By Kerry O’Reilly
In horse racing, when you win the Preakness, the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes, it’s called winning the Triple Crown. Our version at the Tampa Chamber is completing Emerge, Leadership Tampa and joining Leadership Tampa Alumni.
Jessica Murroff and Kareem J. Spratling can both claim rights to the “Triple Crown.” Here are their thoughts on the experience and value of participating in all three programs.
Of the three leadership programs, Emerge, LT and LTA, where do you think you grewmost as a leader and why?
JM: Definitely Emerge. I was one of the founding members, so I was there from the start building this organization, recruiting membership, promoting the benefits and ensuring that we had the right infrastructure in place to succeed. I also served on the Chamber Board during this time and was able to continuously keep our efforts top of mind at that table too. I did a lot of growing as a leader during this time because we were just starting out and had so much to do!
KS: I have a bit of a weird path in that I completed LT before I joined Emerge. I probably grew the most in LT because you’re paired with people who are such great leaders, and I learn best through experience. That said, Emerge was great in that it filled in some of the pieces that a young leader needs. I’ve recently been booted from Emerge due to age, and I plan to be an LTA member for life, so my goal and assumption is that one day I’ll be answering this question and the clear answer will be LTA.
Do you believe you’ve benefited from completing all three programs and why?
JM: Yes, I have enjoyed all of them. The biggest benefits are the relationships I have gained from these experiences as well as how connected I am to our great region. They have all inspired and supported me in doing even more for our community.
KS: Yes. Emerge does a fantastic job of meeting the needs of young professionals, especially those who are excelling in their professions and often around older people. LT was great in helping to establish a broader understanding of Tampa Bay and making relationships outside of my professional circle. LTA fosters continued growth that might otherwise be stunted at the conclusion of LT.
Name one thing you would do differently if you could go back through the Emerge or LT programs.
JM: I don’t think I’d change a thing!
KS: Emerge; join earlier. LT; what happens there, stays there.
Is there one person or experience that stands out for you from your time in all three programs?
JM: Serving on the Chamber Board as the first co-chair of Emerge and being able to continue my leadership on the board was an incredible experience. The one person who stands out the most: Deanne Roberts, no doubt. She inspires me daily.
KS: More of a philosophy than an experience. That philosophy is: Give generously of your time, participate and add substance without the thought of reward, and when you do that, you’d be surprised how often you are rewarded.
Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
JM: Get involved!!
KS: Yes. Leadership Tampa 2012 is the best class ever. 😉
Editor’s note: Best class ever claim not verified.
Kerry O’Reilly, Leadership Tampa ’15, is the Marketing Director for the Tampa Bay Times and Politifact.