And We’re Off!



Our class year has begun!  We had the privilege and pleasure of welcoming the Class of 2016-2017 at our all day Opening Retreat last Friday August 26, 2016.  We had a fun-filled and action-packed day at Lowry Park Zoo, learning about Tampa Connection, our projects, our teams, and our class members.

Our mission for the day was “To prepare the class of 2017 for an active and engaged year learning about volunteer opportunities and developing leadership skills while learning about Tampa Connection, its mission and impact on the community, and how class members can make lasting relationships with their teammates.”  Enjoy reading below on how we got this accomplished!

We began the day learning about the history of Tampa Connection, and what our class can expect to see throughout this year’s program.  We talked briefly about this year’s project, and took an opportunity for the Board to introduce itself to the class.


We then watched prior Tampa Connection projects.  After a brief break, Suzanne McCormick, the CEO of United Way Suncoast, gave us an inspiring speech about how to follow your passions and give back to your community.


Dr. Joe Carella, Senior Faculty at Eckerd College’s Leadership Developing Institute, and Psychologist to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led our class in a number of exercises designed to show us various strengths and weaknesses in different leadership styles.  The class then learned different problem solving approaches and ways different people with different people with different styles can bring significant value to solving common goals.


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We then broke into teams and headed into the park to get to know one another a little bit better.

Orange Team – After School All Stars


Red Team – Creative Clay


Green Team – Great Explorations


Blue Team – Boys & Girls Club


Purple Team – 1 Voice Academy




The class then returned to some air conditioning and received an interesting presentation from the Zoo on elephant preservation and concern.  Next was an hour of marketing and networking training with Clint Babcock, Sandler Training.  A long day for sure, but we concluded with an extremely well attended happy hour.


Our year is off to a great start, and we’re excited for our next program, Projects and Purpose, where we’ll roll up our sleeves and begin working on our projects!


Let the fun continue!

Woody Pollack,

Chair, Tampa Connection

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