Tampa Electric Team Members Walk Their Hearts Out

Tampa Electric’s Heart Walk team raised $6,615 for the American Heart Association Saturday, Nov. 5.

Heart disease is something Tom Hernandez takes to heart. And that’s why Tampa Electric’s Senior Vice President of Decarbonization and his wife, Pam, proudly participated in the American Heart Association (AHA)’s Tampa Bay Heart Walk Saturday, Nov. 5.

“Both her dad and my dad passed away,” shared Tom. “Her dad passed from congestive heart failure. Mine had heart issues for a long time as well and they both passed at an earlier age.”

To honor their late fathers, Tom and Pam joined more than 60 donors supporting Tampa Electric’s Heart Walk team at Raymond James Stadium. “My father-in-law died the night before my birthday and my dad passed away a few years later on my birthday, Feb. 18. Not only this event, but every birthday we think of both of our dads,” said Tom. “A lot of personal motivation for me to support this effort.”

The Heart Walk also gave Tampa Electric the opportunity to serve as the proud Hands-Only CPR sponsor. Hands-Only CPR, when performed immediately and effectively, can double, or even triple the chance of survival. Just ask Polk Power Station’s Engineering and Maintenance Manager Derek Stock. Knowing CPR helped Derek save his son, Levi’s life after a terrifying lightning strike. Levi’s story spread fast on Tampa Bay airwaves highlighting the importance of learning CPR.

Engineering and Maintenance Manager Derek Stock (pictured with his family) was encouraged to see Heart Walk attendees learn CPR under a TECO-sponsored tent. Derek’s CPR skills helped save the life of his son, Levi (front middle) earlier this year.

With family in tow, Derek was pleased to see Heart Walk attendees learn the lifesaving skill under a TECO-sponsored tent. “I was really encouraged seeing so many people do the hands-only CPR training,” recalled Derek. “And it was hard not to get a little emotional when I saw Levi himself do CPR. It was great to be able to walk with Levi and the rest of the family. I didn’t take it for granted that he is alive and able to walk with us. We are so very thankful Levi is a success story. If I didn’t have CPR training, it may have been a very different story.”

Sr. Vice President of Decarbonization Tom Hernandez & Sr. Manager of Human Resources Debbie Mann.

Derek, Levi, Tom and Pam joined many Tampa Electric team members in helping raise a total of $6,615 for this important cause. Thanks to all the donors and walkers who helped fund lifesaving science this year. And next year, Tampa Electric President and CEO Archie Collins is looking forward to serving as Chair of the AHA’s 2023 Tampa Bay Heart Walk. Together, we can celebrate health, wellness, awareness and survivorship throughout the Tampa Bay community.