Vision 2022

Business & Education Summit

Monday, January 10th, 2022

8:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Individual Registration $50

Join us for a regional think tank/discussion.

Tampa Marriott Water Street
505 Water St. Tampa, FL 33602

Attendees will gain feedback on industry needs, the vision for the future of work, talent challenges and skills required to take businesses to the next level. Experts from growing industries will share their insights on current economic positions and what the future may hold. This event will be a regional Think Tank allowing a variety of discussions focusing on workforce trends in Tampa Bay.

CEO Panel

Play Video

Women in Business Panel

Play Video

Education Panel

Chef Jeff

For questions regarding the event, please contact or call 813-397-2070.

Event Sponsors

Reception Sponsors
Workshop Sponsors
Gold Sponsors
Silver Sponsors





Bronze Sponsors
Special Thanks to 
8:00 AM Registration
8:30 AM Coffee Networking
9:00 AM


  • Emcee Sarina Fazan, Sarina Fazan Media
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • John Flanagan, President/CEO, CareerSource Tampa Bay
9:10 AM

CSTB Video “What does OPPORTUNITY mean to you”

9:20 AM

Morning Speaker

  • Dr. Chris Laney – EMSI-Burning Glass “Future Workforce Trends”
10:00 AM

CEO Panel
Introduces panelists:

  • Ben Hom, CSTB Board Chair, VP of Human Resources, McKibbon Hospitality


  • John Flanagan, President/CEO, CareerSource Tampa Bay
  • Ron Painter, NAWB President

Small Businesses:

  • Roy Sweatman, President, Southern Manufacturing Technologies, CSTB Board member


  • Bill Goede, CEO, Bank of America


  • Ravi Chari, M.D. President HCA West Florida 


  • Randall Hassen, President, McKibbon Hospitality

Information Technology:

  • Brian Butler, President/CEO, Vistra Communications 


  • Chief Barbara Tripp, Tampa Fire Rescue


  • Jonathon Graham, President/CEO/ Horus Construction

Tampa Bay EDC:

  • Craig Richard, President/CEO, Tampa Bay Economic Development Council
11:15 AM Break
11:30 AM

Breakout Sessions
Manufacturing/Logistics and Transportation:

  • Roy Sweatman, President, Southern Manufacturing Technologies, CSTB Board member


  • Ben Hom, CSTB Chair, VP of Human Resources, McKibbon Hospitality

Life Sciences/Healthcare:

  • Liza Bryant, Director of Talent Acquisition at Moffitt Cancer Center

Tech/IT/Cyber Security:

  • Dug Jones, Tech Quest Apprenticeship, Clark University

Military/Professional Services/Finance:

  • Reginald Godbolt, Risk Management Director, USAA
  • Edward Spenceley, Senior Vice President, National Government Contracting Specialist, Bank of America
  • Jane Spencer, Supervisory Community Readiness Consultant, Military & Family Readiness Center

Diversity and Inclusion:

  • Keith Harris, COO, Boys and Girls Club

Clean Energy Initiatives/Construction:

  • Ernie Dubose, CEO, Ducon Construction
  • Natasha Sherwood, Executive Director, Independent Electrical Contractors – Florida West Coast Chapter, Tampa, FL

Educating Our Future Workforce- Apprenticeships:

  • Susan Biszewski, Director, Apprenticeship Outreach and Communication Specialist for the FLDOE
12:15 PM
12:30 PM
Jane Castor, Tampa Mayor

12:40 PM

Lunch/Keynote Speaker

  • ‘Chef Jeff’ Henderson
1:30 PM

Education Panel
Introduces panelists:

  • Ben Hom, CSTB Chair, VP of HR, McKibbon Hospitality


  • Earl Buford, President of Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)
  • Panelists:
  • Dr. Ken Atwater, President, Hillsborough Community College
  • Addison Davis, Superintendent, Hillsborough County Public Schools
  • Dr. Tonjua Williams, President, St. Petersburg College
  • Henry Mack, Chancellor, Florida Department of Education
  • Dr. Timothy Beard, President, Pasco Hernando State College
  • Dr. Jeffrey Senese, President, Saint Leo University
  • Dr. Ralph Wilcox, Provost and Executive VP for the University of South Florida 
2:30 PM Break
2:45 PM

Women in Business Panel
Introduces panelists:

  • Ben Hom, CSTB Chair, VP of HR, McKibbon


  • Kelly Flannery, President/CEO, South Tampa Chamber of Commerce
  • Panelists:
  • Jessica Rivelli, Founder of Working Woman of Florida
  • Comissioner Gwen Myers, Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners
  • Suzanne Ricci, Computer Coach and Women in Technology International (WITI)
  • Lakshmi Shenoy, CEO of Embarc Collective
  • Yanina Rosario, Hispanic Professional Women’s Center
  • Elizabeth Gutierrez, CEO, Enterprising Latinas
3:45 PM

Closing Remarks

  • John Flanagan, President/CEO, CareerSource Tampa Bay
4:00 PM


  • Cash Bar and Serving Hors D’ouvres in the Foyer
  • ‘Chef Jeff’ Henderson to meet with sponsors during networking session



Tampa Marriott Waters Street
505 Waters St. Tampa, FL 33602

Monday, January 10, 2022

8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Payment & logo must be received by Monday, December 20, 2021, to receive sponsorship benefits.

Click here to view pictures.

Discussions Include:
CEO Panel

CareerSource Tampa Bay collaborated with the CEO Council of Tampa Bay to choose the leading CEOs in the area to gain insight on business, challenges and solutions in Tampa Bay.

Women in Business

This panel discusses diversity and inclusion and how woman in business are being impacted in the workforce.


Current trends in education will be covered including career pathways and talent pipelines for our region’s most in demand jobs.

The Military breakout session will also focus on engaging our military, as well as veteran/military family workforce opportunities in Tampa.

Featured Panelist:

Mayor Jane Castor is the 59th mayor of the City of Tampa. Under this former Tampa Police Chief’s visionary leadership, her administration passed the most extensive water/wastewater infrastructure plan in the city’s history, in addition to the first budget starting in the black since the great recession. Her key achievements within the past two years also include helping secure more than $90 million for transportation and mobility improvements, hiring the City’s first Sustainability and Resilience Officer, and launching various strategic initiatives to support prosperous and equitable job growth, economic developments, and housing opportunities. A Tampa native, Jane graduated from Chamberlain High School and attended the University of Tampa.

Click here for Chef Jeff’s webpage.

Roy is the owner of Southern Manufacturing Technologies (SMT), a precision custom manufacturer in Tampa, where its 90 employees utilize 23 CNC machines to produce high precision components for the Aircraft, Aerospace, Medical and Defense Industries. Roy has spent his entire career in manufacturing and is a past National Chairman of NTMA. He serves on the Boards of NIMS, NTMA, BAMA, AmSkills, CSTB and Florida Makes where he also is Chair of the AMWLC. Roy serves on Advisory Councils for East Lake, Middleton, Armwood, River Ridge High Schools and Pinellas Technical College where he is Chair of the Tampa Bay Machining Apprenticeship.

Earl Buford joined the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) as president in April 2021 and oversees the national nonprofit organization’s work to improve education-to-career pathways for adult learners. Buford most recently served as chief executive officer of Partner4Work, the leader of the public workforce system for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, where he managed public and private funds to deliver innovative solutions to ensure that current and future needs of businesses and job seekers are met.  

Buford also served previously as chief executive officer of Employ Milwaukee, where he was nationally recognized for the implementation and integration of a sector-based approach to workforce development. Employ Milwaukee provided employer engagement through Industry Advisory Boards and created Midwest Urban Strategies, a national consortium of urban workforce boards that built an innovative supply-demand model to cultivate talent development and employer engagement in Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Detroit, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and with the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Buford also led Milwaukee-based WRTP/Big-Step, which aimed at recruiting and building a diverse workforce in construction, manufacturing, and emerging sectors. He has extensive experience in planning and executing workforce development programs aimed at youth.  

Appointed in 2014 to serve on Vice President Joe Biden’s Advisory Taskforce on Workforce Development, Buford is active with several national organizations including the Board of Directors for the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and advisory boards of the Council of State Governments, National Network of Sector Partners, and National Skills Coalition. His published works include “Connecting People to Work: Workforce Intermediaries and Sector Strategies” and “The Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership: The Evolution of an Intermediary, the Shifting Target of Twenty-First Century Manufacturing, and the Continuing Relevance of Unions in Labor Markets.”  

Buford is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in History. He resides in Pittsburgh, PA. 

As the CEO of Tampa Bay Tech, Jill is passionate about serving Tampa Bay Tech’s corporate partners and members who understand the critical role technology plays in Tampa Bay’s economic growth.  

“With a radically connected tech community, we see our workforce flourish, our student population inspired and engaged with local industry – ultimately creating a place where we attract national and global organizations to the opportunities in this thriving tech hub.”  

Having worked in advertising, branding, technology and non-profit sectors, Jill has spent over 20 years as an executive-level leader building and nurturing authentic, meaningful relationships with clients.  

Branded “Tampa’s tech storyteller” by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, she works tirelessly to amplify the stories about the region’s technology companies, who represent over 500 billion in annual revenue. In 2020, she was named one of Florida Trend’s “People to Know.” A skilled writer and public speaker, Jill scripts and emcees all Tampa Bay Tech events, and she has been featured on Bay News 9, News Channel 10, Fox 13 and as a contributor in Catalyst, Florida Trend, St. Pete Times and Thrive Global. She has also moderated several panels including Women of Confidence and Tampa Bay Tech’s Women in Tech series. She was recently highlighted in the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s “The Future is Female-Led” issue alongside four other CEOs leading tech organizations in Tampa Bay.  

She sits on several advisory boards, including the CEO Committee for Technology Councils of North America (TECNA,) Synapse Impact and Recruiters Networking Group of Tampa Bay. She is particularly passionate about working with area students as they prepare to enter Tampa Bay’s tech workforce and has mentored students through LaunchCode, University of Tampa, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg College and YearUP.  

She is a proud member of the Boston University Alumni Association, having earned her Bachelor of Science from Boston University’s College of Communication. She is a past co-chair of the Tampa Bay Partnership Marketing Council and Public Relations co-chair of LAMPLighters.  When she’s not working, she’s enjoying time with her two sons, ideally at the beach.  

Since age twelve, Jonathan has worked in the construction industry, mentored by his father and uncle. Today, he has more than 40 years of experience. As a hands‐on business owner, he can provide services on various projects, and his inclusive approach to identifying and maintaining relationships with subcontractors and vendors adds cohesion to all jobs. His project portfolio exceeds $600 million and includes 150+ educational projects composed of K-12, higher education, and universities.

Jonathan is consistently giving back to the communities in which he works. He is always looking to advance minority and women-owned businesses, especially in the construction industry. Jonathan has benefited from the mentorship and partnership of many construction firms and continues to solicit their help on behalf of underserved communities.

Randy Hassen’s career with McKibbon began in 1991 as a part time houseman at the Days Inn Athens where he was quickly immersed in the McKibbon culture and the dedication to serving others. After graduating from the University of Georgia in 1994, he served as the opening General Manager of the Courtyard Tampa North before opening the Courtyard Tampa Downtown. From there, he was promoted to Director of Operations, followed by Vice President of Operations and Senior Vice President of Operations. Today as President of our hotel management division, his daily motivation comes from working as a team to overcome challenges and having a great time in the process.

Randy begins each day with his wife, Bradley, hustling to get their sons, Jude and Luke, off to school. Most evenings are spent with his family attending soccer, basketball and hockey practice. It’s the busy moments, surrounded by those he loves most, that make him feel complete, thankful and energized for the days ahead. Coming to work for Randy is truly a pleasure, as he feels fortunate to be surrounded by a talented, competitive and passionate team of hospitality professionals.

Dr. Jeffrey D. Senese was named the tenth president of Saint Leo University on July 26, 2018, after serving as acting president from April 30, 2018.  Dr. Senese joined Saint Leo University in January 2018 as the university’s first provost and senior vice president of Academic and Student Affairs, overseeing all educational programs offered at the main campus, at its more than 30 education centers, and online. 


Previously, Dr. Senese was the first provost at Cardinal Stritch University.  He also served in leading academic positions at the Indiana University, University of Baltimore, a campus of Penn State, Mount Ida College, Philadelphia University, and Johnson & Wales University-Providence. 


Dr. Senese has extensive international work experience in Asia, Europe, and South Africa, and has served as a reviewer for several regional higher education accreditors, as well as several program accreditors and state level accreditation reviews.   


President Senese earned his bachelor’s degree in the administration of justice from the Pennsylvania State University, earned a Master of Arts degree in criminology from Indiana State University and a Ph.D. in criminal justice/research methods/statistics from Michigan State University. 

Timothy L. Beard, Ph.D., CRC, BMC

Dr. Timothy Beard’s professional profile epitomizes an individual who has maximized his potential in education. A native of Port St. Joe, FL, and an honor graduate of Port St. Joe High School, Dr. Beard matriculated into Florida A&M University in 1980.

A possessor of undergraduate degrees from Florida A&M University and Florida State University, Dr. Beard obtained a Ph.D. from Florida State University in 1998 in Rehabilitation Counseling with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration. Dr. Beard has also studied at Christian International Educational Institute.

Dr. Beard began his illustrious secular career in secondary education in 1984 with Leon County Schools when he became employed as an Instructional Assistant. As a graduate student at Florida State University from 1985-1987, Dr. Beard served in the role as a Career Advisor and Analyst. From 1987-1989, he was employed as a Disability Analyst with the Office of Disability Determinations. He returned to Higher Education at Florida A&M University in 1989 as an Assistant Director of the Career Center. From 1990-99, he worked at the joint FAMU-FSU College of Engineering in several capacities, including Director of Career Services, Director of Instructional Research, Director of Minority Student Affairs, Instructor, and Director of Graduate Student Services.

In 1999, Dr. Beard was appointed Assistant Professor of Health Care Management and Director of Student Affairs in the School of Allied Health Sciences at FAMU. In 2001, he was acknowledged by his colleagues at FAMU, President Frederick Humphries and the University’s administration as “Teacher of the Year.” In 2000, Dr. Beard was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to serve on the State Board of Independent Colleges and Universities, which he served to provide oversight to more than 300 Florida and foreign private colleges and universities.

Dr. Beard’s career catapulted to a new level in 2003 when he was appointed the first African American senior administrator in the history of the University of South Alabama. At the University of South Alabama, in his historical appointment, he served in the capacity of Dean and Vice President of Student Affairs from 2003-2007. Dr. Beard served as the Vice President of Student Development and Enrollment Management at Pasco-Hernando Community College (PHCC), now Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC) from 2007-2015. Under his leadership at PHSC, the College’s enrollment has increased more than 40 percent. Additionally, Dr. Beard has developed several PHSC programs that have been acknowledged by the Association of Florida Colleges as “Exemplary Best Practices.” Dr. Beard reached the pinnacle of his career when he was selected by the Pasco-Hernando State College Board of Trustees to become the College’s fourth president, effective July 1, 2015.

Dr. Beard’s professional associations and community involvement include service on numerous boards and advisory councils in several Florida cities, including Tampa, Ocala, Gainesville, Brooksville, Spring Hill, and New Port Richey. His board and council appointments include, but are not limited to, the Florida College System Council of Presidents, Shilo Problem Solvers Council, the Center for Community Enrichment Board of Directors, Enduring Faith Ministries Board of Directors, the Salvation Army Advisory Council, AM Skills Board of Directories, Pasco Hernando Work Force Board, and the Pasco Economic Development Council. He served as the Secretary of the National Council of Student Development (NCSD) during the 2013-2014 academic year and was the President Elect of NCSD for the 2014-2015 year.

For over 34 years, Dr. Beard has been married to Wendy Beard, who possesses a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from Florida State University. She is currently employed with Pasco County Schools. As a sought-after workshop and seminar facilitator, Wendy provides leadership development services to over 1,000 women annually. Dr. and Mrs. Beard are the parents of two daughters, Briana Princess and Sierra Nicole. Briana received her Pharmacy Doctorate Degree from Florida A&M University and is currently employed by Humana. Sierra possesses a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Care Management from Florida A&M University and is a graduate student in Public Health at the University of Georgia.

Henry Mack currently serves as Chancellor at the Florida Department of Education, a position he has held since October 2019. As Chancellor, he leads the Division of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, overseeing all workforce education programs and economic development initiatives for the Department. The Division is responsible for all career and technical education programs across a system of 48 technical centers and colleges, 28 state community colleges, and K-12 public schools, with a combined enrollment of over 1 million students, annually. As Chancellor, he is also responsible for the state offices of apprenticeship, adult education, and articulation and career education policy. Prior to serving as Chancellor, he was the Associate Vice President for Workforce Education at Broward College – overseeing a variety of workforce education initiatives, including the college’s career and technical education programs, the development of new baccalaureate degrees, and the college’s business incubator and accelerator. He also served as an associate dean for academic affairs at Broward College, and held various positions at Florida International University and the University of Miami as a visiting professor of philosophy. He served as host of South Florida PBS’ Viewpoint and Issues, two weekly television shows dedicated to exploring issues in politics, religion, science, and ethics. Recognized as 2019’s South Florida’s 40 under 40, Henry frequently lectures on the future of the workforce, entrepreneurship, and the value of a higher education. He currently lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Ashely, and his two young children Hadley and Holden.

Enhancing students’ access, success and the quality of their experiences are the most treasured values of Dr. Tonjua Williams, St. Petersburg College’s seventh president.  She has served SPC for 34 years, rising through the ranks in a variety of academic and administrative roles, including Senior Vice President for Student Services and Provost of the Tarpon Springs Campus. 

Dr. Williams is nationally recognized as an expert in transforming departments and institutions through student development and strategic planning. She has received many awards and recognitions – most recently the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s John E. Roueche International Leadership Award, the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Businesswoman of the Year award, and as one of the top 25 women in higher education by Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Dr. Williams holds a Ph.D. from Barry University in Higher Education Administration with a specialization in Educational Leadership.

St. Petersburg College has flourished under her leadership, having just been named sixth best among public and private colleges in Florida according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 study. That same report ranked SPC at number 17 among the top 84 public schools in the southern region, which is comprised of 12 states.

As SPC’s president, Dr. Williams is creating a pathway for educators, businesses, government and community agencies to work closer together than ever before. As part of the Educational Ecosystem movement, alignment between schools is being strengthened, on and off ramps are being built for working adults to advance in their careers, and active partnerships with industry are being fortified with quality talent that improves the economic mobility of our residents and the growth of our region.

Commissioner Gwen Myers is a native and lifelong resident of Hillsborough County. November 2020, she was elected to the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners. She has long been an advocate for improving transportation, affordable housing, and health care in the county. She has worked hard to lead the County through the COVID-19 crisis and plans to lead the County through the one percent transportation surtax.

On January 24 and February 14, 2021, she served as host/coordinator for COVID-19 at her church Greater Bethel MB Church, Inc. It was her tremendous pleasure to partner and lead with Hillsborough County Government, the Florida Department of Health, the City of Tampa, USF, as well as ten other African American churches across our county to assist in vaccinating 1,250 seniors. While there is still work to be done, it was wonderful to aide those in need.

Commissioner Myers uses the theme “It’s About The People.” She worked in Hillsborough County Government for 25 Years, from 1988 through 2013, in the departments of Housing and Community Development and Health and Social Services. Commissioner Myers has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Accounting from Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University (FAMU). She is married to Randolph T. Myers, Sr.

As part of her duties as a County Commissioner, Commissioner Myers serves on the following Boards and Councils:

• CareerSource Tampa Bay

• Children’s Board of Hillsborough County

• Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County

• Florida State Fair Authority

• Hillsborough County Regional Transit Authority (HART)

• Juvenile Justice Board

• Hillsborough Transportation Planning Organization (TPO)

• Hillsborough Anti-Bullying Advisory Committee

• Affordable Housing Advisory Board

• Environmental Protection Commission

As the president and chief executive officer of the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Kelly works with business owners and community leaders each day to make South Tampa the best place to live, work and play. Kelly has received her Florida Certified Chamber Professional designation (FCCP) which is shared with only 22 chamber executives in the State of Florida. Under Kelly’s leadership, the South Tampa Chamber is one of less than 20 chambers in the State of Florida to be designated a Certified+ Chamber by the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals, was named Florida’s 2020 Chamber of the Year, and has been recognized as a Three-Star Chamber of Valor by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A Tampa native, Kelly is actively involved in the community as the Honorary Commander for the 6th Air Refueling Wing at MacDill Air Force Base and is the Vice Chair of the Tampa Bay Air Fest. Kelly serves on the board of directors for the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida and the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals. Kelly is a two-time honoree for Businesswoman of the Year, a two-time honoree for Business of Pride, the 2017 Tampa Bay Business & Professional Women Foundation’s “Woman of the Year,” and has been included in the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Power 100, a guide of the Tampa Bay area’s most influential business leaders. Kelly is a resident of South Tampa, with her husband Jim and son James, who enjoy travel, exploring the local community, and spending time with their rescue dog, Zoey.

Associate Director, NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP), DRI Certified Associate Business Continuity Professional (ABCP). Florida SBDC at USF, Tampa Specialty: Women/Minority/Veteran Certification Yanina Rosario, Florida SBDC at USF associate director and certified business consultant, specializes in business certifications, business planning, and marketing. She oversees operations in Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties. Rosario’s expertise comes from more than 20 years of guiding pre-venture and well-established business owners through procurement, licensing, planning, marketing and financing, helping clients secure more than $5 million in small business loans. Rosario is a member of the City of Tampa Equal Business Opportunity Advisory Committee, the Hillsborough County Public School (HCPS) District’s Office of Supplier Diversity Small Business Advisory Council, and the Minority Enterprise Development Week (MED Week) planning committee. She manages the Florida SBDC at USF’s Emergency Bridge Loan Committee. Rosario obtained a bachelor degree in marketing from the University of Central Florida and a masters in management from the Florida Institute of Technology. She also is a NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) and DRI International Certified Associate Business Continuity Professional (ABCP

Lakshmi Shenoy is the CEO of Embarc Collective, the startup hub in downtown Tampa that helps Tampa Bay’s startup talent build bold, scalable, thriving companies, now serving 100+ tech startups. Before moving to Tampa Bay, Lakshmi was in Chicago and served as the Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at 1871, the #1 university-affiliated business incubator in the world. Prior to 1871, Lakshmi worked at Prophet Brand Strategy, Time Inc., Procter & Gamble and Leo Burnett. She has a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from the University of Chicago and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Lakshmi currently serves on the board for The Florida Aquarium and Junior Achievement Tampa Bay. 

Suzanne Ricci is a Chief Success Officer at the Computer Coach Training Center. Creative, strategic, and hard-working, Suzanne Ricci’s goal-oriented thinking and her desire to be the best are traits that have expressed themselves since she was a little girl. As a top badge holder in Girl Scout cookie sales and a consistent first place winner in both hula hooping and jumping rope, Suzanne’s passion for success and leading the way started early on and became lifelong pursuits. 

With a relentless drive to win, Suzanne learned to create and follow well-planned recipes for success in everything she set her mind to. Recognizing her abilities and the happiness she found in helping others, she then took the strategies she employs in her own life and started sharing them with individuals and companies. Through career advice, individual training plans, and corporate staff education programs, she has helped many others find their way to the top. And for Suzanne, who takes great pleasure in helping others reach their potentials, seeing her clients succeed is the icing on the cake.  

As in every life, twists and turns have given Suzanne opportunities to explore and flourish. Believing every experience represents a chance to grow and learn, Suzanne draws on her life experiences and adventures to create unique plans for growth tailored to individuals and companies in all phases of development. 

From idea girl to execution master, Suzanne’s ability to make complex situations simple always exceeds her clients’ expectations. 

Dr. Chris Laney is a Senior Workforce Strategist at Emsi. Chris specializes in workforce and economic development, strategic workforce planning, comprehensive planning, and data analysis. Chris works on projects related to industry sector strategies, labor market demand, and workforce availability, for workforce development boards throughout the U.S. Chris comes to Emsi from CareerSource Suncoast in Florida where he oversaw talent pipeline strategies and legislative priorities including the development of the nation’s largest student exploration conference for high school students. Chris’ research and dissertation focused on WIOA’s influence on economic mobility among disenfranchised young adults.


Dug Jones has 35 years of experience in higher education and currently serves Clark University as Program Director for Workforce Grants. Clark University is the grantee for two US Department of Labor grants totaling $22M. Tech Quest is a Scaling Apprenticeships grant and TechBoost is a One Workforce Grant.

Dug previously served Santa Fe College (Gainesville, FL) as Associate Vice President for Economic Development where he provided leadership for the Center for Innovation & Economic Development (CIED), the Gainesville Technology Entrepreneurship Center (GTEC), and the Innovative Product Development Center (IPDC).

Dug’s educational background includes Bachelors, Masters, and a Juris Doctorate, all from the University of Florida. He currently holds board positions for Junior Achievement of Alachua County, The Alachua County Education Consortium, The Center for Independent Living of North Central Florida, and the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.

Throughout his career, Dug has often chosen community service activities that connect his skills and experiences to issues and projects impacting the educational and developmental needs of children. Dug is a past president for both the Education Foundation of Alachua County and for StartupGNV. He serves currently as the Regional Chairperson for the Children’s Movement of Florida.

Dr. Kendra Siler is a nationally-recognized leader in technologies that support communities and the cybersecurity and workforce development that those technologies require. She has 20+ years of experience in technology architecture design and community capacity building for complex healthcare, transportation, and communication issues. 

For helping the nation’s rural health systems with quick & widespread health IT adoption, she was awarded a 2013 ONC Critical Access and Rural Hospital Champion Award. She serves as an advisor to HHS, DHS, past advisor for White House Rural Council (Obama Admin) and White House Administration’s Office of American Innovation (Trump Admin). She is the primary writer of Technical Section Volume 1 of the HHS-supported “Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices” and “Wave 1” Leader for 2019 FedHealthIT Innovation Award-receiving CISA Work Group. These practices are now recognized by law for the health sector. And, she is currently the President/CEO of CommunityHealth IT (“CommHIT,” pronounced calm-HIT), a 501(c)(6) at the Kennedy Space Center, established in 2011 that helps rural and underserved communities have the same access to health resources and capabilities as their urban counterparts do

Kendra received a PhD from the University of Florida Department of Microbiology and Cell Science where she specialized in Immunology and Biochemistry. She received a National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellowship to do post-doctoral work at the McKnight Brain Institute where she started her work on secure databases for community engagement research, health information exchange, and ways to protect the privacy and security of centralized data

Melissa Boutwell is the leading authority on workforce productivity solutions required by the Automation Industry deploying digital transformation and in the Smart Infrastructure Industry.  Never before has this critical “Operational Technology” subset of the IT Industry been formally recognized for its unique and critical needs to support functional and cyber secure national infrastructure. 

Over the past 35 years, Melissa Boutwell’s leadership has influenced the successful deployment of digital transformation solutions in advanced manufacturing, energy, water, wastewater, and smart buildings to form the spine of the intelligent infrastructure.  As President of Automation Strategy & Performance, Melissa supports national Health Care, Government, Education, OEM, and Systems Integration clients all united to solve workforce problems at the scale required.

Mike Bartkus has spent the past 20+ years helping organizations to leverage technology and emerging solutions to hire and develop the talent required to exceed their goals.  He’s held senior leadership roles at leading-edge companies that have offered unique solutions to critical business issues.  He has specific experience in building high-performing sales teams and repeatable selling models that accelerate revenue growth.  He also has a track record of taking pride in positively affecting the lives and careers of the members of his team.

As the Vice President of Sales at Franklin, Mike oversees the expansion of the sales team while charting a path to exceed the company’s lofty growth projections.  Mike enjoys a healthy challenge and recognizes that success depends on a blend of creativity, listening skills, discipline and surrounding himself with overachievers who never sit still. 

Mike enjoys volunteering in his local community.  He’s served as a Board Member for Interfaith Caregivers of Greater Mercer County which helps elderly individuals with the tasks of everyday life, allowing them to stay in their homes a little longer.  He also enjoys spending time with his family, riding his bike, and building holiday displays for his local church.

Cesar Ruiz is a corporate development leader who specializes in workforce and organizational development strategies to support industries and communities. Over the past 18 year, he has focused on identifying and building the processes needed to obtain Federal, State and Regional funding to overcome industry specific workforce challenges. With this unique format of workforce development, he has written 218 grants and assisted over 37,000 students with learning paths to support industry specific workforce requirements.

Cesar currently serves as the President & CEO of Learning Alliance Corporation.


Television Personality Sarina Fazan will Emcee the event.

Sarina Fazan is a four-time Emmy Award winning television anchor and reporter with over 23 years of industry experience.  She is now taking all that experience to help businesses and individuals succeed in their dreams. This is done through compelling stories, showcasing the business mission or in media training.  She also has her own network: the Sarina Fazan Network launched in November of 2021 at It is a 24/7 streaming channel.  

The network’s flagship program is On The Record With Sarina Fazan, a live-streamed show that highlights a variety of nationally trending topics and remarkable people. Each episode takes a deep dive into a new subject area, allowing viewers to get to know the people behind the headlines, understand real issues, and enjoy engaging conversation. Additionally, the Sarina Fazan Network features episodes of Unlocking Tampa Bay, a locally produced series that brings the diverse sights, sounds, and tastes of the region to global audiences.  

Coming soon to the Sarina Fazan Network are new stand-alone programs hosted by Fazan and inspired by popular segments of her show, such as Love in AmericaLaw and OrderIncredible Stories from Inspiring WomenKids in the Community, and Business Spotlight. Also in the works is CEO 360, a CEO roundtable program, along with more original content. (Click here to read more).

Enhancing students’ access, success and the quality of their experiences are the most treasured values of Dr. Tonjua Williams, St. Petersburg College’s seventh president. She has served SPC for 34 years, rising through the ranks in a variety of academic and administrative roles, including Senior Vice President for Student Services and Provost of the Tarpon Springs Campus.

Dr. Williams is nationally recognized as an expert in transforming departments and institutions through student development and strategic planning. She has received many awards and recognitions – most recently the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s John E. Roueche International Leadership Award, the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Businesswoman of the Year award, and as one of the top 25 women in higher education by Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Dr. Williams holds a Ph.D. from Barry University in Higher Education Administration with a specialization in Educational Leadership.

St. Petersburg College has flourished under her leadership, having just been named sixth best among public and private colleges in Florida according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 study. That same report ranked SPC at number 17 among the top 84 public schools in the southern region, which is comprised of 12 states.

As SPC’s president, Dr. Williams is creating a pathway for educators, businesses, government and community agencies to work closer together than ever before. As part of the Educational Ecosystem movement, alignment between schools is being strengthened, on and off ramps are being built for working adults to advance in their careers, and active partnerships with industry are being fortified with quality talent that improves the economic mobility of our residents and the growth of our region.

           Ravi Chari, M.D. President HCA West Florida Ravi Chari is President of the West Florida Division where he manages the operations of 15 hospitals, 13 ambulatory surgery centers, 12 free-standing emergency rooms, 67 physician clinics and Division staff who support hospitals along Florida’s west coast. Ravi is actively involved in a number of organizations and serves as the 2021 Tampa Bay Heart Walk Chairman and Vice Chair of Tampa Bay Thrives.
Ravi’s career with HCA began in September 2008, when he accepted a position as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at Centennial Medical Center. From October 2009 to March 2010, he also served as interim Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Sarah Cannon Cancer Centers for the TriStar Division. In October 2010, Dr. Chari was promoted to TriStar Division CMO. In September 2011, he accepted a role in the corporate office as Vice President, Clinical Excellence in the Clinical Services Group and in 2015 was promoted to Senior Vice President, Clinical Excellence in the Clinical Services Group. In this role, he aimed at improving clinical and operating performance by identifying and reducing avoidable, negative clinical variation. He also led the HCA Physician Leadership Academy, which focused on developing physician executive leadership capability to ensure HCA can more effectively execute at the division and facility level the increasingly complex clinical and operations agenda. Ravi graduated as the W. S. Lindsey gold medalist from the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine in 1989 and completed his surgical residency at Duke University. Following the completion of his residency, he entered fellowship training at the University of Toronto in Hepatobiliary Surgery and Abdominal Organ Transplantation. His first staff appointment was at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In 2001, he accepted a position at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and rose to the level of Professor (with tenure) and Chief of the Division of Liver Surgery and Transplantation. In May 2008, he received his MBA degree from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt, graduating with the Dean’s Award. Ravi is an officer of the Foundation for Surgical Fellowships and past secretary of the Society of University Surgeons. He currently serves on the Council on Governors on the Tampa Bay Partnership and American Heart Association Metro Board. He has authored or coauthored over 100 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and 30 chapters in textbooks and has been a member of 6 editorial boards, including Cancer and Surgery.

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