After a welcome from Mayor Rick Kriseman, the room was full of energy - St. Pete is definitely the place to be. There was a bit of a twist this year, the audience was encouraged to #betheshine and take out their phones to participate in a live voting experience which helped run the program. The shine is definitely on St. Pete Chamber members, with last year’s tradition of all members receiving 2 free tickets continuing.
The program, run similarly to a Chamber Board of Governors meeting, highlighted a few Chamber member Bright Spots in 2015. The audience voted on which Bright Spot they wanted to hear more about. After a close vote, Allison Guley, Associate Senior Counsel at All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine and Chamber Board Member, expressed the excitement of the groundbreaking for their new research and education tower in the Innovation District, bringing progress and insight into the future for kids everywhere.
Councils, committees and task forces are the backbone of the efforts in moving toward the Chamber’s Strategic Plan goals. The audience was asked which efforts they wanted to learn more about, and the St. Pete Young Professionals and Leadership St. Pete® (LSP) program won with an outstanding number of votes.
After hearing from Kathleen Larrison, LSP Chair 2015 on the Class of 2015's phenomenal success in 2015 with raising $90,000 for the Class Project, the Suncoast Center, Leah Bickley, the 2016 Class Chair, spoke on behalf of the class on their excitement to make a difference in the community by moving forward with the 2016 Class Project, Alpha House. St. Pete Young Professionals (SPYP) 2015 Chair, Taylor Traviesa and 2016 Chair, Justin Bean spoke on the leadership development opportunities young professionals can experience while being involved in SPYP.
2015 Board of Governors Chair, William Ulbricht, President of St. Anthony’s Hospital announced the 2016 Board of Governors, including:
W. Gregory Holden, Manning & Napier Advisors, LLC
Immediate Past Chair
William Ulbricht, St. Anthony's Health Care
Jim Donatelli, Regions Bank
Vice Chair Secretary/Treasurer
Bill Kent, George F. Young, Inc.
Vice Chair Membership Development
Anne Drake McMullen, Doyle Wealth Management
Vice Chair Economic Development
Michael Vivio, Valpak Direct Marketing Systems
Vice Chair Advocacy
Ryan Griffin, Johnson Pope Bokor Ruppel & Burns, LLP
Vice Chair Organizational Development
Dr. Sophia Wisniewska, USF St. Petersburg
Vice Chair Marketing / Brand Development
Dan Saginario, HSN
Legal Counsel (Non-Voting)
Jim Dickson, Esq., Adams and Reese LLP
Board of Governors
Ian Barber, Bankers Financial Corporation
Tony Collins, Blake Collins Group
Tim Coop, Hancock Bank
Dean Jacqueline Dixon, USF College of Marine Science
Bill Edwards, The Edwards Group
Tash Elwyn, Private Client Group, Raymond James & Associates
Danielle Findley, Florida Print Solutions Inc.
Dr. Judy Genshaft, USF
Kathy Gillette, Bayfront Health System
Bill Goede, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Andi Gordon, Tampa Bay Times
Kevin Gordon, St. Petersburg College
Marcus Greene, BB&T Bank
Allison Guley, All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine
Charley Harris, Trenam Law
Sharon Hayes, Palms of Pasadena Hospital
John Higgins, Tampa Bay Rays
Trevor Hillier, ASI
Nick Kouris, Florida Blue
Chad Loar, PNC Bank
Rita Lowman, C1 Bank
Dia Nichols, Northside Hospital
David Punzak, Carlton Fields
Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy
Dennis Sheaffer, Bright House Networks
Todd Simmons, Ceridian HCM
Robert Warchola, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP (PAC Chair)
Jill Wilkinson, SunTrust Bank
Ex Officio Members
Justin Bean, Reusable Transport Packaging, Inc. (SPYP Chair)
Martha Boden, SPCA Tampa Bay
Paul Carder (Strategic Guidance)
John Collins, St. Petersburg Arts Alliance
James Connolly, Ph.D., St. Petersburg College
Linda Dennis, Hotel Indigo (Tourism Partners Chair)
Watson Haynes, Pinellas County Urban League
Joni James, St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership, Inc.
Tom Jewsbury, St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport
Juliet Kyes, ActionCOACH (Ambassadors Council Chair)
Ross Preville, Raymond James & Assoc. (Waterfront Masterplan Chair)
Josh Shulman, Wells Fargo Advisors (LSPAA President)
Paul Stellrecht, City of St. Petersburg (LSP Chair)
Dr. Kanika Tomalin, City of St. Petersburg (Board Liaison, City of St. Petersburg)
Mike Meidel, Pinellas County Economic Development (Board Liaison, Pinellas County Economic Development)
W. Gregory Holden, 2016 Chamber Board of Governors Chair thanked Bill Ulbricht for his leadership as the 2015 Chair and spoke on what's to come in 2016. Holden took time to recognize past Board and SPYP Chairs.
A previous SPYP Chair, he discussed 2016 plans including the Grow Smarter Strategy for Economic Development, the first annual Benchmarking Trip to "Think Outside the 'Burg", Small Business Week and more.
Holden introduced Kathy Gillette, Market President & CEO of Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, who introduced the 2016 Chamber Member of the Year. This year's winner, Ryan Tarrant, holds three separate Chamber memberships with three different businesses (Courtyard by Marriott St. Petersburg, Cinema Squatch and Pinellas County Gator Club) and was the Chair of the “most outrageous” Good 'Burger Awards in September of 2015. Awarding the honor to a deserving member was a great way to end the program, and attendees were invited to enjoy food and drinks in the atrium of the Mahaffey Theater.
Click here to view pictures from the evening.