The philanthropic arm of TBTF reintroduces itself and new strategies to the Tampa Bay community
Tampa, Fla. (July 11, 2013) – Tech Start, the philanthropic arm of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum that was formerly known as TBTF Foundation, today announced Melodie Hillier as its new program manager. Hillier will oversee the organization’s refreshed mission of creating a better future for at-risk youth of Tampa Bay by providing inspiration, education and opportunities in technology fields.
“We are very excited to have Melodie join our team full-time,” said Heather Kenyon, CEO of TBTF. “She demonstrated great promise and capabilities as an intern with us, and in her promotion to this current position, she brings some wonderful energy and ideas in service to TechStart’s new strategy. We have some very exciting initiatives underway for the remainder of the year, including Tech Jam, and Melodie has already hit the ground running to organize that and secure sponsorships.”
TechStart is deploying new strategies for the 2013-2014 year that center on initiatives to provide Tampa Bay’s at-risk youth with access to technology and computers and engage TBTF members in volunteer opportunities that will allow them to positively impact students by encouraging their interest in science, technology, math, and engineering (STEM). These initiatives serve TechStart’s aims to promote the pathways to STEM careers and advance TBTF’s long-term plan to solve the tech workforce skills gap plaguing the Tampa Bay region.
Hillier’s duties include developing an annual strategy, creating and planning events, fundraising, and pursuing grants to support TechStart’s goals. She is also responsible for managing and advancing TechStart’s initiatives relative to the organization’s mission. Prior to her current position, Hillier served as TechStart’s intern for two semesters while completing her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida.
“I feel very lucky to be working with an organization that has the potential to transform the lives of so many young people in Tampa Bay,” said Hillier. “I look forward to building on the incredible foundation the TBTF and TechStart have established over the years and creating a pipeline for talent to grow the next generation’s startups and technology companies here.”
Founded in 2001 as a 501 (c) 3 organization, TechStart, formerly the TBTF Foundation, is the charitable arm of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF) and provides a method for TBTF members to give back to the community. TechStart’s mission is to create a better future for at-risk youth of Tampa Bay by providing inspiration, education and opportunities in technology fields. TechStart’s initiatives, Computer-rific, Scholarship Program, Technology is in IT… and Tech Jam are all funded entirely by donations and support from corporate sponsorship.