December 6: Maximizing Your Personal & Business Insurance Options

Kristin “Kristi” Demers-Crowell has traveled the state of Florida handling commercial and residential building damage claims, including thousands of losses from hurricanes, fires, sinkholes, collapse, pipe bursts, water intrusion, theft, vandalism and other causes. Kristi pushes insurance companies to pay what they owe building owners. She also focuses on business interruption, bad faith litigation, and insurance agent negligence. From condominiums and homeowners associations to residential homes, churches, marinas, restaurants and other businesses, Kristi handles losses from the start of the claims process through appraisal and trial.

A native of St. Petersburg, Kristi grew up in the legal community here, watching her father serve as a judge for 31 years and her mother practice law and serve as a college dean. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts from Tulane University and her Juris Doctorate from Stetson University College of Law.

Kristi began her career in 1998 with the oldest law firm in St. Petersburg, Harris, Barrett, Mann & Dew, LLP, where she managed large volumes of insurance defense cases. In 2000, she had the opportunity to serve as a law clerk for Federal Magistrate Judge Thomas B. McCoun, III, in the Tampa Division of the Middle District of Florida, and assisted in writing court decisions in insurance matters and other disputes. Upon returning to private practice in 2002, Kristi knew she wanted to represent the public and help associations, businesses and families recover from disasters. She forces insurers to handle claims, quickly, properly and fairly so her clients can get their lives, communities and businesses back to normal as soon as possible.

Professional associations include Florida Justice Association (Insurance Committee), Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association, St. Petersburg Bar Association, Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, Windstorm Insurance Network, Bay Area Apartment Association and Community Association Institute. Kristi is also an alum of Leadership St. Pete.

November 15: Domestic Violence and the Workplace

Domestic violence often intrudes into the workplace in a myriad of ways, either directly or indirectly. Gabriela Lopez, the Community Education and Awareness Manager at CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse), will help us better understand these dynamics and how businesses can best respond.
Gabriela graduated from The Florida State University with a bachelor in Social Work. As the Community Education and Awareness Manager she is responsible for delivering professional domestic violence training to the workplace. Before joining CASA, Gabriela worked as a victim advocate and has years of direct service experience. She assisted victims of various crimes through criminal justice advocacy, accompaniment, safety planning, Crime Victim’s Compensation assistance, and linking victims to additional community resources. Her professional background includes working with victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking, and financial exploitation.

November 1: Veteran Reintegration Into the Civilian Sector

In recognition of Veterans Day (November 11), Shelina Frey, USAA Military Affairs Representative, will address the challenges faced by female veterans upon separating from the military and entering the civilian sector.

Shelina joined the USAA Military Affairs Team in February 2018 after retiring from the U.S. Air Force as a Command Chief Master Sergeant with 34 years of service. USAA’s Military Affairs team is composed of retired officers and senior noncommissioned officers who dedicate themselves as advocates for those who are currently serving in the military, all those who have honorably served in the past and their families. The team of professionals is responsible for creating and sustaining relationships between USAA, its strategic partners, military leaders and military-related organizations so that USAA can engage, serve and advocate for the military community.

Shelina’s last position was as principal advisor to the commander on matters of health, welfare and morale, development, and effective utilization of 38,000 active duty and 71,000 Air Force Reserve Command/Air National Guard enlisted personnel assigned to the command. Shelina served in numerous senior enlisted positions: Special Assistant to the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force; Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, First Term Airman Center; Commandant, Airman Leadership School; First Sergeant duties; Command Chief Master Sergeant at the Wing, Air Expeditionary Wing and Air Forces Central Command in Southwest Asia and 4-Star Major Command levels.

Chief Frey enlisted in the Louisiana Air National Guard in September 1984. She entered active duty in May 1987. Her awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Air Force Bronze Star Medal, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, and an Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with gold combat border.

Shelina successfully completed numerous military schools. She received an Associate’s Degree in Information Systems, Community College of the Air Force in 1994, an Associate’s Degree in Human Resource Management, Community College of the Air Force in 2009, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Quality Systems Management, National Graduate School of Quality Management, Falmouth Maine in 2013. Shelina is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana.

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October 18: New Treatments for Breast Cancer

New treatments for breast cancer are happening all the time.  Dr. M. Catherine Lee, Moffitt Cancer Center, will bring us up to date. Dr. Lee graduated magna cum laude from Kent State University and completed her MD degree at the Northeast Ohio University College of Medicine in Rootstown, Ohio. After a general surgery residency at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, she completed the Susan G. Komen/University of Michigan Multidisciplinary Breast Fellowship in Ann Arbor. She is board-certified in General Surgery and joined the Moffitt Cancer Center’s Comprehensive Breast Program as an Assistant Professor in 2008. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014.

Dr. Lee is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the Society of University Surgeons. In addition to her clinical interests in young breast cancer patients, she is active in clinical research, clinical trials, and translational breast cancer research. She is actively involved with her colleagues in investigating and improving fertility preservation education and collaborating with the faculty in Molecular and Functional Imaging in the development of novel agents for intraoperative identification of breast cancer. She is the recipient of NIH/NCI and private research funding. Dr. Lee has numerous publications in peer-reviewed medical journals and has presented her work regionally and nationally.

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October 4: Know Before You Vote

Twelve proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution remain on the Nov. 6, 2018, ballot, eight more than appeared on the 2016 ballot. Of the twelve amendments, seven were proposed by the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC), three by the Florida Legislature and two by citizen initiative. To pass, each of them must receive at least 60% approval by voters. This is the first time that constitutional amendments proposed by a CRC have faced the 60% hurdle, which voters approved in 2006. However, voters face more questions than is apparent.

Come learn more about the proposed amendments from Robin Davidov, a volunteer with the League of Women Voters St. Petersburg Area (LWVSPA). As a member of the Voter Services group, Robin helps voters register and update their registration. The League’s volunteers engage students and adults to foster an understanding of elections and democracy.

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September 20: Why the Internet of Things is Important to You

Why is the Internet of Things (IoT) important to you professionally and personally? Come find out from Laura Malavé, a Tampa Native, leads the St. Petersburg College (SPC) College of Computer & Information Technology Center for Cybersecurity. Laura joined SPC in July 2015 as Academic Chair for the Midtown and Downtown campuses and successfully grew a Computer Repair certificate program at the Midtown Keene center. Prior to coming to SPC, she taught Computer Science and Information Technology at Hillsborough Community College and Keiser University Tampa Campus. She has Masters and Bachelors of Science degrees in Computer Science from the University of South Florida. She has more than 15 years of Computer & Information Technology college teaching experience.

Laura has numerous industry certifications including: GIAC GSEC, CompTIA CySA+, Security+, Network+, A+, EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker, MOS, and MTAs, etc. Laura is very active in the Tampa Bay Cybersecurity community, and is an active member of ISC2 Tampa Bay, and a volunteer and committee team lead for the BSides Tampa Conference. She is the advisor to the SPC Cybersecurity club, TitanSec, which actively participates in online, and local ‘Capture the Flag’, Cybersecurity, competitions, and attends local conferences and industry events.

Laura received the 2016 League of Innovation Excellence Awards in Teaching and Learning in the category of: Innovation in the Use of Technology. She has been awarded two grants while at SPC: NSF-ATE Grant Application Co-PI, Biomedical Engineering & Cybersecurity, and the SPC Innovation Grant 2016, Digital Forensics & Cybersecurity Lab. She is currently in a mentorship program to have SPC designated as an NSA Cybersecurity Center of Academic Excellence in Two-Year Education for the AS Degree in Cybersecurity.

She is also a member of the HSI, Homeland Security Investigations, 2018 Citizens Academy.


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September 6: Voting and Cyber Security

It’s election season and Julie Marcus, Pinellas County Chief Deputy Supervisor of Elections, representing Deborah Clark, is the perfect person to tell us about voting and cyber security.  She is committed to conducting fair, accurate and secure elections for Pinellas County.

Marcus ascended to her position in 2007 after having served in other capacities in the Poll Worker Department and in Voter Outreach and Education.  Prior to joining the Elections Office, Marcus worked as a District Senior Executive Secretary for a State Representative from 2000-2002.

Marcus is a Certified Election/Registration Administrator.  She graduated from the University of South Florida where she was President of the National Political Honor Society.

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August 16: Freedom of the Press and Truthful Reporting

Freedom of the press and truthful reporting are in the news all the time lately.  What do each of those mean and why are they important to us as citizens and to our country?  Come hear Katie Sanders, the deputy editor of PolitiFact, the nonpartisan fact-checking website started by the Tampa Bay Times, discuss these issues. Now based at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, she helps assign and edit PolitiFact’s coverage of the White House, Congress and Florida politics. In 2013, she helped launch PunditFact to fact-check talking heads and opinion-shapers of the media. She previously covered the Florida Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott for PolitiFact Florida, reporting from the Tallahassee bureau of the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald.

She is a graduate of the University of Florida, where she majored in English and journalism, and grew up in Madison County, Florida.

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August 2: Urban Sustainability

Ramona Madhosingh-Hector is the Bushnell Endowed Faculty at the Urban Sustainability Center located at Pinellas County’s Extension office. Since 2010, she has served as the Regional Specialized Agent developing educational programs that support and advance the county’s commitment to sustainability. She currently manages education programs focused on resource efficiency including energy, sustainability, and food systems. Prior to joining Pinellas County Extension, Ramona worked for the Florida Coastal Management Program at the Department of Environmental Protection as an Environmental Specialist III.

Ramona has an MSP in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida State University, an MS in Environmental Science from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and a BS in Agriculture from the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago.

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July 19: Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business

Sandra Fidelis is a Speaker, Business Coach, Digital Marketing Consultant and Bestselling author. She’s had tremendous success teaching coaches, holistic practitioners and client-based businesses practical steps to creating a successful business so they can make more money while making a big impact. Her programs focus on teaching clients how to charge what they’re worth, double or triple their practice and simultaneously experience more time, flexibility and fulfillment.

Sandra worked as a business development analyst for Progress Energy before becoming an entrepreneur. She is one of the co-authors of Sexy Secrets to a Juicy Love Life. Sandra has an undergraduate degree in mass communication/media studies from the University of South Florida and an MBA from Florida Gulf Coast University. She has lived in both Florida and New York.

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