By Susana Weymouth, Guest Columnist
The New Year ushers in Tampa Bay BCA 1989-2019 and the launch of TBBCA 30th Anniversary! Throughout the year, TBBCA invites the public to share in celebrating the non-profit organization’s unique role over three decades linking businesses in support of the arts.
The roots of TBBCA’s storied history reach back to the late David Rockefeller, recognized amongst America’s most important business leaders, philanthropists and art collectors. Rockefeller initiated the movement in American business to create corporate art collections through the formation of his bank’s art program, one of the first of its kind in the U.S. In 1967, Rockefeller founded in New York the first Business Committee for the Arts, “BCA”, reflecting his belief that businesses play a crucial role in fostering and ensuring the development and growth of the arts.
In 1989, using the BCA model developed by David Rockefeller, a group of Tampa Bay business leaders established the Tampa Bay BCA, the very first affiliate in Florida of the National Business Committees for the Arts. Our founding visionaries held the conviction that businesses coming together promoting and supporting our community’s artistic and cultural and creative industries would give Tampa Bay a better opportunity to develop into a thriving regional economy with an enhanced quality of life.
Tampa Bay BCA “30th Anniversary Thursdays” pays tribute to the heroes of our founding days — key individuals and corporate leaders who committed to raising awareness and critical voluntary private sector support for the arts and cultural sector in Tampa Bay. TBBCA became an impactful champion of the arts under the leadership of our non-profit’s board of directors, whose earliest presidents include Robert Rowen (Nuance Galleries), Roger Kessel (TECO Energy), Harry Hedges (First Florida Bank), David Felman (Glenn, Rasmussen & Fogarty), Gregg D. Thomas (Holland & Knight), and Gregory Yadley (Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick).
Greg Yadley served as TBBCA president and chair beginning in 1993, and also on the executive committee, and was board director for well over two decades. TBBCA greatly benefitted from Yadley’s deep knowledge and passion for the arts, and his practical, yet positive and creative approach, paired with a wealth of experience in strategic planning, governance and corporate matters.
His leadership mantle on the TBBCA Board was taken up by Shumaker colleagues — Ron Christaldi, who also gave years of service as board president and director, and TBBCA past Director Timothy Garding and current board director Christopher Cavaliere. Yadley and Christaldi are members of TBBCA Past Presidents’ Advisory Council, and both were honored with TBBCA Impact Awards. These attorneys, and partners including Julio Esquivel (2015 Impact Award Honoree) and their firm, TBBCA Chair’s Circle “pARTner” Shumaker Loop & Kendrick, have kept a steadfast commitment to contributing financial and in-kind resources to support TBBCA and the arts and cultural sector.
Shumaker has invested in one of the largest corporate art collections in Tampa, and annually acquires new artworks from established and emerging artists. The firm’s direct involvement in arts organizations includes Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, Gasparilla Music Festival, Tampa Theatre, Tampa Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, and The Florida Orchestra, of which Yadley serves as TFO Board vice chair, and other cultural organizations.
Follow TBBCA Facebook page “30th Anniversary Thursdays” for more inspiring stories featuring people and projects key to TBBCA’s strong impact and success. For invitations to join TBBCA during this 30th Anniversary and enjoy exciting programs and events planned throughout the year email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Susana Weymouth is executive director of TBBCA.
TBBCA, a non-profit founded in 1989, is one of 11 national Business Committees for the Arts and part of the private sector network and national pARTnership Movement of Americans for the Arts. For over 30 years, TBBCA has fulfilled its mission to unite Tampa Bay businesses to champion arts and culture for a prosperous community, because the arts are good for business, and business is good for the arts. Through pARTnerships and programs, TBBCA connects, motivates and recognizes the business community’s leadership and support of arts and culture as vital economic drivers, catalysts for innovation, creativity, transformation and development, and essential contributors to quality of life. TBBCA is a 501 (c) (3) #CH32681 www.tbbca.org