Member News 5/31/18 – 6/7/18

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  • Vology Secures Spot on CRN’s 2018 Solution Provider 500

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Member News 5/3/18 – 5/10/18

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Chamber Celebrates Leadership Tampa Graduates

(TAMPA, FL) – Leadership Tampa, a program of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, celebrated the graduation of 46 members of the class of 2018 on May 2, 2018 at Bryan Glazer Family JCC in Tampa, FL.  The 2018 class marks the 47th class to graduate from the nationally recognized leadership program established in 1971.

Members of Leadership Tampa are local business people who hold to mid-to upper-level management positions within their companies or organizations.  They represent a wide variety of industries across Tampa and Hillsborough County and are accepted into the program following a selective application process.

The 2018 Leadership Tampa class was led by Class Chair Josh Bullock of University of South Florida, a 2012 Leadership Tampa graduate and Vice Chair Julie Serovich of University of South Florida, a 2014 Leadership Tampa graduate.

Leadership Tampa Class of 2018 graduating class members:

Jolyon Acosta, Bush Ross, P.A.

Chris Adkins, Tampa Marriott Waterside

Josh Adkins, Moffitt Cancer Center

Robbie Artz, Tampa Bay Rays

Heather Brock, Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney

Nick Buchanan, Keller Williams

Ernest Coney, Jr., Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa, Inc.

Adam DePiro, Visit Tampa Bay

Emily Farkas, MacDill Air Force Base

Craig Federer, Raymond James Financial

Rachel Feinman, Tampa Jewish Community Center and Federation

David Ferreira, Warren Averett

Nikki Foster, Mosaic

Jessica Fugate, Florida Southern College

Christine Glover, City of Tampa

Kari Goetz, Tampa International Airport

Leslene Gordon, Hillsborough County Department of Health

Lindsay Grinstead, Tonic Consulting Group

Sarah Ham, AACSB International

Dale Hoffman, Hillsborough County Tax Collector

David Judd, III, Wehr Constructors, Inc.

LaKisha Kinsey-Sallis, Johnson Jackson, LLC

Jennifer LaRocco, GrayRobinson, P.A.

David Loos, Beaux-Arts Group

Leah Millette, BayCare

Linda Olson, Tampa Bay WaVE

Sara Palmer, USAmeriBank

Dustin Pasteur, IV, Tampa General Hospital

Stacey Pittman, Bank of Tampa

Kevin Preast, Tampa Bay Lightning

Randy Prescott, KCI Technologies, Inc.

Ryan Reynolds, Cushman & Wakefield

Natalie Roberts, Flagship Law, PLLC

Kay Schwartz, USAA

Matthew Serynek, RS&H, Inc.

Eric Stewart, Synovus Bank

Rolfe Thompson, GTE Financial

Susan Thompson, CS&L CPAs

Charles Tiernan, Community Foundation of Tampa Bay

Marshall Tucker, TECO

Elias Vazquez, Tampa Police Department

Virginia Veit, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

Caroline Vostrejs, The Beck Group

Jennifer Whelihan, Hillsborough County Economic Development

Kiana Wilson, A Sharper U, LLC

Jennifer Yeagley, Gulf Coast Jewish Family Community Services

Applications for the 2019 Leadership Tampa class are available online at The deadline for application submission is May 4, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.  For more information on Leadership Tampa, please contact MaryBeth Williams at (813) 276-9445 or at

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 Presents Dottie Berger MacKinnon Woman of Influence Award to Colleen Chappell

Colleen_retouched.jpg smaller for eViewColleen Chappell, president and CEO of ChappellRoberts, was selected as the recipient of the 2018 Dottie Berger MacKinnon Woman of Influence Award, presented by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

As a premier business leader in Florida, Colleen was named both Tampa Bay’s Businesswoman of the Year by the Tampa Bay Business Journal and University of South Florida’s School of Mass Communications Outstanding Alumnus. She and her team have been recognized as winners of the coveted international Gold Stevie Award for Management Team of the Year and the international Bronze Stevie Award for Business Services Female Executive of the Year. With a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications from the University of South Florida, Colleen is a Dale Carnegie graduate and accredited in public relations by the Public Relations Society of America. She has served on the executive boards of the Tampa Bay Partnership, and the American Marketing Association Global Headquarters Professional Chapters Council. Most recently, she served as the Chair of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation.

The Woman of Influence Award recognizes a woman whose leadership has made a positive impact in Hillsborough County.  It pays tribute to an individual who exemplifies outstanding professional values; demonstrates the ability to go above and beyond the normal expectations of a leader; and serves as an inspiration to the community. Colleen Chappell received recognition during the Chamber’s annual Women of Influence Luncheon featuring Linda Alvarado, president and CEO of Alvarado Construction, Inc. and owner of the Colorado Rockies.

Member News 4/19/18 – 4/26/18

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LT ’18 Tourism Day

Tourism as a Tampa Bay Economic Driver

By Chuck Tiernan, Community Foundation of Tampa Bay with Guest Roving Reporter Leah Millette, BayCare

Leadership Tampa ‘18’s Tourism Day on April 4th had a traveling feel to it thanks to the higher than usual number of stops, giving our class ample opportunity to “explore the upside of downtime.”

The large number of things to see appropriately aligns with the fact that tourism is Florida’s largest revenue source, according to Day Chair Jill Manthey (LT ’10).   Statewide, recent years have seen tourism records broken. With more than 116 million visitors to our state in 2017 (22.6 million in Hillsborough County alone) and over $111 billion in spending by guests in 2016, last year was the 6th straight record setting year ($3.4 billion in the county, according to Visit Tampa Bay).

The day started with a visit to Busch Gardens. President Stewart Clark filled the class in on many “hidden” features of the park, such as the fact that it is a full AZA (Association of Zoos & Aquariums) Zoo in its own right with 300 species and a full animal care center. The park utilizes 4,000 pounds of food per day for its 12,000 animals.  There was a captivating truck safari around the Savannah area where we feed giraffes and took some AWESOME selfies!

While I was enjoying some upside-down time on the Cheetah roller coaster, roving reporter Leah Millette was in the animal care center where she met one of the zookeepers, Trevor and one of their four clinical veterinarians, Dr. Dominique.  They started their tour in the kitchen and discussed how animal nutrition is an important part of the care they provide to the animals.  They even had Dr. Heidi Bissell who on their team, is one of just 26 Zoo Nutritionists in the world. The Zookeeper Trevor introduced us to Vergo, a Ground Kus Kus from New Guinea and one of the animal ambassadors for Busch Gardens, because of how great he is with people. Next they moved to a viewing room to watch the clinical team in action working to remove a fish hook lodged in the stomach of a wild cormorant bird.  It was amazing to see the dedication that Busch Gardens has in taking care of not only the animals in their care but also the animals in the wild.

Finally, Leah reports that four clinical vets are on site at Busch Gardens 365 days per year,  which is a demonstration of their commitment to the health and rehabilitation of animals.

Unfortunately, we were not able to see the new squirrel exhibit since it was still under renovation.  Aw, nuts!

After leaving Busch Gardens, the class headed to the recently rebranded ZooTampa at Lowry Park – another AZA member. Of the 280ish nationwide, we have 2 in the Tampa area.  After another cool vehicle tour, we met the very endangered Painted Dogs and had an up close elephant talent demonstration. President & CEO Joseph Couceiro shared ZooTampa’s journey to rebrand as well as a look into their future as they seek to “inspire a culture” of caring about animals and their guest every day.  The zoo is one of just three sites statewide for emergency Manatee Care – one of dozens of surprising facts we learned about these community assets during the day.  Joe told us the story of an animal rescue for Walter, the Florida Panther who lost a paw in a trap.

While eating lunch at the zoo, Jason Carroll shared the perspectives of Friends of the Riverwalk, a community asset known to most of us fairly well but with interesting backstories….such as the monuments with the memorialized persons height. We all will stop by those a bit longer now. Admit it.  We also heard about the evolution of Tampa’s signature event, Gasparilla Parade/Festival from Maiken Stefany of Eventfest.  This 3-month celebration of Florida culture has grown into the largest child parade in the U.S., the largest pirate invasion in the U.S. (trumping Seattle and their Seafair Pirates), and the third largest pirate parade with about 500,000 spectators.  It also features the only fully rigged pirate ship for the invasion, built/launched in 1954.  For you accountants in our class, the pirate weekend alone is estimated to have a $22 million economic impact.

We also heard from our visitor bureaus from both sides of Tampa Bay, which offer vastly different amenities to guests to the Tampa/St. Petersburg area.  With 21,000 and 38,000 rooms respectively, Tampa & St. Petersburg areas generate $84 million in “bed” taxes annually ($30m + $54m).  One fact that surprised me – Visit Tampa Bay isn’t allowed to spend money inside the county, so our Tampa airport only has Visit St. Pete/Clearwater advertising.  We heard interesting facts about the out-of-state markets for whom those entities collectively compete, including Chicago, Dallas, New York, Philly, Toronto and Boston. While Visit Tampa Bay takes advantage of the convention center to attract business guests for “BLeisure” travel, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater attracts 90% of its people for leisure days on the beautiful beaches, creating the necessity for 5% of their budget to be spent of “beach re-nourishment”. (Sounds like a good theme for a LT ’18 debriefing session!)

Next, Fresh off its 23rd birthday, The Florida Aquarium was next, and we took a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming 100,000 gallon habitat for sharks, coral and turtles among other sea creatures.  Thanks to Rick Waterhouse (Was he born to work in an aquarium, or what?) for the information on this 8-month project, which takes two different moves of sea life to facilitate.

Eric Blanc introduced us to the Tampa Convention Center and discussed the hotel industry surrounding the center with General Managers Ron McAnaugh and Jeff Weinthaler of Marriott Waterside & Embassy Suites.  A renovation for the convention center is gradually getting underway, including improved food service options and “look and feel” like carpeting, etc.  While the walking tour made it hard to take copious notes, it was fascinating to hear the scale of projects like light replacement in the Exhibit Hall.  There have been as many as 10,000 folks at the center for one event. Why wouldn’t tons of people come to one of the only convention centers in the U.S. with a navigable body of water adjacent to it?  The GMs also shared some of the upcoming plans for additional hotel facilities around town adding more capacity for a community already in demand.

Another surprise awaited us aboard the Yacht Star Ship. Friends and family awaited us for our third meal of the day out on the town (just like real tourists!) and a wonderful tour around the bay and channels during our very casual debrief session.

Many thanks to our sponsors Agentry Real Estate and NFM Lending for the day, as well as our Day Chairs and the hosts at the many guest friendly locations that make Tampa a wonderful place to live, work, play and visit.





Canada and the Sunshine State: Partnering for Prosperity


Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Rohrlack, Consulate General of Canada Susan Harper, President and CEO of Canadian Chamber of Commerce Perrin Beatty, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Andrew McIntosh of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, and Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Chair Steve Bernstein

Tampa, Fla. – The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce hosted the Honourable Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce on April 18 for a lunch at the University Club of Tampa. The event was sponsored by Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick and featured a speech from Mr. Beatty that was titled “Canada and the Sunshine State: Partnering for Prosperity.” He spoke about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and trade issues in the context of the important Canada-Florida partnership.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn of Tampa, along with other business leaders attended the event and got further insight into the economic impact that Canada has not only in Florida but in the Tampa Bay region. The discussion focused on the partnership that Canada and Florida have and the business success that both countries have provided for one another, with hopes of continuing that partnership.

The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce will take 100 business leaders to Toronto in October for the Annual Benchmarking Trip. It will be the first benchmarking trip outside of the U.S.