Co-Founder 

Charlie Guy’s Background

Raised, schooled, & worked mostly in Tampa & a few other out of Florida areas before moving to Saint Petersburg’s Old Southeast neighborhood late summer 2003 where serves on the Old Southeast Neighborhood Association board and also serves on the Multi Modal Transportation Committee for the Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA).

Education:

  • Public school educated in Tampa, FL, with a post graduate high school year at the Mercersburg Academy, Mercersburg, PA

  • Bachelor of Art (Sociology), Duke University while attending on a football scholarship

  • Masters (Education) University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, while teaching 1st grade for 3 years at Carolina Friends School 

  • Chartered Life Underwriter’s designation from The American College, Bryn Mar, PA

Life Passions:

My original interests in historical property restoration & urban renewal projects in emerging neighborhoods, cities, and small towns first originated when I returned work in Tampa in the early 1970's & purchasing an older home in Hyde Park when it was at best was considered a very interesting, BUT a rundown neighborhood. I became a member of our neighborhood leadership group organized to ultimately pressure the City of Tampa to force the Canadian developer to finally meet with us to negotiate a compromise on building heights and other quality of life issues on what was later to become Hyde Park Village.

After restoring number of older homes in Hyde Park including moving one home out of harm’s way and then later winning an Hillsborough County restoration award for restoring a major commercial building (The Hyde Park Atrium), our family moved to my wife’s home in rural Lewes, DE, after her mother's death where we then saved her father’s family home by moving it to her mother’s family’s farm overlooking Rehoboth Bay.

 

My largest restoration project was located in a small Southern Pennsylvania historical town (population1,500), Mercersburg, PA, where we awarded a US Urban Development Action Grant in competition with 500 other similar US communities. Successful in receiving only 1 of the 92 grants awarded, this $210,000 loan was then a part of a total million-dollar investment used to restore and develop a 20,000 sq. ft. historical home on 5 acres in the town center into a 16-room luxury country innThe Mercersburg Inn. Later this loan was repaid to the town….NOT the Federal government.  

 

Returning to Tampa in 1988, I began involvement as a private business sector volunteer in East Tampa. In late 1992, I was selected as Chairman of this area's first economic development corporation…Lee Davis Neighborhood Development Corp...in the mostly African American area north of the Federal government's development of I-4 corridor to Orlando. Philosophically the organization was built upon the research and with the assistance of Robert  Woodson, Washington, DC, founder of the Woodson Center. During this role, I was also chosen as Alternative Vice Chairman, Tampa Enterprise Community-Based Partnership, an inner-city community-based group that developed and was awarded a Federal Enterprise Zone designation and $2,900,000 grant for the City of Tampa.

 

Professionally, I later became proactive in the use of technology and distance learning to improve the lives of challenged students. After serving as the Florida Manager for NetSchools, one of the first companies specializing in 1-1-eLearning  solutions (wireless classroom deployed laptops), I then developed BrightZone Institute. This was a non-profit research and development consortium of private-sector firms in the fields of education, technology, and telecommunications along with several other educational technology non-profit entities.

 

Its primary mission was to help mitigate the America’s Digital Learning Apartheid by better enabling America’s poorest English and Spanish speaking middle school students to experience safe Internet access via pre-Apple iPhone smartphones to safe digital learning resources at home while also fully participating in a safe networked educational collaborative platform. Our research and planning efforts resulted in a $1,000,000 grant by QUALCOM to field-test our system through mobile devices to increase mathematic achievement for 9th and 10th grade students in the State of North Carolina.   

Other Tampa Public Sector Volunteer Experiences

  • Member of the Advisory Committee for the Gulfcoast Oncology Foundation

  • Director of Tampa Sports Club (Non-profit group dedicated to providing financial grants to support youth athletics.)

  • Board member of the Downtown Rotary Club

  • President and board member of St. John’s Parish Day School

  • President of HARC Housing, Inc. (Housing opportunities for the retarded.)

  • Partner of the Learning Lab Student Incentive Project for the Florida AquariumPresident’s Task Force on Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of South Florida, Tampa (Studied and restructured the athletic department.)

  • Member of Planned Giving Committee for Suncoast Gerontology Center

Upon arrival in Old Southeast, most of my philanthropic efforts were first dedicated primarily to a personal family genealogical project. My mother’s family, Langille, were poor French carpenters arriving in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia in 1753 as one it’s first founding Foreign Protestants families. These 1,572 residents made up Canada's first successful multicultural, multilingual, and multi-religion successful non-English speaking rural community. From 2010-17, we spent 6 months each year there as we developed a digital Shared Nostalgia Drupal Content Management System to empower the genealogical connection of the people and places of Nova Scotia’s Foreign Protestants. This system was donated in 2020 to the Ontario Genealogical Society.

Later in anticipation of celebrating the 55th anniversary of my graduation from Mercersburg Academy and its initial racial integration, I helped to organize my fellow football teammates classmates of 1965 and 1966 to assist three senior students developing a documentary focusing upon the life of Tom Leslie as the school’s first black graduate who was also our teammate and friend. This student effort led by a young black African woman born in Ghana to African parents, but having been raised most of her life in the United States in Bradenton, FL, helped to motivate the school to create a scholarship in Tom’s honor.