Posted by: Laura Frost & Melody Marrs on Monday, October 11, 2021

Stephanie Russell Krebs
LT Class Year: 2015
Company Name: University of Tampa
Interviewed by: Laura Frost & Melody Marrs

Tell us, why LTA?

Making friends as a child in elementary school or even as a college student is easy.  Then you become an adult and things get harder…much harder.  While you have work friends and “mom/dad” friends if you are a parent, it becomes increasingly trickier to make deep and meaningful relationships, especially with those that are different than yourself.  It is human nature to gravitate to others that are similar.  Leadership Tampa and LTA is a necessary forum to meet and connect with other community leaders across professional disciplines and life experiences.  Being involved in these organizations has magnified and diversified my peer group and community connections in Tampa with others I would not otherwise have met through traditional networking channels.

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

What I really enjoy about LTA is that membership represents all different sectors – business, education, non-profit, etc.  As a community leader LTA broadens your view of what leadership means by engaging in conversation with others who have different experiences.  By getting involved in LTA it keeps my connection with my classmates going, builds a bridge to connect with other Leadership Tampa members in other class years, and continues my education of the Tampa Bay area though participation in programs and events.

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

Staying connected and supporting my class and other LTA classes continues to enhance my life.  Most recently I attended the second annual Ride for Alex to honor the legacy of classmate Alex Kaptzan LT15.  It was great to see other members of LTA out to support the Kaptzan family and support a philanthropy that provides bikes to youth in his honor.  LTA continues to bring people together in an impactful way to connect and care for each other and the community.

What is an LTA benefit you wish everyone knew about?

The ongoing professional and personal network is robust.  I enjoy supporting my LT classmates that are now in LTA leadership positions by attending and supporting their events.  I welcome the opportunity to contribute to philanthropic causes that are championed by LTA. And personally, I enjoy any opportunity to connect with the LT and LTA network.

Outside of my work life at UT, I enjoy being involved in community theater.  I am performing in an upcoming play at Carrollwood Players, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, and am planning a LT15 night out for my classmates (all LTA are welcome) on Saturday, Oct. 23 to see the show and socialize.  Having a built-in network of support is such a tremendous benefit.  When I say LTA provides each of us a cheering section for years to come, I mean it literally.  For those interested, tickets are available at Carrollwood Players.

Describe how the leadership journey will continue to shape you?

I work on a college campus (The University of Tampa) because I believe that learning never ends.  A college environment provides vast opportunities to explore new ideas, engage in critical dialogue, create and innovate.  Continued participation in LTA will give me another outlet to stay on the path of lifelong learning.