CEO Panel - "I Wish I Would Have Known ..."


Event Details


September 19, 2019 5:30 PM - 8 PM EDT

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Come hear REAL stories from local CEOs who will share some of the "good and bad" of their success ... from IP protection, to how tough fundraising can be, to rebranding, and pivoting business during the recession; all the things they wish they would have known THEN!



Jamie Harden

Creative Sign Designs
President & CEO

Jamie Harden is President and CEO of Creative Sign Designs. Creative employs more than 130 people throughout the state of Florida with the majority based at its Tampa headquarters.

Creative Sign Designs is one of the fastest growing architectural sign companies in the United States.  Creative provides consultation, design, project management, fabrication, and installation services for a full range of interior, exterior and digital signage products. 

Creative has won several important accolades including:

  • Governor Rick Scott’s Business Ambassador Award
  • INC. 5000 – 7 years in a row
  • Bright House Networks Regional Business Award
  • Florida Companies to WatchSM Award
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Blue Ribbon Small Business
  • Gulf Coast Business Review Top 500 Companies – 9 years in a row
  • Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year
  • Projects have been internationally recognized by Signs of the Times Magazine, Sign Builder Illustrated and the United States Sign Council.

Prior to purchasing Creative Sign Designs Mr. Harden spent 15 years in various senior leadership roles with Bank of America in Tampa, Kansas City, Dallas and Los Angeles.


Mr. Harden is a graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance. 

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce
  • Past Chairman of the CEO Council of Tampa Bay
  • Board of Governors of the Florida State University College of Business
  • Executive Committee and Treasurer of the Young President’s Organization (YPO), Florida Chapter
  • Honorary Commander of the US Air Force 927 Air Refueling Wing at MacDill AFB
  • Member Chief Executive Organization
  • Member Palma Ceia Golf & Country Club

Jamie has been married to Melanie Turner Harden for more than 27 years and they are very proud parents of three teenagers – Battle (17), Ellee (14) and Turner (14).


David Patterson

Founder & President

David Patterson is Founder and President of FiTeq, a Florida-based manufacturer and distributor of interactive cards that was established in San Francisco in 2009. Prior to starting FiTeq, Patterson spent the previous 10 years pioneering secure payment transaction protocols that have been licensed to American Express, Discover, First Data, MasterCard, and Visa. After graduating from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Patterson spent the initial 25 years of his career in Business Development and General Management within the consumer electronics industry: in product management at Toshiba, Patterson was involved in the launching of the world’s first digital television. Patterson was then recruited to Samsung as one of the first non-Koreans hired at Samsung HQ to launch the brand into the US market. Following Samsung, Patterson launched the consumer unit of Hyundai Computers and was later tapped to launch Vivitar’s Digital Imaging division, introducing the world’s first CMOS-based digital camera. Patterson has been selected to present at DEMO, CTIA and various payment card industry conferences.


Penny Parks (Moderator)

Links Financial
Founder & President

Penny is the President & Founder of Links Financial LLC, an organization that has completed a combined total of $2 Billion in debt financings and capital raises for small to midsize companies, as well as successfully restructured over $700 Million in debt during the last recession. Links Financial has spearheaded numerous acquisitions as well as positioned various companies for sale.

Ms. Parks earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Business, graduating cum laude from Wake Forest University, and a Masters of Business Administration with a Finance concentration, graduating with the Highest Honors, from the University of Tampa. Prior to founding Links Financial, her banking career included senior positions with Bank of America, Northern Trust and the Royal Bank of Canada’s US subsidiary.

Penny is the Incoming Chair of the CEO Council of Tampa Bay.   She also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the University of Tampa Sykes College of Business, is the Vice Chair of the University of Tampa Board of Fellows, an Honorary Commander at MacDill Air Force Base, a Board Member of the Greater Tampa Chamber, a Copperhead Member for the Valspar PGA Tournament and a University of South Florida Women in Leadership & Philanthropy member.  She has previously served as the Secretary of the Global Board of the Association for Corporate Growth as well as the Chapter President of its Tampa Bay chapter.

Hosted by: ACG
Tampa Bay

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