La SÚtima                     

 Newsletter of the  Ybor City Chamber of Commerce

March 2011

A Special Thanks
For Joining To


Horse Power For Kids

Armando Gont

8005 Racetrack Road

Tampa, FL 33635


Elliott Wheeler Architect

Elliott Wheeler

3419 South Drexel Avenue

Tampa, FL 33629


A Note Of Appreciation  

To Renewed Members


Cookie Rodante Spoto

Tampa, FL 33614


Allen Temple A.M.E. Church

Michael  K. Bouie

2101 North Lowe Street

Tampa, FL 33605


CODA Sound

Maritza Astorquiza

4819 North Hale Avenue

Tampa, FL 33614


Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT

Tom Brice

5010 West Kennedy Boulevard, 2nd Floor

Tampa, FL 33609


Game Time

Jessica Cronk

1600 East 8th Avenue, A-147

Tampa, FL 33605


Grimaldi Insurance, Inc.

AJ Grimaldi, II

238 East Davis Boulevard, Suite 309

Tampa, FL 33606


Joffrey's Coffee & Tea Company

Jessica Valdes

1600 East 8th Avenue, E-100

Tampa, FL 33605


Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research, Inc

Jason K. Woody

1410 North 21st Street

Tampa, FL 33605


McDonalds/J & I Management Co., Inc.

Juan Vazquez

2101 East 13th Avenue

Tampa, FL 33605 


Sabella Tours

Tom & Vilma Sabella

Tampa, FL 33614


The Salvador Dali Museum

Yvonne Marrullier

One Dali Boulevard 

St. Petersburg, FL 33701


Tre Amici @ The Bunker

Jessica Stehlik

1907 North 19th Street

Tampa, FL 33605


Wallace & Son Printing Co.

Darrell Wallace

1618 East 2nd Avenue

Tampa, FL 33605


Click on a company name to learn more about your fellow members.


Ybor Chamber Member Spotlight


If you are in need of an executive search firm, you do not have to look further than Ybor City. Gerard Alexander Consulting Group, one of the top executive search firms in the country, has been located in Ybor City since 2001. Housed in Historic Ybor Square until their recent move to Centro Ybor, Gerard Alexander specializes in executive search and recruitment, outplacement, staff consulting and employee profiling.


Not only a top-quality executive search firm, Gerard Alexander is also a great place to work. Nominated as one of the "Best Places to Work" in Tampa for four consecutive years and winning in 2007 & 2008, Gerard Alexander is described by its employees as "one of the most unique and rewarding environments in which one could work."


Charles "Chuck" Windish, Sr. VP and Managing Director, can be seen working at his desk in Centro Ybor. Walk by and wave. He'll wave back.


Charles Windish

Gerard Alexander Consulting Group

1600 E. 8th Avenue, Suite A-106

Tampa, FL 33605


Board of Directors


Executive Committees


Chair of the Board

Arturo Fuente, Jr.

Tampa Sweethearts Cigar Company


Chair Elect

Andrea White

Bright House Networks


Vice-chair Events

David Alvarez



Vice-chair Membership

Bryan Clancy

Hampton Inn & Suites Tampa/ Ybor City


Vice-chair Marketing

Marc Hamburg

Florida Real Estate Associates, LLC



Andrea Gonzmart

Columbia Restaurant Group



JoAnn Cornelius

Tampa Digital Studios


Immediate Past Chair

Angela Rodante

Swope, Rodante P.A.




Michelle Cardamone

Hilton Garden Inn Ybor City


Richard Chad

Highland Properties of Tampa Bay, Inc.


Kristopher E. Fernandez

Kristopher Fernandez, Attorney at Law


Sandra Fernandez-Lopez

Awnclean Diversified Services


Gassen Gutierrez



David Harvey

M&J Wilkow (Centro Ybor)


Gino Iavarone

Carmine's Restaurant


Dave Kemper

WilsonMiller Stantec


Wes Miller   

My Garden


Damon Shiver

The Don Vicente de Ybor Historic Inn


Ken Soule



Sarah Tildsley



John Trujillo

GTE Federal Credit Union


Jaclyn Witmer

United Way of Tampa Bay


Elliott Wheeler

Chancey Design Partnership


Appointed Directors


Chantal Hevia

Ybor City Museum Society


Vince Pardo

Ybor City Development Corporation


Dr. Shawn Robinson

HCC - Ybor City Campus


Directors Emeritus


Dick Greco, Former Tampa Mayor


Rafael Martinez-Ybor

Arturo Funte Jr. Headshot

Chair's Message



We could not have asked for better weather for Fiesta Day!  I was proud of Ybor City as I walked up and down La Setima with our President.  The majority of vendors in the Sabor de Ybor were our own restaurants.  Tom and I checked out the BB&T race car and learned that it had been in the Daytona 500 just the week before. 


We all miss the days of the "free soup" for the touristas.  However, this 64 year-old event has taken a decidedly modern and business oriented twist.  Carmine's had their original deviled crabs and Spanish bean soup for sale.  I ran into many old friends as we weighed into the crowd at 7th and Angela Oliva.  The Maxima Stage was exceptional and featured three top Latin Bands from the Bay Area.  I caught Danny Lozada along with his wife Haifa and their band performing some fantastic salsa. And yes, as the recently elected Alcalde de Ybor Tom Keating promised, there was "dancing in the streets." 


We took a few moments to drop-by our Sponsor Hospitality Center at La Terrazza, where Luigi, Andrea and Maria demonstrated what true Ybor hospitality is like everyday.  We stopped at the Columbia Restaurant's booth, where they were serving their top-of-the-line seafood paella; there was a nice line, so we moved on down the road.  I later heard that they had over 600 customers.


At 16th street, we browsed the work of students from UT, USF, HCC and IAD&T and young professionals from the Ybor Art Association in our Arte de Ybor Gallery.  Back on La Setima, I stopped to talk to a young craftswoman that makes beautiful purses out of Cigar boxes - she had a rare 8-5-8 Fuente "sun-grown."


On the way down to 15th Street, we stopped to talk to Steve Bird proprietor of the New World Brewery.  While Steve's venue is on 8th Avenue in the 1300 Block, he decided to promote his business and support the community by having a booth on 7th Avenue.  We sampled his barbecue pork sliders.  Tom said, "You think this is good; try his chicken - you don't even need sauce."


I want to thank our committee and staff for all the hard work, dedication and commitment in making this year's event a huge success. Muchas gracias to our sponsors, participating members, and volunteers.  Your support is what has kept this traditional celebration alive for 64 years!


Hasta la proxima (until next time),


Arturo Fuente, Jr.

 Fiesta Day 2011

Photos Courtesy of James Adair


          2011 Fiesta Day pic2011 Fiesta Day paella pic2011 Fiesta Day hair pic

           2011 Fiest Day Danny Pic


Chamber Happenings


March 8- Ybor Chamber Membership Luncheon, Tues. 11:45AM- 1:15PM- The Ybor Chamber has extended invitations to the Mayoral candidates to make presentations at the March chamber membership luncheon. The March luncheon is sponsored by the Ybor City Museum Society. Look for the luncheon registration in your email.


March 17- PM Networking Event at Club Skye, Thurs. 5:30-7:30PM- Mark your calendars now for networking on St. Patrick's Day! Sandwiches, cheeses, veggies and desserts will be served. Come out for Green beer and drink specials. You just might catch a leprechaun or at least have some good luck rub off on you!


April 9 & 10- The 5th Annual Ybor Aficionado Days, Sat. & Sun.- Mark your calendars now for the 5th Annual Ybor Aficionado Days.  This celebration of the first manufactured cigar in Ybor City will feature a Tapas Trail of Ybor's finest restaurants with an After Party/ Smoker at the Italian Club on Saturday night, and a traditional Spanish brunch on Sunday at the world famous Columbia Restaurant. 813.241.8838



Events & Announcements Around the District


March 3-18- Independent Women: An Artist, Faculty and Student Event- The Ybor School of Visual and Performing Arts Gallery presents work by HCC's directed independent study photography students and art faculty member Suzanne Camp Crosby. The opening reception is Thursday, March 3rd from 5:30PM to 8PM. Call for gallery hours. 813.253.7674


March 5- The Venetian Carnival in Tampa, Sat. 7:30PM- The Italian Club will host a masquerade dinner dance that is being called a step into a lucid dream. For more details call 813.766.8441 or go to   


March 5- Ybor City Mardi Gras Ball Xtreme, Sat. 7PM- The Don Vicente Historic Inn will host the Ybor Art Project for an evening of entertainment, food and drink. Get your tickets by visiting    


March 5- Florida Brewers Guild 2011 Beerfest, Sat. 12:30- 11:30PM- Come out and sample over 100 of Florida's best craft beers at this year's Beerfest! Attendees have access to unlimited beer tasting with their Florida Brewers Guild glass. Get your tickets early; 2008, 2009, and 2010 were complete sell-outs!


March 11- Rough Riders Annual St. Patrick's Trolley Hop, Fri. 6- 12PM- The event is open to all Krewes, the public and their guests. Check in from 6 to 7 PM. For tickets call 813-727-9616


March 12- Rough Riders' St. Patrick's Parade , Sat. 8- 9:30PM- If you haven't had your fill of beads and revelry then maybe the Rough Riders' annual celebration of St. Patty will tip your scale in festive Irish spirit. Come down for the wearin' o' the green. 813.248.1898


March 15- A Farewell Tribute to The Honorable Pam Iorio Mayor of Tampa, Tues. 11:30AM- 1:30PM- Join the Phoenix House at their fourth annual Humanitarian of the Year Award luncheon as Mayor Iorio gets awarded with the Phoenix House Humanitarian of the Year Award. The luncheon will be held at St. Lawrence's Higgins Hall. Please RSVP by Friday, March 4. 813.881.1000 x6606


March 19- Meet the Artist: Tim Parker, Sat. 10AM- 2PM- The Singing Stone will once again feature a live meet and greet this time featuring Tim Parker.  Tim's art works ranges in styles from Classical Paintings and Tropical Themes to Contemporary Abstract Art. 813. 247. 2787


March 23 thru 27- The 9th Annual Ybor Festival of the Moving Image-  The festival explores the cinematic mindscape of independent filmmakers, with a strong focus on Florida filmmakers and artists. Included in the eclectic mix are live performances, art, music and dance-- including exciting new work by NYC performance artist Pat Oleszko, Francesca Talenti installations, and works by Margaret Ross Tolbert. 813-259-6419


April 2- The 10th Annual 5K Race for Sight:Roar Through Ybor, Sat. 6:30AM- Get registered for a race to benefit the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research. The race will honor males and females in 11 age divisions with awards as well as an after race celebration, and prize, t-shirt and goodie bag give-a-ways.register online at 813.289.1200


Recruiting Artists For Man On The Moon- Square One is is looking for artists interested in showing at their 4th Spring creative and performing arts showcase.  The event is being held Saturday, April 2nd from 7PM to midnight at the Ritz Ybor. Sign up before it's to late! Email for more information.

Aficionados 2011 Ad