Innovation Hub USA

Think Big for Kids – Helping Underprivileged Teens Discover Their Potential

Think big for kids team
Think Big for Kids Logo


Think big for kids team
Think Big for Kids was formally announced as the premier teen program of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay during a press conference on June 6, 2018. Pictured left to right: representatives from the Dover Boys & Girls Club; Jeff Priede, owner of JDP Electric, Tony DiBenedetto, founder; Ann Shaler, senior vice president, Enterprise Business & Community Engagement, Bank of America; and Chris Letsos, president and CEO, Boys & Girls Club of Tampa Bay.

In a nutshell, Think Big for Kids is a program that aims to help 2,000 Tampa Bay youths become workforce-ready by 2022. Tech entrepreneur, Tony DiBenedetto, brings his proven mantra of “thinking big” to a venture with a mission to help underprivileged youths unlock their full potential and become the next generation of local talent in high demand.


Think Big for Kids introduces teens from low-income households to a wide variety of career opportunities and assists them in achieving post-graduation goals for employment. The program engages Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay students from sixth to 12th grade through the completion of on-the-job training, trade school certification, or a two-year or four-year degree, depending on their chosen career track.

The idea behind Think Big for Kids came to DiBenedetto after visiting teens at several Boys & Girls Clubs and observing a general lack of career awareness and preparation for life after high school. At one club, he met with 80 high school students and only three raised a hand when he asked if they had plans for post-graduation education. DiBenedetto, whose own childhood was marked by poverty and upheaval, felt compelled to put his time and resources behind formalizing a program to help at-risk kids.

“Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay have a 98% high school graduation rate, but they can’t do it all. I realized our community wasn’t doing enough to help disadvantaged teens prepare for the future,” said DiBenedetto. “At the same time, I consistently heard from CEOs that finding great talent continues to be one of their biggest challenges. Think Big for Kids is a convergence of two major needs in our community, with the potential to make a tremendous humanitarian and economic impact.”

Think big for kids students
Jeff Preide, owner of JDP Electric, introduces Boys & Girls Clubs students to the concept of electrical contracting by helping them build their own lamps.

THE BIG GOAL: 2,000 BY 2022

Think Big for Kids partners with area businesses representing high-growth industries to offer field trips, career showcases, mentorship, internships, scholarships and ultimately job offers. From electrical contracting and nursing, to cyber security and technical design, partner companies provide a long-term commitment that will see the teens through the program, with an eye toward building their respective job pipelines with known talent they have already invested in.

Volunteers and partner companies begin working with Think Big kids in middle school, when statistics show they are at greatest risk for peer pressure and lagging behind academically. By keeping them engaged in their early teens at the Boys & Girls Clubs, Think Big for Kids has a platform to introduce different careers, industries and companies across the area, identify general interests and begin to shape individualized career tracks. The focus is on educational preparedness, whether that means going to trade school or navigating college admissions.

“We work with kids who are often overlooked, under-challenged and would otherwise wind up in low-wage jobs with very little chance of career advancement,” said DiBenedetto. “This program doesn’t just focus on the ‘A’ students. We help all kids find a path to success that fits their passion, regardless of their grades or background. Our goal is to prepare 2,000 teens served through Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay for the workforce by 2022.”

Tony DiBenedetto

NTC – Nashville Technology Council

NTC awards
Nashville Technology Council NTC Logo
london trip NTC


The history of the Nashville Technology Council (NTC) dates back to 1999 when a group of business leaders came together to address the need in Nashville for better-paying tech jobs and improved capital investment in technology start-ups. From its inception, the mission of the NTC was to be a catalyst for the growth and influence of Middle Tennessee’s tech industry.

Middle Tennessee is growing, and along with it so is the tech community. Today, the NTC supports the local technology sector through its 450 member companies, educational organizations, and nonprofits by coordinating local technology workforce development, connecting professionals to cultivate a collaborative community, uniting around policies that nurture expansion and attract both talent and businesses, and promoting Middle Tennessee as the Nation’s Creative Tech Destination.

NTC awards


Community Programming

The NTC’s Community Events are opportunities to bring different segments of the Nashville tech community together to network, build relationships, and share ideas. The NTC hosts 80+ community events a year, including six signature events ranging from 200 to 600+, on topics including professional development, tech education, BI & analytics, tech marketing, business development, cybersecurity, health tech, public policy and more. The NTC additionally serves as a strategic and promotional partner on numerous Greater Nashville area events.

NTC - analytics summit

Professional Development

The NTC has many ways to grow your professional network — in-person and online — through its signature events, programs, meetings, and webinars. Members build relationships through Peer Networks – including BI & Analytics, Veterans, Nashville DevOps, Sales & Business Development,
and Marketing & Tech – and Leadership Exchanges – including ELITE for emerging leaders and the CIO Leadership Exchange.

Workforce Development

The Nashville area is booming, and so is the need for tech talent. The NTC focuses on increasing the number of undergraduates enrolled in tech-related majors through directed outreach and technology programs with students as young as third grade. The work starts early to interest young students in tech and future tech careers to fill those college program seats. The NTC organizes tech-professional volunteers to support teachers in classrooms during the Hour of Code – regularly teaching programming to 2,200+ students each December. Entering our third year, the NTC Tech Camps have provided summer tech education to more than 800 students ages eight through 18. Traveling Tech Days are organized field trips for high school students throughout the year to experience tech jobs and
workplaces in the region, reaching more than 1,000 students to date.

NTC - workforce development - robots

Tech Hill Commons

Tech Hill Commons is the new public gathering place for Nashville’s diverse community of tech leaders, business builders, user groups, students and tech educators. The 9,500 sq foot tech venue houses the NTC’s new HQ, two executive boardrooms, 150-person event space, and a tech learning center. Whether you’re looking to challenge your team in an offsite retreat in the Comcast Board Room; teleconference with a client in the ENA Conference Room, powered by Cisco; organize your next cohort meeting in the PwC Learning Lab; develop the next generation of tech leaders in the Dell Learning Center; or launch your new innovation in the Event Center – our Tech Hill Commons spaces are available to exceed your organization’s needs.

NTC - tech hill commons - grand opening

Apprenti TN

The NTC Foundation, in partnership with the Greater Nashville Technology Council, has launched Apprenti TN. Apprenti TN, the first technologyfocused apprenticeship program in Tennessee, is unlike internships or traditional job training options. Apprenti TN combines paid on-the-job training and education with placement in highly skilled, salary-competitive occupations. The program works with the tech industry to identify mid-tier jobs ready to be filled by highly competent people regardless of educational background. Apprenti TN actively recruits women, minorities, and
veterans to aid in diversifying the tech industry, but everyone is eligible and encouraged to apply.

Apprenti Tennessee NTC

Public Policy

The NTC works to unite the Middle Tennessee business community and advocates for policies that empowers technological innovation to thrive in our region. In 2018 NTC and its members organized more than 136 engagements with local and national policy makers and lobbied and testified on issues including net neutrality, data breach policy, and blockchain technology.

Nashville Analytics Summit

One of the most successful examples of the NTC’s work is the growing BI & Analytics peer group which connects professionals around the topic of big data and analytics. With the peer group’s guidance, the NTC produces The Nashville Analytics Summit. Starting with 90 attendees just five years ago, the 2018 Analytics Summit saw more than 600 attendees from hundreds of organizations across Middle Tennessee and surrounding technology communities.

The two-day conference empowers professionals to leverage data analytics to grow more effective and competitive organizations by including dozens of workshop & speaker sessions presented by experts on topics ranging from Big Data & Predictive Analytics to Delivery Insights & Professional

NTC workforce development - traveling tech day
NTC - Advocacy - DC fly in

NTC Awards

Nashville’s tech awards are dedicated to connecting, uniting, developing and promoting Middle Tennessee’s rich community of developers and technology entrepreneurs, enthusiasts and institutions with awards in 14 categories. Winners are awarded a signature Gibson guitar before a jam-packed audience of 600+ Middle Tennessee tech community peers.

NTC Awards stage

The Greater Nashville Technology Council, 500 Interstate Blvd S., Suite 200, Nashville TN 37210
Phone number: 615-873-1284
twitter: @nashtechcouncil

Grow Financial – Innovation is a Growth Strategy

Grow Financial quote





Innovation goes to our roots, beginning with the handful of original employees who had the bright idea to establish Grow Financial as the first credit union dedicated to serving the civilian and military personnel of MacDill Air Force Base. Why? Because until 1955, no one else in Tampa Bay thought of doing so. Today, the bright ideas just keep coming from our employees. Grow conducts an annual Innovation Challenge, where teams compete for cash prizes in a format similar to “Shark Tank,” presenting actionable proposals for improving our services to a panel of judges representing business units within the credit union.

It’s just one way to answer a question we constantly ask ourselves: How can we do better? As a local financial cooperative up against bigger players in the highly competitive consumer banking marketplace, innovation has been our growth strategy from the start.

And it’s always been about the experience of our members, making connections with the lives we touch.

That connection can take the form of an app which enables our members to conduct their banking business conveniently and securely. Or by designing store interiors to create a welcoming, comfortable environment. Or by being a participating sponsor at events important to the community, such as Tampa Pride and the St. Jude Walk/Run.

“We’re probably bigger than we would be if we had not taken some risks,” said Bob Fisher, who has been Grow’s CEO since 1993. He cited two recent examples: the expansion into South Carolina, where the credit union has five stores serving the Columbia/Charleston areas; and allocating more marketing dollars to non-traditional channels, reaching out to younger members where they are via social media.

At Grow Financial, innovation is driven by the need to stay relevant, and that’s simply doing what matters most for the membership.

graduation Grow Financial


The Innovation Challenge is just one example of employees embracing the Grow mantra: Be Bold. Be Great. Have Fun. “That didn’t come from a book,” said Thomas Feindt, President of Grow Financial. “It didn’t come from a consultant. It came from conversations with employees about what makes us a great place to work.”

Employees also express their opinions about Grow during another annual event, the Top Workplaces survey of companies conducted by the Tampa Bay Times. More than 70% of Growemployees regularly participate, and this year, the credit unionfinished first among large employers (500 or more employees).

Grow Financial quote
Grow Financial - succulents

What’s the secret?
“We put our employees at the top of the list,” said Mr. Fisher. “We have members to take care of, but if I don’t have happy employees, that’s not going to happen.”

Yes, Grow does offer a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits. However, money alone doesn’t guarantee happy employees. Special emphasis is placed on professional development, and on fostering a culture where diversity is welcomed.

Most important of all is communication. “Keeping the Lines Open” is one of our key Guiding Principles. Management maintains transparency through such venues as live, bi-weekly “Text the Exec” sessions, in addition to regular updates via email and an internal video magazine.

“Nothing beats strong communication,” said Mr. Fisher, “to keep employees engaged.”


The digital revolution is driving the pace of change in consumer banking, so in 2013, we decided to get ahead of change by improving communication between teams and more effectively connecting the strategic goals of the organization with the daily, tactical execution of the business units.

Grow went Agile, embracing this project management system originating from Silicon Valley.

In the Agile methodology, departments work in two-week “sprints.” Projects are prioritized according to organizational goals, then broken down by tasks. Teams give daily progress updates and at the end of the sprint, completed work is submitted for review by the stakeholders.

Grow Financial - exec-standup
Insured by NCUA

Agile is proving to be especially advantageous for identifying and resolving issues early on, and for ensuring constant communication and continuous integration between departments. Here again, the emphasis is on transparency, with Agile enabling the rapid exchange of ideas and inspiring innovative problem solving.

“By adopting Agile,” said Mr. Feindt, “we now have a better sense of connection between our VP level group and our senior executives around what are the key initiatives that are important to the organization. Projects are getting done faster, and employees are a lot happier.”

grow logo_Pantone

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Tampa Bay Wave – 10 Years of Driving Innovation & Building Community

Tampa Bay Wave - Pitch_Night
Tampa Bay Wave - Pitch_Night



In 2018, Tampa Bay Wave celebrated ten years of leadership in Tampa Bay’s growing tech startup community. For the past decade, we have made it our mission to foster collaboration, drive innovation, and become a leading advocate for technology startups in Tampa Bay. As a “for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs” organization, we serve a multitude of companies as we work toward our mission of building breakout technology companies in Tampa Bay.

Tampa Bay Wave - red wall marketing

Tampa Bay Wave began in 2008 as a meet-up of local CEOs and founders of technology startups. Founder and current President/ CEO, Linda Olson set out to provide a resource to an under-served population of business leaders looking to innovate and grow.

Linda recently said, “Community is key to success in our region.” She believes that building a community around technology and innovation was the foundational first step to what Startup Genome has recently recognized as an ambitious and growing ecosystem.

Tampa Bay Wave team

Ecosystems require many contributing elements and a diverse set of ideas. We serve this need by focusing on collaborative partnerships and diversity. With our recent TechDiversity accelerator program in collaboration with the Nielsen Foundation, we have had the pleasure of working with ten companies from around the United States all owned or founded by women, minorities, veterans, or LGBT.

At the heart of Tampa Bay Wave is our accelerator program. This program marries a variety of programming, support, and connectivity to provide participating companies with the resources necessary to move confidently through those pivotal early stages that are so vital to success.

Tampa Bay Wave’s accelerator focuses on a hands-on approach that moves startups from the build stage to an investment-ready business in just ninety days. Combined with support resources like mentorship, a growing investor network, and meaningful peer relationships built during the program, Wave has evolved to meet the needs of local startups and has begun to attract many companies from outside of Tampa Bay and from cities like New York and Austin. Running two to three accelerator programs annually, Tampa Bay Wave serves more than 100 entrepreneurs per year. We also have a variety of post-accelerator opportunities including close mentorship from Executive Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIRs) like Tony DiBenedetto and Steve MacDonald to help our companies continue their journey toward success.

Tampa Bay Wave work space
Tampa Bay Wave - office
Tampa Bay Wave meeting

Tampa Bay Wave’s accelerator program has been recognized by a variety of organizations including being the only GAN (Global Accelerator Network) member in the state of Florida and a member of InBIA (International Business Innovation Association). Beyond recognition, we are incredibly proud to serve our community and the entrepreneurs who are helping to grow that community.

Because helping entrepreneurs is at the heart of Tampa Bay Wave’s mission, we will continue to expand our services to assure we are contributing value to the Tampa Bay entrepreneurial community. Whether it is more education, leadership, and/or capital investment opportunities, Tampa Bay Wave is committed to building companies and growing the Tampa Bay area’s ability to support a thriving technology and innovation community.

There are a variety of ways to engage with the Wave community. Whether you are an entrepreneur interested in our accelerator programming, a “solopreneur” or small company looking for co-working space, or a large company looking to support innovation and economic development, visit us at to get involved.

Tampa Bay Wave logo - Alex Sink

500 E. Kennedy Blvd, Suite 300
Tampa, Florida 33602
Phone: 866-928-3066
twitter/facebook: tampabaywave
linkedin: tampa-bay-wave

Catalyst – A Professional, Collaborative Co-Working Space

CATALYST - workspace
CATALYST - workspace




Catalyst is a light, airy workspace with 20-foot exposed ceilings, brick walls, glass-enclosed offices and conference rooms. Catalyst has sleek, ergonomic furnishings in both open and private workspaces, with month-to-month memberships and amenities, including high-speed internet, technology-enabled conference rooms, craft coffee bar, lounge, and more.

The Catalyst community includes a diverse group of talented entrepreneurs, tech startups, creatives, independent workers, and others, seeking to grow their careers and businesses by working in and taking advantage of the resources in our dynamic, collaborative workspace.

One of the many benefits of working at Catalyst is the mentorship available from the Catalyst Startup Coalition – a group of 10 seasoned, early-stage business experts with offices at Catalyst. Their collective expertise and experience address the problems entrepreneurs face in growing and scaling their startups. In addition to the free office hours the Catalyst Startup Coalition provides, the Coalition offers a variety of programs and events at Catalyst, including monthly investor pitch practice sessions, workshops, panels, and networking events.


Catalyst is also home to VentureScaleUp – a mentorship-driven advanced technology accelerator. The VentureScaleUp program provides highgrowth startups with mentorship, strategic advice, and inspiration through its mentor network of role models, investors, and seasoned entrepreneurs. These executives have built startups that have scaled. VentureScaleUp offers entrepreneurs extensive access to Florida angel, seed, and early-stage capital funding sources. These relationships open the doors to funding.

Catalyst hosts numerous meetups, workshops, presentations, and events for its members and the Orlando entrepreneurial ecosystem, where entrepreneurs learn, network, and get inspired. Catalyst is the Orlando home to numerous national entrepreneurial organizations, including Startup Grind Orlando, Lean Startup Orlando, Orlando Open Coffee Club, and Startup Weekend Orlando, and has hosted national hackathons, including the AT&T Mobile App & IoT Hackathon and the Telecom Applications Developer Hackathon.

Catalyst has created a welcoming community in Downtown Orlando, where entrepreneurs can be productive and creative, make connections and collaborate, and grow and scale their businesses.

CATALYST cubicle
Catalyst Logo

1 S. Orange Ave., Fifth Floor
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: (407) 982-3999

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Cognis Group – Innovation Forward

Cognis team Table shot
cognis horz logo
Cognis team Table shot

What if?

It’s a simple phrase with a vast world of potential outcomes. It’s a question that our innovation consultancy keeps forefront in our minds with every unique conversation.

What if artificial intelligence becomes a more advanced part of day to day business? What if an even greater number of services offered real-time health monitoring for our families? Or if a solution was found to eliminate pollution in our waters? The opportunities for every innovator to impact today and shape tomorrow are endless, and those opportunities are our passions.

We offer broad access to experts across an expansive number of industries, making us a full-service partner for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies like BASF, Conagra, GM, Intel, Novartis, Hershey’s, Syngenta, and Purina to research universities including Harvard, University of Florida, and John Hopkins, to leading federal institutions and individual inventors

Rooted in entrepreneurial spirit, Cognis Group has become an indispensable resource in helping companies make sense of data and trend implications for their intellectual property pipeline, and for finding the right licensing partners to forward the commercialization path of those science and tech innovations.

“Over several years, the team has supported our partnering, technology scouting, and IP analytics needs. Their team has developed a keen understanding of our industry and has brought their knowledge to bear on some of our key R&D issues.” Lynn Winterton, Alcon Laboratories, Inc.

Our carefully crafted team includes consultants and researchers with specializations ranging from engineering and biopharmaceuticals to futurist-insight and academia. On the Intellectual Property side, we focus on IP Landscaping, delivering commissioned reports to help company leaders understand their existing IP positions in the marketplace and how to optimize them. We also provide IP Analytics to help entities project the commercial potential of their technologies, patents, and portfolio.

Combining the power of these analytics with our Commercialization services helps to take these opportunities from development to deployment through Partnering Searches and Scouting Services. From, our self-service technology marketplace for the life science, pharmaceutical, and medical device industries, to tailored engagements facilitated one to one through our team, we help make market potential a viable reality.

SuperCooler Technologies commissioned Cognis Group to find the right partner for their supercooling N1 Nucleator, resulting in their relationship with Coca-Cola and a national rollout of ‘Arctic Coke’.

Cognis - Anthony in element

We also understand that having a robust pipeline today is only a part of the equation. To truly make an impactful difference far into the future, companies need the best inspiration to fan the flames of innovation. Our seasoned futurists are that spark, curating commissioned reports unique to our client needs and new reports for, our subscription site dedicated to providing concise, intelligent, and insightful research about the future of consumers, technology, and business.

At Cognis, we are proud to be part of a team that can provide companies with an exhaustive perspective on what true innovation can be. It is our mission to continue helping our partners answer those endless ‘what if ’s’, and our purpose to keep building the runway for all the creators and disruptors of tomorrow.

“I’ve worked with Future in Focus over the past few years, and the trend insights I’ve had access to have helped with tremendously with forming our strategic plans. The team is a pleasure to work with and you can tell they are passionate about trends forecasting.” Ruth Waters, ConAgra Foods

FutureInFocus Logo - cognis

550 North Reo St,
Suite 200, Tampa FL 33609

BlockSpaces – Education & Development Center for Blockchain Technology

Blockspaces interior
BlockSpaces Logo
Blockspaces interior


BlockSpaces is a specialized education and development center for blockchain technology. Founded in Tampa, Florida in early 2018, the space was built organically by the community in response to the needs of the rapidly emerging industry. It quickly became known as a trusted hub of information about cryptocurrency/blockchain technology from knowledgeable, experienced professionals in a friendly environment.

BlockSpaces - group bitcoin 9th birthday party


In 2013, a little known, fringe technology called “bitcoin” caught the interest of Gabe Higgins and Rosa Shores. After months of research, with little available information and a desire to meet others who understood this new thing referred to as “cryptocurrency”, the couple decided to organize a meetup and, in early 2014, the Tampa Bay Bitcoin meetup was born. Although attendance would spike and was based on the price of bitcoin throughout the years, a solid core of attendees began to settle as understanding and promise of the potential of blockchain technology and adoption of cryptocurrencies grew. In 2017, blockchain entered a hyper-growth phase as meetups began attracting hundreds of new enthusiasts and developers interested in learning and working together. It became obvious that a dedicated space was needed to answer the needs of the community, and with their support, BlockSpaces opened its doors in March 2018.

BlockSpaces Grand Opening event
BlockSpaces - Synapse Blockchain Hub

In a collaborative learning environment, BlockSpaces is now home to several blockchain startups and offers a variety of cryptocurrency/blockchain related meetups, educational classes, bootcamps, workshops, and hackathons daily, in addition to blockchain development services.

BlockSpaces is truly a community working together for a shared vision, which is realizing that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology could be one of the most important discoveries in history. BlockSpaces has managed to attract some of the best and brightest minds in the Tampa area to achieve that vision and to encourage others to invest in knowledge to gain an understanding of blockchain technology and it’s wide range of potential applications.

BlockSpaces USF panel
BlockSpaces event / meetup

The founders say; “Our team is our community. We invite all interested individuals to bring their skills, knowledge, and resources to BlockSpaces and work with us to learn, grow and maybe even create a better, more
decentralized future.”

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CCS – The Leading Fundraising Consulting & Management Firm

CCS - Philadelphia Pennsylvania Skyline
CCS - logo


CCS - Philadelphia Pennsylvania Skyline


CCS provides tailored support to more than 400 nonprofit organizations every year. With over 300 fundraising professionals and 14 offices throughout the United States and Europe, we have the capacity and the expertise to help both local and international organizations achieve outstanding results.

This year, CCS is excited to strengthen our commitment to the Philadelphia nonprofit community with the opening of a flagship office in Center City.


Members of the CCS team are experts in fundraising, strategy, planning, major gifts, capital and endowment campaigns, resource development initiatives, research, and data analytics. Our experience spans all sectors, disciplines, and regions. This big-picture perspective helps us to uncover breakthrough insights and offer real-time solutions unique to each organization. While the results of our work are immediate, the impact of the strategies, tools, and tactics we develop with our clients is enduring.


CCS helps organizations plan, implement, and manage fundraising initiatives that raise funds today and strengthen organizations for a sustainable future. Our services include strategic advising, feasibility and planning studies, campaign management, interim development management, custom learning, leadership coaching, donor strategy and research, organizational bench-marking, predictive modeling and data analytics.

CCS Hands


CCS - data graphic

Predictive Modeling and Data Analytics

To propel fundraising in an ever-changing philanthropic marketplace, CCS is utilizing new technologies and predictive modeling to: help our partners locate and appropriately engage the best donors, motivate fundraising staff performance, and improve existing donor relationships. Our dedicated Research and Analytics team works side-by-side with CCS clients to design focused portfolios of the strongest candidates for activation and engagement complemented by data-assisted performance assessments that can help organizations track progress, set goals, build accountability and foster professional growth opportunities.

Today, CCS clients are using data to drive donor cultivation strategies and employing statistical models to accurately forecast goal-setting and anticipate greater fundraising potential. In partnership with CCS, an emerging number of clients are leveraging data to design strategies for principal giving and big bet philanthropy aimed toward addressing society’s most pervasive challenges and compelling solutions.

With our robust analytics and research capabilities, we leverage data to support better campaign action plans, helping our partners to identify untapped opportunities and new donors.

Thought Leadership

CCS regularly convenes nonprofit leaders in Philadelphia and around the world to network, share experiences, and discuss effective strategies for growing fundraising income and navigating the philanthropic climate. In the last year, we presented our trade insights at over 60 events, published 29 original articles, and developed a Philanthropic Landscape report that highlights trends, insights, and key industry data from major markets across the nation.

CCS Landscape
CCS Phila Forum photo
In June 2018, CCS and the Museum of the American Revolution co-hosted a highly-attended Philanthropy Forum in Philadelphia. CCS Managing Director, Greg Hagin, served as moderator for a distinguished panel including: (left to right) Jamie Gauthier, Executive Director, Fairmount Park Conservancy, Deborah O’Brien, SVP and Market Executive, Bank of America, Corinne O’Connell, CEO, Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia, Richard Vague, Managing Partner, Gabriel Investments and General John Jumper, Acting President and CEO, Museum of the American Revolution.


CCS continues to push the possibilities of philanthropy in partnership with our clients. We are proud of current and recent clients who are transforming lives and communities across the Philadelphia region, including: The Barnes Foundation, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, The Franklin Institute, The Free Library of Philadelphia, Habitat for Humanity of Philadelphia, Kennedy Health, Make-a-Wish Philadelphia, Delaware and Susquehanna Valley, Lehigh Valley Health Network, The Mann Center, The National Constitution Center, The Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA, Project HOME, The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia, Temple University, and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.

CCS - Greg Hagin

“We turn insights into actions,
challenges into opportunities, and
fundraising goals into mission impact.”
Greg Hagin, Partner and Managing Director – CCS
Fundraising Greater Philadelphia

2001 Market Street, Suite 2500
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: 215-567-6760

Good Day Solutions – Proven To Deliver…

Good Day Solutions Tampa
Good day solutions logo
Good day solutions - MABSBlue-logo
Good Day Solutions Tampa


What makes us different - We Listen

Listening to understand is a skill. We listen to you. Developing a successful plan starts with knowing what you want and how accomplishing those goals will impact your team and your customers.

Simplicity is key. After 20 years of analyzing organizations, we have found a common thread – complexity stifles, confuses and stalls progress; simplicity engages, clarifies, and fuels progress. We help you simplify to optimize positive outcomes.

Impactful Corporate Citizenship

Using innovation to solve social issues we take your CSR program beyond volunteerism and philanthropy. Together, we make Tampa Bay the key place to live, play and do business.

Diversity Begets Innovation

When your team is clear on the goals and tactics, engaged, activated, and empowered with tools to measure and benchmark their success – goals are achieved and innovation thrives. We help build or activate your team so everyone has a voice and you benefit from the collective impact.

Success starts with a Business Assessment

A business assessment is one of your most valuable tools. We will assess the current state of your business, survey your customers, conduct a SWOT analysis, help define your desired state and create a priority map. Knowing the health of your business and identifying areas for potential growth will position your organization to remain competitive, be innovative, and set the trend.

Good day solutions Jamie and Merrill

Business Development

Do you get caught up on a project and realize that you haven’t spent time filling the pipeline with new prospects? Do you just need a little help with follow up or follow through to increase customer retention and new business? We can become an extension of your team. Let us help you with the work you don’t seem to have time to do, or secure key relationships so that you can take the next steps to grow your business. It’s all about planning and prioritizing, which we happen to be pretty good at.

Cause Marketing

Do you have a brand that is looking for a “good cause” to link with and support? Or are you a non-profit that could use some additional awareness and community support but need a businesswith which to partner? We can create the perfect match and a plan to grow businesses’ brands while giving back.

Secure Resources

You do not need to carry the organizational planning, development or marketing on your own.

We work with you and your team to assess your current and desired state.

We believe that life is what you make of it and that every day can be a Good Day. Our personalized approach is centered around you, your goals, your team and your success.

We help establish and simplify processes, streamline your management structure, leverage innovative technology solutions, grow your market share, optimize your results and enable deeper engagement with your team, your customers and your community.

Whether it’s broad planning and strategic focus in a traditional consulting role, or rolling up our sleeves and filling in the gaps your team may be challenged with, we help you focus on how to maximize the following:

• Donor Cultivation
• Impact Messaging
• Annual Giving
• Social Media
• Donor Relations
• Marketing / Public Relations
• In-kind and Volunteer Recruitment
• Major Gift Investment Opportunities
• Planned Giving

Good Day Solutions Jamie Renee, CEO

Good Day Solutions
Jamie Renee, CEO

Marketing & Business Solutions Merrill Stewart, CEO

Marketing & Business Solutions
Merrill Stewart, CEO

Cherry Bekaert – Perpetuating Success by Paying it Forward

Cherry Bekaert volunteer group



Cherry Bekaert logo
Cherry Bekaert volunteer group

Dear Innovators and Entrepreneurs:

Congratulations on your decision to make Tampa Bay – and its thriving technology community – the starting point for your future growth and success.

I am Chris Rux, the Central Florida managing partner for Cherry Bekaert. We are a full-service accounting and consulting firm with a footprint throughout the Southeast.

Our Tampa team is engrained throughout all facets of our community – continuing a tradition of involvement and service that began at our origin as a successful hometown firm and extends into the present day.

We have been and continue to be energized by the ideas, talent, and enthusiasm found throughout the Bay Area and believe everyone benefits when we tap into and share our strengths with one another.

Cherry Bekaert team

How we help is just as important as the services we offer.

Expertise and resources are obvious reasons clients choose Cherry Bekaert. However, I would also suggest that how we honor our commitments is the reason our clients retain Cherry Bekaert for the long term and recommend us to others. 

Firm-wide, our shared values guide all of our interactions: Uncompromising Integrity, a Passion for Excellence, Mutual Respect, and One Firm.

I believe in these values and strive to live them daily. It’s a simple concept, but I can honestly say I’ve witnessed, time and again, how doing right by others positively impacts our working relationships and ripples throughout the community.

Perpetuating success by paying it forward.

Personally and professionally, I also firmly believe in the concept of Paying It Forward. This idea can take many forms, including time, talent, and treasure. It not only applies to special occasions and projects but – perhaps more importantly – to our ongoing, everyday interactions.

Cherry Bekaert – Feeding Tampa Bay
Cherry Bekaert Team

Supporting civic organizations and addressing the needs of the greater community is one way to do this.

We recently held our annual volunteer week, where every person in the firm took a day off to give back to our communities. Locally, our Partners and Associates spent the day volunteering for three great civic organizations – Feeding Tampa Bay, Metropolitan Ministries, and Ronald McDonald House.

Beyond our obligation to our community, I feel it is equally important to realize that very few of us got to where we are without a little help. We’ve all had mentors, formally or informally, whether we realized at the time (or not). And we can return the favor by helping others as someone once helped us.

Pay It Forward! Mentor an up-and-coming person or company, recognize talent, offer opportunities, or impart experience. By sharing our know-how, successes, and failures – from generation to generation – we allow others the opportunity to succeed.

It all adds up.

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My challenge to you.

Let’s create a cycle of connection, collaboration, and success that allows your organization, other innovators, and our entire community to thrive.

I challenge you to share your time, talents, and treasure with others every day! Collectively, let’s leave a legacy that makes the Tampa Bay a better place tomorrow than it is today.

Our team at Cherry Bekaert is up for the challenge. The question is: Are you?

As you continue your journey, if there is ever any way I – or, by extension, our team at Cherry Bekaert – can help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me any time.


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Christopher F. Rux, CPA
Managing Partner, Central Florida
Chery Bekaert LLP