ rights, and insolvency.  Prior to joining Shumaker, Tom was with the law firm of Clark & Washington, LLC where he represented debtors in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies.  Tom received his J.D., cum laude, from Thomas M. Cooley Law School and his B.S., magna cum laude, from State University of New York at Brockport.  While in law school, Tom was Senior Associate Editor of the Thomas M. Cooley Law Review, and he also interned for the Honorable David Lawson in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

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Trenam Kemker Associate Completes New Leaders Council Program

McBride, BertThe law firm of Trenam Kemker is pleased to announce that Bert McBride completed the New Leaders Council Institute (“NLC”) program and is a NLC Fellow.  The NLC Institute is a premier leadership and professional development, training, mentoring, networking, and career and political advancement program for young professionals. An intense, five-month progressive entrepreneurship training program, the NLC Institute is highly-selective, admitting only 15 to 20 Fellows. The typical NLC Fellow is a successful risk-taker and a progressive advocate.

Bert is an Associate in the firm’s Tampa office and is a member of the Commercial Litigation Practice Group.

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