Tampa airport CEO criticized for cheap meal strategy

In the movie Hoosiers, Gene Hackman's character brings his philosophy on winning high school basketball to a tiny Indiana town, and the folks initially resist his changes.

But after they relent, they come to discover he knows what he's doing, and the team wins.

The plot reminds me of the criticism Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano drew last week for his decision to entertain airline executives with relatively expensive meals. While us ham-and-eggers get excited about spending $7 at Waffle House, a man hoping to generate increased international flights at TIA can't lowball airline leaders.

Lopano exudes enthusiasm not only about the TIA, but also about the area. He needs the opportunity to spread that excitement to those who can make it better.

Give him a chance. …

The Pinellas Job Corps Center celebrated its first graduation last week. While the 52 graduates may not all be immediately in line for jobs, they're undoubtedly in a better place with marketable skills. The center's potential to change lives and impact the economy will only grow as it expands and graduates more. …

Seen on a T-shirt: I Love Haters Because Haters Make Me Greater. …

On Saturday, Tampa Crossroads and Stand Up For Women Veterans team up for a daylong event of outreach to that group, which now constitutes 15 percent of the military. It's at Al Lopez Park. Call (813) 526-4213. …

On Friday night, I join Lee Mezrah as guest bartender at 717 South. A portion of the proceeds will go to Community Tampa Bay, and I expect a few celebs to come through.

Plus, like any good bartender, I'll be offering wise counsel.

That's all I'm saying.

Tampa airport CEO criticized for cheap meal strategy 09/04/11 [Last modified: Sunday, September 4, 2011 7:42pm]

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