Member Highlights – Sept.15 – 19

Inside this Week’s Member Highlights:

Member News:

Member Events:

New Hires & Promotions

Member Accolades

Member News

Port Tampa Bay Signs Joint MOU with Cartagena, Colombia Port to Pursue Business Opportunities

Port Tampa Bay Exec Vice President/Chief Commercial Officer Raul Alfonso (left), celebrates the signing of a joint MOU agreement with Giovanni Benedetti, commercial director of the Port of Cartagena, at the Marriott Waterside Hotel, in Tampa.

Port Tampa Bay Exec Vice President/Chief Commercial Officer Raul Alfonso (left), celebrates the signing of a joint MOU agreement with Giovanni Benedetti, commercial director of the Port of Cartagena, at the Marriott Waterside Hotel, in Tampa.

Port Tampa Bay signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreement with the Port of Cartagena, Colombia, that strengthens the bond of comradeship between the two ports and establishes a strategic alliance for collaboration toward commercial pursuits. This recent signing is the latest in a string of similar agreements brought to fruition between Florida’s largest port and other key Latin American ports such as Quequén, Argentina; Barranquilla, Colombia; Veracruz, Mexico; JAPDEVA, Costa Rica; and the Panama Canal Authority. Read more…

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Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners Retains Status as “Best” Agency

Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners (BKS-Partners) has retained its status as part an elite group of independent insurance agencies around the United States participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) “Best Practices” Study Group.  Each year since 1993, IIABA and Reagan Consulting, an Atlanta-based management consulting firm, join forces to study the country’s leading agencies in six revenue categories. The agencies comprising the study groups are selected every third year through a comprehensive nomination and qualifying process and awarded a “Best Practices Agency” designation.

“Being chosen as a Best Practices Agency out of over 1,100 independent agencies is very rewarding, and something that can be contributed to a continued investment in people, systems and capabilities at BKS-Partners,” said Trevor Baldwin, Managing Director of Commercial Risk Management at BKS-Partners. “By constantly challenging our colleagues to pursue ongoing education and by building a team that is connected to our stakeholders’ success, we are able to deliver a higher level of service to clients.”

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Site Tech Services Offers Special Promotion for Chamber Members

Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce members who are ready to purchase and install a VoIP phone system are eligible for a ‘buy two phones, get one free promotion.‘ To learn more, visit or call (813) 549-5700.

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Highwoods Properties Welcomes Fintech to LakePointe One at Tampa Bay Park

Highwoods Properties, Inc. announced on September 16 that Fintech, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Best Business winner, has leased 28,819 square feet at LakePointe One at Tampa Bay Park. Laurie Alden represented Highwoods Properties during the leasing process. Shirley Smith with The Avocat Group represented Fintech.

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All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine Receives Childhood Obesity Grant

All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine received a $215,980 grant from Kohl’s Department Stores to continue its Kohl’s Cooks for Kids community-based healthy living program for the eighth year. The program encourages families to cook and eat healthy meals together, with the ultimate goal of preventing childhood obesity. Families also learn basic culinary skills and how to prepare healthy recipes on a budget.

Through the Kohl’s Cooks for Kids program, All Children’s Hospital will continue to offer healthy cooking and nutrition classes in the Tampa Bay area as well as family cooking events such as the “Mom and Me Cook-off” and “Teen Chili Challenge.” Since 2006, more than 5,000 participants each year have attended these programs and received healthy meal and fitness tips. Additionally, more than 80,000 free Kohl’s Cares “YumYum! Let’s Make Some!” cookbooks have been requested through the Fit4AllKids and Kohl’s Cooks for Kids websites. Read more…

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Member Events

Florida Center for Cybersecurity Hosts Inaugural Conference Oct. 8

You’re invited to the Florida Center for Cybersecurity’s October 8 conference.This event will bring together experts and decision-makers from industry, government and academia to exchange ideas, network and explore innovative approaches to counter cyber threats. In addition to two keynote addresses from leading cybersecurity
experts, the conference also offers live hacking demonstrations, four breakout sessions designed for technical or decision-making audiences, networking opportunities, and an expo featuring leading cybersecurity organizations. Click here for the conference agenda.

To register visit:


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HCC Continuing Education Department Holds Open House Oct. 2

The Corporate and Continuing Education Department at Hillsborough Community College invites you to get to know us better by being our guest at our upcoming open house. HCC provides a wide array of services to local businesses.  Learn more about how you can utilize your Community College to make your business more competitive. RSVP and get answers to all your questions at our October 2 Open House.


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Sentry Self Storage Invites You to a Teacher’s Appreciation Yard Sale

Sentry Self Storage invites you to a Teacher’s Appreciation Yard Sale on Saturday, September 20 at 4901 E. Adamo Drive. from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Enjoy great food, live entertainment, & leave with a goodie bag plus more! Click here for the event flyer: TEACHER’S APPRECIATION

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Tampa Bay Technology Forum Hosts “Tech Trends Luncheon: A Panel of Security Experts”


Unauthorized intrusion, hacking, data security breach, internet fraud, spyware, vulnerabilities, phishing scams…headline fodder seen all too often these days. Consequently, the state of Information Technology Security is one of the most pressing concerns and frequently talked about aspects for information technology professionals today. TBTF’s Tech Trends has assembled a diverse panel of information security leaders who will come together to discuss the security challenges facing their organizations’ user experience and answer questions presented by the event moderator and those posed by the audience.

Click here for registration info and the event agenda.

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CareerSource Tampa Bay and Tampa Bay Technology Forum Seek Exhibitors for Tech Trek Career Fair

Tech Trek

The Tech Trek Career Fair is an innovative job fair that will attract 300 students from around the region including all Tampa Bay colleges, universities, and technical schools, to meet 30 businesses at one location in one day. This event will give students the opportunity to meet with multiple companies, learn about their culture, see the current internship and/or job opportunities available, and meet technology executives face-to-face. Exhibitors must have technology executives on-site for the students to be able to meet and ask questions.

Interested in exhibiting? Reserve your booth today!

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Port Tampa Bay Save the Dates – Steel Conference & Safety Summit

Tampa Steel Conference date saver 2015 (2)

Safety  Risk Mitigation Summit date saver 2015 (2)

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New Hires & Promotions

Thomas Howell Ferguson P.A. Promotes Chris Howell, CPA to Director, Assurance Services

Chris HowellThomas Howell Ferguson P.A., a professional accounting, assurance, and tax services firm headquartered in Tallahassee, congratulates Chris Howell on his recent promotion to Director, Assurance Services.

Chris has over 17 years of experience in providing assurance and consulting services to clients and employers primarily in the insurance industry.  He routinely plans, supervises, and directs multiple audits of insurance companies, their affiliates, and their parent companies.  He is instrumental in assisting clients with internal control and risk assessment, structuring reinsurance arrangements, regulatory compliance and communications, and resolution of accounting and financial reporting matters.

Chris is a native of Tallahassee and attended Florida State University where he received his Bachelor of Science in Finance.  He received his Master of Accountancy from the University of West Florida.

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Member Accolades

USF Entrepreneurship Program ranked 13th nationally

Small businesses are the engine of the U.S. economy, and according to rankings released by Entrepreneur magazine and the Princeton Review, the University of South Florida is one of the best at teaching its students to start new businesses.

USF’s graduate program is the only Florida university listed among the nation’s best entrepreneurship education programs. The graduate program is ranked No. 13 overall and is also the sixth-highest rated program among public universities.  It’s the eighth consecutive year the USF Center for Entrepreneurship has appeared on the Top 25 list.

Michael Fountain, founding director of the Tampa-based USF Center for Entrepreneurship, said the university’s program is exceptional because of its interdisciplinary program and hands-on learning opportunities. The center offers opportunities for graduate students in the fields of business, engineering, health sciences, and sustainability. Read more…

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About Tampa Bay Chamber

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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