January 2019 Speaker Schedule

Speaker Chair: Peter Lefferts
January 7th
Topher Morrison
Tampa Mayoral Candidate
Topher Morrison is a Tampa based entrepreneur and candidate for Mayor in the spring 2019 municipal elections. A native of Spokane, WA, Topher moved to Tampa in 2000, where he operates Topher Communications, Inc., a brand development agency specializing in corporate messaging and executive communication. In his work, Topher writes, coaches and travels extensively. He has authored several best selling business books with emphasis on development of personal and corporate communication skills. Topher resides in downtown Tampa with his dog Macie, but with no private automobile. He participates actively in the current dialogue regarding Tampa’s transportation-related challenges and how to enhance development of Tampa’s small business sector. The current Tampa mayoral campaign is Topher’s first venture into politics or pursuit of public office. He asks voters in 2019 “To do the impossible—Elect Topher Mayor or Tampa.”
January 14th
Alex Sink
Tampa Bay Wave, Inc.

Alex Sink chairs the board of Tampa Bay Wave, Inc., the non-profit startup incubator for introducing young company founders to established business leaders who can become customers, investors and mentors. TBW aspires to help entrepreneurs build, launch and grow breakout tech businesses in Tampa Bay. Alex and Tampa Bay Wave figure prominently in the growing community of entrepreneurs, investors and civic leaders committing time and resources to enhance Tampa’s role as a center for developing new concepts, new enterprises, and enhanced appeal as a home-base for forward leaning technology talent. As a widely heralded leader in Florida business and government Alex brings to Tampa Bay Wave a distinguished personal record in business, government, and non-profit enterprises. Among Alex’s leadership experiences are service as the State of Florida’s Chief Financial Officer and as President of Florida Operations for Bank of America. She has served on the board of Raymond James Financial . Also, she founded Florida Next, a non profit dedicated to enhancing growth of small enterprises that will diversify Florida’s economy. As a volunteer, Alex also has served in board leadership roles with major entities such as Wake Forest University, United Way (Worldwide and Sun Coast) and Junior Achievement. Alex has a special interest in boosting the role of female leaders and entrepreneurs in the strategic development of the Tampa market. On January 14 Alex may update her Economic Club audience on the fast growing and evolving constellation of players in the Tampa “space” for incubation of entrepreneurship.

January 21st – Dr. Martin Luther King Day – No Meeting
January 28th
Harry Cohen
Tampa Mayoral Candidate
Harry Cohen serves as City Councilman for Tampa’s District 4 (the “south district”) since his first election in 2011. Voters reelected Harry in 2015. Currently Harry is running for Mayor in the imminent spring 2019 municipal election. Harry is a Tampa native. He earned a BA degree from Gettysburg College in 1992 and a JD from New York Law School in 1996. Prior to his election to the Tampa City Council, Harry served from 2005 to 2011 as Chief Deputy Clerk of the of the Circuit Court of Hillsborough County. Harry’s current constituency (Tampa District 4) includes a variety of several of the city’s more iconic neighborhoods and waterfront commercial areas, such as Ballast Point, Historic Hyde Park, Palma Ceia, the South Howard Entertainment area, Davis Islands, Port Tampa City, and Harbour Island. Harry has shown special energy for the key topic of updating Tampa’s surface transportation strategy, planning and funding…with special attention on pedestrian safety.  In November 2018 (shortly after the 11/6/18 voter approval of the 1 per cent transportation and transit sales tax) Harry published his “detailed transportation, transit plan for Tampa.” Harry Cohen’s other focus areas include two CityCouncil responsibilities: chair of the Finance Committee and vice chair of the Public Safety Committee. He is vice chair of the Metropolitan Planning Organization and also has served the boards of the Florida Orchestra and the Florida Aquarium.
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