Member Highlights: March 8 – 14, 2015


Inside this Week’s Member Highlights

Member News

Member Events

New Hires & Promotions

Member Accolades

Member News

Absolute Mobile Solutions Helps the Tampa Bay Water Bike Company Sail into the Open Market with a New Website and Branding

Capture- TB Water Bikes

Dan Fleishbein had a novel idea for a business. He wanted to create a service that took advantage of our amazing weather, involved the outdoors and capitalized on an emerging community of working professionals and residents in downtown Tampa. His venture, Tampa Bay Water Bike Company, gives customers the opportunity to ride the picturesque Hillsborough River in a safe, easy, and inexpensive way, on a water bike. With limited capital, Fleishbein needed to establish the Tampa Bay Water Bikes brand in an affordable but dynamic manner.

Tampa Bay Water Bikes tapped the talents of Absolute Mobile Solutions to produce a fun, colorful and visually-driven website to capture the spirit of water biking on the Hillsborough River. The new website features captivating photos of people riding water bikes past some of downtown Tampa’s most recognizable structures, including the Rivergate Tower, the Platt Street Bridge and the Tampa Bay Convention Center. Visitors to the website are enticed by the potential of viewing these iconic Tampa structures from a new perspective.  Information about water bike and biyak rentals are easy to find and customers can book sessions online.

Creating the new website was a part of the development of a comprehensive brand identity package for the Tampa Bay Water Bike Company. Absolute also produced the company’s logo along with several ads and promotional items. They also produced a style guide to help ensure the uniformity of future work.

“We love it when people have exciting ideas that improve the way in which our community comes together. We are proud to help Tampa Bay Water Bike Company bring their outstanding and innovative product to consumers,” said Alfred Goldberg, president of Absolute Mobile Solutions. “Dan and Amanda are great people who have created business that helps remind us why we love living in Tampa Bay.”

“The team at Absolute Mobile Solutions has proven to be an invaluable resource to us as we launch Tampa Bay Water Bike Company. Because we have a limited budget, getting the best bang for our buck is critical,” said Fleishbein. “The care they’ve taken in helping us build a great brand speaks volumes about their talent and professionalism.”

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Concorde Career Institute Offers Chamber Members 20 Percent Reduced Tuition

Concorde Career Institute – An Allied Health school would like to offer to all Chamber of Commerce organizations the opportunity for their staff, staff’s spouse, significant other, and/or dependent children to receive a reduced tuition of 20% on the following programs.

  • Nursing (Associates  Degree)
  • Respiratory Therapy (Associated Degree)
  • Surgical Technologist
  • Medical Assistant
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Medical Office Administrator
  • Dental Assistant

The reduced tuition is contingent upon approval of a signed partnership agreement between Concorde Career Institute and the organization.

For more information please contact Rod Kirkwood (Concorde Career Institute Campus President) at 813-314-2478, or

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Florida Poly Students Vote on Top Four Mascot Concepts

Florida Polytechnic University is one step closer to developing its official mascot. The school unveiled four final mascot concepts Monday afternoon, and hundreds of students will be voting on campus Tuesday beginning at noon for the mascot concept they like best.

The final concepts include:

  •  The Hydra: Inspired by Greek mythology, a four-headed serpent could represent the four STEM fields and the year 2014 when the University officially opened.
  • The Pioneers: A contemporary take on the concept would connote modern-day explorers, pioneers of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • The Technocats: A steampunk-style robotic feline, based in part on the Florida panther and in part on the school’s unofficial mascot, a local cat adopted by campus construction workers.
  • The Wizards: A version of the classic persona focused on problem solving, invention, and making the seemingly impossible a reality.

“Choosing just one of these designs will be tough – they all capture the spirit of Florida Poly and our commitment to innovation, problem-solving and creativity,” said University President Dr. Randy K. Avent. “Thankfully, the decision is in the hands of our capable student body.”

During the last several weeks, 20 #NextGreatMascot Concept Teams collaborated to develop and pitch mascot concepts, receiving expert advice and coaching along the way. Made up entirely of student volunteers, these Concept Teams even participated in a one-time, introductory “Design Thinking” course that immersed students in the constructs of problem definition, market research and creative production.

Concept Team volunteers were selected to participate in the initiative via a first-come, first-serve application open to the entire student body in January. Eighty-seven students responded, representing 16% of Florida Poly’s Inaugural Class.

“Florida Poly is dedicated to the principle of applied learning, and this mascot design challenge is one more way that we’re offering students hands-on, real-world problem solving opportunities,” said Director of Student Affairs Dr. Steven S. Warner. “The Concept Team volunteers have taken pride in developing a lasting legacy at Florida Poly and I think they’ve had a lot of fun doing it.”

Voting is the final step in the student-centered process to create Florida’s #NextGreatMascot.

The winning concept will be developed into finished artwork and will become Florida Poly’s official mascot, to be revealed during an on-campus celebration on April 22 at 10:30 a.m. in the Innovation, Science and Technology (IST) Building.

“A mascot is an important piece of our identity, something we’ll be known for,” said Jacob Livingston, a freshman studying Health Informatics and a member of the team who presented The Pioneers. “It serves two purposes: 1) recognition and 2) a symbol of what we represent. When people see our mascot, they’ll have an idea of what Florida Poly is and why we do what we do.”

To learn more about the top four mascot concepts and to see photos and videos of the concept presentations, visit Florida Poly’s Making of the #NextGreatMascot blog at You can also follow the conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #NextGreatMascot.

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OAI Becomes OAI Visual Branding

OAI announces a new tagline, Visual Branding, to support the company’s repositioning. With Visual Branding, OAI distinguishes itself as the preferred provider of products and services that drive attendance, deliver impressions, enhance experiences and increase sponsorship benefits for events, venues, teams and organizations.

oai“It’s an exciting time for our company as we now present ourselves as experts in Visual Branding. We have been providing our customers these benefits for 25 years and now through this new tagline we feel we can better communicate to clients the full scope of capabilities available to them through our services and products,” states Michael Garcia, Founder and President of OAI Inc.

Visual Branding products and services have been recognized for adding value to some of the world’s most well-known and respected organizations by increasing the memorability and enjoyment of their brands. OAI provides these benefits through a variety of high-quality products and services that are designed to efficiently convey a brand’s unique identity while increasing its impressions with visual communications that are powerful and consistent.

“Our first step in adopting this new positioning was rebranding our own facilities with signage and displays that reflect our new tagline. We also updated our marketing materials and website to showcase our Visual Branding capabilities. We look forward to speaking about these at some of the trade shows and conventions we’ll attend in the coming months,” said Allie Golden, Marketing Manager of OAI Inc.

OAI invites brands to learn more about the benefits of Visual Branding through a complimentary consultation regarding the best practices to achieve business and design objectives.

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Member Events

March 12: Neil Simon’s The Last of the Red Hot Lovers Opens at Stageworks Theatre

SusanHaldeman, GregThompson, ErinFoster, NatalieSymons

Neil Simon’s The Last of the Red Hot Lovers opens March 12 at Stageworks Theatre, a classic Simon comedy not often seen onstage these days.

The Last of the Red Hot Lovers finds a middle-aged man attempting to seduce three different strong-willed women, trying to spice up his very ordinary life.

It’s one of the last scripts Neil Simon wrote in a traditional three-act structure – not overlong, but each woman gets featured in her own act. And it’s one of the first scripts he wrote where the humor isn’t just for laughs, but explores character.


  • Greg Thompson
  • Natalie Symons
  • Erin Foster
  • Susan Haldeman

Directed by Georgia Mallory Guy

Photos by Caroline Jett

March 12 – 29 at Stageworks Theatre

Ticket information is at or 813-374-2416.

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March 13: Tampa Downtown Partnership’s 19th Annual Downtown Development Forum


The Downtown Development Forum focuses on the exploration of innovative ideas in urban development and serves as a catalyst for discussion and problem solving for major urban issues in Downtown.

This year’s program features:

Industry Updates & Forecasts

Representatives of some of the most important Downtown “industries” will give a “barometer” report of activities in their respective business sectors, in order to give us a picture of how each sector is performing and what we can expect in the near future in the following industries:

  •  Commercial Office: Andy May, Cushman & Wakefield
  • Residential: David Traynor, Smith & Associates
    Tourism/Hospitality: Greg Orchard & Patrick Harrison, Visit Tampa Bay     
  • Port Tampa Bay: Lane Ramsfield
  • Technology: Daniel James Scott

Love Where You Live: Creating Emotionally Engaging Places

Peter Kageyama, Author

TDP 4th Biennial Worker / Resident Study

Pat Hill, HCP Associates

Go Hillsborough: County Transportation Planning

Mike Merrill, Hillsborough County

Tampa Waterfront 2020: America’s First Crowdsourced Neighborhood

Bob Abberger, Strategic Property Partners, LLC

March 13, 2015 | Hilton Tampa Downtown Hotel – 211 N. Tampa Street   

Click Here to Register

Networking & Registration – 7:30 a.m.
Program & Continental Breakfast – 8:00 a.m. to Noon
Member Admission – $65 / Non-Member Admission – $75

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March 17 – 18: Solvability DCAA Compliant QuickBooks Boot Camp

DCAAQB Boot Camp Flyer j (2)

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March 19: Conversa Invites You to Attend Carly Fiorina’s UP Project Luncheon

WCOF Luncheon Invite_Individual_8-5X111 (2)

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March 19: Operation Helping Hand Monthly Dinner


This month’s Operation Helping Hand dinner will be on Thursday, March 19, 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 

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March 19: Solvability GovCon Webinar Series – Wrap Rates

Solvability GovCon Webinar Series (2)

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New Hires & Promotions

Jacklyn Massrock Promoted To BKS-Partners Benefits Director

Jacklyn Massrock (2)Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners (BKS-Partners), one of the largest independent insurance brokerage firms in Florida, announced the promotion of Jacklyn Massrock from Senior Benefits Consultant to Benefits Director.

“This position reflects the personal and professional growth Jacklyn has consistently delivered since joining the organization nine years ago,” said Elizabeth Krystyn, Founding Partner at BKS-Partners. “She has played a pivotal role in the Employee Benefits and Commercial Risk Management value propositions and has kept us all up to speed on the evolution of the Affordable Care Act.”

As Benefits Director, Jacklyn is responsible for the strategic planning and execution of our largest clients’ employee benefits programs. Jacklyn analyzes benefit plans, contribution strategies, eligibility, and client objectives to align client budgetary constraints within the context of their culture. In addition, she works closely with our ERISA attorney and actuary partners to develop long-term strategies for our clients in light of Healthcare Reform.

“As a founding colleague, I’ve watched BKS grow and am so proud of what we’ve accomplished and what we have ahead of us. I genuinely love what I do,” said Jacklyn Massrock, Benefits Director. “Our colleagues are an extension of my family. We collectively celebrate each other’s successes and support each other when we are faced with a challenge, both professionally and personally.”

Jacklyn’s expertise includes:

  • Analyzing benefit plans, contribution strategies, eligibility, and client objectives to align client budgetary constraints within the context of their culture
  • Projecting renewal action through analysis of premium versus claim experience, benchmarking data and market trends
  • Analyzing and negotiating renewals for both fully insured and self-funded accounts
  • Managing stewardship calendar and client deliverables, as well as monitor compliance and regulatory issues

Jacklyn Massrock may be reached at 813.984.3207 or

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Englander Fischer Hires New Marketing Coordinator

L MacKay Head ShotThe law firm of Englander Fischer LLP is pleased to announce that Lauren MacKay has joined their team as Marketing Coordinator. MacKay graduated from Florida State University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing. She moved to the St. Petersburg area in June 2014 after serving as Marketing Coordinator for a land developer in Brandon, Florida. In addition to her role with Englander Fischer, Lauren is actively involved in the yoga community of the downtown St. Petersburg area.

“I am looking forward to bringing new ideas to the table for Englander Fischer for 2015,” says MacKay. “I am very pleased to be a part of this successful team, and hope to further our success even more through our marketing efforts.”

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Member Accolades

Thomas Howell Ferguson P.A. CPAs Congratulates Team Members on Major Accomplishments

Thomas Howell Ferguson P.A. CPAs Congratulates Canita Peterson on Being Named One of Florida’s Top 10 Public Accounting Professionals

Thomas Howell Ferguson P.A., a professional accounting, assurance, and tax services firm headquartered in Canita Peterson - WebTallahassee, congratulates Canita Peterson on being recognized by the National Academy of Public Accounting Professionals (NAPAP) as one of the Top 10 Public Accounting Professionals in Florida for 2014. The individuals selected by NAPAP for this prestigious list have demonstrated an extraordinary amount of knowledge, skill, experience, expertise, and success in their field.

In order to qualify for the NAPAP’s Top 10 list, accountants must first be nominated by a licensed practicing accountant or client. The NAPAP processing committee selects a portion of these nominated accountants to advance to the final selection stage based on their license status, number of nominations, certifications, publications, awards, years of experience, and areas of expertise. The NAPAP Board of Governors constructs the final list, selecting CPAs whose desire for continuing education, peer and client reviews, and demonstrated leadership abilities are truly exceptional.

Canita is a Shareholder and Director of the firm’s Tax Services Department. She has over twenty years of experience in providing consulting, tax, and accounting services to clients in a variety of industries. She is a current board member of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Board of Directors for First Commerce Credit Union, and the immediate Past Chair for the Tallahassee Downtown Re-Development Commission.

Winston Howell, Managing Shareholder at Thomas Howell Ferguson, states, “Early on in her career, Canita emerged as a leader in the field of public accounting. Since then, she has donated her time to support other organizations within our community while continuing to positively influence our accounting profession. While we are proud of all that she has accomplished, it is gratifying to see her talent recognized at a statewide level by a national organization.”

Thomas Howell Ferguson Congratulates Michael Kalifeh on his Appointment to the Tallahassee Market Advisory Board for Hancock Bank

Michael Kalifeh - WebThomas Howell Ferguson P.A. (THF), a professional accounting, assurance, and tax services firm headquartered in Tallahassee, announces that Michael Kalifeh has been appointed to the Tallahassee market advisory board for Hancock Bank.

Michael, along with the other six new members to the advisory board, join the four current advisory board members consisting of Karen Moore, Sean Pittman, Dave Ramsey, and Ken Stafford – leaders in the banking, legal, and marketing industries.

A graduate of Leadership Tallahassee Class 29 and shareholder with Thomas Howell Ferguson P.A., Michael has approximately eleven years of accounting experience in providing tax compliance and consulting services to corporate, partnership, not-for-profit, trust, and individual clients.  In addition to being a CPA, he is also certified as an expert in sales and use tax in Florida, holding the CFST designation (Certified in Florida Sales and Use Tax), which is sponsored by the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA) and authorized by the Florida Department of Revenue.

Michael also serves the community as the Secretary/Treasurer for the Board of Governors with the Governor’s Club.  Additionally, he is a board member for the not-for-profit organization Lee’s Place.

Emory L. Mayfield, Jr., Hancock Bank market president, states, “We are honored to have some of the best leaders in our region representing Hancock Bank.”

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About Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce 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.