Posted by: tampachamber on Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce marked its 127th anniversary at its Annual Meeting on Thursday, December 13 at the Tampa Convention Center.  More than 650 attendees celebrated the Chamber’s 2012 achievements. 2012 Chamber Chair Chuck Black of Black & Black Consulting Services passed the gavel to 2013 Chair Gregory Celestan of Celestar Corporation. Celestan offered a preview of the Chamber’s priorities in 2013 which include focusing on continuing to support MacDill Air Force Base, strengthen the Chamber’s advocacy efforts on behalf of the business community, continue to support innovation in the Tampa area through our Startup Scholars program and finding ways to support local entrepreneurs and continuing to collaborate with our local economic development partners. Celestan also introduced the Chamber’s 2013 Executive Committee Members, including:

Chair-Elect Robin DeLaVergne Tampa General Hospital
Treasurer Ronald Christaldi, Esq. Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP
Finance Co-Chair Sandra W. Callahan TECO Energy, Inc.
Finance Co-Chair Susan Stackhouse Stellar Partners
Community Development Co-Chair Mike Griffin Vertical Integration
Community Development Co-Chair Corey Neil The Bank of Tampa
Innovation Leadership Chair Wendy Bowman Florida Blue
Innovation Leadership Chair Bill Carlson Tucker/Hall, Inc.
Marketing Chair Bruce Faulmann Tampa Bay Times
Membership Development Co-Chair Guy King III M.E. Wilson Co., Inc.
Membership Development Co-Chair Joseph Meterchick PNC Bank
Military Co-Chair Jon Bayless Tandel Systems
Military Co-Chair Chase Stockon Panther International
Programs Co-Chair Peter Anderson Bayshore Technologies
Programs Co-Chair Doug Pace Bayshore Solutions
Public Policy Co-Chair Vincent J. Cassidy Majesty Title Services
Public Policy Co-Chair Lee Nelson Shutts & Bowen LLP
Legal Counsel Steven Bernstein, Esq. Fisher & Phillips

The Chamber also presented the 2012 H.L. Culbreath Jr. Profile in Leadership Award to James L. Ferman, Jr.  The award, established in 1997 by Leadership Tampa Alumni, a program of the Chamber, is presented annually by the Chamber to recognize an individual whose leadership made a positive impact within the greater Tampa community. CEO and President of Ferman Motor Car Company, Inc. and its affiliated dealerships, Ferman is past Chairman of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and its Committee of 100, past President of the Tampa Museum of Art and past Chairman of The Florida Aquarium.  Ferman is also a past Chairman and Campaign Chairman of the United Way of Hillsborough County (now United Way Suncoast) and past Director of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.  He currently serves as Chairman of The Bank of Tampa, a director of TECO Energy, Inc. and on the Board of Trustees of The University of Tampa. In addition to the announcement of the 2013 Executive Committee and H.L. Culbreath Jr. Profile in Leadership Award winner, the Chamber announced its first class of Startup Scholars.  The three program participants were selected from 29 applicants, which was narrowed down to eight finalists who participated in a Finalist Pitch Day to share details about their respective companies and what they hoped to gain from the program.  The three Startup Scholars are market intelligence companyC2I Intel, social network Eyecrawler, Inc., and baby bottle converter Refresh-A-Baby. For more information on the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, please visit