Hyatt Place & Hyatt House Tampa Ribbon Cutting on February 24th
Hyatt Place & Hyatt House Tampa celebrated the opening of their location last week with a ribbon cutting. Hyatt House is the upscale extended stay hotel and Hyatt Place is the upscale traditional hotel. A dual-branded development that will create a cosmopolitan experience for guests and showcase a relaxed, locally-inspired design reflecting the charm and character of Downtown Tampa. Hyatt Place has 230 guestrooms and Hyatt House has 115. Check them out here!
We asked some of our community’s most influential black leaders to share their perspective on Black History Month, its importance and how we as a community can continue to respect and observe the significance of the month throughout the year and not just in February.
Ed Narain, Vice President, External & Legislative Affairs, AT&T
“Black history is American history and it is important that we take time to remember the significant contributions African Americans have made to help shape our country and the world.
This rich history is often ignored by traditional history books and leaves most people largely unaware of the key accomplishments Black people have made in every discipline and profession.
Locally, we have a rich history of ground breakers that helped pave the way for the unique community we see today. In February and anytime during the year, I would encourage everyone to visit take the Central Avenue Black History Tour, visit Perry Harvey Park, the Carter G. Woodson Museum (St. Pete), and the Robert Saunders and C. Blythe Andrew’s libraries to learn more.
A true understanding of our past is the key to helping shape a better future.”
Bemetra Simmons, Chief Strategy and Operations Officer, United Way Suncoast
“The remarkable contributions of African Americans is deeply woven into American history. Black History Month allows us to highlight these unsung heroes.”
Brian Butler, President & CEO, Vistra Communications
“Black History Month provides an opportunity for ALL AMERICANS to learn, reflect and honor the contributions by African Americans to our great nation.”
Ashley Butler, President, Ice Cold Air
“I know that I stand on the shoulders of giants like Fannie Lou Hamer and Bayard Rustin. I know that my success is built on a legacy of Black brilliance, and I love Black History Month because it is a shared opportunity to celebrate that Black brilliance. We’re able to collectively reflect on how Black people have and continue to contribute to American history and American culture. Making space to honor the Black experience and actively empowering the Black community, not just in February but all year, expands our understanding of greatness and challenges our ideas of what is possible.”
Ben Walker, Owner, Buyer’s Point
“Black History Month was originally created to celebrate the achievements of African Americans and their central role in US History. Not only is it important to recognize the well-known historical figures but it is equally as important to celebrate the lesser-known figures such as:
Dr. Sandra E. Braham, President and Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Coast JFCS
“Black history is American history. As our nation matures (relative to the ages of other developed nations), we must learn about and embrace all cultures that have significantly contributed to the building of our country. African Americans continue to make history, building America across all sectors of business and the economy. I am proud to support the work of the Tampa Bay Chamber as we honor Black history and Black business leaders, year-round.”
Lori Baggett, Attorney at Law, Carlton Fields
“Black history is American history. We should learn all of our history – even parts that go unrecognized or that we are not proud of – otherwise we are doomed to repeat it. For me, Black History Month has always represented a time of focused reflection and pride in all the contributions that Black people have made to society.”
Yvette Segura, Regional Vice President, USAA
“While Black History is observed during the month of February, we believe it should be celebrated year round. The only way for us to continue to grow and become a better society is for us to recognize and appreciate our differences. We celebrate and honor the notable achievements of African-Americans for all that they have contributed in making our society better.”
Bob Rohrlack, President and CEO, Tampa Bay Chamber
“Black History Month gives us the opportunity to truly explore the outstanding contributions made by fellow Americans that have been overlooked for far too long. The rich tapestry of America is strongest when the threads are inclusive of all those who live in our country. I hope that everyone will not only take the time to learn more about the importance of the holiday, but also make it a personal mission to celebrate and support diverse leaders in our communities throughout the year and long after Black History Month is over.”
Fifth Third Bank celebrated the opening of its South Tampa Banking Center with a ribbon cutting last Thursday. The South Tampa Banking Center includes 3,350 square feet and offers a complete array of banking services with one drive-thru lane, a drive-up ATM, night depository and a next-generation interior that includes: mobile bankers using technology that allows them to meet and serve customers in a variety of settings; a tech wall featuring a dynamic digital screen; and flexible meeting and seating areas with layers of privacy that can adjust depending on the need and the type of conversation taking place. Visit the new Fifth Third Bank location and check out their café and casual atmosphere. Visit Fifth Third’s website here.
Member News Florida Polytechnic University and Florida Southern College announced an exclusive public-private partnership that will allow Florida Poly students to earn a STEM bachelor’s degree and a Master of Business Administration from Florida Southern in five years or less.
On a historic week in Tampa as the Buccaneers head to the Superbowl, LT’21 embarked on their week 2 program day focused on community outreach. The morning kicked off at Cristo Rey Tampa Salesian High School. In 2020, the high school had its first graduating class, delivering on their mission to provide underserved students the knowledge, character, and skills to transform their lives through a distinctive approach to inner-city education.
Tampa is plentiful in organizations that exist to serve needs in our community. After some inspirational presentations which set the stage for the day of having a servant’s heart, small groups set out to visit nine of those sites, including the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and the United Way which both have ties to this year’s class.
The Crisis Center of Tampa serves the community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by connecting those struggling with a variety of difficult situations with support. Jennifer Moore, Vice President of Development at the Crisis Center, and member of the LT’21 class adds that “The mission of the Crisis Center is to ensure no one in our community has to go through crisis alone. A crisis is simply a life’s problem that needs a solution. We are the community’s gateway to support through 2-1-1.” The group learned that the center creates a personalized experience for each caller, by communicating in various ways, and hiring a diverse workforce to meet unique needs.
The United Way serves five counties and works to provide leadership and programming that improves lives and creates lasting community change. The visiting classmates also got a taste of the ALICE Report, a biannual report that is the basis of United Way’s work. Daniel Mineo, Senior Manager of Grant Development and Management Resource Development for the United Way, and a member of the LT’21 class, says “The ALICE Report is a tool we use to define a survival budget for families in our community who live above the federal poverty line and are still struggling just to afford basic needs.”
The afternoon brought four additional experiences including a visit to Quantum Leap Farm and a thought-provoking food desert project. Quantum Leap Farm exists to improve quality of life through equine-assisted therapies. The group was able to witness a therapy session in progress and learn about the tremendous progress that the therapy has brought for that 14-year-old client. With a waiting list of over one year long and limited access to funding, the farm continues to work through barriers and opportunities to provide this alternative therapy to the community in need.
The food desert activity took part of the class to the United Way Suncoast’s Sulphur Springs Resource Center. Sulphur Springs is an area where affordable good-quality fresh food is not always accessible. In partnership with the YMCA, and only a $100 budget to feed a family of four for a week, LT’21 classmates had to get creative and make difficult decisions while putting themselves in the shoes of others.
In closing, a key takeaway was that the community is everyone. In order to improve the challenges Tampa faces, local leaders are urged to give back and become a part of the solutions that drive change. The class left empowered to make a difference.
Carlton Fields announced that Kurtley M. Taylor joined the firm as an associate in Tampa. ChappellRoberts has named Christine Turner president. Global Widget completes ‘Million Dollar CBD Pet Product Giveaway’ to help local shelters care for sheltered animals. Lumina Co-Founder and Chief Data Scientist Dr. Morten Middelfart has been recognized as an IBM Champion. Shumaker Lawyers Timaura E. Barfield and Jaide L. Beverly have been selected as members of The National Black Lawyers – Top 40 Under 40. Tampa Electric has named Archie Collins CEO. WGI announces Tom Bernard, PE joins Tampa MEP team.
Ring, Ring, Ring…LTA On the Line! The Renew&You&You 2021 Campaign Continues Renew for 2021 here: Sign Me Up for 2021!
Hello…are you there? It’s LTA’s Membership Committee on the line checking on you! In our ongoing efforts to bring our LTA family back together in 2021 after a tough year, we launched a call-a-thon last month to randomly check on past LTA members and say “hello.” We had the chance to laugh, catch up, and touch bases with many of our LTA members. We also learned through that process (and other feedback from members) that you have questions regarding membership and we are here to answer them! In this edition of the newsletter, you will find questions to frequently asked membership questions. If you have a question that’s not answered here, I invite you to contact me…I welcome the opportunity to connect with you, you, and you!
Q: I’ve received emails regarding renewing since October 2020. Is that for 2020 or 2021? A: It was for 2021. The renewal campaign for 2021 started October 1, 2020.
Q. I paid LTA dues in the third quarter of 2020. Was that dues payment for 2020 or 2021? A. Those dues were for 2020. If you pay your dues now, you will be active for 2021.
Q. What is the deadline to pay dues every year? A: There is no set deadline to pay but in order to continue to receive LTA content, you must be renewed by March 31st. Currently, the renewal cycle starts October 1st of every year.
Q. Many LTA members have been impacted by COVID. Did you consider reducing or suspending dues to be responsive to that impact? A. Last year, LTA did offer a reduced dues structure and suspended its membership renewal campaign to be responsive to the pandemic. This year, to directly assist our members who continue to be financially impacted by COVID, LTA has developed a grant program to cover 100% of their dues. Information about the grant program can be found here: LTA Cares Grant Application & Information. Apply today!
Q: What do my membership dues cover? A: LTA membership dues support the continued leadership programming LTA provides but also helps to help build up our future leaders in our Tampa Bay community by providing scholarships to the Leadership Tampa and Emerging Leaders programs.
Q: How are we doing with our March 31st renewal goal of 496 renewed members?A: We are slow moving but the Membership Committee is working hard to bring our LTA family back bigger and stronger in 2021. We are currently at 308 renewed members, with LT Classes ’20 (54%),’18 (39%),’16 (38%), ‘19 (38%), ’17 (38%), and ’15 (37%) leading the way. Will you join us in your efforts? Join today! Renew for 2021 here: Sign Me Up for 2021!
Q: How can I become more involved in LTA? A: We’re glad you asked! Join a Committee! Contact Michelle Ciudad Real for more information.
Name: Marc Eichenholtz, P.G. President, Principal Geologist LT Class Year: 2005 Company Name: MAS Environmental LLC
Tell us, why LTA? When I graduated, I had met so many great people in LT and wanted to maintain those friendships and business relationships moving forward. To this day many stay in touch and get together often. The bonds we made in LT are priceless.
For you, what separates LTA from other business leadership programs? I think what is unique about LTA is the follow up with the Alumni after we graduate. There are regularly scheduled events, and my own amazing LT class of 2005 is always working to schedule our own gatherings to stay connected. We do a good job of that.
Describe a time when the LTA experience impacted your life or career? I started my own firm in 2010 and received tons of support from my classmates. Through the years, LTA has presented me with the opportunity to meet other LTA members, and in engaging with them we have been able to mutually help one another’s businesses.
What is a LTA benefit you wish everyone knew about? It’s the friendships. You just can’t put a value on the friendships you will make in LT and LTA.
Describe how the leadership journey will continue to shape you? As we watch our world changing and try to adjust our businesses and personal lives, it is great to have a network of friends and colleagues to share the experiences and ideas that will certainly shape our lives and futures.