Tampa Noles Alumni Spotlight: Brian Ford of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Brian A. Ford, Jr. just completed his 10th year with the organization after joining the Buccaneers in 2006 and in his role, oversees all aspects of the organization’s day-to-day business operations and community involvement. He works directly with team ownership to ensure that Buccaneers fans, season pass members and corporate sponsors receive a first in-class experience. Under Ford’s leadership, the Buccaneers have consistently earned top marks among NFL teams for customer service experience, ranking No. 1 in the league’s annual Voice of the Fan report for the fourth time in the past five seasons.

Ford is currently overseeing a comprehensive, multi-phase renovation of Raymond James Stadium that is expected to exceed $150 million. The first stage of this project was completed in 2014 and encompassed a complete redesign of the main level concession locations. The second phase was completed for the Buccaneers’ 2016 season and was highlighted by the installation of new, state-of-the-art HD video boards in each end zone and four HD tower video displays in each corner of the lower bowl, giving the stadium a total video display area of 28,416 feed – at the time, the third-largest in the NFL. Also included was a new, comprehensive sound system and concessions upgrades, in addition to the renovation of all luxury suites. The third phase of renovations – scheduled to be completed in time for the team’s 2017 season – will include a completely redesigned West Stadium Club, a new team retail store, expansion of the highly successful Hall of Fame Club, and a new home team locker room. In addition to the stadium renovation project, Ford is also in charge of the planning and construction of the team’s new state-of-the-art indoor practice facility which is scheduled for completion by the start of the 2017 regular season.

Prior to joining the Buccaneers, Ford was part of the team that opened Raymond James Stadium as the district manager with Fine Host Corporation in 1998. He remained in that capacity until 2006, when he began his career with the Buccaneers.

An active participant in and around the Tampa Bay area, Ford is a member of the Pediatric Cancer advisory board in addition to serving on the boards of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay, American Cancer Society CEOs Against Cancer, Sports Advisory Council for Special Olympics Florida, Saint Leo University Sport Business Advisory Council, and Tampa Bay Area Chiefs of Police Foundation. Ford has also been a driving force and annual participant in the team’s annual Cut for a Cure event that has raised over $110,000 for the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation over the past four years. Prior to the 2016 season, Ford also became a member of the Honorary Commander 927th Air Refueling Wing, which allows business men and women from the local community an opportunity for an up close and personal experience of the policies, programs and overall mission capability of the United States Air Force.

Ford, a native of Miramar, Florida, graduated from Florida State University in 1989 with a B.S. in business administration. He is an avid runner and triathlete and competes in numerous events each year, including a marathon each of the past 13 years as well as several 70.3 Half Ironman events over that same period.

He and his wife, Judy, live in Tampa, and have two sons, Brian III and Brandon. The couple is celebrating their 28th wedding anniversary this coming August. Judy is an active member of the Buccaneer Women’s Organization, which hosts charitable functions and community service projects in Tampa Bay throughout the year. Oldest son Brian III is a senior at Florida State University while Brandon is entering his sophomore year at their parents’ alma mater.

Congratulations Ashley Terry on being selected as our February 2017 Alumni of the Month!

Growing up in Tallahassee, and the daughter of an FSU alum, Ashley’s love of Florida State runs deep through her veins. She graduated in 2003 from the FSU College of Human Sciences with a B.S. in Merchandising and minor in Business. Ashley was a member Delta Delta Delta sorority, and remains involved in the local Tampa alumni chapter. In the local chapter, Ashley has served as the philanthropy chair, raising funds for St. Jude’s Children’s research hospital and the local children’s cancer center, and as part of the membership committee.

Ashley spent several years putting her degree to good use between local retail management and buying and planning positions here in Tampa with Dillard’s and HSN. After meeting her husband, a Tampa native, Ashley took some time off to start a family and is now the proud mother of two boys.

Deciding it was time to get back to work (outside of the home), Ashley switched gears and now works as a residential real estate agent, focusing in the South Tampa and Heights markets. For the last few years Ashley has worked in the Keller Williams South Tampa office, where she also serves on the Agent Leadership Council (ALC), an invitation only committee made up of the top 20% of agents in the office. As part of the ALC, Ashley chairs the KW Cares Committee, which raises money for Keller Williams’ national and local emergency and/or disaster relief funds.

When she isn’t busy building relationships with her clients and helping them buy and sell their homes, you can find Ashley attending classes to learn new and unique ways of improving her business skills, volunteering at her children’s schools, running along Bayshore Boulevard, and just generally enjoying all of the wonderful things the city of Tampa has to offer.

Congratulations Anthony Cormier on being selected as our December Alumni of the Month!

In October 2016, Anthony Cormier (BS, Creative Writing, 2000) accepted the fourth Pulitzer Prize awarded to a Florida State alumni. Cormier, a writer for the Tampa Bay Times, won the award for his part in a journalistic investigation into Florida’s mental health system.

According to the FSU News,

“He earned the highest award in American journalism by immersing himself in the day-to-day realities of the state’s six main mental health hospitals. He discovered disturbing secrets there: staffing shortages, violence, neglect, abuse. Patient deaths.

Cormier and two colleagues pursued the story for more than a year, even when it was unclear what exactly they were uncovering. But they pushed forward one day at a time, making incremental progress and following leads to a larger picture. Their stubborn persistence to find the truth earned a Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting.”

The FSU News spoke with Cormier at length here:



We also had the opportunity to email Cormier a few questions:

What does it mean to write for the Tampa Bay Times with its history of great reporting?

“I am so grateful to work for the Times. It is an independent voice that retains an unceasing dedication to journalism that affects change in the world. I cannot count the number of great writers who have passed through this place and who still remain here. It is truly, truly special.”

Who are writers you look up to?

“So many. I work with one of the finest investigative journalists in America, Michael LaForgia, and have always looked up to the standard-bearers in our industry, people like David Barstow of the New York Times and Katherine Boo, formerly of the Washington Post.”

Why Florida State?

“I chose Florida State because I saw how it was building its writing program. There were some heavy-hitters involved with the program when I started at the university and it has been a joy to watch so many successful people come out of it.”

How did you join the Times and end up in the Tampa Bay area?

“I have been a journalist in Florida for about 15 years and always had an eye on the Times. It is one of the last independent American newspapers with a deep history of incredible storytelling. A few years back, a door opened for me here and I couldn't be happier about the opportunity.”

Unfortunately, Cormier will be leaving Tampa in 2017 as he recently took a job with Buzzfeed. But for his amazing accomplishments in journalism, Anthony Cormier is the Tampa Bay Seminole Club Alumni of the Month for December 2016.

Congratulations Roberto Torres on being selected as our November Alumni of the Month!

Congratulations to Roberto Torres of the The Blind Tiger Cafe Ybor City The Blind Tiger Cafe Seminole Heights on being selected as our November Alumni of the Month!

Roberto is the co-Founder and Managing Partner of Black & Denim Apparel Company & The Blind Tiger Cafe. He is an entrepreneur specializing in the areas of accounting, audit, operations, logistics and financial services segments. He brings his expertise in retail and operations, both as a consultant and an executive, to assist start-ups and early companies with strategic, operational and expansion plans.

Black & Denim is a Lifestyle brand rooted in the Americana, Music & Lifestyle. Over the last six years, he has helped and advised numerous companies in the realm of retail, apparel, merchandising and technology. Roberto is a proud Seminole having earned a BS in Accounting and a BS in Finance from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. A Native from Panama he enjoys traveling.

The Blind Tiger Café is a speakeasy inspired coffee house in the heart of the Historic Ybor City District. Founded in November of 2014, the Café has a Coffee, Tea & Vegan pastries offerings. It houses the flagship store for Black & Denim. It welcomed a second location on November of 2015 in the Historic District of Seminole Heights. The Blind Tiger Café is now roasting coffee since November 2015 through The Lab Coffee (a collaborative roasting concept) and currently working on its 4th location in the Tampa Bay Area.

In the community, Roberto is the Marketing Committee Chair for the Ybor City Development Corporation. He is also member of the Board of Advisors to the John P. Lowth Entrepreneurship Center, at the John Sykes College of Business for the University of Tampa. Roberto is also the President of Stand Up Tampa. Under the leadership of the Tampa/Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, is a group of young executives that are passionate about highlighting the City of Tampa as THE place to start your business or further your professional career. www.facebook.com/standuptampa

Tampa Bay Seminole Club Alumni of the Month - Carley Boyette

Carley Boyette graduated in 2004 from the FSU School of Communication with an emphasis in Mass Media and a minor in Political Science. Almost immediately after graduating, Carley landed a job as a reporter in Greenville, NC for the CBS affiliate (WNCT), but was quickly promoted to Morning and Noon anchor. During her almost 6 years in Greenville, Carley became an award winning journalist who covered everything from hurricanes, presidential visits, and did her own investigative reports.

In 2010, Carley eventually moved back to her home state of Florida and began Hosting two entertainment/lifestyle shows in Fort Myers at the Fox affiliate (WFTX). While there, she conducted hundreds of interviews for a local talk show called the “Morning Blend” and dozens of feature reports for an Emmy nominated travel show called “Paradise TV”. While in Southwest Florida, Carley also gained a new title as Mom! Carley and her husband (who are also high school sweet hearts) are the proud parents to two children, a 3-year old little girl and a two-year-old little boy.

Fast forward to 2016, Carley is now overjoyed and thrilled to be Hosting the new local/lifestyle show called “Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend” in her home city. Faith, food, family… and Florida State… are all things she is very passionate about!

If you would like to nominate someone for Tampa Noles Alumni of the Month, please email us at info@tampanoles.com !

Tampa Bay Seminole Club Alumni of the Month - February - Melanie Griffin

The Tampa Bay Seminole Club would like to congratulate our alumnus of the month for February, Melanie Griffin.

Melanie Griffin is the Managing Shareholder of the Tampa office of the Dean Mead Law Firm. A proud Seminole, Melanie earned her undergraduate degree in business finance (2003), Magna Cum Laude and as a student in the Academic Honors Program. On campus, she served as the Senate Majority Leader, Student Body Treasurer, President of the Delta Zeta Sorority, and as an FSU Service Scholar. She was named the College of Business Humanitarian of the Year, elected Homecoming Queen Runner-Up, and inducted into the FSU Hall of Fame.

Melanie continued at Florida State for her graduate education, jointly earning her law degree and master of business administration degree and graduating Summa Cum Laude. During graduate school, she was a member of the Law School’s Moot Court Team and served as President of Burning Spear, Editor-in-Chief of the Business Law Review, Executive Editor of the Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law, and a member of the Journal of Transnational Law & Policy.

At Dean Mead, Melanie began in the firm’s Orlando office. She quickly became engrained in the Central Florida community, serving as President of the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers in 2011-12 and for several years on the Executive Board of the Orange County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section. She completed Leadership Orlando (Class 76), and in 2011, received a 40 Under 40 Award from the Orlando Business Journal. In 2013-14, she served as President of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, one of the nation’s largest young lawyers groups with approximately 25,000 members. At the end of her Young Lawyers Division presidency, Melanie began founding Dean Mead’s Tampa office, the firm’s sixth office in Florida, while also maintaining her Orlando office. In 2015, she was elected as a Shareholder of the firm, after being one of the youngest attorneys in the firm’s history to receive an AV rating by Martindale Hubbell in only her fourth year of practice.

In her present role at Dean Mead, Melanie practices locally in Tampa and Orlando, as well as statewide and nationally for businesses of all sizes and types, focusing on major business, political and environmental issues. Her main areas of practice include commercial litigation, trust & probate litigation, government & administrative law, and employment law, through which she advises and represents businesses and prominent Florida families in commercial disputes and litigation, ranging from simple breach of contract actions to complex commercial cases involving intellectual property issues, real estate actions, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, tortious interference with contracts and business relationships, and substantive employment law issues such as harassment, discrimination and retaliation.

Melanie is presently active on the Florida State University Seminole Torchbearers Board of Directors and with the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce as a part of Leadership Tampa Class ’16, Member of the Women of Influence Committee, and Mentor in the Emerge Protégé Program. She is active in several local women’s groups, including Leading Ladies of Learning and Bank of Tampa Women Connected. She also serves on the Poynter Institute Community Outreach Board; Frameworks of Tampa Bay Board of Directors as the Vice Chair and Community Outreach and Development Committee Chair; University of South Florida Women in Leadership & Philanthropy as the Mentoring Committee College of Business Liaison; The Florida Bar as the Annual Convention Committee Co-Chair and Leadership Academy Committee Vice Chair; Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers (HAWL) as an At-Large Director on the Executive Board and Mentoring Program Co-Chair; and the Hillsborough County Bar Association (HCBA) as its Programs Chair.

Melanie has been named the Most Productive Young Lawyer in Florida in 2009 and the Most Productive Member of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors in 2011. She has been recognized as a Super Lawyers Rising Star for seven consecutive years (2010-16) and Florida Trend Legal Elite for six consecutive years (Up & Comer 2010-14, Commercial Litigation 2014-15). In 2010, she received a Leader in the Law Award from the Florida Association for Women Lawyers; in 2013, she was the featured Cover Story in the College of Law’s Alumni Magazine; in 2015, ALM distinguished her as a Top Rated Lawyer in Business & Corporate Law and she received an Up & Comers Award from the Tampa Bay Business Journal; and for two consecutive years, in 2015-16, Corporate LiveWire named her a Labor & Employment Global Award Winner. Please join me in congratulating Melanie as alumnus of the month for her great accomplishments and community service. If you would like to nominate a local alumnus or help showcase an alumni owned business for our monthly award, please forward a bio or business description to Max@tampanoles.com.

Tampa Bay Seminole Club Alumni of the Month - January - David Romine, Jeff Alagood, and Ryan Dorrell

The Tampa Bay Seminole Club would like to congratulate our alumni of the month for January, entrepreneurs and founders of AgileThought, Inc, David Romine, Jeff Alagood, and Ryan Dorrell. Agilethought, Inc (www.agilethought.com) is one of the largest businesses in Tampa Bay that is owned and operated by FSU alumni.

Agilethought is a full-service mobile application and software consulting firm with specializations in custom software development, user interface and experience design, application lifecycle management (ALM) SharePoint and business intelligence solutions, agile consulting, cloud solutions, and website and Ecommerce implementations. Formed in 2004, the company has been noted as one of the country’s Best Companies to Work For by Fortune Magazine. It is also recognized as one of the fastest growing, privately held companies in Florida by GrowFL and recently won awards for Best Technology Company and Best Place to Work for their corporate headquarters in Tampa, Florida. It serves Fortune 1000 clients nationwide from offices in Tampa and Orlando.

Dave Romine co-founded AgileThought, LLC. in 2004 and serves as President and Chief Executive Officer. He is responsible for the overall leadership, vision, and strategic direction of the company, with an emphasis on sales and business development. After graduating from Florida State University with a degree in Management Information Systems, Dave started his career as a software developer and quickly gained a deep appreciation for the craft of software development.

Dave has a passion for charitable contributions of both time and money, and is actively involved in the community. He continuously supports organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Take Stock in Children, and The Alzheimer’s Association through donations and volunteer work. He is also a member of Leadership Florida Class XXXIII, a statewide community of leaders actively engaged in promoting and serving Florida.

Jeff Alagood is the Chief Operating Officer of AgileThought. He is responsible for the overall operations and service delivery of the company, with a particular emphasis on delivery execution, business development and resourcing strategies for long-term growth. Alagood has a passion for implementing initiatives to enhance client engagement experiences with the most effective and scalable development processes. Jeff is passionate for building high performing teams and leaders through active coaching, and pushing for new growth across members of AgileThought’s teams and organization. He focuses on helping individuals create a personal brand that complements and supports the objectives of both the enterprise and the individual, creating perfect opportunities.

Ryan Dorrell is a co-founder of AgileThought and the Chief Technology Officer. He is responsible for understanding new clients’ business problems and developing the technology strategies used to build solutions for those problems. He also defines new service offerings that AgileThought can provide, and mentors teams and clients on agile software development practices. Ryan has led AgileThought into many new areas of technical capability, such as mobile and cloud development. An avid reader, follower, and innovator of agile and application lifecycle management disciplines, Ryan is a sought after speaker and trainer on these topics. Please join me in congratulating Dave, Jeff, and Ryan as alumni of the month for their work and success with Agilethought, Inc. If you would like to nominate a local alumnus or help showcase an alumni owned business for our monthly award, please forward a bio or business description to Max@tampanoles.com.

Tampa Bay Seminole Club Alumni of the Month - November -Nicole Hubbard

The Tampa Bay Seminole Club would like to congratulate our alumnus of the month for November, Nicole Hubbard.

Nicole graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida State University with a bachelors degree in nursing. She is a mother of two and a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) at Florida Gulf-to-Bay Anesthesiology.

As a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Nicole treats patients at Tampa General Hospital, which is one of the few Level One Trauma and Transplant Centers in Florida. She administers anesthesia to a variety of patients, ranging from people receiving heart, liver, kidney, pancreas and lung transplants, to children getting their tonsils removed. Nicole frequently accompanies the CEO of Florida Gulf to Bay Anesthesiology in surgeries, as well as works with experienced surgeons administering anesthesia for their surgeries.

Along with her duties as a full time working mom, Nicole has been heavily involved in The Junior League of Tampa for 10 years, and currently holds the office of President Elect. She has played a substantial role in Junior League's success in improving the community with the training and development of their 1,800 members.

Nicole's long tenured commitment to the Junior League has resulted in her holding numerous positions including Holiday Gift Market Co-Chair, Junior League of Tampa Placement Chair, inaugural Heart Gallery Birthday Buddies Chair and for the last three years she has served as a member of the Executive Board as Membership VP, Community VP, as well as Fund Development VP; a total of 6 years on the Leadership Council.

Within her numerous positions with the Junior League, Nicole has focused on ways to increase member satisfaction, led teams to start 2 new community projects while successfully launching a community partner, spearheaded the execution of the Junior League's inaugural Family Food Fest (collaborative community partner event in Sulphur Springs), assisted in forming alternative types of corporate partnerships, fundraising, and diversified channels of income while creating and implementing the first Corporate Lunch and Learn at Junior League. For Nicole's work, she was named 2010 Inspiring Leader of the Year, an award given to the member who inspires and motivates not only themselves but the League members around them. She was also named 2013-2014 Heart Gallery Advocate of the Year.

Nicole’s leadership and community involvement is not just limited to Junior League. She has served on multiple non-profit committees like Tampa Museum of Art CITY, Make a Wish Foundation, Glazer Children’s Museum Inaugural Gala, and Heart Gallery Tampa Bay Be Mine. She is also currently a member of the Children’s Board Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay Advisory council. Nicole is also a finalist for the Tampa Bay Business Journal Health Care Hero Award! Please join me in congratulating Nicole as alumnus of the month for her great accomplishments and community service. If you would like to nominate a local alumnus or help showcase an alumni owned business for our monthly award, please forward a bio or business description to Max@tampanoles.com.

Tampa Bay Seminole Club Alumni of the Month - August - Terin Barbas Cremer

The Tampa Bay Seminole Club would like to congratulate our alumnus of the month for August, Kareem J. Spratling.

Kareem received two Bachelor of Science degrees from Florida State University and a Juris Doctor degree from The Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, he was a member of both the Mock Trial and Jessup Moot Court teams, the first student member of the College of Law Board of Directors, and President of both the Black Law Students Association ("BLSA") and the Student Bar Association ("SBA")

Kareem is a shareholder and attorney at Bryant Miller Olive law firm focusing his legal practice primarily in the area of public finance. His public finance experience includes nationwide Bond, Disclosure, Bank and Underwriter’s counsel representation. Each year since being admitted to practice, Mr. Spratling has provided counsel on transactions with a combined principal amount in the billions of dollars. He has represented governmental and quasi-governmental entities at all levels, including: the United States of America, the State of Florida, and multiple Florida counties, cities, housing/housing finance authorities, conduit issuers and charter schools. Kareem's litigation experience includes validating in excess of $1.3 billion in bonds for various public entities, including three of the largest issuers in the Tampa Bay area. He regularly lectures on educational financings at the National Association of Bond Lawyers' "Bond Attorney's Workshop."

Kareem currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, is a member of the Emerge Tampa Bay advisory council and is a member of the George Edgecomb Bar Association.

In 2010, Kareem was named a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers Magazine, an honor earned by less than 2.5% of attorneys in Florida and only 2 public finance attorneys. He is a recipient of the Tampa Bay Seminole Club’s “Torch Award" in 2011, an award given to select young professionals who at an early age have excelled in their field. In 2013, Kareem was a finalist for the Emerge "Emerging Leader Award".

If you would like to nominate a local alumnus or help showcase an alumni owned business for our monthly award, please forward a bio or business description to Max@tampanoles.com.

Tampa Bay Seminole Club Alumni of the Month - July - Terin Barbas Cremer

The Tampa Bay Seminole Club would like to congratulate our alumnus of the month for July, Terin Barbas Cremer.

Terin received a J.D. and M.B.A from Florida State University in 2010. She currently serves on the board of directors of PetNet, a division of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Terin was appointed by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn to serve on the City of Tampa Civil Service Board. She is an active member of the Junior League of Tampa, serves as St. Petersburg liaison for the Tampa Hispanic Bar Association and serves on an alumni association committee at the Academy of Holy Names.

Terin was recognized by the Tampa Bay Business journal as a member of the Up & Comer Hall of Fame in 2013. She was named as a finalist for Top General Counsel in a Private Company as well as Tampa Bay HR Person of the Year. She has been recognized by the Florida Trend as a "Legal Elite Rising Star" and was named as a member of the Thirty under 30 by the Florida State University Alumni Association.

Terin was recently named Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) for Bankers Financial Corporation where she leads human resources initiatives and oversees daily HR operations. In addition to her duties as CHRO, she serves as associate general counsel for Bankers, a role she has been in since 2012. In that role she has managed a wide variety of legal matters pertaining to the company's business solutions vertical, including litigation, transactional, governance, employment, compliance and regulatory matters. In addition to her multiple positions at Bankers Financial Corporation, Terin has founded a life coaching business , Life Realized, where she coaches people at all stages of life through career and personal decision making. Please join me in congratulating Terin as alumnus of the month. If you would like to nominate a local alumnus or help showcase an alumni owned business for our monthly award, please forward a bio or business description to Max@tampanoles.com.

Tampa Bay Seminole Club Alumni of the Month - June - Roberto Torres.

The Tampa Bay Seminole Club would like to congratulate our alumnus of the month for June, entrepreneur Roberto Torres.

Roberto is the co-Founder and Managing Partner of Black & Denim Apparel Company. Black & Denim is a Lifestyle brand rooted in the Americana, Music & Lifestyle. In 2014, Roberto also opened the Blind Tiger Café is Ybor city, an innovative concept that has a Coffee House & Tea bar, a Black & Denim boutique and a CoWorking Space called CoWork Ybor.

Over the last six years, Roberto has helped and advised numerous companies in the realm of retail, apparel, merchandising and technology. He brings his expertise in retail and operations, both as a consultant and an executive, to assist start-ups and early companies with strategic, operational and expansion plans. Roberto also frequently donates his time to assist entrepreneurial minded students in Tallahassee. Roberto is a proud Seminole having earned a BS in Accounting and a BS in Finance from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. A Native from Panama, he enjoys traveling and spending time with his family.

Visit Blind Tiger Cafe the next time you are in Ybor City and support a fellow Nole or visit the websites for Roberto's businesses here: www.blackanddenim.com, www.blindtigerybor.com, www.coworkybor.com.

If you would like to nominate a local alumnus or help showcase an alumni owned business for our monthly award, please forward a bio or business description to Max@tampanoles.com.

Tampa Bay Seminole Club Alumni of the Month - May - Gayle Sierens.

Early this month, Gayle retired from WFLA-TV where she's been on air here in the Tampa Bay area for 38 years. Sierens joined the Channel 8 staff in 1977 as a weekend sports anchor/reporter and became the 11PM weekday sports anchor in March of 1983. In addition to these responsibilities, she freelanced as a play-by-play announcer for ESPN. In October of 1985, Sierens made the transition from sportscaster to news anchor.

Prior to joining WFLA-TV, Sierens was with WFSU-TV in Tallahassee, Florida. She received a B.S. degree in mass communications with a minor in speech communications from Florida State University.

Currently, Sierens is on the board of directors of the Judeo-Christian Health Clinic and the Advisory Board for Operation Helping Hand.

Gayle was the winner of the Florida Holocausts Museums "Loebenberg Humanitarian Award." She was also named Humanitarian of the Year by the Judeo Christian Health Clinic. The Association of Fundraising Professionals created the "Gayle Sierens Volunteer of the Year" award in her honor. She was named a "Woman of Distinction" by Girl Scouts of America, Suncoast chapter. She also serves on the Advisory Boards for Elon University's School of Communication, Village Partners International, and the Junior League of Tampa. Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio also proclaimed January 7th, 2007 Gayle Sierens Day in honor of her 30 year anniversary with WFLA TV.

Sierens was the first woman to do play-by-play for an NFL football game and also appeared on "NFL Live" on NBC.

Gayle is a proud Seminole and has assisted with the Bobby Bowden booster tour in the past. Please assist me in congratulating Gayle as our local Alumnus of the month!

If you would like to nominate a local alumni or help showcase an owned business for our monthly award, please forward a bio or business description to Max@tampanoles.com.

Tampa Bay Seminole Club Alumni of the Month - February

Congratulations to alumnus of the month for February, Laura Webb!

Laura Webb moved to Tampa immediately after graduating from FSU in December, 1997 with a BS and MS in Education. She was the secretary of Delta Zeta, member of the Homecoming Court, and secretary of Lady Scalphunters, now known as Lady Spirithunters.

Laura is the owner of Webb Insurance Group on South Dale Mabry. She attributes much of her success in her career to being President of the Tampa Seminole Club from 1999 - 2002. Laura is currently serving as Secretary of the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. She is also Past President of Interbay Rotary, Past Treasurer of South Tampa Chamber of Commerce and was a named a finalist for Business Woman of the Year by the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Laura's personal story is of note as well. In 2007, at the age of 32 while training for the Ironman, Laura was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. She was fortunate to be able to go to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota where she had a portion of her colon removed, the right lobe of her liver removed, and radiation completed on the left lobe of her liver to remove some additional metastases. She returned to Florida where she followed up with six months of chemotherapy and was determined to be "cancer free." In 2009, a small spot popped up on a routine PET scan. Three days of cyber knife radiation followed and the "spot" disappeared. All was fine until January of this year when a pain in her back took her in to visit her oncologist who confirmed that a golf ball sized tumor had formed in the left lower lobe of her lung. She went back to the Mayo Clinic where they removed the entire lower lobe of her left lung. No chemotherapy is expected as the lymph nodes and margins were free of cancer.

Colon cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. Routine colonoscopies should be performed regularly after the age of 50 and should be pursued earlier if you are in a high risk category or symptomatic.

Congratulations to Laura for being named our alumnus of the month!

If you would like to nominate yourself or someone for alumnus of the month or you are an alumnus and would like for the Tampa Bay Seminole Club to recognize your business send an email to Max@tampanoles.com with a bio of the person being nominated or a detail of the business.

Tampa Bay Seminole Club Alumni of the Month - January

Congratulations to local alumni Joanne Sullivan who has been named the Tampa Bay Seminole Club's Alumni of the month for the month of January!

Joanne Sullivan is the Associate Vice President for Development at The University of Tampa where she provides leadership for Major Gifts, Planned Gifts and Prospect Management. Prior to coming to UT she was the Executive Director of the Florida Hospital Tampa Foundation (formerly University Community Hospital).

Joanne is a graduate of Florida State University where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. She serves on the regional and state boards of Easter Seals Florida, as well on the national Easter Seals Affiliate Services Committee and is Chairman of the House of Delegates. She is a past chairman of the Easter Seals Florida state and regional boards. She is a member of Leadership Tampa Alumni (Class of ’91), a past LTA Cabinet member and is also a member of the Leadership Tampa Bay Class of ’10. She is a past president of the Suncoast Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Tampa Bay Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumnae Association. Joanne is a member of the board of the Red Cross Angels and is a past member of the Boards of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, the Franciscan Center and the American Red Cross Florida's West Coast Region. The Tampa Bay Business Journal named Joanne one of 51 Finalists for 2012 Business Woman of the Year in the Tampa Bay region.

In addition to all Joanne's community activities, she also serves as a mentor through the Emerge Tampa Bay Mentor program.

We are fortunate to have such an accomplished and selfless Seminole as Joanne in our community.

Congratulations Joanne on being our first Alumni of the month!

If you would like to nominate yourself or someone for alumni of the month or you are an alumni and would like for the Tampa Bay Seminole Club to recognize your business send an email to Max@tampanoles.com with a bio of the person being nominated or a detail of the business.

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