Sustainer of the Year Award

The Sustainer of the Year Award is presented to a Sustainer who has shown outstanding volunteer service in a community service organization or through community service over a significant number of years after the age of forty.

Sustainer of the Year 2016-2017 Robin DeLaVergne

Robin DeLaVergne embodies a wonderful blend of philanthropy and business know-how. She is almost a Tampa native and she moved here as a young child. She attended Gorrie, Wilson, and graduated from Plant High School.

As a member of our League for over 40 years and she has held numerous leadership positions including Treasurer, Enabling Fund Chair, Training Chair, Placement Chair, Headquarters Expansion Co-Chair, Advisory Planning Chair, Sandspur Editor and Yearbook Editors, and AJLI Leadership Council. She culminated her Active League career as JLT President in 1989.

Outside of the League she has continued to trail blaze in our community, serving on the boards all across Tampa Bay including, Metropolitan Ministries, United Way, MacDonald Training Center, Athena Society, Tampa Bay Partnership, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and Baby Bungalow.

Additionally she has served as the Honorary Commander for the 6th Air Mobility at MacDill AFB, a Member of the Advisory Board for the 10th International Dragon Boat Federation’s Work Dragon Race 2011, an Advisory board member for the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, the VP of Housing Tampa Downtown Partnership Board of Directors, and on the Pavillion Executive Committee with the Tampa Museum of Art.

Presently, she is the Executive Director and Senior Vice President of Tampa General and continues to volunteer her time in the community. She currently serves as a member of USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy, Tampa General Hospital Women’s Leadership Council, Bank of Tampa Women’s Connected Advisory Board, Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, Association for Fundraising Professionals,  and Philanthropy Leadership Council of the Advisory Board.

Her steadfast work in the community has been recognized by several organizations. She was the recipient of 2012 Women of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. Recently, she received the 2017 Women of Influence Award from the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

She has made all these community contributions while being a wife, a mother and the ultimate professional.

Her life is a testament to the importance of advocacy – “In order to make a difference, you have to believe in what you are doing why you are doing it, and the people or things you are trying to help.”


Previous Sustainer of the Year Honorees

1970  Sylvia Corral Vega
1971  Georgia Cornelius MacDonald
1972  Madeline Pasqual Gibbons
1973  Jane Hughey Hewit
1974  Louise Lykes Ferguson
1975  Martha Sale Ferman
1976  Elizabeth Whidden Himes
1977  Nancy Torbett Ford
1978  Helen Ayala Davis
1979  Catherine Ortmeyer Healy
1980  Lois Wilson Garrett
1981  Nancy Lee Woods McKay
1982  Cecile Lee Burnett
1983  Ruthanne Padgett McLean
1984  Jean Ann Ramsdell Cone
1985  Susan Sossamon Bulger
1986  Ann Lowry Murphey
1987  Joanne Hecker Frazier
1988  Isabelle Swift Ferrell
1989  Mia Carnariis Hardcastle
1990  Wynette Howell
1991  Barbara Barritt Romano
1992  Stephanie Mills Chapman
1993  Rosemary Harris Henderson
1994  Stella Ferguson Thayer
1995  Patricia T. Daley
1996  Cecelia Davis Ferman
1997  Sally Lowry Baldwin
1998  Sylvia “Nootchie” Vega Smith
1999  Betty Hall Wood
2000  Lora Warren Hulse
2001  Joan Hendrick McKay
2002  Cody Fowler Davis
2003  Betsy Barron Stagg
2004  Adele Marsicano Clarke
2005  Martha Robbins Hall
2006  Mary Frost Feingold
2007  Sally Shapard Hill
2008  Frances Hyer Reynolds
2009  Judy Polk Lawson
2010  Sarah Jane Rubio
2011  Helen Robbie Williams
2012  Joy Robinson Bell
2013  Harrison Flynn Giddens
2014  Robin Robson Gonzalez
2015  Cynthia Daley Coney
2016 Mary Lee Nunnally Farrior
2017 Robin Wright DeLaVergne