Diversity makes everyone stronger: it’s true at TECO Energy; it’s true in the communities we serve. And both are on display with our support for the new Perry Harvey Park in Tampa that honors a man whose message – not unlike that of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – spoke of future generations and the hope for diversity to become less the focus of certain times of the year and more simply the normal state of the world.
The park, scheduled to open on April 1 at the northeast corner of downtown Tampa, celebrates the city’s African-American heritage by recognizing the local contributions of notable residents – among them, Ray Charles, who lived and wrote music here in late 1940s. Perry Harvey Sr., the leader of the Tampa Longshoremen’s Union in the 1960s, is credited as one the minds behind the creation in 1965 of Head Start, the U.S. Health & Human Services program that serves low-income children and families with services for early childhood education, health, nutrition and more.
The park that shares Harvey’s name is part of Tampa’s 40-acre Encore development. As new homes and businesses rise throughout the community, they’ll need reliable power from Tampa Electric. To provide it, Tampa Electric will share a portion of the Encore development by occupying property designated for a future electric substation.
Karen Mincey, vice president of Information Technology & Telecommunications and chief information officer at TECO Energy, said her company’s commitment to diversity informs every aspect of its business.
“TECO wouldn’t be the strong company that it is – soon to be part of a top 20 North American Energy leader – without dedicated, knowledgeable, community-focused voices of all backgrounds playing a role at every level,” Mincey said. “It’s exciting to watch the development of Perry Harvey Park because of how it speaks to an incredible facet of Tampa’s past; it’s even more exciting because the company I’m proud to work for, one that prizes diversity, will have a part in helping the community around it grow.”
TECO’s overall commitment to diversity is longstanding and far-reaching. Our Supplier Diversity program helps guide our work with local vendors who share our dedication to excellence for our customers and team members. We also have the Tampa Bay area’s longest corporate connection to INROADS, nation’s largest non-profit source of paid internships for undergraduate, diverse youth. We celebrate national cultural heritage months throughout the company and honor the work and dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, including sponsoring the City of Tampa’s Black History Committee and the TOBA (The Tampa Organization of Black Affairs) Martin Luther King breakfast in Tampa for the past 30 years.
And we look to the future, both inside and outside the company, for new opportunities to recognize and realize the critical importance that diversity holds in how we serve the community.