President-Elect, FRA Board of Directors
Economic Development Specialist II, City of Tampa, Ybor City CRA
Q: What is your best business advice for a new FRA member?
Brenda: “As a new member, I would get involved and take advantage of what the FRA has to offer. I would attend the annual conference, participate in the classes offered through our Redevelopment Academy, join a committee, network with fellow redevelopment professionals, and share your successes!”
Q: If you had a superpower, what would it be and why?
Brenda: “I can think of several, but one superpower that I wish I had in Ybor City is X-Ray Vision. Ybor City once had active underground tunnels that connected buildings and served as a network for all sorts of activities in the early 1900s. How cool would it be to see them!”
Q: We are going out for dinner/entertainment in your CRA District. Where are we going and why?
Brenda: “Wow, this is a tough one because Ybor City has so many wonderful restaurants. However, if you have never dined at the Columbia Restaurant, then I would highly recommend it! Ybor City is home to the original Columbia Restaurant which is famous not only for its delicious Spanish cuisine and Flamenco dancers but for being the oldest Spanish restaurant in the United States and largest in the world.”
Q: What do you hope to be remembered for?
Brenda: “I hope to be remembered as the CRA’s biggest community cheerleader who positively promoted Tampa CRAs, particularly Ybor City, as well as the Florida Redevelopment Association. CRAs have played a significant role in the revitalization of our communities, preserving our historic structures, and improving the quality of life in Florida. We should share our stories and celebrate our successes!”
Q: What is the most exciting part of being in redevelopment?
Brenda: “The reward for me is seeing the positive changes that take place in your CRA and knowing that you were part of it. The redevelopment process can be slow and frustrating at times and every project is unique. There is no greater reward than seeing a project come to fruition and then celebrating its completion with the community at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.”