West Tampa Celebrity
Jeanette LaRussa Fenton, Economic Development Advisor
West Tampa Chamber of Commerce
Jeanette LaRussa Fenton, WTC Economic Development Advisor
President, Solution Services Tampa, Inc.
A proud 4th generation West Tampa native!
Business info: I started my consulting business, Solution Services Tampa, Inc. in February 2017 after retiring from the City of Tampa. The firm provides professional services in the areas of community & economic development; governmental affairs; community engagement; communications & public relations; project planning, execution and evaluation. I was honored to have the West Tampa Chamber of Commerce as my first client when I became the Chamber's Economic Development Advisor. (2017)
West Tampa connection: I am a proud 4th generation West Tampa native and lived there most of my life. My ancestors owned a variety of businesses in West Tampa and also worked in the cigar factories.
Community/organizations: I am active in the community as the recent president of Powerstories Theatre, a community based, non profit serving girls and women dedicated to opening hearts and minds to change the world; an officer in the Athena Society, an executive women's group that promotes the advancement of women and social change; and an officer in my homeowners association.
Awards: I have been fortunate to have been recognized with a number of awards throughout my over 40 year career in local government. Among them are: Italian American Woman of Excellence in Government; Hillsborough County Excellence in Government Award; City of Tampa Josephine Howard Stafford Memorial Award; Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction; Florida Redevelopment Association Lifetime Achievement Award
What's happening in West Tampa: I believe West Tampa is poised to become one of the most desirable urban neighborhoods over the next 5 years. The West River redevelopment project, along with the new Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, will transform the core of West Tampa and will generate a ripple effect throughout the larger West Tampa area.
I have been part of the West Tampa Chamber for over 10 years and have gained vital community connections and networks.
Best of West Tampa?: Hard to pick just one or two features. For me, it's the central location, close to downtown, Westshore, the airport, and in the heart of Tampa. The racial/ethnic/cultural history and diversity of West Tampa are precious assets that must be preserved.
Message to government:
- The State of Florida needs to preserve community redevelopment areas as they are currently constituted, as a critical tool to revitalize communities like West Tampa.
- West Tampa and the rest of Tampa needs a robust local transit system.
Best networking tip: Seek to learn about others and how you can help and connect them rather than making it about you.