Posted by: Laura Frost on Monday, May 9, 2022

Name: Suzy Lopez
LT Class Year:  2020
Company Name: Hillsborough County Court Judge, 13th Judicial Circuit
Interviewed by: Laura Frost

  1. Tell us, why LTA?

LTA is the next step in the journey that is the Leadership Tampa experience.  It is the opportunity that we are given to continue to learn, foster relationships, and grow in a community of individuals who have either been on the journey with us or who went through it at some other time.  The Leadership Tampa experience is one that cannot be adequately described to someone who has not been on that journey, and LTA is the tie that binds us, whether we are new to LTA or have been a member for decades.  LTA members tend to be drawn to each other because of our shared experiences and love for the program that challenged us, made us better employers and employees, and enriched all aspects of our lives.  

  1. For you, what separates LTA from other business leadership programs?  

LTA is simply the best business, professional, and personal leadership program around.  The Leadership Tampa experience becomes a part of one’s heart and soul; it is not just a 9-month, every other Wednesday, long day of no phones and lots of thank you notes.  Other business leadership programs do not ignite the spark to learn, grow, and connect in their participants that the Leadership Tampa and LTA experience do.  

  1. Describe a time when the LTA experience impacted your life or career?

I have been honored to have been a public servant for the whole of my career.  After a clerkship at the Second District Court of Appeal, I served as an Assistant State Attorney for 17 years.  On December 2, 2021, Governor Ron DeSantis appointed me to the Hillsborough County Court bench.  I preside over a County Civil division, which is often known as “the people’s court.”  I am cognizant of the responsibility that was bestowed upon me, and I work hard every day to follow the law, ensure that the citizens of Hillsborough County have access to their court system, and be a fair and impartial arbiter of disputes.  I strongly believe that it was my experience with the Leadership Tampa Class of 2020 as a class member and now as the Class Champion, as well as my time as a member of LTA, that prepared me for my continued service to the community.    

  1. What is a LTA benefit you wish everyone knew about?

LTA members are everywhere!  Having access to some of the brightest and most innovative leaders in our community is invaluable.  When meeting an LTA member for the first time, one immediately makes a new friend.  

  1. Describe how the leadership journey will continue to shape you?

Every time that I attend an LTA event, I leave with a full heart and a deeper knowledge of my community.  Leadership Tampa and LTA continue to push me to learn and grow.  That knowledge and growth enrich my life and make me a better judge and member of our community.