To My Fellow LTA Members,
Why LTA? I raised this question as I stood before you all at our Annual Meeting on January 29, 2020. I had promised that we would spend the year bringing the focus back to our mission so each of our members would be able to answer “Why LTA” for them. What I thought would be an insightful and impactful theme for the year took on a whole different meaning and direction as 2020 took the reins and thrust us into unprecedented territory. Not only were we struck by a global pandemic the likes of which have not been seen in over a century, but our country was forced to confront the continuing existence of social injustice and opportunity disparities in our communities.
The mission of Leadership Tampa Alumni includes fostering professional relationships, offering unique educational programs and promoting leadership to grow business and build community. Although not in the way I had originally planned, 2020 did help us bring this mission into focus as we pivoted and got creative in presenting our programming to our members.
We were able to present some of our traditional programming including two Connect with Coffees and our annual Holiday Party. We also put a new spin on some of the old favorites. I was honored to bring together – albeit virtually - several of Tampa Bay’s influential women leaders to speak to the membership on their individual journeys as part of my Chair’s Choice event commemorating the Centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment. And bowling gave way to an outdoor Field Day at Busch Gardens.
The limitation on our ability to have in-person programming allowed us to be innovative and try some new things – like our first Virtual Bingo game, a virtual tour of MidTown Tampa and our first LTA Book Club.
We also faced head-on, as should be expected from a program like Leadership Tampa and LTA, the socially impactful issues presented by 2020. At the beginning of the pandemic we addressed mental health and coping mechanisms for ourselves and our families with the help of Dr. Rick Weinberg and Shea Quraishi. And when the killing of George Floyd brought social injustice issues to the forefront we gathered together for an open and frank discussion on equity. As leaders we cannot, and should not, shy away from having what can be uncomfortable, but needed, conversations.
I watched you stand up and support each other and the community during this year. We continued our partnership with Memorial Middle School and helped to provide them with needed supplies this summer as they prepared to reopen to students. We also volunteered with Feeding Tampa Bay when the pandemic shone a spotlight on food insecurity and supported Habitat for Humanity with our holiday donations.
I am grateful to the LTA Cabinet, Leadership Team and committees for their constant support as we navigated through 2020 together. I also thank the Tampa Bay Chamber for its support of Leadership Tampa Alumni this year – especially Senior Director of Leadership Programs Michelle Ciudad Real.
And last, but most definitely not least, I thank all of you for the opportunity to serve as Chair and continuing this journey with me. It has been a privilege. So to go back to the beginning – what’s MY “Why LTA?” It is you – my LTA Family.
Amanda M. Uliano – Law Office of Amanda M. Uliano, P.A.
Congratulations on a challenging yet successful year for Leadership Tampa Alumni. Thank you for your continued support of this important part of the Tampa Bay Chamber. LTA has accumulated a long roster of outstanding members and a long-standing commitment to impacting our community. What makes LTA unique is the common bond of participating in a strong, experienced leadership program that evolves each year to be cutting edge on topics important for that period. As the third oldest Chamber leadership program in the United States, there have been many changes to the topics as we focused on the needs of the region.
LTA is integral to our mission at the Tampa Bay Chamber “to serve our members and enhance our community by building business success.” Strong leadership is the key to a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community, and Leadership Tampa - and by extension LTA - is an important vehicle to develop that leadership. As part of the Tampa Bay Chamber’s Vision 2026 Plan, Leadership Tampa Alumni will ensure volunteer and professional leaders are skilled at affecting community change, produce catalytic leaders and leverage its broad-based sphere of influence.
As a member of the LTA community, I urge you to own the Vision2026 Plan. What will be LTA’s part in making the plan a success? As we achieve the mid-point to this important plan, LTA is an impressive part of the Chamber. LTA support is critical for the success of the plan. Your enthusiasm makes a big difference.
Thank you for your membership and your commitment to our community.
Dr. Bob Rohrlack, CCE – President and CEO, Tampa Bay Chamber
In the mission of the Community Outreach Committee, “developing volunteer opportunities/programs to reinforce LTA’s tagline of “Leaders in Action” by creating the LTA connection with the community”; we have made Leadership Tampa Alumni proud.
We have continued to support Memorial Middle School through our “Adopt a School” program. Memorial Middle School was looking for support in providing school supplies to the 705 registered students they serve to help them stay organized and on task. Leadership Tampa Alumni members helped to provide items like notebooks, pencils, folders, water bottles, and gift cards to Wal-Mart and Amazon.; totaling over $4,000 worth of supplies.
Furthermore, in our goal to share the success that we have achieved with Memorial Middle with other business organization’s to encourage their support or other schools in need, we have initiated the “Adopting a School” white paper. We will share the white paper with fellow LTA involved with the Hillsborough County Education Foundation to encourage them to use our example of how to be successful with other business.
Finally, in a show of true community partnership, The Tampa Bay Chamber, Emerging Leaders, and Leadership Tampa Alumni successfully helped fellow Tampa Bay Chamber member Feeding Tampa Bay in an inaugural joint volunteer event. We provided the manpower of over 50 volunteers to help at their Mega pop up food pantry event on Saturday 11/14.
If you want to be involved and do some good, get involved with community outreach.
Tampa Bay Vipers | February
The XFL Tampa Bay Vipers hosted the first Connect with Coffee of 2020 at the Centre Club Tampa on February 25. Vipers President, Josh Bullock LT’12, updated the full-house on the launch of the new Spring Football League and the expectations for the season. The Vipers would eventually succumb to the challenges Covid-19 created for live events and would end their season in March.
Columbia Restaurant Group | November
Our final Connect with Coffee was presented by Ameris Bank and held at Ulele. Participants enjoyed a light breakfast and heard from Andrea Gonzmart Williams, 5th Generation Owner, Columbia Restaurant Group, on the current state of the food and restaurant industry as they adapt during the COVID pandemic.
LTA Annual Meeting
The LTA Annual Meeting, sponsored by The University of Tampa and Baker Barrios, was held at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC in January. Highlights of the annual meeting included awarding the Parke Wright III Leadership Award to Dr. Chloe Coney (LT ’02) and celebrating LTA’s 2019 accomplishments as well as introducing the 2020 LTA Cabinet, chaired by Amanda Uliano, Uliano Law. This is always a wonderful event where over 150 LT alum gather to support the program that brought them together.
LTA From Surviving to Thriving Webinar
Acknowledging the many stressors the pandemic was imposing on our members, we invited Dr. Rick Weinberg, a Licensed Psychologist, Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, and Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Child and Family Studies at the University of South Florida, and Shea Quraishi, the Chief Academic Officer at Frameworks of Tampa Bay to help us recognize those stressors and provide coping strategies for ourselves and our families.
LTA Virtual Midtown Tour
On June 23rd, we were treated to an exclusive tour of the Midtown Construction site. We were joined by Fred Hames, the Executive Vice President of Barr and Barr, as well as Robin Bishop, Vice President of Leasing for Cushman and Wakefield, who were both members of LT 2002. Robin shared that they had made the bus driver on one of their class days stop at the site and explain what was planned there. Talk about having vision and perseverance! Thanks to Trey Wallrapp with The HOTH Marketing for being our cameraman.
LTA Book Club
We have adapted to the changing circumstances with virtual get togethers. We started a new book club where we read and discussed The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company by Robert Iger. A special thank you to Christopher Harris LT’19 for leading the discussions.
“Love this discussion. Appreciate the book club! I said this Tuesday, but I’m grateful to LTA for recommending this book, as it wasn’t on my list, and it is a GREAT book.” – Lizz Harmon LT’05
“This discussion was great! I hope we continue to do these Book Clubs, even post-COVID. I think it's a valuable new way to engage as fellow leaders in our community. I've learned a lot from your viewpoints.” – Crystal Lauderdale LT’15
LTA Virtual Bingo
Cinco de Mayo was the backdrop for our first social zoom event – LTA Bingo! Chair, Amanda Uliano, hosted three rousing rounds of bingo. In an effort to support our small business members during the pandemic, gift cards to local restaurants were given to the winners of each bingo round. Congratulations again to our winners!
On August 18, 1920 – over 40 years after it was first introduced – 36 states ratified the 19th Amendment – finally ending the prohibition against women exercising the right to vote. This was not the end of the struggle though– African American women would still encounter legal obstacles in exercising this right for decades and women generally continue to face and fight against inequality and discrimination in the workforce and elsewhere.
But the centennial of the ratification is an important milestone to commemorate, so LTA held our Chair’s Choice event on Reflecting on the Centennial of the 19th Amendment – A discussion with Tampa Bay’s Women in Politics – on August 7. The extraordinary panel of Tampa Bay’s women leaders joined us representing a diverse collection of experience, ideology and backgrounds.
We are aimed for some tradition while adapting to the current situation and our annual LTA Reunion was a testament to that. Although it was held virtually, we used a fun platform called Remo (not Zoom!) that allowed everyone to mingle amongst small groups to catch up with old friends or make those new connections LTA is known for – all while staying safe.
LTA Field Day
LTA hosted our first “return to in-person” event at Busch Gardens with a socially distanced, outdoor LTA Field Day.
Participants competed in cornhole, bat stomp, hula-hoop and a marshmallow relay – while enjoying samples from Busch Gardens’ Bier Fest.
The fiercest competition was in the costume contest with Class of ‘04 taking first prize for the “Wizards of Corona.”
The Class of ‘20 took top honors for the best team name, “LT20 Boo Bees – the Breast Class Ever”!
Special thank you to our sponsor, Busch Gardens.
LTA Holiday Party
LTA wrapped up a challenging year with a superb Holiday Party at ZooTampa at Lowry Park. Our membership voted overwhelmingly for an in person event, and those who attended enjoyed a delicious buffet and beverages. Even the rain storm and tornado warnings did not stop the festivities. The Zoo was all lit up for Christmas in the Wild and they also brought out animals for us to spend time with.
The annual Ugly Sweater contest was won by Donamae Clinebell class of 2004 for most creative, Scott Swenson class of 2011 for best suit and Michele Hintson class of 2019 for best ugly sweater.
Special thank you to our sponsors, Chapell Roberts and BayCare.