#LTAFamous: Todd O’Donnell

Todd O’Donnell, LT Class of 2016

Tell us, why LTA?

My employer, Wharton-Smith, encouraged me to find a leadership program in Tampa that provides a similar program to Leadership Seminole in Orlando. After researching and attending the initial information session for LTA, I decided Leadership Tampa was the perfect choice! Most importantly, I wanted the experience of learning leadership through a structured process and how I can improve to become a better employee, boss, father, and husband.

For you, what separates LTA from other business leadership programs?

LTA is great at staying organized and keeping everybody informed. Committees and events are consistently well organized and well planned. Diversification and a variety of opportunities to engage also separates LTA as unique. There are many worthy causes, committees, and events for LTA members to participate and contribute.

Describe a time when the LTA experience impacted your life or career?

During the program, I enjoyed the speakers at the various trips . There was one in particular that left an indelible imprint for me. During our trip to Tallahassee, Mr. Lee Moffitt spoke to our class about the history and birth of the Moffitt Cancer Center. He shared the tragic story of his staff members struggling to find appropriate care for their cancer treatments and how they had to travel out of state. Sadly, at the time Florida did not have adequate resources to provide the needed care for their treatment. Mr. Moffitt then made it his mission to take action and created the Moffitt Cancer Center to provide in-state care for these patients. His call to action was a great example and teaching moment for me. It has motivated me to do the same—take action and help the others. Make an impact!

What is a LTA benefit you wish everyone knew about?

The bonds and friendships with my fellow classmates which continue to last from this 9-month program is a huge benefit for me, and one that many can also gain long-term benefit. To this day, I remain in contact with several classmates and find it rewarding to catch up and see where we can help each other.

Describe how the leadership journey will continue to shape you?

My primary mission, both personally and professionally, is to be of service to others. LTA provided the pathway and foundation to understanding how leadership plays a vital role for in servicing the community. At the end our journey, we were encouraged to have “a call to action”. LTA was a great teacher and motivator for me to take action and give back. I am grateful for this experience and thank LTA for providing this wonderful program.

LTA Today: The Calm in the Storm

The Calm in the Storm by Kari Goetz

This past year has been challenging for many of us. Whether our experience was thriving or surviving, it was a year of universal change. We are in a state of global grief, losing loved ones and friends, dealing with the physical affects of the virus, grappling with physical distance from our networks both professionally and personally. All of this has taken a toll on our mental health. 

Fortunately, we have the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. The Crisis Center has been a part of many Leadership Tampa program days. We all learned the importance of 2-1-1 and the incredible work done by the Crisis Center team answering those calls and saving lives.

If you have never attended Cup of Compassion (shameless plug) you need to put this on your annual “must attend” list. Hearing about the work being done, the work that needs to be done and those that do the work, is an inspiriting experience. 

The highlight each year is hearing from Clara Reynolds. CEO of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, Clara brings a compassionate and empathetic presence to the organization and the community. She has spent her career dealing with the issues surrounding mental health – lack of resources, access, and stigma – and turned them in to opportunities. She has courageously built partnerships to fund programming, increased access to the most vulnerable and brought mental health to the forefront of the discussion from Board Rooms to Playgrounds.

As a member of LTA and a deeply respected leader in the community, we had the chance to sit down with Clara to talk about mental health issues in our region, what is being done and how she manages to remain strong during this difficult time.

You have such a passion for mental health education, awareness, and intervention, do you consider this a career or a calling?

This work is definitely a calling for me.  I have lost two very important people in life to suicide and those losses were deeply impactful.  I was drawn to psychology in college but found my true calling in social work.  For the past 28 years, I am grateful every day to be a part of this important work.

At what point did you transition from doing the work to leading the work? Was there a specific decision point where it changed or was it an evolution?  

It was definitely a decision.  I had the privilege of partnering to create a new nonprofit, Success 4 Kids & Families in 2005.  My partner, John Mayo and I flipped a coin to see who the CEO would be, and I lost the coin toss!   It was a turning point in my career.  

Your team has managed an exponential increase in need for mental health services during the pandemic. Can you talk about that and its long-term effect on our community?

COVID-19 is not just a physical health pandemic.  As we have discovered, our behavioral health has probably been more affected than our physical health for the majority of our community.  And there is no vaccine for the behavioral health impacts.  This tsunami of anxiety and depression will be with us for a long time.  It is impacting every age, race, and zip code.  At the Crisis Center, we have interacted with many individuals who have never experienced a behavioral health issue before COVID, and we know this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Follow up – many are saying that the next public health crisis will be mental health issues caused or intensified by the pandemic. How can the community come together to provide resources to meet this crisis?

I think the most important thing we can do as a community centers around stigma reduction.  It is so important that all of us recognize that behavioral health issues are real and treatable.  If we can treat conditions like depression and anxiety the same way we treat diabetes and high blood pressure, our community members will seek help sooner before the condition becomes a crisis.

You manage really heavy issues every day, how do you take care of your own mental health?

First, I have an incredible family, and we love to play.  We go on mini breaks frequently to local places like Disney as well as attend a number of sporting events.  I am also an avid swimmer and swim most days.  I think the combination of these outside interests keep me refreshed. 

You hold an MBA from the University of Tampa (Go Spartans!) why is access to quality mental health important to the business community in Tampa Bay?

Every employee brings their whole selves to work.  They bring their fears, joys, traumas and the like every day.  To get the most from your most value asset, employers have to recognize that poor mental health impacts productivity, workplace morale, and a host of other metrics.  

Summer is almost here, and the world is getting vaccinated, do you have your checklist of things you want to do now that the world is opening back up? What are you looking forward to doing?

My son is graduating this year and will attend the University of Florida in the Fall.  We already have season Gator football tickets in addition to our Buccaneer tickets.  I cannot WAIT to attend live sporting events with avid fans!!!!

You are a beloved member of LTA. Everyone who knows you talks about your passion, your commitment, and your strong leadership at The Crisis Center. How has Leadership Tampa and LTA been a part of your leadership journey? Why should someone apply to LT’22?

Well, you are too kind in your words!  I was very fortunate to participate in LT very early in my career.  Even though I am a Tampa native, I cannot over emphasize how much I learned about our community during my LT year.  I also met incredible people in my class, some of whom I work with directly (Jim Porter, one of my Board Members at Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, for example!) 22 years later.  Leadership Tampa is an investment, but like any investment, it is worth the time and commitment.

Member News 5/10

Member News

Carlton Fields announced that Shareholder Jason J. Quintero was named Tampa office managing shareholder.
Chargebacks911 announced the appointment of Matt Stein as Senior Vice President of Brand Strategy.
Florida Polytechnic University celebrated the graduation of its classes of 2020 and 2021.
Gas South announced the final stage in the transition of its Infinite Energy customers in Florida.
Humankind Partnership announced the 1st Annual Humankindness Film Festival winners will now be announced and shown at The Suncoast Credit Union Gasparilla International Film Festival.
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital’s Critical Care Transport Team has expanded; Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Health System announced an important step to ensure the economic well-being of employees by adopting an enterprise-wide $15 minimum wage.

Member Events

May 10, 2021: 2021 Drive to Save Lives Golf Tournament
May 11, 2021: Suicide Prevention and Awareness and Benefits of Partnership Between Law Enforcement and Mental Health Professionals
May 11, 2021: Ace Your Next Interview!
May 12, 2021: Unlock the Potential of LinkedIn
May 12, 2021: The Path to CPA: Purpose, Security, and Joy!
May 15, 2021: Hippie Dash 2021
May 19, 2021: Soft Skills – Essential Skills in 2021
May 20, 2021: The Economic Impact of the Biden’s Covid Relief Package
May 24, 2021: Chat with a Career Coach
May 25, 2021: Managing the Financial Impact of Coronavirus
May 26, 2021: Determine Your Career Identity
May 26, 2021: Psychology and Investing
July 14, 2021: Virtual Buyer-Supplier Town Hall

Member Job Openings

City of Tampa Housing & Community Development Manager
Girl Scouts of West Central Florida AmeriCorps Outreach Program Specialists
Hillsborough County Public Schools Bus Driver
Hyatt Place/Hyatt House Multiple Positions
Keiser University Administrative Assistants
Lutheran Services Florida Multiple Positions
Roebuck Technologies IT Specialist
WestCMR Multiple Positions

Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of North Tampa

Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of North Tampa Ribbon Cutting on April 27th

Encompass Health celebrated the opening of their new inpatient rehabilitation hospital in North Tampa with a ribbon cutting. The Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of North Tampa provides inpatient physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech language pathology for stroke, brain injury and other complex neurological and orthopedic conditions. Check them out here!

Member News 5/3

Member News

ChappellRoberts has added two key roles to the agency’s senior leadership team
Florida Polytechnic University will offer the state’s first bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity engineering beginning in the fall 2021 semester.
ServisFirst Bank announced the opening of a Loan Production Office (LPO) in Orlando.

Member Events

May 8, 2021: Courage & Grace Ignite Your Confidence 2021 Brunch
May 8, 2021: Celebrate Mother’s Day at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa
May 10, 2021: 2021 Drive to Save Lives Golf Tournament
May 11, 2021: Suicide Prevention and Awareness and Benefits of Partnership Between Law Enforcement and Mental Health Professionals
May 15, 2021: Hippie Dash 2021
July 14, 2021: Virtual Buyer-Supplier Town Hall

Member Job Openings

City of Tampa Housing & Community Development Manager
Girl Scouts of West Central Florida AmeriCorps Outreach Program Specialists
Hillsborough County Public Schools Bus Driver
Hyatt Place/Hyatt House Multiple Positions
Keiser University Administrative Assistants
Lutheran Services Florida Multiple Positions
WestCMR Multiple Positions

Minority Business Accelerator Chat with Yvette Segura

A Chat with Tampa Bay Chamber Chair Yvette Segura

Q1 has wrapped, and the Minority Business Accelerator is in full swing. Program Director Avril Stinson, invited current Tampa Bay Chamber Chair Yvette Segura, to share some of her insight regarding the Chamber’s Inclusive Organization Pillar and the importance of DE&I to our business community.

  • Please introduce yourself. “Who is Yvette Segura?”  I am the Regional Vice President for USAA operations in Tampa and I’ve proudly been with USAA for 32 years.  I’m an Air Force brat and have moved many times growing up and throughout my professional career.  My career has provided me some great opportunities to grow as a leader and often as a party of one, being female and a minority.  Fortunately, that is changing and is happening intentionally.  
  • Please briefly share USAA’s stance on DE&I.  USAA recognizes the strength that comes with a variety of perspectives and beliefs and has an environment that encourages respect and trust. We believe attracting, retaining and developing talented, diverse professionals—including women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, LGBTQ+, veterans, among others–helps us achieve our goal to purposefully include diverse perspectives to achieve superior business results and fulfill our mission. It is a USAA business imperative to drive growth, promote innovation and sustain competitive advantage in the marketplace.
  • As Chair, why is DE&I important to the Tampa Bay Chamber?  Because Tampa Bay is so diverse, it’s important that our Chamber appropriately reflect the entire business community while embracing the various perspectives each brings, and to be intentionally inclusive in that journey.
  • Why do you support the Chamber’s Minority Business Accelerator?  The goal of the Chamber’s Inclusive Organization pillar is to create an environment where all feel welcomed.  Programs like the Minority Business Accelerator help to lift all businesses.  True inclusivity requires the involvement and engagement of everyone.  Through the experience and perspective of other Chamber members, we can all work together to accomplish our vision.

The Chamber can’t do this alone and needs the help and support of its members to continue the success of this program.  Everyone has a role to play in using their networks, reaching out to suppliers and others in referring companies to the program.   Volunteering is another great way to get involved, share knowledge and experience from a variety of vantage points.  It’s also a wonderful way to connect and learn from others while strengthening the bonds of our community.

The MBA program started with just a few companies and continues to grow.  It is a great opportunity to build momentum and extend its reach – but we have a long way to go.  I look forward to supporting this program for many years to come. 

If you are interested in learning more about the Minority Business Accelerator, please contact Avril Stinson at AStinson@Tampabaychamber.com or visit our website.

LT’21 Sports Day

Written by Cameron O’Connell, ZooTampa

The Leadership Tampa Class of 2021 had the distinct pleasure of experiencing Champa Bay in-depth via a tremendous agenda organized by Travis Pelleymounter & Sheri Anderson (Vinik Sports Group),with the Sports Day being sponsored by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning & Tampa Bay Rays.

Champa Bay & the Golden Heroes ‘run on Dunkin’, so we were treated to breakfast & coffee before loading on the buses for the trip across the bridge to Al Lang Stadium. 

We arrived at Al Lang Stadium built in 1947 (refurbished to soccer-specific in 2011) with a beautiful backdrop of the St. Pete waterfront.  We heard from Lee Cohen (President) & Neill Collins (Head Coach) on the rich history & current success of the Tampa Bay Rowdies organization.  Of note, the Tampa Bay Rays acquired the team in 2018, and they have adopted a similar strategy with payroll management influencing roster decisions.  As well, their current head coach was a Tampa Bay Rowdies player prior to converting to the coaching ranks, and he had to bench his roommate his 1st year in that capacity.  Recently, the organization hired a mental performance coach, as they place a significant emphasis on that aspect of the game.  It was also interesting to see the Team was implementing outdoor locker rooms on the concourse, due to the pandemic.

Next, we had the opportunity to engage with Brian Auld (President) with the Tampa Bay Rays.  He mentioned the goal of energizing the Tampa Bay Community via Rays Baseball & Rowdies Soccer given the recent acquisition.  A unique example of this strategy was adding the brother of Randy Arozarena (Raiko) to the Rowdies roster to create connectivity between the 2 organizations.  We also heard about the continued efforts to ‘sell’ the sister city concept with Montreal to our Community with Ybor City representing the most viable site to build a new intimate stadium.  The justification for this proposed plan is the need to draw 30,000 fans per night to compete financially with baseball organizations in other markets, which is not feasible in Tampa based on their experience.  To wrap up the morning, we were treated to a VIP shopping experience at the Tropicana Field Team Store in time for the Home Opener.

We headed back across the bay to join Ben Milsom (Chief Ticketing Officer) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for lunch.  He shared his personal career journey starting with the Tampa Bay Lightning, before eventually coming back to Tampa to join the Bucs.  The best soundbite from his presentation was when he shared he had told a Ticketmaster representative to ‘build a bigger pipe’ to meet the demand for tickets upon announcing the Tom Brady signing.  It was also great to hear the influence that Bruce Arians continues to have on the organization via the example he is setting with his diverse coaching staff.

After lunch, we had the chance to connect with Claire Lessinger (Vice President of Events) with the Tampa Bay Sports Commission & Eric Hart (President/CEO) with the Tampa Sports Authority.  We learned about the depth & variety of sporting events that the TBSC is working to draw to our Community, along with the significant outcomes & success of the Super Bowl Host Committee.  There was excitement about the upcoming Wrestlemania event, along with continued efforts to increase capacity at area venues in a safe, effective manner in conjunction with local/state government

From there, Ron Christaldi (Partner) with Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick talked to us about his involvement with Tampa Bay Rays 2020.  It was impressive to hear about the grassroots effort to identify & create solutions for the stadium issue.  They had garnered tremendous community support, including raising significant new guaranteed revenue for the Team.  Hopefully, their efforts will assist in securing the Tampa Bay Rays long-term future in our Community.

We were then treated to an Amalie Arena Tour, including a rare photo opportunity with the Tampa Bay Lightning Organ.  The surprise of the day was the appearance by the Lombardi Trophy on the concourse, which allowed our Leadership Tampa class the opportunity to take individual & group photos. 

Our host with Vinik Sports Group, Steve Griggs (CEO) then talked us thru the efforts that the Tampa Bay Lightning took during the pandemic to continue impacting the Community thru VSG Cares & VSG Connect, while continuing the Community Hero program throughout the run to the Stanley Cup.  We also learned about the successful marketing campaigns that were deployed during the past year, including Distant Thunder & Bud Lightning!

Our last session of the day was a panel with Dr. Michelle Harrolle, Dr. Janelle Wells (USF) & Teresa Resch (VP, Basketball Operations) with the Toronto Raptors.  We learned more about the inequalities for women in sports at all levels of sport.  We were also challenged to consider women for leadership positions in all organizations in non-traditional roles.  In all cases, these speakers were able to turn their passion for sport via their athletic backgrounds into successful careers.

We were then treated to one last surprise, when we were invited onto the Raptors court to take a free throw & group photo.  From there, we visited the Team Store for a VIP shopping experience, before enjoying the Cigar City Taproom to end the day.

Member News 4/26

Member News

Carlton Fields announced that Nathaniel A. Gardner has joined the firm as an associate in its Tampa office.
Creative Contractors recently completed a $51M expansion project at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
Florida Poly plans to hold an in-person commencement honoring two graduating classes.
Saint Leo University officials announced that they fully intend to resume in-person classes for the Fall 2021 Semester at University Campus in Pasco County, and at all education center locations.

Member Events

April 27, 2021: Substance Abuse/Mental Health from the Perspective of Children’s Protective Services and Working with Youths from the Perspective of Public Schools
April 27, 2021: Virtual Supplier Diversity Outreach Day
April 28, 2021: Tools to Launch a Winning Job Search
April 29-May 2, 2021: Valspar Championship PGA Tour
April 30, 2021: Homebrew Hillsborough with Embarc Collective
May 1, 2021: Skeets & Geeks Clay Shoot
May 1, 2021: White Sands Treatment Center & KO Addiction Fight Night (813-680-8668 for tickets)
May 8, 2021: Courage & Grace Ignite Your Confidence 2021 Brunch
May 10, 2021: 2021 Drive to Save Lives Golf Tournament
May 11, 2021: Suicide Prevention and Awareness and Benefits of Partnership Between Law Enforcement and Mental Health Professionals
May 15, 2021: Hippie Dash 2021
July 14, 2021: Virtual Buyer-Supplier Town Hall

Member Job Openings

City of Tampa Housing & Community Development Manager
Girl Scouts of West Central Florida AmeriCorps Outreach Program Specialists
Hillsborough County Public Schools Bus Driver
Hyatt Place/Hyatt House Multiple Positions
Keiser University Administrative Assistants
WestCMR Multiple Positions

Member News 4/19

Member News

Creative Contractors, Inc. has been awarded a “Top Workplaces 2021” honor by the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida Polytechnic University entrepreneurial team of students earned funding for the development of an innovative gesture-control device for electric longboards.
Hub International insurance brokerage can help your business be organizationally resilient.
Memorial Hospital of Tampa announces the appointment of Chris Conn, as its new Chief Financial Officer.
Port Tampa Bay and the Propeller Club of Tampa Bay are proud to be the presenting sponsor of Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful’s inaugural event, The Great Port Cleanup.
Stonehill Innovation‘s Doug Pace and CROOW’s David Capece have announced the publishing of Level Up, a book that serves as a primer on how to grow a professional services firm, including organizational structure, tools, metrics and an operational checklist.

Member Events

April 20, 2021: Chat with a Career Coach
April 21, 2021: Navigating the Ups and Downs of Career Transition
April 26, 2021: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Job Seekers
April 27, 2021: Substance Abuse/Mental Health from the Perspective of Children’s Protective Services and Working with Youths from the Perspective of Public Schools
April 27, 2021: Virtual Supplier Diversity Outreach Day
April 28, 2021: Tools to Launch a Winning Job Search
April 29-May 2, 2021: Valspar Championship PGA Tour
April 30, 2021: Homebrew Hillsborough with Embarc Collective
May 1, 2021: Skeets & Geeks Clay Shoot
May 1, 2021: White Sands Treatment Center & KO Addiction Fight Night (813-680-8668 for tickets)
May 8, 2021: Courage & Grace Ignite Your Confidence 2021 Brunch
May 11, 2021: Suicide Prevention and Awareness and Benefits of Partnership Between Law Enforcement and Mental Health Professionals
May 15, 2021: Hippie Dash 2021
July 14, 2021: Virtual Buyer-Supplier Town Hall

Member Job Openings

City of Tampa Housing & Community Development Manager
Girl Scouts of West Central Florida AmeriCorps Outreach Program Specialists
Hillsborough County Public Schools Bus Driver
Hyatt Place/Hyatt House Multiple Positions
Keiser University Administrative Assistants
WestCMR Multiple Positions

#LTAFamous: Ana Rabelo Wallrapp

  1. Tell us, why LTA?  I was involved in many organizations prior to going through LT but I felt something was missing. The others were for very specific purposes such as All Children’s Hospital Foundation, American Institute of Architects, Ronald McDonald House Charities, etc. and I held leadership positions in all of them.  Leadership Tampa connected me to a very broad spectrum of people in Tampa.
  1. For you, what separates LTA from other business leadership programs?  LTA is a forum to strengthen and to build upon the relationships which began during LT and then to use the power of the organization to expand your personal and business network. We also continue to work for the charitable organizations in Tampa.
  1. Describe a time when the LTA experience impacted your life or career?  I am an architect and I design primarily corporate offices.  A few years ago, one of my LT classmates, Mike Griffin, referred me to a Fortune 500 company moving to Tampa that was looking for a local firm to design their new headquarters.  Mike was familiar with my work (we did the renovations to Tropicana Field including Stu Sternberg’s private suite and The Rays Club) and knew we would do a good job. Wallrapp Architecture & Interior Design did the project and the client is very pleased with the results.  All thanks to LT connections.
  1. What is an LTA benefit you wish everyone knew about?  I meet someone new at every event I attend and staying involved is key to maintaining the friendships and the connections. Being Programs Chair during Covid-19 brought unexpected challenges but I was able to reach out to fellow LT grads to arrange our tour of the Midtown construction site. Even now, 17 years after our graduation, I know if I need help with something, I can call a fellow member and they will be able to help or know of someone that can.
  1. Describe how the leadership journey will continue to shape you?  The leadership skills I developed in LTA are invaluable.  Working on programs and projects with other LTA members has taught me how to get results by cooperating with others and by building upon my relationships, both in LTA and in the community.  Continuing my involvement in the leadership of LTA will continue to mold me into a better leader, a better businessperson and a better member of the Tampa Bay community.