LTA Member Profile

Troy Manthey

President and CEO, Yacht StarShip Cruises & Events

Troy Manthey took the helm of the 180-foot, $8-million luxury dining vessel, Yacht Starship, shortly after its construction in 2000 in Biloxi, Mississippi.  Manthey discovered Tampa in January 2001 when Yacht StarShip was chartered for the world-class annual Gasparilla Invasion/Celebration for Superbowl weekend. Shortly afterward, he permanently relocated the Yacht StarShip to Tampa Bay’s vibrant Channelside entertainment district in downtown Tampa.  In May 2007, Yacht Starship opened its 2nd location in Clearwater Beach with the Yacht Starship II and has subsequently added Yacht Starship III (2014) and Yacht Starship IV (2016).  In 2009 Mr. Manthey became the sole owner of Yacht Starship Dining Cruises, LLC, which employees 145 people. February 2016, Yacht Starship opened Pirate Water Taxi, LLC a daily water taxi service with 15 stops and (5) vessels in Downtown Tampa. Most recently (February 2020), Yacht StarShip added a pirate ship, Lost Pearl, to its fleet of dining yachts and water taxis in Downtown Tampa.

Since 2001, Manthey has developed deep roots in Tampa Bay’s civic and business communities. Serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Visit Tampa Bay, Immediate Past Chair of Friends of the Riverwalk (Board), Hillsborough County Hotel Motel Association (Board), Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association -Pinellas Chapter (Board), Port of Tampa Maritime Industries Association (Board) and S.S. American Victory Ship (Board). Manthey is a Leadership Tampa graduate 2003

The Tampa Bay Chamber awarded Yacht StarShip Dining Cruises the 2016 Small Business of the Year in the 51-250 Employee category. Manthey was awarded the Ambassador of the Year for tourism in Hillsborough County in 2017.

Manthey holds a Captain’s license from the United States Coast Guard as Master (inland) and 1st Class Pilot – Any Gross Ton.  Manthey is a 5th generation Passenger Vessel Operator and Captain, who’s family started in the Passenger Steamboat business in 1884. Manthey currently resides in Tampa with his wife Jill and two sons Jack and Patrick, adult daughter Lindsey resides in New Orleans.

Member News 2/11-2/17

Member News

  • Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP is proud to announce that it is celebrating the firm’s 150th anniversary this year.
  • The Cross-Bay Ferry would like your opinion about a new plan which includes permanent, year-round weekend and weeknight service between Tampa, St. Petersburg, and rapidly growing South County and commuter service to MacDill Air Force Base.
  • Saint Leo University breaks ground for 59,000-square-foot Wellness Center.
  • Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP is pleased to announce that Florida Registered Paralegal Barbara C. O’Shaughnessy has joined the firm’s Real Estate team.

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LT’20 Energy & Conservation Day

LT ’20 Energy & Conservation Day

By Sheri Anderson, Tampa Bay Lightning

The Leadership Tampa class of 2020 was privileged to be part of an inaugural programming day focusing on the highly relevant topics of energy and conservation. Environmental discussions happening on the global mainstage were brough front and center, highlighting ecological challenges and ongoing efforts to combat them in the Tampa Bay region.

The day started at the Florida Conservation and Technology Center (FCTC) at Apollo Beach where LT ‘20 had the opportunity to hear from Archie Collins, Chief Operating Officer of Tampa Electric Company (TECO). With its beginnings in Tampa dating back to 1899, Tampa Electric was purchased by Halifax, Nova Scotia based Emera in 2015. At a glance, Emera has $32B in assets, $6.5B in revenues, 2.5M customers and 7.5K employees. 51% of the company’s earnings come from Florida, 36% from Atlantic Canada, 5% from Maine, and 4% from the Caribbean and New Mexico, respectively.

Emera’s corporate strategic initiatives include carbon reduction, rate stability, innovation, and sustainability. Although Florida is a regulated energy market, meaning TECO owns the lines and associated infrastructure, and generates or purchases electricity, and sells it to the end customer, it prides itself on exceeding customer expectations and being the provider customers would choose – in a regulated or unregulated market.

Emera is investing hundreds of millions of dollars into cleaner energy. In Nova Scotia, wind power investment has resulted in 36% lower CO2 emissions between 2005 and 2010. In Tampa, TECO expects to see 30% lower CO2 emissions by 2023 through the combined efforts of its use of solar energy and phasing out coal for natural gas in energy production.

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After hearing from Archie, the crew embarked on an informative, albeit chilly on the rare 45-degree morning, tour of Big Bend station and the manatee viewing center. TECO’s Big Bend Power Station dates back 50 years to when the first coal-fired unit became operational in 1970, with three additional units coming online between 1973 and 1985. TECO has added flue gas desulfurization systems – scrubbers – to its units over the years to meet environment regulations set by the US Clean Air Act, removing 95% of sulfur dioxide from the four energy producing units.

In addition to adhering to national environmental regulations, TECO repurposes the byproducts of its energy production. Gypsum, created during the scrubbing process, is repurposed and used locally in construction for drywall and cement as well as in agriculture as a soil nutrient or fertilizer. Fly ash and slag, also byproducts of the combustion of coal, are used in the cement and concrete industries.

In cooler weather, manatees flock to the power station’s discharge canal where warm water flows into the bay after being used to cool the energy producing Big Bend. The warm water refuge now serves as a state and federally designated manatee sanctuary where Tampa locals and tourists alike can see the gentle mammals up close and personal.

Rounding out the morning programming, we heard from TECO’s Tom Hernandez, Senior Vice President of Distributed Energy & Renewables, who presented on energy transition and renewables. Tom has been integral in leading TECO’s efforts to phase out coal in exchange for natural gas and to implement solar energy initiatives. Big Bend is home to rotating solar panels that follow the suns movement to maximize energy production and can power 3,500 homes. By 2021, TECO anticipates adding 6 million solar panels, enough to power another 100,000 homes, leading to 7% of Tampa Electric’s total energy generation coming from the sun. Because of the significant space needed to house solar panels, TECO is exploring alternatives to scale the renewable energy source, including the possibility of floating solar panels in the water surrounding Florida.

The afternoon started with an overview of the Suncoast Youth Conservation Center and the work being done there in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), TECO, The Florida Aquarium, and The University of Florida. Dr. Kathy Guindon spoke about indoor/outdoor classroom space and the learning opportunities provided to kids and families through recreational outdoor activities. In addition to day camps, the grounds are used free-of-charge for student field trips allowing hands-on learning in the areas of marine science, science based natural resource management, and stewardship behaviors and conversation literacy concepts.

We then heard about the extensive work being done by The Florida Aquarium in research, conservation, and aquatic rehabilitation from Andrew Wood, Chief Operating Officer. The three key pillars for The Florida Aquarium include:

  • Coral Conservation with the objective of restoring Florida’s coral reef tract through successful land-based propagation and re-introduction. Currently, less than 5% of coral coverage remains in the Florida Gulf. Here’s a great overview of The Florida Aquarium’s work in coral reproduction as aired on NPR in August of 2019. https://www.npr.org/2019/08/25/754122930/getting-coral-to-reproduce
  • Sea Turtle Conservation with the objective of rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing endangered sea turtles.
  • Shark Conservation with the objective of better understanding shark biology, specifically reproductive health, to inform species protection strategies.

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Working hand-in-hand with FWC and The Florida Aquarium, Dr. Josh Patterson of The University of Florida is permanently housed at the Conservation Center. Dr. Patterson and other scientists work on-site to further research in aquatic life reproduction and conservation.

The learnings throughout the morning and early afternoon came full circle when we had the opportunity to tour the grounds and see the work being done firsthand. LT ’20 was split up into smaller groups and participated in hands-on activities including testing water quality, catch-and-release fishing, a tour of the endangered turtle rehabilitation facilities, visiting the coral reproduction building, and exploring the riverbank.

The day concluded with powerful discussion about conservation in Tampa Bay – as well as the state of Florida and beyod – and was led by an esteemed group of experts representing Tampa Bay Watch, Aquatech Eco Consultants, The University of South Florida, The Florida Aquarium, and South Florida Water Management District. Key takeaways and actionable advice given by the panelists to better the environment include:

  • Using native Florida plants in our yards and gardens, reducing the amount of watering needed to maintain them. Utilizing barrels to collect rain and use for watering.
  • Turning off the water while we brush our teeth
  • Eliminating the use of single use plastics like bottles and plastic grocery bags. Use reusable cloth bags whenever possible.
  • Washing vehicles on the lawn instead of the driveway so nutrients don’t run off into the water supply

Energy and conservation day was informative and provided a deeper understanding of environmental threats as well as the work being done to protect and conserve the natural resources that make Tampa Bay such a wonderful place to live.

Member News 2/4-2/10

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Member News 1/28 – 2/3

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The 2021 Minority Business Accelerator Chair

From the 2021 Minority Business Accelerator Program Chair, Ralph Garcia, RGA Advisory

Why I got involved.

As a young boy in West Tampa, I often would daydream what it would be like to have an important job where you got to wear a suit and tie to work (yes, those were different times). There weren’t many people in my neighborhood who did.  My greatest blessing was to have wonderful parents who believed in the American dream and pushed my sister and me to be worthy of its bounty.  Through diligence and extraordinary luck, I was able to reach many of the goals that my parents pointed out to me and yes, I got to wear more suits and ties than I ever imagined.  Over time, as many busy people do, I began to not savor my accomplishments and take them for granted in the race to “better” myself.

It seems however, age has a way of finally making me reflect on the journey, not just the destination.  While I am proud of the effort I have put into my life and career, I now realize how much help I received along the way. Many times, I expressed my gratitude but certainly there were times that I did not realize how many helping hands were there for me along the way.  In some cases, those helping hands are no longer with us or their identity is not known to me. As such I made a vow to live my life with the mantra of Value to Others…. of “paying it forward” whenever I can.

One of the first steps in this new phase of my life was becoming a Mentor to a business owner in the Tampa Bay Chamber Minority Business Accelerator.  Sincerely, whatever value I have brought to this business, the value I received back was tenfold.  There is a reward in giving, in being a cheerleader and in seeing others excel. I feel renewed working with leaders who are passionate about becoming better…better businesses, better employers and better community citizens.

Imagine my surprise when I was offered the program chair for the 2021 Cohort.  The bar was set very high with the recently graduated 2019 Cohort.  I still have that competitive spirit and with my Value to Others attitude, I am up to the challenge.  The businesses, and their leaders, that were selected for the 2021 Cohort are inspirational in what they have accomplished and their desire to continue their journey to get even better. These won’t just be good Minority Businesses they will be excellent Tampa Bay based businesses.

The Chamber has championed diversity of its members. They believe that the best community decisions are made when all representatives of the business community participate.  The chamber has invested heavily in the success of the Accelerator by providing considerable resources and talented staff to work on this initiative. They have assembled a stellar group of Mentors for these businesses, as well. These Mentors are all successful and busy people, and yet all have made the 2-year volunteer commitment to be fully engaged in the program.  There are several Chamber members who have also committed their time and skills to present educational seminars on valuable business and strategic topics.

I am the lucky one…I get to see our community grow and expand right before my eyes.  I promise I will work conscientiously as your program chair (the task is made easier by the talented team at the Chamber) and I promise… I will savor every moment.

Member News 1/22-1/27

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