Competitive Edge Series

Here is a listing of some of our more recent Competive Edge events.

The Office of the Future

Thu., Mar. 11, 2021

8:30 - 10:00am

Virtual via Zoom

As we look towards returning to the workplace in 2021, join us for a panel discussion regarding the Office of the Future. This conversation will focus on the changes to office spaces in a post COVID-19 environment regarding construction and redesign with employee and public safety in mind. We will also discuss what changes are expected to occur with commercial real estate.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn what changes are predicted to happen with commercial real estate.
  • Explore how local businesses are redesigning their workplace.
  • Identify ways to keep your employees safe while in the office.

Michael (“Mike”) Griffin – Savills

Mike Griffin is a Market Leader and a Senior Vice President for Savills, a worldwide company known for its consistent delivery of a full range of integrated real estate services across the globe. Mike joined Savills in 2015. During his career, Mike has completed commercial real estate transactions totaling more than 7.1 million square feet across the globe in more than 18 states and 15 countries. Mike and his team represent several occupier clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to multiple public sector entities.

In 2017, Mike served as Chairman of the Tampa Bay Chamber. He began his involvement with the Chamber when he served as a charter Co-Chair of Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay. He also chaired its Government Efficiency Caucus, after having graduated from Leadership Tampa (Class of 2004). He graduated with a Business Administration, B.S. degree from the University of South Florida in 2003.

Rob Ledford – Baker Barrios

Since 1994, Rob Ledford’s career at Baker Barrios has given him exceptional insight into the integration of architecture, interior design and project management. Rob works closely with clients in public and private sectors. He spearheaded the opening of Baker Barrios’ New York office in 2002 and Tampa office in 2005. Rob credits BBA’s success to the firm’s core values which emphasize the importance of mentorship, creative excellence, innovative solutions and long-term relationships for the next generation of talent.

Committed to community, Rob is engaged at the professional and civic level and is personally committed to supporting immediate need causes. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Tampa Bay Chamber, member of the University of Tampa Board of Fellows, and Past Chair of the Hillsborough Community College Foundation Board. In addition, Rob is co-chair of the TBC Workforce Housing Caucus, which was formed to explore ideas and solutions for future workforce housing opportunities throughout Tampa Bay.

Lauren Menendez – CI Group

Lauren Menendez is a lifelong resident of Tampa Bay and cares passionately about our community. She has dedicated her career to creating the spaces that define our region. She started her career as an Interior Designer with Gresham, Smith & Partners, a leading architecture and design firm, where she developed her design expertise. For the past seven years she has been a sales executive with the CI Group, leading a team of designers and project managers, creating interiors solutions for some of the leading companies in Tampa Bay. She has been an integral part of the teams that have created some of the most impactful spaces in our community. She has helped shaped the places we work, like the headquarters for Spectrum and Baycare, to the places we play, such as Raymond James Stadium, to some of our iconic institutions like Tampa International Airport and the Port of Tampa Bay.

Ryan Toth – The Beck Group

In his role as Regional Director, Ryan oversees all design and construction aspects of Beck’s Florida division. His expertise lies in his ability to create team synergies for the benefit of the project and its participants. Ryan’s propensity to understand complex design and construction challenges, find innovative solutions, and establish open and honest communication with owners and project team members results in successful projects from beginning to end.

Ryan grew up in Winter Haven, Florida and relocated to Tampa in 1994 to attend the University of South Florida. Ryan is married to his wife Charity and they have two sons, Isaac and Gabe. He is an avid University of South Florida Bulls fan, enjoys traveling, boating, and spending time with his family.


Maximize Your Marketing ROI

Tue., Jan. 26, 2021

8:30 - 9:30am

Virtual via Zoom

2020 made us rethink every expenditure in our businesses. Hear from Digital Marketing Leader, Rob Kane from Sparxoo as he provides some frameworks to ensure you are not wasting marketing dollars in 2021.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover the latest digital marketing trends.
  • Understand why your brand foundation is your key to success.
  • Learn which marketing channels may be best for your business.
  • Utilize quarterly goals and measures to focus on what is important now (WIN).

Rob Kane – Sparxoo

Rob Kane is the President of Sparxoo, a full-service digital marketing agency, who is passionate about helping companies reduce waste in their marketing efforts to focus more on what is working.

Rob brings large national media agency experience from his work with companies such as Walmart, P&G and L'Oreal, which he combines with the more recent work he and Sparxoo have done with local CEO's, CMO's and marketing teams to unlock their sales & marketing potential.


Negotiating from the Inside Out

Tue., Sep. 15, 2020

11:00am - 12:00pm


What is your Negotiating Intelligence? How do you view negotiations? What is your strategy and process to negotiate a deal? Join us as Clint Babcock, author of the book “Negotiating from the Inside Out” shares with you the tactics and strategies to become a strategic negotiator.

Learning Objectives:

  • View negotiations differently
  • Understand how to create leverage
  • Identify negotiation strategies by your counterparts
  • Utilize the Negotiations Playbook to win

Featured Speaker

Clint Babcock – Sandler Training

As a partner at Sandler Training of Tampa and in his former corporate life, Clint brings his clients over two decades of experience in sales, business development, operations and leadership.

Clint works with CEO’s, Presidents, and VP’s of Sales in various industries to help them strategically build their sales forces and produce amazing results for their companies. He’s worked with and trained hundreds of sales teams and thousands of salespeople during his tenure with Sandler.

In his book, Negotiating From The Inside Out: A Playbook for Business Success, Clint shows that negotiation is a skill, and the first thing anyone has to do to improve is to understand how they react to pressure situations. It provides a powerful, broadly applicable template for a rational response in any negotiating situation. By practicing the techniques, business people will see both their financial rewards and self-esteem reach new heights.

From Zero to 30 Billion

Wed., Aug. 12, 2020

11:00am - Noon

Virtual via Zoom

Hear directly from Scott Riley on how he went from processing zero to 30 billion dollars in 18 years with his payment processing company, Fintech. Scott will share his thoughts on the ‘golden rule’ in business and life, how to hire and keep the right employees, getting involved with the University system, his philanthropic endeavors, and much more.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore how to create buy-in at your company
  • Create a winning exit strategy
  • Identify ways your business can give back to the community
  • Understand how to create lasting loyalty

Featured Speaker

Scott Riley – Riley Education Foundation

Scott Riley co-founded both Parker Communications Network, Inc., a satellite-based monitor system, distributing commercials to large grocery chains throughout the country, and In Store Media, which worked with major grocers to merchandise their private label products through alliances with national customers.

Since 1996, Scott has been part of the ownership group of Fintech, the largest alcohol payment company, processing over $30 billion in payments annually. Scott served as Fintech’s CEO from 2005 to 2018. He served on Fintech’s Board of Directors for more than 22 years.

Scott was named Entrepreneur of the Year for the State of Florida by Ernst & Young and Outstanding Leader of the Year by the Tampa Bay Chamber.

Scott and his family began the Riley Education Foundation to work with great organizations in the Tampa Bay Area.

Scott recently wrote the book Zero to 30 Billion! to help and encourage others with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Growing Your Business Through Effective Marketing and Brand Management

Thu., Jun. 18, 2020

11:00am - 12:30pm

via Zoom Webinar

Understanding how your customer perceives your business and value proposition is key to success in today’s clutter and competitive business environment. The old ways of developing leads and closing sales are getting harder and harder. At the same time, the marketing world is changing at a rapid pace moving from mass to micro targeting.

During this session you will:

  • Learn marketing 101 in today’s business environment;
  • Discover brand and brand development;
  • Explore how successful businesses are marketing today;
  • Identify keys to marketing success; and
  • Understand creativity and its impact on solving business problems.

Featured Speaker

Bruce Faulmann – Vice President of Advertising Sales and Marketing, Tampa Bay Times

Bruce Faulmann is Vice President of Advertising Sales and Marketing for the Tampa Bay Times and a member of the Times board of directors. He served as Publisher of Florida Trend, a Times affiliate publication, from November 2008 to October 2009.

Before joining the Times Publishing Company, Bruce spent 24 years in the daily newspaper business.

Bruce is a member of many nonprofit boards, including the Tampa Bay Chamber, Tampa Hillsborough EDC and the Hillsborough Education Foundation.

Bruce is a graduate of the University of Florida, earning a B.S. degree in Advertising.