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. Hispanic leaders from each NFL market are chosen, and this year the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have selected UT adjunct Jennifer Whelihan.
Whelihan, 38, is the Economic Development Manager for Hillsborough County and an adjunct professor at the University of Tampa. She has been involved with a number of non-profits and serves as an honorary chair for the Hispanic Professional Women’s Association in Tampa Bay. There, she received the Leadership Excellence Award for outstanding service to her community during her years as that organization’s President.
Nationwide, an official sponsor of the NFL, will provide $2,000 to the organization of choice for each of the winners. Whelihan split the money between Prospera, a nonprofit which specializes in assisting Hispanic entrepreneurs expand their businesses, and the Centre for Women, which provides support for Hispanic women through its Tampa business center.
In addition to her work as an adjunct instructor, Whelihan has also served as a past faculty advisor for the Advertising Student Association. “The University of Tampa gives me the opportunity as an instructor to teach and mentor students every semester. These experiences teach us the importance of the impact that we have on people, businesses, and community. It is also important that we share the skills we are blessed with to continue to uplift each other and society.”
While Whelihan has been a mentor to many over the years, she credits her mother as her own #1 mentor. She also thanks “the NFL, Nationwide, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the opportunity to represent the NFL and Tampa Bay Buccaneers for this Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award, and I am proud to be a Tampa resident and Bucs fan! Siege the Day, every day, con Orgullo!”