Posted by: Tampa Bay Chamber on Thursday, December 13, 2018

Announces Minority Business Accelerator Cohort 2020, Presents H.L. Culbreath Jr. Profile in Leadership Award to the Honorable Bob Martinez

Tampa, Fla. – The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce held its 133rd Annual Meeting presented by Florida Hospital today at the Tampa Convention Center. A sold-out crowd of over 1,000 attendees came together to celebrate the Chamber's 2018 achievements. 2018 Chamber Chair Steven Bernstein, Esq., Fisher Phillips, passed the gavel to 2019 Chair Jamie Harden, Creative Sign Designs. The Chamber also received greetings from Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Les Miller. The Chamber collected toys at the event, teaming with Metropolitan Ministries to help bring gifts to the Holiday Tent, which serves more than 18,000 children in the Bay area.

Bernstein highlighted the Chamber’s 2018 accomplishments, which aligned with the 10-year vision plan, Vision 2026. Harden announced the 2020 Cohort of the Minority Business Accelerator (MBA) program. Envision Construction Services, OHC Environmental Engineering, and Pro-Fit Development will begin the two-year program in January 2019. Founding sponsors of the program are Tampa International Airport, TECO, Vinik Family Foundation and Valley Bank. For more information about the MBA program, please click here.

Harden said that he hopes to build strong relationships not only in Tampa but throughout the entire Bay area by working cooperatively with other business organizations. He introduced the Chamber’s 2019 Executive Committee Members, including:



Jamie Harden

Creative Sign Designs


Maryann Ferenc

Mise en Place


Yvette Segura



Gary Vien

Suncoast Credit Union

Legal Counsel

Marilyn Mullen Healy, Esq.


At Large

Brian Adcock

Brian Butler

Adcock Financial Group

Vistra Communications

Kimberlee DeBosier
Steve Griggs

Kevin Hourigan

Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, Inc.
Tampa Bay Lightning

Bayshore Solutions


Andy Mayts, Esq.

Christopher Rogers

Ryan Toth

GrayRobinson PA

Sykes Enterprises Incorporated

The Beck Group





The Chamber also presented the 2018 H.L. Culbreath Jr. Profile in Leadership Award to the Honorable Bob Martinez. The award is presented annually in recognition of an individual whose leadership has made a positive impact within the greater Tampa community.

Bob Martinez is one of Florida’s most respected leaders, with a distinguished career in public service that spans more than 40 years. There are few who have dedicated themselves to our community quite like he has. Bob Martinez was a visionary guardian of Florida’s natural heritage and was one of Florida’s most successful governors on the environmental front. He oversaw the development of Preservation 2000, the program that evolved into Florida Forever, which funds the public acquisition of important wilderness tracts. Bob provided early leadership to address transportation needs, with Hillsborough and Pinellas often overlooked, he established a Department of Transportation district office specifically for the West Coast. He oversaw the creation of the Florida Turnpike Authority allowing the building of new toll systems and allowing more flexibility in meeting motorists’ needs. As Mayor, he worked to accomplish projects benefiting all of the residents of Tampa. During his term of office, the city built one of America's first waste-to-energy plants, opened a large performing arts center and a modern convention center, completely reconstructed Lowry Park Zoo, restored the 1915 City Hall building, and annexed thousands of acres of unincorporated land northeast of the city that would become the neighborhood of New Tampa. Throughout his career, starting as a high school teacher, college professor, restaurant owner, Mayor, Governor, Drug Czar, Chairman of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and policy advisor, Bob has always demonstrated moral and ethical integrity while leading the Tampa community.

In addition, the details for the first two signature events of 2019 were also revealed. The 2019 Military Appreciation event on February 22nd will recognize the contributions of MacDill Air Force Base to our community, honoring those who serve our country at home and abroad.  The guest speaker for the Women of Influence Luncheon on April 18th is Anne Geddes, one of the world’s most respected and well-known photographers. Her first coffee table book Down in The Garden, released in 1992, became a runaway New York Times Best Seller; there are over one and a half million copies in print today.