Posted by: Tampa Bay Chamber on Monday, April 6, 2020


Workforce Development

At the committee’s first Work Redefined event, over 45 attendees heard from John Flanagan, CareerSource Tampa Bay, and Stuart Brown, Accenture, as they discussed what the future of work looks like and how employers and educational institutions can work together to ensure their workforce is prepared.

Workforce Housing

Met with Carole Post, Ocea Wynn, and Vanessa McCleary from the City of Tampa to discuss opportunities for the Tampa Bay Chamber to work with the City, as they implement the recommendations set forth by the Mayor’s Housing Affordability Task Force.

Legislative Success

Although the Legislature has yet to deliver to the Governor the State’s record $91.4 billion budget, early indications are that the Chamber was successful at navigating the 2020 session. Among the Chamber’s successes were:

  • Fully funding the $370 million Sadowski Housing trust fund,
  • $50 million funding for Visit Florida,
  • passage of “Postsecondary Education for Certain Military Personnel”,
  • passage of the “Keep Our Graduates Working Act”,
  • passage of “Deregulation of Professions and Occupations”,
  • appropriations for “Pathways to Career Opportunities”,
  • appropriations for “Building a Better Tampa Bay STEM Workforce Initiative”, and
  • successful passage of the General Appropriations Act and the Governor’s Tax Package.

The lone floor vote that did not go the Chamber’s way was, HB637, “Impact Fees”. All in all, the Chamber saw success in nearly 90% of its positions.

Key Votes 2020

The Policy Council continued crafting the Tampa Bay Chamber’s Key Votes 2020, to track how the legislative delegation from Tampa Bay (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco) voted on bills the Chamber supports or opposes. To note: Key Votes 2020 will be rolled out during the Legislative Wrap-Up in June.

Local Advocacy

Policy Council Co-Chairs, Kim DeBosier and Andy Mayts, represented the positions of the Chamber to the Board of County Commissions on the topics of Workforce Housing and the increase of Hillsborough County Public Schools’ impact fees. Both measures were successful.

National Advocacy

Via our partnership with Transportation for America, the Chamber, signed the Transportation Reauthorization Letter.

Additionally, in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the Chamber signed onto a letter imploring Congress to fund relief for transit agencies and public transportation providers. On behalf of non-profits and not-for-profits, the Chamber signed a letter, with the US Chamber of Commerce, to include 501(c)3’s and 501(c)6’s in the CARES Act stimulus package.

MOU Advocacy

In the first quarter, the Chamber added two additional memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with the Tampa Bay LGBT Chamber and the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce. Three additional organizations are evaluating. Together, with the other eight MOUs previously executed, the Chamber is proud to advocate on behalf of over 5,000 collective members throughout Tampa Bay.

The Chamber rallied our MOU partners to collectively issue joint statements on our support of HART during their transition and reiterated our appreciation for collaboration between the City and County during the Coronavirus outbreak.

All For Transportation Advocacy

VP of Advocacy, Nicholas Glover, attended oral arguments before the Supreme Court in Tallahassee. The Chamber was an early supporter of the AFT initiative, and attending the hearing cemented the Chamber’s positions as a leader on the issue.


On Jan. 9, the Chamber hosted our annual Legislative Kickoff Reception at the University Club, sponsored by the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority. This year’s reception boasted 13 confirmed legislators, from the Senate and House, representing all three of our legislation delegations: Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties. The Kickoff was the largest to date with 237 attendees. This represents a 47% growth YoY.

Upcoming Policy Event

D.C. Catalyst trip rescheduled from Mar. 11-12 to Jul. 21-22 and is currently open for registration.

Hub for Business

  • 56 new members joined
  • 5 member upgrades

Membership is strong and well represented with Chamber Ambassadors. These representatives are an exclusive group of volunteers who work for Chamber member organizations, believe whole-heartedly in the Chamber’s mission, support their community and provide assistance for many Chamber activities and events. This committee has launched a new training series this quarter and revamped the new member Coffee Connection.

Event Attendance

Hosted 4,300+ attendees (including Leadership Programs) at events across Tampa Bay.

Leadership Tampa

Leadership Tampa Class of 2020 – Chair, Lance Lansrud (LT’15) and Vice Chair, Jill Manthey (LT’10)

Leadership Tampa Alumni

Jan. 30 – LTA Annual Meeting at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC. Dr. Chloe Coney, Founder of the CDC Tampa, named 2019 Parke Wright III Leadership Award recipient.

Committee Meetings: 18

Leadership Programs Membership

Current LTA membership: 481

Competitive Edge

Hosted Competitive Edge Series: Strategic Planning is Killing Your Strategy, featured Mark Thompson – Senior Partner, Decision Processes International.

Inclusive Organization

Minority Business Accelerator

Cohort ’21

  • Gross Sales: Totaling over - $703,000 submitted
  • New Jobs Created: 1
  • Vacancies Filled: 3
  • New Corporate Contracts: 3
  • Secured Capital: $54,000+
  • New Assets Acquired: Multiple New Assets Acquired – Totaling over $24,000
  • Strategic Introductions Made: 6

Cohort Member Highlights

Buyer’s Point

  • Envision introduced them to Ben Moore with Hillsborough County Public Schools
  • Working on an introduction to AVI-SPL
  • Secured a contract with Colorado School District
  • Secured contract with Florida Emergency Supplier Network - 4,670 boxes of gloves
  • During COVID-19 pivoted to medical supplies. $100k in paid orders in last 7 days of March. Additional $100k pending orders going into the beginning of April 2020

Ice Cold Air

  • Introduction to the Hillsborough County School Board Facilities department via current MBA cohort members.

Jerel McCants Architecture

  • Celebrated their 10th year of service in 2019.

Versa-Tile and Marble

  • Versa-Tile & Marble was selected to participate in the Super Bowl LV Business connect program.
  • Meeting with Terry Daniels from University of South Florida.
  • Worked on a project with Matcon Construction and owner Derek Mateos from MBA Cohort 2019 – Completed a job– Direct impact from being in the program together.


Hosted the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Military Spouse and Veteran Employment Advisory Councils in Tampa and heard from Second Lady Karen Pence as she spoke about the importance of hiring military spouses.

Partnered with the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce to host a joint Military Advisory Committee meeting attended by over 45 members and focused on the business community’s support of the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program.

Partnered with Cherry Bekaert to host over 20 government contracting executives for a professional development session focused on increasing the long-term value of their business.

Military Appreciation Event

450 registered business and military personnel attended the event presented by USAA and hosted at ZooTampa at Lowry Park.

Pearls of Experience: Getting on Course

At the first women's programming event of the year, attendees took to the golf course with professional instructors to practice driving and putting. The event also featured remarks from Clemmie C. Perry, Founder & Executive Director, Women of Color Golf & Girls on the Green Tee.

Community Outreach Committee

The Tampa Bay Chamber Community Outreach Committee partnered with Quest, Inc. on Mar. 7 for a volunteer project at Quest’s Training Center. 15 Chamber member volunteers painted an amazing wall mural providing a refreshed and cheerful ambience for the individuals and staff who utilize this space at Quest, Inc. Quest, Inc. is a non-profit organization in Tampa that provides care and services for adults with developmental disabilities. They are very grateful for the time and talent shared to improve and enhance the lives of the individuals served.

Emerging Leaders

Current membership: 383

Feb. 24 – Mentor Protégé Kickoff – 63 pairings

Feb. 29 – Lowry Park Clean-Up with ZooTampa staff had 40 hours of volunteer work for the day.

Providing info session to young professionals within chamber member organizations.

Committee Meetings - 12