The Emerging Leaders Leadership Team is made up of a Program Chair and Program Vice Chair as well as Chairs and Vice Chairs of our three focus areas: Hub for Business, Inclusion and Catalyst. Members of the Emerging Leaders Leadership Team serve for one year and must re-apply the following year. Applications for the next leadership team will come out in August of each year.

Leadership Team

Eric Ortiz – Program Chair

Magical Butter

Eric Ortiz is a Project Manager at His responsibilities include assisting in the global expansion of the products, developing/sourcing new products and SKU's, as well as continuing the processes internally to improve efficiency. He uses his experience in marketing, operations, and project management allow him to utilize his skills in a myriad of areas within the business, partnering with many departments in the company.

Outside of work, Eric is heavily involved in the community serving on FrameWorks of Tampa Bay’s Board of Directors, serving as the Tribune for Move Tampa Bay, & sitting on the YPC Council for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Finally, he also serves both the USF Latino Community Advisory Committee as well as USF’s Dept. of Communication Undergraduate Advisory Board. He truly believes that giving back to the community is vital.

Eric believes that Tampa Bay is just getting started. He also believes that his peers and fellow young professionals are going to be the people to take Tampa Bay to that next level. He loves to empower and encourage others to take the torch of leadership because he knows it will be a team that ultimately helps bring Tampa Bay to the mecca it deserves to be.

Adam Myers – Vice Chair

Tampa Bay Economic Development Council

Adam Myers is a Senior Economic Development Manager with the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council. Adam works with businesses to help bring new jobs and investment to the community through retention, expansion and recruitment of target sector industries. Adam has had the pleasure of working with companies like IRONMAN®, North American Roofing Services, Velocity Resource Group, and Greenway Health to locate and expand in Tampa

Adam is a graduate of the University of West Florida, receiving a BA in Communications, specializing in film and television production. Prior to starting a career in Economic Development, Adam spent three years working in film production doing script consulting and on set production work for independent production companies.

Recently graduated from the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute, Adam is currently studying to become a Certified Economic Developer. Outside of work, Adam is a major movie buff and a huge Tampa Bay Rays fan.



Brant Peterson
Peterson Properties And Management LLC


Nicole Denicola
SME Solutions Group

Hub For Business


Austin Boyle
PNC Bank


Clara Rienhoff
Highwoods Properties



Chaya Cardonick
Checkers & Rally's Restaurants


Michelle Christie
GTE Financial


Chris Butler
Vistra Communications
Diana Emerson
Raymond James Financial
Brett Scafidi
PrimeGroup Insurance Services Inc.
Megan Townsend
Thomas Howell Ferguson P.A. CPAs

Past Chairs

Raechel Canipe 2019
Andrew W. Smith 2018
Jeff Chernoff 2017
Jennifer Lawson 2016
Erin Cassidy 2015
Brian Seel 2013-14
Andrew M. Smith 2012
Carissa Caricato & Ryan Freking 2010-11
Michael Blasco 2009
Candace Cusseaux 2008
Mark Colvenbach & Nicole Levin 2006-07
Jessica Muroff & Michael Griffin 2004-05