Louise Thompson, Executive Director
TBCN’s executive director since May 2003, Louise Thompson is responsible for the recruitment and retention of staff and volunteers, maintaining an operational budget, a 5,000-square-feet facility at the University Mall with a main studio and edit suite, the maintenance and upgrading of a million-dollar inventory of video production equipment, revenue generation activities, community outreach efforts and contract compliance with local government. Since July 2002, Thompson has also hosted a live, hour-long, call-in TBCN series called “Speak Up Presents,” where she interviews panels of three or more guests who are generally related through their work, charitable activities, community leadership or special interests. They convey information of interest to viewers.
The recipient of many awards, she was chosen “2006 Executive Woman of the Year” by the Network of Executive Women and a finalist for Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2005 “Business Woman of the Year in Media.” In 2003, the national Alliance for Community Media presented her with its Director’s Choice Award for defense of public access and the First Amendment. Tampa’s Italian Club Auxiliary named her 2002 Italian-American Woman in Business. She was previously named “Woman of the Year” by a chapter of Business & Professional Women, “One of the Bay Area’s 50 Most Influential Women” by Tampa Bay Life Magazine and was listed in Who’s Who in Editors, Writers & Poets. Creative Loafing Newspaper named her “Best of the Bay” four times: in 2000, for her efforts on behalf of public access television; in 1996 for women’s issues; in 1994, for community issues and in 1993, for leadership and ethics.
A former employee of General Foods, IBM, Boise Cascade and CNA Financial corporations, Thompson was CEO of an award-winning advertising, marketing and public relations firm for two decades, a freelance writer, author and speaker. Thompson is a USF honors graduate with a B.A. in Mass Communications.