Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance
The purpose of the Dean’s Advisory Group is to ensure that the vision of the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance is relevant, timely, and forward-looking in the context of today’s global business environment. The council shall help advance that vision by engaging in various activities and initiatives that enable the college to make meaningful progress toward its strategic initiatives and tactical goals. In addition, members will serve as liaisons between academia and their respective business or government organizations.
Jane Mason is CEO and founder of Clarifire. Mason has applied her vast experience (over 25 years) operating process-driven businesses to successfully redefine client-focused service and bring innovation to multiple industries. These industries include financial services, enterprise workflow and healthcare.
Mason began her career in business operations, quickly becoming an executive of a progressive international law firm. After building a software solution for the law firm, she started out on her own. Mason was the original architect of the CLARIFIRE® Application and has since worked with expert programmers to apply cutting-edge, web-based technology to automate complex processes. CLARIFIRE entered the market in 2007, is fully interactive and brings together all parties in one secure platform. Her vision confirms Clarifire’s trajectory as a successful, SOC 2 Type II certified Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider.
Mason's dedication to creating a true business solution for our time led Clarifire to being one of Cloud’s Top 500 Applications Vendors for the third year in a row. This award is among others who rank as the world’s top 500+ largest enterprise applications. She has been honored with awards such as CEO of the year from the Tampa Bay Business Journal along with being named Entrepreneur of the Year of the Gulf Coast. Mason is a University of South Florida graduate.
V. Raymond Ferrara
President and CEO, ProVise Management Group
Ray Ferrara is chairman and CEO of ProVise Management Group, LLC, located in Clearwater, Florida, a full- service financial planning firm which is a Registered Investment Advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission. ProVise is one of the largest financial planning firms in the country and manages over $1.27 billion as of December 31, 2016. Additionally, Ferrara is a Registered Principal with FINRA and a Certified Financial Planner. He served on the Board of Directors for the CFP Board of Standards, Inc. and was chair in 2014. Ray also served on the Board of Directors for the Financial Planning Association, National Advisor’s Trust Company, and as a board observer for National Financial Partners, Inc. as well as numerous community boards.
Ferrara has spoken to many public and civic organizations and business conferences throughout the United States. He has been quoted in numerous publications, including USA Today, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Tampa Bay Times, and Business Week. He has appeared on radio and television, speaking in his easily understood language with his relaxed, informal approach.
For over ten years, he hosted radio’s "Talking Money™." He has authored articles on
numerous financial topics. Ferrara was featured as one of America’s best financial
planners in the book Secrets of the Wealth Makers. He was a recipient of the Lifetime
Achievement Award from the Financial Planning Association of Tampa Bay in 2005 and
the P. Kemp Fain Jr. Award in 2016 by the Financial Planning Association for his qualities
and contributions that demonstrated superior professionalism.
Senior Vice President, Franklin Templeton Investments
Ronice Barlow is a senior vice president, head of strategic planning and business development and head of internal sales for U.S. Advisory Services at Franklin Templeton Investments. Before this role, Barlow was chief operating officer for U.S. Advisory Services. She is responsible for multiple functions that support the US retail and institutional divisions including strategic planning, financial strategies, technology infrastructure, global sourcing, and sales management.
Barlow previously served as head of retail sales for Franklin Templeton, Ltd. in Canada where she resided in Toronto, Ontario and was responsible for strategic accounts and national sales.
She joined Franklin Templeton in 1993 and has broad experience in field sales and global sales management, along with having been responsible for introducing and leading innovative distribution strategies throughout Franklin Templeton Investments.
Barlow earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Business from Eckerd College,
where she currently serves on the Board of Trustees. She earned a Master of Business
Administration from the University of Tampa. She also serves on the board for Copperhead
Charities and is a former executive board member for Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas
CEO and Founding Partner, Intrinio
Rachel Carpenter is the chief executive officer and a founding partner of Intrinio, a disruptive financial data platform launched in 2016. Based in the company’s Florida office, Carpenter has overall responsibility for Intrinio including driving its strategy and position for long term growth. Intrinio’s mission is to use data to power a new generation of innovation in financial services, focusing on reinventing the financial data supply chain.
Prior to founding Intrinsic, Carpenter became a self-taught web developer and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BBA in both finance and management. She is a member of the Forbes Finance Council, Forbes 30 under 30, and XBRL US (extensible Business Reporting Language). Carpenter serves on the board of CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse), the largest domestic violence shelter in Florida, and is an appointed member of the State of Florida Government Efficiency Task Force.
Senior Vice President, Merrill Lynch
Jonathan W. Decker is senior resident director and senior vice president at Merrill Lynch. He began his career at Merrill Lynch in 1998 and earned his Wealth Management Advisor designation in 2003.
In 2007, Decker became the resident director of the Reading, Pennsylvania office; in 2019 he relocated to lead the St. Petersburg, Florida office.
Decker is the chair emeritus of the Resident Director – Advisory Council to Management
at Merrill Lynch where he represents approximately 500 office leading peers across
the United States.
He graduated from the University of Vermont in 1993.
William D. Kent
President and CEO, George F. Young, Inc.
William D. Kent, a native of St. Petersburg, is the President and CEO of George F. Young, Inc., which was established in St. Petersburg in 1919. George F. Young, Inc. is a full service-consulting firm that Civil Engineering, Traffic Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Subsurface Utility Locating, Landscape Architecture, Planning, Surveying and Mapping, Hydrographic Surveying, GPS/GIS, Environmental/Ecological and Commercial Real Estate services throughout Florida and the Caribbean Basin.
Bill graduated from the University of Florida in May 1990, with the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Associate of Arts. Bill took the leadership and full responsibility of the firm’s accounting department, while concurrently maintaining his position as Chief Information Officer responsible for the Administrative and Technical Corporate Information Systems. In December 2000, he attained the position of Chief Financial Officer of George F. Young, Inc. and it was through his unremitting dedication and commitment to the long-term growth of the firm that in June 2003, Bill Kent was additionally appointed to President of George F. Young, Inc.
Today, Bill Kent is heading George F. Young, Inc. in the direction of continuing the
tradition of high professional standards, integrity, quality and service while turning
clients’ visions into reality instilled by its founder. His management responsibilities
and skills, coupled with his superior ability to lead, give focus and sustainability
to the future of George F. Young, Inc.
President and CEO, Sanmina Corporation
Hartmut Liebel is President & CEO of iQor, a global provider of intelligent customer interaction and outsourcing solutions. Prior to joining iQor, Hartmut served as Chief Executive Officer of Jabil Global Services, a division of global electronics manufacturer Jabil Circuit, Inc.
Prior to joining Jabil in 2002, Liebel served as director of business development at Artesyn Technologies (since acquired by Emerson Electric), a power conversion and communication subsystems manufacturer. He has also held management positions at W.R. Grace, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch. Liebel earned an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. He holds the Charter Financial Analyst designation.
Liebel is a trustee of Academy Prep, St Petersburg and a board member of NewDayForChildren
in Swaziland. He frequently teaches at local high schools in conjunction with his
longstanding support of Junior Achievement.
President, Pilot Bank
Rita Lowman, president of Pilot Bank, is a 40 year banker who has blazed trails for the industry throughout her career. Her career highlights include managing 22 acquisitions in her career including the NationsBank/Barnett acquisition in 1997 where she was awarded the Crystal Grenade. She also played an integral part as COO of C1 Bank as the company went public in 2014.
Elected chair of the 2017/2018 Florida Bankers Association, Lowman was the third woman in 130 years to serve in this position. She serves on several other boards including vice chair of the Outback Bowl, 2021 chair of GoRed for Women, past chair of the Board of Governors for the Center Club in Tampa and immediate past chair of the Florida School of Banking at UF.
Lowman is passionate about our community and in her role as Chair of Cattle Barons’ Ball and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, she and her team have raised over $4million for the American Cancer Society. Rita Currently serves on the East Cabinet for the American Cancer Society. Rita will Chair Go Red for Women of the American Heart Association 2020. She will also be Chair of the Outback Bowl 2021.
She has had numerous published articles on banking. In 2014, she was recognized by the Florida Bankers Association with the coveted Chairman’s Award. Lowman was honored in 2015, 2016 and 2017 as one of the Power 100 Most Influential People by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. Lowman was honored by receiving the inaugural Rita Lowman Leadership Award which will be awarded each year in her name to an outstanding leader within the Tampa Bay community. Lowman was honored by Tampa Bay Business Journal Woman of the Year Angie’s Award. She was also recognized by the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida as a 2019 Woman of Distinction. More recently, was awarded the 2019 Outstanding Leader Award by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.
Her book, "From the Farm to the Boardroom: Leadership Lessons," has received excellent
reviews since its December release and was named the #1 Business Book of 2017 by Richter
Senior Vice President, Investments
Tampa Bay Complex Manager
Raymond James & Associates
As senior vice president, Tampa Bay Complex Manager, Michelle leads the 17 Raymond James branches in the Tampa Bay market, representing over 100 financial advisors and an additional 75 associates supporting those advisors, with a primary focus of growing the complex and positioning Raymond James as the destination of choice for advisors and their clients in the Tampa Bay market.
Previously, Michelle served as the vice president, PCG sales manager, responsible for driving revenue and asset growth for all four RJA divisions. She worked with the divisions’ regional directors and branch managers on recruiting experienced advisors to join the firm as well as attracting new advisors to the financial advisory profession. In addition, she delivered high impact coaching to existing advisors across key practice management and client engagement strategies to help drive net new asset growth.
Michelle is a cum laude graduate of the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and a master of business administration (MBA) degree, with honors, from Emory University, Goizueta Business School. She sits on the Raymond James Charitable Endowment Fund board, the Raymond James Diversity Council and was a member of the University of South Florida’s Personal Financial Planning Program’s Advisory Council and a member of the Financial Services Institute’s (FSI) Marketing, Growth and Development Council. Michelle is a previous recipient of the Investment News 40 Under 40 recognition and is also a graduate of the Wharton Executive Education Securities Industry Institute program. She holds her Series 7, 9/10 and 66 licenses.
Michelle is a born-and-raised Tampanian. She has two sons – Connor (17) and Ryan
(11) and currently resides in Westchase.
Former USFSP Campus Board Member
Judy Mitchell was previously with Peter R. Brown Construction, Inc. of Clearwater from 1987 to 2011, having served as president since 1992 owning the company since 2000. She serves on the board of The Bank of Tampa and its Pinellas Advisory Board.
Mitchell is a past chairman of Morton Plant Mease Healthcare, Morton Plant Mease Primary Care, Inc., Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce, Saint Paul's School and Leadership Pinellas.
She served on the boards of BayCare Health System, Morton Plant Mease Foundation,
Ruth Eckerd Hall, Homeless Empowerment Project and the USFSP Campus Board. She currently
serves on the St. Petersburg Free Clinic Board and chairs the Morton Plant Mease Facilities
Committee, a committee for the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce and was Honorary
Chair of Hammers and Heels Committee for Habitat for Humanity.
Amanda Pasdon Payne
President and CEO, Amplify Clearwater
Amanda Pasdon Payne began her chamber career in her hometown community. Pasdon Payne grew up in a small town in Georgia which she left at the age of 26 determined to see the world. Her adventures landed her in Morgantown, West Virginia where she earned an Executive MBA from West Virginia University.
She spent 10 years in West Virginia where she worked to better her community and the state. Pasdon Payne served on various boards and aided in various community centered projects including the Girl Scouts, Habitat for Humanity and other child advocacy groups.
Pasdon Payne currently serves as the president/CEO of AMPLIFY Clearwater. She also
served in the West Virginia House of Delegates for three consecutive terms, serving
as Chair of the House Education Committee in her last term and held the position of
vice president and CFO of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
CEO and Founder, Presence
Reuben Pressman was born and raised in Tampa Bay and moved to St. Petersburg in 2008. He’s been programming since age 10 and started his first company at age 12. Since then, he’s started, built, failed, joined, sold, and other verbs, many more ventures, including non-profits.
Pressman serves on boards of community organizations in the arts, technology, university,
entrepreneurship, and economic development, and is an ambassador for the St. Petersburg
area. Pressman is the founder & CEO of Presence, a software platform which he founded
to help higher educational institutions understand data and take action to increase
student engagement, success, and workforce readiness.
Former Chairman and CEO, Tech Data
Steven A. Raymund founded and spent his entire career at Tech Data, a Fortune 107 distributor of high-tech products from leading suppliers such as HP, Cisco, and Apple, with operations worldwide. Raymund retired as chairman of the board in June 2017, after serving the company for 36 years in multiple roles – 26 of those years as chairman and 20 years as CEO. During his tenure, Tech Data’s revenues grew from $2 million in 1981 to some $21 billion in 2006.
Raymund is currently a director of Jabil, Inc. (since 1996 and serves as audit committee chair) and WESCO International, Inc. (since 2006 and serves as audit committee chair). Additionally, Steve is a member of the board of trustees of The Dali Museum in St Petersburg, Florida. He also serves as chairman of the board of trustees of the University of Oregon Foundation in Eugene, Oregon and board chair of Gulf Coast Cares, Inc., a 501(c)(3) supporting organization of Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services in Clearwater, Florida.
Raymund earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Oregon and
a master’s degree from the Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign
Mary Anne Reilly
Founding Shareholder, Reilly, Fisher & Solomon, P.A.
Mary Anne Reilly is a founding shareholder in the firm of Reilly, Fisher & Solomon, P.A. Prior to founding the firm, Reilly was a partner in the Tampa office of Arthur Andersen LLP.
Reilly is an honors graduate of the University of Notre Dame. She joined Arthur Andersen in 1978 after two years with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. in Chicago. She became a manager in 1981 and a partner in 1987. In 1994 she assumed the leadership of Andersen’s Central Florida Tax Practice. Reilly was also responsible for Andersen’s Florida Federal Business Tax Practice.
Reilly has 44 years of experience serving clients in various industries including
real estate, agribusiness, manufacturing and publishing. She has worked with private
and public companies, tax-exempt organizations and high net worth individuals. Reilly
has lectured extensively on a number of topics dealing with different aspects of taxation.
She has been actively involved in the community and is currently serving on the board
of H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and the Dali Museum. She serves on the Leadership
Council of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, and is part of the advisory council
of Notre Dame's College of Arts & Letters.
President, St. Anthony’s Hospital
Scott Smith is the president of St. Anthony’s Hospital, a 393-bed hospital located in St. Petersburg. St. Anthony’s is part of BayCare Health System, a community-based health care system in the Tampa Bay area.
Smith has more than 28 years experience in the health care arena leading successful physician-syndicated hospitals and other for profit and not-forprofit organizations. Prior to being appointed as president of St. Anthony’s, he was instrumental in constructing, opening and operating BayCare’s St. Joseph’s Hospital South. Under his direction, St. Joseph’s South established itself as a valued institution in the southern Hillsborough County community.
Smith received his master’s degree in health care administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as a bachelor's degree from the School of Pharmacy at UNC Chapel Hill.
He is active in local organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce as well as the
American Heart Association and the United Way of Central Florida.
President and CEO, St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce
Christopher Steinocher is president and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce.
He joined the Chamber in February of 2011 and is responsible for the vision, strategic direction and overall operations of the Chamber.
Prior to the Chamber, Steinocher was with the Tampa Bay Partnership as COO and senior vice president of marketing and business development, a job he held for 17 years, helping start the regional economic development group.
Steinocher was also an area vice president of marketing for Fortune Bank, a Tampa Bay based bank with 46 branch locations throughout He has over 30 years of experience in marketing and community development, 28 of which have been in the St. Petersburg region.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from Emory University.