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Gregory Celestan, Chief Executive Officer, Celestar Corporation, earned a Master of Arts in International Affairs from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Russian Area Studies from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He retired from the U.S. Army in 2004 as a Lieutenant Colonel with 20 years of experience leading US and foreign military personnel.
Mr. Celestan commanded several artillery units in Germany and served on staffs from Battalion to Division level during his 20-year career. He also served as an analyst at the Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and as a Senior Fellow at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch, Germany. Gregory served as a Team Site Commander for the United Nations Mission in the Western Sahara (MINURSO).
Mr. Celestan published numerous articles related to foreign threats and security studies during his military career. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, he organized and led U.S. Central Command’s Coalition Intelligence Coordination Center at the Forward Headquarters in Qatar. During Operation Enduring Freedom, he was the Team Chief of the Unconventional Targeting Cell, responsible for developing actionable intelligence against high-value Al-Qaida and Taliban targets. Mr. Celestan is a graduate of the U.S. Army Field Artillery Basic Course, U.S. Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
Mr. Celestan founded Celestar Corporation prior to his retirement from the U.S. Army. Celestar Corporation was named to the Inc. magazine list of the 500 fastest growingprivate companies in America in 2009. Celestar Corporation was also named to the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s “Fast 50” list of the 50 fastest growing companies in Tampa Bay in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Mr. Celestan was selected as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Florida Award recipient in 2010. He is currently a member of the Board of the Bank of Tampa, Tampa General Hospital Foundation Board and is a member of the CEO Council of Tampa Bay. He is also a Past Chairman of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.
Michael E. Griffin is a Senior Managing Director for Savills Studley Occupier Services, a worldwide company known for its consistent delivery of a full range of integrated real estate services across the globe. Mr. Griffin joined Savills Studley in 2015 upon its acquisition of Vertical Integration, the Florida-based real estate solutions firm that he joined upon his graduation with a Business Administration, B.S. degree from the University of South Florida in 2003. Through his consultative, client-centric approach to tenant representation, particularly for multi-market accounts, during his career, Mr. Griffin has completed commercial real estate transactions totaling more than 5.1 million square feet for a diverse occupier clientele ranging from Fortune 500 companies to all levels of government entities. In the last few years alone, he spearheaded efforts resulting in cumulative savings to his clients in excess of $51 million and provided advisory services on over 220 million square feet of leased and owned facilities.
Complementing his professional experience, Mr. Griffin is well-known for his civic endeavors. Presently, he is the Chairman of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce (GTCC), having served on the Board of Directors for eleven years. He began his involvement wiht the GTCC when he served as a charter Co-Chair of Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay (formerly known as Emerge Tampa). He also chaired the GTCC’s Government Efficiency Caucus, charged with identifying cost-saving opportunities within local government, after having graduated from Leadership Tampa (Class of 2004).
Beyond his Chamber service, Mr. Griffin has made his mark at his alma mater, initially serving two terms as Student Body President and as the charter student member of USF’s Board of Trustees. As an alumnus, he has served as the founding Chairman of USF’s Financing Corporation that oversees the bond financing for USF system projects. Under his leadership, financing transactions valuing more than $1.2 billion closed, resulting in more than 1.8 million square feet of projects, ranging from residence halls to sophisticated medical research buildings and office space. Thereafter, Mr. Griffin chaired the national USF Alumni Association, and presently, serves on the INTO-USF Board of Directors, a Public-Private-Partnership (P3) focused on the strategic recruitment of international students to USF.
Transcending his servant leadership to the GTCC and USF, Mr. Griffin, an Eagle Scout, serves on the Executive Board of the Gulf Ridge Council for Boy Scouts of America. He is a graduate of Leadership Florida (Class XXVI). As a result of such significant leadership and civic management, he has received commendations from Hillsborough County, The City of Tampa and Howard University, and is a recipient of the Six Sigma Black Belt from Villanova University. Additionally, he is the inaugural recipient of the GTCC’s Deanne Dewey Roberts Emerging Leader Award, and in 2007, was USF’s Young Alumnus of the Year. Mr. Griffin was also one of the youngest named in Florida Trend’s 50th Anniversary Issue as one of Florida’s 50 World Changers, and recently, was recognized by the Tampa Bay Times as one of the top 25 most influential business leaders in Tampa Bay and by Maverick PAC as a Future 40 national leader in business and public policy.
Above all, Mr. Griffin cherishes spending time with his wife Melanie and Golden Lab Molly.
Michael E. Griffin occupies Tampa Port Authority Board of Commissioners Seat #2, which is appointed by the Governor of the State of Florida.
Term: August 1, 2017 – November 15, 2019
1101 Channelside Drive, Tampa, Florida, 33602