Florida Association of Chamber Professionals Certifies Local Chamber of Commerce

Certified Plus Chambers

The Florida Association of Chamber Professionals (FACP) recognized Florida’s top chambers of commerce throughout the state for their outstanding achievement and dedication to the industry. The awards were presented at the organization’s Annual Conference, held September 18-20, 2018, at the beautiful Sundial Beach Resort & Spa on Sanibel Island.

Among the recognition given were the Certified Plus Designations. In, 2003, FACP implemented the distinction of Florida Certified Chamber to recognize standards of professional excellence in Florida. In 2012, the association enhanced its certification program to include a Certified Plus designation, for chambers of commerce that score an 86 or above during the judging process or are an Accredited Chamber through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Both the Certified and Certified Plus designations recognize chambers that have met high standards and strengthened free enterprise by protecting the business environment.

This year, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and the West Orange Chamber of Commerce received the Certified Plus Chamber status. The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce is also an Accredited Chamber of Commerce through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s inductees join an elite list of Certified and Certified Plus Chambers in Florida, representing the pinnacle standards of excellence in Organization Management, Service Intent and Capacity, Professional Administration, Financial Management, and Marketing/Public Relations. For a complete list, please visit www.facponline.com and search under the Member Directory tab.

“The Florida Association of Chamber Professionals congratulates the recipients of this prestigious distinction,” said Tammy C. Bracewell, President of FACP.  “We are proud of each Chamber’s dedication and commitment to excellence within the business community.  The Certified Chamber of Commerce program sets standards within the industry and recognizes chambers that have met those standards while offering guidelines for those to improve their effectiveness.  In many ways, it is like the good housekeeping seal of approval for a chamber of commerce.”

The Certified Chamber of Commerce program is designed to promote the public awareness of the intent of the Chamber of Commerce brand as a not for profit community development based business membership organization.

FACP is a statewide organization whose mission is “Advancing excellence in chamber management” and whose vision is “Enhancing Florida’s business communities by cultivating successful chamber professionals.”

2018 GTCC Annual Leadership Retreat

The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce hosted the Annual Leadership Retreat at Top Golf in Tampa on Thursday, August 16th for Board and Fit 4 members to get an update on the Chamber. Members heard from guest speaker Tony Carvajal, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, on the future of Florida. Chamber leadership provided a Vision 2026 update and table breakouts discussed the pillars and ways to continue meeting the goals of the vision plan. The Minority Business Accelerator program participants had a panel discussion updating leadership on their progress in the program and the successes they have seen. Christina Barker and Brian Willis from the All for Transportation organization talked about their efforts to find a way forward for transportation in Tampa Bay. The event wrapped up with a round of golf for the attendees to let their hair down after a busy day of meetings.


After 5 at Bristol-Myers Squibb

The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay recently hosted a joint After 5 networking event at Bristol-Myers Squibb.  The exclusive After 5 events hosted bi-monthly are usually by invite only for our top tier members.  However, the Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay members who work at Bristol-Myers Squibb saw this as an opportunity for up-and-coming leaders and established business professionals to network and make new contacts, which is exactly what happened.  The After 5 event brought together over 200 people from the Tampa business community, and both the Chamber and Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay members walked away with new perspectives and connections.


Chamber members visit Washington D.C.

Last week, members of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with senior leadership from the Department of Transportation, the White House, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as well as members of the Florida Congressional delegation. Members were able to discuss legislative priorities that are important to the Tampa Bay business community including transportation, workforce development, business & economic development, military & defense, and healthcare.

Black History Month Celebrations in Tampa Bay

Black History Moth Diversity

Black History Month is a time for our nation to recognize the struggles and significant contributions made to our nation’s life and culture by Black citizens.

To celebrate Black History Month:


Tampa Bay recognized as a Great American Defense Community

Tampa Bay has been selected as one of five cities nationwide to receive the 2018 Great American Defense Community designation. On February 15th, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce will host the 20th Annual Military Appreciation Awards at Raymond James Stadium, where the Association of Defense Communities will exclusively announce Tampa Bay’s reception of this prestigious award.

“We are so appreciative of the support we receive from the Tampa Bay community,” said Colonel April D. Vogel, 6th Air Mobility Wing Commander.  “When military members move here, they’re not just moving to a city, they’re moving to a place they feel comfortable calling “home.” This community provides remarkable support to our Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers, Marines and their families and I’m excited this community is being recognized!”

In a joint effort, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and the Tampa Bay Defense Alliance nominated Tampa Bay for the program based on community initiatives that create a high quality of life for military families. The Chamber thanks Senator Bill Nelson, Senator Marco Rubio, and Representative Kathy Castor for their letters of support to recognize Tampa as a Great American Defense Community.

“We are grateful that Tampa Bay has been recognized as a community that embraces and supports our military, veterans, and their families” said Lisa Monnet, President of the Tampa Bay Defense Alliance.

Selected communities are recognized nationally for their exceptional commitment to improve the lives of service members, veterans and their families as a model for all communities. Tampa Bay’s application included community initiatives like the Chamber’s Operation Partnership program, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Salute to Service initiatives, and Tinker Elementary School.

“We are excited that Tampa Bay is being recognized as a model military community” said president and CEO Bob Rohrlack. “This award is a reflection of our community’s ongoing dedication to our military, veterans and their families.”

Great American Defense Communities
 The Great American Defense Communities program was designed by the Association of Defense Communities in conjunction with the House and Senate Defense Communities Caucuses to recognize and celebrate communities whose exceptional commitment to improve the lives of service members, veterans and their families as a model for all communities.

Chamber installs new leadership at 131st Annual Meeting

The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce held its 131st Annual Meeting today at the Tampa Convention Center. A sold-out crowd of 1050 attendees came together to celebrate the Chamber’s 2016 achievements. 2016 Chamber Chair Guy King III of M.E. Wilson Co., Inc. passed the gavel to 2017 Chair Mike Griffin of Savills Studley Occupier Services. The Chamber also received greetings from U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Stacy White. The Chamber collected toys at the event, teaming with Metropolitan Ministries to help bring gifts to the Holiday Tent, which serves more than 19,000 children in the Bay area.

Griffin unveiled the Chamber’s 10-year vision plan, which is comprised of three pillars – Catalyst, Inclusive Organization and HUB for Business, all supported by a foundation of Organizational Excellence. To review the entire 10-year vision plan, please click here.

Griffin also introduced the Chamber’s 2017 Executive Committee Members, including:

Chair Mike Griffin Savills Studley Occupier Services
Chair-Elect Steven Bernstein, Esq. Fisher Phillips
Treasurer Jamie Harden Creative Sign Designs
Finance Yvette Segura USAA
At Large Hugh Campbell

Bruce Faulmann


Tampa Bay Times

  Steve Griggs
Marilyn Mullen Healy, Esq.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Adams and Reese LLP
  Derek Holmes

Lauren Key

Tec-Link, LLC

Florida Hospital

  Andy Mayts, Esq.

Christopher Rogers


Sykes Enterprises Incorporated

Legal Counsel Kareem Spratling, Esq. Bryant Miller Olive P.A.

The Chamber also presented the 2016 H.L. Culbreath Jr. Profile in Leadership Award to Chuck Sykes, president and CEO of Sykes Enterprises Incorporated. The award, established in 1997 by Leadership Tampa Alumni, a committee of the Chamber, is presented annually in recognition of an individual whose leadership has made a positive impact within the greater Tampa community.

Chuck Sykes has spent his career working his way through the ranks of his business and industry – beginning in low-level administrative roles and eventually becoming president & CEO of a publicly-traded global company. Words used to describe this individual include consistent, loyal, dependable, caring, trustworthy, and diplomatic. In his own words, he often talks of being a mentor, teacher, and collaborator. Above all else, he is genuine. He is consistent in his values and beliefs, leading always to the greater good. Our recipient is extensively and passionately involved in the Tampa Bay community. His past leadership roles include chairing the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce at a pivotal time in our evolution as well as service on countless boards for nonprofits in our area.

In addition, the Chamber announced its 2017 class of Startup Scholars, which include Simo Juice, The Blind Tiger Café, Wedding Wiz, WeGo Kids, and Wingu Technology. The guest speakers for the first two signature events of 2017 were also revealed. The Military Appreciation Awards on February 22nd will feature General Ann Dunwoody, the first woman in U.S. Military history to achieve the rank of 4-star general. General Dunwoody retired in 2012 after 37 years of service to our country. The guest speaker for the Women of Influence Luncheon on April 13th is Debbie Sterling, founder of GoldieBlox. In 2014, Fast Company named GoldieBlox to its list of Most Innovative Companies and in 2015, GoldieBlox won Parents Magazine’s Toy of the Year and Debbie was inducted by President Obama as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship.