Baker McKenzie's Tampa Center, a state-of-the art workspace supporting the firm's offices and clients globally, received the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council's 2020 Community Transformer Award. The Community Transformer Award, presented in partnership with TECO, recognizes a local organization that has had a profound impact on the Tampa Bay community beyond creating jobs and capital investment.
"When Baker McKenzie first entered this market, I was asked by a member of the media to share the charitable organizations we would be aligning ourselves to. And at the time, I suggested that it would depend — it would depend on the employees we hired, their personal passions, what they cared about and how they wanted to spend their time giving back. So this award belongs to the employees of our Tampa Center who not only have a passion for delivering great work, but equally a passion for giving back," said Jamie Lawless, Executive Director of Baker McKenzie's Tampa Center.
The criteria for this award includes leadership involvement in Tampa Bay civic, business, non-profit organizations, corporate giving and volunteerism. It also includes organizations that serve as ambassadors for the community, promoting Tampa Bay as a great place to live, work and enjoy life. "It was a pretty fierce competition, and our judges certainly had a tough time choosing," said Archie Collins, Chief Operating Officer, TECO Energy, during the award presentation.
Since opening the Tampa Center in 2019, Baker McKenzie made it a priority to support and get involved in the community. The Center’s all-female leadership team serves on many business and philanthropic organization boards, while employees support and volunteer in pro-bono legal work, charitable organizations and fundraising events that serve veterans, the food insecure and Alzheimer's patients. In addition, the Tampa Center is proud to serve and support the local LGBTQ community with volunteer time, financial support and awareness activities.
Established in 2009 as a partnership between the public sector and private corporate investors, the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council is the lead designated economic development agency for Hillsborough County and the cities of Tampa, Plant City, and Temple Terrace, and an official partner of Enterprise Florida, Inc.