After 43 years in newspaper advertising sales and management, I retired in 2021 to devote my energies to the Bluffs Business Association (and to have a little fun traveling in our RV and driving my husband Dan crazy!) For the past 12 years I have been employed as a Marketing Specialist with Tampa Bay Newspapers/Beacon Leader Bee publications, community newspapers that are home delivered weekly in central Pinellas County. Prior to that I spent 33 years at the Tampa Bay Times in various sales and management roles in the advertising department. I Joined the BBA in 2008 as Publicity Chair and became President in 2012. I have always enjoyed connecting businesses with new customers and since that's what the BBA is all about, I'm thrilled that I can continue doing what I love.
Dr. Kimberly Bender is a graduate of Clearwater High School and received her Bachelor's Degree in Biology from the University of South Florida in 1990. She attended Life University graduating magna cum laude as she received her Doctorate in Chiropractic in 1994. There she was awarded high achievement status as she served as a senior intern. In 2000, she completed her board certification in nutrition and now holds the title of Certified Clinical Nutritionist, as well as being a Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition. She is a certified instructor for Activator Methods chiropractic technique. Dr Bender also is a professor at SPC where she teaches Nutrition and Anatomy & Physiology. She opened her practice in Belleair Bluffs in 1995 and has been serving Belleair Bluffs and the surrounding communities for 25 years.
Larry Bell was locally raised and owns several businesses including Powered By Belltech and Belltech Computer Solutions. Larry believes supporting and participating in the community is and always has been important. Belltech is the online marketing agency and web developer for large restaurant, property groups such as The Crabby Bill's Family Brands and the Decade Group while focused on municipalities like the City of Belleair Bluffs as the cities IT Specialist and Webmaster.
To mention a few:
City of Belleair Bluffs
The Edge Hotel
Local Beach Guide
Belltech also supports local politicians through this effort, such as the Mayor of Belleair Bluffs, Chris Arbutine.
Larry also works closely with the local Chambers of Commerce and has been an Ambassador for the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber. He has worked on many projects to assist and empower local Chambers since the late 90's including the Chamber Near Me app, Capti-View phone systems and billboards. Belltech has been endorsed by Chambers such as the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce and the Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce.
Belltech is a partner with the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber. Belltech will be working with all members of all Chambers in Pinellas County with a new app Powered By Belltech called Local Beach Guide. Belltech Computer Solutions is proud to assist in the #BackToBusiness grant with the City of Clearwater Government as a vendor for Amplify Clearwater as a part of the C.A.R.E.S. act for COVID-19. Larry is a devoted and loving father and member of the Indian Rocks First Baptist Church.
Owns Belltech Computer Solutions (Computer Repair and IT Solutions Center)
Owns Powered By Belltech (Online Marketing Agency and Web Development Firm)
Owner and Partner of Chamber Near Me (Google Play and App Store)
Owner and Partner of Local Beach Guide (Google Play and App Store)
IT Specialist and Webmaster for the City of Belleair Bluffs
Online Marketing Director for the Bluffs Business Association
Ambassador for the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce (23 Years)
Institute For Leadership Graduate 2022
Google Local Guides Level 9
Active Member of the Indian Rocks First Baptist Church
Head Coach for the Recreation Outreach Ministry, R.O.M.
Alanna Karaosmani was born in raised in Madeira Beach Florida and has lived in the Belleair Community for several years now. Alanna thrives on new connections and brining people and businesses together to make the community a stronger and tightly connected place to live and work in. Alanna is currently part of the management team at your local Valley Bank in Belleair Bluffs and has been in the banking industry for over a decade. Alanna is focused on using her connections and experience in finance to better businesses around her. She believes strong partnerships and commitment will help grow healthy and long-lasting relationships that the entire community can benefit from. Of all things, Alanna is also a proud and dedicated mother to her two sons Lucas & Eli who inspire her to make a difference every day.
Bank Manager (13 Years) Valley Bank
Valley Women in Business Member
Degree in Psychology (Jacksonville University)
Member of St. Jerome Catholic Church
BBA Business Development Board Member
American Foundation Suicide Prevention Member/Advocate/Volunteer
Out of The Darkness Advocate
Feeding America Tampa Bay Volunteer
“Be the change that you want to see in the world and maybe you can change the world”
Patty Ruppel is a 47 year resident of the Belleair area. After moving to Belleair from Indiana Patty began a 10 year long career in banking working as an officer in the Foreign Exchange and Money Management areas of the bank and later serving as a Banking Center Manager and Vice President of Consumer Lending. While in banking she met her husband David and started their family raising 4 children all of which live in this area. While raising her children Patty spent her time volunteering through her church and school, St. Patrick Catholic in Largo, serving on the board and council for both, additionally serving on the Largo Parks and Arts Board. Patty is currently the Advancement Coordinator for St. Patrick School and serves on their School Advisory Council. She overseas their major fundraising efforts including their annual Fun Fair Carnival and Pot O Gold Silent Auction.
Suzy Sofer is currently the Co-Owner of Cody's Original Roadhouse in Belleair Bluffs with her father Stan which they have owned for the past 14 years. Suzy is also an experienced politician serving as Vice Mayor in the City of Belleair Bluffs, an elected Commission position she has served the residents and business owners for the past 10 years (5 terms).
She earned her Bachelor of Science and a minor in Business Management from Louisiana State University, serves on Bluffs Business Association as Treasurer, currently serves on the Forward Pinellas Waterborne Transportation Subcommittee, Graduate of Leadership Pinellas Class of 2015, Leadership Board Member 2018- 2021, Founding Board Member of AchieveHERs/Clearwater Regional Chamber, current Crime Stoppers of Pinellas Board Member, Moffitt Cancer Center Partner, Committee member Beth Dillinger Foundation, Forward Pinellas Board Member 2018 – 2021, FLC Municipal Committee 2019 – 2021, Graduate of the Pinellas Sheriff's Citizens Academy Class #43. Volunteer with Banyan Odyssey – teaching “handicapable” young adults livable trades.
Running a business that is open 364 days a year tests her challenges daily because she knows 49 employees depend on a successful business for their livelihood and she takes that responsibility very seriously. Suzy Sofer resides in Belleair Bluffs, Florida with her fiancé Jeff Crupper and fur baby Nola.
Born and raised in Queens NYC. Married to Christopher in 2000, Moved to Largo Fl in January 2001. Opened JK Flowers & Gift Baskets with my mom February 2002. Full Service boutique gift shop with women's accessories and small home gifts. We also create gourmet and non gourmet gift baskets, and fresh flower arrangements on order.
Dr Kathie Erwin is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Associate Professor in Masters Counseling for Divine Mercy University. She came to Florida on scholarship to Eckerd College and never wanted to leave! As a Master Field Traumatologist, Dr Erwin trains student teams and local providers in psychological first aid during international deployments including Romania, India, Trinidad and Ukraine. She is also a Fulbright Specialist serving at University of Iceland (her "second home'). She has a MA Counseling (Liberty University) and EdD in Counseling Psychology (University of Sarasota). She is also a Certified Independent Health Coach (Optavia). Dr Erwin and family have lived in the Bluffs communities for 30 years.
Born and raised in Michigan in the Bay City area. Earned a degree – B.S. Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan. Employed by Dow Corning Corporation, working there for nearly 10 years. Returned to the U of Michigan and earned a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery). Moved with wife and three children to Florida to begin the practice of dentistry. Located in Belleair Bluffs and began a solo practice in dentistry.
Private dental practice owner (26 years)
Membership ADA, FDA, UPCDA (past president)
FDA Legislative contact dentist
Adjunct Professor at the St. Petersburg College School of Dental Hygiene (current)
Homeless Empowerment Program (HEP) working as a volunteer dentist in their clinic working on a weekly basis since 2004.
Board Examiner for the Florida Board of Dentistry (past)
Reader/lector, choir member, many projects over the years
Bluffs Business Assn.
Rotary – Past Board Member
Homeless Empowerment Program (HEP) – currently a Board Member
I love: God, family, music, sports, & giving back. Favorite saying: “For everyone to whom much if given, of him shall much be required”, -Bible, Luke
Kayemarie Buckler is the owner of Pest Care. A family business that has been providing quality, affordable Pest Control Services for over 25 years.
She was born in Kingston, Jamaica and moved to St. Petersburg, Florida in 1973.
With her education background in Airline Travel & Hospitality, she worked for many years at Tampa International Airport. She later became City Ticket Office Manager and worked downtown Tampa and then transferred to Miami where she was Assistant Manager of Reservations Sales.
After meeting her husband Larry, she became a stay at home wife and raised 3 children (one of which is now her partner and Certified Operator in the Pest Control Business). She also has been blessed with 2 wonderful Grandchildren.
She enjoys Music, cooking and has been a West Highland (Westie) Terrier Breeder for many years. Dogs have been a big part of her life. She has been featured in “The New Barker” Magazine and on Bay News 9. She has also been involved with several Entrepreneurial groups that have been very helpful in developing her business outlook and being more organized in many ways.
Kayemarie Buckler got involved in the Bluffs Business Association several years ago and was attracted to the group by seeing how friendly and “Real” the people were. There was no pressure to join and they welcomed her with so much sincerity.
She has been a board member for some time now and as Director, has a vision for the Association to grow and progress at a speed that will allow the group to not loose the personal touch and dynamics it currently has.
Kayemarie Buckler has a motto that stands true in her business and everyday life…
“One Step Forward…. but… Always… Forward!”