Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance

Advisory Council

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.


Jonathan Decker

Jonathan Decker
Senior Vice President, Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC

Jonathan Decker is the Branch Office Manager of the Janney Montgomery Scott office in St. Petersburg, FL.  Jon was graduated from the University of Vermont in 1993 with an engineering degree. After spending time in that industry, he transitioned to become a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch in 1998 in Allentown, PA. In 2007 Jon became the Resident Director of the Reading, PA office where he would remain for 12 years before transitioning to lead the St. Petersburg office as Senior Resident Director for 4 years. In 2023, Jon and his financial advisory team in Allentown, PA relocated their practice to Janney including opening the new office in St. Petersburg. 

Jon is married to his wife Brittany and they have 3 children; son Jevin in college, and daughter Ally and son Bailey in 4th grade.  They also have a small zoo at home with 3 dogs and 4 lovable cats, all 7 of which have been rescued. He loves to cook and enjoys playing in his gardens with his flowers.

Council Members

Josh Bomstein

Joshua M. Bomstein
President, Creative Contractors Inc. 

Joshua M. Bomstein is President of Creative Contractors Inc., a leading commercial contractor headquartered in Clearwater and building throughout West Central Florida. With annual volume in excess of $150M, Creative is consistently ranked in the Top 5 of construction firms by size in the region. It is the largest locally-owned contractor in Tampa Bay. Clients include such notables as University of South Florida, Tampa General Hospital, Lakeland Regional Health System, Saint Leo University, BayCare Health System, Moffitt Cancer Center, Hillsborough County Public Schools, Pinellas County Schools, and Pasco County Schools. 

Josh is active in the Tampa Bay community. His current community service includes: 

St. Petersburg College Foundation – Board Chair
Pinellas Education Foundation – Board Member and Career and Technical Education Board Chair
Florida Holocaust Museum – Board Member
Tampa Bay Chamber – Board Member
Tampa Bay Professional Alliance - Member
Congregation Schaarai Zedek – House Committee 

Josh is charitable both personally and through Creative Contractors. Support organizations include: Florida Wildlife Corridor, American Heart Association, USF, ST. Petersburg College, David A Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa Theatre, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Florida Holocaust Museum, on Bikes, Morton Plant Hospital, St. 
Anthony’s Hospital, and the Pasco, Pinellas, and Hillsborough Education Foundations. 

Josh was born and raised in Dunedin, FL. He is a graduate of Emory University and currently lives in Tampa with his wife, Lindsay, son, Will, and daughters, Phoebe and Isabel.

Gerald "JJ" Creadon

 Gerald "JJ" Creadon
Executive Vice President, Operations, Jabil

JJ Creadon was named executive vice president, operations, in July 2022. An accomplished leader in the high-tech global manufacturing services industry, Mr. Creadon is responsible for the operational performance of Jabil's 200,000-plus employees in 100 sites across 30 countries. In addition to operations, he drives Jabil's commitments to exceptional execution; quality and Lean disciplines; strong EHS standards; and development of cutting-edge factory of the future initiatives. Prior to this role, Mr. Creadon served as senior vice president, global operations since March 2019, overseeing the operations, P&L management, and organizational and strategic improvements of the 42 sites within Jabil's Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) division.

Mr. Creadon first joined Jabil in 1995 and has held roles of increasing leadership, including vice president, global business operations; vice president, global business units; and senior vice president, global business units. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix and an MBA from the University of Florida's Warrington School of Business.

Fred Espro

 Fred Espro
Senior Vice President, Raymond James

Fred Espro relocated to St. Petersburg from his hometown of West Hempstead, NY in 1997. Soon after arriving he began his career in Financial Services in 2000. During his tenure as a financial advisor he owned and operated Espro Financial, an independent financial advisory firm focused on retirement planning for state employees. After running a successful business for several years his family was growing and he made a conscious decision to join a full service firm in Morgan Stanley, where he served as First Vice President for 10 years. While at Morgan Stanley he took the additional role as Branch Manager after relocating two vibrant offices to one in downtown St. Pete. It was 2019 when he decided to join the hometown team of Raymond James, where he currently serves as Senior Vice President, Branch Manager of their flagship branch in downtown St. Pete, serving over 50 employees.  Throughout these past 23 years he has served the community in various roles, including School board member at Northside Christian School for a cumulative 9 years, President of a local youth sports organization and currently he serves as a local high school Head Coach for Mens Lacrosse.  Fred has been married to Tera for 22 years and has three children with his oldest attending the University of Florida. Fred’s favorite time is spending every free moment with his family, whether on the sports field, on the water, in the mountains, or simply around the dinner table- this is his passion.

V. Raymond Ferrara

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.

Bill Kent

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. Established in St Petersburg, FL, in 1919, George F Young, Inc. is a full service-consulting firm that provides Civil, Traffic, and Structural Engineering, Subsurface Utility Locating, Planning, Surveying and Mapping, Hydrographic Surveying, GIS, Environmental/Ecological and Commercial Real Estate services throughout Florida and the Caribbean Basin.

Kent graduated from the University of Florida in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and an Associate of Arts degree. Over the past 33 years, Bill has continuously strived to drive the company into the future. He has had multiple roles in the company, including taking leadership and full responsibility for the firm's accounting department while maintaining his position as chief information officer. In 2000, he became the company's chief financial officer, and through his unremitting dedication and commitment to the firm's long-term growth, Kent was additionally appointed President and CEO in 2003. He has dedicated his life to family, business, and community involvement; Bill has been past Chair and loyal member of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, Incoming Chair of Greater St Petersburg EDC, Chair of the Bay Care Medical Group Board, the South Pinellas County Salvation Army Board and other company advisory boards.

Jane Mason

Jane Mason
CEO, Clarifire

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.

Judy Mitchell

Judy Mitchell
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.

Peter Pagnott

Peter Pagnott, RMA®
Head of Internal Sales for Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc.

Peter Pagnott is the Head of Internal Sales for Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc. In this role, Peter is responsible for developing a high performing team to expand the internal retail business in USAS.

Prior to this position, Peter worked as a Vice President of National Accounts for Franklin Templeton. He was responsible for managing and cultivating national accounts within Franklin Templeton’s broker/dealer relationships. His responsibilities also included implementation of strategic sales initiatives and programs within his respective firms.

Peter began his/her career in the financial services industry in 1999 and joined Franklin Templeton Investments in 2006. He is an excellent source of information regarding Franklin Templeton products and services. Since joining Franklin Templeton, he has held a variety of roles developing and maintaining advisor relationships and managing within the sales team.

Peter earned his Bachelor of Science from The University of South Florida. He is a FINRA registered representative, a general securities principal, and certified Retirement Management Advisor®. Peter, his wife Nikki and their two children Hayden and Ethan reside in Trinity, Florida.

Amanda Pasdon Payne

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.

Mary Anne Reilly

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.

Scott Smith

Scott Smith
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.

Chris Steinocher

Chris Steinocher
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.