Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top 100 Women Leaders of Tampa for 2022. This city, full of rich history and diversity, has had women leading its progress since its very early days. Much like this year’s awardees, Tampa’s historical women were innovative, equality-focused and driven by the desire for change. Clara Frye, a nurse who relocated to Tampa 1901, spent 15 years treating patients of color in her home before purchasing a building on her street and turning it into a hospital for individuals of any race or income level. Many years later, Adela Hernandez Gonzmart, the founder and owner of Florida’s oldest restaurant, was also a tireless advocate for the citizens of Tampa. One of her more notable successes was co-founding the Latino Scholarship Fund at the University of South Florida, which assists academically excellent but financially challenged students.

This year's awardees have continued in their footsteps leading companies and driving change across nearly all industries including educational technology, healthcare, insurance and financial services, retail, media and more. They continue to break barriers into new territories that will allow those who follow after them to lead successful and meaningful careers.

Awardee Kris Morico, the Vice President of Environment, Health & Safety and Sustainability of Baxter International, uses her 35+ years of leadership experience and industry knowledge to guide the company in their decision making, ensuring safety and compliance as per government rules, regulations, and standards. Meanwhile, Ebony Langston, the Vice President, Sales Executive of Healthcare for TTEC Healthcare Solutions, has been involved in the BPO industry for the last 15 years leading large, multichannel and geographically diverse relationships, managing annual revenue up to $30M and up to 1,200 employees. Awardee Michelle Gervais, a Partner of Blank Rome, co-chairs the firm’s sports law practice and advises high-profile athletes, celebrities, and executives in complex disputes that involve the intersection of business and family law matters.

From educating and advocating to managing and developing, these awardees are dedicated to continuing the momentum of success for their organizations year after year. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 100 Women Leaders of Tampa for 2022.

 

4. Kris Carrera
FIS
Kris Carrera is a Business Line Executive for Card & Money Movement for FIS. FIS offers a wide range of financial products and services and is most known for its development of Financial Technology. FIS offers its solutions in three primary segments: merchant solutions, banking solutions, and capital market solutions. Annually, FIS facilitates the movement of roughly $9 trillion through the processing of approximately 75 billion transactions in service to more than 20,000 clients around the globe. They have a portfolio of products for the financial services sector, including both retail and investment banking. Carrera is responsible for driving the strategic direction, innovation, P/L, and overall business for FIS Payments including consumer, PLCC, SMB and commercial cards.

Previously, Carrera served FIS in a number of executive positions including product, innovation and business development. Carrera has spent over 35 years in the payments industry holding several key positions with international and North America financial institutions focused on payments, both acquiring and issuing. In addition, she serves on various committees including Visa & Mastercard, blockchain councils and digital technologies, and previously served on the Payments council for the UK government.

 

7. Ebony Langston
TTEC Healthcare Solutions

Ebony Langston is a Vice President, Sales Executive of Healthcare with TTEC Healthcare Solutions. She first joined the company in 2017 as executive director of service delivery. TTEC, formerly known as TeleTech, is a global customer experience technology and services company focused on the design, implementation, and delivery of exceptional customer experience. They house over 62,000 employees in 24 countries. Their purpose, mission, and vision are to add humanity to business, grow quickly by making customer interactions personalized and engaging, and to be the world’s most emotionally connected, valuable, and respected organization. They speak and serve customers in 42 languages - digitally, on the phone, on chat and text.

Previously, Langston was a VP of operations and director of client operations at Optum. Earlier in her career she worked with Connextions as a supervisor and coach. Langston earned an MBA from Webster University and an undergraduate degree in psychology from Duke University.

 

11. Bethlee McLaughlin
rue21

Bethlee McLaughlin is a Vice President for rue21. She first joined the company in 2021. rue21 is an American specialty retailer of women's and men's casual apparel and accessories. Its clothes are designed to appeal to people who desire, wish, or feel to be 21. rue21 is all about bringing the trendiest clothing at affordable prices. In 2014, they began offering plus sizes for women, in various categories of merchandise, with their rue+ brand. McLaughlin has 15+ years of operational leadership and consulting experience in the electronic retail and financial services industries.

Before joining rue21, McLaughlin was an SVP of the project management office with HSN, and before that, a director of quality at Fidelity Investments. Earlier in her career she worked with Bank of Boston as a senior consultant and communications manager. McLaughlin graduated from Brown University with an MBA, from IE Business School with an EMBA, and from Regis College with an undergraduate degree in English and communications.

 

16. Michelle Gervais
Blank Rome

Michelle Gervais is a Partner of Blank Rome. She first joined the company in 2015. Blank Rome is a law firm with 13 offices and more than 600 attorneys and principals who provide comprehensive legal and advocacy services to clients operating in the United States and around the world. Gervais co-chairs the firm’s Sports Law Industry Practice and advises high-profile athletes, celebrities, and executives, as well as businesses in complex disputes. Gervais handles highly delicate matters protecting her clients from serious financial and reputational harm.

Previously, Gervais was a Partner with Duane Morris LLP, and before that, a lawyer at Carlton Fields, P.A. Earlier in her career she worked with Young, Berman, Karpf & Gonzalez as a law clerk and lawyer. Gervais earned a JD from the University of Miami School of Law and a dual undergraduate degree in broadcast & cinematic arts and political science from Central Michigan University.

 

19. Kit Robertson
Integra Connect

Kit Robertson is the Vice President of Clinical Data Operations for Integra Connect. She first joined the company in 2018 as the VP of client services. Integra Connect is driven to make specialty care practices clinically and financially successful through value-based, precision medicine. While other companies may focus on one of these areas, Integra Connect’s combined focus means providers, payers, and life sciences companies can harness value-based, precision medicine principles to improve their decision-making and make a difference in patients’ lives.

Previously, Robertson was a VP of operations at New York Cancer and Blood Specialists, and before that, an oncology nurse educator at AbbVie. Earlier in her career she worked with Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute as a director of integrated clinical services. Robertson earned an undergraduate degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix and Dabney S. Lancaster Community College.

 

22. Kendra Barry
Integra Realty Resources

Kendra Barry is a Partner and the Senior Managing Director of Integra Realty Resources Tampa Bay. Integra Realty Resources provides world-class commercial real estate valuation, counseling, and advisory services. Routinely ranked among leading property valuation and consulting firms, they are now the largest firm in the United States, covering over 60 markets coast-to-coast. Barry has more than 23 years of commercial real estate and appraisal experience.

Along with commercial real estate valuations, Barry’s experience includes the management of professional office buildings, strip centers and multi‑tenant complexes, as well as portfolio management for commercial real estate investors. She has performed commercial real estate valuations on numerous property types. Barry specializes in special use properties including churches, funeral homes, and educational facilities and has appraised more than 200 properties across the southeastern United States. Her practice also includes a specialization in manufactured home and recreational vehicle communities, including Class A motorcoach resorts and 55+ senior communities. Barry earned an undergraduate degree from Florida State University.

 

25. Dipawali Shah
Coast Dental

Dipawali Shah is a Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Coast Dental. She first joined the company in 2019. Coast Dental & Orthodontics is one of the largest providers of dental practice support in the US. It was founded in 1992 by Dr. Adam Diasti and Dr. Derek Diasti in Holiday, Florida. Today, Coast Dental is a leading provider of quality dental care in over 100 practices in the Southeast United States. Despite the company’s phenomenal growth, Coast is committed to staying on the cutting edge of clinical information and technology.

Previously, Shah was a CEO at DSA Consulting, and before that, a consultant of counsel at Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP. Earlier in her career she worked with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey as a law clerk. Shah earned a JD from the Widener University School of Law and an undergraduate degree in business administration from Temple University.

View the complete list of awardees.

 

29. Lorna Taylor
Premier Eye Care

Lorna Taylor is the President and CEO of Premier Eye Care. She is an accomplished leader, both in directing Florida-based Premier Eye Care, one of the 75 largest private companies in Florida, and in making an impact in the community. Premier manages full-risk medical and routine ophthalmic care for over 4 million people and is recognized for industry-leading technology-based solutions and a successful corporate culture. Taylor promotes associate engagement through an organizational model that encourages innovation and self-direction to team members, half of whom are millennials.

Taylor is involved in a wide variety of community and nonprofit causes. She has board positions with The Dalí Museum, Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture & the Arts, Preserve Vision Florida, and The Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg. Taylor is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary with a master’s degree in divinity, concentrating in social ethics.

 

34. Robin Dufresne
CSG Government Solutions

Robin Dufresne is an Executive Vice President and the Director of Healthcare and Human Services for CSG Government Solutions. She first joined the company in 2012 as a principal and client executive. CSG Government Solutions is a national leader in planning, managing, and supporting complex projects that modernize the IT and business processes of large government programs. For more than 20 years, CSG has applied their expertise, innovation, and results-oriented mindset to government program modernization projects for more than 200 agencies across 46 states and territories. They provided multiple service offerings to their clients including project management, independent verification and validation, quality assurance, organizational change management, and strategy.

Previously, Dufresne was a senior advisor at Public Consulting Group, and before that, a project manager for the State of Maine. Earlier in her career she worked with Harcourt Brace Jovanovich as a corporate tax accountant. In December 2021, Dufresne was appointed to the Advisory Panel for the University of Southern Florida MUSMA School of Business’ Digital Marketing Certificate program. The advisory panel is comprised of senior leaders with marketing expertise to enhance the program content. Dufresne earned a master’s in health care administration and management from New England College and an undergraduate degree in business administration from Nova Southeastern University.

 

40. Maja Bobic
Security Compliance Associates

Maja Bobic is a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at Security Compliance Associates. Security Compliance Associates delivers world-class cybersecurity assessment and advisory services to help organizations identify, reduce, and manage risks to their assets, reputation, and revenue. In her role as a CISO she leads a team of cybersecurity consultants and advisors that perform cybersecurity audits and advisory services for multi-billion-dollar financial institutions, State Government Agencies, large healthcare operations and many other organizations where cybersecurity is mission critical.

Bobic is also involved in her local community, serving as the vice president of the Tampa Bay Information Systems Security Association (ISSA), a not for profit, international organization of security professionals to enhance the knowledge and skills of its members. She is also an active member of InfraGard which is a national partnership between the FBI and the private sector for the protection of U. S. Critical Infrastructure. Bobic is the only female senior leader in her organization and with over 15 years of corporate leadership experience, she brings diversity of thought and real-world expertise by leveraging people, technology, regulatory requirements, and best practices.

 

42. Deborah Duffey
Dermazone Solutions

Deborah Duffey is the President and Chief Product Development Officer at Dermazone Solutions and Kara Vita and is COO of NuVessl. Dermazone Solutions is a product development company serving the pharmaceutical industry along with brand owners in the medical aesthetic and dietary supplement industries. Duffey applies her experience in operations, brand development, patent, and formulation invention to develop category-defining products that enhance the health and wellness of people’s lives. Duffey is also the creator of Kara Vita, an anti-aging skincare company that guarantees results in two weeks or less by using its proprietary nanotechnology.

Duffey began her professional career over 30 years ago at Applied Strategic Planning, a Boston-based consulting group working on domestic and international commercial development. She was also previously the marketing and product development director at Fountain Pharmaceuticals. She is a business mentor to college graduates and an international speaker in her profession. Duffey graduated from Stonehill College with an undergraduate degree in industrial psychology.

 

49. Julie Rupenski
MedBest Senior Care Recruiter

Julie Rupenski is the Founder & CEO of MedBest Recruiting, a senior living executive search firm. Since opening its doors in 2001, Rupenski has grown MedBest into an award winning, multimillion-dollar national firm, garnering impressive awards including INC 5000 2021 and Tampa Bay Fast 50 2021. Rupenski’s company has gained national recognition due to her industry expertise and high level of success. Rupenski’s in-depth knowledge of the senior living industry can be credited to the years she worked in operations in the industry. Today, she still makes it her personal and professional mission to place qualified executives in positions where they have the greatest impact.

Rupenski continues her industry education through various conferences, forums, and expos. She has been interviewed and served as a guest columnist for many major industry publications including Argentum Magazine, Provider Magazine, LeadingAge, McKnight’s Senior Living, and Senior Housing News. She was asked to lead a roundtable discussion at InterFace Housing Southeast for talent recruitment and retention. Among her long-standing professional recruitment affiliations are National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS), National Investment Center for Senior Housing & Care (NIC), and Next Level Exchange. Rupenski earned an undergraduate degree in gerontology from the University of South Florida.

 

52. Emma Maurer
Peerfit

Emma Maurer is the Vice President of Business Development & Partnerships for Peerfit. She first joined the company in 2017 as the director of enterprise health. Peerfit is a digital platform that connects employers, brokers and insurance carriers to local fitness experiences and wellness services. Through their platform, users gain easy access to a variety of fitness studios and gyms, empowering each individual to personalize their journey to wellness, enabling them to lead a more active and healthier lifestyle, with the potential to be paid for by employers. Maurer has more than 20 years of experience helping companies achieve great wellness outcomes.

Previously, Maurer was a director at St. Vincent's HealthCare, and before that, a director of wellness services at GBS Benefits. Earlier in her career she worked with Sandy City Corporation as a recreation program coordinator. Maurer earned an undergraduate degree in recreation from RMIT University.

 

55. Suzanne Gorman
Global Learning Systems

Suzanne Gorman is the Vice President, Information Security, and Risk Management Evangelist at Global Learning Systems (GLS), a leading Security Awareness Training and compliance solutions company. Gorman is well known for designing and implementing comprehensive information security programs, with an emphasis on security awareness training that enable organizations to mitigate the risks and consequences of security breaches resulting from human error.

Gorman is a member of the GLS executive team and through her industry experience and market knowledge has introduced new training product solutions and offers that expands GLS’ training portfolio of products, services, and capabilities. As an experienced industry practitioner, she actively consults and works with client IT security leaders and executives to understand their needs, and then provides recommendations and proven training strategies that enable organizations to successfully prepare and educate employees to operate securely. Frequently called on to speak to industry groups on security training issues and trends, she has recently presented to The Information Systems Security Association International (ISSA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on how to “Create a Cyber Security Culture,” and a webinar for industry partners on “Exploring Aspects of Human Errors in Cybersecurity.” Gorman holds both CISSP and CRISC certifications.

View the complete list of awardees.

 

59. Nancy Harris
Harris Hunt & Derr PA

Nancy Harris is the Founding Partner of Harris Hunt & Derr, P.A. The experienced attorneys of Harris, Hunt & Derr, P.A. practice exclusively in the area of marital and family law. They pride themselves on providing responsive, personal, and effective legal service of the highest quality. They assist their clients with a wide range of marital and family law matters, including dissolution of marriage, custody and parenting plans, alimony, child support, paternity, post-judgment matters, prenuptial agreements, and domestic violence proceedings. They are experienced in traditional litigation, negotiated settlements, and the collaborative divorce method, and will work with their clients to determine which approach best fits their case.

Harris has 35 years of experience practicing law. She has received the Hillsborough County Family Law Professionalism Award, was chosen by her peers in Tampa Magazine’s 2022 “Top Lawyers List” for Family Law and Collaborative Divorce and was named Best Lawyers 2017 “Lawyer of the Year” for Family Law in Tampa. She is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale‑Hubbell and has been selected to Florida Super Lawyers every year since 2007. She was also selected for inclusion on the Super Lawyers Top 50 Women list (2019‑2021). To challenge her comfort zone, Harris climbs mountains with friends while fundraising for The Academy Prep Center. Harris has summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, completed the Tour of Mont Blanc, France, and hiked the mountains of Bhutan.

 

60. Talyn Guercio
Shea Barclay Group

Talyn Guercio began her professional career over 20 years ago. Today, she is the Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and a Partner of Shea Barclay Group. Shea Barclay Group is an independent insurance advisory firm concentrating in professional liability, cyber, crime and employment practices liability coverages. SBG also maintains a specialized team of property and casualty advisors, as well as a dedicated employee benefits department. Through strong organic growth and strategic acquisitions, SBG has grown to meet the needs of their clients. Their value-added proposition includes a vast offering of services to include, but not limited to, in-house capacity to conduct risk management audits, claims counseling/advice, policy analysis and a wide range of additional resources that address their client’s everyday challenges.

Right out of college, Guercio secured a position with one of the nation’s top 10 publicly traded brokers. It was during this time that Guercio assisted with the integration of three successful acquisitions. Upon moving to Tampa in 2008, she soon joined what is now Shea Barclay Group. Under a management buy-out in 2012, Guercio is one of four owners of the firm. Guercio had the honor of winning the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s CFO of the Year Award in 2013 and has also served on the Applied ASCNet Board of Directors. She currently holds a position on the Special Olympics of Florida Executive Committee. Guercio graduated from the University of Arkansas with an undergraduate degree in finance, insurance, and risk management.

 

62. Louisana Louis
St. Petersburg College

Dr. Louisana Louis is a transformative and thoughtful leader that inspires and motivates. She is a determined, passionate, futuristic, and an innovative change agent that implements evidence-based practice to deliver the highest quality of nursing education. She is passionate about preparing future nurses that are competent and ready to meet the needs of our ever-changing healthcare system and the community. She has over 21 years of nursing experience with 15 years in higher education leadership and nursing education. Dr. Louis is the Dean for St. Petersburg College of Nursing. St. Petersburg College (SPC) is a multi-campus state college located in Pinellas County, Florida. The College of Nursing student population averages between 1100-1500 students per academic year. Dr. Louis considers herself an advocate for change and a visionary who consistently strives for excellence in not only herself but also those that she leads and mentors.

As an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) and psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP), Dr. Louis continues to serve the mental health community as the Owner and Chief Executive Office of Prestige Health and Wellness, LLC. Her practice serves children, adolescents, and adults who present across the spectrum of mental health needs. As an ANCC board-certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Dr. Louis strives to improve the dynamic and take away the negative stigma of mental health in the community. She desires to bridge the gap in mental health between the over-served and underserved population.

 

65. Mallory Taylor
Bravado Health

Mallory Taylor currently serves as the Chief Operating and Financial Officer of Bravado Health, Bravado Health is a healthcare technology company connecting clinicians, case managers and patients by automating and simplifying best practices for pre-op readiness and post-op recovery, enabling efficiencies and transparency for patients while freeing up provider time to deliver prompt and quality care. Taylor’s experience includes over 15 years in healthcare technology, mergers, and acquisitions.

Taylor previously founded and held the role of CEO of MTT Innovations, where she consulted for numerous government entities, non-profits, healthcare, and technology companies. She dedicated her time to helping clients create or capitalize on strategic initiatives that facilitated growth and opportunities. She also previously co-founded and served as the CEO of assessURhealth, an e-screening mental and behavioral health tool for clinicians, trade associations, higher education institutes, government entities and more. Her previous positions have included VP of a healthcare technology company where she was responsible for developing and then managing numerous departments and divisions. Taylor graduated from LSU with an undergraduate degree in political science and is pursuing a master’s in international business and policy from Georgetown University.

 

68. Jolynn Lokey
Visit Tampa Bay

JoLynn Lokey is the Chief Operating Officer for Visit Tampa Bay, a private organization with a mission to create vibrant economic development for the community by collaboratively increasing visitation in Tampa Bay. Lokey’s extensive operational and executive management skills keep the organization running smoothly and efficiently while providing a collaborative work environment for a results-driven staff. Lokey brings more than 25 years of expertise in finance, human resources, and operations to Visit Tampa Bay.

After Lokey joined Visit Tampa Bay in 2005, she established best practices for Visit Tampa Bay, as well as, for the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and most recently, Film Tampa Bay. She was a pioneer in the administration of host committees for Super Bowl XLIII in 2009 and LV in 2021, the 2012 Tampa Bay Republican National Convention, and the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship, among other high-profile, community-wide event-planning organizations. She serves on the executive committee of the board of directors for Feeding Tampa Bay and sits on the University of Tampa’s Board of Fellows. Lokey earned a master’s in human resource development from Villanova.

 

70. Monica Bolbjerg
Qure4u

Monica Bolbjerg is the CEO and Co-Founder of Qure4u. She co-founded the company in 2001. Qure4u is America’s leading fully integrated complete digital health and patient experience platform deployed in hundreds of practices, clinics, hospitals, and health systems today. Their flagship solution, MyCarePlan, eliminates the need for numerous healthcare IT vendor relationships, multiple time-consuming implementations, or disjointed workflows with fragmented EHR data integrations.

Previously, Bolbjerg co-founded C4U Technologies Ltd. and served as the CTO. Before that, Bolbjerg was an urgent care physician at Lillehammer Kommune. Earlier in her career she worked with Rigshospitalet as a PhD researcher. Bolbjerg earned an MD from the University of Copenhagen.

 

72. Andrea Kiehl
Metrc

Andrea Kiehl began her professional career 20 years ago. Today she is the General Counsel at Metrc, LLC, where she leads the company’s internal legal and compliance management functions. Metrc is the industry leading provider of supply chain management technology whose track and trace SaaS solution ensures the safety and security of the nation’s legal cannabis market.

Prior to joining Metrc, Kiehl was named Shareholder at two law firms, where she practiced everything from civil rights to products and premise liability to employment law. Kiehl served as the head of global compliance for a publicly traded company operating in 44 countries and has served as Senior Employment Counsel or General Counsel at 3 privately held companies in the Tampa Bay area. Kiehl has led due diligence and integration for global mergers & acquisitions on both the sell and buy side, covering over twenty countries. Kiehl’s proudest accomplishments include leading on a global company’s crisis emergency response team to rapid plan and navigate the disruption through the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the largest revenue growth in the company’s history. During the pandemic, she also created a global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program. Kiehl made her mark in the company’s first DE&I leadership role by focusing on policy change, diverse talent development and retention, and education. Kiehl served as the President of the Board of Directors for the Sexual Violence Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and providing services to those affected by sexual violence. Kiehl also served for six years on the Board of Directors of Goodwill Industries-Suncoast. Kiehl professional achievements include being named a Minnesota Law & Politics Rising Star, and a Tampa Bay Top Corporate Counsel. Kiehl earned her JD with honors from the University of Minnesota Law School.

View the complete list of awardees.

 

75. Tatyana Harris
PECRKO Research

Tatyana Harris began her professional career over 15 years ago. Today, she is the Founder of PECRKO Research. PECRKO Research is the bridge between research and the minority community. It was founded in 2018 to educate the minority community about the benefits of pharmaceutical and medical research and offer minorities opportunities to participate in various local clinical trials by way of an online database. The minority participants database is organized and solicited to research providers to decrease research healthcare disparity.

Harris first got her start in 2006 as a clinical research coordinator and ancillary staff manager at DURAMED. From there, she went on to ASG, before eventually moving on to become the regional administrator at KJ&U Enterprise, her most recent position prior to founding PECRKO Research. Harris graduated from the University of Phoenix with a doctorate in health administration and from South University with a master’s in health administration and an undergraduate degree in healthcare management.

 

82. Veronica Swiatek
Massage Studio

Veronica Swiatek is the Founder & CEO of MBS Brands and Massage Studio, as well as Joint Venture Partner with Paradies Lagardere TPA. After attending State University of New York at Buffalo, Swiatek moved to Tampa to launch her career. She held top-level marketing positions with high-profile firms such as Clear Channel Communications, OSI Restaurant Partners and Cox Media Group. Managing advertising initiatives, campaigns, and business and creative development was only the tip of the iceberg. With her extensive marketing and branding experience, and an entrepreneurial spirit since childhood, Swiatek struck out on her own founding Massage Studio in 2007. Offering a complete wellness experience specializing in luxury wellness products and top tier massage services, Massage Studio proved a successful and lucrative venture, with a second location opening in 2014.

In 2015 the opportunity to partner with Paradies Lagardere TPA, a global leader in airport retail and concessions, presented itself as Tampa International Airport officials were seeking local, innovative partnerships for their master plan expansion. By the end of 2017 Swiatek had become a Joint Venture Partner with Paradies Lagardere TPA owning ten specialty retail stores at Tampa International Airport, including CNBC, Tampa Bay Times, News Channel 8, Spanx, Corsa, PGA Tour, Dylan’s Candy, Ybor City News, Tampa Life and The Apartment. In addition to leading multiple private business ventures, Swiatek also prioritizes giving back to the community which includes a seventeen-year relationship with City of Tampa’s Ybor City Economic & Urban Development Department, for whom Swiatek served as YCDC Chair of the Board of Directors. Fundraising for causes benefiting women and children, a passion for Veronica, led to the creation of South Tampapoply in 2009 with all proceeds going to Circle of Love Center for Grieving Children.

 

87. Jennifer Phelps
Prospr

Jennifer Phelps is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Prospr, a full-service management company providing business consultation, medical billing, collections, and much more. Phelps is also a board-certified behavior analyst and serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience. She has started and sold multiple companies and been an adviser to others. Over the past decade, Phelps has turned her passion for helping children and families into successful companies that have helped thousands of children. Her last company, Engage Behavioral Health and Learning for Life Academy had six clinics locations and three school locations. Engage made the Inc 5000 list three consecutive years.

In addition to her roles with Prospr, Phelps is the Co-Founder of Do Better Collective, a domain for those with a shared commitment to engage in lifelong learning focused on developing humane, culturally informed, and compassionate behavior analytic interventions. She is also the CEO of Nest Life, a provider of creative and connected whole family behavior therapy. Phelps graduated from Florida State University with an MS in applied behavior analysis and from the University of South Florida with an undergraduate degree in psychology.

 

89. Monika Valentine
Discovery Behavioral Health

Monika Valentine is the Vice President of Business Operations of Discovery Behavioral Health. Discovery Behavioral Health operates treatment centers across the United States and provides the highest quality of care available. They also offer mental health, eating disorder, and addiction services in a continuum of care including outpatient, intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization/day treatment, residential treatment, and inpatient detox. Discovery Behavioral Health specializes in helping children, teens, and adults suffering from mood and anxiety disorders, substance use and addiction, self-harm, attachment, and eating disorders. Discovery treatment teams are comprised of national experts in these disorders. Her mission is to create a positive business impact that creates sustainable communities and increases quality of life.

Valentine is a results-oriented executive with a proven track record of providing operations solutions for corporate start up and growth, multi-state, regulatory compliance and strategic partnerships. Before joining Discovery Behavioral Health, Valentine was a director of regional and workers’ compensation consulting at The Redwoods Group, and before that, the CEO at ML Valentine. Earlier in her career she worked with HealthONE as a director of occupational medicine and specialty practices. Valentine graduated from Villanova University with a master's degree.

 

93. Shannon Gougis
Slide

Shannon Gougis has successfully built a progressive, 23+ year career as a Chief People Officer, S/VP of Human Resources and HR Director for national and global insurance, technology, healthcare, and financial services companies. She is highly skilled in creating a compelling employee experience in combination with innovative talent acquisition and management programs to successfully align human capital strategies to business objectives. Today, Gougis serves as Slide's Chief People Officer. Slide is a full-stack insurtech that makes it easy for modern consumers to choose the right coverage for their unique needs and budgets. Slide's cutting-edge technology leverages artificial intelligence and big data to hyper-personalize, optimize, streamline every part of the insurance process.

A professional and personal passion of Gougis's is inspiring women to aim high and achieve their full potential. Her focus as a leader is to challenge and "push" her team to achieve career goals through opportunity, coaching and structured education. Gougis has partnered with the CARA Program in Chicago, IL to help women affected by poverty and homelessness secure work opportunities, provide life and job skills, and connect them with the necessary professional attire. Gougis has also been involved with the ARDX Foundation and coordinating the Women's Wellness Celebration conferences (Shining a Light on Mental Wellness) and Envision, Lead, Grow which is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty through providing entrepreneurship opportunities to girls and young women in Norfolk, VA. Currently, she is working with the Community Action Stops Abuse organization in St Petersburg, FL, which helps victims of domestic violence. Gougis holds a master’s in industrial and organizational psychology from Antioch University in Seattle.

View the complete list of awardees.