We are just TWO WEEKS away from the Global SOF Annual Tampa Reception, which as you hopefully know will be held on the Monday of SOFIC Week in Tampa! It’s the one Monday a year that we get excited about, and there’s SO many reasons why. Read on to hear what the six of us (because we do have a full time staff of 6 now) are most excited for…

Stu President, GSF President/CEO, is looking forward to Speed Networking!

Amped for Tampa: The GSF Staff on why they’re excited for May 20th
Stu in action (middle).

Most industry people go to events and trade shows for business. They show up with a mission to do things that will advance their business by networking, meeting government people, and doing business-to-business. They start out great, but sadly they end up running into friends and colleagues that pull them away from their mission and the very reason for being there. The Global SOF Foundation (GSF) hosts international events and we have a large number of people from industry tell us they want to grow their businesses internationally, but during the event we will look around the audience and see them sitting and talking to their friends, avoiding the internationals that can help them grow their businesses overseas.  

On Monday, 20 May 2019 the GSF is offering something to break the cycle and help people meet others outside their current network – SPEED NETWORKING. The Speed Networking session sounds crazy, and those that know nothing about it are the very people that need it the most. The Speed Networking session will be held prior to the start of the 2019 GSF Tampa Reception. When you register you can also register for Speed Networking and answer the questions that will allow the computer to pair you with 6 – 8 people with similar interests.  Last year we had over a hundred do the Speed Networking and they overwhelmingly wanted to do it again. I encourage everyone attending to break the cycle and start your week by meeting 6 – 8 people that you most likely don’t know – REGISTER FOR SPEED NETWORKING.

Amped for Tampa: The GSF Staff on why they’re excited for May 20th

Meaghan Keeler-Pettigrew, GSF COO, is pumped for all of our Sponsors!

Amped for Tampa: The GSF Staff on why they’re excited for May 20th
Meaghan is shown here, second from the left!

Our 5-Year Anniversary is shaping up to be the best ever, especially when it comes to unique sponsorships, food and drink, and fun things to do! When I think back on when we started (with 400+ attendees in May 2014 at the Tampa Bay History Center), I’m proud of how this event has evolved into THE place to start your SOFIC experience.

The GSF Team is always thinking of new ways to keep our events fresh, and this year is no different. I look forward to seeing everyone enjoy:

  • Bourbon Tasting
  • Cigar Rolling
  • Local Beer Tasting
  • Nachos and Coronas
  • Make Your Own Trail Mix
  • Nitro Ice Cream
  • Golf Swing Simulator
  • Plenty of other food, drinks, and fun swag like shot glasses and koozies!
Amped for Tampa: The GSF Staff on why they’re excited for May 20th

Chelsea Hamashin, GSF Director of Marketing, is thrilled about the new venue!

Amped for Tampa: The GSF Staff on why they’re excited for May 20th
Chelsea is on the left, shown here in the DC Facebook office

I live almost exactly one mile from Armature Works, and it’s been so exciting to watch the area grow and come to life. Within that couple of blocks, I go to the gym, co-work, walk my dog, go for runs (jogs), and more!

I bring this up because Armature Works IS the location of our Reception this year! We love our Port Tampa Bay Partners, but since they’re in the middle of some serious renovations we had to relocate this year… but it’s the best alternate location we could have asked for.

Here’s just a few reasons:

  1. It’s in an awesome waterfront spot on the Tampa Riverwalk– easy access for walking, uber, the Downtowner, or if you want to drive there’s a big parking lot.
  2. It’s a historical building–it used to house the Tampa trolleys at night!
  3. It flows well… from registration to speed networking to the Reception in one straight walk. Boom.

I made a very short, mostly visual video highlighting all of these items… so you should check it out here.

Rick Lamb, Director of Military Relations, is looking forward to engaging with the International crowd!

Amped for Tampa: The GSF Staff on why they’re excited for May 20th
Rick speaking in an authentic WW2 uniform at our Symposium this March.

If my years in the U.S. Army have taught me anything, it’s that olive drab green is definitely my color… I mean, look at that handsome devil to the left!

But more seriously, it’s taught me the importance of cooperation with our international partners.

I’m the GSF’s new Director of Military Relations, and I am working toward involvement from ALL of our partner nation SOF, not just the many different breeds and species we have in the U.S.

Events like this networking reception are very important from a national security perspective. If we don’t know one another, we can’t work together–and we’re trying to make sure that is not the case.

It’s not an ISOF year at SOFIC in 2019, which makes it even more important for you to attend this year’s reception to meet some of our brothers and sisters from overseas. We’re working to get as many to attend as possible, and this may be one of your only opportunities this week to find an international crowd in large number.

So join us on May 20th, and if you see someone in a foreign uniform or hear a different language– say hello and introduce yourself! It’s worth it.

Steve Jones, Director of Partner Relations, is proud of our newest GSF Partners, and excited to introduce them to our community!

Amped for Tampa: The GSF Staff on why they’re excited for May 20th
Steve Jones is ready to welcome you!

As the person on our team most embedded with our Corporate Partners, I’m most knowledgeable about what all 85+ of them do… and they’re a pretty impressive crowd.

I work every day to get more people into our network and keep them engaged, so I’m proud of the team we have. They cover everything from night vision to UAVs to special bullets… and that’s just the beginning.

I would truly like to introduce you to our industry members, because so many of them are just doing very cool things.

We’ve added so many companies in the past six months–including ones from non-US countries like DSG-Technology from Norway and Precision Technic from Denmark.

Join us to meet us!

Catlyn Smith, Membership Services Manager, is ready to network and grow with our Members!

Amped for Tampa: The GSF Staff on why they’re excited for May 20th
They may be wearing the same clothes, but the one-and-only Catlyn is on the far right.

As one of the newer members of the Global SOF Foundation, and especially of this community, I don’t know everyone as well. But as the new Membership Services Manager, it’s important that I do meet people.

This event is a great opportunity for me to start to meet the people I’ve been talking to online and through emails–in person.

I love having this opportunity to meet our member community, because I’d honestly love to know every single person on our team–personally. It’s right around 2,000 people, so I know that’s unlikely, but goals are good and I hope to make gains toward that one on May 20th.

From what I’ve learned in my short time with the GSF, this is the fun and opportune time to really see our members in action and get to know what the team is about.

PS: I will have a booth for membership set up for Membership May, so if you or anyone you know would like to join–you can do so on site!

Register today for the Reception!


Become a member for a discounted rate in Membership May:


Amped for Tampa: The GSF Staff on why they’re excited for May 20th
We’ll see you soon!

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