Thanks to the generosity of the Everyday Entrepreneur Venture Fund, HCC was selected to provide a matching $500,000 seed fund to everyday entrepreneurs.. This group of high-impact, engaged professionals helps guide the funding opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Mike Albanese, President, Commercial Laundries of West Florida, Inc.
Commercial Laundries of West Florida, Inc. provides multi-family properties with commercial coin and card operated laundry equipment and builds laundromats throughout Florida. Mike started the company in 1980 and previously operated a coin-operated air-vacuum company servicing clients such as Circle K and serviced pay phones across the country (until their demise due to cell phones). The business's corporate office is located just north of the Tampa Airport. Mike is the past president of the Florida Multi-Housing Laundry association (FMLA) and has been a generous sponsor of the Susie Steiner Community Impact Award for several years.
Dan Bavaro, Founder & CEO of Bavaro Hospitality, Inc.
Since 2005, Bavaro Hospitality has operated several Italian restaurants in the Tampa Bay area that create homemade masterpieces with fresh ingredients and Italian wood fired ovens. They package their own line of gourmet pasta sauces and distribute them nationally to top retailers such as Whole Foods and Costco. Prior to founding Bavaro’s in 2009, Dan and his wife Anna-Maria and their five children, lived in New Jersey where Dan 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.
Randy Blass, Ph.D., Executive Director, Jim Moran Institute of Global Entrepreneurship
Executive Director of the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship and a Jim Moran Professor in the College of Business at Florida State University, Dr. Blass is also 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.
Becky Corbin, Ed.D., President & CEO, National Association for Community College Education (NACCE)
NACCE 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. Under her leadership, Dr. Corbin launched a new workforce development initiative at BCC that combined grants, philanthropy, business incubation, the corporate college, workforce development, and the Foundation under one umbrella.
Liz Fabi-Piller, Senior Manager, Ernst & Young
Liz is a senior manager in the Ernst & Young (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.
Andy Gold, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, HCC and Co-Founder of the InLab@HCC
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, Ph.D., 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.
Beth Kerly, MBA, Associate Professor, HCC and Co-Founder of the InLab@HCC
Beth is a full-time tenured business faculty member at Hillsborough Community College, and joined the adjunct faculty at the University of Tampa in 2015. In addition to her teaching activities, Kerly serves as the co-founder of the InLab@HCC. She actively works to promote and build 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.
Lindsey Kimball, Director, Economic Development, Hillsborough County
In her role as Economic Development Director, Lindsey oversees all strategic and operational aspects of the EDC 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 leadership has resulted in projects announcing nearly 21,000 jobs and more than $1.7 billion in capital investment.
Vicki Lovett, Chief Lending Officer, Suncoast Credit Union
With over 37 years of credit union experience, Victoria G. Lovett is responsible for consumer, credit cards and mortgage lending as well as the business development area at Suncoast Credit Union. 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.
Lee Lowry, Director of Development, Hillsborough Community College
Ms. Lowry's 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. She served as 2013-2014 President of The Junior League of Tampa (JLT), the influential women’s leadership and service organization which is one of the 10 largest Leagues in the world.
Richard Miller, VP, Operations and Planning, Rooms To Go, Inc.
Mr. Miller was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and immigrated to Providence, Rhode Island in 1979. Following graduation from high school he received a BA in Economics from Harvard College. In 1993, he completed an MBA degree at Columbia Business School. In 1999, Mr. Miller moved to Tampa and to work at Rooms To Go, where he is the current VP of Operations and Planning. Mr. Miller and his wife, who is a practicing OBGYN at Women's Care of Florida have three children. He enjoys working out, spinning, and spending time with his family.
Vince Murphy, 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 who are under-served 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, Investor Entrepreneur
Naeem Randhawa started 6+ companies in ecommerce and real estate. He is 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. Mr. Randhawa sold and managed over $250 million in technology and 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.
Steve Shear, Executive Director, Hillsborough Community College Foundation
Steve was born in Tampa and is a proud third generation Tampa native. His grandfather Lester Shear came to Tampa in 1916 and owned a pawn shop in downtown Tampa called Tampa Loan Company for 66 years. His father, David Shear, practiced law in Tampa for 52 years and was a Past President of the Florida and Hillsborough County Bar Associations. Steve has two daughters, Taylor and Laine.
Lakshmi Shenoy, CEO, Embarc Collective
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 lived 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 B.A. 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.
Chris Taylor, CT Equity Group
Bio to be added soon.
Chip Weismiller, Principal, Everyday Entrepreneur Venture Fund
Chip Weismiller, a graduate of Entrepreneurship at Babson, has owned a wide variety of businesses and industries in 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 25+ students and entrepreneurs. Chip is keenly aware of the unique challenges that traditional community college students face. 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.
Stuart Weismiller, Principal, Everyday Entrepreneur Venture Fund
Stuart has a long history in financial services and consulting as an executive with industry leaders and as a Managing Partner of Marketing Tactics, Inc. (MTI), a consultancy specializing in business and marketing strategy. In addition to her consulting, 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 the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and completed Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development.