“What’s NEXT?” a Recap of the St. Pete Chamber’s 121st Annual Meeting

Posted On 01/28/2020 by St. Pete Chamber

On Thursday, January 23rd, our Chamber celebrated the 121st Annual Meeting presented by Johnson Pope Bokor Ruppel & Burns LLP and Valley Bank at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater. As 2019 marked the successful completion of the 2017-2019 Strategic Plan, our Chamber’s leadership was propelled to ask the question “What’s NEXT?” In shifting concentrated efforts to the future and building on our successes, “What’s NEXT?” became the predominant theme of the evening.

Bill Kent, the outgoing 2019 Board of Governors Chair, initiated the program by honoring the milestones that derived from the 2017-2019 Strategic Plan, with core focus on the areas of Economic Development, Advocacy, and Organization Development for our members. Most notable of the economic development successes are Leadership St. Pete®, the St. Pete Greenhouse, Grow Smarter St. Pete, and the Greater St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation. Click here to view the 2019 Annual Report recognizing the achievements of the past year.

Over the course of a very “interesting” year, Chambering in Chris Steinocher’s absence during medical leave, Kent’s devoted leadership undoubtedly earned him the 2019 Member of the Year award, as well as a proclamation from the City of St. Petersburg in celebrating George F. Young after 100 years in business. Mark your calendars St. Petersburgers – January 23rd is officially George F. Young Day.

Kent and the 2019 Board of Governors laid the foundation for the work ahead through the establishment of a strategic planning committee, the Chamber NEXT committee. Pursuing the journey of What’s NEXT for our community, our members, and our Chamber – we are excited to welcome our 2020 Board of Governors Chair, Ryan Griffin. With a long history of Chambering, Griffin is eager to advance the plans of Chamber NEXT, along with the 2020 Board of Governors. Driving the focus on what’s ahead are the Chamber NEXT Leadership Objectives and strategic priorities which derived from the research of the Chamber NEXT committee in charting a strategic path forward. To view more on the leadership objectives and strategic priorities in the Strategic Prospectus 2020, click here.

To foreshadow some of the concerns on our horizon and What’s NEXT, Griffin moderated a panel discussion facilitated by leaders in our community and our Chamber including: Dr. Tashika Griffith of St. Petersburg College, April Harley of Jones Lang LaSalle and Inclusive St. Pete, Jason Jensen of Wannemacher Jensen Architects, Anne Pollack of Fletcher Fisher Pollack P.L, Dr. Sri Sundaram of the Kate Tiedemann College of Business at USFSP, and David Vetter of Tech Data.

Topics discussed amongst the panel included Grow Smarter’s convening efforts of the public and private sectors, business supplier diversity, business and job growth, new developments throughout St. Pete from the St. Pete Pier to the Deuces Live District, affordable housing, Coastal High Hazard Areas, and Chamber NEXT.

As we implement Chamber NEXT, we ask you to be curious, get engaged, and join us in shaping our future together. Get engaged and stay updated on Chamber NEXT by texting NEXT to 57838 and click here to view the 2020 Strategic Prospectus.

Here are a few of our favorite memories from the evening.

Click here to view photos taken throughout the program and the reception by Thee Photo Ninja. If you stopped by the Modern Photography Group’s booth to snap a photo, you can find those by clicking here.

The experience of our 121st Annual Meeting, and the favorable opportunity of offering each member a pair of tickets for FREE, would not be possible without our sponsors. It is the investments of our members and sponsors that allowed us to welcome over 1,100 guests to kickoff 2020 with us in the best way, Chambering.

Bayfront Health St. Petersburg
Florida Blue
George F. Young, Inc.
Southwest Airlines
Tampa International Airport/Hillsborough Co. Aviation Authority

Fifth Third Bank
Greater St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
Lassiter Ware Insurance
Modern Photography Group
St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport
Trenam Law
USF Kate Tiedemann College of Business
Visit St. Petersburg Clearwater Florida