Written by Kari Goetz
Let’s begin by saying that these three Leaders are worthy of their own dedicated piece. It was a fool’s errand to think that their accomplishments and approaches to Leadership Tampa and Collegiate Leadership Tampa could be properly highlighted in just one story.
It was an honor to gain the perspective of current LT ’21 Chair, Jill Manthey (Yacht Starship), incoming Collegiate Leadership Tampa Bay (CLTB) ’22 Chair, Wyatt Krampf (Berkadia), and incoming CLTB’22 Co-Chair Lindsay Grinstead (International Plaza and Bay Street). In a year that saw so much uncertainty, the Tampa Bay Chamber’s Leadership programs leaned in, created solutions, and provided innovative approaches that will lead to lasting improvements for the program moving forward.
As the LT’21 Chair, Jill Manthey faced one logistical challenge after another. First, was the addition of an extra bus to ensure social distancing, then there was the inability to do Law Enforcement Officer ride-alongs, or the Tallahassee trip. Locations that had become a tradition were off limits, and speakers were often bound by their company’s COVID-19 policies from attending in-person program days. Jill had to find ways to create meaningful experiences for the class and keep the spirit of time-honored traditions. Ride-Alongs, an LT favorite, became the three-month program, “Adopt-A-Cop.” This program paired each classmate with an officer over a 3-month time frame. Through monthly meetings, LT’21 fostered relationships with local Law Enforcement. “We hope this program built a bridge between the Tampa Bay community and local Law Enforcement and creates an understanding of the value of creating such a mutually beneficial relationship,” Jill said as she reflected on her year.
The trip to Tallahassee became a space to innovate. Instead of the traditional and beloved (that’s sarcasm) bus trip to Tallahassee, LT’21 got to have Tallahassee come to them. For the first time, Federal Officials were able to speak to the class during a two-day retreat full of zoom meetings with Representatives, Senators, and Cabinet members, as well as an in-person discussions and a half-day program on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
It was the personal touch Jill brought as Chair, which made a difference in a difficult year. She asked each Day Chair to include a Parke Wright III recipient to speak to the class at each program day. As Jill said, “The people that have received this prestigious award have demonstrated leadership in our community and demonstrate vision, courage, selflessness, commitment, accomplishment, dependability, motivation, initiative who are true examples of what LT is all about.”
Additionally, each day had 3 “WOW” experiences to be raffled off to the class members. One lucky winner will have lunch with Mayor Castor, one will be golfing with Dr. Ken Atwater, one is attending Gasparilla this year as a huge VIP. Jill levered her hospitality experience with her creativity for an innovation that should become a tradition.
“We shifted to new locations that we have never visited before, we had some new speakers and topics we have never had in the past,” Jill said, “What made the class feel special was the fact that we were the first group to visit so many establishments after no visitors for an entire year. We also had many speakers who had not been in front of an audience in a year.”
Collegiate Leadership Tampa Bay
Wyatt Krampf didn’t feel the same sense of tradition, as he co-chaired the inaugural class of Collegiate Leadership Tampa Bay. (Author’s note: I was lucky enough to be the Chair of this incredible new program). Interviewing and recruiting 24 students from University of South Florida, St. Leo University and University of Tampa in February of 2020, no one knew what was in store. The inaugural class and subsequent class of ’22 are nothing short of incredible. These students exemplify the very best their universities have to offer. Wyatt summed up the selection process, “It was truly a humbling experience that proves how bright Tampa’s future will be (as long as we can convince them to stay!).”
Retention is the mission of Collegiate Leadership Tampa Bay. By giving college students an immersive experience in the Tampa business community, while at the same time, giving employers a first-look at incredible talent being produced at our universities, CLTB provides the pipeline for future members of Emerging Leaders, brightest hires for area businesses and slows the brain drain to competitive markets.
Looking back over the CLTB’21 program, students gained insight and guidance that was never outlined in the program days, “It was amazing to see students realize that so many speakers found a fulfilling career in a field that is totally different from what they went to college for,” Wyatt mused, “That eye-opening experience was truly impactful, and over the course of this program I can’t wait to see what new passions and opportunities await the Class of 2022. I also must say how excited I am to hear the questions this year’s class comes up with; Class of 2021 set the bar high.”
Wyatt has an amazing year ahead of him. The CLTB’22 class has been selected and his co-chair is a familiar face – Lindsay Grinstead. Lindsay was Wyatt’s Mentor in the 2019 Emerge Mentor-Protégé Program. It is full-circle moments like this, which demonstrate the robust nature of Chamber programming. Leaders nurturing future leaders, and having them become peers, collaborators and partners is at the heart of why so may give their time and their talent to the Tampa Bay Chamber and Leadership programs.
Lindsey is looking ahead as co-chair in ’22 and then chair for CLTB’23. How will she shape a program that was forged in a pandemic? How will it reflect the “new normal?” She takes these questions in stride, “We have been looking at what was successful in the inaugural class as well as what we might be able to do differently for the next class.” Lindsay goes on to say, “We want to replicate while also re-imaging the program – especially in light of the world (hopefully!) being a little different in Fall 2021 than it was for the inaugural class.”
Warren Bennis, a pioneer in the field of Leadership Studies has been quoted as saying, “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” This past year has turned this concept on its head. Both Jill and Wyatt had to take reality and translate it into a vision. They had to work with limited resources, multiple challenges, and a whole lot of creativity. Their vision as leaders resulted in some of the most extraordinary and memorable moments in 50 years of Leadership Tampa and a successful year one for Collegiate Leadership Tampa Bay. Without a doubt, program Chairs each face their own unique challenges, but this year put all that Leadership Tampa teaches on the line and the result was two classes, which now have the tools and the knowledge to make Tampa better.