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What More Do You Want? Tampa Bay's Curious Quest To Be Cool

OK, people. Listen up. This isn't about the past. It's not about problems. It's not about fault. It's not about blame. It's not about who doesn't play well with others. It's not about who doesn't cross the Bay. It's not about age. Nor is it about who doesn't get it.

83 Degrees Media's "Not Your Average Speakers'' series invites our readers -- thought leaders, influencers, innovators, techies, designers, arts aficionados, academics, creatives and traditional business types -- to engage in conversations designed to advance the community dialogue on important issues.

Our next and first event of 2013 will be on March 27 and here's the topic: "What More Do You Want? Tampa Bay's Curious Quest To Be Cool.''

So show up prepared to talk about what makes us cool and what would make us cooler now and in the future. What will it take to hear and see others insert Tampa Bay into Top 10 lists that include cities like Seattle, Austin, Boston, Toronto and Vancouver?

The idea is to talk solutions. To provoke thought. To spur community engagement. To get people out of their silos and into the same room. To make connections. To find opportunities to collaborate.

Introducing Our Conversation Starters
Joseph Hodges -- the founder and president of INETICO, a Tampa-based company that manages healthcare claims and medical care services. Hodges also serves in a volunteer capacity on the board at MOSI Tampa (the Museum of Science and Industry), Moffitt Cancer Center's Corporate Partners Steering Committee and the Dali Museum's advisory council.

Evan Johnson -- a project manager with the urban design and community planning group at Tindale-Oliver and Associates in Tampa. Johnson also serves as president of the Urban Charrette, a Tampa-based nonprofit focused on educating community leaders about the importance of quality urban design and placemaking. The Urban Charrette, in collaboration with CNU Tampa Bay and 83 Degrees, will launch Urbanism on Tap on March 12, an ongoing open mic event series about urban design and planning in the Tampa Bay region. 

Peter Kageyama -- a community and economic development consultant based in St. Petersburg who recently signed on as special adviser to Mayor Bill Foster. Kageyama is also the author of "For The Love Of Cities,'' a book recognized by Planetizen as a Top 10 Book for 2012 in urban planning, design and development.  

Punit Shah -- president and COO of the Liberty Group, a Clearwater-based global commercial real estate investment firm currently renovating the Mercantile Bank building in downtown Tampa into an Aloft boutique hotel. Shah also serves on the boards of Memorial Hospital in South Tampa and the CEO Council of Tampa, and is active in charitable organizations, including Give Kids the World, Children’s Dream Fund and Feeding Children Everywhere.

Susie Steiner -- lead organizer of Startup Weekend Tampa and CEO of Executran Services, a freight brokerage firm. Steiner is also the founder of ValetBoss, an app designed to easily connect you with your parked car, and Fido's Laundry, a dog clothing and accessories outfit, and she volunteers with Guardian ad Litem.

Our panel-audience conversation instigator (and moderator, if he must) will be John Streitmatter -- a Tampa-based principal of the Leadership Research Institute. Streitmatter works with clients to build teams, develop leaders, clarify strategy and drive cultural change. He's a former class chair in Leadership Florida and volunteers as an executive mentor with Emerge Tampa.

Start Your Brain Storming

So save the March 27 date. Plan to jump in and engage in a conversation about Tampa's quest to be cool. Why does Tampa (and St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Lakeland, Bradenton, etc.) want to be cool? What more will it take? Who else needs to get involved? What should they do? Why does it matter? Or what proves we are already there?

This "Not Your Average Speakers'' event is underwritten by Tucker Hall, a Tampa-based public relations and public affairs firm that provides strategic counsel to senior-level managers in the U.S. and Latin America.

83 Degrees Media is also partnering and cross-promoting NYAS events with MOSI Tampa, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, PNC Bank, Edit Suites, The Wilson Company, Urban Charrette and CNU Tampa Bay.

Are you in? Don't wait for a fancy invitation. RSVP HERE.

In Summary: Get Engaged

Who: 83 Degrees Media's "Not Your Average Speakers''

What: Taking community dialogue up a notch

When: Wednesday, March 27, 5 to 7 pm

Where: The Vault, Franklin Exchange Building, 611 N. Franklin St., Tampa

Why: Why not? It might help.

PS: We'll provide some beer. Leave the whine at home!

Diane Egner is publisher and managing editor of 83 Degrees Media. Comments? Contact 83 Degrees.

Read more articles by Diane Egner.

Diane Egner is the publisher and managing editor at 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida. 
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