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TPA’s Volunteer Ambassadors reach major milestones while assisting more than a million passengers traveling through TPA

When visitors first touch down at Tampa International Airport, the first people they might encounter are members of the Airport’s Volunteer Ambassador Program. Created in 2012, the program enables volunteers from the community to interact with TPA’s hundreds of thousands of visitors, offering wayfinding assistance, providing Airport information or even offering suggestions on the best places to visit across the Tampa Bay region. In exchange, volunteers get to visit local attractions on familiarization tours and get free Airport parking when they decide to travel, all while getting to share their love for the Tampa Bay area with visitors from around the world.

“Some of our volunteers have full-time jobs but still find time to volunteer twice a week,” TPA Guest Experience Manager Dortresia Johnson said. “They dedicate so much of their lives to the Airport.”

Last week, the Airport held its annual appreciation dinner for the Volunteer Ambassadors, and for the first time, three volunteers -- Mark Mirabella, Paulette Hart and Barbara Genthner-Moritz -- surpassed an amazing 3,000 volunteer hours at TPA.

Several other volunteers -- including Sue Caviness, Reginald Ferris, David Lopez, Doug Prestegaard and Linda McDonough -- surpassed 2,500 hours.

McDonough joined the Volunteer Ambassadors after working for 26 years in the airline business as a customer service agent with United Airlines.

“I still wanted to be involved with the Airport and I love Tampa International,” said McDonough.  She said that after retiring, watching her daughter from high school and mourning the passing of her father, the Volunteer Ambassador Program gave her a new sense of purpose.

 “You get to be out in the public and you see how much you can help people instead of retiring, sitting at home in a chair and not doing anything,” she said.

Since the program’s inception, volunteers have dedicated nearly 181,000 hours helping passengers at TPA and representing the Tampa Bay area.

If you’re interested in Joining TPA’s Volunteer Ambassador Program, click here to learn more.