The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have selected Economic Development Manager for Hillsborough County, Jennifer Whelihan as the recipient of this year's NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award.
The NFL and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) have partnered for the seventh annual NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards during the 2017 celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The awards recognize the contributions of Hispanic leaders in each NFL market.
Whelihan has more than 15 years of experience in business consulting and entrepreneurship with a diverse background that has led her to positions as a communication director for a leading research facility, certified business consultant for USF Small Business Development Center and current adjunct professor at the University of Tampa.
A firm believer in the power of mentoring, Whelihan is an honorary chair for the Hispanic Professional Women's Association in Tampa Bay, an organization that supports young Hispanic women pursuing a degree in higher education through scholarship and mentor programming.
"I have had many mentors growing up but I must say, my mother is my #1 mentor" says Whelian. "No matter what- through ups and downs- she is consistent."
This strong influence fostered a love for empowering others and would lead her to the classroom. "It is crucial to have leaders in the community give back for the community to thrive" says Whelihan.
Jennifer is a proud Seminole and received her Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Media Communication and Master of Arts in Interactive and New Communication Technology degrees from Florida State University. While at FSU she received the prestigious Florida State University Seminole Leadership Award. Bilingual in Spanish and English, Jennifer is an Honorary Chair for the Hispanic Professional Women's Association in Tampa Bay and received the Leadership Excellence Award for outstanding service to her community during her years as President of the organization. She has served and is a member of the Hillsborough County Commission on the Status of Women (COSW), USF Research Foundation Council of Professionals, Suncoast Hospice Project Grace, Sheriff's Hispanic Advisory Council (SHAC), Leadership Hillsborough, Tampa Bay Seminole Club, American Advertising Federation (AAF), and faculty advisor for the Advertising Student Association at University of Tampa.
"I am grateful for this opportunity to represent the Buccaneers, says Whelihan. "Siege the day con urgullo (pride)!"
About the Hispanic Heritage Foundation
The Hispanic Heritage Foundation – a nonprofit established by the White House in 1987 – inspires, prepares, and connects minority leaders in the classroom, community, and workforce to meet America's priorities. HHF also promotes cultural pride, accomplishment, and the great promise of the community through public awareness campaigns seen by millions. HHF is headquartered in Washington, DC, and Los Angeles with satellite workspaces in New York, Silicon Valley, San Antonio and Miami.