Meet the EEVF Funding Committee members. A high impact collection of community engaged professionals
President, Commercial Laundries of
West Florida, Inc.
I operate a company which provides Commercial Coin and Card Operated Laundry Equipment to multi-family properties of all types through out Florida. We also build laundromats. I started the company in 1980 and have grown the company to cover most of Florida. I am past president of FMLA which is the Florida Multi-Housing Laundry association. Through out the years I also operated a Coin-Operated Air-Vacuum company in Florida servicing clients such as Circle K. I also operated Pay Phones across the country until their demise due to cell phones. My company operates out of our corporate office located just north of the Tampa Airport. Over the last several years I have been a sponsor of the Susie Steiner Community Impact Award.
Founder & CEO, Bavaro Hospitality, Inc.
Dan Bavaro is the Founder and CEO of Bavaro Hospitality which operates multiple Italian restaurants throughout the Tampa Bay area, all within their commercially held properties. The restaurants are known for the wood fired ovens brought in from Italy and fresh ingredients used to create homemade masterpieces. Bavaro’s packages their own line of gourmet pasta sauces and has distributed them nationally to some of the country’s top retailers such as Costco and Whole Foods. Prior to founding Bavaro’s in 2009, Dan along with his wife Anna-Maria and five children, lived in New Jersey. At the age of 19, Dan Bavaro started a luxury transportation business which grew into one of the top in the area, chauffeuring some of the most wealthy and famous celebrities in the world. In 2005, Dan sold the company and put his energy and resources into creating what Bavaro’s is today.
Randy Blass, Phd
Executive Director, Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship
Randy Blass is currently the Executive Director of the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship and a Jim Moran Professor in the College of Business at Florida State University. Additionally, he is the Executive Director of the College's Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program and the Center for Veteran Outreach (CVO). He is also a Senior Research Fellow in the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) and recently served on the Small Business Administration’s Council on Underserved Communities. Blass is also a 25 year veteran of the USAF with extensive operational experience in training and development and tactical and strategic planning.
Ginger Clark, PhD
VP, Academic Affairs, Hillsborough Community College
Dr. Clark currently serves as Vice President of Academic Affairs at HCC where she provides leadership for 150+ academic programs. In 2008, Dr. Clark was instrumental in establishing HCC's first entrepreneurship program and she continues to support entrepreneurship activities across the Tampa Bay region. The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) selected Dr. Clark as one of eight inaugural ambassadors for entrepreneurship advocacy across the country. She serves on the Boards of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, CareerSource Tampa Bay, and the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council. She is a graduate of the League of Innovation’s Executive Leadership Institute (ELI) and Leadership Tampa.
Irv joins partner Dave Chitester in founding Seedfunders, which provides funding and mentoring for pre-revenue technology concepts.
Today Irv is an active investor in five early stage companies, supports the development of Florida Funders, and is highly engaged in the nonprofit sector. As an investor he looks for cutting edge innovation through keeping his finger on the pulse and seeks effective, passionate entrepreneurs that share his enthusiasm for business growth. As a philanthropist he maintains these principles through holding positions on the executive committees of all nonprofits he engages and seeks social enterprises that tie with his overall vision. Some of his involvement include joining the Board of The Pinellas County Urban League, overseeing USF’s incubator and mentoring early stage companies as well as Social Venture Partners (SVP) offering leadership and funding to developing nonprofits.
Becky Corbin, Ed.D
President & CEO, National Association for Community College Education (NACCE)
Dr. Corbin is .a leading non-profit membership organization dedicated to increasing entrepreneurship offerings and thinking at over 300 community colleges across the country. Prior to NACCE, Rebecca served as Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the BCC Foundation at Burlington County College (BCC). With her leadership, a new workforce development initiative at BCC was successfully launched that combined grants, philanthropy, business incubation, the corporate college, workforce development, and the Foundation under one umbrella on the college campus.
Entrepreneur, Instant Systems & Co-Founder, Redbox
Founded several companies. Redbox being the largest. Currently partner with Instant Systems in Sweden
Senior Manager, Ernst & Young
Liz is a senior manager in the EY Tampa office and has more than 18 years of public accounting experience, serving private and public companies in all stages of growth. She has served on several multi-national engagements which have required her to work with EY audit teams around the globe. She has served professional services, retail, manufacturing financial service companies, non-profit organizations and hospitals. Liz has significant experience working with international Private Equity portfolio companies.
Liz has two years of experience working in private industry developing a Sarbanes-Oxley compliant internal audit department for a telecommunications manufacturer. She also serves as a Private Client Services (PCS) leader in the Southeast region providing support to teams across the region on EY’s PCS audit methodology. She is also an active member of the revenue recognition expert network for EY in the Southeast US.
Andy Gold, PhD
Assistant Professor, Hillsborough Community College & Co-Founder of Operation Startup
A long time social entrepreneur and educator. Dr. Gold is an internal entrepreneurial evangelist at Hillsborough Community College. Gold has started several businesses over the past 25 years. Prior to that, Dr. Gold had a 12 year career on Wall Street, serving several investment banks as a Senior Market Strategist
Diana Hechavarria, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of South Florida
Diana is an Assistant Professor in the Muma College of Business at the University of South Florida. Her research and teaching focuses on understanding the way gender impacts venturing in both commercial and social entrepreneurship.
Assistant Professor, Hillsborough Community College & Co-Founder, Operation Startup
Beth Kerly, MBA, is a full-time tenured business faculty member at Hillsborough Community College, and will join the adjunct faculty at the University of Tampa in 2015. In addition to her teaching activities, Kerly serves as the co-founder of the HCC Entrepreneurship and Innovation program. She actively works in promoting and building community and business relationships for HCC and its students. Before joining HCC, Ms. Kerly founded BK Consulting, a business and marketing advisory service company. In the 1990’s, Kerly was involved in another startup, Conectiv Communications, a telecommunications service provider, where she served as the manager of innovative programs.
Director, Economic Development, Hillsborough County
Lindsey Kimball joined the Hillsborough County team in 2012. In her role as Economic Development Director, she oversees all strategic and operational aspects of the Department which include Corporate Development, Entrepreneurial Services, Disadvantaged Minority and Small Business Development, Redevelopment, Competitive Sites, Agribusiness Development, Compliance, Business Intelligence and Tourism Development. Her leadership drives a team of professionals focused on increasing economic prosperity in the County through a wide spectrum of pro-business initiatives that are accountable and transparent. Ms. Kimball's negotiation and deal have resulted in projects announcing nearly 21,000 jobs and more than $1.7 billion in capital investment.
Chief Lending Officer, Suncoast Credit Union
With over 37 years of credit union experience, Victoria G. Lovett is the chief lending officer of Suncoast Credit Union. Lovett is responsible for consumer, credit cards and mortgage lending as well as the business development area.
Beyond her chief lending officer duties, Lovett is a member of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Lending Council having served as past chairperson of the Member Resource Committee, and as a member of the Executive Committee, as well as a past member of the Leadership Committee of the Florida Credit Union League’s Lending Council. She currently serves on the Mortgage Cadence LFC Executive Advisory Board.
Director of Development, Hillsborough Community College
Lee Lowry is the Director of Development of the Hillsborough Community College Foundation. Her past and present community leadership roles include Chair of the Hillsborough County Citizens Advisory Committee, Chair of The Junior Leagues of Florida State Public Affairs Committee, member of the Hillsborough County Commission on the Status of Women, and Mayoral Appointee to the Tampa Police Department’s Citizen Review Board. Ms. Lowry served as 2013-2014 President of The Junior League of Tampa (JLT), the influential women’s leadership and service organization. JLT is now one of the 10 largest Leagues in the world.
VP of Operations and Planning, Rooms To Go Corporation
I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and immigrated to Providence, Rhode Island in 1979. Following my graduation from high school in 1984, I attended Harvard College, where I received a BA in Economics in 1988. In 1993, I completed an MBA degree at Columbia Business School. In 1999, I moved to Tampa and began working at Rooms To Go, where I am currently VP of Operations and Planning. My wife and I have 3 kids, a sophomore in college, a senior in high school, and an eighth grader. My wife is a practicing OBGYN at Women's Care of Florida. I enjoy working out, spinning, and spending time with my family.
Principal, Everyday Entrepreneur Venture Fund
Vince Murphy, an MBA graduate of Chicago Booth, is a veteran of the retail, consumer packaged goods, and beverage businesses, and has built brands, organizations, and market share for leading companies in each of those arenas. His diverse experience includes merchandise importing and store management, brand management in the mass grocery and drug channels, and global marketing and strategic sourcing.
In the non-profit domain, Vince holds board directorships in the Community College and Community Healthcare sectors, reflecting his priority around enabling those that are underserved but highly deserving. He devotes extensive time to advancing entrepreneurship via mentoring and advisory engagement with students and state/municipal projects and envisions EEVF leaving a footprint of energized college and community initiatives that transform careers and contribute meaningfully to local economies.
Naeem Randhawa started more than six companies in ecommerce and real estate. An accredited angel investor, national speaker, Amazon best-selling author, and serves as a mentor with CrowdSmart, EO. Naeem and his wife were awarded the Award of Excellence for their global humanitarian work. Sold and managed over $250 Million in technology at Fortune 1000 companies like KPMG, Pepsi, Bowing, FedEx, State of Texas, Walmart, and the Government of Afghanistan. Naeem has launched multiple eCommerce companies, generating over $5 MM, currently a top 10% sales firm across Amazon. Also launched training aspiring entrepreneurs sales and product launch strategies. In 2016, launched HalalSky.com, the world’s first Halal crowdfunding equity platform for real estate investors.
CT Equity Group
Bio coming soon.
Investor, Entrepreneur & Former President of Valpak
After serving 23 year at Cox Target Media, including roles as President of Valpak and Executive Vice President at Cox Target Media, Jim founded CIHU LLC "Can I Help U?" in retirement, helping friends and business associates to take their businesses to the next level.
Jim is engaged as Founder, Advisor and/or Investor to: Live Water Sports(Paddle-boards), Sky Data Ventures(Unmanned Arial Vehicles), Sterling Payment Technologies(Credit/debit solution provider), Valpak, and Shinn and Company(Tax, Compliance and Consulting), savvycard.com (Mobile Web Application Provider), Prime Medical Apparel(Anti-Microbial Textile), and Performance Health Applied Technologies(PTSD and Brain Trauma). Jim also serves on various Boards including: Tampa Bay Partnership, University of Dayton, Florida is for Veterans Inc., SunTrust Bank, Now Up Foundation(www.nowupfoundation.org , serving Professional Athletes after their sports careers)and Vision Integrated Graphics(Personalized Direct Marketing Communications Platform) and the Tampa Bay Defense Alliance.
Executive Director, Hillsborough Community College Foundation
*Born Tampa, Florida- November 18, 1960
*3rd Generation Tampan
*Grandfather Lester Shear came to Tampa in 1916 and owned a pawn shop in downtown Tampa called Tampa Loan Company for 66 years.
*Father David Shear practiced law in Tampa for 52 years and was a Past President of the Florida and Hillsborough County Bar Associations
*Two daughters- Taylor (24), Laine (22)
CEO, Embarc Collective
Lakshmi Shenoy is a recent transplant to the Tampa Bay region and is the CEO of Embarc Collective, formerly known as the Tampa Bay innovation hub. Embarc Collective exists to help Tampa Bay a prime destination for diverse startup talent and to be a central landing zone for the Tampa Bay startup community. Before moving to Tampa Bay, Lakshmi was in Chicago and served as the Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at 1871, the #1 university-affiliated business incubator in the world. Prior to 1871, Lakshmi focused on growth strategies for a variety of businesses through her work at Prophet Brand Strategy, Time Inc., Procter & Gamble and Leo Burnett. She has a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from the University of Chicago and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Lakshmi was recognized as one of 20 Rising Brand Stars by AdAge in 2017.
Principal, Everyday Entrepreneur Venture Fund
Chip Weismiller, a graduate in Entrepreneurship at Babson College in 1974, has owned a wide variety of businesses in industries such as Agricultural biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, construction, specialty chemicals as well as working with 12 distressed companies as a turnaround specialist. In 2016 he successfully sold his international alcohol company to work with the community college population. He has personally mentored over 25 students and entrepreneurs. He is keenly aware of the unique challenges the traditional community college student faces. He is committed full-time to help this student population make a meaningful improvement in their family economics and community connections through strategically smarter self-employment.
Principal, Everyday Entrepreneur Venture Fund
Stuart has a long history in financial services and consulting as an executive with industry leaders and as Managing Partner of Marketing Tactics, Inc. (MTI), a consultancy specializing in business and marketing strategy. In addition to her consulting firm, Stuart has launched many consumer and B2B business ventures. She is currently President of the Board of Directors and serves on the Development Committee and the Entrepreneurship Task Force.
Stuart received her BA in psychology and studio art from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1972 and completed Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development in 1980.