Not Your Average Speakers: Champions For Change

83 Degrees Media's second "Not Your Average Speakers'' series event presents a community conversation featuring  "Champions for Change'' in the Tampa Bay region.

The idea is to foster a community dialog about changing the narrative about the new economy in the Tampa Bay region, including how change happens in individual businesses, neighborhoods and communities. We'll discuss why building an environment for change matters, tips for success as a change agent and ideas for how to drive additional change, everything from when to say "go'' to when to say "whoa.''

The format will be relatively relaxed as in an informal conversation among four change agents seated in comfy chairs on a stage at the Freefall Theatre in St. Petersburg, 6099 Central Ave.

Moderator Nathan Schwagler, creative-in-residence at USF St. Petersburg, will get the conversation started by giving panelists a few minutes to talk about their experiences and will ask questions about important or significant changes they're leading -- in building teams, nurturing a culture that encourages ideas and innovations, creating products, pursuing excellence, etc.

NYAS Thought Leaders

Here are our confirmed panelists for Nov. 17, 2011:

Sean Davis: Co-Founder & CEO of Red Hawk Interactive -- Davis is the organizer of BarCamp Tampa Bay and a proponent of the ever growing start-up and entrepreneurial community that is developing in and around the Tampa Bay region. Started in mid-2011, Red Hawk Interactive looks for more efficient ways to connect consumers with goods and services on disruptive platforms, specifically, Internet TV.
Stacie Blake: Executive Director at Community Tampa Bay -- Blake works to fulfill the agency’s mission of promoting dialogue and respect among different cultures, religions and races and envisioning a community free from discrimination.

Tim Dutton: Executive Director of SCOPE -- Dutton heads up SCOPE (Sarasota County Openly Plans For Excellence) and leads the Institute for the Ages, an independent organization dedicated to researching and developing innovations to solve the challenges facing Sarasota and the rest of the U.S. as our population ages.

Tom McLain: CEO of Claro Scientific -- McLain is the immediate past chair of BioFlorida, the statewide trade association for the bioscience industry, a role he held since 2005. At Claro, he leads a team that develops technology to prepare, measure and analyze blood, tissue and other medical samples collected in hospital laboratories.

The goal is to introduce "doers'' in the community to each other as well as to 83 Degrees readers, encourage conversations, connections and collaborations where appropriate and often in areas no one has considered before, and generally to foster an intellectual engagement in Tampa Bay wherein success breeds success.

Panelists are encouraged to ask each other questions. And we encourage audience participation that may inspire and help lead to solutions for others.

We'll also ask the panelists to suggest opportunities for audience members to engage in their projects. After all, we're all in this economy together; how can we help each other?

The event is free and open to the public.

What's Next?

The overall purpose is to focus on "what's working'' in Tampa Bay, not on what's not working, which gets plenty of attention everywhere else. Let's learn from solutions and help shape what's next by encouraging a community dialog and vision for the future. Make sense?

Our presenting sponsor for the Nov. 17 evening is 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.

As part of its sponsorship, Tucker Hall will offer attendees the opportunity to drive the new electric car, GM's Chevy Volt, for a week free of charge (no pun intended!). To enter the "Drive A GMC'' giveaway, bring to the speakers series event a canned good (or two or three!) (may we suggest green beans, corn, applesauce, cranberries, gravy?) to donate to families served by Metropolitan Ministries during the upcoming holidays.

83 Degrees is also partnering and cross-promoting events with Gazelle Lab in St. Petersburg, which will urge participants in its same day Demo Day at Mahaffey Theater, where Sean Davis is presenting, to attend the speakers series.

Coordination, creative and technical assistance for the "Not Your Average Speakers'' series is provided by White Book Agency of Tampa, the Freefall Theatre in St. Petersburg and Mighty Fine Production in Tampa.

What's next? Mark your 2012 calendars for Jan. 19. 83 Degrees plans to present more opportunities to engage in a community conversation about important issues in the Tampa Bay region. Keep reading 83 Degrees for more details.

To sign up to receive the free publication in your inbox on Tuesdays, follow this link. Then like us and share us in social media with your friends and connections so they can participate too -- Facebook, Twitter.

Diane Egner is publisher and managing editor of 83 Degrees Media. Comments? Suggest a topic or a panelist for a future event? Sponsor a future event? Contact 83 Degrees.
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Read more articles by Diane Egner.

Diane Egner is a community leader and award-winning journalist with more than four decades of experience reporting and writing about the Tampa Bay Area of Florida. She serves on the boards of the University of South Florida Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications Advisory Council, The Institute for Research in Art (Graphicstudio, the Contemporary Art Museum, and USF’s Public Art Program) Community Advisory Council, Sing Out and Read, and StageWorks Theatre Advisory Council. She also is a member of Leadership Florida and the Athena Society. A graduate of the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism, she won the top statewide award for editorial writing from the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors while at The Tampa Tribune and received special recognition by the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists for creative work as Content Director at WUSF Public Media. Past accomplishments and community service include leadership positions with Tampa Tiger Bay Club, USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy (WLP), Alpha House of Tampa Bay, Awesome Tampa Bay, Florida Kinship Center, AIA Tampa Bay, Powerstories, Arts Council of Hillsborough County, and the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. Diane and her husband, Sandy Rief, live in Tampa.