Meghan O'Keefe, Executive Director

Meghan brings a business development and marketing background to Tampa Bay Tech with having worked in a variety of industries from non-profit to manufacturing and everything in between.  Meghan has been living in Tampa Bay for over eleven years and has been passionate about being a community connector and bridging the region together. 

Prior to joining Tampa Bay Tech, Meghan was with the St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation leading the charge in bringing businesses and companies to the city of St. Pete to help advance the local economy and community.  She received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Communications from John Carroll University where she also played soccer all four years.   

When she isn’t working or playing pickleball, Meghan enjoys spending time with organizations like Where Love Grows, Truth North Society and Masterminds Tampa Bay, helping to make a difference and creating a better community for everyone. 

Chris Karlo, Chair

Chris has over two decades of experience in business, strategy and technology consulting with companies across a host of industries. He is currently an equity Partner at MercuryWorks, a leading digital application and professional services firm obsessed with the development of custom software, mobile, and data driven solutions.  Chris has proven experience leading complex software development teams; bringing a combination of business and technical acumen to client project needs. 

A firm believer in giving back, he is committed to making Tampa Bay a stronger and more vibrant community.  Chris has served past and present on numerous non-profit boards throughout the Tampa Bay Region.  When not crafting creative software solutions to help clients grow their business, Chris is busy trying to keep up with his three sons and spending time with his awesome wife. 

Amanda Dugger, Vice Chair

Amanda Dugger, with over two decades of experience in IT leadership, is the co-founder and CEO of DGR Systems, a Women Business Enterprise and premier Microsoft partner. Known for her integrity, enthusiasm, and humor, Amanda spearheads the company’s strategic vision. Before DGR, she excelled in leadership roles at World Wide Technology and Coleman Technologies, focusing on sales team development and client relationship management.

As Vice Chair of Tampa Bay Tech, Amanda actively contributes to the local tech community. A philanthropist, she founded Genuine Human, a non-profit that supports individuals making a positive impact in their communities. Amanda, a recipient of the Distinguished Young AFCEAN Award in 2013, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Management and Information Systems from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Jamie Hess, Communications & Operations Manager

Jamie is a dedicated professional with a diverse range of experiences and a passion for communication, event, and organizational management. Before joining Tampa Bay Tech, Jamie spent six years working in higher education, specifically at the University of South Florida, as an HR Coordinator for their Information Technology department.

Jamie holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of South Florida, earned in 2015. In 2020, driven by her love for learning, Jamie pursued further education and completed coursework towards a degree in Interior Design.

Outside of work, Jamie finds joy in singing and performing, as well as caring for her two cats, Peter and Pan. She also actively practices yoga, finding solace and balance through this ancient practice.

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