Saturday, January 20, 2018
Business

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 [email protected]

Comments
Tampa Bay jobs chief Ed Peachey making top dollar

Tampa Bay jobs chief Ed Peachey making top dollar

For years, Edward Peachey has bragged about the number of jobless people he has helped find work.As president and CEO of CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay, he’s in charge of the two main government agencies that provide training to the...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Inspector General launches investigation into Tampa Bay’s local career centers

Inspector General launches investigation into Tampa Bay’s local career centers

The state has opened an investigation into CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay, days after the Tampa Bay Times asked about whether the two regional job centers were inflating the number of people they had helped get hired. The agencies, ...
Published: 01/19/18
Tech firm TranferWise moves to Ybor City, illustrating a new chapter in Tampa’s business history

Tech firm TranferWise moves to Ybor City, illustrating a new chapter in Tampa’s business history

TAMPA — You could sketch an economic history of the city of Tampa — and maybe get a glimpse of its future — just by looking at the old J. Seidenberg & Co./Havana-American Cigar Factory.It opened in 1894, making it Ybor City’s second-oldest brick ciga...
Published: 01/19/18

Want to buy into an exchanged-traded bitcoin fund? You might have a long wait

NEW YORK — It may be a while, if ever, before investors can buy an exchange-traded fund made up of bitcoin and other digital currencies. Federal regulators have a long list of questions they want answered before they’ll approve a digital currency fun...
Published: 01/19/18
Child psychologist weighs in on mom who charges 5-year-old ‘rent’

Child psychologist weighs in on mom who charges 5-year-old ‘rent’

A Georgia mother has gone viral for charging her 5-year-old "rent." Yup — the kid pays up for food, water, cable and electric, too.Essense Evans described in a Facebook post how she handles her daughter’s allowance. The post, written on Saturday, was...
Published: 01/19/18

Addicted to your smartphone? Now there’s an app for that

Did you text? Sorry, I can’t see messages right now. Arianna Huffington locked my phone.The media tycoon turned wellness entrepreneur wants to keep you out of your phone, too, with a new app called Thrive. Its goal is to make it cool for a generation...
Published: 01/19/18
Proposed monument near St. Pete pier would honor Tony Jannus history-making flight

Proposed monument near St. Pete pier would honor Tony Jannus history-making flight

ST. PETERSBURG — Tony Jannus’s history-making flight in an early seaplane — simultaneously as ungainly and graceful as a pelican on the wing — is what Mayor Rick Kriseman calls an "under-told and under-appreciated" story, but a team of local history ...
Published: 01/19/18
Learn how bus rapid transit (and rail) could work in Tampa Bay

Learn how bus rapid transit (and rail) could work in Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — The newest hope for transportation in the Tampa Bay area is a bus rapid transit system projected to cover the 41-miles separating St. Petersburg from Wesley Chapel and attract 4,500 new riders at a fraction of the cost of light rail....
Published: 01/19/18
Five things Tampa Bay needs to know about bus rapid transit

Five things Tampa Bay needs to know about bus rapid transit

ST. PETERSBURG — Transportation planners on Friday unveiled a new transit vision for Tampa Bay leaders on Friday morning: Bus rapid transit.Also known as BRT, it has arisen as the leading option in an ongoing study to find the best regional transit p...
Published: 01/19/18
Amazon boosts monthly Prime membership fees by 20 percent

Amazon boosts monthly Prime membership fees by 20 percent

NEW YORK — Amazon is raising the price of its Prime membership monthly plan by nearly 20 percent. The fee of $99 for an annual membership will not change, the company said Friday. The online retailer had added the monthly payment option about two yea...
Published: 01/19/18