Join Emerge Tampa Bay for the 3rd Annual Emerging with Influence


By: Sarah Schwirian

You’ve heard us talking about Emerging with Influence (repeatedly, I’m sure!), but what exactly IS it? Emerging with Influence is Emerge Tampa Bay’s premier signature event that provides Emerge Tampa Bay members, as well as the Tampa Bay business community, the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the organization throughout the previous year. Past leadership is celebrated as the new Emerge Tampa Bay Leadership Team is welcomed.

We hope you will join us on Thursday, November 6, at TPepin’s Hospitality Centre for the 3rd Annual Emerging with InfluenceThe highlight of the event will be the presentation of the Deanne Dewey Roberts Emerging Leader Award to one deserving Emerge Tampa Bay member who exhibits Deanne’s remarkable leadership. Deanne founded Emerge Tampa Bay in 2004 while she was Chair of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. The 2014 finalists include:

    • Jessica R. Aspiras, Tampa Bay Partnership
    • Jessica Muroff, Frameworks of Tampa Bay, Inc.
    • Aakash Patel, Elevate Inc.
    • Brian Seel, The Beck Group

This year, we welcome special guest Debbie Lundberg of Presenting Powerfully, who will present on “The ABCs of Next Level Leadership.” We will also be joined by Mayor Bob Buckhorn and many members who have made this and the last ten years a success. Read more…

As a new addition to the event, we will highlight the Protégé Program. This exclusive mentoring program, headed up by the Grow committee, is a pillar of Emerge Tampa Bay and has connected hundreds of young professionals with influential leaders throughout our community. We will recognize participants and have remarks from Leadership Tampa Alumni Chair, Troy Atlas.

We are thankful to our sponsors of this event: Leadership Tampa Alumni, Northwestern Mutual, Tampa Steel Erecting Co., ChappellRoberts, Tampa General Hospital and PNC Bank.

Hope to see you there!

Tomorrow’s Tampa: An Idea Summit

Join Tampa Bay’s leading young professionals to develop a young professional’s vision of Tampa. How do you want Channelside to look in five years? How would you develop downtown Tampa? What transit options are important to you? Come share your ideas for the future of Tampa and be a part of developing a plan for Tomorrow’s Tampa: An Idea Summit.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Mickey Jacob, FAIA, BDG Architects will be the keynote speakers for this event followed by these breakout sessions:

Breakout Session 1:
Breakout Session 2:
Expanding Downtown
Transportation Options
What do Young Professionals
want from Channelside?
Increasing Downtown Tourism
What do Young Professionals
want from Downtown?
Click here to register today!

    Thank you to our Sponsors:

Rep. Bilirakis to Host Employment Fair December 6

On Tuesday, December 6, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-09) will again be hosting a FREE Employment Fair, which will provide job-seekers with an opportunity to meet with potential employers in the Tampa Bay area. The fair will be held at Spartan Manor at 6121 Massachusetts Avenue in New Port Richey.

“At a time when so many people in our community are in need of employment, it’s imperative that they are put in touch with those businesses and employers that are hiring, and these fairs provide that opportunity,” Bilirakis said.

Nearly two dozen local businesses and employers will be on hand to meet with those seeking careers. Attendees are encouraged to dress professionally, bring resumes and be prepared for potential interviews.

For more information, call 727.773.2871. Visit for a confirmed list of participating employers.

WHEN: Tuesday, December 6, 2011, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
WHERE: Spartan Manor, 6121 Massachusetts Avenue, New Port Richey, FL 34653
MEDIA: Reporters, Cameras permitted. Media RSVP to Creighton Welch at 202.225.5755

NOTE: On Friday, December 10, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Bilirakis will also be hosting a free Foreclosure Assistance Workshop. Given the current downturn in the housing market, many families are insecure about their most important investment and this workshop will bring together leaders in home finance to aid families and individuals in navigating these uncertain times. It will be held at Mitchell High School, 2323 Little Road, New Port Richey.

Entertainment Journalist Giuliana Rancic to Speak at Women of Influence Event

Today, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce announced that Giuliana Rancic, entertainment journalist and co-anchor of E! News, will deliver the keynote address at the Chamber’s 6th Annual Women of Influence Luncheon on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at A La Event Carte Pavilion.

“Giuliana has a fascinating story of growing up in Italy in an impoverished neighborhood, moving to the United States as a young girl and ultimately becoming a well-known entertainment journalist. Her love of journalism started before she even learned English and we are looking forward to hearing her story of how she overcame various obstacles in her life and career,” said 2012 Women of Influence Chair Renee Scott, State Farm Insurance Company.

Rancic is currently co-anchor of E! News alongside Ryan Seacrest and is the co-star of E!’s Fashion Police alongside Joan Rivers. She is also on the board of directors for the National Italian American Foundation, author of FabFitFun, a daily newsletter focused on beauty, health and wellness and a member of American Women in Radio and Television. Some of her charity work includes Operation Smile, Dress for Success, Mercy Home for Boys and Girls in Chicago and the Children’s Miracle Networks. Giuliana earned her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland and her Master’s in Journalism from the American University in Washington, D.C. While in attendance, she worked for a capital news bureau covering a number of stories related to the Pentagon, Supreme Court, White House and State Department.

Her new book, I Do, Now What? was recently released and in 2006, Giuliana released her highly-praised debut book, Think Like a Guy: How to Get a Guy by Thinking Like One, a practical and funny handbook on landing the man of your dreams.

About the Women of Influence Luncheon
In 2007, the Chamber identified a growing demand from members for programming designed to foster success among female business professionals in the Tampa Bay region. Out of this need grew the Women of Influence Luncheon, an annual event designed to offer local women an opportunity to develop relationships and discuss issues specific to women in business. Previous luncheons have welcomed Soledad O’Brien, acclaimed special investigations correspondent and host of CNN’s In America documentaries, real estate mogul and Shark Tank judge Barbara Corcoran, Elizabeth Gilbert, best selling author of Eat, Pray, Love, and Sarah Blakely, founder of SPANX. The luncheon annually sells out with an average crowd of more than 800 attendees.

For more information on the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, please visit

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.

Tampa Wins National League of Cities Award for Afterschool Programs, Celebrates Lights on Afterschool Day Oct. 20

Celebrating the Importance of Afterschool Programs TAMPA, FL (Oct. 20, 2011) – The National League of Cities has named Tampa one of the 27 most advanced cities in the U.S. for its efforts to coordinate afterschool opportunities for children and youth. The announcement is the result of a research report commissioned by the Wallace Foundation and published by the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education and Families.

Other cities include Boston, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C. and Jacksonville, the only other Florida city represented. Six key elements identified by the Wallace Foundation as essential for building sustainable, coordinated afterschool systems include:  committed leadership, a public or private coordinating entity, multi-year planning, reliable information, expanding participation, and a commitment to quality. 

The honor came as Tampa and Hillsborough County out-of-school programs took part in the nationwide Afterschool Alliance 12th Annual Lights On Afterschool rallies the afternoon of Oct. 20. The local rallies – held at Boys & Girls Clubs, schools, parks and recreation locations, and faith-based and other providers – brought attention to afterschool programs, which have suffered recent budget cuts across the country.  As part of the “Lights On” rallies the Suntrust Building in Tampa was fully lit the evening of Oct. 20.

“Afterschool programs inspire children to learn, keep kids safe and allow parents to work,” said Bobbi Davis, resource development manager at the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, head of the Hillsborough Out-of-School Time committee and an ambassador with the Afterschool Alliance. Davis secured a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Center, the only federal afterschool funding in the country, which goes through the Children’s Board to benefit three Tampa Boys & Girls Clubs.

For more information about the National League of Cities announcement and the complete list of winners, click here.  For more information about the Afterschool Alliance Lights On Afterschool initiative, click here.

The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County serves as the leading voice and advocate for children and families in our community. The board is the only organization of its kind in Hillsborough County that generates revenue to help children and families. The Children’s Board is recognized nationally for its contributions to best practices in policies and programs aiding children and families. Citizens may visit to learn more about the board’s programs.

Keiser University Celebrates 35 Years and Not-for-Profit Status

Keiser University, which celebrates 35 years of successfully providing career-focused education, will provide another $1 million in new scholarships in honor of its transition to not-for-profit status. The regionally accredited independent university received final approval from the Department of Education to complete its transition to not-for-profit status this summer. To mark the occasion, the university will provide $1 million in new scholarship funds and hold events at its campuses throughout Florida.

Keiser University serves nearly 18,000 students on 15 campuses, employing over 3,000 staff and faculty. The university is Florida’s leading statewide provider of career-focused, post-secondary education and is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Join Keiser University at the 5002 W. Waters Ave. campus on October 19 at 6 p.m.  to celebrate their 35th year serving Florida!

The transition to a not-for-profit university marks the multi-decade vision of the Keiser team to provide an educational legacy for future generations of students and graduates in the state and nation.

RSVP to (use event code KU35) or by calling Ashley Brewer at 813.885.4900.

Volunteers Inspire Hillsborough County 8th Graders

More than 200 volunteers stepped back into the classroom today to help inspire 8th graders in Hillsborough County during our annual Diploma-See Initiative. Participants who sign on to present Junior Achievement‘s Economics for Success may be business people, company employees, educators, parents, students or community leaders.

The objective? Share personal work and life experiences which reinforce the importance of staying in school.

Here’s a peek at some of the happenings at Franklin, Ferrell and Young Middle Schools. For more photos, visit our Facebook page.

Couldn’t Make it to SBOY? Check out the photos!

Just in case you couldn’t attend our Annual Small Business of the Year Awards banquet on September 16, we’re happy to share some photos from the evening! Visit our Facebook page to see more.

Congratulations to the 2011 Small Business of the Year Award Winners!!!

The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of the 2011 Small Business of the Year Awards at a ceremony on Friday, September 16, at the Tampa Convention Center.  More than 850 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 Sam’s Club and represents the 31st 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.  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 2011 Small Business of the Year Award winners are:

Outstanding Leader: Olin Mott, Olin Mott Tire Stores

Olin Mott opened the first location of Olin Mott Tire Stores in 1955 on Hillsborough Avenue.  Since then, the company has grown to four company-owned locations and two franchise locations.  Mott’s dedication to his customers and employees is paramount; one great example is his financing of an employee’s dream – resulting in Big John’s Alabama Barbeque.  Mott is dedicated to the community as well, establishing the Michelin/Joshua House Golf Classic in 1994 and Tutor-a-Bull in 2005 – a partnership between the Michelin Golf Classic, the USF College of Education and Hillsborough County Public Schools – designed to provide one-on-one tutoring for middle and high-school students.

5 – 20 Employees: Majesty Title Services, LLC

Majesty Title Services, LLC (MTS) is a National Title and Settlement Agency headquartered in Tampa, offering buyers and lenders a full range of title insurance and escrow services for real estate transactions.  Majesty Title’s focus is on serving clients in Florida and New York, and wherever their business takes them throughout the United States.  MTS began as a New York/New Jersey regional title agency in the 1990’s.  In 2006, three partners acquired the infrastructure of the NY/NJ agency and re-branded the company as Majesty Title Services.

21 – 50 Employees: Italiano Insurance

Italiano Insurance Services, Inc. is a family owned and operated insurance agency whose principals have served West Central and South Florida for over 50 years.  The agency has grown into a thriving, full service agency offering commercial, home, auto, boat, flood, life, and health insurance.   Even though their client base includes many large corporations and multi-national firms, Italiano Insurance has never allowed its focus to stray away from their core business – individual consumers and locally-owned small businesses.

51 – 250 Employees: Creative Sign Designs

Creative Sign Designs (CSD) serves the commercial and architectural signage market on a national basis, providing a full array of interior, exterior, and digital signage solutions. CSD is a turn-key operation offering consultation, design, engineering, permitting, fabrication, installation, and ongoing maintenance for signage projects of all shapes and sizes. CSD has supported many causes over the years including Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, Tampa General Hospital Foundation and Berkeley Preparatory School.