Member News 3/8/18 – 3/15/18

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Member News 3/1/18 – 3/8/18

Member News

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Robin DeLaVergne leads with an everlasting passion for Tampa

Robin DeLaVergne

Robin DeLaVergne, Executive Director of the Tampa General Hospital Foundation and Senior Vice President of Tampa General Hospital and the 2018 recipient of the LTA’s Parke Wright III Award.

Robin DeLaVergne doesn’t really like award-winning recognition. Fortunately, no one told Leadership Tampa Alumni. Or the Junior League of Tampa. Or the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. Or the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. In recent years, all of those organizations have recognized DeLaVergne, executive director of the Tampa General Hospital Foundation and a TGH senior vice president, as one of the area’s top leaders. Leadership Tampa Alumni became the latest group to bestow honors on DeLaVergne, naming her the 2017 recipient of the Parke Wright III Award on Jan. 23.


Yet DeLaVergne humbly says the feel-good vibe that comes from helping others means more than trophies and plaques. While she accepts the acknowledgement with pride, some of her biggest rewards come from helping lead the hospital.

“Everybody would have to admit no job is perfect. Some days, things go bad,” DeLaVergne explained. “But when I’m not having a great day, I can go talk to a patient who just had a heart transplant, or someone who’s waiting for a heart transplant, and then I say, ‘Okay, my day is not so bad.’”

DeLaVergne recently spoke to Tampa Bay Times columnist Ernest Hooper about growing up on Davis Islands with a life intertwined with Tampa General, being one of only a handful of women who have chaired the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce (2014), and what the future holds for the city and the hospital.

You’ve won so many awards. What’s the emotion when peers and colleagues recognize you?

My father was a physician, but he chaired the United Way. He was president of the medical association and worked real hard with Dick Greco and some others, and he would sit me in the room to watch what he was doing. My mother volunteered at Tampa General every week. She was a Girl Scout leader. It’s the way I was brought up. To me, especially since both of my parents are no longer with us, I feel like I did what my dad wanted me to do. And I’ve watched what my children do, and I’ve been an example to them. My older son used to do river clean ups in North Carolina, and my younger son is now on the board of the Salvation Army and he’s very involved in a lot of homeless projects, and I think it’s from what he saw me and his dad do to give back to the community. The fact that people recognize that I’m doing what my parents raised me to do means a lot to me.

Tell me about your job. Why does Tampa’s largest hospital need a foundation?

Tampa General is a tertiary, quaternary, academic medical center, we’re a safety net hospital for this area. If you think about it, there are about 300 hospitals in Florida. Ten percent are safety net hospitals, but those 10 percent provide over 50 percent of uncompensated care.


So we’re taking care of a lot of patients that don’t have any money. It costs just as much to take care of that patient as somebody with insurance. There’s a lot of money that goes to operations and running the hospital, and with technology the way it is today and new equipment needs, that’s really what we raise the money for, the things that aren’t covered by someone paying to have surgery.

There’s also start-up programs that don’t have a lot of revenue. We raise money for our integrative arts in medicine program which is something patients aren’t charged for. So there are a lot of things we’re able to provide to patients that they don’t get charged for.

What’s the biggest challenge of your position?

I think that Tampa General is a jewel in our city but it’s still something a lot of people don’t know about. I would say, especially as new people move into town, it’s just making sure people know who we are and what we do; that they know we’re one of the busiest transplant hospitals in the country, that we’re in the top 50 according to U.S. News & World Report in six different specialties. And we’ve got great physician partners both in the community and through the university.

We’re more than just a hospital. We really are taking care of patients even when they’re not in the hospital. It’s more about coordinating care and helping them understand how we can do that.

You chaired the chamber in 2014, becoming one of only a handful of women to even hold that prestigious position. What did it mean to you?

For me, when I was in the meetings, I didn’t necessarily see the difference between the men and women. They treated me like an equal. But I’ve also been very involved in Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay’s mentor/protege program because if you’ve been given responsibility, it’s important to pay it back and help bring up the future leaders.

You’ve been one of the people in a leadership role. What do you think has been among the city’s most significant accomplishments?

I go back to (Congressman) Sam Gibbons and when they brought the university (USF) to Tampa. That really began to change the fabric. There wasn’t an interstate out to USF when USF was built. The people who have moved here because of the university, and all the work being done to keep USF graduates here — I think it’s become a magnet. I would say the university and now the revitalization of downtown, especially if you look at the medical school moving downtown and what that’s doing.

The obvious follow-up is has Tampa fulfilled its potential

No. I don’t think anyone ever fulfills their potential, but if you look at what’s going on not just with Water Street Tampa, but the revitalization of West Tampa and Julian B. Lane Park, it’s great. But affordable housing is not very affordable in Tampa. That’s a potential we need to work on. With transportation — I can remember growing up on Davis Islands, we rode the public bus downtown to go to the movies — we have to make it easier for kids to get around and for young people who don’t want to own a car. I think we have some real opportunities. I look at the tech companies that are moving here — the incubators and the startups — the work being done by Linda Olsen at Tampa Bay Wave, and the innovation hub Jeff Vinik is launching at Channelside — and there are a lot of synergies.

Do you think we’ll get there?

I do. I’m confident we’ll get there.

This article was originally published in the Tampa Bay Times February 2, 2018 and is reprinted with permission.

Ernest Hooper LT ‘03
2018 Newsletter/Annual Review Co-Chair
Editor and Columnist, Tampa Bay Times

Member News 2/22/18 – 3/1/18

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LT’18 Military Day

Kari Goetz, Tampa International Airport

Military Day Briefing

Greetings fellow classmates, I’m Kari Goetz, your scribe for Military Day 2018. This is an UNCLASSIFIED information briefing. The purpose is to give an overview of Military Day for your personal records. Below I will outline the SOP for members who attended and an overview for those who missed the day.

During this briefing, I will attempt to include names or approximation of names of those who presented. All mistakes are mine, and I accept the Alpha Charlie I might receive for any unintended oversights.

As always, the day began with a bus ride. This time the target location was MacDill Air Force Base. Upon arrival, we were escorted to a briefing room. Special thanks to Bank of America for sponsoring the day and chest candy to Katie and Jackie from the Chamber for joining us Major Ryan Garlow, Lt. Col. John Schwartz, Brian Carson, Chief, Community Relations, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), Office of Communication Operations, and Commander Meredith Seeley for providing the morning briefing and organizing our day.

We even received a fly by from the Commander of the 6th Air Mobility Wing, Col. April Vogel. (“Nobody kicks ass without tanker gas!”)

The first briefing opened our eyes to the realties facing our men and women in uniform. Tech Sgt. Cleveland Sanders walked us through the very real and very immediate needs and responsibilities facing a soldier on deployment. Deployment affects all people in the soldier’s life, from partners, to children, to the family pet.

We learned about the emotional cycle of deployment:

  • Anticipation of Deployment
  • Emotional Disorganization
  • Stabilizaiton
  • Anticipation of Return
  • Readjusment

All soldiers are in Constant Mission Readiness, prepared to deploy, with a family prepared to deploy.

There are several services on the base to assist all aspects of the deployment process – from financial assistance to employment assistance and emotional support and counseling. This Herculean task is accomplished by 2 readiness officers, 14 APF civilians and 9 contract civilians. The budget is tight and constantly at the mercy of decisions made in D.C.

It was an eye-opening briefing that left all of us with newfound perspective and understanding of the sacrifices made by our military families and the opportunities for the community to support.

Next, Lt Col John Schwartz, USAF Reserve (LT’15) Chief, Standardization and Evaluation (927th Operations Group), Maj Ryan Garlow, USAF (LT’17) 6 Maintenance Squadron Commander gave us the opportunity to run around in a KC-135 that was considerably older than anyone in LT ’18. With many KC-135s approaching their 39,000 flight hours, new standards are being created to get these critical planes to 60,000 hours and beyond. It is expected that many of the planes will fly past their 100th birthday. At a current value of $60M and an expected cost to build new aircraft of almost twice to three times that – the Air Force is committed to maintaining the current fleet.

Keeping on schedule, we received another briefing, this time on the MacDill Mission. That mission is to



In the air, with 5500 combat and non-combat aircraft and 2/3 of the nuclear triad.

In space, with 90% of all DOD assets, space launch bases, and navigation, timing, communication and weather satellites.

In cyberspace, with the DOD and Government networks gaining intelligence and acquisitions.

By the Numbers

48 Nations are represented at MacDill AFB

33 Units are on base

$2,802,766,833 is the economic impact of the base in Tampa Bay

19,978 Base employees

43,148 Dependents

18 KC 135s, with 6 inbound

3 C-37A 375 Gulfstreams

Finally, we watched our fellow LT member, David Ferreira, get into full protective gear, because he is clearly the best sport in our entire class.

We then fell in for chow line and while we ate, Col. McHale gave us a briefing on the Special Operations Brotherhood. USSOCOM – J3 International is a “global network powered by trust,” because war is not something you go into alone. We learned about the exchange and interoperability and the overall of increased soft capabilities with like minded nations. As Col. McHale stated, “Business is good, there’s a lot of tasks in the world.”

We then heard from international representatives serving as Foreign Liaison Officers from the Netherlands, Denmark, and Lithuania. Equal parts hilarious and informative, we got a great deal of insight into how our culture is perceived.
Next, we were back on the bus for the Wargames Center of SOCOM. No cell phones, no smart watches, nothing that rings, beeps, dings, or otherwise alerts the enemy to your whereabouts.

So that was comforting.

Walking into the Wargames Center was like walking into the movie Wargames, only there was no Matthew Broderick and no one asked us if we wanted to play a nice game of chess.

Major General Slife, USSOCOM Chief of Staff gave us incredible insight into the 2,200 people who work at SOCOM, as well as an overview of the creation and purpose of the division. Today, 8,300 SOF are in 93 countries – Army Special Forces, Rangers, SEALS, Marine Corp SOF, Air Force Commandos, Army Civil Affairs, and Army Psychological Operations.

He shared with us his insights as a leader with a focus on inclusion and diversity and how these two elements cannot live independent of the other. As Maj General Slife shared, “Diversity is about brining as many perspectives as possible to the situation,” and inclusion “is valuing everyone’s perspectives.”  He used the example that “Ducks can’t pick ducks,” meaning that you should find leaders that aren’t like you. I know I’ve called a lot of people ducks since I heard that.

We had a short Q&A with members of USSOCOM both active and retired and the interesting factoid that came out of the session was the operating budget of USSOCOM is $13B – or about the same as one aircraft carrier.

After an incredible demonstration by the brave K-9 unit at MacDill, we were on the bus and off to SOFWERX in Ybor City.

A former church, and an unassuming building, SOFWERX is providing a platform to increase collaboration and innovation to solve challenging warfighter problems. For the next 60 minutes, we alternated between being scared to death of the kinds of ways technology can kill us and hopeful that the incredible talent being developed and innovated at SOFWERX may keep that imminent death at bay a while longer. Special thanks to Tambrein Bates who lead us through the facility and his incredible staff for letting us see the next generation of warfighter tools.

And with that, my notes conclude as we loaded on the bus and reported back to our cars.

Many thanks to everyone who made the day possible and the generosity of their information and their love of country.


Member News 2/15/18 – 2/22/18

Member News

Member Accolades

  • Vology Earns Elite 150 Honor on 2018 CRN MSP 500
  • Broad and Cassel Attorney Jason Lambert Named VP of Tampa National Remodeling Industry Chapter

Member New Hires & Promotions

  • Tindale Oliver Welcome Two New Members to the Tindale
    Oliver Team in Tampa

Member Events

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Member News 2/8/18 – 2/15/18

Member New Hires & Promotions

  • Vology Hires Jay Grubbs as Vice President of Sales

Member Events

Member Job Openings

If you would like to submit news, events, job postings, new hires/promotions, or accolades  for the Member News section of eView, please go to