Competitive Edge Series

The Competitive Edge Series is the premier educational program of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. Business and professional development classes under this umbrella offer attendees new skill sets and a practical application for implementation in their own business. A unique class takes place each month during the lunchtime hour.

The Competitive Edge Series classes are FREE to members of the FIT 2 Level, and FREE with benefits to members of the FIT 1 and 3 Levels.

Creating brand recognition and value

Tue., May 1, 2018

11:45am - 1:30pm

Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

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Attendees will:

  • Understand how to grow a small business without compromising quality
  • Identify ways to enter new markets and partnerships and considerations when developing the right partnerships
  • Hear how Norman Love has created brand awareness to drive business
  • Understand how to manage innovation and product development as well as bring new products to market

Featured Speaker

Norman Love: Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Chocolatier

Since founding Norman Love Confections, Norman has received tremendous national and international recognition. One of the top European daily newspapers, as well as National Geographic magazine, have ranked Norman Love Confections among the top 10 chocolate shops in the world and Dessert Professional Magazine has honored Norman Love as a the first inductee into the Chocolatier Hall of Fame. Norman and his chocolates have been featured by USA Today, The Today Show, Robb Report, InStyle, Martha Stewart Living, Forbes and O, The Oprah Magazine.

He owns and operates four chocolate salons in Southwest Florida as well as Artisan Gelato by Norman Love. Love has also grown a vibrant e-commerce business, and signature chocolates and specialty products are shipped to chocolate lovers around the country. Norman Love and his wife Mary started their company in Fort Myers 15 years ago, an inspiring story of creating a business from scratch, and growing it into a globally recognized brand.


Half-Time 2018 – What’s your Sales Score?

Tue., Jun. 5, 2018

11:45am - 1:30pm

Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

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Are you breaking records – or is your lack of results sounding like a broken record?

Are you using the same old plays in marketing to a world with new (and ever changing) rules?

Perhaps, it’s time for an in-house review and a 3rd qtr. reboot –

  • A new perspective about your marketing plan
  • Seeing your business from your customer’s point of view?

This highly interactive and engaging presentation will give you the tools – and "ah-ha" moments to help create a new game plan and end 2018 with a winning season.

Attendees will learn:

  • Why is your “Why?” important – but does your prospect really care?
  • That reversing the traditional sales funnel will determine your best “Who.”
  • To create five – 12 customer touch points (“Where and When”) to maximize your message

Featured Speakers

Sheila Neisler, Owner, Catalyst – A Marketing Company

For more than 15 years, Sheila has been helping small and middle market organizations achieve double digit results by creating and executing a 360° Marketing Plan. Her philosophy: “it’s not about spending more money; it’s about spending it more effectively.”

Catalyst is an evolution of "preaching what Sheila practiced." With an AA degree from USF and a BS in Finance from FSU, she took her experience as a corporate financial analyst into the entrepreneurial world, starting a corporate gift basket company in Charleston, SC. She was later recruited by a number of national trade associations to lead marketing presentations. As she expanded to North Carolina, clients and business leaders encouraged her to jump into marketing full time, valuing “her brains more than her baskets."

Sheila recently relocated to Tampa Bay and serves clients in the service, manufacturing and not-for-profit sectors. Her work process melds bottom-line banking experience with a top-line sales and marketing passion to drive results.


Labor and Employment Law Compliance

Tue., Aug. 21, 2018

11:45am - 1:30pm

Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

As we approach the mid-point of this Administration’s first term, it’s time for a look back on what we have learned in the way of workplace regulatory enforcement trends. It’s also an opportunity to forecast what we can expect over the next two years from federal agencies, courts and legislators alike. Our legal experts will explore how agencies, such as the National Labor Relations Board, the Department of Labor, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, are carrying out their enforcement strategies and what lies ahead as Congress and the courts grapple with the next phase of the regulatory agenda.

Attendees will:

  • What’s in store for their workplace, and how these changes will impact a wide spectrum of employment practices ranging from hiring procedures to pay practices to discharge investigations.
  • How to comply with new and emerging regulatory requirements while continuing to manage a quality workforce under current economic conditions.
  • How best to update current employment policies to incorporate recent legal developments.
  • How to prepare their organizations for the next wave of workplace regulations and other potential challenges lurking around the corner.

Featured Speakers

Steve Bernstein, Partner, Fisher Phillips

Steve maintains a traditional labor practice in which he represents employers throughout the United States in both state and federal courts, as well as before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and other state and federal agencies. In the process, Steve has played a primary role in advising clients on union-related matters. Steve has also acquired a sophisticated level of experience with regard to advising clients on compliance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), the Family and Medical Leave (FMLA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A significant portion of his practice is devoted to the implementation of preventive employee relations programs that include supervisory training as well as the development and administration of effective human resources policies and practices.

Christine Howard, Regional Managing Partner, Fisher Phillips

Christine serves as a Co-Chair of the firm's Women's Initiative and Leadership Council. Christine focuses her practice on the defense of employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation complaints, wage and hour litigation, and employee leave related complaints. She has successfully handled many dispositive motions, hearings, arbitrations, and trials on behalf of employers. Over the last decade, she has defended numerous collective action cases filed on behalf of classes of employees alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), successfully defeating attempts at class certification in practically every instance. Christine also defends class actions under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), helping employers navigate these claims to successful resolutions and dismissals. In addition to litigating matters on behalf of employers, Christine conducts workplace investigations, compliance audits, and management training. She also counsels employers on the preventive measures they may take to avoid or reduce employment- related claims, including on issues arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


See some of our past Competitive Edge events.