Member Highlights: May 17 – 23 2015

Inside this Week’s Member Highlights

Member News:

Member Events:

Member News

Saint Leo President to Deliver Final Commencement Address in Tampa

Dr. Arthur F. Kirk, Jr., president of Saint Leo University, will be the speaker for the commencement ceremony for graduates of the university’s Tampa Education Center at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 30. Dr. Kirk, the eighth president of Saint Leo, is retiring this summer following an 18-year career as the university’s senior administrator.

The ceremony will be held at the A La Carte Event Pavilion, 4050 Dana Shores Drive, Tampa, FL 33634. About 120 students from the Tampa Education Center, which includes locations at Channelside and MacDill Air Force Base, will participate. While most students will earn Bachelor of Arts degrees, 46 —including students from other centers— will receive their master’s degrees.

Giving the Class of 2015 farewell will be Nadine McDowell and Mike S. Maggiacomo. Alumna Malia S. McManus ’14, will lead the graduates in the traditional turning of the tassels and welcome them as Saint Leo alumni.

Since Dr. Kirk’s arrival in 1997, enrollment university-wide has more than doubled, while enrollment at University Campus tripled, making Saint Leo the third-largest Catholic college in the United States.  He has overseen a major transformation during which the culture of the university evolved and the institution experienced remarkable growth. Dr. Kirk was instrumental in developing Saint Leo’s student-centered mission and identifying the institution’s six core values.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn declared Monday, April 13, as “Arthur F. Kirk, Jr. Day” in the City of Tampa during the mayor’s annual “Face the Chamber” luncheon.

Saint Leo University’s Tampa Education Center opened in the Channelside District (1120 E. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 238) in 2011 and offers flexible class schedules, affordable tuition, outstanding faculty and an environment tailored to busy adult students. Kenneth A. Gonzalez is the director for the center.

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ChappellRoberts Adds Staff and Accounts to Agency Roster

ChappellRoberts, one of Tampa’s largest advertising agencies, expanded its team with the addition of four new employees – a senior copywriter, graphic designer and two assistant account executives. This growth complements the agency’s recent acquisition of high-profile accounts, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

“Our elevated team brings rich industry experience and new perspectives to our agency and clients,” said Colleen Chappell, president and CEO of ChappellRoberts. “As we continue to grow our roster, infusing our team with incredible talent further serves the growing needs of our clients.”


Rick Kourchenko

Rick Kourchenko, senior copywriter, will lead copy development and concepting for client projects, while managing the execution of messaging within integrated campaigns, digital and other media. He joins ChappellRoberts with more than 20 years of advertising experience.


Marie Holdaway

Marie Holdaway, graphic designer, will help execute creative concepts for client campaigns including digital media. A New Zealand native, she brings nearly five years of professional design experience to the agency. Holdaway is a graduate of the Yoobee School of Design in New Zealand, where she studied graphic design and advanced digital media.

 Maritza Ochoa

Maritza Ochoa

Maritza Ochoa, assistant research account executive, will help execute client marketing strategies as well as support the agency’s market research division through quantitative and qualitative research. Ochoa graduated from the University of West Florida in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in business administration and marketing.

 Kelley Volenec

Kelley Volenec

Kelley Volenec, assistant account executive, will implement client paid media strategies and support agency public relations and social media functions. Volenec graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in business marketing and a minor in hospitality.



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All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine Collects Saliva for Study Aimed at Helping Cancer Patients

All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine hopes to make a common form of chemotherapy safer for young cancer patients by studying the level of the medication in their saliva. Thanks to a three-year $717,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), researchers will begin to study the effectiveness of using saliva samples, instead of blood samples, to alert physicians of potentially toxic levels of a chemotherapy drug. Patients who are old enough to spit upon request will place a small tube in their mouth and let saliva flow into a collection filter. For infants and toddlers, a special wick will be placed in the mouth to absorb saliva.

Researchers hope that saliva samples can also be used to help determine which chemotherapy drugs may be the best match to a tumor’s genetic profile as well as the lowest level of the drug that will still be effective in fighting the cancer. The grant will also help establish a pediatric cancer biorepository – a place to process, organize and safely store biologic samples (such as blood) that can be used to study the origins of childhood illness and test new approaches to treatment or prevention. The nationally accredited Johns Hopkins Medicine Pediatric Biorepository at All Children’s Hospital is the only pediatric biorepository in the state of Florida and one of only a handful of such facilities in the United States.

“We began with the idea that children would prefer to spit than have their blood drawn,” says Margaret Penno, Ph.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Medicine Pediatric Biorepository at All Children’s Hospital. “This work will also support the broader goal of developing and refining the techniques and procedures needed to stabilize and store samples—in this case, saliva—in a biorepository so that the sample can be used for future studies that can benefit patients with pediatric cancer and other pediatric diseases.”

Researchers will collect samples from 60 patients at the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute in St. Petersburg who are being treated with a chemotherapy drug called doxorubicin. Typically, blood samples are taken frequently to measure doxorubicin levels in blood plasma, but it can be challenging to collect the necessary amounts of blood from infants and small children. Another future goal is to develop a home kit for collection of saliva samples.

“This award reflects our growing focus on advancing pediatric care through innovative research aimed at developing  new or improved approaches to treatment and prevention of childhood diseases,”  said Jonathan Ellen, M.D., president and physician-in-chief of All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine and vice dean and professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Read more about this study

This study has been supported by National Cancer Institute grant number 1R21CA183623-01A1

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OAI Visual Branding Services Support the 2015 Tampa Bay Lightning Stanley Cup Playoffs Branding Program

OAIA preferred graphics provider of the Tampa Bay Lightning, OAI Visual Branding has created a new look and feel for 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena 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 a role in the rebranding of Amalie Arena for the 2015 Tampa Bay Lightning Stanley Cup Playoffs,” said Crystal Richardson, Sales Manager of OAI Visual Branding. “The community is already so thrilled to be a part of the playoffs, and we believe the look and feel provided by our products will continue to energize fans on the Lightning’s journey to bring the Stanley Cup back home to Tampa Bay!”

The updates to Amalie Arena provided by OAI Visual Branding help create a total fan experience at the property. The Lightning’s goal was to excite the community for their participation in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, as well as creating a playoff environment for fans during both home and away games. OAI Visual Branding delivered on this goal by utilizing team images, colors and logos across various surfaces including window graphics, pole banners, decals, sponsorship signage, banners and much more.

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The Society of Emotional Intelligence is Relocating!

The Society of Emotional Intelligence is relocating:


2202 N. West Shore Blvd., Suite 200
Tampa, FL 33607


6107 Memorial Hwy., Suite E-6
Tampa, FL 33615

For more info, visit:

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Member Events

June 1: Brazil-Florida Business Council, Inc. Networking Reception

Join us at the June 1st Business Networking Reception to enjoy modern Mediterranean cuisine while strengthening your networking connections. This after-sought, two-hour networking event will provide you with valuable  networking opportunities for your business.








2548 N. McMullen Booth Rd. Clearwater, FL 33761


Monday, June 1st, 5-7 PM


Business or Casual Chic


BFBC Friend/Prospective Member: $25.00 |  BFBC Member: Complimentary

 Space is limited, REGISTER today

Join the BFBC today and begin enjoying your membership benefits! 

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June 3: New Life Village Hosts ‘Young Professionals for NLV’


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June 5: Friends & Family Event at Apricot Lane Boutique

Grand Opening Sign

Mark your calendars and come out to celebrate “Sisterly Success!” Twin sisters Candice and Crystal Dupree are celebrating the grand opening of their boutique, Apricot Lane.

While the franchise is more common in South Florida, the name is new to the Bay area. “It’s got a very clean-cut look to it,” said owner, Crystal Dupree. “It stands out with great customer service and new fashion-forward items. It’s edgy, trendy and unheard of in Tampa.” Brands they will carry include, Vintage Havana, Elan, RDA Style and a Jacob Davis denim line. “The clothes fit all shapes and sizes,” Crystal said. A grand opening with giveaways and refreshments is being planned.  – Tampa Bay Times

Enjoy 20% off during grand opening 6/5 – 6/7 at Westshore Plaza; share with friends & family!

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June 13: Old McMicky’s Farm Hosts 1st Annual Child Adoption Education Day

Child Adoption Education Day

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Member Highlights: May 10 – 16, 2015

Inside this Week’s Member Highlights

Member News

Member Events

New Hires & Promotions

Member News

‘Wine Down Wednesday’ Debuts New Happy Hour Menu at Council Oak Steaks & Seafood Lounge 

SemHardRockBeginning May 13 and every Wednesday thereafter, the Council Oak Steaks & Seafood Lounge in Seminole Hard Rock Tampa will stage “Wine Down Wednesday” featuring hand selected wines from various vineyards across the globe.

Among the wines that will be available this month include: Chalone Chard, Chateau St. Michelle Eroica Reisling, Duckhorn Sauv Blanc, Dynamite Cab, Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir and Wente Crane Ridge Merlot.

In addition, Head Chef of Council Oak Steaks & Seafood, Chef Michael Balles has designed a special tasting menu to accompany the unique wine selection.

The innovative cuisine includes: Buffalo Blue Cheese Deviled Eggs, Council Oak Chips, Artisinal Cheese & Charcuterie, Grilled Flat Bread, Barbeque Oysters, Council Oak Sliders, Mini Cheese Steaks, Ybor Crab Croquets and Bruschetta.

All glasses of wine and menu items will cost $10, allowing guests to dive in and explore the various flavors of Council Oak Steaks & Seafood, including glasses of wine that are generally only available by the bottle.

Reservations are not required for “Wine Down Wednesday” and guests can uncork and “wine down” from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. every Wednesday.

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Greenberg Traurig Affirms Commitment to the Tampa Bay Area, Signs 10-Year Lease in Bank of America Plaza

As part of its long-term commitment to the Tampa Bay Area and to accommodate future growth, international law firm Greenberg Traurig announced it has signed a 10-year lease for 20,000-plus square feet of “Class A” space, occupying the entire 19th floor of the Bank of America Plaza building. The deal is one of the largest in Tampa this year, based on square footage.

Greenberg Traurig will occupy its newly designed and constructed offices this fall. The design will place Greenberg Traurig’s attorneys, business staff, and clients into some of the most efficient and functional space in the area.

“Our new location will help us work more efficiently in space that facilitates teamwork and collaboration,” said David B. Weinstein, Tampa Managing Shareholder.  “It also will support the growth we anticipate for the region, our clients, and our firm. This move to a full floor and the ten-year lease term reflect Greenberg Traurig’s strong commitment to the Tampa Bay area.  With its convenient location near museums, parks, the Riverwalk, hotels, and other features of the central business district, Bank of America Plaza provides us better access to the cultural, civic, and business communities.”

The high-tech space designed by the international architecture firm, Gensler, includes the following features:

  • “Transparent” design elements, such as glass front walls on offices, that allow natural light to permeate the entire floor plan
  • Interactive technology that allows lawyers to move throughout the office and connect seamlessly with the firm’s global network
  • Adaptable spaces that can be easily modified for a variety of functions, including conference rooms and collaborative work spaces
  • Adjustable pneumatic workspaces that provide flexibility to work sitting or standing
  • Expandable, multipurpose space that can be used as conference rooms, training rooms, and to host events for clients, charitable organizations, and other community partners

“We’re creating an office that exemplifies the future of the legal profession,” said Bert Oliva, managing director of Gensler’s Tampa office. “Greenberg Traurig is a leader in embracing design concepts shared by firms that are defining the law firm of tomorrow.  We have enjoyed working with the firm in Tampa and in other cities to create space that will be welcoming and efficient for both clients and employees.”

Jack K. Hoskins Jr., senior vice president and leader of CBRE’s Tenant Rep group in Tampa, represented Greenberg Traurig on the deal.

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Member Events

May 21: Operation Helping Hand Monthly Dinner


This month’s Operation Helping Hand dinner will be on Thursday, May 21, 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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June 16: Startup Quest Entrepreneur Training Program Information Session

Startup Quest Flyer (2)

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June 25 – 27: Joshua Generation Take Over Youth Revival Conference

J.G.T.O 2015 flyer

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New Hires & Promotions

Attorney Joseph W. Etter Joins Englander Fischer

Joe Etter - Englander FischerThe law firm of Englander Fischer LLP is pleased to announce the addition of attorney Joseph W. Etter IV to its Litigation Practice. Mr. Etter graduated cum laude from Stetson University College of Law in 2010 after receiving his B.S. from the University of Central Florida.  He is a native Floridian, who was raised in Kissimmee, and now resides in Tampa.

Mr. Etter‘s focus will be in the areas of complex commercial litigation, construction litigation, contract disputes, partnership, and corporate disputes for Englander Fischer. Prior to joining Englander Fischer, Mr. Etter practiced in the Tampa office of Kubicki Draper for several years, concentrating on construction and general litigation matters.

“Joe brings a wealth of experience in litigation which aligns him with our Big Firm Experience, Boutique Service philosophy.” says Leonard S. Englander, founder of Englander Fischer. “We’re delighted to have him join our team.”

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3rd Annual Emerge Tampa Bay Nonprofit Fair Partners with Give Day Tampa Bay in 2015


Megan Brown, Northwestern Mutual/ Emerge Tampa Bay Community Outreach Committee Member

I occasionally ask myself, “Is it better to give than to receive? Is there something missing in my life when a philanthropic spirit is not woven into my busy schedule or monthly finances?” I don’t think anyone would deny that a person feels a sense of fulfillment helping others in need.  Yet, we often find that lack of finances, time constraints or just not knowing where to find outreach opportunities can keep us from experiencing that blessing.

In an effort to overcome the obstacles that hinder outreach opportunities the 3rd annual Emerge Nonprofit Volunteer Fair partnered with Give Day Tampa Bay in Channelside Bay Plaza during their 24-hour online fundraising event. The goal was to not only raise money for nonprofits, but to present opportunities where you can donate your time.

If time constraints were a concern, people could choose among 549 nonprofits to donate to at the push of a button. Gifts totaling $1,734,540.75 were raised during Give Day Tampa Bay from nearly 10,193 donors!

For those wanting to donate their time, 24 local organizations set up tables in Channelside Bay Plaza to showcase their missions and highlight volunteer opportunities through the help of Emerge Tampa Bay.

There were a diverse group of nonprofits in attendance, providing opportunities for everyone. Whether your heart’s desire is to work with animals, children, disabled veterans, or others in need, attendees were bound to find something that appealed to their passion. I found that this event made for a fun and easy way to find opportunities that aligned with the causes I cared about. Check out the list of nonprofits who participated in the fair below.

As a busy, young professional juggling a marriage and the occasional budget blues, I still realize the importance of giving back but had all the excuses in the world not to be involved. Through the Emerge Nonprofit Fair, I met with representatives of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay. They said the organization is willing to work with my schedule and only asked for some of my free time. I decided that their willingness to work with my schedule was a good fit for me. I cannot wait to meet a little brother that I will be paired with in the coming month.

Whether you donate financially or give of your leisure time, it is a valuable contribution. It is good to be reminded, every now and then, to take the time to care.

Just like my opportunity, Give Day Tampa Bay and the Emerge Nonprofit Volunteer Fair proved that there is an opportunity for everyone to be involved. If you are interested in learning about nonprofits in Tampa Bay, the Emerge Community Outreach Committee is the perfect place to start. Their meetings take place on the first Monday of every month. Join me sometime! The only question left is, “Are you ready to give back?”

3rd Annual Emerge Tampa Bay Nonprofit Volunteer Fair Participants:

2nd C.H.A.N.C.E Center 4 Boyz
Americans For Prosperity Foundation
American Lung Association
Best Buddies Tampa Bay
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay
Children’s Home Society of Florida
Cracker Country/Florida State Fair
Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Florida Aquarium
Florida Gulf Coast Paralyzed Veterans of America
Hillsborough Education Foundation
LifeLink Foundation
Instruments of Change
Meals On Wheels of Tampa
Metropolitan Ministries Inc.
Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay
Seniors in Service of Tampa Bay, Inc.
Solita’s House, Inc.
Special Olympics Florida – Hillsborough County
St. Peter Claver
Tampa Bay Beagle Rescue
Tranquil Shores Children’s Foundation
Visions of Hope International

Leadership Tampa: Tourism Day

58 LT15 Week 13

By: Alex Kaptzan, Visit Tampa Bay

Kaptzan, AlexWith bittersweet emotions, we gathered in the lot near the Yacht Starship to embark on our last official day of Leadership Tampa. Though every outing this year had its own learnings and fun, ending with Tourism Day was a good strategy. We were given our bus buddy assignments and headed out to our first stop, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

We had a great breakfast in the Gwazi Pavilion, definitely the best breakfast of the year. We heard briefly from our day chair, Troy Manthey of Yacht Starship. He informed us that it was travel, specifically for Super Bowl XXXV that brought him and his company to Tampa in 2001.

We were welcomed by Jim Dean, president of Busch Gardens and Adventure Island. He shared how both parks were having their best year ever so far! They had just finished the Food & Wine Fest, were preparing for Summer Nights, had recently opened Falcon’s Fury and Colossal Curl and also have new attractions in the works. He also spoke about a new initiative in conjunction with USF to make the area more of a living/playing/working environment.

We then heard from Thom Stork of the Florida Aquarium who discussed how tourism is the economic engine that drives Tampa Bay. He asked, by a show of hands, “Who has worked in the tourism industry?” Not too surprisingly, the vast majority of LT 2015 raised their hands.

Next was Roger Dow, president/CEO of the U.S. Travel Association and the first speaker of our rock star tourism panel. He reminded us that he is a Pinellas county resident and although he could live anywhere in the world, he chooses to reside in Tampa Bay. We also watched the U.S. Travel Association video and learned some interesting facts:

  • Travel is the top 10 employer in every state with a multi-billion dollar impact
  • The travel industry adds $140 billion annually to the U.S. economy
  • 1 in 9 American jobs are related to the industry

Our second panelist was Santiago Corrada, president/CEO of Visit Tampa Bay. Visit Tampa Bay is marketing our area as a total package destination. He also shared details on the many exciting developments in the works such as the Jeff Vinik project among others. We watched the Visit Tampa Bay destination video and most of us realized what we sometimes forget that we have such a cool city with various activities and attractions. Corrada reminded us to see the city like a tourist. He encouraged us to get out and enjoy some of the many reasons we live here in Tampa.

The next speaker was David Downing, executive director of the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area CVB. Pinellas County covers several diverse cities and populations with differing and complex needs. He explained how tourism pays for tourism by citing Tropicana Field and beach re-nourishment as examples.

Our last panelist was Will Seccombe, president and CEO of Visit Florida. Seccombe reminded us that tourism is the reason Florida doesn’t have state income tax. As a state, we welcomed 98.9 million visitors in 2014 and have had record breaking numbers the last 4 years!

Then it was off to Lowry Park Zoo where we learned about the zoo itself as well as their current exhibit Zoominations. Lowry Park Zoo receives 4 percent of local government revenue and generates $50 million per year in economic impact. We also heard from Craig Pugh, executive director and CEO of Lowry Park Zoo.

After Lowry Park we loaded back up on the buses and headed back downtown to the Florida Aquarium where we heard from Thom Stork, president and CEO of the Florida Aquarium. Stork informed us that this year is the 20th anniversary of the Florida Aquarium. Before it existed, there was very little downtown and few reasons anyone would visit. The Florida Aquarium was first, which led to the development of the Amalie Arena which in turn helped develop the Marriott Waterside Hotel. It was a catalyst for much of what exists downtown today and another reason Jeff Vinik is now implementing his vision.

We then had our second panel of the day which included the following speakers:

  • Brenda Thrower, Economic Development Specialist, Ybor City
  • Jeff Seward, CFO HART
  • Katie Edmiston, Tampa Attractions Association board member

When the panel discussion concluded, the aquarium staff showcased their brilliantly renovated learning center and had us do a fun activity to learn about Loggerhead Sea Turtles. From the aquarium we boarded the historic streetcar (many of us no doubt for the first time) and were shuttled down to the Tampa Convention Center for the last panel of the day that included:

  • Jeff Weinthaler, general manager of Embassy Suites Downtown
  • Rick Hamilton, convention center and tourism director
  • Jason Carroll, director of sales at the Florida Aquarium and international council chair of Meetings Professionals International

When we left the convention center we walked outside and were welcomed aboard the Yacht Starship. To our surprise, when we went upstairs, many of our friends and family were there waiting for us! It was a great way to end our last official day. After a quick cruise around Harbour Island we went back to our cars and it was over. Once again Tourism Day was definitely the best way to end Leadership Tampa 2015!

Can LLC Members Sue Each Other for Damages?

By: Courtney Fernald

Courtney Fernald (00164840xBEBCA)Limited liability companies, or “LLCs,” have become an increasingly popular business entity choice in Florida due to their combination of favorable legal, business and tax attributes. Most of the appeal of the LLC lies in the “limited liability” concept that makes individuals feel shielded, but in reality LLC members can be individually liable to one another for any wrong doing.

When Can You Sue a Fellow Member of the LLC?

First look to the operating agreement and see if it contains a provision that expressly authorizes direct actions between members. If the operating agreement is clear that members are directly liable to each other, you may proceed and bring your action against the other member. Similarly, if Florida law mandates a statutory duty among members and you have a claim that such duty was breached, you may also proceed with your action against another member.

If the operating agreement does not provide for direct actions among members and there is no statutory claim to assert, you can only bring your action if you can show that you have suffered both (i) a direct harm that is independent of the harm suffered by the LLC, and (ii) a special injury that is separate and distinct from injury suffered by other members.  This can be daunting and difficult, and in many cases, an impossible test to overcome.

Due to the complexities involved in filing a direct lawsuit against an LLC member, it is important that you consult with an attorney before proceeding. Should you have any questions, please call Englander Fischer at (727) 898-7210 to see how one of our attorneys can assist you.

Advocacy Corner – May 7, 2015

Chamber’s Advocacy for U.S. – Cuba connections in the Sunday New York Times

Next week, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce will conduct its third mission to Cuba, but first, the efforts of the Chamber and Tampa business and elected leaders to reconnect Tampa and Cuba were profiled in the Sunday, May 3 edition of the New York Times.

The Times traced back the shared history of Cuba and Tampa to the growth of Ybor City’s cigar factories, and Cuban patriots who came to Tampa in support of Cuban independence from Spain, decades before Miami had a large Cuban community.

The Chamber’s advocacy for the normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba preceded President Obama’s announcement that his administration would pursue full diplomatic relations between the countries.

In speaking of the Chamber being out on front of the issue and building connections to Cuba, Chamber President & CEO Bob Rohrlack told the Times, “We were smart to see around the bend. I wouldn’t expect that the first time I go into any country to come back with a bunch of contacts. We need to establish relationships there and grow business that way.”

To read more on the Chamber’s advocacy, visit our website.

Operation Partnership Returns on June 8

Our annual program connecting active duty military with business people returns with Operation Partnership. This program pairs military participants with their civilian counterparts, allowing active duty members to experience day-to-day activities in the civilian workforce before they leave the military.

Business people looking to host a military member can register on our events page. Active duty who would like to participate can email Michael Maurino at . This event is complimentary for active duty military.

Chamber and 927th Air Refueling Wing Host Receptions for Montgomery, Ala. and South Carolina Delegations

GTCC SC ESGR presentationThe Chamber and 927th Air Refueling Wing at MacDill Air Force Base hosted delegations from Montgomery, Ala. / Maxwell Air Force Base, and South Carolina / Joint Base Charleston. Members of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors greeted the delegations as they toured Tampa and MacDill Air Force Base.

The Chamber was also presented with the Seven Seals Award by the Department of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve office.

Legislative Wrap-up, May 20

Tampa Electric presents the 2015 Legislative Wrap-Up on Wednesday, May 20, 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Maestro’s at the Straz Center. Join our invited Hillsborough legislative delegation members as they discuss the 2015 Legislative Session and Chamber initiatives. For more information or to register, click here.

Chamber Announces Leadership Tampa Class of 2015 Graduates

Leadership Tampa, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s leadership program, is proud to announce the graduates of the Class of 2015.  The graduates were honored at a commencement dinner on Wednesday, May 6.

Jim Porter, Partner at Adams and Reese LLP, chaired this year’s class, which participated in nine months of biweekly educational sessions, tours and candid conversations with community leaders on topics ranging from economic development and education to health sciences and sports.

The graduates of the Leadership Tampa Class of 2015 include:

  • Kelly Andrews, Partner, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP
  • Lindsay August, Vice President, Relationship Manager, BB & T
  • Irene Bassel Frick, Partner, Akerman
  • Jan Berry, Chief Development Officer, Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA
  • Darcy Calhoun, Group & Suite Sales Account Executive, Tampa Bay Rays
  • Rob Catoe, Vice President, Relationship Manager, SunTrust Bank
  • Dr. Ginger Clark, Vice President, Workforce Development, Hillsborough Community College
  • Melinda Clark, Assistant Vice President of Financial Aid, Saint Leo University
  • Laura Crouch, Director, Local Government, Community Relations & Economic Development, TECO
  • Jennifer Currence, President, OnCore Management Solutions, LLC
  • Jeremy Daniel, Chief Financial Officer, Regenerative Medicine Solutions
  • Julius Davis, President & CEO, VoltAir Consulting Engineers, Inc.
  • John DeLaVergne, President/Principal, DeLaVergne & Company
  • Katie Dierks, Private Client Advisor, Bouchard Insurance, Inc.
  • Paul Dontenville, Assistant Statewide Prosecutor, Office of Florida Attorney General
  • Brian Dugan, Deputy Chief, City of Tampa, Tampa Police Department
  • Scott Gilner, Vice President/Assistant Secretary, Kimley-Horn & Associates, Inc.
  • Tyrus Gordon, Director of Operations, Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally
  • Katie Halkett, Recruiting Manager, Taylor White
  • Robyn Hall, Assistant Vice President, Global Seminars, AACSB International
  • John Hartigan, Lt Col, United States Air Force, MacDill AFB
  • Rafael Hernandez, Toll Operations Manager, Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority
  • Matt Hill, Director Executive Suite Sales, Tampa Bay Lightning/Tampa Bay Times Forum
  • Dara Hindman, Vice President of Administration, Yacht StarShip
  • Rob Hosmanek, Special Projects Manager, Wright’s Gourmet House
  • Paul Huszar, President, VetCor LLC
  • Robert Hyde, Commander, U.S. Navy, US Special Operations Command
  • Tom Iarossi, Senior Project Manager, Skanska USA Building Inc.
  • Lori Jones, Sr. Vice President, Bank of America
  • Alex Kaptzan, Vice President of Convention Sales, Visit Tampa Bay
  • Dean Kent, Equity Shareholder, Trenam, Kemker, Scharf, Barkin, Frye, O’Neill & Mullis, P.A.
  • Dr. Stephanie Krebs, Dean of Students, The University of Tampa
  • Dr. Timothy Kubal, Assistant Professor, Malignant Heme, Moffitt Cancer Center
  • Renee LaFauci, President of Central Florida, All Team Staffing
  • Owen LaFave, Senior Vice President-Director of Commercial Real Estate Banking, The Bank of Tampa
  • Lance Lansrud, Realtor, Florida Executive Realty
  • Crystal Lauderdale, Director of Marketing, Florida Polytechnic University
  • Rick Lentz, Executive Vice President, Cutler Associates, Inc.
  • Julia Mandell, City Attorney, City of Tampa
  • Luis Martinez-Monfort, Partner, Gardner Brewer Martinez-Monfort, P.A.
  • Axah McCalla
  • Dr. Jamie Morano, Assistant Professor, Physician, University of South Florida College of Medicine
  • John Muller, VP of Operations, The Florida Aquarium
  • Jessica Muroff, Executive Director, Frameworks of Tampa Bay, Inc.
  • Deborah Oliver, Partner, Adams and Reese LLP
  • Kerry O’Reilly, Marketing Director, Tampa Bay Times/TBT*
  • Scott Pence, Partner, Carlton Fields Jorden Burt PA
  • Lauren Rasys, Account Executive, CI Group
  • Bill Reeves, Associate Director, Cushman & Wakefield of Florida Inc.
  • Richard Salazar, Counsel, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney / Fowler White Boggs
  • John Schwartz, 927 OG Chief of Training, United States Air Force Reserve, MacDill AFB
  • Randy Smith, Regional Practice Leader, KCI Technologies, Inc.
  • Wayne Taylor, Managing Partner, EKS Security Services, LLC
  • Lucy Terrill, Assistant Manager, Financial Analysis, Mosaic
  • Craig Urquhart, Executive Vice President,  Employee Benefits, HUB International, Florida
  • Jennifer Wainman
  • Gail Wean, Chief Financial Officer, Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
  • Barb Zant, Sales Manager, WTSP/Channel 10

Members of Leadership Tampa are business/professional people who hold leadership positions within their companies or organizations. Additionally, they have demonstrated a concern for community issues and volunteered their time with service and professional organizations. The selection process is rigorous and competitive for each of the 50-60 seats available in each class.

The Leadership Tampa year begins in September and runs through May with members meeting every other week for briefings and seminars.  Each Leadership Tampa program brings in top-level business, civic and government leaders for panel discussions and question and answer sessions. Topics covered include healthcare, education, law enforcement, the environment, economic development, government and other important community issues.

For more information on Leadership Tampa, please contact Lorrie Hero at (813) 276-9445 or at