Tampa Bay Business Women Awards 2023: Kelley Sims

At Feeding Tampa Bay, Kelley Sims leads philanthropy, donor and volunteer relations and brand strategy for the organization, which serves more than 1 million people and provides 95 million meals a year. 

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST PROFESSIONAL MOMENT?

When Thomas Mantz approached me, five years ago, to join the team at Feeding Tampa Bay, it was the transformational expansion of the organization’s work, and the funding needed to make that happen, that most intrigued me. Knowing I would lead a $50 million dollar capital campaign while maintaining an ever-growing annual operating budget—and at the core of that was the knowledge that hunger was growing in our 10-county region—was a challenge I wanted to take on.

What we didn’t know, of course, was that a pandemic would come along and massively escalate the need for food. Last year we distributed 95 million meals to our hungry neighbors. Now, fast forward nearly five years, we’ve overcome those hurdles along the way and are nearing the end of the capital campaign.

WHAT DOES WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT MEAN TO YOU?

The support and guidance of other women have played a major role in my personal and professional growth every step of the way. I would say this has been the guiding thread throughout my life.

Even as a young girl, I was surrounded by strong women who challenged themselves, and others, to bring real change at home and at work. Upon moving to Tampa, right after getting married, I was ‘adopted’ by a female ministry leader who incorporated me into her leadership group and mentored me—and still does, to this day, 39 years later. And, as I’ve grown in professional skills and positions of leadership, alongside me have been women who challenged me to learn more, take risks and to step out. Recognizing that, I was determined, early on, to also play that part for young women coming behind me.

You May Also Like
TBBW Award overall winner Rhea Law to present keys for Habitat home dedication

Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties will be joined by University of South Florida President Rhea Law, Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m., to present the keys to

Read More
On the Scene: TBBW Awards 2023 (PHOTOS)

More than 500 guests, including finalists and sponsors, were in attendance for the 2023 Tampa Bay Business Women Awards, held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, in Tampa.

Read More
Exclusive: TBBW names winners of inaugural Women Awards (PHOTOS)

It was a night to remember and one for the Tampa Bay Business and Wealth history books. More than 500 guests, including finalists and sponsors, were in attendance for the

Read More
Letter from the Editor: What glass ceiling?

It’s getting harder and harder to see it, that proverbial glass ceiling we speak of often.  The one that women have been attempting to break for decades. Depending on where

Read More
Other Posts
Scenes from TBBW’s Women Who Win panel presented by ISPS (PHOTOS)

Tampa Bay Business and Wealth, in partnership with the Institute of Strategic Policy Solutions, in St. Petersburg, presented a panel discussion with three winners of TBBW‘s 2024 Women Who Win

Read More
Recap: CEO Connect with Fred Lay

Fred Lay is incredibly open and honest about his early experiences. He admits to his mischievous nature. He’s actually just a pretty transparent guy, in general.  He runs his business,

Read More
On the Scene: Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties’ Glow Gala (PHOTOS)

More than 500 attendees gathered to support the Habitat mission at the sold-out Glow Gala, presented by Crown Automotive Charities and the Hawkins Family Foundation.  The event, at the Vinoy

Read More
TBBW presents the finalists for Apogee Awards 2024 (VIDEO)

After a record-breaking 10 hours in the Tampa Bay Business and Wealth office, five external judges selected 45 finalists for the 2024 Apogee Awards, in addition to two exceptional honors

Read More