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.

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Tampa Bay named 2018 Great American Defense Community

Tampa, Fla. – Tampa Bay has been recognized as a 2018 Great American Defense Community. 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.

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 support installations and create a high quality of life for military families and veterans. The Chamber and Defense Alliance thank Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Bill Nelson and Representative Kathy Castor for their letters of support for the joint application to recognize Tampa Bay 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.

The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and Tampa Bay Defense Alliance application included the Chamber’s Operation Partnership program, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Salute to Service initiatives and the Tinker K-8 School  success story.

“This designation is a proud moment for Tampa Bay and validates the many community partners that work to make us a model military community,” said Chamber president and CEO Bob Rohrlack. “This award reflects 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.

About the Tampa Bay Defense Alliance

The mission of the Tampa Bay Defense Alliance is to champion their defense community. They promote a collaborative and engaged environment that vigorously supports a robust and growing defense community. Unified in actions, they are a forum of community leaders supporting veterans, our military personnel and their families.

 

Chamber to Pay Tribute to Veterans on November 10

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The Greater Tampa, South Tampa and Brandon Chambers invite the Tampa community to the 2014 Veterans Day Celebration at Joe Chillura Courthouse Square in downtown Tampa at 10 a.m. on Monday, November 10.  Hosted by the Military Council of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, South Tampa Chamber and the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce, the event will feature the always popular parade of flags, a concert by local school children and remarks by Vice Admiral Sean Pybus, Deputy Commander, Naval Special Warfare (NSW) SEAL Officer, United States Special Operations Command.

Invited guests include families of those county residents killed in action, combat-wounded patients being treated at the James A. Haley VA Hospital, elected officials, civic leaders and senior military representatives from MacDill Air Force Base. The Progress Village Middle Magnet School band and Orange Grove Middle Magnet School chorus will perform patriotic musical selections, and there will be a reading of the names of Hillsborough Country veterans who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The ceremony is co-presented with Hillsborough County, the City of Tampa and Tampa Downtown Partnership and sponsored by USAA, Bank of America, Saint Leo University, Celestar Corporation, Grow Financial Federal Credit Union, Boeing, The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and Sam’s Club.  A light lunch and beverages will be served after the ceremony.

Joe Chillura Courthouse Square is located on Kennedy Boulevard between Pierce and Morgan streets in downtown Tampa.

About the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce is committed to serving our members and enhancing our community by building business success.  The Chamber provides a greater return on investment and involvement by providing innovative leadership, inside access, influential advocacy and increased opportunities. 

Chamber Members Form Joint Venture

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(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.”

Military Transition Center at MacDill Air Force Base Now Open

140806-F-DN643-067CareerSource Tampa Bay is pleased to announce the opening of the MacDill Transition Center at MacDill Air Force Base. Located in the MacDill AFB Exchange food court (former GameStop location), the MacDill Transition Center offers services, such as re-employment assistance to transitioning service members and spouses, job search assistance, resume review, www.employflorida.com (EFM) assistance, employer information sessions, recruitment events, referrals to community partners/agencies and information on our jobs centers.

During our hours of operation of 8:30am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, two staff members, including a local veteran employment representative and business services team member, will be available to assist with any of your workforce needs. CareerSource Tampa Bay President and CEO, Edward Peachey explains, “The Transition Center will serve as a job exchange for Veterans who are seeking employment. CareerSource Tampa Bay will host employers who are recruiting for open positions within their respective businesses and provide Veterans with immediate and future opportunities to interview for jobs in the Tampa Bay area. We believe this initiative will provide an efficient process for Veterans to find employment and an effective method of talent recruitment for employers.”

For more information, contact Jason Druding, Veteran Services Lead Recruiter, at 813-397-2088 or via e-mail at: drudingj@careersourcetampabay.com.

CareerSource Tampa Bay is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. All voice telephone numbers on this document may be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment via the Florida Relay Service at 711.

 

Tampa Chamber issues statement on the Congressional District 13 race

Chamber President & CEO Bob Rohrlack released the statement below on the Congressional District 13 race:

“With the passing last year of Congressman Bill Young, the Tampa Bay area lost a tireless fighter for MacDill Air Force Base.  While we recognize MacDill lies in Congressional District 14 and we’ve worked closely with Congresswoman Kathy Castor, who is a great supporter of our Base – it is equally important that the person elected to Congressional District 13 understand MacDill’s significant regional economic impact.  Our congressional delegation has traditionally been supportive of MacDill, but it is essential that those members of Congress that represent any portion of Hillsborough or Pinellas counties take a special interest in helping to protect MacDill Air Force Base, our service members, veterans and their families. No matter who is elected, we stand ready to work with them on issues important to our military. We ask all three candidates for the Congressional District 13 seat to firmly commit to fight for MacDill and our military servicemen and women.”

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

Lieutenant General Russel Honoré to Speak at Military Appreciation Banquet

Headshot large with AP croppedToday, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce announced Lieutenant General Russel Honoré, United States Army (Ret.) will deliver the keynote address at this year’s Military Appreciation Banquet, presented by Bright House Networks on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at the Marriott Waterside. Registration is now available at www.tampachamber.com.

LTG Honoré, an army veteran who’s illustrious career within the U.S. Army spans over 37 years, is widely known as the “Category 5 General” who led Task Force Katrina in the aftermath of the devastating hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast. LTG Honoré is currently a Senior Scientist with The Gallup Organization, where he is working on developing questions to determine levels of preparedness, and a CNN Preparedness Contributor. He is committed to a new mission: Creating a “Culture of Preparedness” in America by traveling around the states on public speaking occasions, fund-raisers and writing books. LTG Honoré has been featured on The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and The Costa Report.

This year’s event marks the 15th year the Chamber will honor our community’s military personnel.  Following the keynote address by LTG Honoré, awards will be presented in categories including Civilian awards, Military Citizen of the Year for each branch and ROTC Cadet of the Year for each branch.

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