LT Alum Creates Popular Leadership Program

by Kerry O’Reilly

RMS Amplify

RMS Amplify at Camelback Mountain

DanielIn 2015, Jeremy Daniel (LT ’15) CFO of Regenerative Medical Solutions created a leadership program for select employees. The program is called RMS Amplify and the mission is to find and train the next generation of leaders in their company.

The program lasts for 13 weeks and is limited to six members per class. Members must apply and be accepted to participate. The group meets Tuesday mornings from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Q: Tell us about the RMS Amplify program.

A: Each member of the class is given a Kindle, a journal and a workbook. We do not allow laptops or phones in the meetings as this distracts from the class. We read books on leadership, have guest speakers and participate in group activities throughout the class.

Q: I understand you do something special at the end of the program.

A: During the final week of the program, we take everyone who has participated in the class on a four-day, three-night retreat where we visit our clinic in Scottsdale and hike Camelback Mountain as a team to represent how far we have come as a class.

We then fly to the team out to Vegas for two days where we visit Zappos and learn about their company culture and what makes them so successful.

Q: Have you retained the people you’ve trained, and have you seen the benefit of the training in your workplace? 

A: Yes, four of the participants been promoted to management or have become directors of their respective departments. They are true advocates for our overall corporate mission and values. We are currently accepting applications for next year.

Q: What inspired you to create the program?

A: We are a very young company with around 75% of our corporate staff being a part of the millennial generation. We have found that members of this generation are looking for opportunities to grow and want to be rewarded with either promotions or salary increases. As a smaller company in the growth stage, we knew we could not increase our human capital expense but we did want to keep our high performers engaged.

Q: Do you have other facilitators besides yourself?

A: The class is taught by three of the executives of the company.

Q: What’s been the biggest surprise?

A: The biggest surprise has been the confidence gained by graduating members. I am a big believer that if you invest time in others, you will be shocked at what they can accomplish.

Kerry O’Reilly is a graduate of LT ’15 and serves as the Marketing Director for the Tampa Bay Times.

LTA Newsletter July 2016

Reflections from Stephanie Agliano 2016 Leadership Tampa Chair

By Kerry O’Reilly

AglianoWhat are you most proud of from your time as chair of Leadership Tampa? 

The overall success of the program this year was thanks to the hard work of many people. A few groups who deserve special recognition include: Our sponsors who continue to believe in the program, our day chairs and their committees who were dedicated to trying new things and building on last year’s program days, the Tampa Chamber team that made it easy, and mostly, my LT ’16 class members who from day one jumped in with both feet and truly “allowed themselves to be interested” through listening, participating and asking the tough questions. It’s because of this leadership participation in every aspect that makes Leadership Tampa the best leadership program ever!

Were there any surprises along the way that you can share?

Yes. What I learned about my community seeing it through the leadership eyes of LT ’16.

If you could’ve done something different what would it have been?

More time/days to cover more aspects of each day. However, I know that’s not realistic.

How do you plan to stay involved with LT in the future?

Currently, I am part of the LT ’17 Selection Process, and, if there is an opportunity to be a part of a committee for any of the LT ’17 days.

Any words of wisdom for someone considering taking a leadership role in the program?

Just do it! Yes, it’s a lot of time and a big commitment. You will have to totally trust that your “supporting cast” won’t miss a beat while you are fully engaged in this program. It’s the only way you will be able to enjoy your leadership role.

You served as a leader in several classes and participated in one too. Can you settle the debate once and for all: Which class is actually “The Best Class Ever…”?

Doesn’t the best class ever have the best Chair ever?!

After more than 30 years in the business world, Stephanie followed her heart down a new path as a commercial artist. You can view her work on Facebook at Aggie – The Art of Expression.


Kerry O’Reilly, Leadership Tampa ’15, is the Marketing Director for the Tampa Bay Times and Politifact.

LTA Newsletter June 2016

Tampa Chamber’s Leadership ‘Triple Crown’

By Kerry O’Reilly

In horse racing, when you win the Preakness, the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes, it’s called winning the Triple Crown. Our version at the Tampa Chamber is completing Emerge, Leadership Tampa and joining Leadership Tampa Alumni.

Jessica Murroff and Kareem J. Spratling can both claim rights to the “Triple Crown.” Here are their thoughts on the experience and value of participating in all three programs.

Of the three leadership programs, Emerge, LT and LTA, where do you think you Spratlinggrewmost as a leader and why?Murroff

JM: Definitely Emerge. I was one of the founding members, so I was there from the start building this organization, recruiting membership, promoting the benefits and ensuring that we had the right infrastructure in place to succeed. I also served on the Chamber Board during this time and was able to continuously keep our efforts top of mind at that table too. I did a lot of growing as a leader during this time because we were just starting out and had so much to do!

KS: I have a bit of a weird path in that I completed LT before I joined Emerge. I probably grew the most in LT because you’re paired with people who are such great leaders, and I learn best through experience. That said, Emerge was great in that it filled in some of the pieces that a young leader needs. I’ve recently been booted from Emerge due to age, and I plan to be an LTA member for life, so my goal and assumption is that one day I’ll be answering this question and the clear answer will be LTA.

Do you believe you’ve benefited from completing all three programs and why?

JM: Yes, I have enjoyed all of them. The biggest benefits are the relationships I have gained from these experiences as well as how connected I am to our great region. They have all inspired and supported me in doing even more for our community.

KS: Yes. Emerge does a fantastic job of meeting the needs of young professionals, especially those who are excelling in their professions and often around older people. LT was great in helping to establish a broader understanding of Tampa Bay and making relationships outside of my professional circle. LTA fosters continued growth that might otherwise be stunted at the conclusion of LT.

Name one thing you would do differently if you could go back through the Emerge or LT programs.

JM: I don’t think I’d change a thing!

KS: Emerge; join earlier. LT; what happens there, stays there.

Is there one person or experience that stands out for you from your time in all three programs?

JM: Serving on the Chamber Board as the first co-chair of Emerge and being able to continue my leadership on the board was an incredible experience. The one person who stands out the most: Deanne Roberts, no doubt. She inspires me daily.

KS: More of a philosophy than an experience. That philosophy is: Give generously of your time, participate and add substance without the thought of reward, and when you do that, you’d be surprised how often you are rewarded.

Any final thoughts you’d like to share?

JM: Get involved!!

KS: Yes. Leadership Tampa 2012 is the best class ever.😉

Editor’s note: Best class ever claim not verified.

Kerry O’Reilly, Leadership Tampa ’15, is the Marketing Director for the Tampa Bay Times and Politifact.

LTA Newsletter May 2016

Meet MaryBeth Williams

By Kerry O’Reilly, Tampa Bay Times Marketing Director, LT ’15

011_GTCC_WilliamsMB_2-26-16FullThe Tampa Chamber welcomes MaryBeth Williams to the team as Senior Director, Leadership Programs. This position, most recently held by Lorrie Hero, carries the responsibility for shaping and coordinating much of the programming for Emerge, Leadership Tampa and Leadership Tampa Alumni.

Tell us about your background and what drew you to the opportunity at the Chamber?

I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida and went on to earn my Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of South Florida. I was an assistant principal with Pinellas County Schools for six years and a middle and high school mathematics teacher for nine years prior to that. My experience with recruiting and developing leaders will certainly enhance the work of the Chamber. As an assistant principal of curriculum, multi-tasking and prioritizing were crucial skills in a fast-paced setting with constantly changing district and state requirements. I believe that my experiences with the school system and as a social worker prior to that can benefit the Chamber as well as the Leadership Programs. My passion for making a difference in the community has guided my career and led me to the Tampa Chamber.

Any pleasant surprises in your role thus far?

My first few weeks with the Chamber have been amazing.  On my third day, I had the opportunity to visit Tropicana Field, Amalie Arena and One Buc Place with the Leadership Tampa 2016 class. Last week, I visited the Strawberry Festival and the Tampa Port Authority. I’ve really enjoyed meeting new people and learning so much about Tampa.

Coming to the Chamber with fresh eyes, are there opportunities that you noticed in the short term or long term?

Certainly, in my first few weeks I’ve been very busy learning procedures and programs. Building relationships and learning the culture of the Chamber are very important to me. There are many wonderful programs here at the Chamber. Being in education for so many years, I can’t help but look at programs through the lens of an educator. I think the Chamber does a great job of gathering data and analyzing their programs to determine their effectiveness and impact. I look forward to working collaboratively with various committees to continue to improve the quality of our programs and events.

What three qualities do you think the most effective leaders possess?

Honesty, the ability to inspire and confidence.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I have been married for 22 years. My husband, Mark, is an electrical engineer. We have two sons, Drew (20) and Zach (16). We enjoy anything outdoors including the beach, boating, camping, biking and sports. I’m a big Florida Gators fan! I also love animals. We have three dogs, a gecko and a squirrel.

LTA Newsletter April 2016

Class Project Follow-up: LT ’13’s R.I.C.H. House Renovation

By Kerry O’Reilly, Tampa Bay Times Marketing Director, LT ’15

Fast Facts:

RICH House Logo

What is the RICH House?

The RICH House serves disadvantaged children and their families in the communities of Sulphur Springs and Robles Park. The acronym stands for Resources In Community Hope.

Located at: 8218 N. Marks St. Tampa, Robles Park Housing Complex


Leadership Tampa Class of 2013 tackled an ambitious, yet important, class project: the renovation of the RICH House in Robles Park.

Adrian Martinez, Managing Partner of EKS Group, one of the leaders on the project, shared his insights into how it all came together and where it stands today.

Kerry O’Reilly: Tell us about the project.

Adrian Martinez: John Bennett was the idea man. He proposed the project to the class based on his experience with the first RICH House in Sulphur Springs.

Because of the size of the project there was something for everyone to do. We cleaned, painted, did basic carpentry and all kinds of handy-man/woman type jobs. We also bought, transported and assembled many pieces of IKEA furniture.

We had classmates in construction who helped with planning and budgeting the work: Todd Fultz and OT Delancy in particular. We had lawyers, including Ceci Berman, Jason Quintero, Amanda Uliano and others looking at permits, liabilities, insurance, etc. Elizabeth Hennig played a key role as well raising funds for the project.

We believed this project would be a lasting gift to the city and one that would keep our class united long after graduation since we all knew the project would require continuous help. For the most part, it has done that.

KO: Has the support from your class continued?

AM:LT’13 members still show up once in a while and bring donations – books, food, drinks, school supplies, computers, TVs, etc. And just last month, Ceci Berman called me looking for a volunteer project at the RICH House for her Girl Scouts.

KO: How does the RICH House benefit the community?

AM: The RICH House provides kids who live in a crime-ridden neighborhood a safe haven to go after school. Otherwise, these kids would be home alone or on the streets where they become easy prey to gangs and other bad influences. If it was just a place for kids to come in and watch TV after school, it would be successful. However, it goes beyond that. Retired Tampa Police Department Officer Susan Bowers provides strong discipline with a great caring heart. She currently has about 24 kids in class every day. She goes above and beyond. In addition to math and history, Bowers and Tampa Police Reserve Officer Deina Penix teach discipline, leadership, nutrition, CPR, effective babysitting, respect for others, ethics, values and manners. And thanks to LTA member Renee Vaughn of Williams Consulting, who serves on the University of Tampa Board of Fellows, UT provides volunteer tutors and mentors.

RICH House also provides a constant police presence in the neighborhood. It is part of TPD’s neighborhood policing tactics. Parents begin to trust the police and provide Officer Bowers with tips about “the bad guys.”

KO: What’s next for RICH house?

AM: Being an old house, it still needs work. Bowers’ wish list includes:

– New flooring for the stage area

– Paint

– Computers

– A window in the stage area

It is my hope that LT’13 and LTA can continue to work on this project.

KO: Can members of other LTA classes get involved in this great effort? If so, how?

AM: Yes! This is a great opportunity to take one class’ project and expand it to have an even larger, longer-lasting LTA impact.

Please e-mail me at if you’d like to get involved.

RICH House Picture

LTA March 2016 Newsletter

Arts, Education, and Sports, What’s the Connection?

By Connie Gee-Abate, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

On Wednesday, August 24th, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce hosted the Education Connection annual signature breakfast, “Arts, Entertainment, and Sports, What’s the Connection?”, sponsored by Suncoast Credit Union. The event had a sell-out attendance of 220 chamber members from the business and academic communities who gathered to hear how the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Busch Gardens, and the Tampa Bay Lightning organizations partner with our local schools and universities to help develop Tampa’s local talent and provide opportunities that lead to jobs for many of our students.

Judy Lisi, CEO of the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts described their education programs as community builders, offering programs for ages two to eighty-two. The Straz Center has 30 partnership schools in Hillsborough County that build bridges to inspire artistic success by nurturing creativity and confidence in children. Many of the children receive scholarships to attend the programs offered by the accredited Patel Performing Arts Conservatory. The Straz Center also utilizes the talent of interns from numerous schools and are currently looking for more interns for all of their departments. Anyone interested can contact the human resources department at the Straz Center.

Jim Dean, President of Busch Gardens and Adventure Island had numerous success stories about the education programs offered at Busch Gardens. The organization partners with the Hillsborough Community College and the Hillsborough County Schools to provide mentorship and internship programs. Many leaders in the company today started out as interns “right out of high school” who worked hard and were recognized for all of their efforts through promotions. Mr. Dean even made a connection at the event with Dr. Jody Tompson from The University of Tampa, who runs the student Strategic Management Consulting Program for undergraduate and graduate students. Because of the connection made at the breakfast, students attending The University of Tampa will have an opportunity to conduct a study at Busch Gardens. Any student who may be looking for an internship in the entertainment industry can contact Busch Gardens human resources department.

Jeff Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Tampa Bay Storm, proudly spoke of three major educational programs offered through his organization. Partnering with the University of South Florida, students are given experiential learning opportunities through a residency program that was started by a student. USF students who study Sports Management work directly with the sports teams. There is also an internal training program for employees, where USF guides ten Lightning Leader Employees” through a series of on-site speaker presentations. The third program is the “Community Hockey Team”, a partnership with Hillsborough County Schools that intends to teach 100,000 students over the next 5 years by combining the fun of hockey with science and math skills.

At the conclusion everyone could agree that the connection between education and the arts, entertainment, and sports industries have a major impact upon our community. Creativity, innovation, and jobs are developed through the support of organizations such as the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Busch Gardens, and the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Tampa Bay Storm. Our community thanks Judy Lisi, Jim Dean, and Jeff Vinik for supporting education and leading the way to a better tomorrow for our local students who are the workforce of tomorrow.

Member News 8/18/16 – 8/25/16

Member News

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  • The Florida-Israel Business Accelerator receives $1 Million in funding from the state of Florida to help attract and develop Israeli Startups in the Tampa Bay Area

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  • More Than 230 Bradley Attorneys Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017
  • Nitro Solutions Recognized on Inc. 5000 for Second Consecutive Year
  • Baldwin Risk Partners Ranks No. 2051 on the 2016 Inc. 5000 ListNine
  • Allen Dell, P.A. Attorneys Named to 2017Best Lawyers® List
  • Port Tampa Bay Staff Member Torrey Chambliss Appointed to NAFTZ Board
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