The Top 25 Business Leaders of Tampa for 2023

Great Entrepreneurs is pleased to announce The Top 25 Business Leaders of Tampa for 2023. While Tampa has gained popularity for its beautiful white-sand beaches and family-friendly attractions, it has evolved into more than just a tourist destination. In recent years, the coastal region has emerged as the industrial, commercial, and financial hub of Florida's west coast. Its favorable business conditions have attracted major operations from some of the world’s most recognizable brands. This year’s awardees are an equally diverse group of entrepreneurs and executives who work in a wide array of companies, from fintech and healthcare platforms to family-owned businesses and American corporations.

Among this year’s awardees, Clare Doyle, the Chief Executive Officer of Verdesian Life Sciences, brings more than 35 years of experience across a variety of industries, most notably electronics, specialty chemicals, and building materials sectors. Additionally, as Chief Executive Officer of Xpress Global Systems, Dan Martin led the company to acquire three regional carriers, expanding their footprint in the US. Another recipient, Kerem Koca, is the Chief Executive Officer of BlueCloud, a company that provides tailored solutions for many Fortune 500 clients through the implementation of leading cloud technologies.

We commend these individuals for their commitment to the organizations they serve. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 25 Business Leaders of Tampa for 2023.


1. Sreedhar Veeramachaneni
Chief Executive Officer, System Soft Technologies

Sreedhar Veeramachaneni is the Chief Executive Officer of System Soft Technologies, an IT service management company. They solve IT challenges of your limited managed IT services, which can hinder you from accomplishing technology solutions goals. In 1999, while working as an individual IT consultant for a banking institution, Veeramachaneni identified the need to form a single organization that could offer its clients full-life-cycle applications and staffing services to address growing IT needs. Starting with a handful of people in Clearwater, Florida, he drove the company’s growth to over 900 employees and offices throughout North America and India.

Throughout this journey, Veeramachaneni focused on streamlining IT staffing processes to help reduce costs for clients and drive profitability. New, growing revenue became the foundation for System Soft’s success, both over the past two decades and going into the future. Veeramachaneni holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering and is an avid cyclist.


2. Ian Mackechnie
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Amscot Financial

Ian Mackechnie is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Amscot Financial, an American financial services company headquartered in Tampa, Florida. They provide consumer financial services through a network of 237 retail branches located exclusively within Florida. Their core services include check cashing, bill payment, prepaid access cards, short-term cash advances, money orders, ATMs in every branch, wire transfers, notary services, fax services, and postage. Amscot’s brand is The Money Superstore. Mackechnie further contributes to his community by directing his company to financially support not-for-profits and charitable organizations in every community where Amscot operates its branch locations. Some of Amscot’s community support and outreach efforts include partnering with and contributing to the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations, Metropolitan Ministries, Children Rescue Network, and United Way.

MacKechnie carries more than five decades of entrepreneurial experience. At only 16, he began working at his father’s bakery in Victoria, British Columbia. It was there that he started his career in the world of business. He drew on this experience as a management trainee at an Associated British Foods bakery plant in his native Scotland, later forming his own wholesale bakery with his father and brother in 1963. MacKechnie assumed the role of CEO of MacKechnie Rolls in 1970 and helped grow the business into a successful commercial baked goods supplier that served more than 1,300 Scottish grocery stores. In addition to leading Amscot, MacKechnie finds time to remain active in his professional sphere, serving on the boards of the Community Financial Services Association of America, Financial Service Centers of America, and Financial Service Centers of Florida. MacKechnie is a past Board Trustee of the University of Tampa and Tampa Museum of Art.


3. Trevor Baldwin
President and Chief Executive Officer, Baldwin Risk Partners

Trevor Baldwin is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Baldwin Risk Partners, an independent insurance distribution firm delivering tailored insurance and risk management insights and solutions that give their clients the peace of mind to pursue their purpose, passion, and dreams. Baldwin joined the firm in 2009 as a Commercial Risk Advisor working primarily with healthcare and private equity clients. Over time, he led the firm’s Commercial Risk Management Group as Managing Director before his current role.

Baldwin has a background in investing in and working with companies to shape their goals and success. Before joining Baldwin Risk Partners, Baldwin worked at the private equity firm HealthEdge Investment Partners. While at HealthEdge, Baldwin divided his time between working with portfolio companies on operational improvements and assisting in the execution of new transactions. Baldwin graduated from Florida State University with a BA in Risk Management & Insurance. He received his FAA Pilot’s license and USCG Captain’s license. Baldwin is an avid outdoors enthusiast, enjoys spending time with friends and family, and resides in Tampa.


4. Nipesh Shah
President and Chief Executive Officer, Anchor Glass Container Corporation

Nipesh Shah is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Anchor Glass Container Corporation. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, the company is a leading North American manufacturer of premium glass containers with six strategically located production facilities throughout the US. Founded in 1983, Anchor serves many of the most iconic and recognizable consumer packaging brands in the beer, beverage, spirits, and food industries.

Shah first joined the company in 2017. Before joining Anchor, he led profitable growth for several global industrial companies. Shah holds a BE in polymer engineering from Maharashtra Institute of Technology and an MS in polymer engineering from the University of Akron.


5. Randy Hassen
Chief Executive Officer, McKibbon Hospitality

Randy Hassen is the Chief Executive Officer of McKibbon Hospitality. McKibbon creates memorable hospitality experiences that inspire brand and property loyalty. It’s how they’ve grown into one of the largest (and most awarded) hotel management companies in the country. They operate dozens of hotels for Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, and other iconic hospitality brands. Their legacy is built on a foundation of integrity, anchored in how they value their guests, treat their associates and partners, and give back to their communities.

Hassen’s career with McKibbon began in 1991 as a part-time houseperson at the Days Inn Athens. It was during this time that he was quickly immersed in the McKibbon culture and his dedication to serving others. After graduating from the University of Georgia in 1994, he served as the opening General Manager of the Courtyard Tampa North before opening the Courtyard Tampa Downtown, where he was awarded the 1995 Courtyard by Marriott General Manager of the Year. From there, he was promoted to Director of Operations, followed by VP of Operations, SVP of Operations, and President.


6. Vern Malpass
President and Chief Executive Officer, Merit Logistics

Vern Malpass is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Merit Logistics. He has been with the company for nine years. Merit Logistics is partnered with many of the nation’s leading grocery chains, retailers, and 3PLs to provide flexible, skilled warehouse labor solutions that assist them in optimizing efficiency, throughput, and profitability for their distribution centers. They strive to help their clients succeed by providing the most reliable, responsive, expert warehouse labor services available to support their supply chain goals while providing their warehouse associates with opportunities to grow, succeed, and prosper.

Malpass has over 20 years of 3rd party logistics industry experience. Since 2000, he has continued to rise through the ranks of the logistics industry. As a leading executive, Malpass has developed a Behavioral Based Safety program as well as a custom and robust labor planning tool for 100+ locations to manage labor and increase efficiency. He has worked with national retailers across the country including Home Depot, Kroger, King Super, Gordon Foods Services, Albertsons, and Winco. Malpass first got his start in 2003 as a Regional Manager at RoadlinkRoadlink.


7. Dan Martin
Chief Executive Officer, Xpress Global Systems

Dan Martin is the Chief Executive Officer of Xpress Global Systems (XGS). XGS brings innovation, efficiency, and scalability to the shipping and distribution of flooring products. They give their partners the intelligence and control they need to compete in a world of increasingly high customer expectations. Martin joined XGS in 2021. During his time with XGS, he has devoted both his time and energy to strengthening the company’s overall leadership team and workplace culture while building on the strategic growth objectives of XGS. During his tenure, XGS acquired three regional carriers expanding the company’s footprint in Texas, the Midwest, and the Pacific NW.

Martin began his career at Ryder Systems, where he spent 12 years holding roles in Operations, Finance, Sales, and General Management. Following his time at Ryder, Martin worked at IFCO Systems and the Brambles Group for 20 years. First as the SVP and GM of Commercial Crating at IFCO, then as CHEP’s SVP of Sales and Customer Operations before returning to IFCO to become President of North America. As President, he led his division at IFCO through a private equity divestiture and spearheaded new sales and product expansion resulting in significant growth for the company. Martin holds a BS in Marketing from the University of Maine.


8. Jim Ward
Chief Executive Officer, ProVest

Jim Ward is the Chief Executive Officer of ProVest. ProVest plays a critical role in the legal process by ensuring that defendants in a legal action have been properly served process. They specialize in managing the service of processes related to creditors’ rights and mortgage defaults. Today, ProVest annually serves millions of documents for the country’s most notable law firms, financial institutions, and insurance companies. Their rich history, disciplined approach, and the expertise of their professionals have made them an industry market leader since 1991. With more than 30 years of experience, ProVest has earned a reputation as a trusted and knowledgeable provider.

Ward began his career in 1999. Before joining ProVest, he was a partner at IBM and before that, a Partner at PwC. Ward graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with an undergraduate degree in accounting and economics.


9. Maloy Roy
Chief Executive Officer, VRIZE

Maloy Roy is the Chief Executive Officer at VRIZE, a tech services startup specializing in Digital Technology Services, Advanced Analytics, and AI. Roy has diverse work experience spanning several industries and roles. Prior to this, Roy worked at HCL Technologies as the AVP and Head of New Account Sales for the Retail Industry, where they successfully closed the company's largest Digital Services Deal in North America and created an innovative partnership model. Before that, they co-founded Uweze, a startup focused on bringing a ‘universal loyalty card’ to small retailers.

Roy also worked at MindTree Limited as an Industry Principal, where they incubated and grew the Retail, Media, and Consumer Services industry verticals. Additionally, they served as the Technology Lead for Unilever startup "Sangamdirect" in India and started their career as a Business Analyst at Nexgenix. Roy began their career as a Junior Manager at Bhilai Steel Plant, SAIL, India. Roy completed their bachelor's degree in computer science from Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, where they studied from 1993 to 1997. Roy then pursued their higher education, obtaining a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode between 2000 and 2002.


10. Chris LaFace
President and Chief Executive Officer, RIPA and Associates

Chris LaFace is the President and Chief Executive Officer of RIPA and Associates, a highly experienced and successful privately-owned construction company that provides civil and utility construction services. Their team is bolstered by professionals who have a successful track record of providing client satisfaction. RIPA recognizes that its leadership role in the industry is due to its team. For this reason, the company will remain at the top of the industry for many years to come. LaFace began his career in 2005. He graduated from the University of Florida with an undergraduate degree in business management.


11. Bruce Bennett
Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Mad Mobile

Bruce Bennett is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Mad Mobile, a global technology company specializing in innovative and scalable solutions for the restaurant and retail industries. Their flagship products, CAKE Restaurant Point of Sale, Concierge for Retail, and CAKE MenuPad for legacy systems, redefine how businesses operate. They prioritize the user experience and modern technology to ensure your business thrives in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. Bennett is a software industry veteran with over two decades of experience. He has a successful track record of founding, growing, operating, and selling high-growth technology companies. Bennett has a history of successfully addressing the complex needs of large Global 2000 retail and technology brands. Well-versed at the board and executive levels of both public and private sector companies, Bennett is focused on maximizing the organization's key value proposition and enhancing its greatest assets, its people.

Prior to Mad Mobile, Bennett was a founding board member of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum. He also founded and served various senior management positions at SOE Software (acquired by Vulcan Ventures), GoSolutions (acquired by V-eDocs), and Image Technologies (acquired by KKR) where he served as the President of the Digital Services Division of World Color (acquired by Quad Graphics). Bennett graduated from The University of Texas at El Paso with an undergraduate degree in computer science.


12. Garrett Waggoner
Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Cirkul

Garrett Waggoner is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Cirkul. At Cirkul, they are transforming the pillars of Modern CPG with a mission to make a healthier world by helping people enjoy drinking more water! And it all begins with a reusable product, end-to-end US-based manufacturing, and a digital-first model. In 2016, they identified the opportunity to develop an innovative beverage delivery system that would make it easier for the average consumer to drink more water. Their reusable water bottle features cartridge technology that makes drinking more water delicious, fun, and personalized. Waggoner graduated from Dartmouth College with an undergraduate degree in history and economics.


13. Kerem Koca
Chief Executive Officer, BlueCloud

Kerem Koca is an industry pioneer in digital transformation and cloud-native data analytics (“Data Cloud”) implementation and consulting services, co-founding BlueCloud (formerly Bluenet) in 2004 and delivering digital transformation strategies to enterprises for the past two decades. As BlueCloud’s CEO and Co-Founder, Kerem builds high-performing teams and delivers superior IT solutions that drive sustainable growth for organizations.


14. Tracy Clark
Chief Executive Officer and Board Member, Elite365

Tracy Clark is the Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of Elite365, a healthcare staffing agency that offers career opportunities to physicians, nurses, and advanced practice providers in all specialties. Their staffing solutions include locum tenens, international nursing, and long-term care. Elite365 offers a variety of career options ranging from short-term to long-term, temp-to-perm, and permanent placements. Clark has been a leader in the healthcare industry for 25+ years, and it has been his mission to not only improve outcomes and care for patients — but to transform the way they care for healthcare providers too.

Before joining Elite365, Clark was a COO at Interim HealthCare and before that, a CEO and board member at Family Private Care and Ambassador Health Services. Earlier in his career, he worked with USMC Special Operations as a captain. Clark graduated from Chadwick University with an MBA in marketing and from Baptist University with an undergraduate degree.


15. Clare Doyle
Chief Executive Officer, Verdesian Life Sciences

Clare Doyle is the Chief Executive Officer of Verdesian Life Sciences. Verdesian firmly believes that sustainability and profitability are not mutually exclusive. Built from the ground up in 2012, the company offers farmers and growers, the biological, nutritional, seed treatment, and inoculant technologies that maximize performance on high-value row crops and specialty crops, as well as turf and ornamental plants.

Doyle brings to Verdesian more than 35 years of experience across a variety of industries, most notably electronics, specialty chemicals, and building materials sectors. She most recently served as the Chief Sustainability Officer for Masonite International, a role she has held since 2021 where she was responsible for building and implementing the company’s ESG strategy. Before this role, Doyle was the SVP and GM of Masonite Europe where she led the transformation of its businesses in the region. Doyle joined Masonite in 2016 as SVP and Business Leader – Components, a business with 13 manufacturing locations in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia and 1,000+ employees. Before joining Masonite, she was with Elementis, most recently as VP of Marketing. Before that, she spent 11 years with Rohm and Haas Company in various roles in Electronic Materials, Architectural & Functional Coatings, and Corporate Development. Doyle earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Tulane University and an MBA from Columbia University. She also holds a Sustainable Capitalism Certificate from Berkeley Law Executive Education.


16. Javier Baldor
Chief Executive Officer, BST Global

Javier Baldor is Chief Executive Officer of BST Global. The company designs, develops, and deploys project-based ERP solutions specifically for the world's leading architects, engineers, and consultancies around the globe. More than 120,000 professionals across six continents and 65 countries rely on BST Global's solutions each day to successfully manage their projects, resources, finances, and client relationships. With unrivaled industry knowledge, BST Global serves as a trusted partner to its loyal clients and remains at the forefront of innovation to evolve its products for the greater good. Baldor leads a global team of professionals responsible for the market introduction of BST Global’s business software products and cloud solutions. He is also instrumental in crafting and implementing the company’s business strategy, overall vision, and mission with the BST Global leadership team.

Baldor joined BST Global in 1989 and has served in various capacities during his tenure. In 1999, he was the primary catalyst in establishing a global vision for BST Global, and since that time, the company has flourished from its roots as a North American-centric business to a prosperous and vibrant global software organization. Today, with the steadfast support of fellow senior leadership and committed professionals globally, BST Global operates across an international network of offices and has clients leveraging BST Global’s solutions in 65 countries on six continents. Baldor holds a BS in Business Management from the University of Tampa.


17. AJ Brown
Chief Executive Officer, Apex Service Partners

AJ Brown is currently serving as Chief Executive Officer at Apex Service Partners, an Alpine Investors-backed HVAC, plumbing, and electrical services group whose goal is to partner with world-class service providers to build an industry-leading national platform.

Brown previously served as CFO at AVITRU, another Alpine-backed company. Prior to joining Alpine, he worked as a Manager in Deloitte’s Financial Services Consulting Group and as an Analyst at Goldman Sachs. He also spent time in private equity investing, interning at three different firms including Benford Capital Partners. Brown holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a BA from Providence College, where he was a four-year member of the Varsity Soccer Team. Corporate Development personnel and CEOs-in-Training are recruited by Alpine and deployed to work in the portfolio companies. They are compensated by the portfolio companies and are not Alpine employees.


18. Edward Colihan
President and Chief Executive Officer, Metrohm USA

Edward Colihan is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Metrohm USA, a leading manufacturer of laboratory and process instruments for chemical analysis. The company is unique in offering solutions for all varieties of ion analysis (potentiometric and Karl Fischer titration, voltammetry, ion chromatography, pH, ion, conductivity, and stability measurement). The Metrohm portfolio also includes software, dosing systems, and solutions for laboratory automation. They are owned 100% by the Swiss Metrohm Foundation and are represented in 80 countries by their own subsidiaries or exclusive distributors, respectively.

Colihan has served as GM of Metrohm’s near infrared business since its origination through a strategic alliance with Foss in 2013. Prior to being named GM, he served as Director of Marketing for Metrohm USA in Riverview, Florida. He brings over 15 years of management experience in Metrohm applications, sales, and marketing. Colihan earned an MBA from St. John’s University and is a graduate of State College of New York at Oswego.


19. Tom Davis
President and Chief Executive Officer, Trellance

Tom Davis is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Trellance. He first joined the company in 2004. Trellance is a leading provider of business analytics and talent services for credit unions, helping them meet the financial needs of today’s digital consumers. With a comprehensive suite of data science solutions, staff augmentation, and professional services, the Trellance team ensures credit unions increase efficiency, manage risk, and improve member experience. As credit unions’ tech partner, Trellance brings them to the next frontiers of fintech, filled with powerful tools such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Previously, Davis was a Project Manager at Epix Incorporated and before that, a Senior Consultant and Project Management Specialist at SARK. Earlier in his career, he worked with Kisinger Campo & Associates as a Senior Accountant. Davis earned an MBA in IT and finance from the University of South Florida and an undergraduate degree in accounting and finance from Missouri State University.


20. Dharmesh Shingala
Chief Executive Officer, Knovos

Dharmesh Shingala is the Chief Executive Officer of Knovos. For 21 years, Knovos has dedicated its engineering resources to automate, integrate, and innovate solutions for legal information management. From Risk & Compliance to eDiscovery, Collaboration, and Project Management, their technologies strengthen decision-making, foster actionable insights, and ensure compliance in support of some of the world’s most influential corporations, law firms, and governments.

Prior to Knovos, Shingala spent more than a decade developing and applying efficient and cost-effective solutions for various clients in the US. In 1994, he founded GDS Systems, the parent software company of Knovos, which primarily worked with the US Government. At Knovos, Shingala has harnessed his innovative energy and foresight to develop unparalleled Discovery and Information Governance solutions and deliver them to law firms, federal agencies, and corporate IT managers. He received his master's degree in computer science and applications from Virginia Tech University and a bachelor's degree in production engineering and management from the National Institute of Technology in Kozhikode, India.


21. Jay Kinker
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mundrisoft Solutions

Jay Kinker is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Mundrisoft Solutions, an EdTech partner driving end-to-end solutions for fast-growing mid-sized and large enterprises. At Mundrisoft, their purpose is to unlock the power of emerging technologies for every business, large or small. They build and deliver next-generation technology helping enterprises transform their business. Mundrisoft’s scale and agile-first approach allow them to build long-lasting relationships that put their customers first. The company provides a diverse portfolio of digital transformation and support services that approach complex challenges from a business perspective.

Kinker first got his start in 1997 as a principal author and instructor at NIIT Limited, Aptech, and Pentasoft. From there, he went on to the Institute for Advanced Computing and Software Development before eventually rising to VP at Nayamode, his most recent position prior to joining Mundrisoft Solutions.


22. Dan Khasis
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Route4Me

Dan Khasis is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Route4Me, a company helping growing businesses to conquer last-mile complexity in order to scale efficiently and deliver service their customers can trust. With more than 3 billion miles optimized over 750M stops and 30 million routes, Route4Me’s patented, proven technology sets the industry standard for speed, simplicity, and sustainability. They believe taming last mile chaos is good for business and good for the planet because they all win with superior customer service and a carbon-neutral last mile. The Route4Me route optimization platform streamlines and integrates mission-critical last-mile workflows, including route planning, dispatch, tracking, driver efficiency, delivery management, and customer experience. Its analytics enable continuous improvement with real-time visibility, actual vs. plan KPIs, and a complete audit trail of last-mile activity. More than 40,000 customers have relied on Route4Me to create seamless operations from order to receipt that increase productivity, reduce costs, and ensure customer satisfaction.

Khasis first joined the company in 2008. Previously, he was the Founder and CEO at CalcMoolator and before that, a shadow CTO at Confidential. Earlier in his career, he worked with Paradox as Founder, CEO, and CTO. Khasis earned an undergraduate degree in computer science.


23. Debra Livingston
Chief Executive Officer and Founder, ReEmployAbility

Debra Livingston is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of ReEmployAbility. Founded in 2003, they are the largest national provider of early return-to-work services and transitional employment programs. Their Transition2Work program offers employers a turnkey, cost-effective solution to modified light-duty assignments, reducing claim costs while giving the injured worker time to heal. Utilizing its accredited, national network of nonprofit partners, ReEmployAbility creates innovative programs to help accommodate injured workers in the transition back to work.

Livingston began her career in 1990. Before joining ReEmployAbility, she was a Claim Account Executive at Wells Fargo Insurance Services and before that, a Director of Workers' Compensation Claims at Staff Leasing. Earlier in her career, she worked with Aetna Life & Casualty as a WC Claims Adjuster. Livingston graduated from Florida State University with an undergraduate degree in marketing.


24. Angelica Connor
Chief Executive Officer, Stansell Properties & Development

Angelica Connor began her professional career 7 years ago. Today, she is the Chief Executive Officer of Stansell Properties & Development, a WBE-certified, general contractor specializing in commercial construction services across the southeast US. As a customer-focused construction company, they believe that the satisfaction of their clients comes first. They expect that all levels of their team obtain the same core values of respect, commitment, teamwork, and professionalism to ensure a quality experience for the clients, vendors, and builders. Connor graduated from the University of North Florida with an undergraduate degree in advertising.


25. Alexis Guevremont
Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Stadium Chicks

Alexis Guevremont is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Stadium Chicks. She is an experienced marketing strategist driving impactful social campaigns and brand recognition. Guevremont has expertise in crafting innovative strategies to elevate market presence and engage target audiences. She is adept at leading teams to deliver results-driven solutions and is dedicated to optimizing brand image and achieving marketing excellence.

Guevremont first joined the company in 2022. Previously, she was an Executive Assistant at Keller Williams Realty. She earned an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Tampa.