Make us your home page
Instagram

Retired Lykes executive John Brabson Jr. honored by Leadership Tampa Alumni

TAMPA — When John Brabson Jr. arrived in Tampa in 1975, a prominent business leader encouraged him to get involved with the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and its upstart program Leadership Tampa.

The guidance Brabson received came full circle Thursday when he received Leadership Tampa Alumni's prestigious Parke Wright III Award, an honor named for the man who gave him that initial advice.

"I can honestly say when I came here in 1975 Parke Wright III became one of my mentors," said Brabson, 74. "That has a lot to do with my spirit of involvement."

Brabson, who came to Tampa from North Carolina, rose to prominence as the president of Peoples Gas, eventually guiding its sale to TECO Energy in 1997.

He also served as the chairman of the 115-year-old, family-owned Lykes Bros., marrying into the local conglomerate's fourth generation. He chaired the Tampa Bay Partnership and most recently, served as CEO of Lykes Insurance.

Brabson retired from his latest role with Lykes in December, but says he continues to remain involved in the community, including serving as chairman of the board of directors of Tampa General Hospital.

"It's hard to stop," Brabson said. "There's a time and place for everything and I think it was time for me to retire, but I want to continue to do more community work, more board work where I can have an impact on the strategic level instead of the operational level."

The group, which honored Brabson at its annual luncheon Thursday at George M. Steinbrenner Field, presents the Wright Award each year to an alumnus who has demonstrated leadership and made a difference in the Tampa Bay community.

In addition to his business achievements, Brabson's community service includes serving on the boards of the American Cancer Society, St. Joseph's Hospital, United Way Suncoast and Metropolitan Ministries, just to name a few.

"Our recipient is the epitome of a Southern gentleman, family man, philanthropist and businessman," said emcee Jack Harris in making the announcement. "The depth of his impact on our community has been as extraordinary as it is rare."

The announcement caught Brabson off guard, as did a surprise appearance by his wife, Tilda, who told him earlier in the morning she had to attend an event at the Palma Ceia Country Club.

Brabson encouraged the other leaders to maintain its leadership, and he complimented Tampa as a place where its easy for people to get involved in the community.

Contact Ernest Hooper at hillsnews@tampabay.com.

Retired Lykes executive John Brabson Jr. honored by Leadership Tampa Alumni 01/28/16 [Last modified: Thursday, January 28, 2016 4:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Data breach exposes 469 Social Security numbers

    Corporate

    Social Security numbers for up to 469 people were exposed in a data breach at Florida the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The breach, which the agency believes happened about two weeks ago, occurred in an online payments system, spokesperson Jenn Meale said Monday.

    Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam on Monday that nearly 500 people may have had their Social Security numbers obtained in a data breach in his office.
[Times file photo]

  2. Trigaux: Can Duke Energy Florida's new chief grow a business when customers use less power?

    Energy

    Let's hope Harry Sideris has a bit of Harry Houdini in him.

    Duke Energy Florida president Harry Sideris laid out his prioriities for the power company ranging from improved customer service to the use of more large-scale solar farms to provide electricity. And he acknowledged a critical challenge: People are using less electricity these days. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  3. Citigroup agrees to pay nearly $100 million fine for Mexican subsidiary

    Banking

    NEW YORK — Citigroup has agreed to pay nearly $100 million to federal authorities to settle claims that a lack of internal controls and negligence in the bank's Mexican subsidiary may have allowed customers to commit money laundering.

    Citigroup has agreed to pay nearly $100 million to federal authorities to settle claims that a lack of internal controls and negligence in the bank's Mexican subsidiary may have allowed customers to commit money laundering. 
[Associated Press file photo]

  4. Goodbye Tampa Bay Express, hello Tampa Bay Next; but toll lanes aren't going anywhere

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Tampa Bay Express is dead.

    The name, that is. But its replacement — Tampa Bay Next — includes several of the same projects once proposed for TBX, such as the express toll lanes on the rebuilt Howard Frankland Bridge.

    The Florida Department of Transportation on Monday announced that it was renaming its Tampa Bay Express plan, also known as TBX. The plan will now be known as Tampa Bay Next, or TBN. DOT officials say there are still re-evaluating the most controversial aspect of the old TBX plan: spend $6 billion to add 90 miles of toll roads to bay area highways - Interstates 4,75 and 275 - that are currently free of tolls. But TBN will keep the plan to add express toll lanes to the rebuilt Howard Frankland Bridge. [Florida Department of Transportation]
  5. Trigaux: Tampa Bay lands on Forbes 2017 ranking of best places for young professionals

    Working Life

    Consider this one more notch in the belt of Tampa Bay starting to win serious attention from millennials as a place to live and build a career.

    Mike Griffin is a senior managing director in Tampa for Savills Studley Occupier Services, which provides integrated real estate services. He is also chairman for 2017 of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the first of the next generation of leadership emerging in this metro market. [Courtesy of Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce]