Discover why you should join one of the top international business community groups in Tampa Bay. 

Log in

Log in

Board of Directors

President:  Jennie Sammur CEO of Dabar & Associates/TP & JS Enterprises  

Jennie Sammur was born in Chicago, Illinois. She was raised in a multicultural household and lived in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Puerto Rico, and Seattle. She has resided for over 17 years in the Sunshine State of Florida. Jennie is married to Anthony Perez, the Fire Chief of Pasco County. They are a blended family with 4 children. She obtained a Bachelor of Science with a Major in Administration from Barry University. She also has a master’s in Urban and Regional Planning and Community Development Certification from the University of South Florida. Jennie has significant expertise in Community Engagement, Stakeholder Relations, Business Attraction, Economic Development Projects, Community Development, government affairs, and Land Use Planning. She serves the Tanpa Bay Community in various capacities. She is a Florida Realtors District 6 Leadership Alumni, a Leadership Pasco Alumni, and for more than 10 years, she has been an ongoing volunteer for the Pasco County Commission on Human Trafficking. She has multiple certifications, including for non-profit and economic development. She is a former Central Pasco Realtor Organization director and the former Commercial Real Estate Committee chairwoman. She is responsible for inbound missions to showcase Tampa Bay Assets.

Jennie is a real estate broker who has been in the Real Estate industry for over 17 years. She owns and manages her real estate firm. Additionally, she owns and manages TP & JS Enterprises, LLC, a business partnership with her husband, who speaks and trains nationally for the fire service. TP & JS also offers corporate travel planning and trade mission logistics-related services.

She is also a Seasoned Economic Development professional focusing on international trade and foreign direct investment. Jennie is the former International program manager for the Pasco Economic Development Council. During her role, she was responsible for helping local companies expand their global footprint, planning and executing trade missions, diplomatic-related affairs, facilitating events related to international trade, and executing foreign direct investment projects.  Jennie has been with TBOWIT since 2019.

Immediate Past-President: Christyna Doege, Port Tampa Bay   

Christyna Doege (Day-gee) has spent her career in the maritime shipping industry and is currently the Client Engagement Manager for Port Tampa Bay. The width and depth of her experience is impressive honed through her time with steamship line - CP Ships, terminal operator - Ports America, and port authority - Port Tampa Bay both in the real estate and business development departments. Christyna holds a Master’s in International Logistics Management from Maine Maritime which compliments her Maritime Port Executive certification from the International Association of Maritime and Port Executives as well as her Certified Global Business Professional certification from NASBITE. Christyna started her career in the international realm after studying international business at Stetson University including a year in France and after university living in southern China. Passionate about learning, volunteering and growing others, Christyna is a Distinguished Toastmaster, past president of TBOWIT, founder of Women Move Cargo – Port Tampa Bay, and past multi-year chair of the Port Tampa Bay Anchor Ball raising money for two deserving maritime charities.

Treasurer: Allie Tschirhart, Warren Averett   

Allie Tschirhart joined Warren Averett in 2013 and is a Member in the Firm’s Tax Division. She has more than seven years of public accounting experience and is responsible for supervising and managing corporate, individual and partnership taxation, as well as business and individual tax consulting for her clients. Allie works with business owners to help their companies grow by minimizing their tax liability. She also provides tax planning and compliance services for S Corporations, Partnerships and C Corporation. Allie resides in Tampa with her husband.

Education: Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, Master of Accountancy with a Focus in Taxation, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Professional Affiliations:  American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Community Involvement, Humane Society of Tampa Bay, Member

Secretary: Selma Canas, SBDC   

As an international trade specialist at the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida, Selma Canas is responsible for guiding small businesses through the complexities of the international trade process through one-on-one consulting, training and resources. Canas is a NASBITE International Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) and teaches courses on international trade basics and market research at the Florida SBDC at USF. For export-ready companies, she develops Export Marketing Plans in partnership with SelectFlorida. She has developed more than 40 plans during the past ten years and participated in trade missions to Brazil, Chile, Canada, the Dominican Republic, and Panama. Having owned two businesses herself, she has more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing and customer service in a variety of industries, including freight forwarding, real estate and advertising. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of South Florida and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

Membership: Ingrid Grattidge, G Bank  

Ingrid is a result oriented professional with diverse business to business experience within the financial and technology sectors. Ingrid has worked in the capacities of V.P., Regional Director, Sr. Advisor, Business Development Officer, Registered Principal and Preferred Partner for such firms as Midwest Regional Bank, Binger Commercial Capital, Murphy Business Group, Prime Income Properties, Merrill Lynch, Raymond James Financial, Berkshire Equity and Virtual Telecomm.

On the commercial lending/investor and manufacturing platforms, Ingrid has assisted her clients in securing SBA and Conventional Commercial funding, logistic and investor relationships, with a special emphasis on the Health Care, Trade & Investment Sectors.

Ingrid has held the following licenses: P & C, Life, Health & Annuities, Series 66 Registered Investment Advisor and Blue Sky, Series 7 Securities and Series 24 Registered Principal along with Real Estate and Appraisal licenses.  Diploma in Computer Science from Lyndsey Hopkins Technical College.

She has also been an affiliate, member and/or served on the boards of St. Petersburg College of Bioscience Advisory Board, Tampa Bay Women in International Trade (TBOWIT), Women in Commercial Real Estate (CREW Tampa Bay), Business Brokers of Florida (BBF), International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), Commercial Real Estate Development Assoc. Tampa Bay (NAIOP), FL Gulf Coast Commercial Assoc. of Realtors (FGCAR), FL Assoc. of Government Guarantee Lenders (FLAGGL), Secured Finance Network Tampa Bay (SFNET), FL International Business Conference along with the Caribbean, Scandinavian and French Chambers of Commerce, Jr. Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Jamaica Trade & Investment (JAMPRO), Youth at Risk and West Florida Ballet Association.  Ingrid was awarded “Outstanding Young Women of America”.

Membership: Samantha Tallyn, Janssen & Igar  

Samantha is the owner and president of Janssen & Igar, CPAs, P.A. Samantha is a native of Pensacola and has been in the St. Petersburg area for over 11 years. She has her master’s in accounting from St. Leo University and is a licensed CPA. Before joining the public accounting field, Samantha was in the banking industry. She has over 18 years of experience in the financial and accounting industry. Samantha is involved in her community through various organizations.

VP Marketing: Devon Barnett, Tampa International Airport   

Devon is an experienced economic development and tourism professional who has dedicated her career to growing Tampa Bay’s economy over the last decade.

As the Senior Manager, Business & Market Intelligence at Tampa International Airport (TPA), Devon serves in both an internal consultative role managing research driven insights across the organization as well as an external role working with customers and community stakeholders to develop real-time actionable market intelligence pivotal in building Tampa Bay’s economy. 

Prior to joining TPA, Devon was the Senior Economic Development Manager at the Pasco Economic Development Council, where she was responsible for business retention and expansion, international business development and workforce development within Pasco County. She was also the Pasco representative for the regional alliance, Global Tampa Bay, an organization dedicated to increasing international trade and foreign direct investment in Tampa Bay.

Before transitioning to economic development, Devon’s career began in the hotel industry during her early college days in Tallahassee. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation & Leisure Services Administration from Florida State University with a concentration in Travel & Tourism and double minors in Business & Communications, she continued to serve the tourism industry in both leisure and business travel sales in Tampa.

Devon served as President of the Tampa Bay Organization of Women in International Trade (2020-2022) and is also a graduate of both Leadership Pasco’s Class of 2017 and the Florida TaxWatch Citizenship Institute’s Class of 2018.

Board Member: Vanessa Martinez, USF World   

Vanessa Martinez is the Founder and Executive Director of Girl Reports, Inc., a community-based education program that empowers underserved girls through journalism. A graduate of the University of South Florida (USF), she holds bachelor’s degrees in French Literature and German Language, and a master’s degree in Applied Anthropology. Vanessa has extensive experience in cross-cultural collaboration and international education — including a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship, an internship with the German-American Chamber of Commerce, and grassroots international development projects. In addition to her work with Girl Reports, Inc., Vanessa is the Assistant Director of International Community Relations at USF World.

VP Scholarship: Madison Lawson, Select Florida   

Madison Lawson is the senior manager for foreign direct investment for Select Florida, the state-designated economic development organization. In her role, she runs the project management of foreign investment leads from initial inquiries to established Florida businesses through a statewide RFI process. In her previous position at Enterprise Florida, Madison served as the regional trade manager for the Tampa Bay area, providing export counseling to companies in 10 Florida counties. Her responsibilities included managing trade grants, promoting international trade shows and missions, and coordinating educational programs and events for Florida businesses interested in expanding internationally.

Madison’s background in international economic development began at the Tampa Bay EDC as the international business manager for the local organization as well as the manager for the regional trade and investment promotion partnership known as Global Tampa Bay.

With a master’s degree in International Development and Emerging Economies from King’s College London and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tampa, Madison has a depth of knowledge in international business and a personal connection to the Gulf Coast of Florida. While receiving her graduate degree, Madison worked at Catholic Relief Services to promote innovative technology in international development projects. At the University of Tampa, Madison researched the informal economy in Cusco, Peru, and founded a social enterprise project in northern Ghana. Madison is a Saint Petersburg, Florida resident, where she enjoys fishing, paddle boarding, and spending time at the beach.

About us

The Tampa Bay Chapter (TBOWIT), established in 1997, is one of more than 30 + chapters worldwide under the umbrella of OWIT, the Organization of Women in International Trade, a dynamic organization created to enhance the status and interests of women in the field of international business.

Become a member

 OWIT chapters provide a forum for you to develop business opportunities, identify mentors, and to foster your career growth and professional development.

Contact Us

Tampa Bay OWIT

PO Box 75688, Tampa, FL 33675

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software