My experience at Leadership Tampa’s Economic Day

Tina Cotton

We started our day at the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce offices. Our sponsor for the Day was Dr. Ronald Vaughn, President of University of Tampa. Our Day Chair was Bob Abberger, Senior Managing Director, Trammell Crow.

The day was just as exciting and educational as our previous events. All of the speakers had great passion about our city, the progress that has been made and a positive attitude about the future.

We received an overview of the Economic Development process for the city. Not knowing much about this at all, what impressed me was the collaboration of all of the agencies and the rigor behind the decisions made for our city. It truly impressed me to know decisions in our city are being made to ensure Tampa is a marketable city and can fit the needs of our diverse community. A common theme was being able to “tell the story” whether it is about a referendum that will aid the city or a marketing piece for Tampa that will attract companies to Tampa.

We visited the CAMLS site (Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation). If you ever have the opportunity to visit this facility please don’t pass it by. What an amazing facility and coup for Tampa. We were first greeted by Rick Homans, CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corportation, who gave us an overview of the process for economic development, new company recruitment, and collaboration with other economic development affiliated entities. Following that, we were able to take a tour of the state of the art CAMLS facility. It is one of it’s only kind in the world. At this location doctors are trained using simulation based events. It is incredible what they have done at this location. The benefit the doctors will get from this is great, but the bigger picture is the patients will benefit the most. They will have doctors who are trained on the latest equipment and intensely groomed to be the best they can be.

We ended our day as we began it, with Bob Abberger. Bob’s passion for the city and his commitment to serving stands out. He provided us with an overview of the Marriott project and the challenges overcome to deliver one of Tampa’s downtown jewels. It was a great way to end the day being reminded again of what a great place Tampa is to live and the city it is yet to become.

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