Missy MacFarlane is co-publisher and editor of The Tampa Bay 100, as well as co-founder and principal of B2 Communications, a professional communications firm. She has built a reputation for innovation and results in her years in working at Tampa Bay marketing, advertising and communications agencies.
MacFarlane has garnered results for Sunstar Paramedics, SPCA Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg Free Clinic, Fisher Phillips LLP, Marlow’s Tavern, Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts, historic Ybor City, and other clients. She focuses on providing communications strategy for the firm’s clients and helping the B2 team continue to learn and professionally grow. Read more about MacFarlane.
After a distinguished career in journalism, which included senior editing and reporting positions in the business news department of the then-St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times), Parks moved into corporate communications, marketing and PR. At B2, he focuses on overall agency initiatives and client work for such companies as USAmeriBank, Colliers International, Crescent Communities, Premier Eye Care, Lennar Homes and Metro Development Group. Read more about Parks.
Steve Bernstein is the regional managing partner for the Tampa office of Fisher Phillips, a leading labor and employment law firm. Bernstein has represented employers throughout the United States in traditional labor matters for the past 26 years. He advises clients on union-related matters and compliance with various wage and hour regulations, including the National Labor Relations Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. He also devotes a significant portion of his practice to the implementation of preventive employee relations programs that include supervisory training and effective human resources policies and practices.
Marc Blumenthal is the CEO of Florida Funders, an investing platform that blends the best of equity crowdfunding, angel investing and venture capital to make investing easier and early-stage capital more accessible to Florida companies.
Blumenthal began his entrepreneurial career while still in college when he started Progressive Business Solutions, a full-service technology systems integrator, in 1984. He developed the company until selling it to eParters in 2000.
More recently, he’s known for acquiring a small company called Intelladon in 2003, and building it into a leading provider of online learning and talent management services. In 2013, he sold it to Tribridge, a Microsoft systems integrator and consulting firm.
A public relations agency veteran, Laura Fontanills has a proven track record of establishing clients as subject matter experts in their chosen fields. In her role as Senior Account Executive at B2 Communications, she develops and implements communications plans for a wide range of clients including SPCA Tampa Bay, USAmeriBank, Revenue Management Solutions and the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.
She is past president of Ekhos, a member of High Hopes in High Heels and a 2008 graduate of Leadership Tampa Bay.
Fontanills received her bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. A native Floridian, she loves to spend time outside, even in the unforgiving humidity, with her cavalier spaniels, Lily and Oliver, in tow.
Alina Hall has experience in communications and content creation that ties well into her role as assistant account coordinator at B2, where she provides support for B2’s work with clients like Colliers International, Bryant Miller Olive and Premier Eye Care. She is also part of the editorial team for The Tampa Bay 100, a project of B2 Communications.
Prior to joining B2, Hall gained experience in public relations as communications assistant at AARP Florida. She managed the organization’s radio show, tracked nationwide media relations results and created content for the AARP Florida website.
David Ide brings nearly 30 years of capital markets risk management experience to USAmeriBank as senior vice president and chief investment officer & economist. He leads the bank’s treasury team in managing the bank’s investment portfolio, interest rate risk, wholesale funding and derivatives positions. As the bank’s economist, Ide assists the bank and its customers in interpreting the local and national economic environment and identifying financial opportunities and risk.
Ide received a bachelor’s degree in economics and history from Northwestern University and a MBA in finance from Washington University. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative.
Tyler Killette brings public relations, marketing and journalism experience to her role as an Account Executive at B2 Communications, where she works with clients in the real estate, development and legal industries, as well as the nonprofit arena.
She began her career as a newspaper reporter covering city government for Ledger Media Group in Polk County. She has also written for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the Tampa Tribune and Creative Loafing Tampa, and served as editor-in-chief of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg’s newspaper, The Crow’s Nest.
Christopher Kneer has more than 20 years of banking experience in the Tampa Bay area. He joined USAmeriBank in 2011 to grow and manage the business banking team and create the bank’s SBA program.
In his current role as business banking manager, Kneer oversees a team of relationship managers throughout Tampa Bay. The team is responsible for annual new loan production, fee income, and deposit growth along with providing the highest level of customer service at all times.
The bank’s SBA program operates throughout much of Florida and Alabama. In a short period of time, the program has closed more than $125 million in new loans to help small businesses grow and flourish. The bank’s SBA program has been the No. 1 SBA Lender in Tampa Bay for three consecutive years and is top ranked near the top in Alabama as well.
Prior to joining USAmeriBank, Kneer served as vice president, commercial and SBA lending for Community Bank. He is a graduate of Creighton University and the prestigious Stonier Graduate School of Banking.
Keeley LaForme’s strong background in journalism contributes to her success as Account Executive at B2 Communications. She works with a variety of clients, including USAmeriBank, SPCA Tampa Bay, Marlow’s Tavern and Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture & the Arts.
LaForme began developing her public relations skills in her previous position as marketing communications specialist with The Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg. She worked as a staff writer at the Tampa Bay Times, covering everything from breaking news to feature stories.
She received bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and English, with a certificate in journalism, from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and her master’s degree in journalism and media studies from University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
Meagan Montmeny, ABCDT, CPDT-KA is a certified professional dog trainer and she is the behavior and training department manager at SPCA Tampa Bay, which accepts and cares for all pets surrendered by their owners.
Montmeny evaluates the animals in SPCA Tampa Bay’s care for suitability for adoption and creates behavior modification plans to help pets find homes. She also leads Sniff University, SPCA Tampa Bay’s series of dog training classes. Sniff U helps pet owners bring out the best in their pets by using positive reinforcement training. Classes are geared towards dogs in all stages of life.
Montmeny’s previous career as a schoolteacher provides a unique advantage in her work training dogs and cats. If she can handle teaching elementary and middle school kids, she can handle virtually any behavior issue owners are having with their pets.
Leah Saunders, APR
With wide-ranging public relations experience, Leah Saunders brings knowledge from industries such as tourism, government and healthcare to her role as Account Manager with B2 Communications. She focuses on work for real estate clients, including Colliers International, Crescent Communities, Lennar Homes and Metro Development Group.
Saunders volunteers her PR skills to help promote The Edible Peace Patch Project, a St. Petersburg nonprofit that builds educational gardens in Title I schools.
She received a bachelor’s degree in advertising and public relations from the University of Central Florida. Born and raised in Tampa, she now lives in the ‘Burg with her fiancé, one-year-old rescue dog, Daisy, and her cat, Lily.
Brigitta Shouppe has 10 years of public relations and legislative affairs experience, with a high level of skill in media relations, strategic communication, government relations and crisis communications that assist her in her role as a part-time account executive. This experience is beneficial to clients such as the Florida Economic Development Council, FelCor Lodging Trust Inc., and Parkland Development Corp.
Prior to joining B2, Shouppe was the assistant director of public relations for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. Outside of her part-time work with B2, Shouppe is working on former St. Petersburg mayor Rick Baker’s mayoral campaign.
She graduated from the University of Tampa with a bachelor’s degree in criminology with a dual minor in law and justice and psychology. She’s currently pursuing a master’s degree in journalism and media studies from the University of South Florida, with plans to complete it this year.
Alana Siceloff brings a strong marketing and media relations background to her role as Account Coordinator at B2. Her communications and writing experience is an essential part of her work with clients such as Sunstar Paramedics, Florida Funders and the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.
Siceloff gained experience in public relations as the marketing, communications, and events specialist for RBD Distributors in Orlando, where she managed social media, created content for its website, and coordinated clients’ events.
Siceloff received her bachelor’s degree in advertising and public relations at the University of Central Florida.
Heather Urquides brings strong writing and editorial skills to her role as editor of The Tampa Bay 100 and B2 Communications Account Manager. Urquides has more than 20 years of experience in public relations and journalism, which is essential to her work with B2 clients including Bryant Miller Olive and Peerfit.
Earlier in her career, Urquides was a longtime high-level journalist, working as an editor and reporter for the Tampa Bay Times, the Arizona Republic, and the Arizona Daily Star.
She first gained public relations experience as an account executive for Tampa-based Full Circle PR. Then, as the external communications manager for WellCare Health Plans, Inc., she provided strategic communications counsel to internal stakeholders and leveraged media opportunities to position WellCare executives as experts in their field.
Urquides received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Susana Weymouth is the executive director of Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture & the Arts. Founded in 1989, Tampa Bay BCA is one of 11 national “Business Committees for the Arts,” part of the Private Sector Network and pARTnership Movement of Americans for the Arts. TBBCA unites businesses to champion arts and culture for a prosperous community based on the philosophy that “the arts are good for business, and business is good for the arts.”
TBBCA provides advocacy, resources and support for arts education, arts and cultural organizations, and artists. TBBCA mission-driven programs include Chalk Walk, Cultural Encounters, IMPACT Awards, and The Charlie Hounchell Art Stars Scholarships that provide funding to help talented Tampa Bay area students pursue higher education in the arts.
Weymouth has long been involved with international education, culture and the arts, both in Europe and the U.S. She joined TBBCA in January 2015.