Tampa Bay Business Women Awards 2023: Kelly Flannery

Kelly Flannery is the president and chief executive officer of the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

She graduated from Florida State University with a B.S. in Political Science. Prior to her work at the Chamber, her background includes sales, marketing and management for ClubCorp, Marriott, Front Burner Brands and Millennium Copthorne Hotels. 

She received her Florida Certified Chamber Professional designation, which is shared with only 18 chamber executives in the State of Florida, according to nomination materials. The FCCP designation was a multi-year process that required a minimum of five years of senior-level leadership, continuing education, letters of reference and a written dissertation reviewed by industry peers. 

In 2022, Flannery received the Air Force Commander’s Award for Public Service, in recognition of her volunteer work serving military members and their families. 

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST PROFESSIONAL MOMENT? 

When I first came to the South Tampa Chamber, in 2013, we were a failing organization, depleting membership, losing money and only one full-time staff member. Over the past ten years, our membership has grown in size, more than doubled our revenue and we continue to strengthen our team. To see our organization succeed and become a leader in our community has been an incredible experience. Under my leadership, the South Tampa Chamber is one of less than 20 chambers in the State of Florida to be designated a Certified Chamber+ by the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals and was recently re-certified in 2022. 

WHO HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST MENTOR AND WHAT HAVE THEY TAUGHT YOU? 

I lead an all-female staff. And while I am their employer and want them to remain with our organization for as long as possible, I also want to prepare them, to the best of my ability, for whatever their next chapter may be. As important as it is to succeed, I believe it is equally important to fail and I provide a place for them to experiment and fail in a safe environment. 

 

 

 

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