LT’19 Media Day

newsChange. Challenge. Chance.

These three, alliterative words came to light as descriptors of today’s media landscape on Wednesday, Nov. 28 as LT’19 delved into its annual Media Day.

In terms of change, we learned technology has drastically increased the speed of communications. More traditional media outlets – print, TV, and radio – have been forced to rethink their business models and approach. In turn, today’s media is faced with a unique challenge: how to balance providing instant access to information while ensuring credible, high-caliber reporting, all while keeping up with the demands of changing consumer behavior and a now around-the-clock news cycle. Despite the push and pull of this change and challenge, the hope for chance was palpable. Now, more than ever, media outlets are needed to provide vetted coverage; and locally, to supply the demand for locally-relevant news reporting. As the media landscape continues to evolve, outlets expressed the opportunity to reinvent through the strategic building of capacity and capability and the creative expansion of distribution channels.

We made these observations as our class traveled across the Tampa Bay area and visited some local media mainstays, including: iHeart Media Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Times, and WFLA-TV. Following are some highlights of what we learned at each of our stops:

iHeart Media Tampa Bay

  • Consists of 10 stations, 30 production studios, and 145 full/part-time employees across six departments
  • Designated Market Area (DMA) = 2 million+ in the Tampa Bay area
  • WFLZ-FM, a flagship station of iHeart Tampa Bay, is one of the top radio stations in the nation
  • As a brand, has evolved from being a radio company to the largest multimedia company in the U.S.

Tampa Bay Times Printing Plant

  • Boasts the largest newsroom in the Tampa Bay area
  • Every day, delivers hundreds of thousands of newspapers to homes and businesses in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, and Hernando Counties
  • “The Daily Miracle” = phrase used by the Tampa Bay Times to describe the process of publishing the newspaper every day
  • Vice President/Tampa Publisher and TampaBay.com Publisher Joe DeLuca shared that the most important thing for the Tampa Bay Times to demonstrate is that “power flows in the direction of hope”

WFLA-TV

  • Goal = To put on a newscast that accurately reflects life in Tampa Bay
  • Has shifted its focus from strictly TV to multi-platform
  • Boosts its news content on social media to aid immediacy

Throughout the day, we had the privilege of hearing from many esteemed speakers; especially of note was LT’03’s Ernest Hooper from the Tampa Bay Times. He imparted wisdom on how and why to “dig a well before you’re thirsty”; in other words, how to effectively plan for a communications crisis in today’s ever-changing media landscape. He may or may not have also shared some breaking news. That’s all we’re saying!

To all sponsors, speakers, tour leaders, Media Day chairs and committee members, and LT leaders and staff, thank you for making this opportunity possible.

Jennifer Dunn, APR, Conversa

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Member News 11/29 – 12/6

Member News

  • Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP announced that Elizabeth R. Brusa joined the firm’s Tampa office as an associate in the Banking and Financial Services Practice Group.
  • CBIZ, Inc. announced that Anthony Phillips, practice lead of the Tampa Bay Forensic & Financial Services Department, has been accepted into the Forensic & Business Valuation Division of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) Foundation.
  • Florida Polytechnic University Foundation announced the addition of two new members to its Board of Directors, broadening its reach to the south and southwest Florida regions. Joining the Board are Ivette A. O’Doski, a Miami-Dade native and owner of a government consulting company, and Joshua McCoy, an expert in commercial, industrial and government banking.
  • Saint Leo University celebrates 20th Anniversary of offering online education.
  • ServisFirst Bank earned the exclusive national endorsement by American Bankers Association (ABA) as the new agent credit card program for ABA.
  • The Great Escape Room in downtown Tampa announced the opening of its newest and largest experience, Escape the Colosseum.

Member Events

  • December 1 – 23 – Victorian Christmas Stroll held at the Henry B. Plant Museum
  • December 7- Tampa Bay Suncoast PCC Holiday Breakfast, Educational workshop & Recognition event
  • December 7- Memorial Hospital of Tampas Holiday Bazaar on December 7 from 11 am to 3 pm in the breezeway between the hospital parking lot and the hospital at 2901 Swann Avenue
  • December 11- Dignity Memorials– Meet and Greet event
  • December 11- Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Topping Out Ceremony- celebrating $700 million expansion
  • December 16- Glazer Children’s Museum Nutcracker Tea

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  http://www.tampachamber.com/Your-Chamber/Newsroom/MemberNews.aspx.

Member News 11/22 – 11/29

Member News

  • Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP announced that Elizabeth R. Brusa joined the firm’s Tampa office as an associate in the Banking and Financial Services Practice Group.
  • CBIZ, Inc. announced that Anthony Phillips, practice lead of the Tampa Bay Forensic & Financial Services Department, has been accepted into the Forensic & Business Valuation Division of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) Foundation.
  • Florida Polytechnic University Foundation announced the addition of two new members to its Board of Directors, broadening its reach to the south and southwest Florida regions. Joining the Board are Ivette A. O’Doski, a Miami-Dade native and owner of a government consulting company, and Joshua McCoy, an expert in commercial, industrial and government banking.
  • Saint Leo University announced that Dr. Mary T. Spoto is now the vice president of Academic Affairs.
  • ServisFirst Bank earned the exclusive national endorsement by American Bankers Association (ABA) as the new agent credit card program for ABA.
  • The Great Escape Room in downtown Tampa announced the opening of its newest and largest experience, Escape the Colosseum.

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  http://www.tampachamber.com/Your-Chamber/Newsroom/MemberNews.aspx.

LT’19 Education Day

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to the think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” – MLK, Jr.

“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.” – Albert Einstein

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” – William Butler Yeats

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We saw fire!  Yeats was right. It was a lighting of fires! It’s quite possible that our own fires regarding the power of education were (re)lit as well.  In fact, our own fires ignited an appreciation for those who serve in the education sector, often at a high cost of personal sacrifice and delayed return on investment. To see the fire in their eyes – both the teacher and the student, passion in their hearts, and conviction in their communication was enough to convince us that maybe the sacrifice wasn’t as much as a sacrifice as it appears and the thirst for a return on investment was quenched enough to keep them going back for more. The day’s evidence was a confirmation of what many of us experienced individually during our Teacher Shadowing days that had been completed on the weeks prior to Education Day.

For ten intense hours, the Leadership Tampa Class of 2019 was immersed in the power of education, the local opportunities that are available for many, the challenges that our region has regarding education, and the very honest dialogue about the solutions that make improvement possible.

The timing and subject matter could not have been timed more perfectly for Hillsborough County (and this region) since it was the day after mid-term elections and the historic vote for a school referendum, which passed convincingly.  The passing of this referendum sent a clear message to all onlookers that education is a priority for our area and everyone has bought into the vision to improve our public educational system.

With a limited schedule, LT’19 was privileged to experience multiple area educational options: private educational options (Academy Prep of Tampa and Cristo Rey Tampa High School), public high school options (with emphasis on magnet opportunities at Blake High School’s Theatre and Arts Program and Chamberlain High School’s Culinary Arts Program), and finally, post-secondary options at Hillsborough Community College. While touring Academy Prep, the passion and drive of Mr. Lincoln Tamayo, Principal of Academy Prep, was undeniable.  His fire fuels his staff which impacts his students in a significant way.  The professionalism and brilliance of the students was unmistakable. It was clear that he is not just interested in providing a quality academic education, but a broadened intellectual lifestyle opportunity.  This became clearer throughout the day as we engaged with more educational professionals. They all recognized the importance of a quality, holistic development of each student.

While we did not have an opportunity on this day to tour University of South Florida and University of Tampa, previous days and opportunities have allowed these nationally recognized colleges’ impact to be felt. Time would not allow us an opportunity for a dive into approaches and options for pre-K, kindergarten and middle school for public schools. Not visiting any of these schools did not mean that we did not have an opportunity to hear about the options surrounding them. Our superintendent spoke very adeptly about their impact, potential, and challenges.

It was really our treat to personally engage with speakers and presenters with emphasis on both our school Superintendent, Jeff Eakins, and a group of Blake High School students who provided amazing musical and theatre presentations.  The principals and magnet administrative teams of both Blake High School and Chamberlain High School took time to share about their programs, schools, school history, and future opportunities.  Their fire was unquestionable.  As a part of the day, we were treated to an amazing lunch by the culinary program students at Chamberlain in their Outback sponsored facility – on campus! The students did an amazing job! If they were on Yelp or OpenTable, I’m sure they would have earned a 5-star review.

Superintendent Eakins talked about all levels of our public schools, the recently passed referendum, current statistics on graduation rates, literacy rates, achievement zone schools, teacher salaries and retention, and so much more.  It was also very insightful to have him frame the progress of the school system from a historical context, which at times has not had a positive history for all individuals within our community. It was not difficult to engage in this dialogue and these educational options while seeing some of the glaring challenges that our educational system faces. A very pointed statement from the superintendent that provided fruitful dialogue was, “Although our schools have glaring achievement gaps, achievement gaps aren’t created in our schools. There are so many ‘outside’ issues that affect what happens in our schools.”

As we concluded our time learning about the public school system one of the last statements made was, “Education is clearly an economic driver in our community.”  This statement, in my mind, should have cleared up why a group like Leadership Tampa should be concerned about education and all of the challenges that our current educational system faces. When all students are empowered with a great education, the entire community wins.

This statement was a great transition for us moving into the last component of the day where we were introduced to the strong academic partnerships between our academic institutions and our economic development organizations.  Ms. Bea Bare of Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation led us in a mock presentation of gaining (recruiting) new companies to the area. Representatives from USAA, University of South Florida, University of Tampa, and Hillsborough Community College were a part of this panel mock presentation.  It was an incredibly informative demonstration to see the layers of collaboration necessary to see our community win.

HCC staff then gave us presentations and a tour of several amazing departments who are on the front lines of quickly training our workforce to meet the demands of area businesses and the needs of our community.  Those departments included Auto/Mechanic, Diesel Repair, Fire Academy, Paint and Body/Collision, and Welding (it was interesting to note the emphasis on transportation among these programs). The fire and engagement of each instructor was not only clear, but inspiring.  A fire academy instructor who served 35 years active duty as a fire fighter, a diesel repair instructor who drove trucks for decades, a paint and body instructor who served in the industry for over thirty years, a welding instructor who had an award-winning show in Japan. You could also sense the appreciation and respect of the students towards their instructors. These students, who are adults, were treated with dignity and honor for their unique stories, but most importantly, who they were becoming. Mr. John Meeks, Dean of HCC Workforce Training Center aptly shared, “college is for everybody, we just need to find out which track and program.” After some question and answer, he concluded his presentation with this idea, “You either skill your workforce or you grow them.  We believe we can do both.”

Every person on the planet has been impacted by a teacher. In some way, our unique educational experiences have deeply shaped who we are and how we think.  It has played a role in developing our personal convictions, individual self-concept and confidence, as well as, our created space for incredible relationships and indescribable life moments. The quote of the day summarizes our day, “Our schools are incubators of the next generation of leaders.” The activity, research and history prove this statement true. I hope that the horizon of the future is lit by the fires of Tampa’s educational influence and power.

Author: Christopher J. Harris

Member News 11/8 – 11/15

Member News

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  http://www.tampachamber.com/Your-Chamber/Newsroom/MemberNews.aspx.

Member News 11/1 – 11/8

Member News

Member Events

  • November 13: ProVise Grand Opening: Ribbon cutting ceremony with key ProVise Management representatives and Chamber Ambassadors at 3 PM on November 13, 2018. Grand Opening Celebration from 4 – 7 PM. ProVise Management Group is headquartered in Clearwater and have expanded to the Tampa/Westshore area. Stay to tour the office, meet the team and enjoy beer, wine, and snacks.Event is located at 4350 W. Cypress St, Suite 225, Tampa, FL 33607.

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  http://www.tampachamber.com/Your-Chamber/Newsroom/MemberNews.aspx.

LT’19 Arts & Culture Day

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain a child when we grow up.”- Pablo Picasso

“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” – Oscar Wilde

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On October 24, 2018, the Leadership Tampa Class of 2019 spent the day traveling to various sites throughout the city of Tampa that highlighted some of the many wonderful places where all aspects of the arts are celebrated and shared. We started the day at the University of South Florida Institute for Research in Art Graphic Studio located on the USF campus and part of the Tampa area for over 50 years. Professor and Director, Margaret A. Miller shared with us the history of this wonderful studio and some of the original works from the many leading contemporary artists from around the world who contributed the magnificent collection featured at the studio. We also took a tour of the studio where we were treated to a demonstration of printmaking techniques that have been used by the various contributing artists who visited the studio.

Next up on the agenda was a tour through the Henry B. Plant Museum located on the University of Tampa campus. We were greeted by the Executive Director, Cynthia Gandee Zinober (LT’01) who shared a brief history of the museum and the important impact Henry Plant had on the Tampa community when he built this Tampa Bay Hotel back in 1891. An extra special treat was a performance by local actor Amber Forbes who is part of the Upstairs/Downstairs cast that performs every Sunday at the museum. Amber portrayed Maggie Stroud who was a laundress at the hotel in 1920. She shared with us wonderful memories of what life was like back then at the hotel and in the Tampa area.

After her moving performance, we took a ride over to the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Arts where Julie Britton (LT’ 97), Vice President of Development for the Center shared the great history and impact of the many performances that have occurred at the five theaters located there since it opened in 1987. She also shared with us the great impact the Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center has on art education. We were given a tour of the facilities and parts of the Patel Conservatory. All of us were in awe when we stood on the stage and looked out into the magnificent performance spaces.

Just when we thought the day couldn’t get any better, we arrived at the CI Group office located in downtown Tampa, where we were treated to delicious lunch and a lively discussion about Tampa’s Food Scene by Michael Blasco (LT’12), Tampa Bay Food Trucks, and Jeff Houck, Marketing and Public Relations Manager for Columbia Restaurant Group. We learned about the impact of Tampa restaurants, the unique contribution of food trucks, and the best place to go for a great Cuban sandwich.

After lunch, we hopped on the bus again and headed down to Stageworks Theater, Tampa’s longest-running professional theatre company, since 1983. Karla Hartley, their Producing Artistic Director, spoke with us about the history of professional theater in Tampa and some of the challenges and joys that come with producing and performing “cutting-edge” plays in Tampa. In addition, Karla and two of the actors from their current production of The Revolutionists shared a moving scene from the production and one our classmates was fortunate to have his name drawn for two free tickets to see the rest of the performance.

Our final stop for the day was the Historical Tampa Theatre. President and CEO, Josh Bell, shared with us the great history of this 1,250 seat movie palace that was built in 1926. Tampa Theatre was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and continues to host many great performances and films. As a part of our time at the theatre, we attended a Film Festival Panel Discussion consisting of Tammy Briant (LT’14), Gasparilla Film Festival, Ed Lally, Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and Sara Scher, Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival.  They all emphasized how film is a way for all of us to experience various cultures and communities via a theater seat. They shared with us the impact that these film festivals have on the Tampa community and how Tampa Theatre was one of the best places to explore the stories told through movies.

We visited and experienced so many aspects of the arts and culture in Tampa on this day but as Julie Serovich (LT’14) our LT’19 Class Chair shared that morning, we could probably “spend five days” on arts and culture in Tampa and still not even begin to see all our city has to offer. How fortunate we are to live in a city that not only values and supports the arts but has also supported artists who have contributed to art and culture throughout the global community.

LT’ 19 expresses our sincere thanks to our Arts and Culture Day Sponsor: Macfarlane, Ferguson & McMullen and our Day Chairs: Jeff Gibson (LT’13), Partner, Macfarlane, Ferguson & McMullen and Jim Porter (LT’99 & LT’15 Chair), Partner, Akerman LLP.  Thank you for providing such a delightful experience for our class.

Jeanine Romano, AACSB International