Thursday, May 24, 2018
Business

Five former Tampa Bay area business leaders: Where are they now?

What are these five notable Tampa Bay business figures up to these days? Let's see:

When Keith Norden arrived in 2008, he ran the Tampa Chamber's Committee of One Hundred. The group morphed into the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp., responsible for recruiting businesses to the area. Norden was squeezed out in favor of new blood, from New Mexico, by the name of Rick Homans. Now Norden's about to land another gig in Florida as president and CEO of Team Volusia, the Daytona Beach economic development group for Volusia County. He steps into the job in October.

After John Long ran the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce for four years, many of the chamber's alienated members were glad to see him step down in 2010. Long wanted to stay in the area, but earlier this year he was named CEO of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce in Virginia. That chamber gave him high praise, noting that "under Long's tutelage, the St. Petersburg Chamber was selected as one of the top three metropolitan chambers on the continent." As to which continent, that might be anyone's guess. St. Pete's chamber, revitalized and finally getting back on firmer financial footing, is run by CEO Chris Steinocher.

Once touted as hotshot area entrepreneur, Tim Roberts suffered a cascade of setbacks as founder and CEO of Ybor City-based Savtira Corp. The tech company promised hundreds of jobs in exchange for $2.65 million in economic incentives by providing businesses with online sales platforms. But failures to make payroll, lawsuits and massive finger-pointing by staff, investors and Roberts sent Savtira into bankruptcy this summer. According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in July converted Savtira's voluntary Chapter 11 filing to reorganize its finances into a Chapter 7 involuntary liquidation. And Roberts? He has a long track record of startups with troubling histories. In July, he formed a Tampa corporation called Goldenheart Holdings LLC. On his LinkedIn account, Roberts says Goldenheart will launch within months backed by investors. We will watch with great interest, as will unpaid Savtira creditors and ex-staffers.

After his long tenure at Tampa International Airport, former CEO Louis Miller moved on to bigger game at Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Tampa Bay didn't lose a beat with the 2011 arrival and go-get-'em style of new TIA CEO Joe Lopano. At Atlanta International, Miller has embraced a distinctly low-tech idea, bringing in 100 sheep to test whether the flock can cost-effectively control weeds at land owned by the airport. We'll get baahk to readers with an update.

• Thaddeus Bereday, the former general counsel of Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans, is one of several top executives of the HMO indicted by a federal grand jury in March 2011. The charge: conspiracy to commit Medicaid fraud and making false statements. His trial is scheduled for early 2013. He also was charged with fraud and insider trading by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Bereday's website says he is the head of a management turnaround consulting firm called Newport Advisors in Tampa.

Contact Robert Trigaux at [email protected]

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