Tireless service is a way of life for Celia Ferman. For more than three decades, she has delivered food for Meals on Wheels and spent endless hours comforting parishioners, working in food ministries, and teaching Sunday school at Hyde Park United Methodist Church. As a member of Moffitt Cancer Center’s Board of Directors, her contributions have been vast: chairing the Magnolia Ball, serving on the Campaign Finance Committee, enlisting women for the Merit Society supporting female cancer scientists, and championing the Moffitt Lung Cancer Center of Excellence to end the number-one cancer killer. Ferman’s presence, advocacy, and prayers have lessened the burden of countless people with lives turned upside down by cancer. She is also a successful businesswoman as a director of Ferman Motor Car Company. With a lifetime of selfless caring, Celia Ferman, a Junior League of Tampa Sustainer, is the epitome of a community champion as role model, mentor, and catalyst for change.
State Senator Arthenia Joyner
In the struggle for equal justice for all, Senator Arthenia Joyner has not just witnessed history, she has made history. Before being elected by her peers as the first black woman to serve as the Democratic Leader in the Florida Senate, she was the first black female attorney in Hillsborough and Polk counties. and the first black female elected to the Florida House and Senate from Tampa. After being wrongfully incarcerated during desegregation protests, she pioneered change for all people illegitimately targeted. A past president of the National Bar Association who practiced law for 47 years, Joyner has been an influential advocate for human rights and against human trafficking, a champion for women, and a tireless voice for expanding healthcare. Leading locally with the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, and guiding nonprofits to success, Senator Joyner is a trailblazer and inspiring example of public service.
As a young Cuban immigrant, Lincoln Tamayo learned English at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ybor City. His Jesuit High School Education led him to a bachelor’s degree at the University of Notre Dame, master’s degree from Harvard University, and law degree from the University of Florida. Tamayo’s passion fir service called him home to Tampa to take on his most fulfulling work. For 13 years, Tamayo has been transforming education in Tampa Bay through his advocacy for some of the area’s most marginalized students. As Head of School for Academy Prep Center of Tampa and Vice President of Operations, overseeing both Academy Prep Centers of Tampa and St. Petersburg. he is forever changing lives for thousands of low income students and families. Lincoln Tamayo brings to life the pledge of personal responsiblity he recites daily with his students: “If it is to be, it is up to me.”
Born and raised in Tampa and a proud graduate of Jesuit High School, Richard Gonzmart is the fourth generation President and CEO of the Columbia Restaurant Group. Mr. Gonzmart has served on dozens of nonprofit boards and championed numerous causes in the Tampa community. In addition to giving more than $1.5 million to support cancer research at Moffitt Cancer Center, he spends countless hours raising money for local causes, such as Meals on Wheels Tampa and Easter Seals. In 1998, Mr. Gonzmart created the Annual Columbia Restaurant Community Harvest program, which has raised $1.3 million for nonprofits throughout Florida. His annual 5K, “Richard’s Run For Life”, donates 100% of every dollar raised to Moffitt Cancer Center’s Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Program and the Advanced Prostate Cancer Collaboration.
Sister Claire LeBoeuf, CSC
Sister Claire has worked in the field of child abuse and neglect for over 35 years and has founded numerous organizations serving foster children. When she was 13, her mother passed away suddenly. She bounced around between relatives for a year until her father remarried. She no longer felt like she belonged, so three years later, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Holy Cross–where she has felt a deep sense of belonging for 54 years. The desire to help foster children also feel a sense of belonging has led to the development of her most recent project, New Life Village. Located in Tampa, New Life Village is an intergenerational community, which encourages more people to adopt.
Governor Bob Martinez
A native of Tampa, Governor Bob Martinez is the grandson of Spanish immigrants, and the first and only person of Spanish ancestry to be elected to the state’s top office. He is a graduate of Tampa’s Jefferson High School and the University of Tampa. He began his public service career as a teacher in the Hillsborough County public school system before going on to earn a master’s degree from the University of Illinois. Governor Martinez has enjoyed a long career of public service, serving as Tampa’s Mayor from 1979 to 1986 and as the state’s 40thGovernor. Today, Governor Martinez is an active director or officer for many local boards including The University of Tampa, Hillsborough Education Foundation, Tampa-Hillsborough Economic Development Corporporation, Florida Council of 100, Florida Council on Economic Education, and Lowry Park Zoological Society of Tampa.