Tampa Bay EDC

Our Staff

Driven by the zeal to make Tampa and Hillsborough County the most desirable destination for fast-growing companies and talented people, the EDC team shows up every day ready to help move our community forward.

Executive

Craig J. Richard, CEcD, FM

President and CEO

crichard@tampabayedc.com

(813) 518-2620

Craig J. Richard is President and CEO of the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council (EDC), the designated lead economic development organization for companies seeking to expand or locate in Hillsborough County, Florida.

Craig is a certified economic developer (CEcD) with over two decades of economic development leadership experience in major markets such as Atlanta, Houston and Dallas. He is a collaborative leader with strengths in marketing, business development, entrepreneurial development, workforce development, global commerce and strategic planning. Over his career, he has announced over 432 successful projects representing more than 138,128 jobs and $10.9 billion in capital investment.

Craig earned his Master of Urban and Regional Planning, with a concentration in economic development, from Virginia Commonwealth University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston. He is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and completed executive education programs at the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University.

Craig served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and was designated a fellow member (FM) and honorary lifetime member (HLM) by IEDC for his contributions to the economic development profession. He currently serves as vice chair of Film Tampa Bay, and serves on the boards of the Tampa Bay Chamber, Visit Tampa Bay, Downtown Tampa Partnership and the Straz Performing Arts Center. He was recognized as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers by Consultant Connect, Florida’s 500 Most Influential Business Leaders by Florida Trend, Tampa Bay Business Journal Power 100, MacDill AFB Honorary Commander and is a member of Leadership Florida’s – Executive Class 11.

Married with two children, Craig enjoys golf, the outdoors and grilling.

Tiffany Miller

Executive Administrator & Board Liaison

tmiller@tampabayedc.com

(813) 518-2622

Executive Administrator & Board Liaison tmiller@tampabayedc.com (813) 518-2622

Finance and Administration

Kacie Blucher

Chief Financial Officer

kblucher@tampabayedc.com

(813) 518-2624

Kacie Blucher is the Chief Financial Officer for the Tampa Bay EDC where she is responsible for the overall financial management of the organization, including accounting, financial reporting, audit operations, business insurance and human resources.

Kacie previously served as the Vice President of Administration and Finance with the Tampa Downtown Partnership and has worked in the non-profit industry for more than 8 years. She has her B.S. Degree from the University of South Florida and has called the Tampa Bay area home for the past 22 years.

Kacie, her husband, two children and their menagerie of dogs, cats, ducks and geese live in Wesley Chapel and enjoy traveling, boating and exploring the great outdoors.

Alison Gelbaugh

Director of Investor Relations

agelbaugh@tampabayedc.com

(813) 518-2656

Alison Gelbaugh joined the Tampa Bay EDC team in March 2021. As Director of Investor Relations, she is responsible for leading the organization’s fundraising efforts and maximizing revenue growth.

A graduate of the University of West Florida with a B.S.B.A in Marketing & Sales Management, Alison is passionate about people and building relationships. She is a Florida native and resides in the Channelside area of Downtown Tampa with her husband, twin children, and enjoys exploring all the growing city of Tampa has to offer.

Economic Development

Mitchel Allen

Senior Vice President, Economic Development

mallen@tampabayedc.com

(813) 518-2630

Mitchel Allen is the Senior Vice President of Economic Development for the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council where he drives the strategic plan for the organization to attract more business to the region. He specializes in market analysis and site-selection for international and domestic companies expanding or relocating to Tampa. Over the course of his decades-long career in economic development, Mitchel has successfully recruited over 70 companies creating more than 12,500 jobs and accounting for $5.6 billion in economic impact.

Mitchel has earned many accomplishments and honors, including:

  • North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers, 2020 and 2017
  • Development Counsellors International (DCI) “40 Under 40” Award, 2019
  • Economic Developer of the Year by the Arizona Association of Economic Development (AAED), 2017

 

Before Tampa, Mitchel was the Executive Vice President of Business Development at the Greater Richmond Partnership (GRP), where he managed the business development team and its programs.. Prior to GRP, he was the Senior Vice President of Business Development for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), where he led the business development team and collaborated with local and state agencies. Before GPEC, Mitchel worked as an Economic Development Specialist for the City of Chandler where he focused on business attraction, retention, and expansion. He also managed the 60,000-square-foot Innovations Science and Technology Incubator in Chandler, which opened in 2011.

Mitchel was born and raised in Tempe, Ariz., where he earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University. Mitchel is pursuing his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Denver with a finance concentration.

Brett Simons

International Business Manager

BSimons@tampabayedc.com

(813) 518-2668

In January 2022, Brett Simons joined the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council as International Business Manager. In this role, he works to increase foreign direct investment, new business recruitment, and increase exports for companies in Tampa Bay.

A graduate of Carroll College in Helena, Montana with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, Brett brings to the team 4 years of Federal and State government experience. Brett recently moved down to Florida with his fiancé after serving in the Montana Governor’s Office of Economic Development where he handled FDI inquiries and acted as the Governor’s International Affairs advisor.

Brett resides in Bradenton with his fiancé and their old cat Clementine. He enjoys seeing all the new and exciting opportunities that Florida has to offer.

Francesca Gonzalez-Roel

Economic Development Manager

FGonzalezroel@tampabayedc.com

(813) 518-2642

Francesca joined the Tampa Bay EDC in November of 2022 as Economic Development Manager. In this role, she will work with new and existing companies in the Tampa Bay area focusing on recruitment, retention, and expansion efforts.

For the last 9 years, she has worked in the technology industry in various business functions including sales, customer success, operations, and human resources. She received her B.A. and M.A. from Florida State University where she studied Theater Arts in her undergraduate studies and Integrated Marketing Communications and Management in her graduate studies.

She lives in Seminole Heights with her dog, Daisy, and her cat, Rosie, and enjoys exploring all of Tampa has to offer.

Kevin Campos

Economic Development Manager

KCampos@tampabayedc.com

(813)518-2622

Economic Development Manager KCampos@tampabayedc.com (813)518-2622

Community Development

Tony T. Brown

Vice President of Community Development

tbrown@tampabayedc.com

(813) 518-2632

Tony has dedicated his life’s work to transforming neighborhoods by helping communities and businesses secure capital to finance real estate development projects and create jobs across America. Tony’s capital solutions have resulted in more than $10 billion in private capital, to flow into underserved areas across America.

As the previous Director of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund- United States Department of Treasury, Tony successfully implemented the New Markets Tax Credit Program. In this role, he supervised the first $6 billion in tax credit authority allocated. He provided regulatory oversight of billions in CDFI Fund assets and measured the impact of the nation’s investments in community development entities and financial institutions. Tony was honored by then Secretary of Treasury, John Snow, for his “Contributions to the effective and efficient operations of the Department of Treasury.”

As a teenager, Tony experienced the disparate impact of grocery store closings that result in food deserts. He often carried his family’s grocery bags for several miles to have fresh meats and vegetables. Years later, our nation’s largest traditional grocer, Kroger Co., entrusted Tony to design and implement their Healthy Food Initiative for low-income communities.

Tony began his career in banking where he joined Bank of America in Florida through the acquisition of Barnett Banks, Inc.; and led the bank’s community development banking group.  His past accomplishments include serving as executive director of the Riviera Beach CRA; and as the founding President & CEO of the Uptown Consortium in his hometown of Cincinnati. 

Tony earned both his Bachelor’s and Master Degrees in Business Administration/Finance from Xavier University (Ohio).  Tony spends his weekends golfing and enjoying a good movie.

Jennifer Burrington

Director, Healthcare & Life Science Industry

jburrington@tampabayedc.com

(813) 389-1474

Born and raised in Tampa, Jennifer holds a profound attachment to her community. As a fourth-generation Floridian and a driven professional, she is passionate about making a significant impact in the economic development landscape of the Tampa Bay region. As the Director of Healthcare & Life Sciences Industry, Jennifer is enthusiastic about fostering growth, innovation, and prosperity through the establishment of a dynamic Medical & Research District.

With a solid background as a Senior Consultant and Research Analyst at Ernst & Young, Jennifer has acquired proficiency in collecting, analyzing, and presenting extensive economic and demographic datasets. Throughout her career, she has provided support to clients across the United States, aiding them in achieving their strategic objectives. Over the course of her career, Jennifer has overseen financial incentive programs and research initiatives for the State of Texas and has contributed to the economic development research and marketing efforts, enhanced regional competitiveness, and aided in creating and implementing policies for the use of special financing districts on the local level. In her combined experience at the state and local level, Jennifer’s work has directly contributed to creating more than 2,000 jobs and retaining over 9,000 jobs, along with over $5.5 billion in capital investment.

She holds a B.S. in Natural Food & Resource Economics from the University of Florida and an M.S. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from Texas Tech University. Jennifer lives in Southern Hillsborough County with her husband, daughter, and their dog. Their family enjoys traveling, live music, and outdoor pursuits.

Marketing

Michelle Bauer, CEcD

Chief Operating Officer

MBauer@tampabayedc.com

(813) 518-2644

As Chief Operating Officer, Michelle Bauer provides strategic leadership and operational oversight for the EDC. She leads the investor relations and award-winning marketing and research teams. Michelle is responsible for directing the marketing, media relations, research, and special events initiatives that are positioning Tampa and Hillsborough County as one of the top business destinations in North America.

Prior to joining the EDC in November 2014, Michelle was the president of Common Language, a strategic communications firm in St. Petersburg, Florida. She holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of South Florida and is a proud supporter of her alma mater. Go Bulls!

Laura Fontanills

Marketing and Communications Director

lfontanills@tampabayedc.com

(813) 518-2648

Laura Fontanills joined the Tampa Bay EDC as Marketing and Communications Director in May 2018. In this role, she is responsible for generating content, managing events, and engaging with local, national and international business media to gain positive coverage for Tampa and Hillsborough County and the economic development initiatives of the EDC.

Laura has more than 15 years of public relations experience. She was previously an account manager at B2 Communications, managing public relations activities for such clients as Valley Bank, Feld Entertainment, Ybor City Development Corporation, Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and SPCA Tampa Bay. Prior to B2, Laura was account director at Common Language, a boutique PR firm in St. Petersburg, where she secured coverage for clients in top tier business and consumer media including the New York Times and Washington Post.

Highly engaged in the local community, Laura is president-elect of PRSA Tampa Bay, a graduate of Leadership Tampa Bay’s Class of 2008, and a member of LEAP Tampa Bay’s strategic communications committee. Laura earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida and earned her Accreditation in Public Relations through the Public Relations Society of America.

Laura enjoys the urban life in downtown Tampa with her boyfriend and their adorable Cavalier Spaniel.

Robin DiSalvo

Market Research Analyst

rdisalvo@tampabayedc.com

(813) 518-2652

Robin joined the EDC as the Market Research Analyst in July 2015. She works closely with the marketing and business development teams to provide statistical data about the Tampa Bay region, manage data content from workforce and industry trends, and lead quarterly data collection for the cost of living. She is also the database administrator for several research tools; e.g. GIS WebTech, C2ER, D&B Hoovers, and Esri ArcGIS Online.

Prior to the EDC, Robin worked in the media industry, including the research departments at local newspapers and broadcast companies. Her research included comprehensive competitive and consumer behavioral analysis for local and national advertising. Robin graduated from Saint Leo University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a concentration in marketing.

Robin enjoys spending her spare time with her husband Vince and their PC cats (Tiger and Blue), as well as reading, cooking, and cheering on her favorite sports teams.

Christopher Turner

Digital Marketing Manager

CTurner@tampabayedc.com

(813) 518-2650

In January 2022, Chris Turner joined the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council as Digital Marketing Manager. In this role, he works to grow the EDC’s presence and enhance Tampa’s reputation as a top business destination across digital channels.

A graduate of Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a Business Marketing concentration, Chris brings to the team 3 years of non-profit Marketing and Communications experience. He recently moved to Tampa from Tallahassee, where he previously served as Director of Development and Communications with 2-1-1 Big Bend.Outside of work, Chris is a major sports enthusiast and enjoys trying new restaurants around the Tampa Bay area.

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