Watermark among Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2019 Business of Pride honorees

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | The Tampa Bay Business Journal has announced the honorees for the 2019 Business of Pride awards, including Watermark Publishing Group Inc. which will be honored as an LGBTQ-owned company.

The annual awards, presented in partnership with the Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce, were created to recognize individuals and companies who work to advance LGBTQ equality in the workplace. Honorees were chosen by members of the Tampa Bay Business Journal editorial team and a panel of outside advisers.

The awards are given in four categories. Ally, individuals who are not a part of the LGBTQ community but support LGBTQ individuals and issues; Voice, a member of the LGBTQ community who has worked to advance LGBTQ issues; LGBTQ-owned Company, companies which are over 50% LGBTQ owned and Ally Company, companies which have programs to ensure LGBTQ equality in the workplace.

“The honorees selected have gone above and beyond to not only ensure equality for all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identification, but to provide needed support to members of the LGBTQ+ community,” the Tampa Bay Business Journal shared April 30. “While some were honored for years of activism and support programs, others were selected for making progress in recent years to increase their devotion to equality, both by individuals and by companies.”

“I am so proud of the team at Watermark for being named an honoree of the Business of Pride Awards,” Watermark owner, publisher and editor Rick Claggett says. “For 25 years we have worked very hard to represent and inform our community, and it is an honor to share this recognition with the amazing community of Tampa Bay.”

A full list of this year’s honorees can be found below.


Ashley Brundage | VP, Diversity and Inclusion – PNC Financial Services

David Capece | CEO – Sparxoo

Charlotte Kibert | SVP, Digital Transformation – Concertium

Shane Lewis | Project Manager, IT – Tech Data Corporation

Marvin Meeks | Realtor, Interior Designer – Keller Williams Tampa Central

Bob Sanders | VP/Area Mortgage Manager – Regions Bank

Lacey Smith | Business & Services Transformation Manager – CareCentrix

Joy Winheim | Executive Director – Empath Partners in Care


Bob Buckhorn | Former Mayor – City of Tampa

LGBTQ Owned Company 

The Body Electric Yoga Company

Smith & Associates Real Estate

Watermark Publishing Group Inc.


Ally Company


Bristol-Myers Squibb

Flying Boat Brewing Company

Ryan Companies

Tech Data Corporation


The Business of Pride awards will be held June 20, 2019 at L’Unione Italiana in Ybor City from 5-7:30 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

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