Member Highlights: May 24 – 30, 2015

Inside this Week’s Member Highlights

Member News

New Hires & Promotions

Member Accolades

Member News

Save the Date: 2016 Florida State Fair

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The Omnia Group Launches The Omnia Cognitive Assessment


Omnia Group is excited to announce our biggest product launch of the year, The Omnia Cognitive Assessment.  Learn more here:

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Thomas Howell Ferguson donates to the Florida State University, College of Business, The Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center

Bill Ferguson, Shareholder, Thomas Howell Ferguson Lorilee Medders, Director, Florida State University, College of Business, The Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center

Bill Ferguson, Shareholder, Thomas Howell Ferguson
Lorilee Medders, Director, Florida State University, College of Business, The Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center

Thomas Howell Ferguson P.A., a leading accounting firm within the insurance industry, has made a donation to the Florida State University, College of Business, The Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center. Each year Thomas Howell Ferguson in partnership with the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center hosts the annual Insurance Conference on Financial Reporting. All proceeds from the conference are donated to The Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center.

Thomas Howell Ferguson’s unique partnership with The Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center provides an opportunity to support the insurance industry with educational updates on the current market. The annual Insurance Conference on Financial Reporting is the premier accounting and finance conference in the southeast, with attendees earning continuing professional education credits. Topics include legislative updates for insurance companies doing business in the Southeast, the state of the insurance and capital markets, reinsurance market update, catastrophic loss modeling, and statutory and GAAP update.

This year’s conference will be held October 7-8, 2015 at The Alfond Inn, Winter Park, FL.  The Conference offers unparalleled opportunities to stay abreast of changes that impact the activities and financial reporting of insurance companies and to network with others within the insurance industry.

“The conference has become a key source of up-to-date information for insurance industry accounting and finance professionals,” said Bill Ferguson, a founding shareholder of Thomas Howell Ferguson P.A.  “The sessions are relevant to the issues impacting them.  Additionally, the conference provides important networking opportunities that allow attendees to gather practical insights from their contemporaries on the issues impacting their company’s financial and regulatory reporting.”

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Chamber Member Company NOW HIRING

Southern Strategy Group Seeks Office Manager

Job Responsibilities Summary: Provide administrative support to lobbyists, assist with various administrative tasks, and coordinate social media efforts

Click here to view the job description.

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New Hires & Promotions

Elevate, Inc. Welcomes New Team Members

Ash HeadshotAshleigh Anderson was born and raised in the tenacious city of Tampa, Florida and has a passion for her community. Attending Jefferson High School of International Studies in the heart of the Westshore Business District, Ashleigh was actively involved in the Mayor’s Youth Corps, Student Government, the Law and Criminal Justice Program, and graduated in the Top 20 of her class. Post graduation, Ashleigh now attends the Florida State University where she is majoring in Political Science and Economics with aspirations of graduating the Spring of 2018.

Upon attending Florida State University, Ashleigh has enjoyed a wealth of opportunities and organizations. Becoming FSU’s Miss Black Student Union (2015-­2016), an Undergraduate Studies Senator, and a member of the Student Alumni Association are just a few of her many accomplishments. Ashleigh’s passion and drive for equality among the entire student body is what compels her to be a contributing member of not only her campus but society as well.

She hopes to bring her passion and determination to Elevate Inc and help Learn, Connect, and Grow in and around the Tampa community! Follow Ashleigh on Twitter @AshAtElevate and see how she is #HelpingOurCity.

Robert HeadshotRobert Danco, a PR and Communications Assistant for Elevate, Inc. is a new member of #TeamElevate. He is an energetic and ambitious young professional studying Global Business at Georgetown University. As a Tampa native, he is very excited to be working with a company so dedicated to supporting the Tampa Bay community.

A sophomore in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown, Robert is dedicated to seeing the world and looks forward to travelling abroad soon. At school, he is the Press and Journalism Director of No Labels Georgetown, one of the political groups on campus. He also serves as a Peer Mentor in the Dean’s Office to younger students.

Robert is an upbeat individual with a track record of hard work and love of the Tampa Bay area, and looks forward to bringing all of that to his time with Elevate, Inc.

You can follow Robert on Twitter at @RobertatElevate.

Katie HeadshotKatie Rockman, a PR & Communications assistant at Elevate, Inc., is proud to be a new member of#TeamElevate. She is an enthusiastic young professional who is currently pursuing a Communications degree and Marketing minor at The University of Tampa.

Katie is a Tampa native whose love for the city has grown exponentially since she began her education at UT three years ago. She is involved with the UT community, by being a member of different campus organizations and an executive member of her sorority. She has a passion for event planning and always seizes the opportunity to meet new people. Katie loves to travel and experience different cultures meanwhile she will always call sunny Florida her home.

With prior customer service experience, Katie enjoys communicating with clients and figuring out how she can help. Like many other young professionals, she is active on social media and likes finding out what is trending.  Katie is excited to put her skills to work at Elevate, Inc. and start spreading the word about how #TampaHasSwagger

Follow Katie’s journey with #TeamElevate on Twitter @KatieRAtElevate.

Maddie HeadshotMaddie Peek, a new PR & Communications Assistant with Elevate, Inc. is a very goal-oriented and motivated individual. A native of Tampa, Maddie is very excited to work with young professionals in a field she is passionate about in and around the Tampa Bay community. Although dedicated to her work, Maddie keeps the tone of a fast-paced work environment very light-hearted.

Currently a junior at Texas Christian University, located in Fort Worth, TX, Maddie is studying Strategic Communication with a minor in Spanish. With intent to graduate May 2016, Maddie is ecstatic to be coming back to Tampa where she grew up. With a heavy participation in Greek life, Maddie loves to be involved in the community and is looking forward to developing strong relationships with other professionals in the Tampa area. With wide areas of interest from sports to music and theatre, Maddie can’t wait to tackle another challenge.

This summer Maddie will be working with Elevate, Inc. to create social media and online content, as well as working with other Elevate, Inc. team members to become more involved in the Tampa community. She can be reached through her twitter handle @MaddieatElevate. Maddie is excited to become involved and give back to the city and community that has given her so much throughout her lifetime.

Diandra HeadshotDiandra Proctor, PR & Communications Assistant, is eager to commence her marketing strategy career with Elevate Inc. Embracing life and conquering obstacles with hard work, dedication and a smile, she is ready to bring additional results and passion to Elevate Inc.’s company and clients.

After being reared in Baltimore, Maryland, Diandra matriculated at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising and a minor in Communication Studies. While earning her Bachelor degree, she was elected and served on numerous executive boards as the director of public relations of United Students, treasurer and secretary of Modista Fashion Group, and project developer of Provost Leadership Academy.

She is currently pursuing her Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing at The University of Tampa. In addition to her studies, she has interned as a replenishment data analyst at Follett in Chicago, IL, and Visual Coordinator at HSN, Inc. in St. Petersburg, FL.

Diandra is ecstatic to be apart of #TeamElevate and is looks forward to #HelpingOurCity to highlight how much #TampaHasSwagger!

Please follow Diandra on Twitter @DiAtElevate.

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Member Accolades

Absolute Mobile Solutions Recognized for Excellence in Website and App Design by the 2015 American Business Awards

Stevie AwardAbsolute Mobile Solutions, a Tampa digital marketing agency that specializes in responsive website design and mobile applications, is proud to announce that they have been recognized as a finalist for the 2015 American Business Awards, also known as the Stevie Awards, for their work on the Florida Holocaust Museum website and RINFOU app. Both entries will be recognized as a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Stevie® Award winner at awards ceremonies for websites on Monday, June 22 in Chicago and mobile apps on Friday, September 11 in San Francisco.

More than 3,300 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories, including Startup of the Year, Executive of the Year, Best New Product or Service of the Year, Marketing Campaign of the Year, Live Event of the Year, and Human Resources Department of the Year, among others.  Absolute’s work on the Florida Holocaust Museum’s website redesign is nominated in the websites for non-profit organizations category. Absolute’s work on the RINFOU app is nominated for social app category.

The award-winning website ( features an engaging design with specific emphasis on making the museum’s offerings easily accessible. Along with information about the museum’s exhibits and events, the new website also serves as one of the most comprehensive resources for those wanting to learn about the Holocaust as well as other acts of human injustice. Education is a key part of the Florida Holocaust Museum’s mission and the website fulfills it with enhanced registration systems for group tours and their educational trunk program.

RINFOU was created to give people a fun and easy way to connect with those who are in close proximity to them that have a shared interest. To get started, users create a profile that’s centered on the statement, “I Am Looking For”. They may respond by selecting from the following categories, Activities, Employment, Dating, Roommates and Classifieds. Each category features a number of subcategories to further pinpoint what you are looking for. Through GPS technology, users may receive a list of people in their local area who share the same interest and options for contacting them. The RINFOU app is designed to put the people, places and opportunities that enhance your life at your fingertips.

“This is a tremendous honor and a testament to the hard work that our team puts in on a daily basis,” said Alfred Goldberg, president of Absolute Mobile Solutions. “We are proud of our work on The Florida Holocaust Museum website and the RINFOU app and it’s great to be recognized by the American Business Awards.”

“So many fascinating and inspiring stories of success were submitted to the ABAs this year,” said Stevie Awards president and founder Michael Gallagher.  “We congratulate all of our 2015 Finalists on their achievements.”

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Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, Fisher & Phillips, and GrayRobinson Attorneys Recognized in Chambers USA 2015

Nine Tampa-Based Attorneys Recognized Among America’s Leading Business Lawyers in 2015 Chambers USA

Nine Tampa-based Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney attorneys were selected by their clients and peers for inclusion among America’s Leading Business Lawyers in the 2015 edition of Chambers USA. Additionally, the firm’s Florida practices that were ranked include Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 2), Healthcare (Band 4), Immigration (Band 3), Labor & Employment (Band 3), Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use (Band 2) and Tax (Band 2).

Chambers identifies and ranks the world’s best lawyers (i.e., those who perform best according to the criteria most valued by clients – such as technical knowledge, business acumen, prompt delivery, value for money). Law firms and individual lawyers are ranked in bands from 1-6, with 1 being the best. Ratings are assessed based on thousands of confidential, in-depth, face-to-face and telephone interviews with law firms, clients, colleagues and competitors.

Those recognized out of the firm’s Tampa office include:

Cathy Beveridge – Labor & Employment (Band 2)

John Emmanuel – Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 2)

William Flynn – Immigration (Band 1)

Mitchell Horowitz – Tax (Band 2)

Rhea Law – Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use (Band 2)

Ron Noble – Environment (Band 3)

Hala Sandridge – Litigation: Appellate (Band 2)

Scott Underwood – Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 4)

Edward Waller – Healthcare (Band 2)

About the Firm
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC ( brings true partnership to our clients. We understand the service and partnership attributes our clients most value and have formalized a model for consistently achieving them. The firm has more than 530 attorneys and government relations professionals practicing throughout the United States, with offices in 19 cities in California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings and Tampa Attorneys Highly Ranked in 2015 Chambers USA Guide

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP is pleased to announce that five attorneys and two practice areas in the firm’s Tampa office have been highly ranked in the 2015 edition of Chambers USA, the prestigious, independent referral directory of the legal industry. Across all of the firm’s offices, 78 attorneys were ranked for 2015.

London-based Chambers and Partners annually ranks the leading U.S. firms and attorneys based on in-depth research and client and peer interviews. Individual attorneys are evaluated on their legal knowledge and experience, ability and effectiveness, and client service. The Chambers USA guide is widely read by industry-leading companies and organizations across the nation.

Chambers ranked Bradley Arant Boult Cummings as one of the top firms in Florida for Bankruptcy/Restructuring and Corporate/M&A & Private Equity.

Attorneys in the firm’s Tampa office ranked among the leading lawyers for business in Florida are:

  • Sharon Docherty Danco (Corporate/M&A & Private Equity)
  • Robert B. Glenn (Bankruptcy/Restructuring)
  • Mark A. Hanley (Labor & Employment)
  • Robert C. Rasmussen (Corporate/M&A & Private Equity)
  • Edwin G. Rice (Bankruptcy/Restructuring)

About Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP ( serves emerging businesses; established regional, national, and international companies; and individuals. Our offices—strategically located in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia—provide an extensive geographic base from which to best accommodate our clients. Recognized across the country, our attorneys serve as national, regional, and statewide counsel for clients across many industries. Clients rely on Bradley Arant Boult Cummings attorneys for innovative legal services that reflect a detailed understanding of their business goals.

The firm’s attorneys serve clients in matters pertaining to antitrust, appellate, arbitration, banking, bankruptcy, construction, corporate and securities, complex business litigation, class actions, economic development, emerging business and technology, employee benefits, energy and natural resources, entertainment, environmental, family-owned businesses, financial services litigation, government affairs, government contracts, healthcare, insurance, intellectual property, labor and employment, life sciences, mediation, medical malpractice, pharmaceutical, private companies, professional liability, product liability, real estate, tax, utilities, and white-collar criminal defense law.

Two Fisher & Phillips Attorneys in Tampa Ranked Among Top in Chambers USA 2015

Fisher & Phillips LLP announced that two partners in the Tampa office, Steve Bernstein and Theresa Gallion, are featured in Chambers USA 2015 for Labor and Employment Law. The firm is ranked as one of the top labor and employment law firms in the United States.

Each year, Chambers USA publishes a list of the top law firms and attorneys across the United States. It determines rankings through thousands of in-depth interviews with randomly selected attorneys, clients, and businesses.

Steve Bernstein, managing partner in the Tampa office, has represented employers throughout the United States in a traditional labor practice for more than 25 years. He advises clients on union-related matters and compliance with the NLRA, the WARN Act, USERRA, FMLA and the ADA. He places an emphasis on implementing preventive employee relations programs that include supervisory training and effective human resources policies and procedures. Bernstein has been listed in Chambers USA since 2011.

Theresa Gallion, partner in the Tampa office, has more than 30 years of practice as a labor and employment attorney, representing clients in a wide variety of industries, with particular emphasis on hospitality, healthcare, education, retail and telecommunications. She is one of the firm’s most experienced trial lawyers, and has successfully tried more than 40 jury trials in employment cases. A substantial portion of her practice is devoted to management training on such topics as equal employment opportunity, diversity, and management skills. Gallion has been featured in Chambers USA since 2003.

Bernstein and Gallion are among the firm’s 44 attorneys nationwide featured in Chambers USA 2015. In addition, the firm’s Florida offices in Tampa, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale were ranked among the top labor and employment law firms in the state.

About Fisher & Phillips LLP (

Fisher & Phillips LLP is a law firm committed to taking a practical, businesslike approach to solving labor and employment problems for employers. Labor and employment law is all the firm does, offering deep and broad knowledge and experience in the area of the law the attorneys know best. Fisher & Phillips attorneys help clients avoid legal problems, are dedicated to providing exceptional client service, and are there when you need them. The firm has 300 attorneys in 31 offices. In addition to Tampa, the offices are in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Gulfport, Houston, Irvine, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Memphis, New Jersey, New Orleans, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

Chambers USA Recognizes 24 GrayRobinson Attorneys and 7 Practice Areas

Chambers USA 2015 released their rankings today, and among the firm’s twenty-four ranked attorneys and 7 ranked practice areas, Richard Blau, Elizabeth DeConti and Grace Yang of our Tampa office were ranked nationally for their Food & Beverages: Alcohol practice area, and Frank Fleischer and George Spofford, also in our Tampa office, were ranked in Florida for Banking & Finance: Public Finance and Construction (see below).



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Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections is First Elections Office to Earn Prestigious Governor’s Sterling Award

Sterling AwardAn organization’s vision is meant to be lofty—a means of inspiration. But Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer is serious about his team’s vision.

“Our vision is to be the best place in America to vote. And today, as the first Supervisor of Elections to earn the Governor’s Sterling Award, we received recognition that shows we’re working toward our vision in a meaningful way,” said Supervisor Latimer.

The Florida Sterling Council, endorsed by the Governor’s office and the National Baldrige Program, uses a rigorous series of performance criteria to assess organizations who wish to serve as statewide role models.

“I pursued the Governor’s Sterling Award to show voters that I take their trust seriously. This was a verifiable way to demonstrate that our elections meet the absolute highest standards of excellence,” said Supervisor Latimer.

Sterling examiners spent a week interviewing employees and observing how the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Office does business. The examiners then spent more time analyzing the organization and comparing the office’s processes and results to other organizations in the public and private sector.

“We proved to the Sterling Council that we have sustainable processes and measurements in place that will lead to continued success and improvement. We have never had a better foundation to meet whatever challenges come our way, and to exceed Hillsborough County’s expectations for elections,” said Supervisor Latimer.

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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.