One of my SPCA Tampa Bay board members sponsored my application to Leadership St Pete for the class of 2012. That experience during my first year in St Pete, a Midwest transplant, ignited my love affair with my new home town. After graduation, wanting to expand my network and give back to the community, I reached out to CEO Chris Steinocher for advice. Based on my interests, he steered me to the Chamber’s Public Policy Council.
I attended a few meetings and discovered the community’s transportation issues led to exciting conversations with key leaders. I dove into the Transportation Committee and found endless opportunities to grow my skills. Raising my hand once I felt comfortable, I accepted more responsibilities and eventually was elected committee chair. The more I got involved, the more opportunities presented themselves. I’m now Vice-Chair of Advocacy and a member of the Board of Governors.
This relationship has been a real boon for my organization, SPCA Tampa Bay. To have an animal shelter and pet hospital provide visible support of the Chamber, through my volunteering and our sponsorships, has expanded the business community’s understanding of how animals and people impact the quality of life in St Pete. That’s essential to our mission of transforming the lives of animals through passionate collaboration with the community.
My professional network has grown exponentially through my support of the Chamber. Even better, my leadership and communication skills have been sharpened through the roles I’ve played in the Chamber. Through the people I’ve met, I understand what drives our city and how we can shape its future. It’s been a fabulous way to deepen my affection for St Pete.
-Martha Boden, CEO, SPCA Tampa Bay