Tampa !p (Innovation Partnership) and the University Area Community Development Corporation (UACDC) honored three organizations for their community work at Tampa !p’s Fourth Annual Innovation Gathering with Community Impact Awards. The awards are a collaborative effort between Tampa !p and the University Area Community Development Corporation intended to recognize organizations that have shown exemplary leadership in building a cohesive community in the north Tampa/University area.

The three awards are the Creative Cooperation Award, Community Catalyst Award, and Corporate Changemaker Award. Tommy Kyllonen, lead pastor at Crossover Community Church – winner of the 2017 Creative Cooperation Award – presented the awards on behalf of the Tampa !p Community Engagement Committee.

The winner of the Creative Cooperation Award is Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputy Ashley Alvarez. Winners of this award excel in all aspects of partnership: consistent communication, knowledge of programs and services, and participate in community committees and events. Deputy Alvarez was selected for her work at MORT Community School; working with Vision Zero to prevent traffic fatalities and promote overall bicycle safety, and she has worked hard with area children to discourage bullying.She even helped clean up the area by instituting a shopping cart jail to get stray carts off the sidewalks.

The winner of the Community Catalyst Award is WellBuilt Bikes, a not-for-profit organization that helps make reliable transportation attainable regardless of economics. They teach kids and adults how to assemble and maintain a bike and promote responsible cycling. This award is intended for a start-up organization or program emerging in community leadership, inclusion and ongoing growth and development.

The third Community Impact Award is the Corporate Changemaker Award, which has a focus on the business sector and those who demonstrate exceptional collaboration for the benefit of the community. The 2018 winner of this award is RD Management/ CBRE Management, owner and operator of University Mall. Management has been very active and supportive of community efforts and partners with many organizations to play an integral role in the neighborhood. It is now the home of WellBuilt Bikes, Excelsior Preparatory School, Underground Church, the Tampa !p office and many community institutions that aren’t usually found in a shopping destination.

Overall, ten nominations were received for the awards. Each of the winners receives a trophy along with up to 15 hours of marketing assistance to promote their organization and mission.

Tampa !p is a partnership dedicated to innovation in the area bounded by Interstate 275, Interstate 75, Bearss Avenue, and Busch Boulevard. The organization has 232 members including anchor institutions: 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.