Shumaker Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer Erica Shea Steered University of Tampa Board of Fellows to Banner Year of Giving Back

TAMPA, FL. – Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP is pleased to announce that Shumaker Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer and Chair of the University of Tampa’s Board of Fellows (“Fellows”), Erica Shea, led the Fellows in the distribution of $150,000 back to the university and all four of its Academic Colleges, through grants, scholarships, and endowment gifts.

Established in 1972, the Fellows mission is to serve as goodwill ambassadors within the community, as well as to provide financial and other support to the University. Comprised of more than 130 business leaders and professionals, the Fellows increase the University's visibility through special events and outreach, and raise funds for scholarships. Amid their activities, members of the Fellows also find rewarding opportunities to network with peers who share their belief in the value of higher education.

Leading the Fellows from August 2019 through May 2020, Erica focused on ensuring the Fellows uphold the mission, and more.

“My objectives as chair of this prestigious group were to recruit quality and diverse members, to engage with the faculty and the students of the University, and to give back our time and treasure,” Erica said. “I am so proud to have ended the year where we did, and to have continued the legacy of our grant process and growth of the Fellows endowment to nearly $1 million.”

Dean David Gudelunas, Ph.D. of the College of Arts and Letters, was excited to launch the TalkAbroad platform due in part to a grant from the Fellows this year.

“Dr. Vanessa Rukholm began using the TalkAbroad platform in her Spanish classes at the start of the semester to connect her Italian students with native speakers from Italy,” said Dean Gudelunas. “Students continued to meet, in real time, with their Italian language coaches, even after the COVID-19 crisis forced lockdowns in both the U.S. and Italy. In fact, students were able to talk about the way in which the pandemic was being addressed in both countries.”

In addition, Fellows Forum, the largest event hosted by the Fellows each year, raises money to directly benefit the Board of Fellows endowment fund for the Sykes College of Business. This year alone, the proceeds from the event topped $70,000.

The faculty and staff of the College of Business are appreciative of the efforts of UT Board of Fellows who are prominent business executives in Tampa Bay and support scholarships for outstanding and deserving students who attend the Sykes College of Business,” said Frank Ghannadian, Ph.D., Dean.

Through additional Fellows events, such as Top Shot and the Business Network Symposium programs, another $50,000 was gifted to the Athletic Department and student scholarships.

“It took a village,” said Erica. “With the help of the focused steering committee, the UT Development Office and the President, Dr. Ronald Vaughn and first lady Renee Vaughn, we accomplished quite a feat that we all should feel honored to have been a part of”.   


Founded in 1925, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP is a full-service law firm with more than 260 lawyers and seven offices in Toledo and Columbus, Ohio; Tampa and Sarasota, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Shumaker is a premier provider of quality legal services. Whether it's commitment to clients or work in the community, involvement lies at the core of all of Shumaker’s initiatives