Posted by: Tampa Bay Chamber on Monday, January 4, 2021


Members of the Chamber participated in a roundtable discussion with Gov. Ron DeSantis at Port Tampa Bay. The conversation focused on the reopening process for area businesses. Participants included: Tampa Bay Chamber President & CEO Bob Rohrlack, Port Tampa Bay Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer Raul Alfonso, Buyer's Point President & CEO Ben Walker, SPP Executive Vice President of Corporate Leasing & Strategy David Bevrit, Black Pearl Owner Zach Feinstein, and HCP Associates Managing Partner Sean Coniglio.

The Chamber Hosted a Roundtable Discussion with US Department of Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross.

Ahead of the General Election, the Chamber held proposed Florida Constitutional Amendment Educational Forums:

Amendment 1 - Citizenship Requirement to Vote in Florida Elections

  • John Loudon – Chairman, Florida Citizen Voters (Sponsor)
  • Michele Levy – Voter Services Co-Chair, League of Women Voters of Florida (Against)

Amendment 2 – Raising Florida’s Minimum Wage

  • Roxey Nelson – Vice President of Politics & Strategic Campaigns for 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East (Pro)
  • Samantha Padgett – General Counsel for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (Against)

Amendment 3 - All Voters Vote in Primary Elections

  • Steven Vancore – Principal, VancoreJones Communications (Sponsor)
  • Kara Gross – Legislative Director & Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU of Florida (Against)

The Chamber was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections for our partnership in recruiting poll workers and educating our members and the broader Tampa Bay community this election cycle.

Workforce Development Committee

80 members attended the Workforce Development Committee’s State of Workforce Development webinar where they heard from State Senator Janet Cruz, Chancellor Henry Mack, and Superintendent Addison Davis.

The Workforce Development Committee hosted the Work Redefined: Retaining Talent event on November 3rd featuring a facilitated conversation on how companies are retaining their talent by investing in company culture, professional development, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Workforce Housing Subcommittee

Members of the Workforce Housing Subcommittee met with Ocea Wynn from the City of Tampa to discuss potential partnership opportunities and receive an update on the Mayor’s Housing Affordability initiative. Looking ahead to 2021 we will be partnering with the City to encourage member participation in their business and brunch program that is designed to promote home ownership in Tampa.

Members of the Workforce Housing Subcommittee met with Cheryl Howell, Director of Affordable Housing Services for Hillsborough County to discuss their initiatives and how the Chamber can best partner to advance workforce housing opportunities in Tampa Bay.

Inclusive Organization


Operation Partnership: Tampa Bay @ Sunset was held on October 21st at the Victory Ship in downtown Tampa. Over 40 business community members and military connected individuals attended this networking event sponsored by USAA.

The Military Advisory Committee heard from Hillsborough County Public Schools on how they support military connected students in the district.

The Military Council hosted their inaugural Public Policy Roundtable: State of the Base event on November 5th. The conversation focused on how quality of life factors impacts future basing decisions and opportunities for the business community to partner with MacDill AFB for defense related growth. Feature panelists included Col Benjamin Jonsson, 6th ARW Commander, Ray Collins, Executive Director of the Florida Defense Support Task Force, and Matt Borron, COO of the Association of Defense Communities.

The Military Advisory Committee met with Ken Nahrwold from USF to discuss the resources the Veteran Success Office provides and how the business community can partner to support student veterans.

Minority Business Accelerator

Cohort ’20 Graduated from the 2-year program. Congratulations to Envision Construction Services and OHC Environnemental Engineering.

Thank you to Colette Glover-Hannah for serving as Chair of Cohort ’20.

Cohorts 2020 and 2021 Metrics Summary

Year 2020:

  • 30: New Jobs Created
  • 15: Vacancies Filled
  • 70: New Corporate Contracts
  • Over $2.6M in Secured Capital
  • 30: Strategic Introductions Made
  • 18: New Assets Acquired
  • Over $20M in Gross Sales

Minority Business Director Avril Stinson participated as an invited focus group guest of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives in partnership with Comcast Communications. The focus group was convened to look for insights and feedback to further refine and align the Comcast RISE (Representation | Investment | Strength | Empowerment) program to meet the most pressing needs of business owners in our communities. RISE was created to elevate Black & POC-owned businesses that have been affected by extended closures in the wake of COVID-19 by supporting them with media, marketing, technology, and story-telling expertise. Visit the Comcast RISE website for additional information.

The Minority Business Accelerator Selection Committee selected 6 new companies to participate in the newest class.

Welcome Cohort ’22!

Collegiate Leadership

Chair, Kari Goetz (LT’18) and Vice Chair, Wyatt Krapf (Emerge)

Collegiate Leadership Program kicked off on October 2, 2020 with Opening Session followed by two program days. Our next program day is on January 22, 2021

Emerging Leaders

Emerging Leader’s Inclusion Committee is hosting their 8th Annual Nonprofit Fair on October 22, 2020. This virtual event mirrored a career fair with the goal of connecting nonprofits with young professionals searching for volunteer opportunities, board positions, and upcoming fundraising opportunities.

The 2020 Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay Leadership team announced and Adam Myers, Tampa Bay Economic Development Council, will be the 2021 Chair and Michelle Christie, Regions Banks, will be the 2021 Vice Chair.

Emerging Leaders announced the 2021 Leadership Team and the winner of the 2020 Deanne Dewey Roberts Emerging Leader Award at their Annual Meeting. See the press release for more information.

Committee Meetings – 6

Current ELTB membership is 459 members

Hub For Business


The Tampa Bay Chamber is always advocating for the region's businesses, and the coronavirus pandemic has been no different. We continue to help businesses navigate regulations, revenue decline, and workforce changes to collectively focus on maintaining business operations.

The Chamber continues to provide many valuable resources to help your business grow while supporting strong commerce in the Tampa market. In a time of working remotely and social distancing, we have all learned the power of Chamber Connections. 29 new members have joined since October 1st. There is a strong desire to connect with other professionals and engage in meaningful conversation to find solutions to current challenges and to further better our community.

Membership Committee introduced a new program last fall, Business Around the Bay, originally intended to be a small group luncheon seamlessly shifted from in person to virtual with solid success connecting with over 50 new members last quarter. In December we brought together 20 members for an in person breakfast with robust discussion.

Chamber Ambassadors continue their member outreach efforts. Ambassador volunteers assist in membership retention efforts and work to improve member relations by making regular contact with new and existing members. One thing is for sure, we have proven time and time again, we are stronger together!

Community Outreach Committee

The Community Outreach Committee provided volunteers for three outreach projects 4th quarter. In October, 18 volunteers assisted The Phoenix House at their intake facility utilizing special talents from building, to painting, to organizing, and even closet styling.

In November, the Chamber, LTA and Emerge joined forces for Feeding Tampa Bay to deliver over 3500 food boxes to our fellow citizens at the HCC mega tent. Following CDC guidelines, 47 volunteers brought awareness to food insecurity in our community.

Ending the year with the spirit of giving, the Chamber was a drop of site for food and gift donation for Metropolitan Ministries. Plus, 10 volunteers worked the holiday tent which creates a memorable holiday for so many families.


Hosted a webinar featuring the author of The Color of Law, Richard Rothstein. Attendees heard a keynote address via live stream and were able to participate in a live Q&A following his remarks. In The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, Richard Rothstein argues with exacting precision and fascinating insight how segregation in America – the incessant kind that continues to dog our major cities and has contributed to so much recent social strife – is the byproduct of explicit government policies at the local, state, and federal levels.

Event Attendance

Hosted attendees at events across Tampa Bay:

Q4 Oct. 1 - Dec. 10: 2,600+

YTD Jan. 1 - Dec. 10: 10,700+

14th Annual Women of Influence Luncheon

Presented by PNC Bank

October 26, 2020

Featuring Shiza Shahid, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Investor and Impact Leader

70 attended in person at the Hilton Tampa Downtown while 450+ streamed the event live

The Dottie Berger MacKinnon Woman of Influence Award was presented to Dianne Jacob, Senior Vice President and Director, Client and Community Relations, PNC Bank

40th Annual Small Business of the Year Awards

November 12, 2020

Presented by Adcock Financial & Warren Averett

300 attended the event at Armature Works


  • Startup: Imperium Data Networks
  • 5 - 20 Employees: Meter Technology Werks (MTW)
  • 21 - 50 Employees: Bay Food Brokerage
  • 51 - 250 Employees: Southern Manufacturing Technologies, Inc.
  • Outstanding Leader: Mike Harting, 3 Daughters Brewing

135th Annual Meeting

Hosted on December 10, 2020

Limited capacity audience of 80 attended in person at the Tampa Convention Center while hundreds of virtual attendees streamed the event live

The H.L. Culbreath Jr. Profile in Leadership Award was presented to Edwin Narain, Esq., AVP, North & Central Florida External & Legislative Affairs for AT&T.

Upcoming Events

15th Annual Women of Influence Luncheon

April 21, 2021 at the Tampa Marriott Water Street

Featuring Glenda Hatchett, Former Juvenile Court Judge / Senior Management, Delta Air Lines

Presented by PNC Bank

Leadership Tampa

Leadership Tampa Class of 2021

Chair, Jill Manthey (LT’10) and Vice Chair, Amanda Uliano (LT’13)

Leadership Tampa 2021 class has been selected.

Leadership Tampa Alumni

It’s that time of year to renew your Leadership Tampa Alumni dues. Click here to renew and help to support the LTA Membership Grant Program.

If you have been impacted by COVID-19 and would like to apply for a Membership Grant. Applications will be due by January 1, 2021

The LTA Holiday Party was held on December 16, 2020 at ZooTampa at Lowry Park. It provides an opportunity to network with classmates and other alumni.

Committee Meetings – 12

Current LTA Membership Is 533 Members