Email Insights: Tampa Bay Partnership trades jabs with the Tampa Bay Times

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Stuart L. Rogel, president & chief executive officer of the Tampa Bay Partnership, wants to set the record straight with the Tampa Bay Times.

In an email to Tampa Bay Partnership members, Rogel blasted Times business columnist Robert Triguax regarding a column appearing in Thursday’s paper, which criticized the organization’s effectiveness in marketing such an extensive, diverse economic region.

“The partnership’s membership, which has ballooned to eight counties from Sarasota to Citrus to Polk, has grown unwieldy and fractured,” Triguax wrote. “Its bold plan to webcast days of live, pro-region business interviews under the ‘Front Row Tampa Bay’ name during the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa proved expensive, reached small audiences and generated little value.”

Few business leaders sense the group’s message, he said, which might be why there is a growing call for change at the top.

That did not sit well with Rogel.

“In regard to your column today about the efficacy of the Tampa Bay Partnership” Rogel writes, “you have overlooked many of the Tampa Bay Partnership’s major successes and our continuing strong relationship with our investors and the community.”

Rogel noted the Partnership’s 32 new investors in 2014, with each believing in the mission to promote Tampa Bay as a business destination and advocate for issues vital to the region.

“The Tampa Bay Partnership takes pride in stepping out on issues that do not have easy or immediate solutions,” he says. “Issues that, while complex, require an unwavering leadership and a regional perspective.

“We face Tampa Bay’s challenges with confidence and vigor, regardless of how insurmountable they may seem.”

Rogel finished with a parting shot at the Times columnist, by calling for him to “learn of all of our work and success” if he is going to continue to cover the organization.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.