The Kairos Great News Blog

Keeping you in-the-know about Kairos events, community advocacy, and other opportunity amplification projects.

The next Kairos Opportunity Forum is on August 22nd at the Glazer Children’s Museum

Opportunity Forum #4

The Kairos Opportunity Forum Goes Deep at the Florida Aquarium

Many of Tampa’s leading business owners, philanthropists, and community advocates enjoyed an exceptional evening in an awe-inspiring venue as we amplified two exceptional heroes.

Forum attendees met in the Coral Reef Gallery for beverages and light hors d’oeuvres as sharks, giant sea turtles, and a myriad of other underwater creatures swam by. We then convened on the Rooftop Terrace to hear from Kairos founders Roy Hellwege and Travis Jennings who provided a brief update on the progress being made by past Forum presenters.

Center stage was commanded by Kairos’ emcee and chief storyteller, Cal Fussman who introduced our featured Community Advocate, Keri O’Neil, Director & Senior Scientist, Coral Conservation Program at the aquarium. Keri delivered a powerful message about why saving reefs is essential to the health of our oceans and our planet. Visit this page to learn more and to support these vital efforts.

Cal then had a stirring and dramatic conversation with U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Derek Anderson. Derek and Cal gave us a close up look at the surprising human connections behind the heroic rescue of 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach from the flooded Tham Luang Cave in 2018.

The insights and wisdom Derek shared go straight to the heart of what the Kairos Exchange is all about: conversation, connection, consensus, and collaboration for causing permanent positive change in our community and beyond.

In the hour preceding the Forum, a special VIP event was held in MORPH’D, the aquarium’s newest space. Guests were treated to detailed updates from previous Forum Community Advocates including Dr. Joseph Dituri, the newly appointed Assistant Vice President for Veteran’s Clinical Research, University of South Florida. Dr. Dituri shared how his work treating and healing brain injuries will be accelerated in the facility he is in the process of creating at the university. 

We also heard from Bryan Stern who brought along a special guest, Kirillo Alexandrov. Kirillo was rescued by Bryan from a Russian prison two years to the day and his story was beyond inspiring. Bryan’s work is a testament to what is possible when people put the safety, well-being, and freedom of others before their own self-interest.

And Roy Hellwege provided an update on the American Cancer Society’s growing momentum through the efforts of CEOs Against Cancer while Travis Jennings rounded the VIP event off with an update on the country leading growth of Junior Achievement’s 3DE high school program.

Throughout the event, virtuoso violinist Nick Ewing nimbly moved from venue to venue providing an added touch of class and entertainment.

Stay tuned for news about our next Opportunity Forum on August 22nd at the Glazer Children’s Museum.

Opportunity Forum #3

The Opportunity Forum shines in Ybor City.

About 100 wonderful people enjoyed the forum held at the outdoor music venue and cafe called 1920 in Ybor City. 

The community advocate we amplified was Ned Pope who shared the vision and the great work of Artspace. We were proud to make a financial contribution and provide a platform for sharing Artspace’s mission to make affordable housing available to creative artists and their families.

Our main event was facilitated by Cal Fussman whose lifelong story telling talent captured our imaginations and riveted our attention. Setting the stage and shining the spotlight, Cal helped our presenters tell the Ybor City story including Manny Leto who shared an insightful historical retrospective. 

Following Manny’s presentation, Rich McIntyre, Darryl Shaw, Richard Simmons, and Spencer Muratides amplified Ybor City’s most ardent and influential investors, business owners, and champions

Together, they created an atmosphere of opportunity and highlighted how rapidly Ybor City is gaining momentum for the future.

What’s next? Well hop on board the TECO Line and join us as we travel to the Florida Aquarium for the next Opportunity Forum on May 9th. 

Naturally, we will be amplifying the aquarium’s wonderful community advocacy – specifically, its vital work rejuvenating coral reefs.

And our keynote speaker will CMSgt. Derek Anderson who will give us a first-hand account of his team’s incredible rescue of 13 children trapped in a Thailand cave. His talk is certain to be inspiring and uplifting.

Save the date in your calendar and watch for additional information as we get closer to May 9th.

Thanks again for your time and caring.

Opportunity Forum #2

Following on the success of our first Opportunity Forum, we were very grateful to once again welcome over 100 Tampa Bay area philanthropists, community supporters, and business owners to the Centre Club.

Together, we had the distinct privilege of amplifying the heroes behind Project Dynamo and Junior Achievement of Tampa’s life-changing 3DE high school program.

Project Dynamo: US Army Sergeant Major Andrew “Andy” Wilson updated us on Project Dynamo’s most recent rescue efforts and explain how it is able to save lives operating in what they call the “grey space” where our government is unable to go. Established in response to the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, Project Dynamo has since rescued more than 6,075 men, women, children, and babies.

3DE: Six 3DE schools in Tampa Bay are re-engineering high school education to be more relevant, experiential, and authentically connected to the real world.

JA president Richard George introduced 3DE Executive Director Christina Roberts. Christina, along with principal Jake Rusell from Chamberlain High School and Robert Shimberg of Hill Ward Henderson, shared how six 3DE Schools in Tampa Bay are providing students with equitable access to high quality education that is unlocking their learning.

The results tell the story:

  • 72.5% higher reading proficiency
  • 84.6% outperformance on state assessments
  • 44.5% fewer cases of student suspensions
  • 20.5% fewer cases of chronic abstenteeism
  • 27.2% higher math proficiency

Our First Opportunity Forum

The team at the Kairos Exchange saw months of work come to fruition as over 100 Tampa Bay area philanthropists, community supporters, and business owners attended our inaugural Opportunity Forum at the Centre Club.

Together, we amplified the Florida chapter of CEOs Against Cancer and the breakthrough healing work of Dr. Joseph Dituri.

Andrew Koenig of City Furniture, the Florida chair of CEOS Against Cancer, shared his vision for providing greater access to care, treatment, and support for all Floridians in need. The Kairos Exchange team was proud to present him with our first amplification check.

Our keynote speaker, Dr. Dituri (aka Dr. Deep Sea), took us on an exploration for life. He amplified his work conserving our oceans, inspiring the students to pursue STEM subjects, and his breakthrough healing of veterans and others suffering from the devastating effects of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

While Amplifying Opportunity is our tag line, we discovered the impact of the forum – more correctly, the impact of a large group of successful, caring, dynamic people coming together for the right reasons – goes beyond amplification. The forum also uncovers new opportunities, opportunities wanted, and opportunities ahead.

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