Posted by: Tampa Bay Chamber on Monday, April 8, 2019


Chamber leadership went to Washington D.C. in early March to discuss federal budget priorities for the Tampa Bay business community.

The Chamber has been active in Tallahassee during the legislative session meeting with our delegation, important committee chairs, leadership from the Senate and House, Florida Department of Transportation, and members of the Florida Cabinet. Our meetings focus on business priorities within our policy principles of business/economic development, workforce development, transportation, military/defense and health care.

In alignment with the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s Vision 2026 plan, the local candidate interview videos were conducted to inform voters on where candidates stand on issues important to the Tampa Bay business community. The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce is non-partisan and does not endorse candidates. Each candidate for the 2019 City of Tampa Municipal Election who qualified with the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office was extended an invitation to participate. The Chamber conducted over 23 candidate interviews with City Council and Mayoral candidates.

Hosted Legislative Kick-off event where 100+ attendees joined us for a pre-session Legislative Reception featuring the Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation and the release of the Greater Tampa Chamber 2019 Legislative Agenda.

Hosted Human Trafficking Summit where a panel discussed policy efforts and initiatives to increase awareness, prevention and social responsibility to end human trafficking. This summit included a discussion moderated by Dottie Groover-Skipper with featured panelists: representative from the Florida State Attorney General’s office, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, Medical Director for St. Joseph’s Hospital Emergency Department, Dr. Dion Samerson, and Elizabeth Melendez Fisher, co-founder/CEO of Selah Freedom, a national nonprofit that focuses on ending sex trafficking and exploitation.

Hosted former Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz in a closed meeting with leadership and a townhall to discuss his thoughts on current issues facing our community.

In March, the Chamber and Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay hosted a Mayoral Runoff Townhall moderated by Aaron Sharockman, Executive Director of Politifact. Attendees heard from Mayoral candidate Jane Castor on her vision for the business community if elected.

Established the Chamber Workforce Housing Caucus, whose purpose is to propose actionable solutions for workforce housing that the chamber can advocate for.

Hub For Business

Hosted 21st Annual Military Appreciation event with business leaders and community members alike recognizing and celebrating the community work of the military members stationed at MacDill AFB.

Through Events, Advocacy, and Leadership programming the Chamber hosted over 4,000 attendees at networking and professional development events across Tampa Bay, facilitating members to network, connect, and seek mentorship.

In Leadership Programs there are currently 350 members in the Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay young professional group and 525 members in the Leadership Tampa Alumni organization.

In January, Leadership Tampa Alumni held their Annual Meeting at the River Center at Julian B. Lane Park and Mark House of The Beck Group was named the 2018 Parke Wright III Leadership Award recipient.

In February, Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay hosted the Mentor Protégé Kick-off where 64 young professionals were paired with business leaders in Tampa Bay.

Education Connection Committee hosted an event informing companies on how they can recruit and cultivate their own talent pipeline.

In March, LTA hosted their annual Spring Fling Recruitment Social for the Leadership Tampa Class of 2020. The applications for the Leadership Tampa Class of 2020 are live starting March 29.

Held 75+ council and committee meetings connecting members to the issues that they are passionate about and want to help make an impact in.


The Minority Business Accelerator celebrated the start of its second cohort at its Annual Kick Off Reception, hosted at Mise en Place. The event invited a select group of MBA stakeholders to meet the current cohort participants and reconnect with their colleagues. This year’s event was well attended with nearly 100 business leaders and minority business advocates.

MBA Cohort '20 kicked off their first year in the Minority Business Accelerator program. During the first quarter of the program, Cohort ’20 focused on:

  • Thoroughly assessing their effectiveness as leaders;
  • Identifying internal and external challenges that hinder their business growth;
  • Developing the foundation of their Strategic Action Plans, as well as resolving any immediate business challenges; and 
  • Establishing a good working relationship with their business advisor and fellow cohort participants.

The Inaugural Cohort of the Minority Business Accelerator entered into their second year of the program, and they are moving full steam ahead. During the second year of the accelerator program, Cohort ’19 focused on:

  • Working through the remaining challenges identified in year one and tackling newly identified challenges;
  • Nurturing the relationships with business leaders they connected with in year one; and
  • Exploring ways to remain engaged in the Chamber after they graduate from the Minority Business Accelerator.

The Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay young professional group has started providing information sessions to chamber member companies with a high-number of young professionals to better inform young professionals and leadership of the benefits of the program.