Monday Morning Memo

Monday, December 3, 2018

Board Member Spotlight: Laura Crouch

Laura Crouch was appointed by the Tampa Electric Board of Directors as the vice president of State and Community Relations and Economic Development, effective today, December 3rd.

Laura joined Tampa Electric in 1995 and has been in various departments in her 18-year career with the company. These include Environmental Planning, Regulatory Affairs, Resource Planning and, Business Strategy department as energy policy manager. In her most recent position, Laura was responsible for coordinating the development of legislative and regulatory policy to address evolving energy and environmental initiatives. She also was responsible for corporate sustainability reporting. Laura is well versed in the many strategic opportunities and challenges facing the energy industry.

She graduated from the University of South Florida in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering.

Congratulations to the 2018 Urban Excellence Award Winners!

The Tampa Downtown Partnership is proud to announce the winners of the 2018 Urban Excellence Awards. Nominees were recognized, and winners received their awards during the annual celebration on Thursday, November 29 at The Gathering in Armature Works Public Market located in Tampa Heights.

Kari Goetz of the Florida Aquarium and Mayor Bob Buckhorn joined the stage Thursday night with Tampa Downtown Partnership’s Acting President and CEO Lynda Remund as well as Chairman, Mickey Jacob to address the crowd and announce the winners in each category.

“The Urban Excellence Awards event is a unique opportunity where the Tampa Downtown Partnership brings together the downtown community and stakeholders to say thank you and recognize those pioneers, trailblazers, and Downtown champions that make downtown a great place to live, work and play,” said Mickey Jacob, Chairman for the Tampa Downtown Partnership. “It’s an event I look forward to each year.”

Finalists are chosen through a three-step process. First, the Tampa Downtown Partnership invites the public to submit nominations for each category. When the nomination period closes, each submission is considered based on the criteria set within each category. Finally, a panel of jurors representing a cross-section of downtown constituencies evaluate the nominations on a scale of 1-10 based on the criteria and their relation to six topics; innovation, creativity, engagement, sustainability, advancement, and impact.

“Tampa’s Downtown would not be the vibrant, unique place that it is without the hard work, dedication and devotion of the many Urban Excellence nominees and winners,” said Remund. “Their contributions have made a significant and lasting positive impact on Downtown and this awards ceremony allows us the opportunity to recognize and thank them for all they’ve done.”

Winners are:

  • Activating Public Spaces Award: Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority Pocket Parks Phase 1

This award recognizes a person, organization, business, project or initiative that has made a positive and significant contribution to a Downtown space or has created a more attractive pedestrian atmosphere, and commercially vibrant environment through activities, street level store front improvements or design elements.

  • Arts & Culture Award: Tampa Museum of Art “Love Is Calling” Exhibit

This award is presented to an organization, event or initiative that has had a significant and lasting impact on downtown’s arts and cultural life, stimulates economic growth, encourages tourism and enhances downtown’s cultural image.

  • Downtown Collaboration Award: TECO Line Streetcar Reimagined: Free Fares & Modernization & Expansion Study

This award recognizes a group partnership that has made a unique, positive contribution to Downtown; and has been responsible for a project or program that has complemented the work of the City of Tampa and the Tampa Downtown Partnership.

  • Downtown Experience Award: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Franklin Street Block Party by Tampa Theatre

This award is presented to an event, entity or idea that involved people in or exposed them to a positive Downtown experience, thus enhancing their enjoyment while visiting the area.

  • Landmark Development Award: Armature Works – Heights Public Market

This award recognizes an iconic building that serves as a magnet to attract people to Downtown by improving the physical environment or by enhancing the economic, cultural or social well-being of the area.

  • Marketplace Award: Duckweed Urban Grocery

This award is presented to a person, business, project or initiative that has made a positive and significant contribution to the Downtown marketplace or has improved Downtown by contributing a new or unique retail experience.

  • Private Sector Award: The Wilson Company – CW’s Gin Joint

This award recognizes a private sector project that has made a positive and significant contribution to Downtown; and has demonstrated a commitment to assist in revitalizing the Downtown area.

  • Public Sector Award: Julian B Lane Riverfront Park – City of Tampa

This award recognizes a public sector project that has made a positive and significant contribution to Downtown; and has demonstrated a strong impact in revitalizing the Downtown area.

  • People’s Choice Award: Catherine Bennett of Skypoint Condos

This award is presented to a nominee who receives the most votes.

  • Christine Burdick Person of the Year Award: Leo Rodgers

This award is presented to an individual that has made a positive and significant contribution to Downtown; has added to the Downtown visitor experience and/or that has demonstrated strong leadership in revitalizing the Downtown area.

All entries are considered on their merit.  Entries may include Downtown Tampa or center city individuals, businesses, organizations, events, or projects (public or private) that:

  1. Were completed or accomplished during the past three years; and
  2. Made a significant contribution to Downtown; and/or
  3. Displayed an entrepreneurial spirit or community leadership that positively contributed to Downtown; and/or
  4. Have demonstrated a long-term commitment to Downtown.

Awards Jury:

  • Neil Khant, NRK Real Estate Advisors, LLC
  • Jin Liu, Carlton Fields
  • Susan Nelson-Crowley, Tampa Real Estate Pulse
  • Brant Peterson, Peterson’s Properties & Management, LLC
  • Kevin Preast, Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment
  • Kendall Wilson, Holland & Knight LLP

Special thanks to our sponsors FH Events, BDG Architects, Create+Co, Creative Loafing, Tampa Bay Business Journal, AECOM, Carlton Fields, EWI Construction, Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Preparatory School, Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority, and Unlimited Printing.

Find Your Holiday Spirit at Winter Village

Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park presented by the Tampa Bay Lightning is Downtown Tampa’s only outdoor (REAL!) ice rink. During its seven week installation running November 16 through January 5, Winter Village will feature 10 boutiques from local craftspeople and purveyors as well as specialty drinks and treats to complement the 5,000 square feet of real ice.

New this season, the Tampa Downtown Partnership is introducing a 360-degree choreographed light display that pairs with your favorite holiday sounds creating a holiday experience like no other. The Partnership is also bringing a bit of the beach to Downtown Tampa with a holiday sand sculpture crafted by local artists Sandtastic, who are featured in the Clearwater Beach Sugar Sand Festival.

Tampa Downtown Partnership is also bringing back two experiences introduced last season through strategic partnerships with Tampa Theatre and TECO Line Streetcar.

Shown in the Great Lawn of Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Tampa Theatre will present “Home Alone” on Winter Village’s opening night, Friday, November 16, and “The Santa Clause” after Tampa’s Tree Lighting Ceremony presented by Friends of Tampa Recreation on Friday, November 30. The support of the F.E. Lykes Foundation makes the screenings possible.

The TECO Line Streetcar has renewed the partnership with Tampa Downtown Partnership to offer a holiday experience aboard a themed Streetcar with the Winter Village Express. Riders can board the Winter Village Express at the Centro Ybor or Whiting Station on Sundays beginning November 18 through December 23 between 3pm and 8pm to enjoy treats, music and activities during the non-stop ride.

For hours, ticket prices and more information, visit #WinterVillageTampa

Earn $4 Off Ice Skating at Winter Village with Kindness Day

WFLA News Channel 8 will host its 10th annual KINDNESS DAY on Friday, Dec. 7 at News Channel 8 located at 200 S. Parker St. in Tampa.

“We’re excited about this year’s Kindness Day. It’s our 10th anniversary! We’re hoping it’s the biggest and best yet for the four local charities to help our community and make this holiday season extra special for those in need,” Skip Valet, VP and General Manager of News Channel 8, Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.”

The four charities benefiting from KINDNESS DAY include Feeding Tampa Bay, OneBlood, Toys for Tots and the Teddy Bear Roundup. Volunteers will accept donations Friday starting at 6 a.m. and continue until 7 p.m. Donations can be dropped off at News Channel 8 via a fast and easy drive-through system. The drop-off location will be at the station’s visitor parking lot. OneBlood’s buses will also be on site to accept blood donations for those that have time to stop, park and donate.

As an ‘act of kindness – as supplies last – each passing car will be handed ONE Goody Bag containing a $4 off coupon for ice skating at Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park presented by Tampa Bay Lightning, and other gifts and offers from kind and generous “community partners,” which includes Circle K; Famous Tate; Chick-fil-A; Florida Strawberry Festival; Monster Jam; Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Caspers Company McDonald’s Restaurants; Henry B. Plant Museum; Florida Museum of Photographic Arts; Crayola Experience; Gasparilla Distance Classic Association; Fantastic Sams; Tampa Bay Lightning and The Ellen Show.

Visit for more information.

Naming Rights for Ybor Rays Ballpark Get Serious

Two Florida-based “household name” companies have met multiple times with a private booster group to discuss a naming rights deal for a new Tampa Bay Rays stadium, said one of the leaders of that group.

Tampa lawyer Ron Christaldi, co-founder of Rays 2020, declined to name the companies, but said the multi-year deal for the proposed Ybor City ballpark could be in the range of $5 to $10 million a year.

That figure falls within the range of what national experts have predicted for the Rays.

Rays president Matt Silverman issued a statement about the talks on Monday.

“From all accounts, they are working diligently on corporate support and we are very grateful,” Silverman said.

“A household name to top new Rays ballpark? Booster says discussions getting more serious”Tampa Bay Times

New Coworking Location Opens in Downtown Tampa

Pipeline Tampa occupies the 15th floor of Park Tower, which is located at 400 N. Tampa St., across from The Tampa Riverwalk. Pipeline Tampa is Pipeline Workspace’s seventh location and sixth in Florida, joining offices in Brickell, Coral Gables, Doral, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. Pipeline also has a location in Philadelphia. Amenities for Pipeline members include high-speed internet, color printer/copiers, access to conference rooms, mailboxes, a kitchen and complimentary coffee and tea.

“Pipeline Workspaces Opens Downtown Tampa Coworking Location”ReBusiness Online

Tampa General Hospital Performs 10,000th Transplant

Tampa General Hospital, home to one of the busiest transplant centers in the nation, has reached a milestone by performing more than 10,000 transplants.

That places the Tampa General Hospital Advanced Organ Disease and Transplantation Institute among about two dozen transplant centers in the nation to reach this mark.

The first transplant at Tampa General was a kidney transplant performed in 1974. Tampa General also performed Florida’s first successful heart transplant in 1985.

On Sept. 30, Tampa General performed its 10,000th transplant, providing a kidney to a patient from the Fort Myers area.

“We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to change so many lives through transplants,” said John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General Hospital. “There are few medical procedures that can transform a patient’s life so completely. Transplant services are a vital part of Tampa General’s mission to provide world-class care to residents in Tampa Bay and beyond.”

The hospital performs adult heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas transplants, including kidney-pancreas transplants and kidney transplants from living donors. TGH also performs pediatric kidney transplants.

“The life-saving transplants that we perform would not be possible without the cohesive teamwork by our TGH team members and our great organ procurement partner, LifeLink of Florida,” said Dr. Victor Bowers, executive director of the Transplantation Institute. “We are deeply grateful for their commitment to our patients, and we share this achievement with them.”

No one should forget the sacrifice of the organ donors and the generosity of their families, Couris said.

“We owe an incalculable debt to the donors who said they believe in the value of organ donation,” he said. “They have, quite literally, given these patients the gift of life. Their selflessness inspires us to keep working to help improve the lives and health of our transplant patients.”

Tampa General Hospital, a 1010-bed non-profit academic medical center, delivers world-class care as the region’s only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. It is one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. Advancing medicine through innovation, Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center, an 82-bed Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, and a state-certified spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation center. For more information, go to

Gasparilla Music Festival Announces Line Up, Ticket Prices

The Gasparilla Music Festival is set to take place on March 9-10, 2019 in downtown Tampa Bay, Florida at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and Kiley Gardens Park, featuring musical acts from various genres on several stages. The lineup features many great artists, including The Avett Brothers, The Pharcyde, Gary Clark Jr., Laurie Berkner and many other bands.

Those that  make their way to the festival will enjoy all that Downtown Tampa has to offer, including an array of cultural, entertainment and dining options. Tickets for both days at the festival cost $60.00 and one day pass costs $40.00 for Saturday and $30.00 for Sunday.

The last festival this past March 2018 included Father John Misty, The Roots and Spoon in the lineup. The festival is backed by the Gasparilla Music Foundation a non-profit corporation that supports music education throughout its Recycled Tunes program. The organization is involved in several initiatives, including providing scholarships and instruments to music students.

The Gasparilla Music Foundation was founded in 2011 with financial support from several Tampa Bay area based businesses and the organization’s founding members, Ring of Fire. The organization focuses on creating a long-term sustainable institution, benefiting the Tampa Bay area through the support and promotion of local musicians and bands. The organization also supports local cuisine and promotes the region’s cultural heritage.

“Gasparilla Festival Announces 2019 Lineup Featuring The Avett Brothers, The Pharcyde and Gary Clark Jr”

FDOT Launches Pilot Safety Initiative at Key Intersections in Downtown

The Florida Department of Transportation has installed static signs along one-way, fixed-time corridors, to evaluate impacts on safety and operations. Traffic Signal Speed signs are intended to advise and positively influence motorists to a travel speed that would minimize stops and delays along a corridor to improve safety and mobility.

The following corridors in Tampa’s Downtown have had Progression Speed Signing (MUTCD) I1-1 installed in November 2018.

  • State Road 60 / Kennedy Boulevard / Jackson Street (one way pair) in downtown Tampa
  • US 41 Business / Tampa Street / Florida Avenue (one way pair) in downtown Tampa

The Florida Department of Transportation will conclude this evaluation in November 2019 with final report anticipated January 2020.

Downtown Calendar

Your Downtown Calendar

The following is just a sample of upcoming events in Downtown Tampa.  Visit the Downtown Tampa Events Calendar for a more comprehensive list.

Mayor’s Food Truck Fiesta

Wednesday, December 5, 11am to 2pm
Lykes Gaslight Square
Looking for a larger selection of lunch options? Step outside for a meal in the park! Choose from a wide variety of local food trucks serving up all sorts of delicious culinary creations. You’ll have your pick of dishes from plenty of delectable kitchens on wheels! For more information, go to Mayor’s Food Truck Fiesta.

Rock the Park

Thursday, December 6, 6:30pm to 9pm
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
Listen to some great musical talent in a beautiful, relaxing setting. This month’s show features Pohgoh, Fever Beam, and Mighty Jai. With food and drinks on the premises and an always exciting vibe, this free concert is guaranteed not to disappoint. For more information, go to Rock the Park.

Winter Wonderettes

Friday, December 7 to Sunday, December 23
Stageworks Theatre
The Wonderettes are back! This social celebration finds the girls entertaining at the annual Harper’s Hardware Holiday Party. When Santa goes missing, the girls use their talent and creative ingenuity to save the holiday party! Featuring great ‘60s versions of holiday classics such as Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Jingle Bell Rock, Run Rudolph Run, and Winter Wonderland. The result is, of course, marvelous! This energetic and glittering holiday package is guaranteed to delight audiences of all ages. For more info, go to Winter Wonderettes.

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

Hello, Dolly! – Tuesday, December 4 to Sunday, December 9
The Texas Tenors: Deep in the Heart of Christmas – Tuesday, December 4, begins 8pm
Live & Local – Taylor Reed – Friday, December 7, 6pm to 9pm
The Florida Orchestra – Mozart & Sibelius – Friday, December 7, begins 8pm
Celeste Barber – Saturday, December 8, begins 8:30pm
Live & Local – Danielle Mohr – Saturday, December 8, 6pm to 9pm
Jane Lynch A Swingin’ Little Christmas – Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9

On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre

Home Free – A Country Christmas – Thursday, December 6, begins 7pm
Elf (2003) – Sunday, December 9, 3pm to 4:45pm

This Week at Amalie Arena

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins – Thursday, December 6, begins 7:30pm
Barry Manilow – Friday, December 7, begins 7:30pm
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Colorado Avalanche – Saturday, December 8, begins 7pm

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Monday Morning Memo –Monday Morning Memo is a weekly update of “insider downtown information” regarding developments, transportation, special opportunities and other useful information to help you make the most of downtown. Subscribe to receive this weekly newsletter.

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