Award Nominations

Josephine Howard Stafford Memorial Award

Josephine Howard Stafford

The Josephine Howard Stafford Memorial Award was adopted to honor a current or former City of Tampa female employee who demonstrates outstanding commitment to her position and the community.  The award is given in memory of Ms. Stafford who devoted 24 years to the City of  Tampa as an Assistant City Attorney.  She was also the first woman judge in Hillsborough County and was a pioneer for women's issues, both professionally and in the community.

Fenton Photo

The 2016 recipient was Jeanette LaRussa Fenton.  Jeanette LaRussa Fenton is a fourth generation Tampa native with over 40 years of public service to our community.  Fenton was appointed by Mayor Pam Iorio in October 2005 to lead economic development efforts in West Tampa and Drew Park. Fenton works with residents, businesses, public and private sector organizations, and potential investors to maximize the quality, pace and positive economic impact of community revitalization initiatives.

Previously Mayor Iorio appointed Fenton to serve as Director, Intergovernmental Relations, for the City of Tampa. Her responsibilities included lobbying the Florida legislature on behalf of the City of Tampa and coordinating the City's state and federal legislative agenda. Prior to her appointment she served as Assistant Director.nitiatives.  

Fenton originally joined City government in October 1995, when Mayor Dick A. Greco appointed her as the Manager of the City of Tampa Private Industry Council. She was responsible for job training services to disadvantaged youth, adults, and displaced workers, and other economic development activities and was instrumental in guiding the successful consolidation of City and County workforce development programs.

Fenton was previously employed with Hillsborough County government for almost 20 years in various capacities including social services, civil rights outreach and compliance, growth management, and community development. She was appointed Director of the Hillsborough County Commerce Department in July 1991 with responsibility for the County's economic development, consumer protection, and volunteer programs. She received the 1995 "Excellence in Government" award, the highest honor bestowed upon a County employee.

Fenton was selected as a "Woman of Distinction" by the Suncoast Girl Scouts, recipient of the Human Rights Award from the Tampa/Hillsborough Human Rights Council, and chosen in 2001 as the first recipient of the Italian-American Woman of Excellence in Government Award.  Fenton is an honors graduate of St. Joseph Catholic School, Tampa Catholic High School and Hillsborough Community College. She holds Bachelors of Arts degrees in Mass Communications and Sociology from the University of South Florida and a Master of Science Degree in Management from National-Louis University.

About Josephine Howard Stafford
video clip 122k

Past JHS Award Winners