• West Tampa Celebrity
    Jeanette LaRussa Fenton, Economic Development Advisor
    West Tampa Chamber of Commerce 

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  • Jeanette LaRussa Fenton, WTC Economic Development Advisor 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:  

    1. 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.
    2. 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.