Compiled by Jenny Bennett

Executive Director And CEO Of The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority Announces Retirement

After four decades in the transportation industry, Joe Waggoner, executive director and CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA), has announced his intention to retire in February 2022. THEA is a public agency of the state created by the Florida Legislature to provide local, user-financed transportation services that reinvest customer-based revenues back into the Tampa Bay community. THEA owns and operates the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway, Brandon Parkway, Meridian Avenue and the Selmon Greenway.

In August 2007, after a nationwide search, Waggoner was chosen to lead the agency. As Executive Director and CEO, he was faced with the challenging task of making the agency financially independent and able to take on projects that would benefit the Tampa Bay region. Waggoner has been a community champion and critical leader in promoting partnerships for multimodal transportation, transit-orientated development and walkable neighborhoods.

“THEA is recognized locally, statewide, nationally and internationally as a premier tolling agency with a forward-thinking approach to finding solutions to regional congestion,” said Waggoner. “That’s a result of excellent leadership by our board of directors and hard work by a lot of amazing and talented people. With the next executive director, I hope that the trend will continue.”

Annual After Fireworks Cleanup

We all enjoy celebrating America’s birthday, but the time comes when we must clean up after the party. Join your fellow residents in helping to protect our waterways from becoming an explosion of unsightly litter at Keeping Tampa Bay Beautiful’s annual After Fireworks Cleanup.

This event will take place on Monday, July 5 from 8-11 a.m. at either Courtney Campbell Causeway South Trail or Cypress Point Park. Trash bags, water and gloves are provided, plus promotional giveaways while supplies last. Visit to register.

Water Conservation Rebate Presentations Available

Reducing water use when possible is imperative to ensure enough water pressure for essential uses and public safety in the South County area. Residents who would be interested in learning about water conservation rebates available for shallow wells, smart irrigation controllers and high-efficiency toilets, Hillsborough County Public Utilities offers free educational presentations.

Presentations can be requested online using this form:

Mad Hatter Tea Blending Class At Center Place

Center Place Fine Arts & Civic Association in Brandon is hosting a pop-up tea blending class with Regalitea Teas on Thursday, August 12 from 6-9 p.m. Come make your own tea blend wearing your best Mad Hatter hat; the best hat wins a prize.

Tickets are $40 and include wine, food and tea blending supplies. There will also be a 50/50 raffle and a gift basket raffle. Preregistration and payment is required; call 685-8888 to reserve your spot.

Free Kindergarten Readiness Program

Center Place Fine Arts & Civic Association in Brandon is offering play sessions through Learn & Play Tampa Bay, a free kindergarten readiness program, on Friday mornings from 10:15-11:45 a.m. throughout July.

To register, visit or call 426-7529.

Chill Cawfee Hosts Wellness Luncheons

Chill Cawfee will be presenting monthly Wellness Luncheons with Dr. Kelly King at Releaf MD. The luncheons will answer questions about CBD medical marijuana, ailments that qualify, products that are available at dispensaries and the processing of state information.

Dates for upcoming luncheons are on Saturday, July 24, August 21 and September 18. The luncheons will take place from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Chill Cawfee at 3407 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. The luncheon charge is $5, which will include pizza from Rosati’s, and space is limited.

For more information and a list of in-store events, visit or follow its Facebook page @chillcawfee.

Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Creates Citizen Liaison Position

In an effort to further assist the public with the sometimes complicated questions regarding his office, Hillsborough County Property Appraiser (HCPA) Bob Henriquez has created a citizen liaison position to help guide citizens through any uniquely challenging inquiries related to their property.

Nereia Cormier Wilson, who is also serving as the HCPA’s special projects administrator, will be taking on the role.

“Our first priority is quality customer service to the citizens of Hillsborough County,” Henriquez said. “I believe the position will further enhance our ability to address the more complex issues we face upon occasion.”

You can contact Wilson through a contact form at and send a brief summary of their concerns or questions as well as attach documents and photographs.

Pepin Academies Names New Chief Operating Officer

Pepin Academies recently announced that it has named veteran educator Monika Perez as its chief operating officer (COO) to oversee its three campuses in Hillsborough and Pasco Counties that serve students with learning and learning-related disabilities. In this role, Perez will oversee internal operations across all of Pepin Academies’ campuses and implement program and facility expansions.

Perez has served Pepin Academies for the past 17 years. She began her career with the schools as a director of Pepin Academy High School, then a small nine to 12th-grade charter school, in 2004.

“Through the years, Pepin Academies has become a second home to me,” said Perez. “My love for this school and what it stands for now drives me to help others find their ‘home’ in our therapeutic educational environment. As COO, I now have the chance to help unify our campuses and help carry this vision further.”

For more information about Pepin Academies, visit

Yoga Classes At Center Place

Center Place Fine Arts And Civic Association in Brandon is hosting regular yoga classes. Holy Yoga Flow will take place on Saturday, July 17 from 8-9 a.m. and is geared towards beginners. Hatha Yoga Flow is also on July 17 from 10-11 a.m. and is for both beginners and intermediate yogis.

An evening yoga class is available on Wednesday, July 7 and Thursday, July 29 from 7-8 p.m. Evening yoga is also suitable for both beginners and intermediate yogis. All yoga classes are $20. To register, call Center Place on 685-8888.

Dementia And Alzheimer’s Support Groups Now Meeting

Care partners of those with any type of memory loss, whether family, friends or professionals, need to be equipped with the knowledge to best support their loved ones. A great way to learn and share are the new hybrid Alzheimer’s Association support groups which are now being held via Zoom and in person at Tessera of Brandon.

One is an evening group and the other is midday. The evening group meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. (Zoom meeting number 897 6781 0479, password: evening). The midday meeting is on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 2 p.m. (Zoom meeting number 869 4044 7508 password: support).

Tessera of Brandon is located at 1320 Oakfield Dr. Call 607-6880 for more information.

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