Meet Jim Simms. A cancer survivor originally from New York City. He worked on Wall Street, New York when the towers were hit. He saw the south tower collapse and he knew that the Biga Apple had changed forever. He moved to Tampa in February 2003. Been with Toast Masters, volunteers with meals on wheels of Tampa and Reading Pals. A member of The American Lung Association for their Fight for Air Climb, which is on April 4th www.climbtampa.org He put a team together called The Tampa YMCA.
Started volunteering in 2009, was a fundraiser and put together the Wrap River Run for the a shelter, and the race has been in existence for over 10 years now . Finished 3rd in his age category.
He’s been married to his wife,Tina, for 50 years now and the couple were blessed with an only son Bryan.
Thank you, Jim, for your love for North Tampa.
Q: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
A: Worked in United Way after losing my job in banking. Saw a job post for a fund raiser in The Association of Fundraising Professionals and started working in 2003 for a youth and family alternative that works with youth runaway, crisis, adoptions and counseling for families. 10 years experience. When our son relocated, we kind of like to stay with family. That’s when I ended up here.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in North Tampa, and what do you love there?
A Our favorite restaurant if we don’t want to dress up and we’re just hungry and we want a bite to eat is Panera, next to it is Bone Fish Grill, what’s nice about it is the mussels. I really like to eat seafood.
Q: How long have you lived or worked in North Tampa?
A: I moved down in November of 2003 and then February 2004 I went back up and got my wife and the 2 cats.
Q: Who’s had the biggest positive impact in your life?
A: My Father, I just remember that he was teaching by his example. One thing that was unique about my dad was that he was very involved the Catholic Church. He was involved in St. Vincent de Paul Society that brought relief to people in the neighborhood. My father was somebody the helped other people. An other thing that he did, I remember one day he said “Why don’t we go in and say a prayer for that man?” You know, a stranger.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: The Beach, any beach. I am a Pisces, I just find it relaxing at the beach. The beach was the place where I saw my mother always relaxed and when my mother was relaxed, everybody could relax.
Q: What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
A: The Bucket List, is one of my favorite movies.
Q: What would be your best piece of advice about life?
A: Follow your own dream and reach out and find a mentor whether it’s business or in social settings.
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: I don’t think I have a bucket list, I sort like take every day as it comes it don’t really necessarily say that you have to accomplish this or that. I’m always working on becoming a more confident speaker. Also to help encourage Rotarians and Toastmasters to gather together and collaborate.
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about North Tampa?
A: Water! We live on a big lake, we’re we have seen roseate spoonbills, river otter and It’s just nice to have your coffee in the lanai, they call it the patio in New York. I like the fact that North Tampa is really only 15 minutes from the city and generally it is easy to get in and out.
Q: Do you think it is important to have that face to face contact and get to know your neighbors?
A: Yes! Absolutely, I think that sometimes people who put down social media ought to look more at it’s potential. I counsel men about prostate cancer via webinars and anybody can find me on Facebook. I will be talking about my cancer survival journey in The Villages in March at a conference where about 200 men are expected.