March 2014 Presenters

Government and Non-Profit Speakers

Honorable Mayor Bob Buckhorn

City of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn
Bob Buckhorn was sworn in as the 56th mayor of the nation’s 55th largest city on April 1, 2011. Buckhorn believes Tampa’s strength is in its diversity and he is focused on building an environment that will move Tampa to the next level and create a strong economic climate. As Buckhorn moves forward to assemble a team, his priorities are job creation and economic growth.

Councilman Frank Reddick

Tampa Coucilman Frank Reddick
Councilman Frank Reddick has been representing Districk 5 for the past two years. Reddick is currently a member of the following boards; Tampa Sports Authority, Public Transportation Commission, Community Health Charities of Florida, Minority Health Advisory Board, City Council-Community Redevelopment Agency-Chair and others.

Councilman Mike Suarez

Tampa Coucilman Mike Suarez
Councilman Mike Suarez started his political career as an intern for Senator Bob Graham while completing his Masters Degree at the University of South Florida. For the past three years he has represented Tampa City Council’s District 1. Prior to that he was the President of the Guardian Ad Litem Guild and a board member of the Centro Asturiano de Tampa.

Lisa Montelione

City Councilwoman Lisa Montelione
Councilwoman Lisa Montelione represents District 7 on the Tampa City Council. The district includes New Tampa, Tampa Palms, USF and Forest Hills. Montelione also serves as Vice Chair of the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization. Prior to that Montelione has spent time working in banking, public planning and land development.

Ed Johnson

E.J. McCarger - President of TEDCO
Ed Johnson has been the City of Tampa’s Urban Development Manager in East Tampa for the past eight years. Johnson has also served as chairman of the Board of Commissioners for the City of Tampa Housing Authority, a board member of the Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida and a board member of many other organizations.

Carrol Josephs-Marshall

County Commissioner Les Miller
Carrol Josephs-Marshall is the President/CEO of Central Florida Community Planning and Development (CFCPD). Josephs-Marshall has more than 10 years working at the executive level of multiple non-profit corporations and currently serves the ETCRP as a Board Member and Chair of the Economic Development Subcommittee.


E.J. McCarger

E.J. McCarger - President of TEDCO
E.J. McCarger is the President of Tampa Bay Economic Development Corporation (TEDCO) and is a member of the ETCRP’s Economic Development Subcommittee. TEDCO has a variety of loan products and services specifically for small businesses and provides start up or expanding businesses with financial resources, sound financial advice and business acumen.

Gregory K. Hart

County Commissioner Les Miller
Gregory Hart is Managing Director of the Minority and Small Business Office which is implements City of Tampa Equal Business Opportunity Ordinances, encompassing daily oversight and administration of the Small Local Business Enterprise Program, the Women/Minority Business Enterprise Program and the Diversity Management Information Program.


Essie Sims

Essie Sims, Jr. is Chair of the East Tampa Community Revitalization Partnership. Sims, Jr. is also employed by The City of Tampa Parks & Recreation Department and has more than 20 years experience as a community leader, advocating for youth and assisting with community development in an effort to revitalize neighborhoods through health, education and information.

Towanda Anthony

Towanda Anthony is an Urban Planner II for the City Of Tampa Division of Land Development Coordination/Community Planning. Anthony represents the city on the ETCRP Economic Development and Land-Use Sub-Committee by assisting in land use and development principles, practices, evaluation tools, environmental sciences and green development.


Elizabeth D. Nelson

Elizabeth D. Nelson has worked for Hillsborough County Clerk of Circuit Court and Tampa Port Authority since 2001. Nelson currently serves the ETCRP as a Board Member and Chair of the Membership Subcommittee helping to facilitate the East Tampa Outdoor Market allowing small businesses a chance to vend services and products to consumers.

Darrell Starling

Darrell Starling is the Co-chairman of the ETCRP’s Economic Development and Land Use Subcommittee – avidly working to help board members identify ways to strengthen the economic environment in East Tampa. Starling will help facilitate the East Tampa Outdoor Market allowing small businesses to vend services and products to consumers.


Corporate Speakers

Angela Peterson

Angela Peterson is the Business Development Officer at Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union. Peterson has been in banking for 25 years and currently helps business owners by; financing commercial property to relocate and expand, purchase new equipment and machinery, secure operating lines of credit, as well as qualify for SBA Loan Programs.

Sean Josephs

Sean Josephs - Internet Marketer
Sean Josephs is the Vice President of Blue Lynx Marketing; a Google AdWords Certified Partner and full service marketing agency. The company specializes in helping small businesses by using sound marketing strategies with internet marketing tactics. The company designs and develops websites, manages ad campaigns, and offers social media consulting.

Richard J. McIntyre

Richard J. McIntyre
Richard J. McIntyre is the managing member of McIntyre, Panzarella, Thanasides and has substantial experience in business litigation. The Firm provides comprehensive legal services to businesses and entrepreneurs for a variety of issues including; business startup, mergers and acquisitions, contract review and drafting, compliance, dispute resolution and more.

Eric Seidel

Eric Seidel is one of the best known attorneys and media personalities in the Bay Area. For nearly 20 years Eric was FOX 13′s Consumer Lawyer targeting scams, frauds and consumer rip-offs. Eric devotes much of his practice to personal injury and helping consumers deal with insurance and medical bills. He also helps businesses hurt by the BP Oil Spill.

Deborah Scott-Lawson

Deborah Scott-Lawson is the East Tampa Branch Manager of Suncoast Federal Credit Union and worked in every part of the bank’s loan division. Lawson has worked for Suncoast for the past 22 years and combines community involvement with credit union responsibilities as a current board member of the East Tampa Revitalization Partnership.

Lynn Schultz

Jennifer Biles
Lynn Schultz is the Special Projects Coordinator for Hillsborough County Small Business Information Center and the Enterprise Zone Coordinator for the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County. Schultz is certified with the National Business Incubator Association, American Contract Compliance Association and International Economic Development Council.


Charles Long

Charles Long
Charles Long joined the U.S. Small Business Administration South Florida District Office in 2009 as a member of Lender Relations/Capital Access team. Long is currently the Economic Development Specialist responsible for optimizing the deployment of SBA products and programs throughout the area in service of the Small Business Community.

Jennifer Biles

Jennifer Biles
Jennifer Biles is a Certified Business Analyst with the Small Business Development Center in Hillsborough County. Biles is responsible for providing business resources and outreach to small, minority and women-owned businesses. Her areas of expertise include Business Start Up, Business Plans, Marketing, Enterprise Zone Tax Incentives and more.


Albert Lee

Albert Lee is the president of Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation, a 25 year-old multi-million dollar loan fund that specializes in providing financing for African-American-owned and other small businesses. Lee is also Managing Principal of Heights Capital Group LLC, a boutique-consulting firm that assists small businesses in securing financing.

Brenda Grove

Brenda Grove
Brenda Grove is a former federal grant reviewer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She is currently the President of Enable Business Development Institute which provides consulting, training, technical assistance, board governance, organizational development and entrepreneurship training to small businesses, non-profits and start-ups.


Charles Young, Jr., CPA

Charles Young Jr, CPA is the Managing Partner for Young & Sons Tax and Accounting with 20 years experience in public accounting, private industry, and internal audit. He formerly worked for Coopers & Lybrand (now PWC), served as the Director of Finance for the Atlanta Airport and has also worked with Coca-Cola, Time Warner, and General Motors.

Leonela Cole

Leonela Cole is the Vice President of the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund of Florida (HBIF) and is responsible for the development and cultivation of corporate sponsorship support, business counseling programs and assisting small to midsize business owners to identify, prioritize, create structures, implement processes and building organizational capabilities.


William Trotman

William Trotman is an active board member for the Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival, G.E.M.S, Girls Empowered Mentally for Success and past board member of The Housing and Education Alliance and The Tampa Bay Academy of Hope, Inc. He has thirteen years experience in the financial industry and is currently a Financial Services Representative for TD Bank, N.A.

Leighton Kyler

Leighton Kyler
Leighton Kyler is the lead member of the Senior Executive Team at ACCUIT Business Technology. He is a Certified Enterprise Architect (EA), MBA with focus in Finance and Operations, Project Management Professional (PMP), Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA), and a BS Degree in Technology with minors in Marketing and Accounting.


Machelle Maner

Machelle Maner is Vice President of Community Development for Wells Fargo. As Sr. Community Development Officer, she covers a ten county area of Southwest Florida. Wells Fargo’s Community Development Group is focused on the strategic development of public/private partnerships, small businesses and community development opportunities.