Member Highlights: June 7 – 13, 2015


Inside this Week’s Member Highlights

Member News

Member Events

New Hires & Promotions

Member Accolades

Member News

Absolute Mobile Solutions’ Alfred Goldberg Provides Expert Advice to Budding Entrepreneurs at 2015 Startup Surge

Absolute Mobile Solutions president Alfred Goldberg will offer his knowledge of understanding and promoting your value proposition to emerging entrepreneurs at Startup Surge 2015. The event will take place on Friday, June 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the First WaVE Venture Center (400 N. Ashley Drive, second floor, Tampa, FL 33602).

Startup Surge is hosted by Tampa Bay WaVE and gives new tech startup owners the opportunity to receive guidance from Tampa Bay’s prominent technology and business experts. Attendees may sign-up for 20-minute one-on-one sessions and receive advice on a variety of topics, including idea validation, fundraising, and branding.

Goldberg will draw on his personal experiences in demonstrating why it is vital to have a solid understanding of your company’s value proposition before attempting to market their products. He will give examples of the challenges he faced in correctly identifying Absolute’s value proposition and answer any questions that will guide attendees to the correct path for their own businesses.

“Entrepreneurs face many challenges when establishing their startups, but one of the most important decisions they can make is putting a proper value on their products or services,” said Goldberg. “In the beginning, it’s critical to do your homework to determine the value that consumers place on your work.”

“We are thrilled that Alfred will be lending his experiences and expertise to Startup Surge again this year,” said Linda Olson, president of Tampa Bay WaVE. “His knowledge of technology and entrepreneurship is invaluable for attendees and makes this one of the most popular events we host each year.

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DCE Productions Establishes New Corporate Headquarters and Audio Visual Staging, Creative Production Facility

DCE Productions, a Tampa-based audio visual staging and event production company, has re-located its corporate headquarters and expanded its business operations to include a new state-of-the-art staging and production facility. The new facility houses sales, production and technical teams, as well as 10,000 plus square feet of warehouse and office space.

As part of this expansion, DCE Productions has named industry veteran Wallace L. Johnson as president. Mr. Johnson brings more than 15 years of hotel and event production management experience, and in this new position he oversees business operations and creative services. Mr. Johnson most recently served as general manager with Freeman Audio Visual and previously spent twelve years at AVI-SPL where he was vice president of operations for the Hotel and Event Services division.

“The merging of digital media with live event production has created demand for a new generation of audio visual production services,” said Paul Harris, CEO of DCE Productions. “Our investment in people, facilities and equipment positions DCE Productions to deliver a much wider range of solutions and world-class events of all sizes and scale.”

DCE Productions has also added Steve Kyler as vice president of technology. Bringing more than 20 years of advanced technology experience, Steve oversees the DCE Productions Digital Solutions group, including web streaming, digital signage, and custom IT services designed and tailored to events.

Other key staff additions in April and May at DCE Productions include a team of account executives, project managers, digital media and event producers, technical event specialists and key operations support positions.

“It’s rewarding to see DCE Productions’ explosive growth,” said Company Director Andy Hafer. “These recent expansions support our vision for a better class of audio visual production service, and we look forward to serving corporate and non-profit organizations both locally and nationwide.”

About DCE Productions
DCE Productions was founded in 2012 to help event managers elevate the audio visual production quality of conferences and special events. The company has expanded its product portfolio to include video production, full-service event production and digital solutions including webcasting, digital signage and advanced IT solutions. DCE Productions delivers events nationwide, and is headquartered in Tampa. For more information, see

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Florida Poly MERIT Summer Program Offers Intensive, Hands-On Learning


High school students participating in Florida Poly’s third annual Medical Engineering and Robotics in Innovation (MERIT) program have a firsthand look at a solar panel during a discussion on renewable energy.

The Medical Engineering and Robotics Innovation for Tomorrow (MERIT) summer program has returned to Florida Polytechnic University for a third year, offering 14 area high school participants an intensive hands-on learning experience in health informatics, nanotechnology, renewable energy, surgical robotics and other high-demand industries using advanced technology. Participants have the opportunity to program robots, use 3D printers, take field trips and conduct research on a topic of their choice.

The University has partnered with All Saints Academy, Lakeland Regional Health, The PUR Clinic, WellDyne and Winter Haven Hospital for the four-week evening program, which started June 1 at the Florida Poly campus. The sponsoring institutions are contributing their time, talent and skills to the immersive three-hour sessions, which take place twice weekly. Students receive specialized instruction and gain firsthand experience from University faculty and industry leaders in medicine, engineering, renewable energy and robotics.

“An interactive science experience like MERIT ensures that students are active and engaged learners. They are able to experience high-tech innovations with real-world applications,” said Dr. Susan LeFrancois, Assistant Professor of Science and Logistics at Florida Poly and lead organizer of the annual summer program. “MERIT will be offering these students, as it has every year, an incredible experience in STEM education.”

“We are pleased to be able to offer this unique program that educates and inspires students to learn and achieve in STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The program maximizes learning through hands-on, individualized instruction with outstanding faculty,” said Dr. Ghazi Darkazalli, Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost at Florida Polytechnic University.

Each session of the MERIT program covers a different topic in advanced technology, engineering and medicine, including:

  • “Design and Rapid Prototyping with Tinkercad and Makerbot®” – Students gain hands-on experience using 3D printers and software;
  • “Innovation in Cancer Therapy” – Oncologists explain cancer therapy and offer students experience using scanners and therapy in a simulated experience;
  • “Robotics Lab/Surgery” – Physicians discuss high-tech surgery and allow students to operate the CT and MRI scanning equipment as well as the da Vinci® Robot used in surgery.

All participants get to keep the functional Boe-Bot (robot) that they are expected to assemble, program and demonstrate at the MERIT program. They also receive a certificate of completion from sponsoring institutions.

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JLL Completes 11,722SF Office Lease for CliftonLarsonAllen

JLL (NYSE: JLL) announces the completion of an 11,722-square-foot office lease on behalf of CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, a professional services firm delivering integrated wealth advisory, outsourcing, and public accounting capabilities with nearly 4,000 employees in 90 U.S. locations that is relocating its regional office from Tampa’s Westshore submarket to the Central Business District.  Located at 201 North Franklin St. in the heart of downtown, Tampa City Center is a 750,000-square-foot, Class A building with water and city views and retail amenities.

JLL Senior Vice President Gary Godsey and Vice President John Heald represented the tenant CliftonLarsonAllen, while Cushman & Wakefield’s Senior Director James Moler and Director Barry Oaks represented Tampa City Center.

“Our JLL team worked closely with CliftonLarsonAllen to find an office space located in a premier location with access to a number of amenities for employees to enjoy,” said John Heald of JLL. “We’re starting to see more professional services companies interested in relocating to downtown Tampa where their employees can benefit from a live, work and play environment.”

According to JLL’s first quarter Office Insight Report, the Tampa CBD is making a strong comeback, nearing a 10-year low in the vacancy rates for Class A office space. The research highlights that increased asking rates are currently nearing all-time highs ranging from $28 to $30 per square foot due to increased demand and positive absorption of office space.

“The JLL team really understood our needs and goals, and secured a high quality space in a prime location that aligned with our great culture,” said Jack Rybicki, Principal at CliftonLarsonAllen. “Tampa City Center will offer our employees greater access to our clients, as well as the outstanding amenities downtown Tampa has to offer.”

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The Tampa Bay Trust Company Adds Craddock Expanding Business in Central Florida

The Tampa Bay Trust Company announced today the acquisition and merger of Craddock Family Office, Inc., of Winter Haven, Florida.  The strategic merger is designed to broaden The Trust Company’s presence in Central Florida, while providing additional support and depth of resources to both firms’ clientele.

Hood Craddock, CPA, founder of Craddock Family Office, Inc., will serve as Executive Vice President and Director of Family Office Services for The Tampa Bay Trust Company and its offices in Sanibel-Captiva, Naples and its newest location of Winter Haven. Craddock specializes in formulating wealth strategies for high net worth clients, often with significant land and agricultural assets. His responsibilities will also include overseeing multi-family office execution, comprised of counsel in business succession, wealth transfer, tax analysis and advice, family education, philanthropic giving and business development. 

Prior to founding his company in 2011, Craddock served as president of Latt Maxcy Corporation in Lake Wales, Florida where he was responsible for operating results in the areas of investments, citrus, cattle and real estate. He also worked as a partner at KPMG Peat Marwick in Tampa and New York City. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama and is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and Florida Institute of CPAs.

“The addition of Hood to the team provides a significant added benefit for client families with complex special assets and estate planning needs,” said Terence M. Igo, President, The Tampa Bay Trust Company. “Our two firms share a holistic perspective and commitment to an exceptional client experience, which is designed to assist our clients in achieving their life’s goals.”

Craddock will retain his office location in Winter Haven, working primarily between there and The Tampa Bay Trust Company offices, and will serve clients more broadly throughout the state depending upon their needs.

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Member Events

July 5: Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful After Fireworks Cleanup

After enjoying our time celebrating America’s birthday with picnics, libations and sparklers, the time comes when we must clean up after the party. Join your fellow Tampa Bay residents in helping to protect our waterways from becoming an explosion of unsightly litter with cleanups at Courtney Campbell Causeway and Cypress Point Park. For more information visit or contact with the Subject line: Fireworks Cleanup.

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June 18: Operation Helping Hand Monthly Dinner


This month’s Operation Helping Hand dinner will be on Thursday, June 18, 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 or 

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New Hires & Promotions

Jessica Muroff Named New CEO of Girl Scouts of West Central Florida

HeadshotThe Girl Scouts of West Central Florida (GSWCF) Board of Directors is pleased to introduce Jessica Muroff as the council’s new chief executive officer, effective July 1, 2015.

“I am pleased that we have found such an outstanding individual to lead Girl Scouts of West Central Florida into the future,” remarked Board President, Felecia Gilmore-Long. “Jessica is the right person at the right time for our organization. Her admirable track record and visionary leadership will be invaluable as we work to fulfill our mission as the premier leadership experience for girls in ways that are relevant, engaging and meaningful.”

The CEO search process to find our next leader began in January 2015 and culminated with a recommendation to the board in late May. A total of 141 local and national executive professionals from a variety of backgrounds expressed interest in the position and were narrowed down to 27 candidates for initial interviews. After an extensive vetting process 5 candidates were presented to the CEO Selection Committee for final interviews.

The CEO Selection Committee, comprising of current and former board members, past board presidents, and operational volunteers, was enthusiastic in its nomination of Muroff as the board unanimously approved the nomination.

Muroff exhibits a strong combination of nonprofit executive experience with corporate experience, and exceptional leadership skills. She is coming to us from Frameworks of Tampa Bay, Inc. where she served as CEO for the past two years; and was previously the organization’s director of marketing and communications. Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, Muroff was an account services and marketing manager at Raymond James Financial, Inc., director of marketing at Saks Fifth Avenue, and an account executive at Roberts Communications.

“It is a tremendous honor to be selected to serve as the CEO of the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. I’m thrilled to be joining the preeminent leadership development organization for girls in our community,” said Jessica Muroff.

As the CEO of Frameworks of Tampa Bay since 2013, Muroff successfully grew the revenue base, significantly increased total number of youth served from 981 to over 4,000, developed new partnerships and increased community recognition and awareness of Frameworks’ important mission of developing the social and emotional skills of youth in our community.

An active member of the community, Muroff has served as a board member for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy and the Ophelia Project. Recently, she was appointed by the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners to serve as a member of their Anti-Bullying Advisory Committee. She is a founding member of Emerge Tampa Bay, a networking and volunteer organization for young professionals.

For her outstanding leadership in business and community involvement, Muroff has received several significant awards from the Tampa Bay Business Journal which include Young Business Women of the Year of 2005 and Up & Comers Hall of Fame in 2013. She was also awarded the Deanne Dewey Roberts Emerging Leader Award from the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce in 2014.

A Girl Scout from west central Florida as a girl, Muroff is a graduate from the University of South Florida with a M.A. in Secondary English Education and B.A. in Mass Communications with a minor in International Studies. She lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband, Michael, an architect, and their daughters Danica, 9, and Alexandra, 7. With a passion for writing, in her free time Muroff runs a parenting blog called The Be Present Project.

“The Girl Scouts have had a lasting and life-changing impact on girls for more than 100 years, and it is my vision to guide and inspire us to continue to be the high-impact, relevant, and innovative organization dedicated to the advancement of girls,” adds Muroff.

Girl Scouts of West Central Florida (GSWCF) serves nearly 19,500 girls and nearly 8,500 adult members in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sumter counties. GSWCF receives funding from the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and area United Way agencies. Did you know that more than 53% of all women business owners are Girl Scout alumnae? For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, visit or call (800) 881-4475.

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Member Accolades

Tampa Law Firm Bush Ross, P.A. Shareholder Elected President of TBBBA

020-Alpert(Print)Bush Ross Shareholder Adam Alpert was recently elected President of the Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association (TBBBA) and was installed on June 4, 2015.

The TBBBA provides its members with necessary and up-to-date information related to
their representation of debtors, creditors and trustees within their respective bankruptcy
practices. Members of the TBBBA also take on special projects to assist debtors in our
community and facilitate positive change within the court system.

Mr. Alpert has been actively involved in the TBBBA for several years. He has served on
the Board of Directors since 2010 and has served as Treasurer and Vice President.

Mr. Alpert’s practice focuses on the representation of debtors, secured and unsecured
creditors, and trustees in Chapter 11 reorganizations and Chapter 7 liquidations. Mr.
Alpert regularly represents distressed companies, unsecured creditors’ committees, and
purchasers of assets in all aspects of bankruptcy. Mr. Alpert is Board Certified in
Business Bankruptcy Law by the American Board of Certification, accredited by The
Florida Bar.

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Five Greenberg Traurig Tampa Shareholders Recognized in 2015 Chambers USA Guide

International law firm Greenberg Traurig announced that five Tampa attorneys have been recognized in the 2015 Chambers USA Guide.

According to its website, Chambers and Partners, publisher of the annual Guide, selects attorneys and practice areas for inclusion based on thousands of interviews with practicing lawyers and clients around the world. Attorneys and practice areas are ranked by placement in “bands,” with Band 1 being the highest placement. Attorneys can also be designated as a “Senior Statesman,” “Star Individual,” “Eminent Practitioner,” “Up and Coming,” or “Associate to Watch.” Practice areas are ranked by market as well as nationally.

Two Tampa attorneys were listed as “Star Individuals” in the 2015 Chambers guide: Richard C. McCrea, Jr., Labor & Employment Practice Group Shareholder in the Tampa office; and Tampa shareholder Peter W. Zinober, Co-Chair of the firm’s Global Labor & Employment Practice Group, and Co-Chair of its Global Human Capital Solutions Practice Group.

Greenberg Traurig Tampa attorneys ranked by Chambers and their practice areas:


Statewide, Greenberg Traurig had 55 Florida attorneys and 12 Florida practice groups listed in the 2015 Chambers guide. Firm-wide, more than 180 attorneys are listed. The official rankings were announced May 19.

In addition to the individual rankings, Chambers and Partners ranks practice areas. The 12 following Greenberg Traurig practice areas received “Band” placement in the Florida rankings:

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IAT, Inc. VP Jeff Chernoff Named Top Advisor Under 40 by the Florida State Association of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors

10407188_10153471203175815_1571839229783206946_nJeff Chernoff was recently selected as a Top Advisor Under 40 by the Florida State Association of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA-FL). This is his second year in a row winning this award.



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Trenam Kemker Ranks Among Statewide Leaders in Chambers USA 2015 Directory

Trenam Kemker has been recognized in the Chambers USA 2015 Guide to America’s Leading Business Lawyers in two of our leading practice areas.  The prestigious legal directory cited Trenam Kemker as a leader in the areas of Bankruptcy/Restructuring, and Real Estate.

In addition, the directory lists the following Trenam attorneys as leading practitioners in their respective practice areas:

  • Roberta A. Colton – Bankruptcy/Restructuring
  • Lara R. Fernandez – Bankruptcy/Restructuring
  • Michael P. Horan – Bankruptcy/Restructuring
  • John S. Vento – Construction
  • Nelson T. Castellano – Corporate/M&A
  • Gary Teblum – Corporate/M&A
  • J. Alan Asendorf – Real Estate
  • Paul D. Bain – Real Estate
  • David R. Brittain – Real Estate
  • Richard H. Sollner – Real Estate

The Chambers Guides have been ranking the best law firms and lawyers since 1990, and now cover 185 jurisdictions throughout the world.  They rank lawyers and law firms based on research, and surveys but their most credible source of information is their “in-depth face-to-face and telephone interviews” with lawyers and clients.

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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.