Can You Change An Irrevocable Trust?

By Sid Werner

SWThe term “irrevocable” sounds pretty permanent, so many people assume once they’ve finalized an irrevocable trust there is no turning back. If you’re having second thoughts about your irrevocable trust, know that under the right circumstances changes are possible.

How Can You Change an Irrevocable Trust?

Whether you established an irrevocable trust from the outset or established a revocable living trust that becomes irrevocable upon your death, modification is possible through court intervention. As long as modification of the trust is consistent with your purpose in creating the trust, the trustee or a qualified beneficiary of the trust may petition the court for judicial modification of the trust.

What Changes Can the Court Order?

The court has authority to:

  • Change the terms of the trust;
  • Terminate the trust in whole or in part;
  • Permit the trustee to do acts that are not authorized or are prohibited under the trust instrument; or
  • Prohibit the trustee from doing acts that are permitted by the trust.

Given the court’s broad power, any modifications consistent with the trust’s purpose are a possibility and that process begins with the petition of a trustee or a qualified beneficiary.

Should you have any questions related to wills, trusts and estates, please call Englander Fischer at (727) 898-7210 to see how one of our attorneys can assist you.

Chamber Members Form Joint Venture


(Pictured L to R) Donna S. Huneycutt WWC Executive Vice President, Lauren Weiner WWC President & Greg Celestan CEO of Celestar Corporation sign the SBA Mentor/Protege Agreement.

Celestar Corporation and Wittenberg Weiner Consulting are teaming up to form a joint venture that both companies hope will yield more business. The partnership came about thanks to their involvement with the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

“The Chamber has opened up doors,” said Lauren Weiner, president of Wittenberg Weiner Consulting. “We’re remarkably plugged in to the business and government contracting community largely because of the Chamber.”

Weiner and Greg Celestan, head of Celestar Corporation, first met at a Chamber networking event. They also served together on the Chamber’s Military Council. Now, they’ve signed a Mentor/Protégé Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration that will benefit both companies.

“As the mentor, we are going to pass on some of our knowledge and experience,” said Celestan, whose company graduated from the SBA’s 8a Program. “This agreement will allow us to compete for business together.”

The Mentor/Protégé Agreement will last for a year with an opportunity to extend. Both CEOs credit the Chamber for their meeting.

“The networking function at the Chamber is key. The membership is diverse,” said Celestan.

Weiner said the opportunities provided through the Chamber were an important part in the next level of growth for WWC. Her advice to members: “Talk to everyone. You never know what contact is going to spark something.”

Member Highlights – Sept.15 – 19

Inside this Week’s Member Highlights:

Member News:

Member Events:

New Hires & Promotions

Member Accolades

Member News

Port Tampa Bay Signs Joint MOU with Cartagena, Colombia Port to Pursue Business Opportunities

Port Tampa Bay Exec Vice President/Chief Commercial Officer Raul Alfonso (left), celebrates the signing of a joint MOU agreement with Giovanni Benedetti, commercial director of the Port of Cartagena, at the Marriott Waterside Hotel, in Tampa.

Port Tampa Bay Exec Vice President/Chief Commercial Officer Raul Alfonso (left), celebrates the signing of a joint MOU agreement with Giovanni Benedetti, commercial director of the Port of Cartagena, at the Marriott Waterside Hotel, in Tampa.

Port Tampa Bay signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreement with the Port of Cartagena, Colombia, that strengthens the bond of comradeship between the two ports and establishes a strategic alliance for collaboration toward commercial pursuits. This recent signing is the latest in a string of similar agreements brought to fruition between Florida’s largest port and other key Latin American ports such as Quequén, Argentina; Barranquilla, Colombia; Veracruz, Mexico; JAPDEVA, Costa Rica; and the Panama Canal Authority. Read more…

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Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners Retains Status as “Best” Agency

Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners (BKS-Partners) has retained its status as part an elite group of independent insurance agencies around the United States participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) “Best Practices” Study Group.  Each year since 1993, IIABA and Reagan Consulting, an Atlanta-based management consulting firm, join forces to study the country’s leading agencies in six revenue categories. The agencies comprising the study groups are selected every third year through a comprehensive nomination and qualifying process and awarded a “Best Practices Agency” designation.

“Being chosen as a Best Practices Agency out of over 1,100 independent agencies is very rewarding, and something that can be contributed to a continued investment in people, systems and capabilities at BKS-Partners,” said Trevor Baldwin, Managing Director of Commercial Risk Management at BKS-Partners. “By constantly challenging our colleagues to pursue ongoing education and by building a team that is connected to our stakeholders’ success, we are able to deliver a higher level of service to clients.”

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Site Tech Services Offers Special Promotion for Chamber Members

Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce members who are ready to purchase and install a VoIP phone system are eligible for a ‘buy two phones, get one free promotion.‘ To learn more, visit or call (813) 549-5700.

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Highwoods Properties Welcomes Fintech to LakePointe One at Tampa Bay Park

Highwoods Properties, Inc. announced on September 16 that Fintech, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Best Business winner, has leased 28,819 square feet at LakePointe One at Tampa Bay Park. Laurie Alden represented Highwoods Properties during the leasing process. Shirley Smith with The Avocat Group represented Fintech.

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All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine Receives Childhood Obesity Grant

All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine received a $215,980 grant from Kohl’s Department Stores to continue its Kohl’s Cooks for Kids community-based healthy living program for the eighth year. The program encourages families to cook and eat healthy meals together, with the ultimate goal of preventing childhood obesity. Families also learn basic culinary skills and how to prepare healthy recipes on a budget.

Through the Kohl’s Cooks for Kids program, All Children’s Hospital will continue to offer healthy cooking and nutrition classes in the Tampa Bay area as well as family cooking events such as the “Mom and Me Cook-off” and “Teen Chili Challenge.” Since 2006, more than 5,000 participants each year have attended these programs and received healthy meal and fitness tips. Additionally, more than 80,000 free Kohl’s Cares “YumYum! Let’s Make Some!” cookbooks have been requested through the Fit4AllKids and Kohl’s Cooks for Kids websites. Read more…

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Member Events

Florida Center for Cybersecurity Hosts Inaugural Conference Oct. 8

You’re invited to the Florida Center for Cybersecurity’s October 8 conference.This event will bring together experts and decision-makers from industry, government and academia to exchange ideas, network and explore innovative approaches to counter cyber threats. In addition to two keynote addresses from leading cybersecurity
experts, the conference also offers live hacking demonstrations, four breakout sessions designed for technical or decision-making audiences, networking opportunities, and an expo featuring leading cybersecurity organizations. Click here for the conference agenda.

To register visit:


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HCC Continuing Education Department Holds Open House Oct. 2

The Corporate and Continuing Education Department at Hillsborough Community College invites you to get to know us better by being our guest at our upcoming open house. HCC provides a wide array of services to local businesses.  Learn more about how you can utilize your Community College to make your business more competitive. RSVP and get answers to all your questions at our October 2 Open House.


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Sentry Self Storage Invites You to a Teacher’s Appreciation Yard Sale

Sentry Self Storage invites you to a Teacher’s Appreciation Yard Sale on Saturday, September 20 at 4901 E. Adamo Drive. from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Enjoy great food, live entertainment, & leave with a goodie bag plus more! Click here for the event flyer: TEACHER’S APPRECIATION

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Tampa Bay Technology Forum Hosts “Tech Trends Luncheon: A Panel of Security Experts”


Unauthorized intrusion, hacking, data security breach, internet fraud, spyware, vulnerabilities, phishing scams…headline fodder seen all too often these days. Consequently, the state of Information Technology Security is one of the most pressing concerns and frequently talked about aspects for information technology professionals today. TBTF’s Tech Trends has assembled a diverse panel of information security leaders who will come together to discuss the security challenges facing their organizations’ user experience and answer questions presented by the event moderator and those posed by the audience.

Click here for registration info and the event agenda.

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CareerSource Tampa Bay and Tampa Bay Technology Forum Seek Exhibitors for Tech Trek Career Fair

Tech Trek

The Tech Trek Career Fair is an innovative job fair that will attract 300 students from around the region including all Tampa Bay colleges, universities, and technical schools, to meet 30 businesses at one location in one day. This event will give students the opportunity to meet with multiple companies, learn about their culture, see the current internship and/or job opportunities available, and meet technology executives face-to-face. Exhibitors must have technology executives on-site for the students to be able to meet and ask questions.

Interested in exhibiting? Reserve your booth today!

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Port Tampa Bay Save the Dates – Steel Conference & Safety Summit

Tampa Steel Conference date saver 2015 (2)

Safety  Risk Mitigation Summit date saver 2015 (2)

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New Hires & Promotions

Thomas Howell Ferguson P.A. Promotes Chris Howell, CPA to Director, Assurance Services

Chris HowellThomas Howell Ferguson P.A., a professional accounting, assurance, and tax services firm headquartered in Tallahassee, congratulates Chris Howell on his recent promotion to Director, Assurance Services.

Chris has over 17 years of experience in providing assurance and consulting services to clients and employers primarily in the insurance industry.  He routinely plans, supervises, and directs multiple audits of insurance companies, their affiliates, and their parent companies.  He is instrumental in assisting clients with internal control and risk assessment, structuring reinsurance arrangements, regulatory compliance and communications, and resolution of accounting and financial reporting matters.

Chris is a native of Tallahassee and attended Florida State University where he received his Bachelor of Science in Finance.  He received his Master of Accountancy from the University of West Florida.

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Member Accolades

USF Entrepreneurship Program ranked 13th nationally

Small businesses are the engine of the U.S. economy, and according to rankings released by Entrepreneur magazine and the Princeton Review, the University of South Florida is one of the best at teaching its students to start new businesses.

USF’s graduate program is the only Florida university listed among the nation’s best entrepreneurship education programs. The graduate program is ranked No. 13 overall and is also the sixth-highest rated program among public universities.  It’s the eighth consecutive year the USF Center for Entrepreneurship has appeared on the Top 25 list.

Michael Fountain, founding director of the Tampa-based USF Center for Entrepreneurship, said the university’s program is exceptional because of its interdisciplinary program and hands-on learning opportunities. The center offers opportunities for graduate students in the fields of business, engineering, health sciences, and sustainability. Read more…

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Member Highlights – Aug. 18 – 22, 2014


Member News

Following the completion of a $16 million rooms renovation in late 2012, Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay is proud to debut the highly anticipated final phase of its $20 million transformation. This second project included a full revamp of all public spaces to match the fresh look and feel of the 442 guest rooms and suites, an all-new dining experience at 1823 Kitchen and Bar and an innovative tech lounge within the hotel lobby.

FlPolyU Launch

(L-R) University President Dr. Randy K. Avent, Chief Operating Officer Ava L. Parker, Provost Ghazi Darkazalli, Immediate Past Board of Trustees Chair Robert H. Gidel and the Florida Polytechnic Board of Trustees launch Florida’s newest university dedicated exclusively to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Florida Polytechnic University is now officially open and ready to welcome its Inaugural Class. Florida’s newest state university held a public LAUNCH Celebration on Saturday to commemorate its grand opening and the completion of the iconic Innovation, Science and Technology (IST) Building.

Florida Polytechnic leaders, Governor Rick Scott, and more than 1,000 supporters and new students gathered to experience the state-of-the art University up-close for the first time. A formal ceremony was followed by an actual launch – a vivid pyrotechnics display showered a campus lake adjacent to the IST Building. Click here for photos and more information.

Equality Florida Institute is providing an electronic version of the Legal Handbook for LGBT Floridians and Their Families free of charge on their website.  Recently updated, the 76-page resource was a pro bono project of the law firm Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, in cooperation with Equality Florida Institute.  

This third edition of the Handbook is full of helpful information and pointers on the very best ways lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Floridians can legally protect themselves and their families. Because this information is so important to protecting Florida’s families, Equality Florida Institute is making it available for download at Click here for more information.

Port Tampa Bay is pleased to announce that one of its major environmental projects, the McKay Bay Restoration project, has been acknowledged as winner in the Mitigation category of the American Association of Port Authority’s (AAPA) Annual Environmental Improvement Awards program.  The program recognizes projects that show leadership and exemplary environmental stewardship in and around seaports.

Port Tampa Bay, with assistance from the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD), embarked upon and completed a combination of wetland restoration projects within the McKay Bay Ecosystem in Tampa Bay. The net impact of this work has resulted in the restoration of estuarine wetlands and adjacent shallow intertidal bay bottom within this historically impaired water body.

 Member Events



Rock out at Tampa Bay’s highest voltage party of the summer.

Tech Jam 2014: Battle of the Bands
August 28, 2014 • 5:30 – 11:00 pm 
The Ritz Ybor 1503 E 7th Ave., Tampa, FL 33605

Don’t miss the 13th annual Tech Jam benefitting TechStart Tampa Bay! Rock out  at our largest event of the year, while helping us raise funds to prepare at-risk youth in our community to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Join over 400 techies, business professionals, and executives at Tech Jam for great food, themed cocktails, 50/50, silent auction, unlimited networking, a Battle of the Bands competition, and much more!

Register today for this rockin’ event and help us celebrate 13 fantastic years of raising money for the next generation of technology leaders in our community.

Would you like to take the stage and compete to be Tampa’s most rockin’ band? Visit our Battle of the Bands page to enter!

For more information, please visit our facebook event and registration page!

General Admission passes are $50
Hors d’oeuvres catered by Mattison’s • Beer from Rock Brothers Brewing Company • Entertainment all evening long
VIP Party passes are $95
All general admission perks • One hour open bar • Casino and prize baskets • Dessert and coffee • Access to private bar

Party for a purpose and help us raise money to support TechStart’s amazing programs!

Eye Ball Gala 2014 E-Save the Date

The Eye Ball brings together ophthalmic specialists and surgeons, business and community leaders, and loyal friends to foster the sight-saving and life-enhancing work of the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research.

Join us for an inspiring evening that will savor your senses and stir your soul.

Other exciting features:

  • Gourmet dining by Puff n’ Stuff, one of Tampa’s mostwell-known caterers
  • Entertaining evening with gaming and dancing, featuring
  • local Cuban band
  • One of a kind treasures in the Live and Silent Auctions
  • Inspiring stories that celebrate the Gift of Sight

From Aug. 27 to 30, Fifth Third Bank’s Financial Empowerment Mobile – or eBus – will visit community organizations throughout the Tampa Bay area to offer free job search assistance through a partnership with NextJob, a nationwide firm focused on full employment in America. Financial advice, like budget and credit counseling, will also be provided by Fifth Third employees at all eBus stops (full schedule included below).

During each event, visitors can access the Job Seeker’s Toolkit, NextJob’s proprietary job search and training software. Information is free to the public and is provided in English and Spanish.

 FOR MORE INFO: Call Curtis Stokes at 813-306-2488.


Wednesday, Aug. 27 | 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – CDC of Tampa, 1907 E. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa

 Thursday, Aug. 28 | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – St. Petersburg Neighborhood Home Solutions, 1600 Dr. MLK Jr. St. S., St. Petersburg

 Friday, Aug. 29 | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Community Action Center of Hillsborough, 3402 N. 22nd St., Tampa

Saturday, Aug. 30 | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Lee Roy Selmon Banking Center, 2206 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa

BRA671-0043 FLYER-1

Join us and enjoy a special Royal Caribbean presentation featuring the latest offers on their amazingly innovative ships and exciting itineraries to some of the most breathtaking places in the world. Discover how you can get the best value on your Royal Caribbean cruise when you book a AAA Vacations® sailing. Destination WOW. Ask me about the latest promotions.

Non members also welcomed to attend, call me to join, ***Free event >>> Registration is required to attend contact Detria Carson 813 289 5800 ext 6542

 New Hires & Promotions

Mario Camacho Foods, a specialty food sales and distribution company, is pleased to announce their new leadership team. President Shawn Kaddoura  joined the team in January, and Tracey Schram was welcomed as their new SVP of Business Development in July. Both join the company after twenty years of proven senior level experience in the CPG industry.

Robert Shaw

David Stone, President & CEO of NorthStar Bank, recently announced the appointment of Robert Shaw as Market President for Belleair Bluffs and the Pinellas County market. Mr. Shaw has over 17 years of commercial banking experience in Tampa Bay and comes to NorthStar Bank from USAmeriBank where he was most recently Senior Vice President of Commercial Banking. Prior to USAmeriBank, Mr. Shaw served as the Clearwater Regional Executive for Signature Bank.

Mr. Shaw is a West Point graduate, receiving his Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering Physics and MBA from the University of Phoenix. Rob will be a part of the Executive Management team and play an instrumental role in the overall growth of our bank. He will oversee the Belleair office and future growth plans for the entire Pinellas market. Rob is active in the community and currently involved in Tampa Bay Ride to Defeat ALS.

GrayRobinson, P.A., recently announced that Robert “Bob” Schumaker and Lauri Slater will join the firm’s Tampa Real Estate Practice Group. Schumaker joins the firm with more than 30 years of experience in the industry.  Slater brings more than 25 years of paralegal experience in real estate law. Both come to GrayRobinson from Trenam Kemker, where their practices focused on commercial real estate, land use law, lending transactions and environmental law.

Schumaker, Robert (Tampa)Schumaker has extensive experience structuring and drafting complex documentation for purchase and sale agreements, as well as asset-based lending transactions. He also structures and drafts workouts of defaulted loans in connection to bankruptcy, foreclosure and other litigation. Schumaker has represented numerous developers and owners in the Tampa Bay area, and throughout Florida, in the acquisition, sale, assemblage, documentation and negotiation of their property. Schumaker received his Bachelor’s degree from Stetson University, his MBA with honors from Florida International University and later received his law degree with honors from the Stetson University College of Law.

Slater, Lauri (Tampa)Slater is a Florida registered paralegal with over 25 years of experience focusing on commercial real estate and lending transactions.  She has managed various types of acquisitions, mergers, financing and refinancing. During the recession, Slater assisted clients on numerous commercial workouts and friendly foreclosures. Slater has also represented lenders, developers and borrowers for a variety of clients.

 Member Accolades

Hill Ward Henderson is pleased to announce the following:

Hill Ward Henderson received many rankings and citations for its attorneys and practice groups for the 13th consecutive year in the recently published Chambers USA by the internationally acclaimed research group Chambers & Partners, based in London.  Four practice areas of the firm were highlighted and ranked in the publication for excellence in service – Corporate M&A and Private Equity;  General Commercial Litigation, Taxation and Real Estate.

In addition, 11 attorneys at the firm were cited as “leaders” in their respective practice areas being ranked by Chambers USA:

  • D. Armstrong, III – Real Estate: Zoning / Land Use
  • John C. Connery, Jr. – Tax
  • David S. Felman – Corporate M&A and Private Equity
  • Katherine Frazier – Real Estate
  • Thomas N. Henderson, III – Real Estate
  • Benjamin H. Hill, III – General Commercial Litigation
  • David T. Knight – General Commercial Litigation
  • James Robbins, Jr. – Real Estate
  • Brian Sparks – Tax: Estate Planning
  • Dennis P. Waggoner – General Commercial Litigation
  • Alton C. Ward – Tax: Employee Benefits

Shimberg_Robert_SMLRobert A. Shimberg, a Shareholder in Hill Ward Henderson’s Litigation Group, was recently elected Chair of the Board of Directors for Metropolitan Ministries, Inc. Mr. Shimberg’s primary practice areas include commercial litigation, corporate compliance and governmental relations. He was formerly a prosecutor with the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office. In addition to serving as Chair of Metropolitan Ministries, he is active in many additional community concerns, including Tampa Housing Authority and MoreHealth, a health education and safety program for children.

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney | Fowler White Boggs is proud to announce the following:

Counsel Richard G. Salazar was selected to the Greater Tampa Chamber of Salazar_Richard_356x413Commerce’s Leadership Tampa Class of 2015.

Salazar’s law practice includes litigation and counseling in antitrust, business tort, non-competition covenant, trademark/service mark infringement, copyright infringement, trade secret and unfair competition claims in federal and state courts. He earned his law degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and his Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida.

Twenty-four attorneys from the firm’s Tampa offices were selected by their peers for inclusion to The Best Lawyers in America® 2015 list. The following attorneys were selected in their respective practice areas:

  • Cathy J. Beveridge – Employment Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment
  • Jackson Boggs – Tax Law; Trusts and Estates
  • Heather B. Brock – Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment
  • John D. Emmanuel – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Litigation – Bankruptcy
  • Darren D. Farfante – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Commercial Litigation
  • William J. Flynn III – Immigration Law
  • Calvin Hayes – Commercial Litigation
  • Mitchell I. Horowitz – Litigation and Controversy – Tax; Tax Law
  • Richard A. Jacobson – International Trade and Finance Law
  • Rhea F. Law – Administrative/Regulatory Law; Environmental Law; Government Relations Practice; Land Use and Zoning Law; Municipal Law; Real Estate Law
  • Conrad J. Lazo – Construction Law; Litigation – Construction
  • Monica B. Mason – Copyright Law; Trademark Law
  • Carl R. Nelson – Admiralty and Maritime Law; Commercial Litigation
  • Ronald H. Noble – Environmental Law
  • Robert L. Olsen – Commercial Litigation
  • Paul R. Pizzo – Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Trusts and Estates
  • Richard G. Salazar – Copyright Law; Litigation – Intellectual Property; Litigation – Labor and Employment; Litigation – Patent; Trademark Law
  • Hala A. Sandridge – Appellate Practice
  • Jeffrey C. Shannon – Real Estate Law
  • David C. Shobe – Administrative/Regulatory Law; Corporate Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law; Securities/Capital Markets Law
  • Ted R. Tamargo – Real Estate Law
  • Dale W. Vash – Construction Law; Litigation – Construction
  • Edward M. Waller, Jr. – Commercial Litigation; Health Care Law; Litigation – Bankruptcy
  • Andrea E. Zelman – Land Use and Zoning Law; Litigation – Land Use and Zoning

The Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay is pleased to announce that Paul Joseph, General Manager, received the Jay A. Pritzker Award for Leadership which recognizes Hyatt General Managers who have consistently demonstrated their ability as leaders, coaches and mentors. These leaders are high achievers, lead top performing hotels, and serve as role models of Hyatt’s values: mutual respect, intellectual honesty and integrity, fun, humility, creativity and innovation. The individuals were evaluated based on achievement of hotel and individual goals over time and a consistent demonstration of Hyatt leadership.

GrayRobinson, P.A., is pleased to announce that 64 attorneys made the 2015 Best Lawyers in America list of outstanding attorneys, including 11 attorneys in the Tampa office:

  • Richard M. Blau, Food and Beverage Law (2011)
  • Debra Deardourff Faulk, Litigation – Intellectual Property
  • Frank N. Fleischer, Public Finance Law (2003)
  • Jeanette M. Flores, Real Estate Law (2008)
  • Stephen L. Kussner, Real Estate Law (2003)
  • Michael J. Nolan II, Trusts and Estates (2008)
  • Woodrow H. “Woody” Pollack, Litigation – Intellectual Property, Litigation – Patent, Trademark Law (2014)*
  • Frederick S. Schrils, Commercial Litigation
  • George E. Spofford IV, Litigation – Construction (2010)
  • Stefan V. Stein, Copyright Law, Litigation – Intellectual Property, Litigation – Patent, Patent Law, Trademark Law (1995)*
  • John I. Van Voris, Corporate Law (1999)

In addition, six attorneys were named Lawyer of the Year in their respective practice areas, including two in the Tampa office:

  • Woodrow H. “Woody” Pollack, Best Lawyers’ 2015  Tampa Trademark Law Lawyer of the Year
  • Stefan V. Stein, Best Lawyers’ 2015  Tampa Copyright Law Lawyer of the Year 

Fisher & Phillips LLP is proud to announce that Christine Howard, Steve Bernstein and Theresa Gallion have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015® The partners in the Tampa office were honored for their labor and employment work.

Christine Howard is managing partner in the Tampa office. Practicing labor and employment law for more than 20 years, she focuses on defending employment discrimination, harassment, leave and disability, and wage and hour complaints.

For more than 20 years, Steve Bernstein has maintained a traditional labor practice, representing employers throughout the United States. In addition, he advises clients on union-related matters and compliance with the NLRA, the WARN Act, USERRA, FMLA and the ADA.

Theresa Gallion 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.

Member Highlights – Aug. 11 – 15, 2014

Member News

Every year, Girl Scouts of West Central Florida honors local women whose accomplishments make them positive role models. They are honored at our Women of Distinction event in March. We would like to invite you to nominate an extraordinary woman to be considered for this honor. The nomination forms are due September 11.

2015 Nomination Form |  2015 Nomination Letter

The hockey season is fast approaching and 2014-15 Lightning Season Tickets are now on sale. We have our Full Season, Half Season and 10 Packs available. Which plan works best for you?  How many seats were you looking for? Take a look and see which of the schedules below would work best for you. For more information, contact Adam Lawson at 813-301-6884. Go Bolts!

Bolts 2014-15 Season Game Plans

 Member Events

CareerSource Tampa Bay announces the G4S Secure Solutions (USA) Inc. – Informational Session Wednesday, August 20, 2014, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. The event will take place at the CareerSource Tampa Bay MacDill Transition Center at MacDill Air Force Base, 3108 N. Boundary Blvd. Tampa, FL 33608.

G4S will be recruiting for the following positions:

If the transitional member, Veteran, qualified family member and/or job seeker does not have access to MacDill AFB, please contact by no later than COB Thursday, August 14, 2014.

Jason Druding
Lead Recruiter-Veterans Services
CareerSource Tampa Bay
Tel:  813-397-2088

YP is seeking Digital Sales Executives with a “hunter” mentality who are looking for a high-activity, fast-paced environment selling powerful advertising solutions that work to connect consumers to local businesses. If you are looking for a future in digital media with unlimited growth potential, come check us out! Click the link for the event flyer: Tampa YP Hiring Event August 2014

Thursday, August 14th | 5:30 – 7:30 PM

The Pub (at International Mall) – 2223 N West Shore Boulevard

RSVP or send questions to:

AAA Special Member Event – Explore River Cruising

 River Cruising is unlike any other vacation in the world. With ever-changing landscapes and scenery, river cruising offers the opportunity to intimately experience a culture in the ease and comfort of a fine, floating hotel. Enjoy an unparalleled level of convenience as you often dock right in the heart of town, steps away from bustling market places and picturesque castles. Customize your perfect river cruise vacation with a AAA Travel Consultant today!

8/20/2014 | 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Tampa Headquarters – 1515 N. Westshore Blvd.

As a special thank you to all our members, exclusive event specials, savings and refreshments will be offered, including the opportunity to win a grand prize and more! Non members also welcomed to attend, call me to join, ***Free event >>> Registration is required. To attend contact Detria Carson 813-289-5800 ext 6542.

 Member Accolades


The law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP is pleased to announce that Maria del Carmen Ramos, partner in the Tampa office, has been appointed Chair for the Immigration & Nationality Law Section of the Hillsborough County Bar Association. Maria devotes a substantial portion of her practice to counseling clients on immigration and employment issues. On the immigration side, Maria has extensive experience helping employers obtain H-1B and E visas and employment based green cards on behalf of foreign workers employed.  She also helps companies with global operations obtain L-1 visas on behalf of their foreign-based employees so that the employees can open up an office in the United States or transfer to the U.S. operations, as well as helping those companies obtain visas in China and Mexico on behalf of their U.S.-based employees.

Carlton Fields Jorden Burt is pleased to announce the following:

  • Shareholder Luis Prats has been named chair of Stetson University’s Board of Trustees. Prats, who holds a J.D. from Stetson University College of Law and a B.A. from Stetson WEB_Prats_Luis_56University, was elected to the Board seven years ago. He has served a chair of the Committee on Trusteeship and he is a past president of the Stetson University Alumni Association. At Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, Prats is a board certified construction lawyer with more than 30 years of experience. He represents public and private owners, developers, contractors, and design professionals on all types of construction matters. He has tried, arbitrated or mediated hundreds of construction disputes over the years. Prats lectures regularly on the subject of construction law and has published or presented numerous papers on the subject. He is also a contributing author of three books on construction law. He is active in professional and civic organizations including the Hillsborough County, Florida, and American Bar Associations.
  • Associate T.J. Ferrante was selected to serve as a board member of Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay’s JA Connections. His term is for one year. JA Connections board consists of individuals recognized as leaders and emerging leaders within both the business and WEB_Ferrante_TJ_09education communities by supporting Junior Achievement’s programs.Ferrante practices in Carlton Fields Jorden Burt’s national Health Care practice group. He focuses his practice on a wide range of transactional and related regulatory issues for health industry clients, including for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals and health systems, multi-specialty physician practice groups, and long-term care providers. He has experience with a variety of transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic affiliations, obtaining and maintaining tax-exemption, employment contracts and leases, and other transactional matters.

Member Spotlight: Hampton Inn Westshore & Hyatt Place Westshore

Sister Properties Working as One

The Hampton Inn Tampa Westshore and the Hyatt Place Tampa Westshore, both managed by Pillar Hotels and Resorts are hotels working together to bring an unforgettable experience for their guests. Located in the thriving Westshore District, the Hampton Inn offers 133 renovated rooms and the Hyatt Place offers 124 contemporary, spacious suites.
The newly renovated Hampton Inn Tampa Westshore offers all of the conveniences of the Hampton brand including  complimentary On The House hot breakfast each morning, Cloud Nine bedding experience, and the new Perfect Mix Lobby. The Hampton Inn also offers complimentary 24 hour shuttle within 3 miles of the hotel which includes Tampa International Airport, outdoor swimming pool, 24 hour fitness center and complimentary wireless internet throughout the hotel. For a comfortable guest room at a superior value, please visit to make your reservation today.
The Hyatt Place Tampa Westshore is a new kind of Hyatt designed for you. Each spacious suite includes 42” flat panel HDTV with the Hyatt Plug Panel for connecting your laptop or personal media devices, Hyatt Grand Bed, Cozy Corner Sectional sofa-sleeper and complimentary wireless internet. Enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast each morning , 24/7 dining options, and wine or beer in the Galley. The Hyatt  Place Westshore also offers flexible meeting space for your company or social event with unique food and beverage options. Visit the Hyatt Place at  to find out more details about this unique and exciting hotel.
Both hotels are located conveniently in the Westshore Business District only minutes from two shopping plazas, numerous dining options, the Tampa International Airport, and Raymond James Stadium. An easy drive will also take you to the Port of Tampa, Busch Gardens, Florida Aquarium and the beautiful Gulf of Mexico Beaches. For any of your hotel needs, please contact the sales staff for more information.

Got advertising dollars to spend? Advertise with the Chamber!

If you’re looking for a great way to get the word out about your company, consider advertising with the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. We have several on-going advertising opportunities available:

2012 Location Guide
Our location guide is distributed to members, individuals looking to relocate to the Tampa Bay area and those seeking more information about our local economy, business and industry, arts, healthcare, education and local neighborhoods. Advertising in our guide allows companies to make a great initial impression to new residents and visitors. Tampa Bay is truly a great place to work, live, play and stay – don’t miss this opportunity to market your company’s message to an engaged audience.

Time is running out to secure a prime space! The back cover and inside back cover are still available, along with a wide-array of sizes for the inside of the magazine.

For more information about advertising in the 2012 Location Guide, download the spec sheet or contact Felicia Harvey, Director of Communications.

Electronic Advertising
Semi-Weekly Newsletters
The Chamber’s two weekly electronic newsletters are sent to representatives from our 1600 member companies, as well as nearly 500 non-members, for a total distribution of over 6,500. The Chamber offers one banner ad per month, per issue as an advertising opportunity to only Chamber members.

• eView focuses on both Chamber and member news and is released on Thursdays.
• Events highlights the Chamber’s upcoming events and is released on Tuesdays.

Website Advertising
Advertising on the Chamber website is a cost effective way to market your business to thousands of visitors each month. The Chamber offers one banner ad per month on each of our most visible pages:

About Tampa
Chamber Events
Chamber Programs
Business Resources
Business Advocacy
Your Chamber

For more information about newsletter or website advertising, download the spec sheet or contact Brianna Faulkner, Graphic Designer. You can also view the newsletter archives on our website.

To read more about these advertising opportunities, please download our 2012 Media Kit.

St. Petersburg Times will become Tampa Bay Times

Florida’s Best Newspaper serves all of Tampa Bay,
remains independent and locally owned.

TAMPA BAY, Fla. – In a move to better describe the newspaper it has already become, the St. Petersburg Times is changing its name to Tampa Bay Times on Jan. 1, 2012.

The Times is the largest newspaper in Florida because it has found a large audience throughout the Tampa Bay region. Three-fourths of Times readers live outside St. Petersburg.

Times chairman and CEO Paul Tash predicted the change also would reinforce the area’s identity, both locally and across the nation. “We are putting our own greatest asset – our good name – toward the future of the Tampa Bay region,” Tash said.

The Tampa Bay Times will remain independent and locally owned, by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, based in St. Petersburg.

The St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa will be renamed the Tampa Bay Times Forum. It is home to the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, and it will be the site for the 2012 Republican National Convention.

The newspaper’s philanthropic fund, which awards grants and college scholarships, will become the Tampa Bay Times Fund, Inc.

Times Publishing first used the new name in 2004, when it launched tbt* Tampa Bay Times, a free tabloid for young adults. tbt* will remain free and published as an edition of the Tampa Bay Times.

For more information, go to

Bolts of Brilliance with the Tampa Bay Lightning

Join the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Emerge Tampa and Presenting Sponsor AT&T on Tuesday, November 8 at the St. Pete Times Forum for our Annual Tampa Bay Lightning event!

Go behind the net with Tampa Bay Lightning CEO Tod Leiweke, Head Coach Guy Boucher, Center Steven Stamkos and other Lightning players for autographs and a panel discussion.

In addition to Stamkos, you’ll be able to meet and get autographs from:

  • Center Dominic Moore
  • Right Wing Teddy Purcell
  • Center Nate Thompson
  • Defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron
  • Defenseman Matt Gilroy

Get the jump in leadership and mentoring and face-off with players and executives while gaining their insights and the keys to success.

Cost to attend is $35 for all Emerge and Young Professional group members or $45 for all others. Registration and networking begin at 5:45 p.m. and the program will run from 7 to 8 p.m. Afterwards, join Emerge Tampa and community leaders for a power play of networking and celebration at the new Bud Light party deck.

For more information or to register, visit or call 813.276.9448.

Member Spotlight: United States Postal Service

The United States Postal Service delivers more than just mail. We offer training opportunities and assistance to anyone who wants to learn more about using the mail for cost-effective business growth. Whether you’re a small or large business owner looking for training in direct mail, a mail professional looking for workshops and certification, or you’d like to join the greater community of business mailers, we’re here to help.

Postal Customer Council® (PCC)
Your local PCC is a great way to get training, stay on top of mail innovations, and work hand-in-hand with local Post Offices™ to develop more effective, efficient, and profitable mailings. Visit for more information.

Simplified Mailing
Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) from the U.S. Postal Service makes Direct Mail easier and less costly for local businesses. With EDDM, you can target specific areas in your local market without the need of a mailing list. And since you don’t have to buy customer addresses or pay to have names and addresses printed on your mailpieces, EDDM can save you time and money! For information contact Patricia Meredith or visit

Self Service Ship and Mail Centers are available in Tampa at the following locations:
Carrollwood Branch
Ehrlich Branch
Forest Hills Station
Main Office Window Unit
New Tampa Station
Peninsula Station
Temple Terrace Branch
Town N Country Branch

Our various community-minded programs help foster community spirit, while educating and supporting worthwhile causes. The United States Postal Service helps America connect in more ways than just the mail. Whether it’s finding missing children, fundraising stamps, or bone marrow donor programs, USPS gets involved – in your community and nationwide. Keep informed about USPS activities such as our Stamp Out Hunger food drive and how our employees act as local heroes. We deliver more than mail to you – we deliver community service.