In the News: Meet Kim Jowell, a 2022 BusinessWoman of the Year honoree

Philanthropy & Nonprofits: Meet Kim Jowell, a 2022 BusinessWoman of the Year honoree

March 1, 2022

By: Tampa Bay Business Journal,   –  Research Director, Tampa Bay Business Journal

Kim Jowell is the CEO of the Hillsborough Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Tampa with a mission to strengthen public education in the area.

Educational background: Bachelor of arts, criminology, Saint Leo University

What was your first-ever paid job? Document control clerk (fancy name for file clerk)

What drives you to succeed? My desire to make a difference in our schools and in our community is what drives me to succeed. Every child deserves the opportunity to reach their fullest potential regardless of socioeconomic status. I work hard every day to do what I can to empower our youth to succeed academically and personally. I believe education is key to a prosperous community and investing in students now helps to make our community the best it can be today and for all our tomorrows.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to young women just starting out their careers? Learn how to have hard conversations early. It will benefit you personally and professionally greatly.

What do you do for fun or to relax? I love spending time with my family, cooking and watching TikTok videos — please don’t judge. I have learned some excellent life hacks and Microsoft Excel tricks from it. If you want to up your Excel game, I highly recommend @exceldictionary.

What are your goals (personal and/or professional) for the next year? Professionally, my goal in the next year is to secure enough funds to provide every child who has been referred to us by his or her school with a laptop and Wi-Fi access to help close the digital divide and homework gap. Right now, there are more than 300 students on our waiting list. Personally, I want to take more time to travel.

What is your favorite place in Tampa Bay? My favorite place is at our home field or arena cheering on one of our Champa Bay teams.

What lessons (personal and/or professional) did you learn during the Covid-19 pandemic? After learning to unmute myself before someone had to tell me during a virtual meeting, I would say the challenges faced during the pandemic taught me that we can always dig deeper in thinking outside the box to find innovative solutions.