My experience at Leadership Tampa’s Government Day

Jimmy St. Louis
Chief Executive Officer, Advanced Healthcare Partners
Leadership Tampa Class of 2013

What a great day we all had together on Government Day! To be honest, optimism for an exciting day wasn’t high as we were scheduled to be in the same location, all day – but the day turned out to be not only informative but entertaining as well.

After first being greeted by our Class Chair Mark House, we were pleasantly introduced by County Commission Chair Ken Hagan who talked about his experience, the fact that he is one of the youngest commissioners Hillsborough County has employed, and his optimism for the years to come.

Following Commissioner Hagan’s introduction, we were greeted by Mayor Bob Buckhorn. Mayor Buckhorn is always full of energy, enthusiasm, and optimism for the direction of Tampa. He was positive about our city’s direction, his recent success in leading our city and the drive of our young professionals.

Mike Merrill, County Administrator and Bonnie Wise, Chief Financial Administrator followed up with an economic outlook and a review of the 2013 financial plan and budget and provided a deeper level of understanding of our financial planning platform.
For the next hour, we had the pleasure of hearing from Harry Cohen, Chairman Pro-Tem Tampa City Council , Craig Latimer, Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections , Bob Henriquez, Hillsborough County Property Appraiser , and Ray Chairamonte, Executive Director, Planning Commission and then we took a tour where we were educated on some of the deeper aspects of our county’s direction and operations.

Following our morning session, we elected our Leadership Tampa City Council for the day. We received a crash course in the city zoning process where we all played our part in a city zoning discussion about moving a baseball team known as the “crabs” to downtown Tampa. While the process was fun and entertaining, it was also very informative.

Following that, we had the great pleasure of hearing from former Mayors Dick Greco and Sandra Freedman, where we heard their perspective on the development of Tampa over the last few decades, as well as our current direction.

All in all, it was a great day and an honor to be a part of it.

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The Tampa Bay Chamber is a not-for-profit business membership organization that helps promote the businesses and business interests of our members. We come from diverse backgrounds: from small businesses, big corporations, government bodies and the military. United, we become a single, unifying force with the power to shape the future of Tampa Bay.

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