Nomination deadline approaches for University Area Community Impact Awards

Have you noticed an organization making a real difference in the neighborhoods surrounding the University of South Florida in north Tampa? If so, you have until 5 p.m. Friday, August 17, to nominate it for a Community Impact Award.

“I think it’s incredibly important for us to highlight and showcase the people that are doing the great work in our community,” says Sarah Combs, the University Area CDC Executive Director and CEO.

The awards help excite people with stories about what’s happening in the community. “They try to create similar projects,” Combs says. “It continues to improve the community.”

The CDC and !p are partnering to recognize organizations that have demonstrated exemplary leadership in the 19-square-mile district bounded by Bearss Avenue, Busch Boulevard and Interstates 275 and 75. !p, which is dedicated to innovation in the area, includes as anchor institutions the University of South Florida, Florida Hospital Tampa, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Busch Gardens  James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, and RD Management, LLC, owner of University Mall.

To be eligible for an award, an organization must serve the area that includes the 33612 and 33613 zip codes. A letter of recommendation should accompany the nominations, Combs says.

Awards will be given in three categories: Creative Cooperation, Community Catalyst and Corporate Change-Maker. Winners receive up to 15 hours of marketing support and recognition at community events.

Nominations should be submitted to Bonnie Ingram.

Learn more about the 2018 Community Impact Awards on the CDC’s webpage under the “What’s Happening” banner.

The award winners will be announced at !p’s fourth annual Innovation Gathering at 6 p.m. Thursday, September 13, at the Galleria at USF Connect, 3720 Spectrum Blvd., Tampa. Finalists will receive three free tickets to the event and be featured in program materials.

The event features Greg Lindsay -- a journalist and author, urbanist, futurist and two-time Jeopardy! champion -- who will talk about globalization, innovation and the future of cities. Mark Sharpe, !p’s Executive Director, is expected to report on strides made in transforming the district, !p spokesman Eddie Burch says.

The event kicks off with refreshments from some of the area’s restaurants including Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Chicken Salad Chick, Glory Days Grill, SoFresh, Mission BBQ, World of Beer, Quickly Boba Cafe and Yuengling. Businesses, researchers and community organizations will be exhibiting and showcasing innovations in the area.

Tickets, which cost $50, can be purchased through Eventbrite. Contact Bonnie Ingram for student tickets, sponsorships or exhibit information.

!p was founded in 2011 as the Innovation Alliance. New to its Executive Board of Directors is James A Haley Veterans' Hospital, which joins USF, Moffitt Cancer Center, Florida Hospital, Busch Gardens and University Mall as anchor members of the board.

Read more articles by Cheryl Rogers.

Cheryl Rogers is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys writing about careers. An ebook author, she also writes Bible Camp Mystery series that shares her faith. She is publisher of New Christian Books Online Magazine and founder of the Mentor Me Career Network, a free online community, offering career consulting, coaching and career information. 
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