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Last month, 55 community leaders from organizations across the Tampa Bay Area came together to build a home for a local family in Pinellas Park. Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties’ inaugural CEO Build launched this year and was led by honorary chairs: Mindy Grossman, President & CEO of WW (formerly Weight Watchers) and Bill Brand, CEO of Rue21 and Habitat for Humanity International Board Member.

“At Habitat, we partner with businesses across our service area to help local families achieve the dream of affordable homeownership”, explains Mike Sutton, Habitat Pinellas and West Pasco president and CEO. “We are fortunate to have so many local organizations committing to bettering their community through their corporate social responsibly initiatives. The CEO Build will allow that investment to continue through the sponsorship of the Middlebrooks family’s home.”

“Becoming a homeowner with the assistance of the Habitat for Humanity program will give my girls and I the security to provide a forever home, no matter the circumstances”, explains Jasmine Middlebrooks, future Habitat Homeowner and Certified Nursing Assistant at Tampa General Hospital.

The CEO Build kicked off with a social media campaign driven by the community leaders. “I am building for a better community” messages were shared across social media channels, creating excitement around the build.

On February 23rd, a Kickoff Reception was held at the Cordova Inn in St. Petersburg; hosted by the Honorary Chairs. Then, on February 24th, February 26th and March 4th, CEO participants were on site at the Middlebrooks home in Pinellas Park. Those on the build sites assisted with installing doors, cabinets, hurricane shutters, and other projects around the home. They also assisted with landscaping and planting trees in the yard. On the second build day, CEOs actually got to work alongside Jasmine, the homeowner whose house they were building.

“Giving back to this amazing community in which we live has been a mission of Tampa Bay Business and Wealth Magazine from the very beginning. We are blessed to have a platform that engages the business leaders of Tampa Bay and we will continue to use our voice to inspire others to give back in memorable ways. This partnership will allow us to bring together recognizable influencers, with a large employee base, to bring awareness to a compelling cause – access to the American dream of homeownership for all,” says Bridgette Bello, CEO and Publisher of TBBW, who also participated in this year’s build.

To further engage those involved, a wrap-up reception was held on March 23rd at the Karol Hotel Rooftop Bar, sponsored by Tampa General Hospital. At the reception, many of the 55 business leaders gathered together to celebrate the conclusion of the first successful CEO Build, where over $140,000 was raised. During the ceremony, a representative from Tampa General congratulated Jasmine on all of her hard work and accomplishments. Then, Honorary Co-Chair Mindy Grossman sat down with Bridgette Bello for an interview regarding Habitat, affordable homeownership, and her experience working on the CEO Build. Finally, Jasmine Middlebrooks sat down with Jeffrey Fishman, President of Investors Title and long time Habitat supporter, so that she could sign her closing documents in front of her many supporters.

Although Honorary Co-Chair Bill Brand could not be in attendance, he sent his regards and pledged $10,000 as a kick-off for the 2022-2023 CEO Build. Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas & West Pasco’s inaugural CEO Build was a major success and we are very excited to see how this specialty build will grow in years to come and help to support affordable homeownership for more families in our community.

Special thank you to all of the business leaders who helped make this year’s CEO Build possible:

Mindy Grossman – President & CEO of WW (formerly Weight Watchers) (Honorary Co-Chair)

Bill Brand – CEO of Rue21 (Honorary Co-Chair)

Marc Banning –  CEO of Banning Lumber

Ronde Barber – General Chair of Copperhead Charities

John Barrett – President & Chief Executive Officer of First Citrus Bank

Bridgette Bello – CEO & Publisher of Tampa Bay Business & Wealth Magazine

David Bennett – CEO of Pinellas REALTOR® Organization & Central Pasco REALTOR® Organization

Dr. Ravi Chari, MD – President of HCA Healthcare West Florida Division 

Jason Clement – Founder & CEO of The Sports Facilities Companies

Susan Crockett – President & CEO of Ruth Eckerd Hall

John D. Couris – President & CEO of Tampa General Hospital

Thomas J. Del Zoppo – Partner in “New Hotel Collection” Group

Elodie Dorso – President & CEO of Evara Health

Doug Dieck – President of Southeast Region of Ryan Companies 

Dan Doyle, Jr. – CEO of DEX Imaging

Ed Droste – Chairman of Provident Management

Lisa Faller – President of FKQ Advertising & Marketing

Ray Ferrara – CEO of ProVise Management Group

Scott Fink – CEO of Fink Automotive Group

Jeffrey Fishman – President of Investors Title

Stephanie Fischer – President & CEO of Global Retail Marketing Association

Wendy Gattis – CEO of DITEK Corporation

Bill Goede – Tampa Bay President of Bank of America

Robert Glaser – President & CEO of Smith & Associates Real Estate

Leo “LJ” Govoni – CEO of Big Storm Brewery & Distillery

Russ Hallenbeck – CEO of Tibbetts Lumber Company

Kevin Hawkins – CEO of MidAtlantic Finance Company & Owner of Crown Automotive Group

Howard Heckes – President & CEO of Masonite

Keri Higgins-Bigelow – Founder & CEO, livingHR

Cor Hoekstra – Co-founder & CEO of Amicus.io

Patrick Hwu, MD – President & CEO of Moffitt Cancer Center

Tommy Inzina – President & CEO of BayCare

David Kenny – CEO of Nielsen

Neil Kiefer – CEO of Hooters Management Corporation

Anthony Leo –  CEO of First Home Bank

Brooke Mirenda – President & CEO of Sunshine State Economic Development Corporation 

Robin Moch – Partner at M.E. Wilson Company

Jessica Muroff – CEO of United Way Suncoast

Frank Musolino – CEO of Power Design

Karl Nurse – President of Bay Tech Label

Amanda Payne – President & CEO of Amplify Clearwater

Christine Quinn – Owner & Founder of My Family Seasonings, LLC

Steve Raney – Chairman & CEO of Raymond James Bank

Chip Reeves – CEO & President of Beach Bank

Steve Riordan – CEO of Kozuba & Sons Distillery

Elliott Ross – President of Ross Realty Group Inc.

Melissa Seixas – Florida State President of Duke Energy

Kuleen Shah – Founder of Connecting Tampa Bay

Jay Stroman – CEO of USF Foundation

John Strong – Chairman & CEO of Bankers Financial Corporation

Mike Sutton – President & CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties

Lorna Taylor – President & CEO of Premier Eye Care

Brian Van Slyke – Regional President of Kolter Urban LLC

Randy Ware – CEO of WestCMR

Tracy West – Valspar Championship Tournament Director      

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