Former Tampa Mayor Eager to Develop UT Leaders

Published: Sep 21, 2011
Pam Iorio has a knack for assessing an organization’s vibe. As for UT, her immediate vibe was a positive one.
Pam Iorio has a knack for assessing an organization’s vibe. As for UT, her immediate vibe was a positive one.
Former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio has a knack for assessing an organization’s vibe. As for UT, her immediate vibe was a positive one.

“I’m happy and proud to be associated with UT,” said Iorio, the new leader-in-residence in the TECO Center for Leadership in the Sykes College of Business. “I think it’s really important to share what you know with young people.”

Iorio, who completed two terms as Tampa’s mayor, will guest lecture in classes, help develop the leadership programs on campus, integrate leadership sessions with the Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values, and be an advocate for UT in the community.

“Young people are more worldly due to their access to information. I see a very bright future for them as problem solvers, but they have to have the foundation of leadership to be successful,” said Iorio, whose mother served as a librarian at UT in the 1980s. “Leadership skills are the foundation to being a better person.”

Iorio, now a public speaker whose first book, Straightforward: Ways to Live and Lead, comes out in November, said that the world is in need of honest, respectful and strategic leaders.

“To be a straightforward leader means being a person of substance, knowing how to deal with tragedies, adjusting to change which is exponentially fast and aligning your personal and professional lives which should be congruent,” Iorio said.

She said students should be considering leadership development as something integral to their education. It starts with how they lead themselves in their own life, which evolves to leading friends and family and then to the workplace.

“The ultimate goal isn’t to be CEO,” Iorio said. “It’s to lead yourself successfully, and then you’ll have a better life.”

The leader-in-residence position fulfills one of the Sykes College of Business’ goals of housing outstanding professionals on campus. Roy McCraw Jr., who retired as regional president of Wachovia in 2008, serves as UT’s executive-in-residence and is an adjunct management instructor. Dean Frank Ghannadian said he is looking to fill both entrepreneur- and ethicist-in-residence positions.

“As focused as we are on experiential education, this brings experience directly to campus,” said Ghannadian, who is looking forward to Iorio’s impact on UT. “Her experience will be very valuable for our students.”

On Sept. 23 Iorio will receive the Tampa Bay Ethics Award at a ceremony hosted by UT’s Center for Ethics. This award recognizes individuals who promote and encourage ethics and integrity in the workplace or other organizations, and who exhibit respect, trustworthiness and fairness.

“The annual Tampa Bay Ethics Award was originally instituted to recognize individuals in the Tampa Bay business community who have made contributions to the area’s ethical climate through the conduct of their business activities,” said Robert McMurrian, co-director of the Center for Ethics. “The foundation of the award remains the conduct of business activities but has evolved to include their activities and leadership that have an effect on the ‘character’ of the Tampa Bay area.”

McMurrian said the criteria for the award include character (the person’s demonstrated value system), integrity (doing what you say you are going to do), honesty (being open and truthful) and respect for others (caring).

“I always try to live life a certain way, set high standards for myself and be honest,” said Iorio, who shies away from the attention but is humbled by the award. “It all seems basic to me.”


Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
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