Preserve Vision Florida honored Tampa Mayor Jane Castor as our 2022 Person of Vision on April 13. At that time, we also celebrated Preserve Vision Florida’s 65th Anniversary of providing vision services to Florida’s children and adults.
The Person of Vision award annually honors visionary leaders who have had a profound impact on the region or the State of Florida through true community leadership and vision. Established in 1979, the Person of Vision Award has recognized visionary leadership in the arts, business, education, public service and community engagement.
Recent recipients include:
- Banker and Chair of the State University System of Florida Brian Lamb
- Former Florida House Speaker and Moffitt Cancer Center Founder H. Lee Moffitt
- Straz Center President Judith Lisi
- Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano
- Former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn
- Lightning owners Jeffrey and Penny Vinik
- Former Florida Cabinet member and USF President Betty Castor
- US Representative Kathy Castor
Mayor Jane Castor is the 59th Mayor of the City of Tampa and has been recognized for her visionary leadership at national and local levels in both law enforcement and community involvement. Under her leadership, the City of Tampa has received several awards and recognitions. In 2019, Tampa Bay was recognized amongst the top areas for women owned business growth, one of the top 10 best metro areas for startups, and the best small tech market in North America. It has also been recognized as the 5th best city for recreation, the best city in Florida, 23rd amongst large US Cities, as well as being the best city for veterans to live in, and one of the most fun cities in America.
Since taking office, Mayor Castor has continued to achieve major accomplishments under the Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow vison while gaining praise for her exemplary leadership in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. She took swift action to prioritize the health and safety of the community. The City of Tampa quickly organized relief efforts to help families and businesses impacted by the crisis, including One Tampa, which offered financial relief to individuals, families, and businesses, and Lift Up Local, a program that supported business efforts to reopen responsibly and allowed restaurants and retail store to expand outdoor seating onto public right of ways.
Born and raised in Tampa, Jane Castor has spent a lifetime in service to the community, first as a police officer, then as Tampa’s first female Chief of Police, and finally as Mayor. She graduated from Chamberlain High School and attended the University of Tampa on an athletic scholarship.
A 31-year veteran of the Tampa Police Department, Jane served in nearly every capacity and neighborhood of the city. In October of 2009, Jane Castor became Tampa’s first female Chief of Police, serving for six years in that role. She reorganized the police department, consisting of 1,300 officers and employees with a $145 million annual budget – creating three smaller, more manageable districts that worked to reduce major crimes 70% citywide.
While Chief, she developed a progressive policing strategy during the 2012 Republican National Convention and oversaw the successful Bollywood Awards, held in America for the first time, and the multi-jurisdictional security plan for Super Bowl XLIII. She also led the Department of Homeland Security’s Tampa Bay Urban Area Security Initiative. Chief Castor also developed an enhanced Citizen Academy to allow the community to get an inside look at the police department and foster positive working relationships. She created the Young Citizens Academy, to provide younger citizens with an opportunity to become familiar with the field of law enforcement and to be mentored by officers.
Committed to youth, Castor raised funds to build a $4 million gymnasium and recreation center for at-risk children as well as building an additional RICH House in the city. These provide a safe haven for children in economically challenged neighborhoods, giving after school guidance and support to hundreds of needy children. She created RISE Tampa, a foundation aimed at providing law enforcement training and equipment not available through budgetary means, in addition to supporting youth programs in our community.
Mayor Castor continues to be very active in the community including participation on the Gracepoint Mental Health and Wellness Board of Directors, Starting Right, Now Board of Directors, RISE Tampa Police Foundation Founder and Board Chair, Bike Walk Tampa Bay Board Chair, and The Athena Society Board of Directors and GTE Financial Supervisory Committee. She is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and a Police Foundation Fellow.
Jane Castor is a proud Seminole Heights resident where she lives with her longtime partner Ana Cruz, both Tampa natives who enjoy fishing, Lightning hockey games, and family time with their two boys Sergei and Seely.
For sponsorship or reservation details, contact Kathleen Alley at Preserve Vision Florida at 813-966-1986.