Saturday, September 22, 2018
Politics

Charles ‘Chuck’ Sykes named Civitan Citizen of the Year

TAMPA — Charles "Chuck" Sykes, president and CEO of Sykes Enterprises, was named Citizen of the Year by the Tampa Metro Civitan Club on Thursday at the Governor’s Luncheon at the Florida State Fair.

"It sounds like I need a job," Sykes joked as he received the award after Civitan official Robin DeLaVergne read off the lengthy list of voluntary charities and economic development groups he’s been involved in during his career here.

They’ve ranged from the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, where he is a former president, to the American Heart Association.

DeLaVergne said Sykes, 55, is "someone who gives and doesn’t ask anything in return."

Originally from Charlotte, N.C., he has been part of the Tampa business scene for more than 20 years, working for the digital marketing and customer service/call center company founded by his father, John H. Sykes.

The civic engagement started in 2004, when a neighbor asked him to serve on the board of Feeding America Tampa Bay, a hunger-relief organization, he once told the Tampa Bay Times. He learned there were an estimated 50,000 people in Hillsborough County who don’t always have enough to eat.

Then his wife, Susan, got him involved with the annual Heart Ball, a major area fundraiser for the Heart Association.

Since then, Sykes has blossomed into one of the city’s most prominent community activists.

He serves on the boards of the Tampa Bay Partnership, the chamber, Junior Achievement of West Central Florida, the Heart Association, the Straz Center for Performing Arts and Feeding America, and is active in Young Life and the Boy Scouts.

He’s a member of the Hillsborough County Economic Development Committee and was part of a business task force formed in 2008 to explore ways to keep the Tampa Bay Rays in the area. In 2010, he led a regional effort to bring World Cup soccer matches here.

He said he hopes the city can maintain its feeling of community as it grows.

"When you come into this town, if you want to lead we accept you," he said. "We’re not cliquish.

"The economic success we’re having is just amazing, but with that success I really hope we don’t lose that sense of community. I don’t think we ever will, but I think it’s something we should keep in mind."

Sykes was the 90th individual named citizen of the year by the Civitan Club.

He and his wife live in New Tampa and have two grown children, Connor Sykes and Kelly Sykes Walton, both of Tampa, and one grandchild.

Comments
Dana Young, Janet Cruz spar over guns, schools, environment in crucial Senate race

Dana Young, Janet Cruz spar over guns, schools, environment in crucial Senate race

TAMPA — During a showdown Friday in Florida’s most hotly contested state Senate race, Democratic challenger Janet Cruz launched fireworks at Dana Young over education funding, the environment and guns.Young, the Republican incumbent in District 18, r...
Published: 09/21/18
Confederate group banned from Temple Terrace country club, may take legal action

Confederate group banned from Temple Terrace country club, may take legal action

TEMPLE TERRACE — After complaints from city residents, the Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club has notified the City Council that it will not rent space again to the Sons of Confederate Veterans for its annual banquet.The country clubȁ...
Published: 09/20/18
Carlton: Should felons who have done their time get to vote? Citizens of Florida, it’s in your hands

Carlton: Should felons who have done their time get to vote? Citizens of Florida, it’s in your hands

It’s not often that we citizens — busy with work, paying the bills, living our lives — find ourselves with the power to right a fundamental wrong.But here in Florida, we’re about to get that chance.On the November ballot — among all those candidates ...
Published: 09/20/18
Daniel Ruth: City owes Gonzmart and Princess Ulele more than a notice of code violation

Daniel Ruth: City owes Gonzmart and Princess Ulele more than a notice of code violation

This has to be height of bureaucratic pettiness, especially for a city whose track record in promoting quality public art falls somewhere between stick figures and finger puppets.Richard Gonzmart is a community treasure. As the force behind a number ...
Published: 09/19/18
Romano: Florida’s dangerous prisons costing us more than money

Romano: Florida’s dangerous prisons costing us more than money

Two things you need to know about Florida’s prison budget:1. It was $2.3 billion this year.2. It was still not enough.Kind of staggering when you think of it that way, huh?We keep spending more and more on housing prisoners, and it’s like throwing mo...
Published: 09/18/18
Kavanaugh to testify after denying sexual assault allegations

Kavanaugh to testify after denying sexual assault allegations

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said Monday he was willing to speak to a Senate panel to "refute" an allegation he sexually assaulted a woman while in high school, after his accuser said via her attorney that she was ready to testi...
Published: 09/17/18
California professor, writer of confidential Brett Kavanaugh letter, speaks out about her allegation of sexual assault

California professor, writer of confidential Brett Kavanaugh letter, speaks out about her allegation of sexual assault

Earlier this summer, Christine Blasey Ford wrote a confidential letter to a senior Democratic lawmaker alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago, when they were high school students in subu...
Published: 09/16/18
Cuban refugee numbers plummet in Tampa area with cuts at Havana embassy

Cuban refugee numbers plummet in Tampa area with cuts at Havana embassy

It’s been nearly a year since the U.S. embassy in Havana suspended processing requests from people hoping to leave the island nation as refugees. The reason: Staffing was reduced to a skeleton crew in the wake of mysterious health attacks on em...
Published: 09/17/18
Romano: Rick Scott’s do-it-yourself guide to rigging a Supreme Court

Romano: Rick Scott’s do-it-yourself guide to rigging a Supreme Court

His time in Tallahassee is coming to an end. Eight years of triumph or shambles, depending on your point of view. And yet, Rick Scott’s legacy may not be written until his final minute as governor.For several years, Scott has been plotting a judicial...
Published: 09/15/18
Fraying Ties With Trump Put Mattis’ Fate in Doubt

Fraying Ties With Trump Put Mattis’ Fate in Doubt

WASHINGTON D.C.? — Back when their relationship was fresh and new, and President Donald Trump still called his defense secretary "Mad Dog" a nickname Jim Mattis detests ? the wiry retired Marine general often took a dinner break to eat burgers with h...
Published: 09/15/18