Speaker Series – Tampa 2022


Congratulations to the more than 100 attendees at this year's Grow, Optimize, Protect Speaker Series. A signature event for Florida CFO Group, attendees got to hear from six business experts in areas critical to small and medium-sized businesses--especially in the context of the complex business environment of 2022. We hope you left the panel event motivated, charged and ready to succeed.

Following the speaking event, guests, speakers and partners mingled and networked at a happy hour at the Feather Sound Country Club.

Florida CFO Group, thanks our co-sponsors J.P. Morgan and Truist.

Presented by:

Florida CFO Group

Moderators & Sponsors


Betsy Bennett

Betsy began her career at Ernst & Young, leaving as an Audit Senior Manager after ten years to assume her first CFO position at PSCU.  PSCU is the nation’s largest credit union and it experienced exponential growth during Betsy’s decade long tenure. She then pivoted into consulting and for the last twenty years has fulfilled the CFO and COO functions for entrepreneurial companies seeking best corporate practices implementations. Betsy founded the Florida CFO Group in 2010 with two other partners and has grown it to 20 partners in Tampa Bay, Sarasota/Bradenton and Orlando.  Betsy delivers big company processes and analysis to emerging and mid-market companies.

Florida CFO Group

The Florida CFO Group is a seasoned team of over 20 Chief Financial Officers providing fractional and interim CFO services to small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). When you engage a member of the Florida CFO Group, one of our CFOs becomes part of your team, backed by the collective wisdom of all the partners in the Group. We help businesses profitably grow, optimize finances and operations, and protect the value they have created.

Martha L. Hernandez

Martha L. Hernandez is a Relationship Manager and Senior Vice President, for the Tampa Bay market in the Commercial Group at Truist.  Her responsibilities include leading a team of specialists focused on understanding each client’s unique needs to deliver strategic financial guidance and solutions.  Martha’s mission is to help local companies thrive by achieving their business goals, no matter how simple or how complex.

Bringing 20 years of experience, Martha joined Truist in 2019. Throughout her banking career, Martha has served mid-sized companies throughout the Tampa Bay. To help create a more sustainable future for the companies and communities she serves, Martha volunteers with several not-for-profit organizations focused on providing health care and education, most currently with the University of Tampa Lowth Entrepreneurship Center.  Martha also volunteers with the Organization of Women in International Trade, a dynamic organization created to enhance the status and interests of women in the field of international business.

Truist Financial Corporation (NYSE: TFC) is a purpose-driven financial services company committed to inspiring and building better lives and communities. Formed by a historic merger of equals, Truist has a leading market share in many high-growth markets in the country. The company offers a wide range of services including retail, small business, and commercial banking; asset management; capital markets; commercial real estate; corporate and institutional banking; insurance; mortgage; payments; specialized lending; and wealth management. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Truist is a top 10 U.S. commercial bank with total assets of $541 billion. Truist Bank, Member FDIC. Learn more at Truist.com.

Tracy Maeter

Tracy Maeter is a Managing Director and Senior Banker at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, with a rich history at the firm that dates to her time in the New York Headquarters in 1992.

Tracy began her career covering institutional clients in derivatives and debt capital markets, then led groups at HSBC, Royal Bank of Canada before joining J.P. Morgan. Most recently, she was the Head of Investments and Advice for the Mid-Atlantic region. Tracy recently relocated to St. Petersburg near her family and is excited to play an essential role in growing the firm’s relationship with philanthropic and business leaders in the region.

Tracy currently serves on the boards of the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts and the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership. 

She is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she received a B.S. in Management and Finance and holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University.

J.P. Morgan is the largest bank in the United States and one of the most respected financial services firm in the world, offering the full range of solutions to families, small businesses, public and private corporations, and non-profit organizations. J.P. Morgan invests in the communities in which it serves and is consistently ranked as one of the world’s most admired companies, and was recently named the Best Private Bank in the World in 2022.

Featured Speakers


Market Your Business Effectively and Efficiently

Want to maximize your dollars of revenue and profit from each dollar spent on marketing? Christy will provide her perspective on achieving both effective and efficient marketing – through marketing automation. 

Christy Vogel is passionate about her mission to ignite joy in everyone she meets. She's been providing her clients with outsourced marketing teams since 2009. With over 25 years of marketing experience, Christy understands how vital marketing leadership can be to the success of any organization.

Christy has been honored with numerous awards. Her firm, Marketing Direction is a proud top 10 member of USF Fast 56 which honors 56 of the world's fastest growing businesses led by University of South Florida alum. The company has been on Tampa Bay Business Journal's top women-owned businesses list since 2015, has appeared in Tampa Bay Business Journal's 25 Largest Marketing Firms list and is certified as a women-owned business by WEBENC International.

Her latest endeavor is the creation of a non-profit organization that helps children acquire hearing aids. Christy personally experienced the difficulty of affording hearing aids as a child and extends her familiarity to help others.

Grow Your Sales

Six Sales Trends that Should be on your Radar in 2022.  Changes in the last year that have impacted a supply chain, staffing, sales practices, and growth have often been the biggest hurdles for companies to overcome, and these issues have created. (The New Norm)


Kelly Crandall made the leap to become an entrepreneur, after serving as the Corporate Executive for Bank of America for 14 years. As the Co-Owner/VP of Sales of her manufacturing company for more than a decade, she managed the daily challenges of surviving a recession and growing a new business into one of the largest market leaders in the industry. Some of her professional achievements include receiving Businesswoman of the Year 7 years in a row, and being listed on the Inc. 5000 list of America's Fastest Growing Private Companies.

She founded Next Level Strategies, LLC to provide Sales Consulting and Outsourced VP of Sales services to help business owners and companies achieve record-breaking sales results. Kelly understands that leading and growing a company is hard work. Kelly enables owners to stop feeling frustrated by implementing the sales infrastructure needed to take the company sales to the next level.

HR in 2022: Attracting and Retaining the Best

From The Great Resignation, to hybrid work models, to the focus on mental health, 2022 is poised to be another year for the history books. We will take a look into HR trends and what employers should be prepared to provide for their employees’ experience this year.

Stephanie Lacy is the Founder and CEO of hrEdge Consulting. She has been in the Human Resources industry for 20 years, leading progressive HR initiatives. Stephanie and the hrEdge team are dedicated to accomplishing client goals through strategic people management, policies, processes and systems.

Prior to launching hrEdge, Stephanie was Vice President of Human Resources for HCA Healthcare’s sister hospitals, Memorial Hospital of Tampa and Tampa Community Hospital. Serving as the Executive HR Business Partner, she provided expertise and solutions to department leaders and senior leadership in the areas of talent management, talent acquisition, employee relations, employment law, mergers and acquisitions, HR systems, employee engagement and Rewards and Recognition.

Stephanie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Toledo and a Master’s of Business Administration from The University of South Florida. She also holds a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification. Stephanie is an active member of the Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce, enjoys giving back and volunteering in the community. In 2019 Stephanie became a Contributing Author to The Humans Behind the Resources, a collaborative book following five Culture Architects and their journey in the field of Human Resources. 

Achieve Management Excellence

Learn how implementing the Entrepreneurial Operating System can help you and your leadership team get better at three things: 

  • Vision—getting everyone in your organization 100% on the same page with where you’re going and how you plan to get there
  • Traction®—instilling focus, discipline, and accountability throughout the company so that everyone executes on that vision—every day
  • Healthy helping your leaders become a more cohesive, functional, healthy leadership team


Jonathan Bowman is a lifelong entrepreneur and founded his first company at age 22. Harmony Home Health landed on the 2012 and 2013 TBBJ Fast 50 lists and helped Jonathan win the overall Up & Comers Under 30 Award in 2011. 

Despite nine years of strong growth, Harmony hit the ceiling in 2013. Jonathan implemented the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) to trigger the company’s turnaround, doubling revenue over the next three years, and ultimately sold Harmony to a private equity company as their platform acquisition in the industry.  

Since then, Jonathan has devoted his time to being a Certified EOS Implementer, facilitating 350+ sessions for more than 50 entrepreneurial companies throughout Florida. He is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs get what they want from their businesses.

Jonathan is a graduate of UNC at Chapel Hill and the Entrepreneurial Master’s Program at MIT.  He is a former President of the Entrepreneurs Organization in Tampa Bay.

Protect Against Cyber Risks and Leverage IT Tools

Similar to receiving spam and malware emails, executives are constantly bombarded with Cyber security tips and advice. Along with an expert in cyber security, Don will be providing an overview of cyber security and IT tools to protect your company now without all the fluff and the buzzwords. If you'd like to take control of your IT environment and understand what you need to do today to protect your company, join Don for this informative speech.

Donald H. Noble has over 20 years of financial management experience across various industries and specializes in first and second-stage, fast-growing organizations, and Mergers & Acquisitions. As a CFO, he has helped over 30 firms grow and succeed.

Before becoming a CFO, Don was a technologist for both the US Air Force and for many international companies.

Aside from his CFO career, Don is a professor and instructor of corporate finance and Mergers & Acquisitions. He also speaks on technology and networking and sits on several local boards.

Maximize the Value of Your Business When You Sell 

  • We will cover the most important things you can do to prepare your business for sale.
  • Discussion will center around the 5 Key Value Drivers.
  • We will also cover the 7 Deadliest Mistakes When Selling Your Business.

Emery Ellinger is the CEO of Aberdeen Advisors, Inc., a Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) advisory firm he founded after having built and sold his own multi-million-dollar marketing company. 

Emery has expertise in all areas of M&A advisory practice and has successfully completed hundreds of transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and financings. From the typical transaction to the highly complex deal, Emery has repeatedly been recognized as a leading mergers and acquisitions executive in the Florida market and is well known throughout the South for his ability to connect ideal buyers with sellers. 

Emery’s primary industries of focus are: 

• Healthcare
• Manufacturing
• Distribution
• Business services 

Emery is a strong believer in giving back to the community. He is an active member of Leadership Tampa Bay and serves on the Board of Directors of the St. Anthony’s Hospital Foundation and ACG Tampa Bay.

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