The "new" Tampa Bay Partnership regional economic development group was unveiled Monday with veteran business leader Rhea Law, Florida head of the Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney law firm, serving as the partnership's first chairman.
She's backed by an 18-member governing council composed of area CEOs and presidents, and a secondary 19-member leadership council of area executives. Both groups are likely to grow in size over time. Florida Blue's David Pizzo, market president of the health insurer's west Florida region, will serve as the partnership's secretary/treasurer.
As planned, the partnership began its new fiscal year Oct. 1 as a privately funded advocacy organization, governed by a what it calls "regionally minded" CEOs.
"The great thing about these CEOs around the table is they expect results and they expect big returns," Tampa Bay Partnership CEO Rick Homans said Monday. "They are challenging this organization and this community to move to a different level."
The group also identified two working policy groups established to focus on priorities.
A transportation working group will examine the current and future state of transportation in Tampa Bay. Vology CEO Barry Shevlin and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik of Strategic Property Partners will co-chair the group. A second group chaired by Sykes Enterprises CEO Chuck Sykes will develop a set of regional economic indicators to help better measure Tampa Bay's progress — or lack of it — on a range of economic development measurements.
Homans, who previously ran the Tampa Hillsborough EDC, was named CEO of the partnership late last year and charged to reinvent the group and refocus its resources on area assets of regional value. Those assets include, among other things, the University of South Florida system, Tampa International Airport, area pro sports teams, MacDill Air Force Base and its CentCom/SOCom headquarters, major ports and mass transportation.
Contact Robert Trigaux at [email protected] Follow @venturetampabay.