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34 Touchdown in Tampa: How Events Bolster the City’s Economy
Lifestyle Accessories Get Ready To Say “I Do”
12 The Community Food Pantry: The Haven for the ‘Working Poor’ 16 Galene Edition By Mulliner: Inspired By The Finest Luxury Yachts 20 Meeting Professionals Celebrate Margret Williams
38 Because We Have Been Given Much 42 The Sun May Set, but the Fun Doesn’t Have To
46 Ryan Nece Foundation: Empowering and Giving Back 50 The Queen of Events
54 More than Just Under the Sea
24 Taking Care of Business Every Day, Every Way
58 Beamworks Makes Your Dream A Reality
28 Analog: 20Th Anniversary
30 Julie Weintraub Takes Tampa by the Hand
62 Pattinis: Tampa Bay’s Newest Hidden Gem 66 Events
STAFF PUBLISHER Breezin’ Entertainment & Productions
STAFF WRITER Will Henry
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Dana Blickensderfer
MARKETING & PUBLIC RELATIONS iBoss Advertising
STRATEGIC ADVISOR Hugo D. Aviles
EVENTS | ENTERTAINMENT ADVISOR Breezin’ Entertainment & Productions
ASSISTANT EDITOR Grace Toups
CONSULTANTS | CONTRIBUTORS Monica Wilson The Community Food Pantry Jessie Soplinski Breezin’ Entertainment & Productions Jessica Rivelli Working Women of Tampa Bay Santiago Corrada | Visit Tampa Bay
DESIGNER Chad Kirby ASSISTANT DESIGNER Scarlett Oneal
VIDEO | PHOTOGRAPHY Luis Battistini LUISX.com Photography Cecilia Jeffery MamaRazzi foto Jeff Souvenir 9L Studios Andres Yepes Star Video Productions
For all media and advertising inquires, please contact Breezin’ Entertainment & Productions @ 813-606-5907
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Dana Blickensderfer, Editor-in-Chief
n recent years, we have seen tremendous transformations in the entertainment space. Through the steady rise of new technologies, entertainers are better able to self-promote, create a community of followers, and engage with fans, all at the click of a button. The unlimited possibilities provided online not only impact the entertainers, but also affect the industry overall. From venues to concert halls, booking agents, and event planners, the industry is constantly evolving and is proving to be a more exciting time than ever to be in the entertainment industry. The team at Breezin’ Entertainment & Productions has been keeping a close eye on the evolution of music and has quickly adapted to meet the needs in the space. For the past three decades, the exposure Breezin’ has received from event and entertainment management has allowed the team to master the art of talent, venue selection, and creativity in order to best service its clients and exceed their expectations. Therefore, Breezin’ is at the cusp of a breakthrough in regards to penetrating the entertainment mar-
ket on a level never seen before. Propelling themselves forward, the team at Breezin’ is working harder than ever to communicate and assemble likeminded industry moguls, professionals, and celebrities to collaborate and reflect through the inaugural issue launch of Breezin’ Magazine. But, what is Breezin’ Magazine? Breezin’ Magazine hopes to bring awareness to the unique culture of entertainment and events. It offers its readers a firsthand look at the selection process for entertainers, different types of eccentric entertainment that are not typically seen, and what goes on in preparation of a big event that attendees are often unaware of. From corporate to social occasions to unforgettable weddings, Breezin’s variety of event entertainment runs deep through this first issue. Strategic relationships, partnerships, and professionals come together in this issue to bring readers a rare look at the ins and outs of entertainment, with a focus on charitable events. Breezin’s mantra is to always contribute when possible. That is why Breezin’ Magazine has focused on giving
back, highlighting the most reputable charities and community leaders in the surrounding community of Tampa Bay. This is a very exciting time for Breezin’, as wide coverage of this issue will allow the company to reach a broad audience of residents in the Tampa Bay area, as well as those nationally and internationally. Utilizing technology to catapult forward, the magazine hopes to provide local charities a chance to elucidate their hard work in a way that inspires and encourages Tampa Bay residents to donate and give back just as Breezin’ does. I am honored to have the opportunity to collaborate and bring together such strong thinkers, do-ers, and business leaders through this issue. Each voice in this issue shines through the pages and unequivocally conveys the same attentiveness and generosity that serve as the foundation for all of their business practices. We guarantee that Breezin’ Magazine will be well-received and create a conversation in giving back as the holiday season approaches. It will shed light on how malleable entertainment truly is while highlighting its importance in bringing community, business, and culture together.
ZTYLUS SWITCH 6 iPHONE LENS SYSTEM —————————————
It’s hardly the first add-on lens system for the iPhone. The Ztylus Switch 6 iPhone Lens System might be the most convenient, though. Designed for use with the iPhone 7 Plus, its sliding set of six lenses lets you switch between wide-angle, added telephoto, macro, super macro, and fisheye lenses quickly and easily, with no loose parts to misplace. It also has an integrated hand grip for added stability, and a mount on the bottom for a strap to keep things secure.
TOKEN SMART RING —————————————
It’s obvious that thanks to technology, keys, cards, and other insecure forms of ID and payment will soon be a thing of the past. Using Bluetooth and NFC, the Token Smart Ring promises to replace everything from your wallet to your car keys. It has a fingerprint sensor on the interior so you can securely unlock it when you put it on, an optical sensor that automatically locks it back when you take it off, and a battery life of two weeks, so whether you’re using it to pay for takeout or unlock your house, you won’t have to worry about charging it every day. Available in three finishes to suit your style.
ANZA CONCRETE ESPRESSO MACHINE —————————————————————
It’s not going to reinvent how you make espresso, but the Anza Concrete Espresso Machine does reimagine how making it should look. The standard stainless steel shell has been replaced with a rugged concrete finish. A wooden base and vintage ceramic knob and handle complete the industrial design. Along with its minimalist aesthetic, the machine also streamlined the process, making your morning routine a little less complicated.
HUSKEE CUP —————————————————————–––––––––––––––––——————
If you’re drinking coffee right now, you’re contributing to 1.35 million tons of waste each year. To help clear your conscience, Huskee Cup is repurposing those husks into a beautiful vessel for your morning cup of joe. Each cup is made from that thin layer of shell that surrounds the bean, which usually gets discarded during the milling stage. Aside from the green factor, the cup is also functional. Their thermal retention keeps your coffee hotter longer and won’t chip or crack in the process. Better yet, they’re easy on the eyes. Available in three stackable sizes and can be paired with a universal saucer.
SHAPESCALE 3D BODY SCANNING SCALE ————————————————
Scales are necessary for basic fitness tracking. Those a little more concerned might take monthly photos to track their progress. The ShapeScale 3D Body Scanning Scale combines these two concepts in a far more convenient, helpful manner. It has a 3D scanner mounted on an arm that rotates around your body, building a high-fidelity 3D model in under a minute. Using heatmaps, it can instantly show you where you’ve been gaining, and where you’ve been losing, as well as localized lean and fat mass numbers. It lets you keep track of your goals visually, gives precise body measurements, and, of course, keeps track of your actual weight, too.
300+ BUZZFEED TASTY ONE TOP KITCHEN APPLIANCE ——————————————–––––————
When they aren’t creating listicles or publishing classified dossiers, Buzzfeed focuses on food through their Tasty video series. And now, they have a Bluetooth connected appliance they think you might want to try. The Tasty One Top helps you prepare a meal the right way, heating your pan faster and more consistently and holding that temp to get the result you want. It also connects to Buzzfeed’s new Tasty app which contains hundreds of recipe videos to assist you step-by-step while you cook with the Tasty One Top.
400 Mandalay Avenue, Clearwater, FL 33767 727-298-1482 | Weddingcb@hilton.com
GET READY TO
SAY “I DO”
By Jessie Soplinski
hen I started my career at Breezin’ Entertainment & Productions almost eight years ago, I can honestly say that I did not know much about what a wedding planner did. In fact, the only idea I had of a wedding planner was, ironically, the 2001 Jennifer Lopez movie “The Wedding Planner.” Let’s be honest: it’s not that glamorous! After years of experience in this business, it has become much clearer what jobs and responsibilities a wed-
ding planner holds and the impor-
“do I want a large wedding?” “do I
tance of their role in a wedding.
want an outdoor wedding?” and “do I want a springtime beach wedding, or a fall garden wedding?” All of these questions are important to ask yourself in order to ensure that you both agree on what you would like your day to look like, and to ensure that you are both on the same page from the very beginning of the planning process.
As the Event Director and Bridal Consultant at Breezin’ Entertainment (that’s the fancy name we give wedding planners now), I have become an expert in this industry. My years of experience and firsthand knowledge has led me to a role that I once thought was a fantasy job. I have truly seen it all when it comes to weddings and although this is probably one of the most stressful jobs in the industry, it is also the most rewarding. Being able to watch a couple’s dreams become a reality never gets old! I am here to share my top 5 tips to couples that are getting married, and what is most important when it comes to planning one of the biggest days of their lives. TIP # 1 Decide Together on What Type of Style You Want for Your Wedding In the new age of social media and Pinterest boards, weddings have taken on a life of their own. Before making a single decision on venues and guest lists, make sure you both agree on what you envision your day to look like. Ask yourself questions such as
TIP # 2 Pick a Venue and then a Date So many times, I have seen the bride and groom compromise the venue of their dreams because they are so set on the date. Make sure you give yourself flexibility when deciding when you would like to have the wedding in order to secure the venue you desire on a date that will work for the both of you. TIP #3 Decide on a Budget and Stick to It Budgets are the one thing that I see
the bride and grooms stress and fight about the most. It is important to have a realistic budget for the type of wedding you want to have, but it is also important to respect the budget you have given yourself. Do not start your marriage off in debt because you went beyond your means to plan a wedding. Find things to compromise on, like less floral arrangements, cutting your guest list down, and choosing a lower-tier bar package. You want to make sure you leave room in the budget for the photographer and the entertainment! The pictures will last a
lifetime, and your guests will always remember if the DJ or band kept the party going, so make sure you don’t skimp on these two very important aspects of your wedding day! TIP #4 Rely on the Professionals When I started in the wedding business as a sales associate for Breezin’ Entertainment, I had no clue what a “Day-of Coordinator” even was. Now,
fast forward years later, not only am I a Day-of Coordinator for many of our clients, but I can’t imagine a couple not having one. Many couples turn to a wedding consultant to help them with every step of the way in the planning process. However, with technology today, many brides and grooms are capable of planning a beautiful wedding by themselves. But, who will be there to ensure it’s executed properly? Do not place your thousands of dollars and months of planning in the hands of a bridesmaid who planned one event for her sorority in college or your Aunt Sally who loves throwing dinner parties and is a self-proclaimed “crafty” person. Hire your-
self a Day-of Coordinator who is an experienced professional, and give yourself the peace of mind that will not only ensure your wedding runs smoothly, but that you are able to relax and enjoy your day. Remember, the coordinator will be the one to handle emergencies and put out the fires that you will not even be aware of! TIP #5 Remember to Enjoy Yourselves The day will go by fast, and friends and family members will be pulling you in so many directions. Make sure to take time during your wedding to take in all the people in the room who love you and came from all over to see you two get married, and breathe. It will go by so fast, and you want to walk away feeling that you had the best night of your life!
FOR EVENTS WITH A T R OPI C A L
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THE COMMUNITY FOOD PANTRY: The Haven for the ‘Working Poor’
son to commit to this purpose when he witnessed a family asking for help from Village Presbyterian Church and recognized the need, even in our middle-class neighborhood, to take care of each other. I served as the lead volunteer of the Community Food Pantry (CFP) until 2015 when I became the director, and I am humbled daily by how we continue to serve the needs of the hungry in our community.
By Monica Wilson
he Community Food Pantry hosts an unlikely mix of people of all ages and from all walks of life coming together for the singular cause of bringing hope and dignity to those whose circumstances require them to ask for assistance. Many of our clients are the “working poor,” or those who struggle to make the mortgage payment and keep the lights on while feeding their families. In 2008, I was inspired by my young
Our pantry is different from most due to the fact that we are a “client choice” operation. This means we invite clients to shop as they would at their local grocery store for meat, dairy, prepared foods, fresh produce, and grains. I find that when people are able to choose what they can eat, less food goes to waste. These wholesome food options are provided in large part through Feeding Tampa Bay, and local partners like Publix, Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Target. For years, Feeding Tampa Bay had the vision that we should prepare ourselves to incorporate organic foods into our operations, and I remember thinking that was never going to hap-
pen. Well, here we are in 2017, and some days we look like a grocery store produce section with assortments of fruits and veggies that you and I would eat out of our refrigerators. We also give back by sharing our bounty with other local agencies, such as Joshua House (a safe haven for abused children), McClain Inc. (a home for developmentally-disabled adults), Christian Social Services, and the homeless and nearly-homeless through an outreach program. Many of our clients hold off on medical attention until they are eligible for Medicare or because they must choose between buying prescription drugs and feeding their families. To help alleviate these struggles, the Pantry has a nurse and a social worker available each Wednesday to take blood pressure screenings and offer referrals to healthcare and community providers. This past spring, we partnered with BayCare to conduct a health fair, and we have another scheduled for October. This event featured health screenings and offered nutritional information. The Pantry provided access to
————————— “We invite clients to shop as they would at their local grocery store for meat, dairy, prepared foods, fresh produce, and grains. I find that when people are able to choose what they can eat, less food goes to waste.” ————————— other community resources, such as Hillsborough County WIC Special Supplemental Nutrition Program, as well as representatives from healthcare insurance providers and nutrition counselors. In today’s tech-savvy world, social
media has helped us tremendously to get the word out about our programs and events. For instance, we recently found a new opportunity to reach out to the community when a
has been buying food on her own to provide at-risk students with meals on weekends. From that Facebook inquiry, our Weekend Backpack Program was born. We now fill about 25 back-
local school resource officer found us on Facebook. The officer represents two local elementary schools, and
packs per week during the school year with cereal, milk or juice boxes, hearty meals, snack bars, peanut butter, fresh bread, and fruit. Other local schools have approached the CFP to expand the program this autumn to help fill their backpacks and supply fresh food choices for families in need. It is so important to encourage our young people to give back to their neighborhoods. For that reason, I implemented a youth summer program called “Youth Take Over the Pantry.” Students and young adults participate throughout the summer, and I allow them to take ownership of all functions of the pantry, including serving, stocking, ordering, sorting, and general maintenance. Since its inception, over 400 youths have served at the
Pantry, representing 40 local schools. They gain leadership experience while having fun with their peers and giving back to their community at the same time. This year, we have a record 500 student volunteer timeslots filled! During Christmas, a donor provided us with 12 artificial trees with lights to give away to clients. The family that received the last tree had a small daughter who had been told that she would not have a tree this year. We understood that she had drawn a picture of a Christmas tree and hung it on the wall where the tree should stand. Upon getting the news that they would receive a tree, the family was in tears and ran home to set it up before their daughter returned from school.
We were honored to be one of seven finalists for the WEDU (PBS) Be More Empowered Award for a small Tampa Bay area non-profit in 2017. This year, the Pantry also received a grant from the Allegany Franciscan Ministries. The money will supplement our nursing program and provide two mobile food pantries where we will be able to serve approximately 40 pounds of fresh and non-perishable food to around 400 families through Feeding Tampa Bay. We recently were awarded a 20-foot refrigerated trailer through a grant from Publix Charities to Feeding Tampa Bay. Because of our rapid growth, the Pantry will soon require either a building expansion or a larger building alto-
gether. In 2016, we experienced a 40 percent increase in families and are on track in 2017 to add another 30 to 40 percent, serving as many as 30,000 people from a 1,200+ square foot facility. We have been blessed with an opportunity to serve those in our neighborhoods with food insecurity, and also with a network of dedicated adult volunteers, caring students, and engaged business partners who make the Pantry work six days a week. Together, with a shared goal and a common purpose, we can make the impossible possible. Together, we make our community stronger.
For more information, visit our website at www.thecommunityfoodpantry.com or Stay Social with us on: Twitter: @COMFOODPANTRY | Facebook: villagecommunityfoodpantry | Instagram: communityfoodpantry
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GALENE EDITION BY MULLINER:
INSPIRED BY THE FINEST LUXURY YACHTS
entley’s bespoke commissioning division, Mulliner, has created the ultimate edition of the Continental GT Convertible in collaboration with British yacht experts, Princess Yachts, and takes inspiration from yacht design. Defined by brilliant Glacier White and Sequin Blue hues externally, and inspired by the clean, confident design lines and materials of yachts internally, the Galene Edition by Mulliner combines the best elements of an oceanic lifestyle with luxury convertible motoring. It is powered by Bentley’s refined 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 powerplant, with 507 PS and 660 Nm and benefits from Bentley’s elegant, four-layered retractable hood which keeps occupants in the same unruffled environment that the hard-top Continental GT coupe provides. DESIGNED BY THE OCEAN: CLEAN, CONFIDENT LINES The external design of the new Continental GT Convertible Galene Edition by Mulliner captures the iridescent sparkle of crystal clear waters. Painted in pristine Glacier White, with a matching bodywork kit, the Galene Edition is specified with lower brightware
in Sequin Blue, a timeless detail and elegant reminder of the life aquatic. A dark blue hood and striking 21” polished Propeller Wheels complete Mulliner’s external signature on the Galene Edition. INSPIRED BY LUXURY YACHTS, CREATED BY MULLINER The interior of the Continental GT Convertible Galene Edition pays homage to the classic opulence, finest hand-crafted materials and exquisite details that are championed both by yachts and Bentley cars. The seats are in Linen and Portland hides with Camel hand cross-stitching, the door panels are Linen, Portland and Brunel. Linen, Brunel and Camel accentuate the dashboard, centre console and armrests, whilst the steering wheel is Linen and Brunel with a Camel 12 o’clock stripe. The detailed headrest embroidery is in Camel and the Glacier White stowage case is exquisitely lined in Brunel Alcantara. The Glacier White external paintwork is echoed inside, in the stowage case and fascia panels, which can be specified with a unique handpainted Jaume Vilardell illustration of a super yacht alongside the Mulliner script in each car. It also coats the clock bezel in the Galene Edition, creating an interior space full of light and luxury.
PINSTRIPE WALNUT: COMMISSIONED FOR THE GALENE EDITION Inspired by the timeless appeal of sophisticated yacht design, Mulliner has created a new material finish â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Pinstripe Walnut â&#x20AC;&#x201C; for the Galene Edition. This distinctive surface is used in open-pore form, for a more authentic, natural finish, in the centre stack and console. A Pinstripe Walnut insert also adds a note of understated elegance to the bespoke illuminated treadplates in the Galene Edition, and lines the boot floor, creating a striking harmony with the rest of this graceful series, limited to just 30 examples worldwide, by Mulliner.
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MEETING PROFESSIONALS CELEBRATE
ach year, the Meeting Professionals International Tampa Bay Area Chapter hosts its Awards Night Dinner in order to honor members who have stood out among the rest over the past 12 months. The organization looks for qualities such as exceptional leadership values, outstanding dedication, and exemplary teambuilding efforts, and even honors sponsors who contribute financially to MPITBA. For June 2017, this tradition stayed as strong as ever; select members were given awards to commemorate their success, and the entire Tampa Bay Area Chapter of Meeting Professionals International came together to join in the festivities that followed. MPITBA aims to be the premier choice
for professionals who are looking to bolster their personal network of industry contacts and receive relevant education that can help pave the way for the next steps in their careers. MPITBA places heavy emphasis on its members and strives to ensure that everyone involved is gaining as much as they can from their experiences in order to make the most of their invested time, which is one of many reasons that the organization sees its overall membership grow each year. Part of this focus on members is exemplified through the previously mentioned Awards Night Dinner, where MPITBA puts the spotlight on those who truly prove their devotion to helping the organization grow and extend its reach within the Tampa Bay community.
————————— “Margaret Williams was the past president of MPITBA, and she left an unforgettable impact on the organization, its members, and the Tampa Bay community. “ ————————— This year’s event took place onboard a stunningly lavish vessel provided by Yacht StarShip, creating the perfect atmosphere for an evening dedicated to recognizing the organization’s most passionate members. The ship’s waterfront view was rivaled only by the ambient lighting of its polished interior and proved to be one of the most distinct venues to date where MPITBA has hosted an event.
Yacht StarShip also graciously provided catering for the dinner, which included a delicious surf ‘n turf meal accompanied by cocktails. The company proved to be unwavering in its accommodation of the event and its guests, and was nothing short of exceptional in its service. Award ceremonies are times of celebrating and recognizing achievement; they are times to sit back and reflect on past accomplishments. But, they can also be a time of remembrance. While the June 2017 Awards Night Dinner was not much different than those of previous years in terms of routine, this year’s event carried more weight than the others for one powerful reason: Remembering Margaret Williams, who passed away on March 1, 2017. Margaret Williams was the past president of MPITBA, and she left an unforgettable impact on the organization, its members, and the Tampa Bay community. Her amicable, compassionate demeanor coupled with her accessibility as a leader left a void within
pulled, the winner, Cancer Survivor Ivy Peterson donated her winning portion to Moffitt! While Margaret was serving as president for MPITBA, there was one particular function where she decided that every attendee should wear allwhite outfits. This event would go on to be one of the most memorable in the organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history.
the hearts of her fellow members that they will surely find difficult to fill. But, the organization focused on the positive values, achievements, and lessons that she left behind, rather than the tragic loss. The theme of the party gravitated around how Margaret herself would celebrate such an occasion, and incor-
porated themes from her past events to create a unified manifestation of the life that once brimmed within her. Part of the awards event also included a 50/50 raffle, where 50% of the proceeds were donated to the Moffitt Cancer Research Center for Ovarian Cancer in memory of Margaret Williams and her many contributions to the organization. When the raffle was
In memory of Margaret Williams, it was declared by the committee that every attendee of the June 2017 dinner should do the same: wear white attire to commemorate not only the previous all-white celebration, but also the purity behind all of Williamsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; intentions while she was at the helm of the organization. After the recipients were announced at the Awards Night Dinner, there was a festive dance segment of the evening where MPITBA members celebrated the yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s accomplishments. At this
point, the dress code was unexpectedly altered; vividly colored entertainment, decor and accent pieces were worn to take the evening’s festivities one step further in memory of Margaret Williams vivacious personality. Ashley Valentine’s inclusion of these Margaret-inspired aspects at the Awards Night Dinner was warmly received by both the members of MPITBA and the Tampa Bay community, and is one of the many endeavors that have solidified Ashley as a rightful successor to Margaret Williams. In fact, Ashley’s efforts have seen so much acclaim that she is slated to serve for a second term as president of MPITBA, something that has only been done once in the organization’s history by past president Joe Planz. Planz, who served from 1992 to 1994, made a special guest appearance at the awards dinner, where he spoke fondly of not only Margaret Williams, but also of Ashley Valentine, outlining her past
MPITBA is different from most other organizations in the fact that it is very self-aware; it understands who has contributed toward the betterment of the organization and actively rewards this type of behavior. However, it also recognizes the achievements of past members, and goes out of its way to make sure that appreciation is conveyed. Margaret Williams was not the founding president of MPITBA. But, like each president that came before her and all those to follow, she made a difference in not only the organization, but also the Tampa Bay community.
accomplishments and declaring her a capable and qualified leader. Joe Planz, along with the rest of the members of Meeting Professionals International TBA, looks forward to what Valentine has in store for the rest of her time as president of the organization.
While she was not physically present at the June 2017 Awards Night Dinner, Margaret Williams was forever immortalized by all those who worked alongside her, and her memory will be carried forth by all that MPITBA does in the future.
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS EVERY DAY, EVERY WAY
By Jessica Rivelli
etworking is so much more than just exchanging business cards; it’s about building relationships. Female business owners are a growing force. Women all over the country, including right here in Florida, are shedding the burdens and the creative restrictions of their corporate jobs and forging their way into the world of entrepreneurship. There are currently more than 10 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., according to a study commissioned by American Express.
Working Women of Tampa Bay goes
After looking at traditional network-
beyond networking with a mission to motivate, educate and inspire our members to be better businesswomen, better leaders, and better people. Although much of our programming is designed around building business connections, many times the end result is true friendship. I can’t express the joy I feel knowing that our organization is responsible for creating so many unbreakable bonds.
ing opportunities in Tampa Bay, I asked myself: “why can’t networking be fun?” and, “what do women want out of networking?” We’ve all done the superficial exchange of business cards – same place, same time, same format, and same people. While that might be what some professionals expect from networking, I had a gut feeling that local women wanted more: a fun event with food and wine,
a chance to interact with other female entrepreneurs and professionals in an enjoyable, stress-free setting, and the opportunity to show off their business to a captive audience. An idea hatched in the autumn of 2008 and launched as a full-fledged, membership-based organization in June 2009. Feedback so far says the hunch was right. Something was missing from local networking, and that is where Working Women of Tampa Bay stepped up to the challenge, helping women connect with others both personally and professionally, and redefining networking. To date, we’ve hosted more than 2,000 events in Tampa and Central Florida alone.
While we seek to help women in a multitude of ways, we ultimately reinforce the idea of being your true self. If you come from a place of authenticity, you’ll find that you can make more meaningful connections and develop stronger business relationships. It’s not about how many people you meet at a networking event; it’s about the quality of the conversation. Take the time to really get to know someone and how you can help their business before discussing your career. You’ll discover that this is an effective strategy in the world of networking. A supportive network allows us to lead longer, healthier, and happier lives. It gives us opportunities to bond with
we seek to help women in a multitude of ways, we ultimately reinforce the idea of being your true self. ”
other people who share our professional and personal values, as well as come together as a powerful force for collaboration, change, and growth. I am a subscriber to the â&#x20AC;&#x153;pay it forwardâ&#x20AC;? philosophy. Competitiveness is an old-fashioned idea; a rising tide lifts all boats. Having a community of women that you can share your goals and dreams with keeps you accountable. It fosters optimism, creativity, and success. Whether you call it your
virtual board of directors or your “leanin” circle, it’s critical to surround yourself with people who strive for greatness and will have your back in good times and bad. Beyond networking and paying it forward, we also believe in the power of partners. Strong community partnerships allow you to expand your reach and serve beyond your current audience. We are grateful for our networking and non-profit partners, which include the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Centre for Women, Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, CASA, The Spring, YWCA, Florida Commission on the Status of Women, and Dress for Success Tampa Bay. We also couldn’t have as strong of an impact without our corporate sponsors: Swim Digital, PureLife Medi-Spa, Academic Alliance in Dermatology, Premier Eye Care, Frazier & Deeter, Sabadell Bank, Cesar Lara MD Center for Weight Loss, Redefined Living & Moving, Northwestern Mutual, and TD Bank. In terms of growth, we launched Working Women of Colorado this year. We currently host events in Colorado Springs, but hope to expand to the Denver area in the coming year. 2017 also marks the fifth anniversary of the Working Women Conference held at The Straz Center for Performing Arts on September 14 and 15. In an effort to encourage more women to go after their dreams of entrepreneurship, we established the Working Women Foundation in 2016. The 501c3 provides seed money for female start-ups and facilitates the Meaningful Mentoring program. We also partner with organizations like Dress for Success Tampa Bay, The Centre for Wom-
en, The Spring, CASA, and YWCA to empower women and encourage them to reach their potential. The Meaningful Mentoring Program encourages connection, conversation, and community. It aims to inspire women to reach out to other women through a strong and supportive community. Through the simple act of offering guidance and insight, mentors help other women achieve personal
and professional aspirations. The goal of this program is to eliminate competitiveness and encourage positive relationships between women. Participants in this program meet for an intimate one-on-one lunch provided by our generous sponsors. Mentors design the scope of their relationship following the lunch based on the participant’s needs. We have some mentors/mentees that meet monthly and some who check in via phone when the mentee faces a challenge that they think the mentor can help them navi-
gate. In the past 18 months, we’ve successfully paired more than 100 women. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mindset, even when I was a young girl. I had a successful career in television news before starting Working Women of Tampa Bay. Producing news allowed me to develop strong communication skills and the ability to make decisions in a fast-paced environment. Those skills come in handy as a small business
owner. While not everyone comes from this background, I actively use my skills and experiences when connecting with female entrepreneurs and pushing them to new heights through the organization. Working Women of Tampa Bay strives to aid women in becoming more successful in their professional careers, and has helped countless female entrepreneurs reach their goals thus far. With this kind of progress, it is clear that our organization is here to stay.
20TH ANNIVERSARY Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been twenty years since these albums were released, and each is nearly as relevant today as they were back in 1997. RADIOHEAD / OK Computer ($30) DAFT PUNK / Homework ($29) ELLIOTT SMITH / Either / Or ($25) DEFTONES / Around The Fur ($85) BLUR / S/T ($37) FOO FIGHTERS / The Colour And The Shape ($28)
JULIE WEINTRAUB TAKES TAMPA BY THE HAND
Success, despite its positive connotation, is subjective and can significantly vary from person to person. For some, success is purely financial. For others, success is being able to focus on what matters most while still supporting oneself. 30
Regardless of how success is defined by an individual, it is commonly agreed upon that those who are successful should do what they can to better the community around them. Tampa Bay is a community that is rife with entrepreneurs who take pride in doing everything in their power to give back. Among the many bustling businesses throughout Tampaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s scenic districts, you will find charitable organizations that strive to aid those who
cannot help themselves, and serve as a voice for the people who need it most. Julie Weintraub, the renowned President of Gold & Diamond Source, Founder of Hands Across The Bay, CEO of Julie Weintraub Enterprises, and wife of prolific businessman Steve Weintraub, serves as an inspiration to others who are searching for their own ways to contribute to the Tampa community. In order to realize her dream of helping others, Julie founded Hands Across the Bay, in 2010, a distinguished non-profit that is wellknown for the work it has done for Tampa’s at-risk citizens. Her foundation focuses on a concept that is often overlooked by leaders and community members: stability. “Stability comes from families that choose to make a big commitment to us, as we in turn commit ourselves to give them the tools they need to provide for themselves in the future. For instance, this may involve helping families with multiple life challenges that may not have been readily apparent when they originally came to us. We are dedicated to helping those who really want to help themselves and create stability for their future families! For those people, we will go above and beyond!” That’s why Julie works so hard to provide assistance to families in need; despite how real the stability issue is in Tampa Bay, it is not exactly the most publicized. Family stability for the community in Tampa is a major endeavor for Julie, but domestic violence often prevents
this goal from being attained. The problem, she says, is that many people are entirely unaware of how prevalent domestic violence is. This is partly due to how domestic violence crimes are reported in the news. As a mother of a teenage daughter herself, Julie resonates with the ubiquitous cases of domestic violence that are grievously widespread. When asked about where her passion for raising awareness of domestic violence stems from, she cites the lack of people who speak out in opposition to violence against women as a major social issue the entire country faces today.
“If that many men were getting beaten…and God knows what else, there would be a national outcry. And there’s not.” Julie uses her position as a powerful female entrepreneur to diffuse as much information as possible about the warning signs of domestic abuse, how to cope with it, and how to prevent it in the future. Her foundation puts her one step closer to aiding the families who need assistance the most. While this may seem like an abstract business plan for an organization to be founded upon, Hands Across the
————————— “We are
dedicated to helping those who really want to help themselves and create stability for their future families! ”
————————— Hands Across the Bay serves as a hub for people who are looking to make an impact on not only individuals in need, but also the community overall.
Bay’s mission is to have a positive impact on as many residents of the Tampa Bay community as possible. This is accomplished through a multitude of different endeavors, ranging from the donation of goods and services to qualifying individuals, to stability efforts for struggling families, and carrying out the organization’s unique Kindness Warrior Program. The Kindness Warrior Program is one of the most distinct aspects of Hands Across the Bay. The program imple-
ments “random acts of kindness,” which are efforts true to their name; the donations that Hands Across the Bay receives are allocated to Tampa citizens who would benefit from them the most, and often include gas cards for commuters, books and toys for underprivileged children, and sports equipment for young athletes. The program also encourages those involved to donate their time via volunteer efforts, and new volunteers are always welcome and in-demand.
By reaching out and contributing to families in need, Hands Across the Bay is able to aid people in Tampa’s community who would otherwise not be able to support themselves. According to Julie, the knowledge of making such a powerful impact on someone’s life is all the reward she needs for her labor. Julie believes that the best way to alleviate social problems and prevent them in the future is to educate the public as much as possible about the detrimental effects of letting a problem grow out of control, how to recognize an issue at hand, and how to take steps toward solving it. Aside from the recent exponential growth of her family-owned business
which is now the largest family-owned jewelry store in the United States, or national success on HSN, Julie Weintraub cites the success of her non-profit as the shining star among the many achievements in her career. In 2009, her foundation was not quite in a position where it could discard concern about how it could consistently fund the families it serves. Eight years later, she is proud to declare that she has a solid team of passionate people and that her business now has the same stability she seeks to provide families throughout the city. Hands Across the Bay has many areas of focus that tie into its overall mission of spreading positivity throughout the
community. These areas include raising awareness of issues like domestic violence, suicide, bullying, and others that go silently unresolved throughout society. Julie Weintraub is powerfully outspoken against domestic violence. She has gone to court to fight for justice for the victims and for stricter sentences, such as requiring a mandatory life sentence for any attempted murder charge as opposed to the current sentence of 7 to 14 years. She does this by attending the trials of many attempted murder and domestic violence cases. She was recognized for her contribution in aiding the families in the locally publicized â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Mothers Day Massacreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; trial, which was the first death penalty case she was in-
volved in. Hands Across the Bay has a sizeable network of community sponsors, including Pinellas County Sheriffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office, PureLife Medi-Spa, ABC ACTION NEWS, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Bright House Networks, Rooms to Go, and Gold & Diamond Source. Hands Across the Bay also teams up with many independent organizations to properly satisfy the needs of families throughout Tampa Bay, and is perpetually grateful for their services and dedication to the community. Through the work of her charity, Julie Weintraub strives to not only aid those who would benefit from her foundation, but to also inspire other members of the Tampa community to help in a similar manner, thus exponentially increasing the potential for struggling families to receive contributions toward their stability. Julie possesses a unique combination of passion, discipline, and the capability to pull her visions into reality. Her unwavering commitment to the families of Tampa Bay has earned her vast acclaim and recognition throughout the community. This, in turn, serves as further motivation to continue with her ambition of doing all she can to ensure the families of Tampa Bay who need a helping hand, receive it. Generosity comes in many forms, but it is rare to find an organization like Hands Across the Bay. The raw concept of saving a family from the fate of bankruptcy or homelessness is what drives Julie and her team forward, and she clearly has no plans of slowing down as she works harder than ever before.
TOUCHDOWN IN TAMPA: HOW EVENTS BOLSTER THE CITY’S ECONOMY By Santiago Corrada
hen it comes to hosting massive national and international events, the Tampa Bay region has a wellearned reputation for winning – both in bringing events to the community, and ensuring that they go off without a hitch. Much of that work falls on the shoulders of Visit Tampa Bay, the destination marketing organization for Tampa and Hillsborough County, and its myriad partners. When community members wanted to bring IIFA, the globetrotting awards show nicknamed the Bollywood Oscars, to the Bay Area, Visit Tampa Bay joined the delegation that flew across the world to Macau, China to pitch Tampa Bay as the ideal spot for the show’s first U.S. appearance. It was my first major pitch as Visit Tampa Bay’s CEO – and my first week on the job!
Bollywood fans across the world and illuminated the variety of experiences available here in Florida’s most diverse tourism destination. It also showcased the openness and cultural diversity of our community, which includes more than 50,000 Indian and South Asian residents. As a result, Tampa Bay remains an important travel destination for Bollywood fans.
We saw hosting IIFA as a major win for Tampa Bay. It put the community on the radar of more than a billion
A year after the award show, India’s largest meeting and events organization presented Visit Tampa Bay with
its highest honor for creating such a successful IIFA event. For recruiting and accommodating major events, Tampa Bay has the perfect mix: high-end, world-class facilities, such as Raymond James Stadium, Amalie Arena, and the Tampa Convention Center; a waterfront destination highlighted by the Tampa Riverwalk, which links downtown’s high-profile venues like gems on a string; an international airport with service from countries like Europe and
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South America that routinely ranks among the best in the world; and a local government that understands the important role that high-profile events like the Super Bowl or Republican National Convention (and their high-profile attendees) play in raising the community’s reputation and attracting long-term economic investment. Tourism, whether through carefully organized events like the College Football Playoff National Championship Game or through hundreds of thousands of leisure tourists, is an economic engine that runs 24 hours a day. Tampa Bay’s growing reputation as a dynamic, welcoming location fuels that engine and keeps it functioning to employ 46,000 local people and put $5.6 billion into our local economy.
But, hosting major events like the 2012 RNC, the 2015 NCAA Women’s Final Four, or the 2021 Super Bowl doesn’t just happen; it is the culmination of months or years of planning and a careful study of the risks versus the rewards. In short, how does the event fit with Visit Tampa Bay’s strategic vision for economic development through tourism? And, furthermore, what’s the return on investment? As a private, not-for-profit corporation, Visit Tampa Bay is driven by data. Every event we work on, whether alone or with partners such as the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, Outback Bowl, or Tampa Convention Center, comes with a return on investment analysis. If that return comes out less than break-even, we will not host, no matter how great it would be to bring the event to town.
How much economic impact can a major event have on the local community? Let’s look at three in particular: • The Republican National Convention in 2012 took up nearly 90,000 hotel rooms during its stay in the area. Delegates, dignitaries, media, and even protestors filled hotels throughout the region, including in neighboring counties. Their total estimated economic footprint was more than $25.6 million. On top of that, the area earned billions in free media through coverage of the community and the convention. • In 2014, IIFA attendees spent more money in Tampa Bay than in all but one other host city, creating $26.4 million in local economic impact. Worldwide coverage of the weeklong festival and massive award show
at Raymond James Stadium put Tampa Bay in front of more than 13 million international viewers. • The 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship filled every hotel room during the game weekend, producing results unseen since the 2009 Super Bowl. Media coverage before, during, and after the game put Tampa Bay in front of nearly 50 million ESPN viewers alone. Now, Tampa Bay has the opportunity to host Super Bowl LVI in 2021. While it’s sure to be another spotlight moment, it is also one that Visit Tampa Bay and its partners have become wellversed at performing. There are tens of thousands of existing and future hotel rooms to secure the loads of airport traffic (including hundreds of private jets) and a Who’s Who of A-list celebrities on the way – some onstage, some offstage, but all performing with down-
town’s skyline, the Tampa Riverwalk, or Ybor City’s nightlife in their Instagram selfies. The Super Bowl is unlike anything else in terms of planning and preparation. Simply competing for the privilege of hosting the game was an incredible challenge. The entire experience, from contracting hotel rooms to directing traffic on the day of the game, will be an all-hands-on-deck project for the
Visit Tampa Bay team, our partners at the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, and the community as a whole. But, we have done this many times before and I’m confident that we’ll produce a Super Bowl experience that effectively showcases this incredible community in a way that will make everyone want to come back for more. After all, that’s our job.
BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN
community is nothing without involvement from those who are a part of it, much like how a group of athletes is not really a team if everyone plays for themselves. Cooperation, empathy, and compassion are vital in order for a synergistic environment to exist. Those who give back to their community lay a foundation down for the others to prosper. In some situations there are individuals and families who require assistance just to survive. In most cases, simply having someone there is enough to get by. Generosity often comes out of the blue. It may also stem from the most unlikely of experiences. Steve and Kalo Tuikolovatu once found themselves in a position in life that no newlyweds expect to be in: living out of their car. The couple was in a sort of limbo in their lives; they were waiting for Steve to be able to transfer to University of
Southern California so that he could play football. He received his bachelor’s degree after finishing school in Utah and was set to “blueshirt” for USC. While redshirting is a common practice for college players so that they can develop their skills and extend their eligible time on the field, blueshirting allows a non-recruited athlete to receive financial aid from the university so that they can attend the school. However, the player can only receive aid after they begin practicing with the team, and there was a 2-month hiatus before Steve was able to play. Hence, the couple traveled across California in their truck while awaiting the go-ahead from USC for him to begin training with the Trojans and continue with his ambitions. While this was a trying time for the
“Those who give back to their community lay a foundation down for the others to prosper.”
pair, as it would be for anyone, it was also a time to focus on introspection: what was it that they truly wanted out of life and how were they going to make it happen?
They both already knew what they wanted, and it was to help others the way their families and communities had helped them. Now, they had the chance to figure out exactly how it was going to be accomplished. For the entire time before Steve’s transfer, that is exactly what they did. But, it was during this period of time that the couple realized that their desire to help others burned so strongly that it needed to become a reality. Steve and Kalo handled much of the contingency on their own, often exploring California’s many beaches during the daytime and working odd jobs to support themselves. With only a few months before his transfer, it didn’t make sense to pay money to stay anywhere. But, it was within these months that
main contributing factors for Steve to further his education and for the couple to start a foundation that researches methods to help the elderly attain a better quality of life. He also cites the discipline he learned in football as one of the primary building blocks for his foundation, claiming that it would not have been possible if he had not worked so passionately for the years that he did. Football also blessed him with the opportunity to receive the education that will serve as the framework for his organization. Faith and football combined have given Steve the means to bring the ambitions that both he and Kalo share into reality. their dream finally began to move forward. After his time at USC, Steve was chosen by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the 5th pick of the 7th round in the NFL draft, which prompted him and his wife to relocate to the Bay Area. This was seen as an immense blessing, as Florida was the perfect location for them to move forward with the development of their organization. Currently, Steve is receiving his master’s degree in gerontology and plans to open facilities to care for the elderly upon the completion of his education. The foundation that Kalo and Steve are looking to build will be geared toward the elderly and make full use of Steve’s education in gerontology. Since the foundation is in its research phase, they are trying to learn as much as they can from other similar organizations so that they can develop as efficiently as possible.
They plan on partnering with AMIKids, which is an organization that prioritizes at-risk children and helps them find their potential while simultaneously providing them with stability. They have been vocal about their intention of incorporating younger individuals in their foundation, and they feel AMIKids will provide a solid experience by working with them. They plan to focus on alleviating the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia, specifically through natural remedies as opposed to more conventional medical treatment. They hope that, with enough research and development, they will be able to one day delay the negative effects of these medical conditions and eventually prevent them altogether. Steve and his wife are members of the Latter-Day Saints Church of Jesus Christ and their faith is an integral part of their lives that they take very seriously. In fact, their faith is one of the
Steve declares that, other than his desire to help others, his motivation comes from two sources: his parents and his wife. Steve’s family sacrificed much to help him get to the point in his life where he is today, and he ardently works to make sure their endeavors were not in vain. Kalo has been there for Steve during his darkest times, specifically when the couple had nowhere else to turn to while living in their car in California. He feels infinitely blessed to be married to his wife and claims that she is the one who helps him get through the day when he needs it most. Steve and Kalo Tuikolovatu understand that they have been given much. They want to express their gratitude through contributing to those who cannot always help themselves. With enough effort and determination, the pair hopes to not only care for members of their community but inspire others to do so, as well.
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THE SUN MAY SET, BUT THE FUN DOESN’T HAVE TO
lorida is renowned for being a hotspot for travelers to visit. Orlando, Key West, and Miami are only a fraction of the locations people flock to no matter the time of year. Tampa, however, also holds its own against Florida’s heavyweight cities. The city of Tampa is home to a multitude of attractions; professional sports teams, beautiful waterfront tourist destinations, and historic art districts all serve as enticement for travelers and residents alike to explore what the city has to offer. The Tampa Bay area is also known for various theme parks, exquisite beaches, and unique restaurants that are sure to leave a lasting impression. Tampa is also home to Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo (TLPZ), which has been ranked as one of the top zoos in the nation. With over 1,300 animals across 56-acres of lush, tropical landscape the Zoo allows visitors to see something new each time they attend and stands out among other attractions in Tampa Bay as one of the most family-friendly locations to visit.
On every Friday and Saturday from June 23 until July 29, TLPZ will be holding their renowned Sunset Celebration, which allows guests to enjoy a myriad of exclusive attractions after dark and the chance to see wildlife in a whole new light. Friday, June 23 marked one of the largest events TLPZ has had this past year, and was the first day of the Sunset Celebration for 2017. Sunset Celebration is included with membership, daily admission and guests who paid for a day to come back all year. Observing habitats after dark is a rare treat for zoo visitors, and the Zoo has a very different atmosphere after the sun sets; ambient lighting flickers between tree
branches that gnarl around railings, live bands begin playing music sets unique to that particular date, and bars are established in order to provide patrons with an extensive choice of beverages. The main attraction at Sunset Celebration is its wide variety of live music. Saturday’s musicians ranged from Latin artists, steel drum groups, and African drummers who filled the air with a substantial energy, even for a live setting. With entertainment around every corner, there is something for everyone. The dancers, musicians, and other live entertainers all come from different backgrounds, providing an extensive selection that anyone will be able to enjoy.
Dinos Alive! at the Zoo, is a limited-time dinosaur experience, where dinos move, roar and interact with guests. Dinos Alive! was an experience at the Zoo that seemed to have lots of popularity; dinosaurs being illuminated by spotlights at night makes the experience all the more surreal and unique. An MC engaged with guests throughout the evening, providing a special guest connection. As the night progressed, the excitement and momentum increased. The evening culminated with a live band, live entertainers, and a dazzling Wild Lights Finale.
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo prides itself on customer service and guest satisfaction, listening to their feedback, and working hard to ensure that future experiences are even better than those today. Not many businesses put as much effort into customer satisfaction as TLPZ and even less go to the same lengths in order to keep them coming back in the future. The Special Events Team’s passion for their guests is evident through Sunset Celebration, where members work tirelessly to ensure the event is seamless. With a rigorous events schedule that begins as early as 1:00 PM on event days, the Zoo’s Special Events Team oversees every detail. The team handles procedural operations, ranging from event area preparation, logistics management, and accommodating the entertainers when they arrive. While the Zoo is known throughout the Tampa community for animal care and family-friendly events, the sixweek period during Sunset Celebration has earned it a solid reputation for providing a unique, one-of-a-kind experience to its guests. Sunset Celebration would not be possible without the generous sponsors that work with the Zoo, including Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union, Corona, and Modelo. Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo plans on making the summer of 2017 its most exciting summer! While the Zoo is open all year, seeing wildlife in a whole new light and seeing the sun set in Tampa’s most unique setting is unforgettable.
“The six-week period during Sunset Celebration has earned it a solid reputation for providing a unique, one-of-a-kind experience to its guests. ” ——————————————————
RYAN NECE FOUNDATION:
EMPOWERING AND GIVING BACK
rofessional football is one of the most demanding sports that exists. The otherworldly strength, agility, and speed combined with gladiatorial performance on the field often takes a toll on athletes over time. After retirement, it can be very tempting to ride off into the sunset with the plentiful compensation that the professional sports industry is renowned for. However, not everyone feels that their calling is to relax away into retirement. Some players view their post-athletic careers as opportunities to give back to the communities that aided them along their journey. Ryan Nece is a former NFL player who found himself in the Detroit Lionsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; locker room, as well as the locker room of our very own Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While playing for the NFL in 2007, he founded the Ryan Nece Foundation in order to not only contribute to the Tampa Bay community, but also serve as a leader and role model for local youth. The Ryan Nece Foundation operates the Student Service Program, which
includes Hillsborough and Pinellas County high school students who perform community service work every month. The foundation partners with many other Tampa Bay area nonprofits to engage its students in a variety of projects that positively impact the lives of others in the community. Through the Power of ThanksGiving Celebration, the organization provides food and contentment to more than 400 families each year.
The vision of the Ryan Nece Foundation is to empower teens to become leaders and impact their communities through generosity. The foundation’s mission is to create opportunities for teens to embrace the Power of Giving through volunteerism and inspirational leadership programs.
When something is given to help someone, that person inevitably receives what Nece likes to call “a positive firework show filled with joy that goes off inside your inner being.” It’s difficult for him to describe, but he staunchly claims it is a feeling unlike any other. He likens the feeling to the wind, claiming that it isn’t so much something you see but rather something you feel deep within you.
1. Acquire the tools to be an effective leader who can help guide those in the Tampa community
The Ryan Nece Foundation wants its students to learn three major concepts from its program:
2. Build the confidence and courage to be willing to make a difference in the lives of others 3. Feel comfortable asking the question to family, friends and others, “What can I do to help you today?”
Each year, the foundation travels with its students for a week to serve in another city or country. Previous destinations have included the Dominican Republic, Flint and Detroit, MI, and New Orleans, where the foundation’s youths were able to volunteer their time and energy to those who are less fortunate. Nece takes great pride in the fact that his organization is able to take a small army of soldiers armed with the “Power of Giving” and all come together to develop deeper relationships as they serve others during their trip. Everyone in the NFL has one goal: to win a Super Bowl championship. Objectively, that is the entire purpose of joining the NFL in the first place. Thus, everything they do is centered on making that goal a reality. Nece’s organization has one goal: to make sure that every student in the Tampa Bay area learns about the Power of Giving, and he strives daily to make that goal a reality.
“I think that communication is important in every relationship and partnership. It is crucial that we communicate our vision and mission well to our partners so they fully understand the difference we are making and the lives we are impacting.”
Nece and his staff describe themselves as being extremely grateful for the many sponsors and supporters who help the foundation reach its goals and achieve its mission. They have many partners who help contribute to their Power of ThanksGiving Celebration and Ryan’s Rockin’ Power of Giving Party, and without their help, those events would not be as profoundly successful as they are. The most up-to-date information on the organization’s sponsors and partners can be found on their website at www.ryannecefoundation.org, as well as on their social media pages. Their Power of Giving Thanksgiving Celebration is one of the signature events that allow the hundreds of students, volunteers, and staff to serve over 1,100 people in a short span of four hours. Ryan is blessed to bring ev-
eryone together to contribute to and have fun with families in need during the foundation’s celebration. Recently, the event has become so popular that he has decided to expand it to two separate locations this year, and he could not be more excited! At Ryan’s Rockin’ Power of Giving Party, great food, auction items, and captivating entertainment are just a few of the main attractions that attendees can enjoy during the celebration. The goal is to raise money, have fun, and commemorate all the work the foundation has done throughout the year. Nece’s undying passion to help those in need has created a significant impact on Tampa Bay by not only helping families and individuals who need assistance, but also by inspiring others to do the same.
THE QUEEN OF EVENTS
rganizing event entertainment is somewhat of a lost art. Many people believe they can simply check a local directory for performers in their area, find their contact information, and communicate with the entertainers themselves to go over the logistics of an event. And if they believe they can do this, they are entirely right. However, things get far more complicated when you have to handle other aspects of organizing a function. Creating and sending out invitations, managing venue reservations and accommodations, and initial conception of the event are all factors that require devoted time and attention in order for the event to turn out the way it is intended to. On top of all of that, event entertainers must be found, contacted, and organized, further adding to the stress. When attempting to book directly through the entertainer, there is a high probability that plenty will go wrong; no-shows, miscommunication, and even performances that breach the contractual agreement between
the entertainer and the client are all very common. It is for this reason that many people choose to book through an entertainment agency rather than roll the dice simply to save a negligible amount of cash. It is also for this reason that Cindy Dervech, founder and president of Breezin’ Entertainment & Productions, chose to start her company. She strives to alleviate as much stress as possible from her clients while simultaneously providing premier event entertainment, and has been accomplishing this task in the Tampa Bay area for nearly 30 years. Cindy’s success wasn’t always this prominent; however, she’s trekked along an arduous journey since she first founded her company in 1991. Mrs. Dervech quit her job in the hospitality industry with one focus in mind: to start her own business. Drawing from her experience as a catering director, she founded Breezin’ Entertainment & Productions out of her home. Unlike most small businesses, she saw a profit after her first year, further fueling her drive to provide the
Tampa community with stellar event entertainment for corporate functions, social occasions, and weddings. In 2008, it was time to leave the nest; Cindy sought out a brick-andmortar location in Tampa to serve as the center of operations for Breezin’ Entertainment & Productions. Unbeknownst to her, she would experience one of her most difficult times as a business owner later that year, due to the impending recession. As time went on, Cindy also found herself in a difficult position as a result of the Internet becoming a widespread tool for entertainers to market themselves. Today, Internet promotion is even more ubiquitous than it was during the last decade. Needless to say, Cindy has encountered significant obstacles as an entrepreneur, but was always able to push forward and break new ground. Cindy Dervech attributes this to one single aspect of her business: her team. She has spent years developing a solid group of employees that she trusts both personally and professionally. Breezin’ heavily emphasizes transparency and communication among its team, and those who work for Cindy
“Weddings are a sort of specialty item for Breezin’, as the team understands that the occasion is meant to be unforgettable and strives to ensure that everything turns out perfectly.”
have grown to become like family to her. Her expert roster of capable coordinators has consistently proven to leave clients so satisfied that they turn into repeat customers. Cindy is more than just an accomplished business owner; she is an extremely effective communicator as well. She has spent decades building a solid network of local entertainers, resulting in her having an impressive repertoire of contacts who can perform at virtually any occasion. Of her performers, DJs are the most frequently requested, especially for weddings. Weddings are a sort of specialty item for Breezinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, as the team understands that the occasion is meant to be unforgettable and strives to ensure that
everything turns out perfectly. After years of hard work and passion, Cindy is finally in a position where she knows that her business is successful. However, she did not forget the humble beginnings that she came from, and is very active within the Tampa community in order to give back as much as she can to those who made it possible for her. She is also a close friend of Tampaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mayor, Bob Buckhorn, who has described Cindy as a powerful role model for his two daughters due to her status as a successful female entrepreneur, and hopes that one day his children will have the same unwavering ambition that she possesses.
Among many other organizations, Cindy Dervech has volunteered for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, NACE, Meeting Planners International, and Visit Tampa Bay, and has served on committees for each organization. There were plenty of people along her journey who extended a helping hand in reaching the goals she had set out for herself, and she views now as the time for her to help others.
Cindy’s community involvement is not just limited to volunteering for other organizations; Breezin’ Entertainment & Productions’ internship program is one of the aspects of her business that Cindy Dervech takes pride in the most. She understands that college students are often thrust into the unforgiving real world equipped with very few applicable skills, and she is determined to help each one of her interns gain relevant experience they can take with them as they transition
into their careers. When asked about the roots of her success, she once again claims that her team is what drives her every day to move forward. Her secret to developing a strong-willed, efficient group of employees, she says, is to treat them like friends as well as employees. Staying open-minded to her workers’ suggestions and ideas, and incorporating them into her business practices when appropriate, has al-
lowed her to form an employer-employee bond that many other business owners struggle to develop. Breezin’ Entertainment & Productions has been in business for nearly three decades, and the event entertainment specialist agency is certainly not showing any signs of slowing down. As long as people are looking for talented entertainers, Breezin’ will continue to grow.
MORE THAN JUST
UNDER THE SEA
hen attending an event, lush scenery is always a welcome sight. Florida has proven itself to be one of the most visually appealing states in the country. Its unique atmosphere, climate, and landscape offer plenty of opportunity to find the perfect location for your event. This amazing scenery has recently been incorporated into The Florida Aquarium’s newest venue. The Florida Aquarium’s new Mosaic Center, which is proudly provided by The Mosaic Company, serves as a venue that provides a stunningly breath-
taking view of the Tampa Bay area, such as Harbor Island, the Channel District, and the Bay itself. The Mosaic Center’s ballroom is adorned with floor-to-ceiling, wrap-around windows that proudly showcase the city’s skyline and the state’s famously exquisite sunsets. The Mosaic Center also features a secluded, ambient dining area that is in the center of an underwater exhibit, allowing attendees to enjoy not only an exclusive meeting location, but also experience some of the best attractions that The Florida Aquarium offers. While many people have only dreamt of a “dinner under the sea,” this venue is able to bring just that and more.
The Mosaic Center was built with two intentions: to add onto the already remarkable appeal which The Florida Aquarium brings its visitors, and to also provide a premier location for local businesses to hold events. While The Florida Aquarium had long held the reputation of being one of the best places for families to visit in Tampa, it gradually became clear that prominent businesses were looking to use the Aquarium in ways not imagined before. While The Florida Aquarium’s many aquatic animals and ocean exhibits are the main attraction of the Mosaic Center, the Mosaic ballrooms are also outfitted with a full bar, a wide array of dining
tables, and a performance area where entertainers can showcase their talents to keep attendees interested and boost the momentum of the occasion.
stations provided a fulfilling element to the venue and further brightened the ambiance of the room as guests eagerly journeyed from table to table.
The grand opening of the venue proved to be one of the Aquarium’s most unforgettable events, and those who attended were extremely satisfied by the end of the evening.
In addition to the numerous platter options placed across the event space, a large bar was featured along the back wall, providing easy access for guests as they circled the room with their plates of catered food. The bar featured a wide selection of beverages for guests while offering high quality service from friendly bartenders. This helped add another dimension to the evening, a point which The Florida Aquarium both recognizes and looks to replicate in the future.
While an event is usually known for its atmosphere, a large selection of food certainly does not hurt either. Guests attending the Mosaic Center’s first event were met by large platters of catered meals, which included delectable seafood and assorted hors d’oeurves. The room allowed visitors to wander freely between food displays, picking up fresh plates as they pleased. The replenishing catering
The food and beverage, accompanied by the venue’s open space, provided the perfect atmosphere where busi-
ness professionals could meet and mingle with ease. There was ample space for standing, but those looking to sit down and initiate more personal conversation were able to enjoy the sleek and contemporary furniture that bordered the room. The appearance of the room set the tone for the rest of the evening as guests filed into the brand new Mosaic Center. The décor that filled the expansive space was both elegant and bright. The front wall was lined with white couches paired with bright blue, ocean-themed table accents that built upon the rooms’ welcoming and energetic atmosphere. There was also a massive lounging area that included a circular chair in the center of the room. This unique area allowed guests to effortlessly continue to socialize while still
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remaining in the middle of the action. While the venue offers an amazing atmosphere along with many other impressive features, one of its best aspects is a unique access to an outdoor view. The room features a set of glass doors which lead to an outdoor staircase. This staircase makes it possible for guests to walk up to the roof of the Aquarium and experience something completely new. From here, one can enjoy a breathtaking view of Tampa Bay and its consistent and refreshing sea breeze. This element of the Mosaic Center allows guests to roam outside surrounded by the beautiful Florida weather, all the while maintaining involvement with the event and fellow attendees. Visitors that venture onto the rooftop area of the Mosaic Center are gifted a new and exhilarating perspective of
Tampa. The elevated addition not only provides an incredible view of the Bay, but it also highlights other signature foundations of Tampa. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also a prominent view of Port Tampa Bay, an
area which showcases extraordinary cargo and cruise ships entering and leaving. As the Mosaic Center is an extension
our Wedding a Part of History Exchange vows in the historic waterfront Powel Crosley Estate. One of the best places to host a dream wedding in the Bradenton Area, this Mediterranean Revival-style mansion sits directly on the water and also features a circular tower and carriage house. Outside this gorgeous estate, visitors can enjoy island pleasures, mainland adventure and the rest that the area has to offer.
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majority of the room gathered toward the curious penguins for pictures. The biologist informed everyone of the penguinsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; species and continued to enthusiastically answer questions from visitors. Even after the penguins left the room to return to their habitat, guests discussed the experience and continued to fill the room with exciting conversation as the night progressed.
of The Florida Aquarium, a couple of special guests were included in the grand opening event: two adult African penguins. An Aquarium biologist
brought the small animals into the venue and began to introduce them to the event guests. It was obviously a huge highlight of the night as the
The Florida Aquariumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mosaic Center serves not only as a welcome edition for a solid repertoire of exhibits, but also as a premier location for local businesses to host events. Fully equipped with every amenity necessary, the Mosaic Center is already proving itself to be a timeless location that offers guests an unforgettable experience.
Kimpton Hotel Zamora, a St. Pete Beach Wedding Venue
T: 727.456.8900 x 7000 E: email@example.com 3701 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, FL 33706
BEAMWORKS MAKES YOUR DREAM A REALITY
ights, camera, action! Much easier said than done. Although this is a term heard most often in regard to movies, what about for stellar affairs? From corporate events, to trade shows, and even concerts, so much of the consumer experience is based on production. The lights, music, and sounds that go
into creating an astonishing event are critical in holding a captive audience. In the Tampa Bay area, the creative juices are flowing in every which direction with many newcomers entering the event production area. Beamworks, a true American small business has been a fixture in the Bay Area since 1999. The companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expertise in event design and pro-
duction, in addition to its focus on its clients, is what makes Beamworks the best choice for any event. Beamworks pride themselves on their many professional relationships and generous involvement within the community and throughout Tampa Bay. No client leaves unsatisfied from a Beamworks production set. Most are even surprised at how the company is able to achieve new heights in creating spectacular events. For this reason, Beamworks has broadened their services over the years. Providing a full-fledged set production along with event design in addition to rental ser-
vices is what makes Beamworks so unique to this area. Originally specializing in the realm of audio, live sound and lighting, Beamworks’ natural progression was to move toward a more event-focused business platform that has evolved into the event design company they are today. In addition to events, many users look toward Beamworks to provide them with wireless department services. They make their vast quality of professional equipment affordable for any type of client or organization looking
to benefit from their business. This includes schools, churches, theatres, and end-users who use their talents for presentations and performances. Technological advancements in the past decade have created drastic changes in the event industry. For instance, the average consumer is now able to purchase the same equipment that professionals have used over the years. However, without the proper knowledge and training, the execution of the final product will be significantly lower quality than if you had employed an expert. That is why engaging with a company like Beamworks is so important.
“No client leaves unsatisfied from a Beamworks production set. ”
Tampa’s tropical vibe is often what influences larger corporations to host a variety of conferences, trade shows, or any corporate sponsored events in our area. From the pink and orange hues of a Tampa sunset to the awesome lightning and sounds of thunder, the local coastal scenery convinces visiting professionals that they are on a vacation rather than at a conference. When it comes to a business conference or a company retreat, people are more eager to enjoy their time in a warm and sunny destination rather than an arctic tundra.
are required to be part of the process. This is where Beamworks’ experience and skillful ability to work quickly and on the fly comes in handy in coordinating all of the different aspects of a complicated event. Each event varies from group to group. In the end, it all comes down to how much stress can be alleviated from the client. Beamworks helps you manage your workload so you can actually participate and enjoy your event. The preparation and planning that goes into every detail and aspect of the de-
tions in the line of production to ensure that your success is always top priority. Beamworks credit some of their success to being able to draw from the abundantly artistic Tampa community along with their client’s visions. With several artists on the rise and the amazing evolution of high-end technology, they create some of the most intricate designs. They can construct a set from the conception of the idea to the completed product, showcasing the biggest and best companies. Perfection. That is always the ultimate goal. Service is and always has been the most important part of what they do. The highly talented team that composes Beamworks strives to make each event better than the last. The team’s technological knowledge, their professional equipment along with the vast amount of creativity within their team allows Beamworks to focus on the specific details of the affair, rather than being held up by technical concerns.
National trade shows that come though the area exemplify how Beamworks smoothly integrates naturally occurring scenery with their own creativity to provide a trade show venue that is sure to impress. Compared to other types of corporate events, trade shows happen on a much larger scale due to needs and the request of multiple vendors. The biggest challenge that can be faced in dealing with such an immense convention are the amount of people involved and the full team of decision makers, which
sign is the major key to having a successful event. They work tirelessly with you to secure a smooth transition to an overall successful event. Who wants to sit through a boring presentation about a snoring topic where it seems nearly impossible to keep your eyes open? However, when you add colorful lights, a booming sound system, and awe-inspiring presentations, dozing off is unimaginable. Setting the mood, feeling, and vibe to each event is crucial to executing an outstanding show. Beamworks exceeds expecta-
The tight-knit area that is Tampa Bay allows Beamworks to zone in on creating relationships with other businesses, chambers, and non-profits all playing in the same sandbox all with the same expectation of quality and precision. Partnering with event groups, planners, and coordinators spreads their company name all throughout the area. For any type of event you are looking to host, look to Beamworks to make your dream a reality when it comes to all of your audio and visual needs. Creating effects to make clients and audiences intrigued when attending any type of show will leave everyone satisfied and always coming back for more.
NEWEST HIDDEN GEM combining a skate rink, bar, and cuisine in one. Their artistic platform enhances the culture, scene, and appeal to customers. Who wouldn’t love an old-school skating rink with a unique combination of an adult-orientated and kid-friendly environment? This is the type of thing that grasps the interest of many customers. Having the ability to cater to all ages allows them to hold a multitude of different events.
hings get better with age, right? It seems like in the past 40 years we have seen the clock roll back on several occasions, with the current generation borrowing trends from those of previous eras. Whether it’s fashion or entertainment, what goes around always comes around. In the Tampa Bay area, new joints aimed at getting the residents more involved in the entertainment scene are appearing all over the place. To
appeal to such a diverse crowd, many locations are combining the idea of an entertainment space with a cool bar and art venue. A familiar trend in this new bar/entertainment hybrid is the combination of an old-school atmosphere with newage technologies. Many venues in Tampa have contributed to this new movement of combining ideas from different eras, and have been met with overwhelmingly positive reception. Pattinis Bistro, which is opening up in Tampa, takes the triple layer cake by
The feeling of nostalgia associated with roller-skating isn’t the only thing Pattinis prides itself in. The entertainment newcomer also provides lavish cuisine (including sushi), VIP bays, and craft cocktails/beer, which makes it appealing to its customers. They also have a top-of-the-line arcade, filled with many old-school and current games. Patrons are able to savor their time with friends and family while also experiencing a new form of entertainment. This blast from the past isn’t the only antiquated space that can be found
are able to savor their time with friends and family while also experiencing a new form of entertainment.”
in Tampa’s many alcoves. The city has several landmarks that have been around from the 70s, especially in Ybor City, also known as Cigar City. There, you can visit old cigar factories or any of the local breweries, where there is always something unique to experience. The combination of entertainment and bar space seen in both of these areas boasts that Tampa, Florida is more than just somewhere that your grandparents live. Pattinis creates a vibrant energy for all ages to enjoy, but especially draws in a younger crowd that appreciates mixing pastime activities with adultlike endeavors. Having the ability to roller-skate, drink, play arcade games, and eat high-quality food modernizes the old-school feel.
No matter what the needs of the client are, they are always able to generate an upbeat and groovy space where anyone, regardless of age, is able to have fun. The unique space that Pattinis has makes it a premier venue for all types of events in the industry. They transform to the needs of the client and present them something that is fresh and outside of the box. Art Aliens, an organization that brings together artists to showcase their talents through event planning, social media, and art shows, is partnered with Pattinis, forging a relationship between local and large organizations. Their partnership plays into the savvy culture seen at Pattinis and they believe that supporting local businesses stands right in line with their mission. Musicians and artists make a creative platform for themselves. Whether new and emerging or experienced and classic, they exhibit their talents to a variety of people. Pattinis holds an “artists without label” series to do just that. It provides the company with another attribute not typically seen in other entertainment spaces. The classic vibes seen in places like these transform customers’ adventures by offering them something that they associate with the “good ol’ days.” People are able to remember what it is like to be a child again, and how to have fun without remorse. Providing a diverse set of activities, Pattinis makes a great location to host any type of event. Their top-notch background in handling a variety of functions is what makes them different than other locations in the area.
Regardless of party size or ages that come through, the customers are always able to relish their time instead of worrying about guests falling asleep, like at your typical snore-vent. Pattinis presents fun in all types of environments, including moral and team-building activities, which create a positive experience for everyone.
Not many are aware of the large art scene in the Bay Area. Here, many art shows are held every year, which market some of Tampa’s greatest artists. Through attending these shows, the community assists in the growth of small businesses while simultaneously supporting the dreams of artists.
A multitude of events hosted at Pattinis trumps other event spaces, which keep Tampa residents choosing them as their premier location for festivities.
Works displayed draw from the past as the artists show off their psychedelic skills, adding to that feeling of nostalgia. Inspiration pulls from painters
such as Keith Haring and Bansky, to musical artists like David Bowie and the Beatles in order to create an oldschool atmosphere. Artists work day in and day out to make what they love, but sometimes it is not enough to make ends meet. For this reason, art displayed in the venue is available for purchase. The proceeds go to these artists, in connection with Art Aliens. Their funding allows them to keep creating art, making Tampa a supportive network for local artists. The community involvement seen in connection with Pattinis is the support that allows Tampa to expand as a city. Combining the long-established roller rink with a high-end bar that features art
from local artists is another reason that makes Pattinis so special to the Tampa Bay area. The eccentric and unique space welcomes residents to come and
enjoy their time skating, playing arcade games, and experience the vibrant atmosphere that Tampa has to offer.
EVENTS FLORIDA AQUARIUM
67 EVENTS LOWRY PARK ZOO
EVENTS MEETING PROFESSIONALS INTERNATIONAL TAMPA BAY
• Over 32,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, • Our breakout rooms offer state-of-the-art technology and audiovisual equipment to complement any banquet, conference or convention
Contact our Events Department for more information!
• Craft the ultimate experience for yourself and your guests with our stunning Clearwater Beach setting as your backdrop
• Impress your colleagues and clients with extraordinary events and allow our dedicated catering staff and culinary team to design a delightful menu to match the setting and tone of your event!
301 South Gulfview Blvd Clearwater, Florida, USA, 33767
reezin’ Entertainment & Productions is Tampa Bay’s preparation will showcase an unforgettable affair. No. 1 entertainment agency. For over 27 years, our team has provided clients with well-organized event The amount of planning and preparation for an event can add unwanted stress to one’s daily activities. Our expertise entertainment for any occasion. and dedicated team will help bring the clients’ vision to life We take pride knowing that we are consistently voted as through our extensive network of entertainers, no matter one of the best entertainment service companies, and we the occasion. are grateful to have been chosen to provide entertainment for thousands of events. We use state-of-the-art technology We strive to set high expectations for ourselves by choosing systems and software to give clients the highest quality the type of entertainer that perfectly melds with the sound and production for any type of event a client is function. From origin to final product, we help create the most memorable celebration for all generations to come. looking to host. Our quick response time and personal entertainment planners are eager to help its clients every step of the way when outlining their dream event. Regardless of whether our customers are organizing a small party or going allout for a parade, our cutting-edge knowledge on event
We are excited that with the publication of Breezin’ Magazine, we are able to provide our readers with insight into the unforgettable world of event entertainment and the experiences that events bring when including memorable and spectacular performances.
W W W. B R E E Z I N . C O M C R E AT I N G E X P E R I E N C E S T H R O U G H E N T E R TA I N M E N T