A Message From Our President - October 2021


As we come away from what was a very successful in-person event at Casa Santo Stefano, it’s great to look back and appreciate what we have come through in the last year and a half. Taking over the presidency at this interesting time is a challenge, and with all challenges, opportunities are buried within them.

Joanne did a great job last year as President holding the chapter together and it is now up to me to provide the leadership to get the chapter growing again. To do this, the board and the chapter need your help. If you know anyone in your circle who could benefit from FEI membership, please consider referring them. There are a couple of great opportunities to join or renew at heavily discounted rates.

While we lost some members due to the pandemic, at the last meeting we were able to announce 5 new members, and the even better news is that 3 of the 5 new members are women. We want to be a diverse and inclusive group since that will make the chapter stronger. 

Jim Parker and the rest of the programs committee have put together a strong program for in-person meetings for the 2021-2022-chapter year. There should be an event in there that will appeal to every financial leader in the Tampa Bay Area.

As I reflect on our meeting at Casa Santo Stefano, I am reminded of what makes the Tampa Bay FEI chapter great. I moved to the area over a decade ago and I didn’t know a soul except my coworkers, and some of them not even so well. When FEI found me, the chapter embraced me, and I was able to meet and become friends with the heart of the Tampa Bay business community.

At our meeting, we learned all about Yuengling’s history and their future plans to develop deeper ties to the Tampa Bay community.  Most importantly, we learned about Dick Yuengling’s vision for his 5th generation 150-year-old, family-owned business.  It was not lost on anyone that the event was held at the newest restaurant operated by Tampa’s own 4th generation 115-year-old, family-owned business.  Several members and sponsors offered to make introductions to the Gonzmart family, because what was clear was that the two CEO’s are aligned on their business philosophies and would likely become friends. That is the power of networking and the power of FEI.

As always, we welcome your potential member referrals, comments, suggestions and participation. I look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events.

Rob Taylor
FEI Tampa Bay Chapter