Here is a listing of some of our more recent Public Policy events.

Legislative Kickoff Reception

Tue., Feb. 23, 2021

5:30 - 7:00pm

Virtual via Vsummits

Join us as we kick off the 2021 Legislative Session and hear from elected officials.

Attending Legislators

  • Sen. Danny Burgess (FL Senate District 20)
  • Sen. Janet Cruz (FL Senate District 18)
  • Sen. Darryl Rouson (FL Senate District 19)
  • Rep. Linda Chaney (FL House District 69)
  • Rep. Fentrice Driskell (FL House District 63)
  • Rep. Dianne Hart (FL House District 61)
  • Rep. Traci Koster (FL House District 64)
  • Rep. Andrew Learned (FL House District 59)
  • Rep. Michele Rayner (FL House District 70)
  • Rep. Jackie Toledo (FL House District 60)
  • Rep. Susan Valdes (FL House District 62)

Public Policy Roundtable – State of the Base

Thu., Nov. 5, 2020

8:00am - 9:00am


Since 1939 MacDill Air Force Base has been a contributor to the economic growth throughout Tampa Bay. Join us for a panel discussion on the base's economic impact, opportunities for public-private partnerships, and how our community can be better positioned for defense growth.


Public Policy Roundtable – Building an Equity and Inclusion Culture

Wed., Sep. 9, 2020

11:30am - 1:00pm


Moderator Ernest Hooper – American Cancer Society

Ernest Hooper currently serves as the Regional Communications Director for the American Cancer Society. He previously spent 27 years as a columnist, bureau chief and writer at the Tampa Bay Times. He also hosts the WEDU-PBS public affairs program That's All I'm Saying, regularly writes for St. Pete Life magazine and is co-leader of the Poynter Institute's Write Field program, a writing intensive for middle school and high school boys.


Lori Y. Baggett – Carlton Fields

Lori Baggett represents companies in many aspects of labor and employment law, with a particular expertise in workplace safety and health (OSHA) issues. She is one of a handful of Florida lawyers with OSHA 30 certification. She represents clients dealing with fatal and catastrophic accidents and helps them resolve OSHA citations and whistleblower complaints. She also advises and counsels employers on workplace legal compliance issues, conducts internal compliance investigations, and defends employment-related claims. Her clients represent numerous industries, including construction, propane and natural gas equipment and systems, and retail.

Lori’s experience defending companies in disputes with current or former employees includes federal and state lawsuits claiming discrimination, harassment, retaliation, failure to pay minimum or overtime wages, violations of the FMLA, and violations of noncompete restrictive covenants.

B. Lee Green – Moffitt Cancer Center

B. Lee Green, PhD, is the vice president of Diversity, Public Relations and Strategic Communications for Moffitt Cancer Center. He is also a professor in the Health Outcomes and Behavior Program at Moffitt.

As VP for Diversity, Dr. Green is responsible for ensuring that Moffitt is responsive and actively creating a culture of diversity and inclusion as it strives to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. This includes addressing issues such as awareness and education of cancer prevention and control, community outreach activities, cultural competency, equity and inclusion issues, development of strong partnerships with community organizations and support for other key initiatives. In 2016, Moffitt was ranked among DiversityInc’s Top 10 Hospitals and Healthcare Organizations for fostering diversity and inclusion.

Dr. Michelle Madden – USF

Dr. Michelle Madden currently serves as the Campus Diversity Officer. In this role, Dr. Madden uses quantitative, qualitative, and interpersonally collected data to plan, guide, and advise the Regional Chancellor and other campus leaders on diversity, equity, inclusion matters.

With USFSP’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan and the USF Principles of Community as guides, Dr. Madden collaborates with senior leaders across the university to further equity, diversity, and inclusion goals to operationalize our core pillar of Inclusive Community. Intersecting with all areas of the institution, including Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Human Resources, Dr. Madden implements and monitors strategic initiatives designed to educate and ensure fair and equitable treatment of students, faculty and staff.

Dr. Madden chairs the USFSP Chancellor’s Advisory Diversity and Inclusion Committee (CADIC) and serves as a fundamental part of the USF Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Office.

Machelle Maner – Wells Fargo

Machelle Maner is currently Vice President, Community Development for Wells Fargo. As Sr. Community Development Officer, she covers Southwest Florida (a ten county area). Wells Fargo’s Community Development Group and Ms. Maner are focused on the strategic development of public/private partnerships, the identification of programs available to expand lending opportunities for affordable housing and small businesses and identifying community development opportunities. In addition, Ms. Maner is responsible for investments in non-profit organizations that focus on housing, small business, and economic revitalization. She has been in banking and the financial services industry for more than 25 years with most of that time being in the Tampa Bay area community. Since 1994, Ms. Maner has specialized in Community programs with an emphasis on establishing community, housing and business partnerships in Southwest Florida.

Angeles Valenciano – National Diversity Council

Angeles Valenciano serves as chief executive officer of the National Diversity Council (NDC), becoming the first female CEO of this major nonprofit. In this role, she advances the NDC’s mission of fostering diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She also focuses on strengthening partnerships with businesses, academia and the community at large.

Ms. Valenciano is a seasoned strategist with more than 20 years of experience in human resources, primarily focused on diversity, organizational change, and development. She was previously president of the Healthcare Diversity Council and executive vice president of the NDC. In the latter role, she oversaw the growth of several national markets, including California, Colorado and Arizona. In addition, she served as vice president of business development for the Texas Diversity Council (TXDC), one of the NDC state councils.

Monica Verra-Tirado, Ed.D – Hillsborough County Public Schools

Dr.Verra-Tirado joined Hillsborough County Public Schools as Chief of Equity and Diversity in July 2020. She works closely with the Superintendent and stakeholders within and external to the organization to ensure that all aspects of the organization are aligned to ensure that all students graduate, college, career and life ready as measured by post-secondary results. This work requires the entire system to be designed with a focus of equity and diversity, from personnel recruitment and retention, high quality instructional practices and strong partnerships with families and community partners.

Dr. Verra-Tirado was appointed as Chief of the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services within the Florida Department of Education in 2012. She is responsible for Florida’s implementation and general supervision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Student Services, Youth Mental Health Awareness, School-Based Mental Health services and education for students served in Juvenile Justice Education Programs and correctional facilities.

Legislative Wrap-Up

Tue., Jun. 9, 2020

11:00am - Noon

Via Zoom Webinar

In these extraordinary times of the COVID-19, please join the Tampa Bay Chamber and our legislative delegation for reflections on the 2020 session, including analyzing Florida’s response to the current pandemic, and a preview of 2021.

Moderator – Peter Schorsch

Confirmed Attendees

Florida House

  • Rep. James Grant (Dist. 64)
  • Rep. Dianne Hart (Dist. 61)
  • Rep. Adam Hattersley (Dist. 59)
  • Rep. Lawrence McClure (Dist. 58)
  • Rep. Wengay “Newt” Newton (Dist. 70)
  • Rep. Jackie Toledo (Dist. 60)
  • Rep. Susan Valdes (Dist. 62)
  • Rep. Jennifer Webb (Dist. 69)

Face The Chamber

Wed., May 27, 2020

8:00 - 9:15am

via Zoom Webinar

Mayor Castor was born, raised and educated in Tampa. She graduated from Chamberlain High School Class of 77, attended the University of Tampa on an athletic scholarship and joined the Tampa Police Department. She bought her first home in Seminole Heights in 1982 and has never left.

Mayor Castor served 31 years at the Tampa Police Department as a beat cop patrolling every inch of this city working her way up to be Tampa’s first woman Police Chief. Jane has dedicated her life to protecting our city making Tampa a safe place for our residents.

Mayor Castor knows the importance of getting residents involved and invested in their neighborhoods. Respecting where folks come from and the paths they have traveled to call Tampa home.

Conversations with Chris Sprowls of the Florida House

Thu., May 21, 2020

1:30 - 2:30pm

via Zoom Webinar

Join the Tampa Bay Chamber, and the business community, for a conversation with Rep. Chris Sprowls, Speaker-Designate of the Florida House. This is the second of our two-part series of dialogues between the business community and leadership from Florida's House and Senate – a critical time, given that both leaders are from Tampa Bay.

Conversations with Wilton Simpson of the Florida Senate Webinar

Wed., May 27, 2020

8:00 - 9:15am

via Zoom Webinar

Join the Tampa Bay Chamber, and the business community, for a conversation with Wilton Simpson, President-Designate of the Florida Senate. Senator Wilton Simpson, President-Designate, Florida Senate has served as a member of the Florida Senate since 2012. He currently represents the 10th district, which includes Citrus, Hernando, and part of Pasco County, and previously represented the 18th district from 2012 to 2016. This is part one of a two part series of dialogues between the business community and leadership from Florida's House and Senate – a critical time, given that both leaders are from Tampa Bay.