Staff Report

BrandonchamberlogoThe Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for the 2015 Leadership Brandon class. Leadership Brandon is the chamber’s community leadership development program, and includes a series of seminars, tours and interactive presentations that highlight various leadership development and community awareness initiatives, mostly held on the third Wednesday of the month. Specific topics and meeting times vary, but will include team building and leadership styles, national, state and local government, tourism and economic development, public and private education, law enforcement and the criminal justice system, print and electronic media, arts and recreation, the role and impact of MacDill Air Force Base in Hillsborough County, transportation issues, social issues and national security.

The most recent class, Leadership Brandon 2014, included the following graduates: Tina Alberts, Center State Bank/Riverview; Todd Allen, Florida Executive Realty; Brad Becherer, Thorntons, Inc.; Scott Behrens, Hillsborough Community College; Mary Boyd, C1 Bank; Jason Brooks, CRG Coaching Partners; Ryan Cabrera, Precision Payments, Inc.; Tracey Corn, Melissa Snively State Farm Insurance; AnnMarie Courtney, Aparicio-Levy Technical Center; Dwayne DeShong, Dwayne DeShong; Sandy DeShong, Dwayne DeShong; Melinda Farmer, Sencommunications, Inc.; Kori Harbaugh, Center State Bank; Deb Long, Bay Water Marketing; Luke Mattson, The Brandon Legal Group; Kristi McCart, Sosa Law Office, P.A.; Stacy McLaughlin, Regions Bank/Causeway Blvd.; Melissa Moore, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office; Walter Perkins, Brandon Bolts Basketball, Inc.; Lt. Col. George Sheers, MacDill Air Force Base Public Affairs, 6th AMW; Jeff Sirmons, Griffin & Associates, P.A.; Michael Soros, CTIS; Chuck Talley, Charles D. Talley, Jr. Ins., Inc.; Christine Taramasco, Brandon Regional Hospital; Tracy Vrabel, Tampa Bay Times.

Tracey Corn from Melissa Snively State Farm Insurance enjoyed the Leadership Brandon experience. “I would absolutely recommend it. Not only did I gain valuable leadership skills and tools, I learned a lot about myself in the process,” Corn said. “It’s is also a great way to connect with fellow business people in the community and make not just business connections, but friendships that will last long after the class is over. Plus you gain access to behind the scenes things in the Tampa Bay Area that you would never be able to experience on your own. It was a wonderful experience.” Corn is thankful she had the opportunity and is now proud to be a Leadership Brandon Alumni.

Nominations can be made by businesses, organizations and individuals (either on behalf of or for herself/himself). Class members will be chosen by a selection committee comprised of community and business leaders including Leadership Brandon Alumni. Nomination forms must be received by The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce on or before Friday, July 11 at 5 p.m. Completion of the nomination or application forms does not guarantee acceptance into the program. A mandatory opening retreat for selected class individuals is scheduled to take place Saturday, September 27.

For additional information or the nomination form, visit or contact Christie Lemar at 689-1221 ext. 8812, or e-mail

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