Q: Besides being an attorney, you’re also philanthropically minded. What are some of your favorite local charities or nonprofits and why?
A: The Ryan Nece Foundation is great because our mission is bigger picture, focusing on the Power of Giving. We are working to empower student leaders to give back to their communities, now and in the future. The Jackson in Action 83 Foundation, founded by Lindsey and Vincent Jackson, supports our military, with a focus on supporting the entire military family as a whole. Sidewalk Stompers is personal to me, as an injury attorney and father of young children whose kids walk to school every day. We are working to create safer crosswalks and sidewalks in our communities, particularly for kids just trying to get to school safely. I truly appreciate the time I spend with charities and nonprofits, because I get to work with positive people trying to make our local communities better for everyone.
Q: Where is your favorite place in town for a business lunch or dinner, and why?
A: For a business lunch, and when I have time to get out of downtown, I like to head over to Cask Social Kitchen or Ciccio’s. Both restaurants have an energetic and friendly environment, and we always run into good people.
Q: Where is your favorite place for a meal downtown?
A: If I need something quick, which is most days, I prefer SoFresh. They have healthy options that can get me back to my workday without feeling like I need a nap. If we are staying downtown for a business lunch, I usually prefer Malio’s Prime Steakhouse. It is in a great, convenient location, with a good environment to discuss business.
Q: How do you and your family like to spend the day together in Tampa?
A: You can usually find us involved in activities with our kids at the South Tampa YMCA or Palma Ceia Little League, or in the pool. Sports were a big part of my childhood, and I am happy and proud to see my kids wanting to get out there and do their best with their friends. Thankfully, particularly with our weather, Tampa offers numerous options year round for every type of sport and for every age or competitive level. And living in Florida, we all spend time in our around the water on a regular basis. We got our kids in the pool at a young age, and they love it.
Q: What is your favorite local cultural venue?
A: You will probably sense a theme here – the Glazer Children’s Museum. They do a great job teaching children, and they have regular programs and events to continue to mix things up to keep kids engaged.
Q: Where is your favorite place to catch a game?
A: I like to go to the games when we can. I will leave the Rays stadium location debate for another time, but having grown up in Pinellas County with my parents still living there, it is a good place for us to meet up and enjoy an afternoon or evening of baseball. The Lightning play just five blocks from my downtown Tampa office; that is as convenient as it gets. They do a great job entertaining fans on and off the ice. On Lightning game nights, the energy and enthusiasm just stepping out of my office is noticeable. If I don’t go in person, Irish 31. [Owner] Jay [Mize] has locations pretty much everywhere I need to be — South Tampa, Sarasota, and Seminole.
Q: Where do you like to get outside or on the water in the Bay area?
A: We like to hit the beach whenever we can. We prefer Indian Shores or Indian Rocks over the beaches further north or south. First, I consider them my home beaches. And my parents are right there, so we can visit them while we are out there. The Pinellas County beaches have done a good job of developing just enough to have restaurant and entertainment options while still keeping the old Florida beach feel with families who live there or who have been visiting their entire lives.
Q: When you head across the Bay, where do you like to go in Pinellas?
A: We have two places that we visit regularly – the Vinoy and Indian Rocks Beach. I grew up in Seminole, in Pinellas County, and we spent a lot of time on the beaches between Madeira Beach and Indian Rocks. I am trying to make sure that my kids enjoy the same beach lifestyle that I have been fortunate enough to enjoy with my family and friends. The Vinoy, or the “Pink Castle” as my daughter calls it, is one of our favorite staycation spots. The St. Pete waterfront has really come a long way in the last 20 years. When we are there, I can catch a Rays game with my Dad, go to Vinoy Park with my kids, and hit the multiple restaurants lining Beach Drive. And when the weekend is coming to an end, we can get back home in less than 30 minutes.