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LSP 2022 Class Project - Clam Bayou
LSP 2022 Class Project - Clam Bayou
The Bay Area Chamber Foundation

Designed to support the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce's programs of work, the Bay Area Chamber Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that allows the Chamber to reach further into the community to advocate for the vitality of all, while simultaneously working on it's mission to grow and strengthen our businesses.

The two organizations function together to create a vibrant and inclusive community of empowered individuals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders. In short, the Chamber Foundation allows the Chamber of Commerce to be all in.


The Bay Area Chamber Foundation was founded in the early 1990s to support the Leadership St. Pete program and other community initiatives.

Today, it still functions as the philanthropic branch of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, supporting several fundraisers within Chamber programming, such as the Leadership St. Pete Class Project, the St. Pete Young Professionals yearly fundraiser, and allows the Chamber to collect donations that go towards entrepreneurial curriculum and small business development.

Grow Smarter, an initiative that began in 2014, was created through the Chamber Foundation, which lead to the formation of the Economic Development Corporation in 2016, the Innovation District in 2016 and community COVID-19 Response in 2020. Combined, the Chamber Foundation supported Grow Smarter's  efforts for small business development, resiliency and strengthening the business community in St. Pete.

The Foundation's Impact

Community Engagement and Leadership. We actively engage with community members, encouraging active citizenship, volunteerism, and leadership development. We strive to build a strong sense of community pride and collaboration through events, networking opportunities, and community-driven projects.

  • Grow Smarter is an initiative that brings together 90+ organizations working in a number of areas for cross-sector collaboration with key stakeholders and members of the business community. The initiative is based on the Grow Smarter strategy, a comprehensive, integrated, data-driven community plan to enhance St. Petersburg's competitive position and provide quality, diverse economic growth. Grow Smarter has a focus on equity, with the understanding that the vibrancy of the entire community is determined by the wellbeing of all individuals. Grow Smarter addresses specific topical areas through workgroups made up of representatives from community organizations, businesses, and individuals. Through Grow Smarter, several programs serving the community have been created including:
  • Leadership St. Pete® seeks to identify, recruit, and develop leaders who represent the diversity of our local community. LSP challenges its class members to view issues in our community, state, and nation as opportunities. Through class interaction and discussions with community leaders, LSP stimulates creative thinking, and, ultimately, community leaders emerge with new resources and knowledge to face their everyday challenges. Learn more about LSP.
Support the Foundation's Mission

Contributions to the Foundation help fuel the Chamber's mission of helping leaders grow and businesses start by allowing the Chamber to reach into the community first-hand and provide the resources necessary to conduct research, scholarships and host educational events focused on the areas of equity, entrepreneurial and workforce development, housing, transportation and community needs.

The St. Petersburg Chamber Foundation shall at all times act in such manner as to qualify for classification as a nonprofit corporation, pursuant to all applicable Florida statutes and Federal laws, to which donations are deductible within the meaning of the Internal Revenue Code and Regulations governing charitable contributions.

Bay Area Chamber Foundation - Logo 2023-04

Bay Area Chamber Foundation Board

Chris headshot Large

Chris Steinocher
St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce


Martha Boden, Chair
SPCA Tampa Bay


Paul Carder

sandra braham

Dr. Sandra Braham
Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services


Brooks Wallington
Hughes & Wallington Investment Management

owen lafave

Owen LaFave
The Bank of Tampa

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James Dickson
Adams & Reese LLP


Scott Smith
St. Anthony's Hospital


Roy Binger
Pilot Bank

sarah artz

Sarah Artz

kkircshner (3)

Kelly Kirschner
Eckerd College

Ryan-Quinty (2)

Ryan Quinty
Cyndeo Wealth Partners

LSP 2022 Class Project - Clam Bayou
LSP 2022 Class Project - Clam Bayou
Grow Smarter Summit
Grow Smarter Summit
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