Florida Polytechnic University

Florida Poly is the nation’s leading institution of change, engineered from the ground up to push the boundaries of education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Florida Poly has about 1,500 undergraduate and graduate students and offers more than 31 programs of study. The University is the only state university in Florida dedicated exclusively to STEM education.




Randy K. Avent

Dr. Randy K. Avent is the founding president of Florida Polytechnic University, the newest of the state’s 12 public universities and the only polytechnic university in the State University System of Florida.

As Florida Polytechnic University’s inaugural president, Avent is responsible for the development and operation of the university and is committed to strategically developing Florida Poly as a research and jobs university, an agent for growth and a beacon for the economy.

His career exemplifies the qualities of innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship the university seeks to instill in students. An accomplished academician, senior administrator and research scientist, Avent has an extensive background teaching and directing research at higher-education institutions dedicated to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

At Florida Polytechnic, Avent focused on the core STEM disciplines of engineering, mathematical and physical sciences, which are considered key to economic growth and prosperity for Florida and the nation as a whole. He created a strategic plan that addressed the four largest pressures on higher education in Florida – degree alignment, student success, economic development and affordability – and helped open the university in under two years by creatively building the campus using combinations of state funding, private investments and Public-Private Partnerships (P3s). He formed over 200 partnerships with industry and is working with a local developer to create a 4,500 acre “live-work-play” research park that brings together industry, government and academia. Under Avent’s leadership, the university received both SACSCOC and ABET accreditation in under five years and have built relationships with Fulbright, Killam and other international partners in India and Brazil.

Randy K. Avent
President

Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART)

Created on October 3, 1979, the Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART) is the regional mobility provider in Hillsborough County, serving a population of more than 1.4 million residents in the cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace, and parts of unincorporated Hillsborough County, the fourth most populated county in Florida. Its total service area covers 1,000 square miles. HART operates fixed-route local and express bus service, door-to-door paratransit service, flex-route service, and manages the TECO Line Streetcar System.

HART’s mission is to Take People to Places that Enhance Their Lives.




Adelee Le Grand

Adelee Marie Le Grand is a leader, with over two decades of experience, who is passionate about utilizing mobility as a tool to create and sustain vibrant equitable communities. Her area of specialty is developing and communicating strategies into the implementation of business solutions and innovations.

Adelee has served as a member of the executive team for two transit agencies. She has served as the Chief Mobility Officer for the Atlanta-region Transit Link Authority (ATL), working closely with the Executive Director and Planning Division to develop a strategic plan to document the new state authority’s suite of services and strengthen partnerships with key stakeholders and regional partners. Adelee also served as the Chief Strategy Officer in service to the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority where her responsibilities included developing the first Strategic Mobility Plan for the New Orleans Region and rebuilding the Planning Department.

She empowers her team to view their portfolio of projects as opportunities to improve the lives of the community they serve. Her motto is, “it is not about the project, it is about how the project improves the community”.

Adelee Le Grand
Chief Executive Officer, Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART)

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

Bradley is a national law firm with a reputation for skilled legal work, exceptional client service, and impeccable integrity. We provide business clients around the world with a full suite of legal services in dozens of industries and practice areas.

With 10 offices located in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and the District of Columbia, we have an extensive geographic base to represent clients on a regional, national, and international basis. We frequently serve as national coordinating counsel, regional counsel, and statewide counsel for clients in various industries.

Although Bradley is a large law firm with almost 600 lawyers, our clients still enjoy the personal attention, responsiveness, and deep relationships they would expect from a boutique firm. Our attorneys combine legal experience and knowledge with a sophisticated understanding of industries to find practical, strategic solutions specifically tailored to our clients’ business operations. Bradley lawyers use their talents, judgment, work ethic, and experience to go above and beyond expectations to help clients meet their goals.

Bradley’s Economic Development Experience

Bradley handles projects throughout the U.S., representing companies with a creative, proactive approach that is fundamentally multidisciplinary. The 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America includes nine Bradley attorneys listed for Economic Development and the firm is listed nationally for Economic Development Law.

We empower our clients by lending our experience to a project from any stage of the development. From the outset, we lead a process that leads to identifying the location that is most profitable for the company. We routinely assist the client’s site selection team, not only in connection with identifying and implementing the economic development incentives, but also in the many aspects of the new project or expansion, including real estate, tax, governmental, planning and zoning, environmental, permitting, financing, labor and employment, and construction.

We are also experienced and staffed to assist companies in connection with expansions and new projects that may be relatively small in terms of capital investment and job creation, but significant for the company.

Bradley has handled economic development deals in thirty-one states.  Our services include the following.

  • Our multidisciplinary efforts integrate experience in real estate and construction, utilities and environmental work, corporate and employment law, and tax incentives.
  • We routinely handle related tax matters at the federal, state, and local levels.
  • We provide experienced interaction with government developers at the state, county, and city levels, including economic and community development groups, chambers of commerce, industrial development boards, power companies, and utility providers.
  • We advocate for clients before governmental agencies in negotiating approvals for various incentives.
  • We have experience in large land assemblies for industrial parks; megasite programs; and all aspects of permitting, entitlements, land use, industrial development revenue, and municipal financing.
  • We help clients facing ongoing disputes in states with viable project sites resolve issues and maximize the number of options available during the decision-making process.

To learn more, visit www.bradley.com/economicdevelopment.




Ben Dachepalli

Ben Dachepalli has extensive experience negotiating and drafting construction-related agreements, and litigating complex construction claims regarding contract disputes, construction defects, design errors, surety bonds and construction liens. He is dedicated to understanding each client’s business to provide comprehensive strategies that go beyond legal issues, disputes or contracts.

Ben is board certified by the Florida Bar in Construction Law. He was selected as national coordinating counsel for a large, publicly traded REIT with projects all across the United States. In this role, Ben advised and counseled this client on matters that affect their multi-family apartment projects across their entire portfolio and addresses legal issues that are critical to executing the company’s strategic business goals.

As a former board member of the Construction Industry Licensing Board for the State of Florida, Ben is also experienced in licensing matters and disputes for contractors and subcontractors.

Ben Dachepalli
Partner

Schiller International University

Schiller International University is a globally recognized university with campuses in Madrid, Paris, Heidelberg, and Tampa. We are accredited in the US and in Europe. We provide students with a truly global experience. A learning-by-living education that enables them to learn immersed in multiple international realities, obtain an accredited degree in future-oriented areas, and create a personalized path to become world-smart professionals. We are honored to be a part of one of the fastest growing cities in the US – Tampa.




Allan Alvarez

Allan Alvarez has more than 20 years of experience in international education. With a master’s degree in Higher Education and specializations in Strategic Leadership and Management and language teaching, he has been a part of the leadership teams in global organizations such as the British Council, Kaplan International, and Amerigo Education. He is the Campus Director at Schiller International University in Tampa since October 2020. Allan speaks four languages, enjoys sports and outdoor activities, and is an avid traveler.

Allan Alvarez
Campus Director, Schiller International University Tampa

USF Health Morsani College of Medicine

The University of South Florida has transformed a community medical school, established by the Florida Legislature in 1965, into a major academic medical center known statewide and nationally for its innovative curriculum with an emphasis on improving health through interprofessional education, research and clinical activities.

The USF College of Medicine, which enrolled its charter class in 1971, was named the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine in 2011, signifying its leading role in changing how medical schools teach physicians of the future. Fully accredited by the Liaison Committee for Medical Education, the college awards doctorates in Medicine (MD), and through its School of Biomedical Sciences, PhD and MS degrees in Medical Sciences. USF’s new SELECT MD program, in partnership with Lehigh Valley Health Network, focuses on emotional intelligence and leadership development. The School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, established in 1998, offers Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and transitional DPT degrees. Additionally, the college’s Athletic Training Education Program offers both BS and MS degrees. Specially designed programs are available, including combined MD/MBA, MD/MPH, DPT/MPH programs and an Honors Research program. To meet the growing demand for a workforce skilled in science and technology, the college proves a wide range of master’s degrees and graduate certificates in emerging fields, such as biotechnology, bioinformatics, and metabolic and nutritional medicine.




Dr. Charles J. Lockwood

Dr. Charles J. Lockwood is Senior Vice President for USF Health, Dean of the Morsani College of Medicine and Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Public Health at the University of South Florida. He serves as an Executive Vice President at Tampa General Hospital. Dr. Lockwood’s research has been funded by over two decades of federal and foundation support, publishing over 300 peer-reviewed publications. He has been named to national and regional “Best Doctors” lists annually since 1995, and has received multiple research awards including the SRI’s Distinguished Scientist Award, the NICHD Frontiers in Reproduction Beacon Award and the SMFM Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a recipient of the U.S. FDA Advisory Committee Service Award and ACOG’s Public Service Award for his “enduring commitment to women’s health.” He has been elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the U.S. National Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Charles J. Lockwood
Senior Vice President, USF Health, and Dean, Morsani College of Medicine

Stetson University College of Law

Stetson is ranked #2 in trial advocacy and #5 in legal writing by U.S. News & World Report (2022)

Fully accredited by the American Bar Association and Association of American Law Schools.

As Florida’s first law school, Stetson has educated outstanding lawyers, judges and community leaders for more than a century.

Stetson University College of Law is an active part of the Tampa Bay metro area, with its main law campus in Gulfport/St. Petersburg and a satellite center in Tampa. The law school is a part of Stetson University, with a College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business Administration, and School of Music in DeLand.




Michèle Alexandre

Dean Michèle Alexandre joined Stetson University College of Law in 2019 and immediately began laying the groundwork for a 2030 vision for the college to expand the curriculum, increase alumni engagement, and forge new community partnerships.

 

Prior to joining Stetson, Alexandre taught at the University of Mississippi and the University of Memphis School of Law. Much of her time in the South was devoted to issues of sustainability, economic independence, and social justice for small farmers and poor populations, including launching the Race and Sustainability Conference at The University of Mississippi.

 

Her scholarly areas include constitutional law, international law, civil rights law, disability law, critical race theory, human rights, and gender. She has received Fulbright and Watson Fellowships and is the author of the civil rights textbook, “The New Frontiers of Civil Rights Litigation,” and “Sexploitation: Sexual Profiling and the Illusion of Gender.”

 

Her accolades include being named one of Ebony Magazine’s Top 100 influential African Americans of 2013 and one of the 50 “Most Influential Minority Law Professors 50 Years of Age or Younger” by Lawyers of Color Magazine.

 

Alexandre is the first black valedictorian of Colgate University and earned her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.

Michèle Alexandre
Dean

Ultimate Medical Academy

 

 

Ultimate Medical Academy is a nonprofit healthcare educational institution with a national presence. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida and founded in 1994, the school has more than 40,000 alumni and offers content-rich, interactive online courses to more than 15,000 students as well as hands-on training to hundreds of students. UMA students have access to academic advising, one-on-one or group tutoring, resume and interview coaching, job search assistance, technical support and more. UMA is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).




Linda Mignone

Linda Mignone joined Ultimate Medical Academy in August 2018 and is responsible for overseeing UMA’s marketing, communications and admissions efforts. In this role, she helps to elevate the institution’s brand, engage new learners, spur adoption of new programs and technologies, and champion student outcomes.

Linda brings 25 years of experience to her role at UMA in strategic, brand, digital, and direct marketing in multiple industries—from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. These include higher education providers like Kaplan, Inc. and transportation and logistics companies like DHL.

Mignone has been a contributor to Fortune and CNN in the areas of leadership and management, and she serves as an advisor to Merci360 and other start-up and incubator organizations. She earned her BBA in Marketing and MBA from Dowling College in Oakdale, New York.

Linda Mignone
Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer

University of Tampa

 

 

The University of Tampa is a world-class institution of higher education, offering dynamic opportunities for all learners. Celebrated scholars from around the globe and 7,500 students from all 50 states and 136 countries join in the daily rigors and rewards of an innovative curriculum focused on students’ success. A medium-sized, private university in the heart of downtown, UT offers 150 areas of undergraduate study, 12 graduate programs and ample opportunities for continuing education. The University’s 105-acre residential campus in downtown Tampa provides a historical and cultural setting for learning both on and off campus. With its emphasis on academic excellence, personal attention and real-world experience, UT is ranked as one of the best environments in the country to live and learn.




Ronald L. Vaughn, Ph.D.

Ronald L. Vaughn has served as President of The University of Tampa since January 1995. During his tenure, University of Tampa’s enrollments has nearly tripled, new enrollment records have been set in each of the last 17 years, and academic programs have been expanded to more than 150 areas of study, including 12 graduate programs with nine concentrations in the fields of business, nursing, education, writing and exercise science. Vaughn came to The University of Tampa in 1984 as the coordinator of the marketing department and holder of the Max H. Hollingsworth Endowed Chair of American Enterprise. He also served as director of the MBA program, dean of the College of Business and Graduate Studies and co-chief academic officer. Vaughn has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s of business administration from Indiana State University, as well as a doctorate in marketing from the University of Georgia.

Ronald L. Vaughn, Ph.D.
President

University of South Florida

 

 

The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is a Top 50 research university, among both public and private institutions nationwide in total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving nearly 48,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.5 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.




Rhea Law

Rhea Law is a proud fifth-generation Floridian who is passionate about the success of the state. Actively involved in corporate, public policy, civic and charitable work, Law holds top leadership positions with many Florida-based organizations. She received gubernatorial appointments to serve on the inaugural Board of Trustees for the University of South Florida, as well as the Board of the Florida Council of 100, the public policy liaison with Florida’s governor, cabinet, legislative leadership and Supreme Court. Rhea served as Chair of the Board for both organizations. Further, she served on the Presidential Search Committee for the University of South Florida in 1999 and 2019. In addition, she was a two-time Chair of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and the Tampa Bay Partnership during times of reorganization and expansion. She also served as Chair of the University of South Florida Health Professions Conferencing Corporation which operates the Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation and Chair of the Stetson University College of Law Board of Overseers, as well as serving on the Board of Trustees of Stetson University.

Currently, Law serves on the Board of Directors of Tampa Electric Company, which supplies electricity to the Tampa area, and Peoples Gas, which provides gas throughout Florida. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council, the Tampa Bay Chamber, and on the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center Board of Directors and National Board of Advisors. As a member of the USF President’s Council Society, she is among honored donors who have made a lifetime commitment of $100,000 or more or a legacy gift to USF.

Law is the former CEO and Chair of the Board of Fowler White Boggs, a Florida law firm. She led the merger of Fowler with a national firm, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney in 2014 where she continued to serve as Chair, Florida Offices until 2021. The consolidation of the firms created a powerhouse firm with law offices throughout the country and hundreds of lawyers who specialize in a broad spectrum of business areas such as Energy, Finance, Healthcare and Life Sciences.

Her areas of practice included higher education, economic development, government, environment and land use. Over the course of her 35-year-plus career, Law has worked with clients on land use and strategic planning to meet the needs of a growing Florida.

Recent recognitions include:

  • Florida Trend magazine: Named to Florida 500 – Florida’s Most Influential Business Leaders – since 2018; Living Legend in 2021.
  • Tampa Bay Business Journal: Named #6 in the Power 100 – Tampa Bay’s Most Powerful Business Leaders with greatest impact and influence on the local business community.
  • Tampa Bay Times: Named one of the Top 25 Most Influential Business Players in Tampa Bay.
  • The Best Lawyers in America® and Florida Super Lawyers since 2006; “Lawyer of the Year,” Best Lawyers list and in the Top 50 Female Lawyers.

 

 

Rhea Law
President

Saint Leo University

 

 

Saint Leo University is a regionally accredited, liberal-arts-based institution known for an inclusive Catholic heritage, enduring values and capacity for innovation. The school was chartered in 1889 by Catholic Benedictine monks in rural Pasco County, making Saint Leo the first Catholic college in the state. Over its long history, Saint Leo has provided access to education to people of all faiths, emphasizing the Benedictine philosophy of balanced growth of mind, body and spirit. The university welcomes learners from all generations and backgrounds, from civilian occupations and the armed forces and from all 50 states and more than 80 nations. Saint Leo’s 16,000+ undergraduate and graduate students study at the beautiful University Campus, at more than 40 teaching locations in seven states or online from other locations. The university’s degree programs range from the associate to the doctorate. Throughout these rich offerings, Saint Leo develops principled leaders for a challenging world.




Jeffrey D. Senese

Dr. Jeffrey D. Senese was named president of Saint Leo University in July 2018 after serving as the university’s first provost. Previously, Dr. Senese was provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at Cardinal Stritch University. He has held similar academic positions throughout his career, including: vice provost, vice president of Academic Affairs, and professor at Johnson and Wales University; vice president of Academic Affairs, dean of faculty, and professor at Philadelphia University; and vice president of Academic Affairs and professor at Mount Ida College. He also has extensive work experience in Asia, Europe, and South America. Dr. Senese earned a B.S. in the Administration of Justice from the Pennsylvania State University; an M.A. in criminology from Indiana State University; and a Ph.D. in multidisciplinary social sciences from the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University.

Jeffrey D. Senese
Ph.D., President

Hillsborough Community College

 

 

Hillsborough Community College is a comprehensive community college located in Tampa. Founded in 1968, HCC serves over 46,000 students annually at five campuses, three centers and through online offerings. The college offers more than 160 academic programs including the associate in arts and associate in science degrees, college credit certificates and postsecondary adult vocational certificates. Hillsborough Community College employs more than 2,500 and has an annual budget of $212 million. Approximately 85 percent of all HCC graduates remain in the area, and through their contributions in increased business productivity combined with college operations contribute to an annual economic impact of over $1.1 billion in Hillsborough County. HCC is the fifth largest community college in Florida and is the nation’s fifth leading producer of associate degrees among two-year community colleges. HCC is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.




Dr. Ken Atwater

Dr. Ken Atwater became the seventh president of Hillsborough Community College (HCC) on July 1, 2010. He is the past chairman of the board of directors of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), serves on the Museum of Science & Industry’s National Board, and became the chairman on October 1, 2016 of the Tampa-Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation.

Dr. Atwater earned his Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky.

Dr. Ken Atwater
President