Thursday, April 19, 2018
News Roundup

Ernest Hooper: Tampa's leader must nurture young talent

It's a conversation embedded in my memory.

One balmy evening on the deck at Four Green Fields, I began lamenting about how so many promising young professionals flee Tampa Bay because established power brokers never open the door to aspiring stars and hopeful newcomers.

I opined that although so many view the area as a major-league city, we really served as a Triple-A affiliate, infusing the up-and-coming with skills and experience and then waving goodbye as they leave for Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte and Houston.

The guy across from me, a fourth-generation South Tampa native who didn't hide the fact he reaped the benefits of successful parents and grandparents, shook his head and asked, "What's wrong with that? What's wrong with keeping it in the family?"

Everything, my man.

When it comes to that mentality, we need civic disobedience.

Objections to such provincial perspectives have been slow to rise. The realization Tampa is starved for an infusion of fresh-flavored ideas incubates among enlightened groups and philosophical friends but seldom truly infects leaders.

Earlier this month, the Urban Land Institute released a report assessing Hillsborough County's economic development client. The wide-ranging report bestowed compliments but also illuminated our glaring weakness, noting that we have a "cultural problem" and to solve it we must "address healing the relationships between and among institutions and citizens by improving trust, connectivity, leadership and cooperation."

That healing comes from expanding the family, not closing off newcomers. It comes from sharing power and creating ascendant paths. It comes from opening doors to success.

I found a snapshot of what's truly needed during an annual reception at the Leaders' Friday Luncheon, a relatively new group headed by four young business making their mark: Nancy Vaughn, Shilen Patel, Jessica Huebner and Aakash Patel.

The "leaders" meet the first Friday of each month with some of the community's most influential. The reception brings together many of those who have attended the luncheons since the group's inception nearly three years ago.

The reception, held at the University of South Florida Center for Advanced Medical Learning & Simulation in downtown Tampa, proved a perfect backdrop: an institute built on innovation housing folks looking to innovate and grow.

I witnessed established leaders not just conversing with aspiring professionals, but truly looking to help. The older folks talked about how much Tampa Bay has grown in the last 10 years and the excitement they shared for the future. The younger types boasted of new business ventures and a drive to succeed for themselves and their young families — right here, right now.

"For the first time in a long time, politicians, business leaders, and young professionals are working together to achieve a common goal," Aakash Patel said. "Leaders' Friday Luncheon is just one small piece of the puzzle, and we hope if more groups start like this, the common goal will become reality."

Still, Tampa Bay's talent drain remains a frustrating community conundrum.

After the RNC, we really need to concentrate greater energy on making Tampa Bay a thriving environment for young and old instead of just a fun place to host big parties. We will have proven to the world we can handle any event, but we will still have much to prove to ourselves.

That's all I'm saying.

Comments
Hernando County commissioner arrested on prostitution charges

Hernando County commissioner arrested on prostitution charges

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Commissioner Nick Nicholson, 71, was arrested Thursday by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office on multiple prostitution-related charges.Nicholson was booked into the Hernando County Detention Center on one count of opera...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Castor ends speculation: She’s running to be Tampa’s next mayor

Castor ends speculation: She’s running to be Tampa’s next mayor

TAMPA — For months, Tampa political aficionados have speculated: Will she or won’t she?Does Jane Castor, the city’s first woman police chief and presumed heavyweight mayoral candidate, really want the job? Asked and answered. Castor filed paperwork T...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Wells Fargo said to be target of $1 billion fine

Wells Fargo said to be target of $1 billion fine

Federal regulators are poised to impose a $1 billion penalty on Wells Fargo for a variety of alleged misdeeds, including forcing customers to buy auto insurance policies that they didn’t need, according to people briefed on the regulatory action. The...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Police: Knife-wielding burglar breaks into house, says ‘I’m the cops’

Police: Knife-wielding burglar breaks into house, says ‘I’m the cops’

LARGO — Detectives are asking the public’s help in identifying a man who broke into a home and confronted the owners with a knife.According to Largo police, the man entered about 3:40 a.m. a townhouse at 7360 Ulmerton Road holding a large black knife...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Retiring Tampa cop’s son pleads guilty to hazing in death of FSU student

Retiring Tampa cop’s son pleads guilty to hazing in death of FSU student

TAMPA — A Leon County judge sentenced the son of former Tampa Assistant Police Chief Marc Hamlin on Monday to 60 days in jail for a role in the November hazing death of a 20-year-old Florida State University student. Christopher Hamlin, 20, was one o...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
Marriott Edition to bring five-star hotel ambitions to Water Street Tampa

Marriott Edition to bring five-star hotel ambitions to Water Street Tampa

TAMPA — At the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City, hotelier Ian Schrager transformed a Jazz Age building with its own rich history into a destination offering even more heady experiences — extravagant, edgy and bohemian.In Tampa, Schrager will have...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Out early: Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

Out early: Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

The Bucs' 2018 schedule won't be officially released until 8 p.m. with the rest of the league, but the Times has obtained a copy of the schedule, which shows a challenging start for Tampa Bay.The Bucs open with three division champions back-to-back &...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Editorial: Why single-member districts would be bad for Hillsborough commission

Editorial: Why single-member districts would be bad for Hillsborough commission

Anyone looking to make Hillsborough County government bigger, costlier, more dysfunctional and less of a regional force should love the idea that Commissioner Sandy Murman rolled out this week. She proposes enlarging the seven-member board to nine, e...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tech Data names Rich Hume to take over as CEO

Tech Data names Rich Hume to take over as CEO

CLEARWATER — A longtime IBM executive is becoming the new leader of Tampa Bay’s largest public company. Tech Data on Thursday named Richard "Rich" Hume as its new CEO effective June 6. Hume joined Tech Data two years ago and is currently the chief op...
Updated: 2 hours ago