- February 21, 2024
The Tampa Bay Partnership, a privately funded, regional research and public policy organization made up of business and civic leaders, has evolved over the past few months as the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the economy and changed so many aspects of our lives that we took for granted. Much like CEO leadership organizations nationwide, the partnership has broadened its focus from issues affecting economic development and local businesses to the wellbeing of the entire community, says Jennifer Mikosky, the group’s vice president of communications.
A recent example is the partnership’s COVID-19 dashboard, set up in May to provide county-by-county, real-time updates on key COVID-19 metrics, such as symptoms, testing and new cases. Then, in July, the group partnered with Matthew Mullarkey, a professor at the University of South Florida Muma College of Business, on a project that analyzes mobile device movement data to forecast surges in the number of coronavirus cases in the Tampa Bay region.
Furthermore, in response to the turmoil over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota and other incidents, the partnership created a racial equity task force. It's co-chaired by Tim Schar, Truist Bank’s Tampa market president, and Vistra Communications President and CEO Brian Butler.
Leading the revamped and refocused organization will be Chad Loar, PNC Bank’s west and central Florida regional president. Named chairman in mid-October, he succeeds David Pizzo, Florida Blue’s west Florida market president.
Loar was co-chair of the partnership’s Transportation Working Group and is a past president of the Pediatric Cancer Foundation’s board of directors. He also serves as chairman of the St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corp. and is a Tampa Bay Chamber board member.
Also, in a move that could help move the needle on one of the region’s most vexing issues — the future of the American League pennant-winning Tampa Bay Rays — the partnership landed Rays President Brian Auld as its secretary and treasurer.