Neighborhoods Take Top Honors at Annual Conference
Residents from throughout Hillsborough County came to the 15th Annual Neighborhoods Conference to hear about government programs and offerings, hone leadership skills, and visit with myriad vendors representing public and private endeavors.
Attendees could choose from among more than a dozen workshops with titles such as, "Diversity & Inclusion in Your Neighborhood," "Emotional Intelligence for Leaders," "Social Media for Neighborhoods," and "I Don't Need a Permit! Do I?"
The May 12 conference at Sheraton Tampa East Hotel wrapped up with the Neighborhood Recognition Awards luncheon, at which Hillsborough County praised stellar neighborhoods and community leaders. Hillsborough County Neighborhood Relations stages the event as part of its mission to provide training, funding, and networking opportunities for residents and homeowner groups throughout unincorporated Hillsborough County, Tampa, Temple Terrace, and Plant City. Almost 500 people attended the 2018 Neighborhoods Conference.
Eleven associations and four individuals took top honors in 10 categories.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of the event was the opportunity for neighborhood leaders to meet each other and discuss ways to be more effective.
"It brings together neighborhoods from throughout the county to mingle, exchange ideas, and network," said David Nelson, a board member of Lake St. Charles Community Development District in Riverview.
Carroll Ann Bennett said her Virginia Park Neighborhood Association recently relaunched and hopes to unite the sprawling South Tampa neighborhood. She came to the Conference seeking knowledge and ideas.
"We're just trying to be relevant and effective," she said. "We want everyone to know we exist."