The USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy (WLP) program honors visionary leaders and philanthropists throughout the community doing extraordinary things to make Tampa Bay a better place for women to live and work. With the Community Leadership Award, we showcase individual excellence in leadership as demonstrated by outstanding initiative, impact of work and inspiration to others. We publicly affirm present achievements, seek to encourage further work on the part of the recipients and hope to motivate others to follow their lead in service to the Tampa Bay communities.

The nominees and recipient are recognized at WLP's Annual Symposium.

Eligibility Requirements and Selection Criteria:

  • The recipient exemplifies the spirit of USF WLP as demonstrated by her commitment to community-based leadership in both professional and volunteer capacities.
  • WLP members and non-members are eligible to receive the award.
  • Individuals who live and work in the counties surrounding each campus of the University of South Florida System are eligible for nomination. Nominations for emerging and innovative leadership, as well as long-standing accomplishments, are encouraged.
  • Only individuals are eligible for nomination.
  • USF Foundation employees are not eligible.
  • Previous WLP Community Leadership Award recipients are not eligible.

Nomination and Selection Process:

  • Nomination form and two letters of recommendation must be submitted to WLP at WLP(at)usf.edu. (Additional support materials may be included, but not required).
  • Only completed nomination forms will be considered.
  • Self- nominations are not accepted.
  • Nominations are reviewed and vetted by the WLP Awards Committee.

Click here for nomination form.

Recipient must be present at the WLP Fall Symposium, on Oct. 2, 2020, to accept the award.

If you have questions, please contact WLP at WLP(at)usf.edu or 813-974-1810.

2019 Community Leadership Award Recipient

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Linda Simmons '75

Linda Simmons '75 is a successful businesswoman and philanthropist — with a hand in building the University of South Florida Tampa campus enjoyed by so many today.

Simmons serves as president and CEO of R.R. Simmons Construction Corp., which specializes in design, engineering and construction management services for corporate clients. The firm is responsible for the Lee Roy Selmon Athletics Center, several athletics facilities and a wing of the Gibbons Alumni Center, cementing their legacy on USF’s Tampa campus.

Simmons began her career in finance, blazing a trail as a female leader in the Tampa Bay banking industry before joining her husband, Randy Simmons, in the family construction business. Under her leadership, the company has received a number of accolades for its projects.

Simmons’ relationship with USF came full circle when she was invited to become a member of the USF Alumni Association Board. She went on to found and chair USF’s Women in Leadership and Philanthropy, serve as a member and chair of the USF Foundation Board of Directors and join the Gus A. Stavros Center Board. Simmons was honored with the USF Alumni Association’s Donald A. Gifford Service Award in 2011, which recognizes individuals who have provided unparalleled volunteer leadership and service to the university.

The Simmons have generously given to USF, with the bulk of their efforts focused on scholarships, including the Carolyn A. O’Steen Memorial Scholarship in WLP in memory of her mother, as well as the Linda and Randy Simmons Endowed Athletic Scholarship.

Outside of USF, Simmons has used her skill for rethinking organizational structure and service delivery on a number of nonprofit boards.

Please download the  application to nominate someone for the WLP 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award!