Appointments at the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA and the Straz Center highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

Published August 18 2017
Updated August 25 2017


The Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA has named Matt Mitchell its new chief executive officer, effective Oct. 16. Selected by the Y's CEO Search Committee after a five-month search, Mitchell will succeed Tom Looby, who is retiring. Looby has served the Y Movement for 37 years, the past 10 in Tampa. Mitchell comes to the Tampa Y with more than 20 years of experience with the Y. For the past five years, he was the executive vice president/chief operating officer of the YMCA of Greater San Antonio, Texas. He holds a bachelor of science degree in kinesiology and exercise science from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.


Patrick Leahy has been named director of programming at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. In his new role, Leahy is responsible for booking programming, including comedy, rock music and other popular entertainment. He joins the Straz Center after a 20-plus-year career in concert programming, event marketing and sales, production and management. Founder of 409 Management & Consulting LLC, Leahy's clients included SeaWorld Entertainment, the Cincinnati Reds, World Beer Festival, Sarasota Blues Festival and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He comes to the Straz after managing the Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers.


Stellar Partners Inc. has appointed Yasmin Sheriff vice president of business development and strategic alliances. Sheriff will be responsible for developing and managing key airport relationships, winning new travel retail contracts and developing strategic partnerships with the small-business community. She joins Stellar with 15 years of airport industry experience related to concessions business development, negotiation of leases and joint-venture agreements.


Shorecrest Preparatory School has made three new hires. Sherri Danyali succeeds Betty Gootson as director of the Experiential School of Tampa Bay. She comes to Shorecrest from the Benjamin School in Palm Beach Gardens with a 20-plus-year career in early-childhood education. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in world religions from the University of Georgia, a master's degree in early-childhood education from Georgia State University and a doctorate in education leadership, curriculum and teaching from Nova Southeastern University. Michael Gillis takes over as the director of advancement from Adrianne Finley Odell, who was recently named head of school at Roycemore School in Evanston, Ill. An alumnus, Gillis studied communication, sociolinguistics and German at the University of Vermont, earning a bachelor of arts degree, and later at the University of Salzburg, Goethe Institute in Austria. He also studied with the Fundraising School as part of the Lily School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. In recent years, he has directed the major gifts program at North County School and a capital campaign for Manhattan Country School. Joining Shore­crest in the newly created director of diversity and inclusion position is Roderick Avery Fludd. The new position implements and measures the diversity initiatives of the school. Fludd, a Columbia, S.C., native, comes to Shorecrest with more than 20 years of experience in education, and 12 years in diversity, inclusion and equity work. Fludd holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg and a master's of education from Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y.

Real estate

Franklin Street has named Laura Roy as property manager for the Morrison, a five-story, mixed-use lifestyle development project in the Soho Corridor of Tampa. The Morrison is scheduled for completion this fall. Before joining Franklin Street, Roy served as the accounting manager for Kinesiomedx in Tampa, where she was responsible for the overall accounting and financial reporting for the company.


The law firm Broad and Cassel LLP announced that David Brickhouse, an associate in the Tampa office, has been elected to the Leadership Tampa Bay board of directors. Brickhouse will serve a one-year term.

The Law Offices of James W. Denhardt announced that Lauren Christ Rubenstein has become a partner in the firm. Rubenstein graduated first in her class from Stetson University College of Law, summa cum laude, in 2013, and has been employed at the Denhardt firm since then. Her areas of practice include civil litigation and trials, wills, trusts and probate, all aspects of local government law and appeals.

Nicholas J. Taldone, a lawyer, arbitrator and mediator with offices in New Port Richey, was appointed special magistrate by the state of Florida Public Employees Relation Commission.

The law firm of Wiand Guerra King announced that Dionne C. Fajardo has been named a shareholder in the firm. Since 2010, Fajardo has led the development of the firm's Compliance and Regulatory Consulting Group. She has 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, serving as an officer of William R. Hough & Co., Hough Group of Funds, InterSecurities Inc. and Transamerica Financial Services Inc. before joining Wiand Guerra King. In addition, the firm is expanding the Compliance and Regulatory Consulting Group Practice with the addition of Trisha L. Cram. She will serve as senior regulatory consultant in the Compliance and Regulatory Consulting Group. Cram has over 17 years of broker-dealer and investment adviser compliance and operations experience.

Email Movers & Shakers to [email protected] with Biz Movers in the subject line and a photo attached.