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 community.

The recipients will be recognized at WLP's Annual Fall Symposium on Oct. 8, 2021.

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 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 by Friday, May 14, 2021. (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. 8, 2021, to accept the award.

If you have questions, please contact WLP at WLP(at)usf.edu or 813-974-6996.

2020 Community Leadership Award Recipient

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Stephanie Goforth '82

With more than 24 years of trust, investment and banking experience, Stephanie Goforth is a female banking leader and a role model for all women. Goforth serves as the president, West Florida Region, and regional director of client development at Northern Trust. In her current position, she covers the east coast, from Boston through Latin America, and oversees a sales and marketing team of over 50 partners. Born and raised in Pass-a-Grille at the south end of St. Pete Beach, Goforth worked her way through school at USF St. Petersburg, earning a Bachelor of Arts in business management in 1982.

At a time when women’s roles in banking were extremily limited, Goforth was determined to reach higher. She earned her Series 7, 66 and 24 licenses and became a certified financial planner and a certified private wealth advisor. She began her career with First Florida Bank (Barnett Bank) and Truist (SunTrust) Bank, and spent a decade with Bank of America before joining Northern Trust in 2005.

While building her career and her family with husband Del, Goforth has also generously given her time, talent and treasure to her alma mater. She has served on the university’s Board of Trustees for 10 years, and she was recently elected as the board’s vice chair. Goforth is also chair of USF’s St. Petersburg Campus Advisory Board. Her philanthropic gifts include two endowed funds, the Stephanie Goforth Endowed Scholarship and the Goforth Student Professional Development Endowed Fund, both of which are directed to students in the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance on USF’s St. Petersburg campus.

Outside of USF, Goforth’s passion for supporting children and education is evident through the financial gifts and leadership service she devotes to several organizations in the Tampa Bay community. She is a longtime board member, and former treasurer, of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Foundation St. Petersburg and also serves on the boards of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and the Naples Botanical Gardens. In addition, she formerly served on the boards of Community Action Stops Abuse, Heroes of the St. Pete Police, YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay and PARC, among others.

Over the years, Goforth has been honored by many local organizations. She was named a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida in 2018 and received the Sudsy Tschiderer USF Alumni Award in 2016. She has also been named one of Academy Prep of St. Petersburg’s “Five Fabulous Females,” was a Tampa Bay Business Journal Business Woman of the Year Finalist in the Financial Services category and nominated for the St. Petersburg Area Chamber Women of Distinction Award.

Goforth’s professional achievements, her tremendous service to the University of South Florida, and her significant  community leadership contributions make her a fitting recipient of the 2020 WLP Community Leadership Award.

Please download the  application ABOVE AND nominate someone for the WLP 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award!