Happy 2019

We are so excited to start this new year with each of our readers, partners, sponsors and advertisers.  A new year is a great time for resolutions and we are making one to you. This year we will bring you even better content, even better events and even better results!

I hope you’ve already become resolute to making time to read Tampa Bay Business & Wealth when it lands on your desk – you are our purpose in life.   

The mission of TBBW is to highlight the stories of unsung business leaders in Tampa Bay be they women or men, black or white, gay or straight. Diversity is not only important to TBBW, it’s important to business. If you know of someone that has a great story that hasn’t been told, I hope you’ll share their names with us. The more diverse the better, of course. The best stories so far have come from recommendations from you.        

This month we put a big emphasis on Women of Influence, which will continue to be a recurring section in TBBW. There are incredible women doing great things in our community and we want  to shout about them from the rooftops. I know you’ll enjoy reading their stories and learning more about them and their businesses. 

Start with the feature story about women in the cannibus industry. There’s something I never thought I would write! Did you know that women are on the forefront of establishing cannibus-based businesses? 

Is it empathy, ease or just smart business? One thing’s for sure, it’s a major opportunity for those with an entrepreneurial spirit. 

Additionally, we have the second in a two-part series about the women that lead our two major utilities. Yes, two utility companies, and two women at the helm. It’s so exciting! This month we spoke with Catherine Stempian with Duke Energy on her experience in the ever-changing world of power, take a moment to read about the latest developments and how they might affect you.

If you’re looking for some culture, laughter or music to fill your calendar in the New Year don’t miss the preview of the acts coming to the Mahaffey Theater. There’s truly something for everyone, from Swan Lake to an ABBA revival band, and everything in between. 

If you missed our CEO Connect event with Jeff Gigante, you really missed out.  But you can catch up on the conversation in this issue. Gigante was a hoot, and shared some new insights not previously included in his cover-story. Moving forward, I hope you’ll be one of our partners, advertisers or sponsors, so that you can attend – for free – and meet Ben Heldfond, as well as other TBBW cover stars, in person.

I had the pleasure of traveling to Highlands, North Carolina last fall to attend the lauded Food & Wine Festival. It more than exceeded my expectations – and gave me the opportunity to spend some time with an old friend. I know you’ll enjoy reading Dale Gordon’s piece on going from Tampa socialite to Highland’s hiker, and refocusing her priorities. 

If you’re heading to Highland’s yourself, I “highly” recommend the Park on Main hotel – make sure you pack the pooch with you, as this hotel gives “it’s a dog’s life” new meaning.

Speaking of great experiences, put on your golf shoes and get ready for the Valspar Championship, coming in March.  We sat down with Tournament Director Tracy West, and a handful of Copperheads, and truly took a deep dive into why they do what they do, and how. I’ve never seen a more engaged board, and never enjoyed a group interview more. We learned that it really is about charity and community, and not just a golf tournament. If you haven’t attended, you should. If you have attended, get ready for the best year ever. There are new hospitality options and exciting ways to entertain clients. Don’t wait, or I’m confident they will be sold out. 

And finally, we are assembling our Editorial Advisory Board, and using their input to make certain we are delivering great content to you month after month. We know how valuable your time is, and want to make certain that reading TBBW is a valuable use of it. If you’re interested in being part of that exclusive board, please reach out to me directly at [email protected]

Cheers to you, and yours. I’m expecting great things will continue in 2019. New beginnings, new partnerships and new opportunities abound!

Until next month …

Bridgette Bello

CEO & Publisher


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