Meet the Judges: St. Pete Pitch Night

St. Pete Pitch Night Returns Live on Dec. 1 with Local Expert Judges

St. Pete Pitch Night celebrates the local entrepreneurial community while cheering on a friendly competition and community connections. St. Pete Pitch Night focuses on showcasing, elevating and seeding community-based businesses. The Greenhouse is proud to partner again with Regions Bank to bring back the final round of St. Pete Pitch Night 2021, where five local start-ups can win $5,000 in funding to accelerate their business growth.

Join The Greenhouse at 3 Daughters Brewing on Dec. 1 to cheer on the following five women entrepreneur participants that were selected to pitch: The Greenbook of Tampa Bay, La Betri by Fili-Piña, Black on the Scene, The Mar St. Pete, and fayVen.

The format is simple, five entrepreneurs will have 6 minutes to pitch their startup venture followed by 10 minutes of Q&A with a panel of expert local entrepreneurial community judges.  Every event, we invite an experienced team of entrepreneurs, investors and industry leaders to help judge St. Pete Pitch Night. They give feedback to the finalists and ultimately choose SPPN Pitch Champion and grand prize winner. 

Our judging panel this year includes business leaders who’ve grown startups into global businesses, active investors and sector specialists.

JUDGE #1 :
Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer, 

Meg Charles is currently a Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of CodeBoxx, a fullstack coding bootcamp headquartered in St Pete.  

Meg is also an ideator, angel investor, entrepreneur, global corporate attorney and, start-up Board Director and Advisor. Synthesizing more than 25 years of business acumen and legal expertise with leadership and management experience, Meg provides strategic business guidance, creative solutions, seed investment, and mentoring to early stage global start-ups and entrepreneurs, globally. She is also passionate about sharing her knowledge, insights and experience to support others in crafting their success stories.

Meg is a global citizen with a cosmopolitan point of view, garnered from her experiences living and working in the US, UK, India, Sweden, and the Philippines, in large global enterprises as well as start-up businesses. Meg’s “secret sauce” is her incisive focus and ability to forge alliances, and skillfully navigate attitudinal, racial, and other societal barriers, working across cultures usually dominated by men. 

JUDGE #2 :
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Involta

Bruce Lehrman is the CEO of Involta, an award-winning, hybrid IT solutions provider offering cloud, consulting, and data center services to help clients undertake powerful digital transformation. 

Lehrman founded Involta in 2007, seizing an opportunity to bring modern IT solutions to the forefront of business strategy. His vision to blend colocation data center solutions with expert IT services has grown Involta from an Iowa-based tech services company to a nationally recognized hybrid solutions provider serving markets across the U.S. 

Under Lehrman’s strategic leadership, Involta offers IT consulting, a full suite of cloud and IT monitoring services, and colocation solutions that transform clients’ technology infrastructure, incorporating IT into business plans that support strategic growth goals. 

Before founding Involta, Lehrman was involved in three greenfield business startups and also worked with large, well-recognized brands. Lehrman is an active investor in entrepreneurial ventures and currently sits on the Board of the Entrepreneurial Development Center, Technology Association of Iowa (as 2013 Chairman), Iowa Seed Fund, Iowa Startup Accelerator Ventures, Geacom, Higher Learning Technology, and Van Meter Industrial. Prior to Involta, he was CIO of RuffaloCODY and CEO of LIVEware5. 

Founder, Midlife Adventures

After the loss of her daughter, Molly, Monica began searching for the potential cause of this tragedy. In her research, she found substantial evidence that the chemicals in our laundry and household cleaners are not safe. You may not realize the chemicals in leading laundry detergent brands can break through our skin barrier and are harmful to our health. But confusing chemical names (and a lack of labeling requirements) make it hard to know what products are truly safe for your family.

Monica believes we all deserve to know what ingredients we’re bringing into our home. That’s why she created Molly’s Suds. Molly’sSuds provides effective laundry and household cleaners that are truly safe for you and the planet. So you can finally feel good about the products you bring into your home!

After 12 years, expanding sales outside of the US and growing 40% year over year, Monica sold the company in March of 2021 on International Women’s Day! She started Midlife Adventures. A consulting business designed for new business owners looking for the age old question, “Where do I start?” and exhausted seasoned entrepreneurs looking for company structure and goals, formulation or product development help, or just a call for support and a Q & A!

Consumer Banking Manager & Market Executive, 
Regions Financial Corporation

Tina Gilmore-Johnson has 31 years of branch-banking experience, the last seven of which have been with Regions. She serves as Consumer Banking Manager and Senior Vice President, leading 15 area branch teams as they deliver personalized services to customers each day. Tina also serves as Market Executive for the bank in St. Petersburg, Clearwater and surrounding communities in Pinellas County. As Market Executive, she works with leaders from across Regions’ business groups to develop holistic financial solutions for customers, as well as identifying opportunities to engage in the community with a focus on financial wellness, education and workforce readiness, and community development. 

Prior to joining Regions, Tina worked for SunTrust Bank for over 22 years. Her leadership transferred throughout Pinellas and Hillsborough County, but most notably, she served as the Area Manager in the St. Petersburg and South Tampa markets for 7 years. Tina has been involved with Operation PAR since 2005, serving as the current Board Chair and as a Finance Committee member for the past 3 years. She also serves as the current Secretary for the Kiwanis Club of Pinellas Park and a Board Member for the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce. Previous and continuing volunteerism efforts include partnering with Junior Achievement to deliver financial wellness education, packaging food for Feeding Tampa Bay, and serving as an ambassador and Loaned Executive for United Way.