The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce regularly hosts several events a year designed to give our members a better understanding of key public policy issues that could have an effect on their businesses or the Tampa Bay community. This includes our Public Policy Roundtables, special edition Summits, Legislative Kick-off and Wrap-up events, which welcome elected officials and policy experts to provide our members with a better understanding of key issues and legislation that could affect our local economy.

Human Trafficking Summit

Mon., Feb. 18, 2019

11:00am - 1pm

The Centre Club

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Join us for a panel discussion, moderated by Dottie Groover-Skipper, featuring panelists Florida State Attorney General Ashley Moody and Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, Medical Director for St. Joseph's Hospital Emergency Department, Dr. Dion Samerson, and Co-Founder/CEO of Selah Freedom Elizabeth Melendez Fisher regarding legislative efforts to end human trafficking.

11:00 a.m. | Registration & Networking
11:30 – 1:00 p.m. | Program & Lunch


State Attorney General Ashley Moody

Attorney General Ashley Moody, a fifth generation Floridian, was born and raised in Plant City, Florida. General Moody joined the United States Attorney’s Office prosecuting drug, firearm, and fraud offenses. While a federal prosecutor, Ashley was commended by the DEA for prosecutorial excellence and outstanding initiative in drug law enforcement. She was also recognized by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for her lead of “Operation Round-Up,” a targeted prosecution of violent and repeat offenders.

In 2006, at the age of 31, General Moody became the youngest judge in Florida when she was elected Circuit Court Judge of the 13th Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County. As a judge, she founded the Attorney Ad Litem program recruiting volunteer attorneys to stand in the place of parents who did not appear in court with their children. She also developed a mentoring program for at-risk children within the juvenile delinquency system.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister

A veteran law enforcement officer Sheriff Chad Chronister has served with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office since 1992. He became the top law enforcement officer in Hillsborough County on September 30, 2017, upon his appointment by Gov. Rick Scott and was elected by the citizens of Hillsborough County on November 6, 2018. He is co-chairman of the Regional Domestic Security Task Force, Region IV Tampa Bay. Sheriff Chronister has earned many commendations. His civic associations include board membership positions with Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay and Metropolitan Ministries.

Elizabeth Melendez Fisher

Elizabeth is the Co-Founder and President/CEO of The Selah Way Foundation and Co-Founder/CEO of Selah Freedom. Headquartered in the Florida Suncoast, Selah Freedom is a national not-for-profit that focuses on ending sex trafficking and exploitation. Fisher is passionate about protecting our own local American children. Since Selah Freedom's inception in 2011, she has led the organization with financial growth of over 200% annually. With her direction Selah Freedom has launched four nationally renowned programs: Safe Housing, Teen Prevention, Awareness and Outreach, through which Selah Freedom partners with and trains the FBI, local law enforcement and State Attorney’s offices throughout the nation. Selah Freedom educates thousands on this issue every year including children, adults, community stakeholders, NPOs, government officials, school systems, and more. Houston Police Department is one of many agencies that was trained by Selah Freedom in best practices prior to tackling the rise of sex trafficking during the 2017 Super Bowl. The organization serves thousands of survivors and at-risk youth annually through each of their successful programs every year.

Dion R. Samerson, MD, FACEP, CPE

Dr. Samerson is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician and Certified Physician Executive. He is a South Florida native who attended Boston University, Boston, MA where he earned a B.A. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.  Dr. Samerson graduated from Ross University School of Medicine and completed his Emergency Medicine residency at Wayne State University (Detroit Medical Center), Detroit, MI. In his final year of training, Dr. Samerson served as Chief Resident at Sinai Grace Hospital, Detroit Medical Center.  After residency, he accepted a position as an attending and clinical professor at Wayne State University.  Dr. Samerson joined Emergency Medical Associates of Tampa Bay in 2009 and has been a partner with the group since 2010.  As a physician leader, he serves on several department and hospital committees.  He was instrumental in developing a Type I Emergency Department Observation Unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital.  Dr. Samerson was the Observation Unit Director prior to becoming the Emergency Department Medical Director and Department Chair for St. Joseph’s Hospital in 2018.  

Moderator – Dotti Groover-Skipper

Dotti Groover–Skipper believes in dynamic living through servant leadership! She is credited as a catalyst to peak action against human trafficking in Tampa Bay and recognized by Florida Governor Rick Scott and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, as the “Human Trafficking Advocate of the Year” for the State of Florida 2013. In March 2014, she was recognized for her tireless work as a “Woman of Distinction” by the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. Dot received the 2014 Florida Achievement Award from the Florida Commission On the Status of Women. Additionally, in February 2016, Dot was recognized by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation as a “Community Hero”, received the Zonta International “Status of Women” award as the 2016 Human Trafficking Victims Advocate, and in 2018 received the “Ribbon of Honor” award from The American Association of University Women.

Groover-Skipper is appointed by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to the legislatively formed Statewide Council On Human Trafficking and appointed by Florida Governor Rick Scott to the Florida Drug Policy Advisory Council. She assists FREE- The Slavery Survival Network, serves as Commissioner on the Hillsborough County Commission On the Status of Women, serves on the board of the Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance, serves as a member of the Salvation Army Southern Territory Anti-Trafficking Council, serves on the steering committee for the Salvation Army Women’s Adult Rehabilitation Center, and is currently employed as the Florida Division Anti-Trafficking Director for the Salvation Army.

Confirmed Attendees:

  • Rep. Fentrice Driskell
  • Rep. Jamie Grant
  • Rep. Adam Hattersley
  • Rep. Lawrence McClure
  • Rep. Wengay Newton
  • Rep. Jackie Toledo
  • Rep. Susan Valdes


Legislative Kickoff

Wed., Feb. 27, 2019

5:30 - 7pm

Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

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For questions, please contact Katie Lopez, Government Relations Manager.