Since 1970, Leadership Tampa has been introducing its class members to major facets of the greater Tampa community through an intensive nine-month course. Founded by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Tampa’s members participate in educational sessions, tours and candid conversations with community leaders. Topics including law enforcement, education, social services, the environment, economic development and the arts – to name a few – challenge members to see their community as they never have before. 

Members of Leadership Tampa are business/professional people who hold leadership positions within their companies or organizations. Additionally, they have demonstrated a concern for community issues and volunteered their time with service and professional organizations. The selection process is rigorous and competitive for the 50 seats available in each class.

The Leadership Tampa year begins in September and concludes in May. Members meet every other week for briefings, tours, seminars and hands-on learning. In addition, the class participates in an Opening Retreat and a Leadership Development Retreat in April. The Leadership Tampa program agendas bring in top-level business, civic, and government leaders for an interactive and behind the scenes look at Tampa.

Application criteria

  • Online applications for the Leadership Tampa Class of 2018 will go live on the Chamber website on March 31, 2017.
  • Application to Leadership Tampa is only open to Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce members. You must live or work in Tampa to apply. To join, please contact Rosanne Versaggi at rversaggi@tampachamber.com.
  • We strongly encourage attendance at one of our four, free Leadership Tampa Information Sessions held in April 2017. 
  • Completed applications must be electronically submitted to the Chamber by May 5, 2017.
  • Candidates must have the full support of the organization, corporation or company they represent, which includes time and financial requirements. Only one candidate per company/organization may apply.
  • In reviewing applications, the Selection Committee looks for potential participants who demonstrate:
                 o   Commitment and motivation to serve the Tampa Bay area
                 o   Policy-shaping responsibility or a position of leadership within their organization
                 o   Commitment to volunteerism, resulting in significant influence on important issues facing the    
                 o   Ability to commit to the time and dates required by the program
  • As a part of the application process, applicants will be contacted for a personal interview. Interviews will be held in June.
  • All applicants and sponsors will be notified of their acceptance by mid-July.
  • Applicants must sign and adhere to program rules of conduct and attendance requirements.
  • Attendance at the Opening Retreat and Leadership Retreat/Tallahassee is mandatory. Attendance at all sessions is expected. Those who fail to attend the Opening Retreat and the Leadership Retreat or miss more than two (2) program days will be dropped without refund of tuition and sponsors will be notified. Missing a program day requires notification prior to the program date.
  • Missing any portion of a program day will be considered the same as missing a full day.
  • Participants are required to use the transportation method provided by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.
  • Tuition: $4,000 (shares a double-room with another class member during the two overnight trips.)  or $4,750 (single-room during the two overnight trips.)
  • Financial Assistance: One Dr. Ike Tribble Leadership Tampa Minority Scholarship and three Leadership Tampa Alumni Non-Profit Scholarships are available. If you are interested in tuition assistance, please email your request prior to the application deadline and include why you believe you are deserving of the scholarship to the Senior Director, Leadership Programs at least two weeks prior to the application deadline.

 Please send any questions about the program to LT@tampachamber.com.


Daniel Abou-Jaoude, Skanska USA Building, Inc.
Charlesetta Amos-Coles, Amica Mutual Insurance Company
John Astrab, PNC Bank
Lee Bercaw, City of Tampa Police Department
Josh Bomstein, Creative Contractors, Inc.
Kristy Chase-Tozer, Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo
Brenden Chiaramonte, Hillsborough County Tax Collector
Andrea Cichon, Tampa General Hospital
Karen Cowan, USAA
Casey Coy, The Florida Aquarium
Chris Farkas, Hillsborough County Public Schools
Michael Ferrone, Cigna
Jose Fourquet, Merrill Lynch
Meredith Freeman, Shutts and Bowen, LLP
Ryan Garlow, 6th Air Mobility Wing, MacDill AFB
Bibiana Gomez, Regions Bank
Matthew Gomez, Gerdau
Todd Gregory, GTE Financial
Jason Grinstead, Tonic Consulting Group
Nicole Hawker, Vistra Communications
David Hendrix, GrayRobinson, P.A.
Miray Holmes, City of Tampa
Jamie Johnson, Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay
Derek Kantaskas, Carlton Fields Jorden Burt PA
Man Le, Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority
Nicole Leontsinis, Sypris Electronics, LLC
Connor Lewis, Ryan Companies US, Inc.
Dennis Eugene Manelli, Hendry Marine Industries, Inc.
Maggie McCleland, Academy Prep Center of Tampa
Edward Norstrem, Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation
Penny Parks, Links Financial, LLC
Travis Pelleymounter, Tampa Bay Lightning
Maria Porto-Duarte, Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, Inc.
Christopher Rogers, Sykes Enterprises, Incorporated
Julia Ruddock, The University of Tampa
Dean Rustin, Bisk Education, Inc.
Meredith Seeley, 927th Air Refueling Wing, MacDill AFB
Maribel Serocki, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB
Ethen R. Shapiro, Hill Ward Henderson, PA
Erica M. Shea, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP
John Thompson, Wilder Architecture, Inc.
Shelley Thornton, Mosaic
Maria Vaca, Cristo Rey Tampa High School
Scott Walden, VetCor, LLC
Toi Walker, BayCare Health System
Kelly Warhola, AACSB International
Calvin Williams, University of South Florida
Ray A. Wong, Gresham, Smith and Partners
Randall Woods, Florida Blue
Glenn Zimmerman, Mad Bear Productions

Class Sponsors

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This year's class was supported in part by scholarship funding provided by Leadership Tampa Alumni, Parke Wright IV in honor of his father Parke Wright III, Bank of America, Sykes Enterprises and the family of Dr. Ike Tribble.