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August 2013  Mid-Month Newsletter
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Thank You To Renewing  Members


Design Styles Architecture

Jason Dickens

1708 East Columbus Drive

Tampa, FL 33605


Electric Glide Tours

Russell Hess

Centro Ybor

Tampa, FL 33605


House Rentals LLC

Ron Rampolla

PO Box 271568

Tampa, FL 33688


J.C. Newman Cigar Company

Eric M. Newman

2701 North 16th Street

Tampa, FL 33605


Muvico Centro Ybor

Robert Boles

Centro Ybor

Tampa, FL 33605


Peter J. Blessin, CLU

Peter Blessin

PO Box 1376

Safety Harbor, FL 34695


Shield Coatings & Weatherproofing, Inc.

Marcy Roy

1028 South 50th Street

Tampa, FL 33619


Tampa Vacation Homes

Tampa, FL



Sidney White

1210 East Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard

Tampa, FL 33603


Ybor City Chiropractic

Erce V. Phillips

1623 East 4th Avenue # 106

Tampa, FL 33605


Yoga Loft Tampa

Ashley Thesier

2002 East 5th Avenue # 102

Tampa, FL 33605

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

Ybor Chamber

Member Spotlight


New Chamber member AnswerFirst, has hit the road running in Ybor. In mid-May they moved their corporate headquarters and call center into their newly renovated, 10,000 square foot building located on
21st Street between 6th and 5th Avenues. AnswerFirst provides answering services, messaging, scheduling, virtual receptionist services, call center and customer service solutions to their more than 1,800 clients.


In July, AnswerFirst participated as an exhibitor in the Chamber's Summer Business Expo: Ybor @ Work. Tricia Thompson, Business Development Coordinator, mentioned to Tom Favata, that only an hour into the Expo, she had gotten three "hot leads."


We really appreciate it when our members take advantage of the Chamber's networking opportunities. AnswerFirst not only participated in Ybor @ Work, but Tricia has been to several of our monthly member luncheons, meeting other chamber members and exchanging business cards. That's what chamber membership is all about.


- Michele Keating


Teri Erickson, Sales Representative


1602 N. 21st Street
Tampa, FL 33605




J.C. Newman Cigar Family To Receive Ybor City Chamber's
Gonzmart Award

The Ybor City Chamber of Commerce will be holding its 48th Annual Gala on Saturday, September 21st starting at 6:30PM.  The event features a cocktail hour, silent auction, dinner, and dancing along with the presentation of the Adela & Cesar Gonzmart Award.  The event can be attended by everyone including members and friends.  

Participate in the festivities by sponsoring the event, placing an ad in the event program, donating an item to the silent auction  and/or by buying a ticket to the event by calling Anna Ramos, Event Coordinator at 813.248.3712 x22.

Upcoming Conventions 
September 14-21   
Estimated Attendance: 2,000
Exhibit Location: Embassy Suite Tampa-Downtown Convention Center


September 14-22
Estimated Attendance: 800
HQ Hotel: Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina

Chair's Message


Well summer is coming to an end and the kids are heading back to school which means the start of Ybor City's event season. We have some exciting stuff on the chamber radar beginning with the 48th Annual Ybor Chamber Gala on September 21st!  This year's Adela & Cesar Gonzmart Award recipient is the J. C. Newman Cigar Family. The event is going to be excellent! The committee has been doing some "secret planning" and they have some surprises up their sleeves including a raffle for a 4-Night Cruise provided by AAA; make sure you get your tickets while they last!


We had a packed house for the August Luncheon where we awarded the Radiant Group with the Golf Tournament Trophy and presented a check to the Hillsborough Community College Foundation for the Dr. Lois Gaston Scholarship.  




 Secretary Paul Steinman with the Florida Department of Transportation presented the changes to the 21st/22nd Street Corridor that will be happening as well as a progress report on the new Crosstown Connector. It was a great luncheon!  



The next luncheon is September 10th. I hope to see you there. 

- David Alvarez

Editor's Note:
Check-out this week's "Silhouette" in

La Gaceta by Emily Carney. Our Chair of the Board, David Alvarez, is the featured subject - get to know him and the Alvarez Family better. ( 8/16/13, Page 14)

Chamber Happenings  

September 10- Ybor Chamber Membership Luncheon, 11:45AM- 1:15PM-  Mark your calendars for what members are calling "the best luncheon to network." Take a break from your regular schedule and get the inside scoop on upcoming projects. 813.248.3712 
September 21- The 48th Annual Ybor Chamber Gala and Adela & Cesar Gonzmart Award Presentation, Sat. 6:30PM- Join us at the Columbia Restaurant in celebrating the opening of the Latin social season and recognizing the many contributions of the J.C. Newman Family, operators of the last remaining production cigar factory in Ybor City. Tickets are $100 per individual and $190 for couples.  Anyone interested in sponsoring, advertising, donating a silent auction item and attending Gala should contact Anna Ramos at 813.248.3712 x22 or by email at aramos@ybor.org.

Events and Announcements by Tom Favata 

Click on the highlighted event name for more information.  

As a member of the Chamber you have a chance to purchase tickets to this year's Outback Bowl before the general public.  That means you get to select the best seats available through Ticketmaster.  Just buy your tickets through Ticketmaster between 10:00 AM Saturday, August 17th and 9:00 AM Saturday, August 24th using the special code: OUTBACK



August 21, 28 & Sept. 4- The 4th Annual Ritz Ybor Ultimate Band Series, Weds.- Watch as bands compete for the crown of Ultimate Band!  Fifteen bands are judged down to 4 and will give their all at the Sept. 21st finals. 813.247.2555

August 23- Friday Night Out Presented by The Mancave Cigar Lounge & Barbershop, Fri. 7PM- Join The Mancave for an evening of appetizers, rafle prizes, giveaways, live entertainment, and cigar & drink specials.  As they say at the Mancave, "Live Life & Laugh!" 813.374.2196

August 24- Chico Mann & Saskatchewan at Crowbar, Sat. 9PM- If live music is your thing and you want to get out of the house this weekend head over to the Crowbar. Chico Mann offers up an Afro Freestyle sound to his music while Saskatchewan's sounds are more along the lines of nostalgic pop. 813.241.8600

August 25- Festa Della Madonna Della Rocca at The Italian Club, Sun. 11AM- Take part in the traditions of the town of Alessandria della Rocca Sicily with a day of family, entertainment and food along with Mass and children's procession. 813.248.3316

August 26 thru Sept. 30- Kirk Ke Wang's Sugar Bomb- Visit Hillsborough Community College's School of Visual and Performing Arts Gallery for a mixed media installation dealing with the relations between Cuba and the US and their opposite or different political systems. 813.253.7674

Sept. 4- Summer 2013 Passport Series: Wine Wednesday, Wed. 5:30PM- 7:30PM- Hillsborough Community College wants to take you around the world with the Institute for Corporate & Continuing Education series of wine classes. Attendees can look forward to 2 hours of sampling wines and learning about their unique qualities. 813.259.6552

New members Black & Denim (2PM) and Design Styles Architecture (3PM to 7PM)  will be celebrating their Grand Openings on Thursday, August 29th.The public is welcome at both functions, so be sure to stop in and say hello and congratulate your fellow members on their landmark achievement!

The Ybor City Saturday Market wants your Arroz con Pollo recipes! Contestants will compete for Best Dish and Most creative Recipe Awards during Festival Del Sabor on September 14th. Visit CENTROtampa.com to enter your recipe today!

The Italian Club's Ladies Auxiliary is currently looking for nominations for their Italian-American Women of Excellence Awards.  Forms can be picked up at the Italian Club's office or online at the club's website www.Italian-Club.org

It's official, this past Friday celebrated the merger of the Ritz Ybor and Czar nightclub for what is now dubbed Czar at the Ritz. Now you can go to a concert and club in one convenient location!

Help fill the gap!  Everyone's community radio station WMNF is in need of donations to meet their 2013 budget.  Every bit counts towards keeping this asset available to everyone. Donate today by visiting www.wmnf.org

Help charitable organizations during the month of September just by having lunch or dinner at any of the Columbia Restaurant's many locations!  The restaurant will be donating 5% of customer's bills to charities during the 16th Annual Community Harvest.  Stop in for a great meal and help a great cause! 

Give kids a jump start to success by donating $25 for a backpack filled with school supplies through Metropolitan Ministries as we kick off the new school year!

The Ybor Chamber would like to pass on condolences to family and friends of longtime member Xandra "Sandy" Alberdi of A.J. Arango Customs Brokers