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

AC4S

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

GrayRobinson

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.

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Chamber Transportation Survey Results

By: Michael Maurino, Government Relations Coordinator, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce completed a survey of more than 2,500 people on transportation issues, and found that respondents seek an improved transportation system with more services and better technologies.

275 westshore construction 2More than 92-percent of respondents said they drove their car alone as their primary mode of transportation. But, 65-percent of respondents said they would take advantage of improved transit at their home or work, and 75-percent thought that traffic congestion was a significant factor for them. The majority of respondents said it took them more than 30 minutes to get to work or school.

Respondents chose synchronized traffic signals, additional lanes on interstates and expressways, and new transit services like express bus, ferry, and rail as the top-three changes to the transportation system that would most benefit them. New transit services were selected most often by respondents as their top transportation improvement.

The results of this survey are similar to the results of a survey of Chamber member executives, who selected the same top-three transportation improvements, thought that congestion was a significant factor, and that employees would use improved transit.

Nearly 99% of respondents indicated that they lived, worked, or were going to school in Hillsborough County. The Chamber’s survey was distributed by member companies, through social media, and traditional media outlets. The survey was available Sept. 4 – Oct. 31.

Building Better Professional Relationships

Tracy Wilson, Director, Membership

You are challenged to build better professional relationships, but how? Be selective. Be selective of which networking events you participate in, be selective of who you interact with and be selective of your topics of discussion. Be strategic without alienating. How you ask? By being selective.

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Business After Hours

Understand who will be attending the various events you sign up to attend. Who can you anticipate meeting at this function?  What would be deemed of value that you could share with them in 60 seconds or less? And it doesn’t have to be about your business. By giving some thought to these items prior to the event, you will be more strategic in your networking efforts. Plus, you will be perceived as a more valuable contact for those that you interact with.

Network with a purpose — the purpose of building a better community, perhaps providing a better business environment and most definitely building your own business. What business person do you know that would not relate to at least one of these areas and perhaps even claim them as one of their own? Once you have identified a common cord, then you are ready to team up. But be warned, don’t be creepy!

One essential ingredient to building a professional network is to be the kind of person other successful people want to be around. Build a valuable network, not necessarily a colossal one.  Pay attention to what this select group has to say, what they care about and what they are interested in. Learn to listen and ask questions while being sincere. To get tips on how to do all of this more successfully, I invite you to Return on Relationships on October 9.

At Return on Relationships, you will explore ways to maximize your time and efforts to become more successful at Chamber networking events. Led by Clint Babcock of Sandler Training, Clint will help you understand how to position yourself and your business to improve your professional relationships. Click here to learn more.

After 5 Networking Event

After 5 Networking Event

At the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, we like bringing smart, successful business people together. It is fun and it’s interesting, and we all learn from the connections that are ignited. Don’t get me wrong, building relationships isn’t always easy. Building better business relationships takes hard work and patience. What about you? Have you ever made a business connection that changed the way you view business? Tell us about it by replying below. See you soon!

Chamber Names Winners of the 2014 Small Business of the Year Awards

Tampa, Fla. – The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of the 2014 Small Business of the Year Awards at a ceremony on Friday, September 19, at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.  More than 600 attendees celebrated the accomplishments of Tampa Bay’s small business community and toasted the evening’s big winners.

This year’s event was presented by Bay Cities Bank & Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors and represents the 34th year the Chamber has recognized this key segment of the region’s economy.  Small business awards were presented in three categories based on the number of employees and a fourth business category honoring a startup company.  Companies are evaluated on financial success, community involvement and ethical business practices. An award was also presented to the Outstanding Small Business Leader of the Year.

The 2014 Small Business of the Year Award winners are:

Madelyn Butler

Dr. Madelyn Butler

Outstanding Leader: Dr. Madelyn Butler, The Woman’s Group

Dr. Madelyn Butler founded The Woman’s Group in 1998 with a vision of a practice dedicated to high-quality obstetrical and gynecological care and education for women of all ages. She started the company with just six employees. Today The Woman’s Group boasts a staff of nearly 100 with four office locations and serves three Greater Tampa area hospitals. Dr. Butler’s commitment to health and education led her on a mission trip to Haiti where she provided free care to hundreds of Haitians in the Village of St. Suzanne.

Shooters World

Bruce Kitzis, General Manager

 Startup Company: Shooters World

Shooters World was created to be a family-friendly gun store with deep inventory, a state-of-the art shooting range and professional instruction. They offer more than 30 courses to the public including introductory classes, women-only sessions, junior firearm safety and more. Shooters World opened its 62,000 sq. ft. facility in December 2012, making it Florida’s largest firearm store, indoor public shooting range and training facility. Shooters World is expanding throughout Florida and expects to open its Orlando location next year.

Nitro

Pete Slade, CEO

 5 – 20 Employees: Nitro Mobile Solutions

Nitro Mobile Solutions is a software development company providing enterprises and financial institutions with full-service mobile applications and platforms. Nitro was founded in 2009, but the vision developed in 2007 when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone at the World Wide Developers Conference. The company started the “Nitro Mobile Solutions Scholarship in Computer Science and Engineering,” which awarded its first recipient from the University of South Florida in April 2014.

ReliaQuest

Brian Murphy, President/CEO & Founder

21 – 50 Employees: ReliaQuest

ReliaQuest is one of the fastest growing, cutting edge information technology security consulting firms in the United States. The company started in 2007 and handles both commercial and top secret clearance work in IT security. Currently, 20 percent of ReliaQuest’s technical team is composed of former members of the military, supporting the company’s commitment to supporting veteran and military community initiatives. ReliaQuest also sponsors events for local community groups and nonprofits such as Palma Ceia Little League teams, AirFest Tampa Bay and Moffitt Cancer Center.

Joffrey

Ted C. Abrams, President & CEO

51 – 250 Employees: Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company

Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company’s philosophy can be summed up in four words: “unsurpassed quality coffee experience.” Established in Tampa in 1984, Joffrey’s imports and distributes premium coffees and teas using the finest beans and tea leaves from around the world, carefully selected by its head roastmaster. Joffrey’s coffees are all roasted, blended and flavored by hand. In 2013, Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co. was named the official specialty coffee of Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Disney Vacation Club.

Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Rohrlack Earns Certified Chamber Executive Certification

Bob RohrlackThe American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) has designated Bob Rohrlack, President & CEO of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Certified Chamber Executive (CCE). The CCE is the only national certification for chamber professionals. The announcement was made July 24 at ACCE’s annual convention in Oklahoma City.

“The applicants who are designated CCEs rightfully earn this outstanding recognition through hard work, countless hours of dedication to their field, and leadership of their chambers. We applaud this year’s recipients and are proud to have them join a long tradition of professional excellence,” says Raymond Burns, CCE, president and CEO of Rogers – Lowell Area (Ark.) Chamber of Commerce and CCE Commission Chairman.

Rohrlack was one of 21 chamber executives in the nation who earned the CCE designation this year. The CCE program is designed to assess and test the applicant’s knowledge of the core chamber management areas: management, planning and development, membership and communication, and operations.

Candidates are required to submit an application outlining their professional achievements and activities, write two essays, make a formal presentation, complete an intensive interview by a panel of CCEs, and pass a comprehensive four-hour examination. Since the program was initiated more than 40 years ago, approximately 530 individuals have earned this highest designation in the profession. Today there are about 270 active CCEs

Rohrlack has over 27 years of experience in the Chamber of Commerce/economic development profession having worked at the local and state level. Prior to joining the Chamber in 2009, he was the Senior Vice President for Enterprise Florida (“EFI”), the state’s public-private partnership for economic development. While at EFI, he led the team to win “Deal of the Year” in 2007 from CoreNet, the international corporate real estate organization.

Open Position at the Chamber: Events Manager

The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce is currently accepting resumes for an Events Manager. Applicants should forward a resume, cover letter, writing sample and a minimum of three references to resumes@tampachamber.com. Applicants will not be considered if all of the requested items are not received. Resumes and other requested information will be accepted until the position is filled. Due to the anticipated number of applicants, acknowledgement of applicant materials will not be sent and no phone call inquiries are kindly requested. 

Events Manager Job Description

Chamber Installs New Leadership at 127th Annual Meeting, Presents H.L. Culbreath Jr. Profile in Leadership Award to James L. Ferman Jr., Announces Startup Scholars

The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce marked its 127th anniversary at its Annual Meeting on Thursday, December 13 at the Tampa Convention Center.  More than 650 attendees celebrated the Chamber’s 2012 achievements. 2012 Chamber Chair Chuck Black of Black & Black Consulting Services passed the gavel to 2013 Chair Gregory Celestan of Celestar Corporation.

Celestan offered a preview of the Chamber’s priorities in 2013 which include focusing on continuing to support MacDill Air Force Base, strengthen the Chamber’s advocacy efforts on behalf of the business community, continue to support innovation in the Tampa area through our Startup Scholars program and finding ways to support local entrepreneurs and continuing to collaborate with our local economic development partners.

Celestan also introduced the Chamber’s 2013 Executive Committee Members, including:

Chair-Elect Robin DeLaVergne Tampa General Hospital
Treasurer Ronald Christaldi, Esq. Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP
Finance Co-Chair Sandra W. Callahan TECO Energy, Inc.
Finance Co-Chair Susan Stackhouse Stellar Partners
Community Development Co-Chair Mike Griffin Vertical Integration
Community Development Co-Chair Corey Neil The Bank of Tampa
Innovation Leadership Chair Wendy Bowman Florida Blue
Innovation Leadership Chair Bill Carlson Tucker/Hall, Inc.
Marketing Chair Bruce Faulmann Tampa Bay Times
Membership Development Co-Chair Guy King III M.E. Wilson Co., Inc.
Membership Development Co-Chair Joseph Meterchick PNC Bank
Military Co-Chair Jon Bayless Tandel Systems
Military Co-Chair Chase Stockon Panther International
Programs Co-Chair Peter Anderson Bayshore Technologies
Programs Co-Chair Doug Pace Bayshore Solutions
Public Policy Co-Chair Vincent J. Cassidy Majesty Title Services
Public Policy Co-Chair Lee Nelson Shutts & Bowen LLP
Legal Counsel Steven Bernstein, Esq. Fisher & Phillips

The Chamber also presented the 2012 H.L. Culbreath Jr. Profile in Leadership Award to James L. Ferman, Jr.  The award, established in 1997 by Leadership Tampa Alumni, a program of the Chamber, is presented annually by the Chamber to recognize an individual whose leadership made a positive impact within the greater Tampa community.

CEO and President of Ferman Motor Car Company, Inc. and its affiliated dealerships, Ferman is past Chairman of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and its Committee of 100, past President of the Tampa Museum of Art and past Chairman of The Florida Aquarium.  Ferman is also a past Chairman and Campaign Chairman of the United Way of Hillsborough County (now United Way Suncoast) and past Director of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.  He currently serves as Chairman of The Bank of Tampa, a director of TECO Energy, Inc. and on the Board of Trustees of The University of Tampa.

In addition to the announcement of the 2013 Executive Committee and H.L. Culbreath Jr. Profile in Leadership Award winner, the Chamber announced its first class of Startup Scholars.  The three program participants were selected from 29 applicants, which was narrowed down to eight finalists who participated in a Finalist Pitch Day to share details about their respective companies and what they hoped to gain from the program.  The three Startup Scholars are market intelligence companyC2I Intel, social network Eyecrawler, Inc., and baby bottle converter Refresh-A-Baby.

For more information on the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, please visit www.tampachamber.com.