Neil H. Spirtas formerly was Senior Vice President for the Manatee Chamber of Commerce. He was responsible for all governmental affairs and oversaw the Chamber’s tourism and small business activities for three decades. After a year away from retirement, he worked for USFSM as a career advisor for three years.
Neil coordinated the Chamber’s legislative (state, federal and local) affairs, tourism, downtown redevelopment, infill, sustainability, transportation, small business council and natural resource committees.
He received distinction in 2010 from the American Chamber of Commerce Executives attaining an IOM, Institute of Organizational Management designation and for 25 years of “impressive dedication and inspiring tenacity” to the chamber profession. In 2013, he was honored receiving the Sustainable Florida’s Best Practices Award on behalf of the Chamber. The Board of County Commissioners designated, and set aside April 7th, 2015 as Neil Spirtas Day in Manatee County, Fl. The Manatee Chamber of Commerce in 2007 received the coveted recognition as National Chamber of the Year.
Prior to coming to Bradenton, Fl., Spirtas worked in primarily underserved, often rural areas as a Community Development Specialist (off-campus instructor/facilitator) with Penn State in one county and similarly with the University of Florida in five northeast Florida counties. He did Economic Development in nine counties for the Florida Department of Commerce after the university posts. His biggest work-related accomplishments in these three and the Chamber positions included … assisting in the expansion of 31 new and existing businesses providing 4,700 new jobs with a capital investment of over $100 million … helping rectify technical school equity formula which increased Manatee Technical College budget (on average) $2 million/year since FY 2011-2012 … spearheading a legislative initiative garnering $50 million from Sunshine Skyway bridge tolls for transportation projects in Manatee County … securing uniform traffic laws for state and local intersections … maintaining a better than 80% average on successful Chamber voted-on issues before elected governmental bodies … coordinating and supervising small business educational programs and advice to over 20,000 participants.
Mr. Spirtas received both his B.S. & and M.S. (in Community Development) from the University of Missouri. Among numerous on-the-job training, he completed the professional Institutes in Economic Development at USF-Tampa and the University of Oklahoma and at the Institute for Organization Management (IOM) for Chamber Executives at the University of Delaware and Stanford University.
In his spare time, Spirtas has authored two books. Neil and his wife, Robyn have a son and a daughter and reside in Bradenton.
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