2019 Quarter 4 Update


Legislative Agenda

The Tampa Bay Chamber’s Policy Council and Policy Advisory Committee unanimously adopted the 2020 Local, State, and Federal Legislative agendas, respectively. Among the guiding principles are: Workforce Development and Education, Transportation, Military and Defense, Healthcare, and Business and Economic Development. Additionally, the Chamber’s Workforce Housing Caucus unanimously approved the inclusion of a Workforce Housing guiding principle to the Local and Federal Legislative Agenda.

The newly redesigned Catalyst Newsletter will serve as a method to track legislation the Chamber monitors, supports or opposes.

Legislative Scorecard

The Policy Council recommend that The Tampa Bay Chamber maintain a legislative scorecard for the 2020 legislative session to track how the legislative delegation from Tampa Bay (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco) voted on bills the Chamber supports or opposes. To note: only floor votes will be considered.

The Chamber will notify the delegation in advance that we will be tracking votes and sharing with our membership at the end of the 2020 Legislative Session. Each delegation member will have an opportunity to review our scorecard before we distribute to Chamber membership.

MOU Advocacy

In the fourth quarter, the Chamber added two additional memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with the Tampa Downtown Partnership and the Westshore Alliance. Together, with the other six MOUs previously executed, the Chamber is proud to advocate on behalf of over 4,200 collective members throughout Tampa Bay.

All For Transportation Advocacy

The Chamber, along with other business groups, filed an amicus brief in Florida’s Supreme Court to oppose efforts to reverse the All for Transportation vote. Looking ahead, the Chamber’s President & CEO Bob Rohrlack and VP of Advocacy Nicholas Glover will attend oral arguments before the Court scheduled for February 5 in Tallahassee.

Catalyst Events

In November the Chamber Hosted a Public Policy Roundtable for 100+ of our top-tier members titled Insight from Inside the Beltway with Congresswoman Kathy Castor.

Kathy is Tampa Bay's voice in the U.S. Congress and is serving her 7th term representing Florida's 14th Congressional district. Representative Castor's focus is on building a stronger economy that works for everyone by working on initiatives to create jobs, protect the environment and consumers, improve schools, assist veterans, and affordable healthcare.

The Education Connection committee hosted the Workforce Connections Breakfast and brought together academic institutions and members of the financial services, IT, and advertising industries to discuss how they recruit and retain their talent.

LTA’s Conversations with Influence featuring Mayor Jane Castor was held on October 17, 2019. This was a unique opportunity for LTA members to meet and hear from the new mayor and fellow Leadership Tampa graduate (class of 2000). Attendees also had the opportunity to ask candid questions of the mayor.

Workforce Housing

The Workforce Housing Caucus presented their report to the Chamber’s Board of Directors and the following recommendations were approved:

  • Formation of a subcommittee under the Chamber’s Policy Council that will be responsible for developing policy recommendations that address workforce housing, evaluating private funding solutions, and further studying the existing workforce housing inventory in Tampa Bay.
  • Develop and launch a pilot program that educates our membership and local elected officials on the economic impact of workforce housing.
  • Partner with the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County governments, as well as the Planning Commission, to update their Comprehensive Plans to include workforce housing goals, objectives, and polices and the associated land development regulations to implement these goals.
  • Inclusion of a Workforce Housing Guiding Principle on the Chamber’s legislative agendas.

Hub For Business

Event & Programming

Hosted nearly 14,000 members through planned programming activities. The Chamber offers unprecedented benefits and opportunities for Tampa Bay businesses to engage and prosper. There are resources for businesses large and small, whether you are focused on growing your business by making key connections or shaping public policy and positively impacting the business environment alongside the region’s most active executives and leaders. There are a lot of opportunities to get involved and build relationships through more than 100 business development and networking programs annually.

19th Annual Benchmarking Visit

For 19 years, the Chamber has taken an annual Benchmarking Visit to investigate new programs and initiatives in a city similar to our community. It gives us a chance to study other great cities and adapt best practices to meet the growing needs of Tampa Bay. In October we traveled to Charlotte, NC with a focus on workforce including sessions on housing, education, attraction & retention, redevelopment, and transit.

134th Annual Meeting

On December 5 the Chamber hosted its 134th Annual Meeting with a sold-out crowd of 1,000 attendees! Outgoing Chair Jamie Harden, President & CEO of Creative Sign Designs passed the gavel to incoming Chair Maryann Ferenc, Owner of Mise en Place Restaurant. The H.L. Culbreath Jr. Profile in Leadership Award was presented to Joseph Lopano, CEO of Tampa International Airport. The Greater Tampa Chamber officially announced its rebranding to the Tampa Bay Chamber and unveiled its new logo. The rebranding comes as the Chamber recognizes the necessity to match the work that we are currently doing and to act upon the vision we hold for the future.

Ambassador Committee

Ambassadors assist member representatives to engage and leverage involvement. With visibility as one of the greatest benefits of Chamber membership Key component in member retention efforts.

  • Called on over 850 members
  • Face-to-face member visits
  • 37 Ribbon Cuttings

Membership Numbers

  • 292 new members this year
  • 11 existing members increased their membership level
  • Grand Total of 1,429 members in the Tampa Bay Chamber

Leadership Programs

  • In September the 49th Leadership Tampa Class started with 49 new class members.
  • The LT’20 Chair is Lance Lansrud, Agentry Real Estate (LT’15) and LT’20 Vice Chair is Jill Manthey, Yacht StarShip (LT’10).
  • The LTA Holiday Party was held on December 18 at the Marriott Water Street. This event provided LTA members an exclusive sneak peek at the recently remodeled Marriott Water Street hotel and Anchor and Brine Restaurant as well as an opportunity to network with classmates and other alumni.

The focus of the LTA Outreach Committee this year has been to support Hillsborough County Public Schools. To do this, LTA adopted Memorial Middle School – one of the 50 achievement schools in the district. We have provided clothing, food and helped to mulch the school grounds in preparation for back to school. In addition, we provided food, entertainment and raffle prizes during Teacher Appreciation week. We are currently collecting school supplies and uniform shirts. Several LTA Outreach Committee members were present at the Memorial middle School Game Changer Gala on October 24.

2019 Leadership Tampa Alumni membership exceeded its goal of 550 members and is now at 559 paid members plus 50 LT’19 class members for a total of 609 members.

The 2019 LTA Chair was Michael Blasco, Tampa Bay Food Trucks, and the Vice Chair was Amanda Uliano, Law Office of Amanda M. Uliano, P.A.

Collegiate Leadership is an exciting opportunity for approximately 24 college students. Participants interact with community leaders, network with professionals and go behind the scenes to explore various career opportunities prior to transitioning into the workforce. Exploring what it means to be a community leader, this diverse group of participants will learn from leaders in the community through interactive and collaborative activities. During program days, they will learn about various aspects of our community. Topics will be updated yearly to reflect issues of importance at that time.

  • The first Collegiate Leadership program Chair will be Kari Goetz, The Florida Aquarium, and the Vice Chair will be Wyatt Krapf, Berkadia Hotels & Hospitality.
  • Program dates – October 2020 – April 2021
  • Participating Universities
    • Saint Leo University
    • The University of Tampa
    • University of South Florida
  • Information Sessions were held during the month of October at the respective universities.
  • Program Goals
    • To broaden participants’ perspective and understanding of the industries and job opportunities in Tampa Bay
    • To encourage participants to live and work in Tampa Bay after graduation and serve as a community leader
    • To gain a greater understanding of community opportunities through interaction and collaboration with peers, leaders and decision makers from all segments of the community
    • To become a responsible leader committed to active community involvement
    • Opportunity to earn community engagement hours



The Military Council hosted Operation Partnership: Business After Hours and welcomed over 250 military members, military spouses, and civilians for a networking event aboard the Victory Ship. This was the final installment of our 2019 Operation Partnership, a 3-part series that further strengthens ties between Tampa Bays’s military and civilian communities. This program prepares transitioning service members to enter the Tampa Bay business community while retaining the military talent in our community.

Emerging Leaders

The 2019 Deanne Dewey Emerging Leaders Award was presented to Chris Chambers at the Emerging Leaders Annual Meeting held on November 7, 2019 at Busch Gardens.

The 2020 Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay Leadership team announced and Eric Ortiz, Magical Brands, will be the 2020 Chair and Adam Myers, Tampa Bay Economic Development Council, will be the 2020 Vice Chair.

2019 membership exceeded its goal of 450 members with 516 members.

Minority Business Accelerator

The 4th quarter the 2019 and 2020 cohort participants for the Minority Business Accelerator reported:

  • 23 New Jobs Created
  • 5 Vacancies Filled
  • 8 New Corporate Contracts
  • 4 New Assets Acquired
  • 14 Strategic Introductions Made

For the 2019 Calendar Year, the 2019 and 2020 Minority Business Accelerator cohorts reported:

  • 45 New Jobs Created
  • 9 Vacancies Filled
  • 50 New Corporate Contracts
  • 5 Companies Securing New Capital
  • 10 New Assets Acquired
  • 39 Strategic Introductions Made

2019 Quarter 3 Update


Washington D.C. Meetings

On July 15 and 16, 30 Chamber representatives were in Washington DC meeting with our congressional delegation and key agency leadership. Here's a snapshot of the trip:

Housing and Urban Development was joined by senior executives from the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Builders to discuss national trends as it relates to workforce housing. The Chamber left with valuable data to bring back to our Workforce Housing Caucus that is studying this critical issue.

The Director of the Department of Homeland Security's Blue Campaign provided insight on DHS's efforts to combat human trafficking and partnership opportunities for the business community in Tampa Bay. The Blue Campaign is a national public awareness campaign, designed to educate the public, law enforcement and other industry partners to recognize the indicators of human trafficking, and how to appropriately respond to possible cases.

Leadership from the Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration provided an overview of the federal transportation framework and opportunities for Hillsborough County to leverage federal dollars for infrastructure projects. We were also fortunate to meet with Helena Zyblikewycz, Majority Staff Director for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. She briefed the Chamber on the committees work and the challenges associated with a national infrastructure package, but also offered insight into how we can best advocate for transportation projects in Hillsborough County.

Chuck Hodges, Executive Director at Hiring Our Heroes, spoke to the group regarding the Corporate Fellowship Program — an innovative program that provides transitioning service members with professional training and hands-on experience in the civilian workforce. The professional development offered through the program prepares candidates for a smooth transition into meaningful civilian careers.

Congressional Meetings

The Chamber had individual meetings with Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Rick Scott, Representative Kathy Castor, Representative Gus Bilirakis, Representative Ross Spano and Representative Greg Stuebe. We were able to hear the priorities of each member of our delegation and share our legislative priorities in Transportation, Military and Defense, Health Care, Workforce Housing and Workforce Development.

White House Pledge Signing: Our group signed workforce pledges at the White House Eisenhower Executive Office Building. 25 members and businesses from Tampa Bay signed the pledges committing to offer training and workforce opportunities to strengthen the economy and ensure one of America's greatest assets – its workforce – is prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Close to 9,000 opportunities were pledged by the 25 companies.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Meetings

We met with Julia Barfield on Education and Workforce, Ron Eidshaug on Congressional and Public Affairs, and Jon Baselice on Immigration Policy. The speakers provided insight on the political environment in D.C. and the impact gridlock is having on reaching deals for infrastructure, trade and immigration legislation.

The trip concluded with a tour of the Pentagon.

All For Transportation Advocacy

In June, the All For Transportation (AFT) amendment was validated by the 13th Judicial Circuit Court. In his ruling, Judge Barbas explained that the County Commission must enact the priorities that voters agreed upon. After the decision, Chairman Miller proposed a County Ordinance to preserve the exact spending allocations that voters decided on.

Since that decision, over the last quarter, the Chamber has stood with AFT on several occasions in front of the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners. We expressed our enthusiastic support for County Commission to reinstate the balanced percentages outlined in the amendment that Hillsborough County voters overwhelmingly supported. The good news is that on September 18th County Commission voted 6-1 to reinstate spending allocations for the surtax spending as outlined in the referendum.

The Workforce Housing Caucus met with Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill to discuss workforce housing opportunities.

Education Connection Committee hosted the State of Education event with guest speakers State Representative Chris Latvala, State Representative Ralph Massullo, and Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins. The panelists spoke about how K-12 education and policy impacts workforce development.

The Leadership Tampa Class of 2020 was announced on August 12, 2019. This will be the 49th class of Leadership Tampa.

Hub For Business

Ambassador connections: 123. Ambassador volunteers assist in membership retention efforts and work to improve member relations by making regular contact with new and existing Chamber members.

The Chamber has conducted 11 ribbon cutting ceremonies supporting new and expanding Bay businesses.

The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce welcomed 56 new members this quarter. These businesses represent a diverse segment of industry and leadership.

The 3rd Annual Leadership Tampa Alumni Bowling Contest was held on August 26, 2019 at Splitsville. This is a fun networking event allowing classes to get together and participate in some friendly competition.

Hosted the 39th Annual Small Business of the Year Awards.


  • Startup: Newgentek
  • 5-20 Employees: Health Mutt
  • 21-50 Employees: Atlas Professional Services
  • 51-250 Employees: First Citrus Bank
  • Outstanding Leader: Rita Lowman, Pilot Bank

The LTA Chairs Choice luncheon was held on September 10, 2019. The panel was moderated by LTA Membership Chair, Chris Karlo, and included Maryann Ferenc, Owner of Mise en Place, Inc., Jeff Houck, Marketing and Public Relations Manager at the Columbia Restaurant Group and former Food Writer for the Tampa Tribune, and Ferrell Alvarez, Co-owner and Chef of Rooster & the Till.

The Leadership Tampa Class of 2020 Kickoff Reception was held on September 11, 2019 at the University Club of Tampa. This was the first opportunity for the new class to meet one another along with program day sponsors, selection committee members and program day chairs.

The Leadership Tampa Class of 2020 Opening Retreat was held on September 19-20, 2019 at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort. This event served as an opportunity for the class to learn more about the program and build relationships with their classmates.

Hosted attendees at networking and professional development events across Tampa Bay.

  • YTD Jan - September: 12,000+
  • Q3 July - September: 3,000+


Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay attended and worked with other young professional groups at local area chambers to put on the 2nd Annual YP Summit: Competitiveness of our Tampa Bay Region. Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay, Clearwater Young Professionals & St Pete Young Professionals groups came together with over 300 in attendance to discuss our Competitiveness of our Tampa Bay Region.

Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay hosted the Vision Series – Super Bowl 2021 on August 14, 2019 to discuss the promotion of Tampa and preparing for such a large event.

30 Emerging Leader members took part in a 3 part training series for the Nonprofit Board Governance Series.

50 volunteers from the Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay inclusion committee and the Mentor-Protégé Program volunteered at Feeding Tampa Bay.

The Chamber hosted the annual Senior Enlisted Reception at MacDill Air Force Base, where over 200 members of the military and business community networked.

The Chamber hosted the annual Operation Partnership: Civilian Career Day, where over 40 transitioning military members were partnered with Chamber members to explore career opportunities in the Tampa business community

Both Minority Business Accelerator cohorts were invited to a luncheon hosted by the Columbia Restaurant in July. President of the Columbia Restaurant Group, Richard Gonzmart, gave the participants a personal tour and discussed with the team the struggles that he, and his family, have faced being a minority-owned business owner.

Two of our Minority Business Accelerator 2019 Cohort participants were finalists in the Small Business of the Year Awards that were hosted on September 12th. Danny Persaud, President of MidFlorida Armored & ATM Services, was a finalist in the 21-50 employee category. Derek Mateos, President of Matcon Construction Services, was a finalist in the 51-250 category.

Minority Business Accelerator participant Derek Mateos of Matcon Construction, and the Inaugural Cohort of the program, was accepted into Leadership Tampa Class of 2020.

Minority Business Accelerator Cohort ’20 has been learning how to successfully seek HR, CPA and legal help. They have been developing relationships with their business advisors and working together to prepare for meetings with potential clients. Developing the foundation of their Strategic Action Plans, as well as resolving any immediate business challenges.

Minority Business Accelerator Cohort ’19 has been gathering all the information, advice, and contacts that the program has provided over the past two years and learning how to successfully implement it within their companies. With graduation right around the corner, they are working with the Chamber to identify next steps.

Our Minority Business Accelerator Cohort 2019 Program Chair, Bemetra Simmons has been selected to serve as our first ever Minority Business Accelerator Alumni Chair. This is a voluntary opportunity for graduates of the Minority Business Accelerator to stay engaged and connected within this facet of the Chamber.

Organizational Excellence

  • Current LTA membership is 559
  • Current ELTB membership is 500
  • Current Chamber membership is 1143

2019 Quarter 2 Update

Summary updates and data for April – June 2019


Leadership Tampa Alumni hosted LT 2.0 Law Enforcement Day on April 12, where LTA members had an opportunity to learn first-hand from Tampa Police Department Officers the training and development that officers must go through.

In May, we hosted our 2019 Legislative Wrap Up Luncheon, with 140+ attendees, to provide our membership an opportunity to hear from our delegation on the successes and challenges from Session. We discussed policy issues in Economic Development, Transportation, Education and Health Care. Legislators in attendance included: Senator Bill Galvano, Senator Tom Lee, Senator Daryll Rouson, Representative Jamie Grant, Representative Dianne Hart, Representative Wengay Newton, Representative Jackie Toledo.

We hosted a discussion centered around young professionals running for public office. Our panelists included Nicholas Glover, David Loos, and John Godwin – all young professional candidates who recently campaigned in the 2019 Tampa City Council elections. The discussion was moderated by former State House Representative Ed Narain and focused on the challenges and opportunities that come from running for office as a young professional.

The Chamber was proud to deliver a unified message in support of a balanced approach to transportation solutions at the MPO hearing. The Chamber stressed that an either-or approach to mobility and transportation solutions will not work for Tampa Bay. We must work towards a balanced multi-modal transportation network that includes transit, rail, pedestrian and bicycle and much needed safety investments to our interstate network.

The MPO voted 11-5 to approve the 2020/21 – 2024/25 Transportation Improvement Program that the Chamber supported. The vote made two changes, recommended by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), to the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The first is adding one general purpose lane in each direction from north of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Boulevard to north of Bearss Avenue with inside shoulder widening for future transit accommodation. The second change would be the addition of auxiliary lanes connecting I-275 and I-4. Improvements will be made within the existing FDOT owned right of way. The only right of way required will be for storm water ponds at Bearrs Avenue.

The Workforce Housing Caucus met with Mayor Jane Castor to discuss workforce housing opportunities in the City of Tampa, and the ideas and potential plans for developing solutions here in Tampa.

Face the Chamber with Mayor Jane Castor had 470+ attendees who heard from Mayor Jane Castor about her first 60 days in office and policy priorities important to the business community. WFLA Host Evan Donovan held a question and answer sit down with Mayor Castor and touched on Workforce Development, Workforce Housing, her first budget, transportation and more.

Hub For Business

Hosted 13th Annual Women of Influence Luncheon with a keynote address from Anne Geddes, photographer and philanthropist. The Dottie Berger MacKinnon Woman of Influence award was presented to Sandra Braham, Ed.D, President and CEO of Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services.

Education Connection committee hosted an event informing companies on how they can leverage funding opportunities for their workforce training programs.

Visit Tampa Bay hosted LTA Connect with Coffee on May 22nd at their Visitor’s Center with guest speaker Santiago Corrada, to educate Leadership Tampa Alumni about the work that Visit Tampa Bay does for the community.

50 members of the Leadership Tampa Class of 2019 graduated on May 1, 2019. This was the 48th class of Leadership Tampa.

Four Leadership Tampa Information Sessions were held to inform anyone interested in learning more about the Leadership Tampa program, with 169 participants registered.

Six days of candidate interviews for the Leadership Tampa Class of 2020 were completed on June 10, 2019. The new Leadership Tampa class will be announced later this summer.

Held 85+ council and committee meetings connecting members to the issues that they are passionate about and want to help make an impact in.

Hosted the following number of attendees at Chamber events and programming:

  • Year to Date- Jan - June: 8,800+
  • Q2 April - June: 4,300+


Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay leadership team provided information sessions about the benefits of the program to chamber member companies with a high number of young professionals.

Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay leadership team is also partnering with the University of Tampa, St. Leo University and the University of South Florida on retaining and attracting young professionals in Tampa Bay by promoting the young professionals’ group.

Hosted the Flag Officers and Key Commanders Reception where over 125 members of the military and business community networked.

Hosted Operation Partnership: Transition Tampa where over 50 transitioning military members were able to learn tips for integrating into the Tampa Bay business community.

Emerging Leaders’ Inclusion Committee volunteered at Children’s Home Network with 35 volunteers participating, and the Humane Society with 30 volunteers.

Minority Business Accelerator hosted a Community Information Session for any companies interested in learning more about the program to attend and hear directly from program participants on their experience.

2019 Quarter 1 Update

Summary updates and data for Jan. – Mar. 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.