1. News

Mayor's Hispanic Advisory Council celebrates 35th anniversary at annual luncheon

Cyxtera Technologies CEO Manuel D. Medina (center, dark suit) is flanked by well-wishers during a Latinos Unidos VIP reception on May 8, including Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn and former Tampa mayors Sandy Freedman, Bob Martinez and Pam Iorio. | CENTRO
Published May 14, 2018

DOWNTOWN — Cyxtera Technologies Manuel Medina reflects on his success with a mix of pride and gratitude, drive and luck, perseverance and blessings.

Medina, the CEO of Miami-based Cyxtera Technologies, delivered a stirring keynote address at the Mayor's Hispanic Advisory Council's recent Latinos Unidos Scholarship Luncheon, bringing the crowd to its feet with his rags to riches story.

As a Cuban refugee who came to the US with his sister when he was just a boy, Medina is now a highly successful business man and entrepreneur in the IT infrastructure and cybersecurity sectors. He was also the founder and former CEO of Terremark, a global provider of managed IT infrastructure services for Fortune 500 companies, until it sold to Verizon in 2011 for $2 billion.

"I have been blessed and I have an obligation to pay it forward," stated Medina.

He is often asked what his secret is and what is his perfect recipe for success. A question Medina says he often disappoints in his response, because there is no secret.

According to Medina success boils down to a combination of hard work, passion, and a positive attitude. Plus, it doesn't hurt to have a mother who pushes you to be better and doesn't take no for an answer. Medina credits a huge part of his success to his mother and father for the sacrifices they made in order to give him and his sister a better life.

The entrepreneur was honored with a key to the city and when it comes to future business in Tampa he said, "I'm so impressed with what's going on here, that I'm seriously considering expanding our presence," said Medina.

The May 8 luncheon at the Hilton Downtown Tampa drew more than 500 people and marked the 35th anniversary of the council and the 20th anniversary of the event, which raises scholarship dollars for Hispanic students at the University of South Florida, the University of Tampa and Hillsborough Community College.

The council also annually presents a leadership award to an individual or company that has shown excellence and dedication within the Hispanic community. This year the Matilda Martinez Garcia Leadership Award was presented to Maria M. Hernandez of Lutheran Services Florida.

Hernandez, who came to the United States as a Cuban refugee in the late 1960s, expressed humility after receiving the award. After 37 years of service, she continues to work diligently to help individuals and families adapt and adjust to life in Tampa.

The council also saluted current Mayor Bob Buckhorn and four of its former mayors in attendance: Bob Martinez, Sandy Freedman, Dick Greco and Pam Iorio. Buckhorn, who received a shirt with his playful Hispanic nickname — "Bubba Horn" — stitched on the back, took to the podium to express his gratitude and pride in the scholarship program and the scholarship recipients that have given so much back to the city.

As his last Latinos Unidos luncheon as sitting mayor, he fondly reminisced on the support he received from the Hispanic community during his own campaigns.

"We believe in each other. We are Tampa strong and we are Tampa proud," Buckhorn said. "We don't build walls, we build bridges. We believe in each other and we celebrate each other, and we believe that we have an obligation to give back."

He concluded by declaring May 8 "Latinos Unidos Day."

Contact Jennifer Lima at


  1. In this Sept. 13, 2019 file photo, young climate activists march with signs during a rally near the White House in Washington. At left is the Washington Monument. In late September 2019, there will be climate strikes, climate summits, climate debates, a dire climate science report, climate pledges by countries and businesses, promises of climate financial help and more. There will even be a bit of climate poetry, film and music. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) SUSAN WALSH  |  AP
    Organizers expect millions to take part in marches, rallies and sit-ins for what could be the largest ever mass mobilization on climate issues.
  2. Job applicants seek information about temporary positions available with the 2020 Census, during a job fair in Miami on Wednesday designed for people fifty years or older. LYNNE SLADKY  |  AP
    The state added 22,500 jobs in August.
  3. Stay with for the latest news and updates. Times
    One woman, 82, was crossing 50th Street, and the other, 58, was struck on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
  4. In this March 24, 2018, file photo, crowds of people participate in the March for Our Lives rally in support of gun control in San Francisco. JOSH EDELSON  |  AP
    ‘Guns are always a volatile topic in the halls of the legislature,’ one Republican said.
  5. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. TMCCARTY  |  times staff
    The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said the deputy intentionally struck a car to keep up from spinning into oncoming traffic along Curlew Road.
  6. Stay with for the latest news and updates. Times
    A seriously injured man found near Fowler Avenue and 22nd Street died at a hospital, police said.
  7. Stay with for the latest news and updates. Times
    The crash happened on Dr. Martin Luther King Street N, along a stretch with a designated bicycle route.
  8. Erik Maltais took an unconventional path to becoming CEO of Immertec, a virtual reality company aimed at training physicians remotely. He dropped out of school as a teenager, served in Iraq in the Marine Corps and eventually found his way to Tampa. OCTAVIO JONES   |   TIMES  |  Times
    Software from Immertec can bring physicians into an operating room thousands of miles away.
  9. Hurricane Jerry is expected to begin moving to the north on Saturday. A tropical wave is expected to develop off the coast of Africa over the weekend. National Hurricane Center
    The system is expected to produce heavy rainfall and flash floods in the eastern Caribbean.
  10. In this photo provided by Peter Sacco, a crowd gathers at a cordoned-off intersection near a shooting Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, in a Washington D.C. neighborhood. Police say one man was killed and five other adults were wounded in a shooting in the courtyard of an apartment complex near Columbia Heights Metro Station in the nation's capital. PETER SACCO  |  AP
    Police say five victims in the Columbia Heights shooting were men and one was a woman.