American business makes major contributions of treasure, time and talent to nonprofit organizations, and Tampa Bay is no exception. United Way Suncoast recognizes and showcases the spirit of workplace generosity with a unique and special series of awards to highlight the innovative ways companies and workers help the people of Tampa Bay through United Way’s annual Workplace Campaign.

“Throughout the Suncoast region we find some of the most generous people in Florida,” said Diana Baker, President and CEO of United Way Suncoast “and we are blessed to be able to partner with them.” Both major corporations and small businesses continue to prove their leadership in the community by helping others. Our Spirit of Suncoast, Million Dollar Donors and Community Champion awards recognize the bountiful commitments made to United Way; making life better for everyone in our community.”

The Spirit of Suncoast Awards were created to recognize companies that go above and beyond in organizing and energizing fundraising, volunteerism and community engagement at their workplaces.  Recipients demonstrate creativity, enthusiasm, innovative communications and overall participation by management and employees.

Engaging employees creates a connection between the individual worker and the community. By building awareness of the needs of the community, the critical issues facing low-income families, the challenges of education, personal income and health, the employee becomes an advocate for change and a philanthropic partner with United Way.

The Spirit of Suncoast awards are given each year to four companies whose employees exemplify the spirit of giving, advocating and volunteering. Companies are categorized by the size of their workforce.  Criteria for selection include:

  • How the companies communicate the mission, goals and accomplishments of United Way throughout their workforce;
  • How the companies show a spirit of volunteerism in the community, from serving on United Way committees to helping non-profits, schools, and other community organizations;
  • An increase in their overall investment in important programs and projects administered and managed by United Way Suncoast and our partner agencies.

The Spirit of Suncoast Award Recipients for 2012


Category: 1,000 or more employees

Tech Data Corporation continues to implement new strategies to their United Way campaign which yield significant results. They are always in tune with the needs of their community and were involved in more than 42 volunteer projects this past year. They also provided funding to several major United Way events. Tech Data Corporation has partnered with United Way in many different ways including sharing their facility for meetings and training. The company provides a member for our Board of Directors and serves as advisors for new ideas and initiatives. They provide generous sponsorship for the Art of Giving Women’s Leadership event.

Total campaign results for 2012:  $408,087
38% participation by Tech Data Corporation employees


Category: 500 to 999 employees (in United Way Suncoast region)

Mosaic is the world’s leading producer and marketer of concentrated phosphate and potash, with approximately 8,000 employees in eight countries including more than 3,000 in Florida. Mosaic mines phosphate rock primarily from its extensive central Florida landholdings, processes it into crop nutrients and animal feed ingredients, and then ships these finished products via rail, barge and ocean-going vessel to customers in the U.S. and agricultural regions of the world.  A devoted United Way donor, Mosaic has consistently been a leader in corporate support and volunteerism. Contributions from Mosaic’s Florida employees exceeded 2011 levels; the average employee annual gift was an exceptional $629.

Total campaign results:  $736,643.
77% participation by Mosaic employees

Category: 100 to 499 employees

PCL is the 6th largest contractor in the United States, and was ranked a Top Green Contractor by Engineering News Record (ENR) magazine. PCL is currently ranked #73 on the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list and is honored to have been on the list for eight consecutive years.  PCL employees recognize that coworkers, neighbors, and families all benefit from living in healthier, stronger communities, and they help to bring this about by providing financial support to United Way.  PCL was nominated by United Way for the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Philanthropy Award and the company won in their division.

Total campaign results for 2012:  $156,849
100% participation by PCL Civil Constructors employees

Category: Fewer than 100 Employees

Auto-Owners Insurance was founded in 1916 and is the 17th largest insurer in the country. They consistently receive the highest rankings in growth, financial stability and claims service. Auto-Owners Insurance believes one of their most important responsibilities is supporting the communities they serve. The company’s annual United Way campaign is one way it supports the needs of the local communities across the region.  The company took the 10 percent challenge at the campaign coordinator’s workshop and exceeded the 10 percent challenge accomplishing an increase of more than 30 percent over 2011 contributions. Auto-Owners Insurance is appreciated for their outstanding achievement of 100 percent employee participation.

Total campaign results for 2012:  $2,446
100% participation by Auto-Owners Insurance employees

Community Champion Award 2012

Helios Education Foundation

Helios Education Foundation is a philanthropic organization focused exclusively on education in Arizona and Florida. Established in 2004, the Foundation’s mission is to enrich the lives by creating opportunities for success in education. The Foundation works to improve student success across the education continuum in the areas of: Early Childhood Education; the Transition Years (Grades 5 – 12); and Postsecondary Scholarships. Helios believes education is a catalyst to change lives and strengthen communities. Their vision is for everyone to have the opportunity to attend and be prepared to succeed in postsecondary education. United Way Suncoast has received a generous educational grant to support early childhood literacy programs to help low income students read effectively and at grade level by the third grade throughout the Tampa Bay region.  Helios is recognized with the Community Champion Award for their significant influence on early literacy throughout Florida, but especially for the support and resources provided to United Way Suncoast

Million Dollar Donors 2012

United Way Suncoast salutes the companies that make major contributions of one million dollars or more to regional project and programs. The 2012 recipients of the Million Dollar Donor award are Publix Super Markets, (Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties) contributing $4,464,620 and Raymond James, contributing S1,639,000


United Way Suncoast is a local not-for-profit organization working in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Sarasota and DeSoto counties since 1924 to mobilize the resources of individuals, companies, government, and labor to achieve positive, lasting changes in the lives of people in the community. Their mission is to inspire leaders and partners and mobilize resources to make a measurable difference in the lives of people in our community.

United Way Suncoast views income, education and health as the basic building blocks of independence. By addressing all three of these issues through the human services programs it funds, United Way helps families become stronger and communities more vibrant.

United Way Suncoast helps people build better lives by helping kids graduate and helping families find paths out of poverty.  For more information on United Way visit on the web.