Leadership Tampa Alumni 2019 Annual Review

Chair's Message

Dear Leadership Tampa Alumni,

Thank you for the privilege of serving as your chair this year. It has truly been an honor. Much like my LT experience in 2012, this has been a unique and rewarding experience like none other. Leadership Tampa Alumni is a powerful group of people working together to make a difference in our city. Thank you to our sponsors, members and volunteers who support our programming! A huge thank you to the Chamber team. They truly made the year seamless.

This year has been exciting as we explored partnering with Hillsborough County Schools. We found a need for mentorship and support for not only the student level, but parents, teachers, and administrators as well. This led to our partnership with Memorial Middle School focused on pouring into their staff. We were thrilled to provide treats and encouragement for the staff during teacher appreciation week. The Memorial Middle School Gala was a success and raised money that will go to student and staff programming as Memorial Middle school makes large strides toward excellence.

We hope you have enjoyed this year’s programs. This year’s Chair’s Choice focused on Tampa’s Food Culture. I would like to thank Ferrell Alvarez of Rooster and The Till, Maryanne Ferenc of Mise en Place, and Jeff Houck of The Columbia Group. The panel discussion was lively and a reflection of Tampa’s rich historical roots and its promising future.

LTA rewarded its members with fantastic programming including the Spring Fling, Connect with Coffee series, the Reunion, annual Bowling Contest and Holiday Party. These events provided an opportunity to learn, connect, and have fun with leaders in the Tampa area that share a common goal of enhancing our community by building business success.

As you read through the 2019 Annual Review, I hope you reflect and enjoy all that you have personally gained through LT and LTA and the impact we have made together as an organization. The LTA Marketing Committee worked extremely hard on this document and have done an amazing job at highlighting the 2019 LTA year!

As we look back on 2019, I want to thank you for the experience and opportunity to have been your 2019 LTA chair. I’ve been inspired by the generosity of time and resources from our outreach exceeding our goals and commitments. With your continued support, membership, and sponsorship, we can continue to put on quality programs that uplift the businesses and communities we serve in Tampa Bay. Much like the early conversations you likely had about the time investment applying to LT, the same trepidation exists as you take on a leadership role in the Alumni. I can’t encourage you enough to take those steps and delve deeper into what this program has to offer, it’s absolutely worth it.


Michael Blasco (LT ‘12) – Tampa Bay Food Trucks

President's Letter

Thank you for your continued support of the Leadership Tampa Alumni program. As graduates of the third-oldest leadership program in the country, LTA has a long roster of outstanding members and a long-standing commitment of positively impacting our community. What makes LTA unique is the common bond of participating in a strong, experienced leadership program that evolves each year and remains cutting edge on topics relevant to our region.

As a committee of the Tampa Bay Chamber, LTA is integral to our mission “to serve our members and enhance our community by building business success.” Strong leadership is the key to a diverse, inclusive and vibrant community, and Leadership Tampa, and by extension LTA, is an important vehicle to develop that leadership. As part of the Tampa Bay Chamber’s Vision 2026 Plan, Leadership Tampa Alumni will ensure volunteer and professional leaders are skilled at affecting community change, producing catalytic leaders and leveraging its broad-based sphere of influence.

LTA has played a significant part in making the vision plan a success. This committee is an important part of the Tampa Bay Chamber. Your support is critical for the continued success of the plan. Your participation and enthusiasm make a big difference in our community.

You are the reason for LTA’s success, and your continued involvement will ensure the growth and impact of the program for Tampa’s future generations. Thank you for your membership and your commitment to our community.


Dr. Bob Rohrlack, CCE – President and CEO, Tampa Bay Chamber

2019 Leadership Team

2019 Cabinet Members

  • Jeff Chernoff, Membership Vice Chair
  • Wendy Ross, Marketing Vice Chair
  • Nicole Hawker, Newsletter/Annual Report Vice Chair
  • Sara Palmer, Social Media Vice Chair
  • Susan Maurer, Sponsorship Vice Chair
  • Ana Rabelo Wallrapp, Programs Vice Chair
  • Leah Millette, Community Outreach Vice Chair
  • Luis Martinez-Monfort, Parke Wright III Vice Chair

Past Chairs

  • Emeline Acton
  • William Arnold
  • R. Troy Atlas
  • Eric Bailey
  • Paul Catoe
  • Colleen Chappell
  • Brenda Geoghagan
  • Reid Haney
  • Misha Hart
  • Paul Hogan
  • Pat Holt
  • David Hooks
  • Dianne Jacob
  • Susan Lang
  • John Moors
  • Paddy Moses
  • Bob Rasmussen
  • Mark Segel
  • David J. Stefany
  • Christine Turner
  • John Timmel
  • Mike Urette
  • Renee Vaughn
  • Dr. Susan Welsh
  • Henry Woodroffe
  • Greg Yadley


Thank you to our tremendous Annual Sponsors

Community Outreach

For 2019, the LTA Outreach Committee had a focus of supporting LTA’s goal of encouraging the business community to support Hillsborough County Schools.

We decided to channel all of our efforts on a middle school selected with the guidance of Hillsborough County Schools leadership. Memorial Middle School was selected, not only based on need, but also because of the enthusiasm of the school principal, April Gillyard. In cooperation with April, we decided to launch our support of the school by providing appreciation, meals, and entertainment for teachers and school administration, participating in school supply drives, providing labor for various school projects, and joining the school Student Advisory Committee.

Our target was to participate in at least 4 hands-on volunteer projects and 2 supply drives during the year. We hit our target and helped to beautify the school grounds, supplied and organized the onsite clothes closet, hosted First Friday events to celebrate teachers, and created an Amazon link that helped LTA members contribute supplies for the school throughout the year. We also participated in ceremonies for the school and came out in force to support their annual fundraising gala. April Gillyard and the teachers were so appreciative and even presented our committee with a recognition award for our support!

We really wanted a strong test case in 2019 to determine ways that we can help the business community as a whole support schools in their districts. When we support the teachers and administration, the students benefit. We saw that this year with Memorial Middle School, and we’d like to challenge others to adopt schools and make meaningful, lasting impacts in our community.

$7,000+ in donations from LTA members to support Memorial Middle School

50 bags of clothes donated to fill the Memorial Middle School clothes closet for children and families in need.

500 LTA volunteer hours

5 Teacher appreciation events and volunteer days

Connect With Coffee

MOSI | January

LTA enjoyed a panel discussion sponsored by and held at MOSI about STEAM - science, technology, engineering, arts and math education as well as a live science experiment. Speakers included MOSI CEO Julian Mackenzie, HCPS Superintendent Jeff Eakins and Synapse Co-Founder and President Brian Kornfeld.

Visit Tampa Bay | May

LTA members were hosted by Visit Tampa Bay at the Unlock Tampa Bay Visitor’s Center. If you haven’t stopped by yet, you simply must check it out! There are treasures abound. Not only were guests treated to a delicious breakfast, but they also had an opportunity to hear from Santiago Corrada, President and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, who spoke about how we market Tampa Bay as a destination.

Entrepreneur Collaborative Center | August

In August, LTA members had the opportunity to learn more about the Hillsborough County Entrepreneur Collaborative Center. Lynn Kroesen, Manager, shared with the group how to join the entrepreneurial community and start or grow your business by tapping into a wealth of free resources provided by the center.

LTA Annual Meeting

The LTA Annual Meeting, sponsored by The University of Tampa and Hill Ward Henderson, was held at the Tampa River Center at Julian B. Lane Park in January. Highlights of the annual meeting included awarding the Parke Wright III Leadership Award to Mark House (LT ‘98) and celebrating LTA’s 2018 accomplishments as well as introducing the 2019 LTA Cabinet, chaired by Michael Blasco of Tampa Bay Food Trucks. This is always a wonderful event where over 200 LT alum gather to support the program that brought them together.

LTA Spring Fling

LTA’s 2019 Spring Fling was another success! Sponsored by Phelps Dunbar, this event brought together LTA members along with over 50 prospective Leadership Tampa candidates. This event has transitioned from simply an LTA networking event to a recruitment event for potential applicants. A warm welcome to all was given by LT’20 Chair Lance Lansrud and LT’20 Vice Chair Jill Manthey while the food was catered by Tampa Bay Food Trucks.

LT 2.0 – Law Enforcement Day

LT 2.0 Law Enforcement Day was certainly an eye-opening experience. Our own Tampa Police Department hosted quite a day with officers demonstrating simulation exercises and special operations’ presentations. Officers from SWAT, bike patrol, marine/dive, K-9, motorcycle and bomb teams provided amazing insights. We even set out on our very own simulated high-speed chases where TPD brilliantly demonstrated their swift maneuvering. Our members now have a greater understanding of the split-second decision making required by our officers on a day to day basis. Wehr Constructors, Inc. sponsored this awesome event!

LTA Welcome Reception

CI Group sponsored the graduation reception for the Class of 2019 at CAMLS where LTA welcomed our newest members! The excitement was palpable as the graduates expanded their network of 50 to over 600. Class members were eager to take the next step in their leadership journeys and get involved in the alumni organization.

LTA Bowling Contest

We had a ball at LTA’s third annual bowling contest at Splitsville! Whether you go to bowl a high score or just strike up a conversation with old friends, this event has fast become an LTA favorite tradition. This year’s best team score went to LT TENnis Best. LT’10 might not have won the best team score it hadn’t been for Stephen Busbee’s high score!

The Kinky 04’s won best costume and LT’13’s Pinnin’ Ain’t Easy took home the prize for best team name. Sadly, the lowest individual score went to Ana Wallrapp, but no worries, Splitsville provided some free practice so she can come back to practice for next year!

Chair's Choice

When the LTA Chair holds the one-of-a-kind title of Chief Eating Officer, the Chair’s Choice event is sure to have a unique flavor. This year’s event explored Tampa’s culture of cuisine with panelists 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.

LTA Reunion

LT Alumni across the decades reunited aboard the Yacht Starship to celebrate another great year of events, community outreach and economic development in Tampa Bay. The food was spectacular, the weather was beautiful and the view from the top deck of the ship was breathtaking as Tampa’s skyline continues to evolve. While it’s great to connect with classmates, making new connections from other classes is an important benefit of the LTA Reunion.

Conversations with Influence

The City of Tampa Mayor Jane Castor (LT ‘00) shared her vision and love for Tampa Bay with LTA at Maestro’s Restaurant at The Straz sponsored by First Citizens Bank. No question was left unanswered. The mayor opened the floor for questions and spoke quite candidly about her passion for Tampa and her vision for our future. What a rare and intimate opportunity for LTA members to speak to the mayor, one of our own, an LT’00 graduate.

LTA Holiday Party

If you want to celebrate the holidays LTA-style, you’re going to need a little more than food, drinks and decor - you’re also going to need the ugliest sweaters and ties you can find. This year’s fashion did not disappoint and those who wore it worst won. What a way to close out the year as we get ready for an all-new decade!

The RICH House is appreciative, and the contributions will be utilized for their kids and their families. Due to LTA's generosity, a lot of families were thrilled this holiday. There was a variety of gift cards, that ranged from food to retail. They are thankful to Leadership Tampa Alumni who gave to the program and showed continual support. Total contribution: $620.00

Parke Wright III Award

2019 Award Recipient Chloe Coney

Dr. Chloe Coney, Public Involvement Specialist at HNTB Corporation, received the 2019 Parke Wright III Award from Leadership Tampa Alumni at the group’s 2019 Annual Meeting on January 29th. Established in 2002, the award is presented annually to a member of Leadership Tampa Alumni who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and made a significant difference in the Tampa Bay community. Dr. Chloe Coney was in the 2002 Class of Leadership Tampa.

Chloe’s passion for justice and building strong communities was evident since she was very young, but took hold when she began her professional career as the first black female probation and parole officer in Hillsborough County in 1972. Chloe’s passion inspired her to found and become the first President/CEO of the Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa (CDC of Tampa, Inc.). The CDC of Tampa Nehemiah Project Community Building “Brick by Brick” has since enjoyed 25 years of community building through strategic initiatives such as providing job training, promoting entrepreneurship, developing youth leadership programs, revitalizing commercial areas, and building affordable housing.

In 2006, Chloe retired as the Founder/President of the CDC of Tampa to become a candidate in a very close race for Hillsborough County Commission District 3. She found a new way to serve the community as District Director for U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, who represents the 14th Congressional District of Florida and includes most of Hillsborough County. In this capacity she served for 10 years and she assisted U.S. Rep. Castor by addressing an array of constituent concerns, soliciting citizen input, and performing community outreach activities, such as foreclosure prevention workshops during the economic downturn to help families stay in their homes and job fairs during the economic recovery to connect neighbors with local jobs. Chloe is currently with HNTB Corporation, an infrastructure and transportation company, as a public involvement specialist focused on developing transportation and workforce projects in Tampa Bay.

With nearly 40 years of advocating for community building and revitalizing neighborhoods, she conducts workshops across the country. Chloe and her husband, Pastor Ernest Coney Sr., founded the Spirit of Truth Ministries. She often speaks at women’s retreats and churches about Christian community economic development.

Parke Wright III Award Recipients

  • 2018 Mark House (LT ‘98)
  • 2017 Robin DeLaVergne (LT ‘84)
  • 2016 Jane Castor (LT ‘00)
  • 2015 John A. Brabson (LT ‘77)
  • 2014 Renee Vaughn (LT ‘93)
  • 2013 Capt. John C. Timmel (LT ‘91)
  • 2012 Ann McKeel Ross (LT ‘82)
  • 2011 George Howell (LT ‘89)
  • 2010 Jose Valiente (LT ‘98)
  • 2009 Dianne Jacob (LT ‘92)
  • 2008 Deanne Roberts (LT ‘92)
  • 2007 Chase Stockon (LT ‘99)
  • 2006 Paul Catoe (LT ‘92)
  • 2005 Dottie Berger-MacKinnon (LT ‘87)
  • 2004 Gregory Yadley (LT ‘88)
  • 2003 Maj. Elaine White (LT ‘00)
  • 2002 Rhea Law (LT ‘91)
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Tampa Bay Chamber