TEMPLE TERRACE — Anita Long devotes much of her time and talent to the day-to-day operations of Business Ink Printing, a company in Temple Terrace she and her husband, David, have owned for 14 years.
She also purposely makes time to be involved in multiple organizations and causes she believes have a positive impact on the lives of others in her community and beyond.
Long is a longtime member of the Temple Terrace Junior Woman’s Club, an organization in which she thrice served as president and currently is the GFWC Florida Federation District 8 Junior Director at the state level.
She’s also a member of the Temple Terrace Woman’s Club, Temple Terrace Arts Council and, since 2003, publicity chairman of Temple Terrace’s Relay for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society.
Based on her track record of volunteerism and the positive influence she’s had in the community, Long has been selected as one of the three 2014 Citizen of the Year finalists in the Greater Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce annual contest.
“I feel very humbled to be nominated. It’s not just an honor for me but an acknowledgment of the organizations and the community I serve,” said Long, who’s known as more of a behind-the-scenes worker bee than one who seeks the limelight.
It’s all about giving back, said Long, who noted there is a lot to be gleaned from former Prime Minister of England Winston Churchill’s quote, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Current Temple Terrace Junior Woman’s Club President Carrie Young, the working mother of two young children, said while she’s doing her very best to lead the organization, there is no way she can be “another Anita Long.”
“She’s at everything and she’s involved in everything we do to help make Temple Terrace the really nice community that it is,” Young said.
Retired banker Diane Tone and Craig Chandler, professor emeritus in horticultural science at the University of Florida, are also in the running.
Tone, a former vice president and senior business development officer at Republic Bank, is known for playing an important role in helping to foster the growth and success of the Temple Terrace chamber and Northside Mental Health Center Auxiliary, where she served as president for about three of her six years on the board.
“It’s a real gem right here in our community,” said Tone, who expressed her personal satisfaction for being able to bring more awareness to and raise money for Northside Mental Health Center, a nonprofit organization with a mission to help heal the mental ills of Hillsborough County residents.
Tone also took part in underwriting the bond issue that led to the building of Terrace Community Middle School, a charter institution where she served on the board, including three years as its president.
“I love this community. It’s part of my fabric,” said Tone, who along with her two grown children, graduated from King High School.
Doug Winton, Republic Bank’s Florida market president, worked closely with Tone for several years prior to her retirement. He described her as well suited for leadership roles.
“She’s one of those people who, when she sees a need, jumps right on it,” he said. “When she says she is going to get something done she goes head first into doing it to the best of her ability.”
Chandler, who retired from the University of Florida in 2010, has been a resident of Temple Terrace since 1987.
Nearly two years ago he founded Trees for Good, a nonprofit organization focused on planting trees to benefit the ecosystem by reducing the rise in carbon dioxide he contends is a result of global warming.
“Trees sequester about 1.5 pounds of carbon dioxide for every pound of new wood they produce,” Chandler said.
Since September 2010, he has personally purchased and planted approximately 350 trees, mainly in working-class neighborhoods and on the property of several churches and schools. Temple Terrace Elementary is among them.
His trees are hardy and fast growing, and he intentionally places them close to buildings to also help lessen the amount of electricity needed to cool the inside of the structures.
Many of them, according to Temple Terrace Code Compliance Director and arborist Joe Gross, are on properties that don’t qualify for the city’s Adopt-a-Tree program, primarily because they are outside the municipality’s boundaries.
“It’s been a very good thing in that it complements what we are able to do within the city limits,” Gross said.
In addition, the horticultural expert has voluntarily vowed to nurture and maintain all of his plantings. He also tries to educate home and business owners about the trees’ value.
Chandler said he and his wife have thoroughly enjoyed living and raising their two daughters in Temple Terrace.
“To be chosen as a finalist for Citizen of the Year is a real honor and recognition that this community values the work I’ve been doing,” Chandler said. “It gives me extra motivation to continue.”
The winner will be announced during the chamber’s 51st annual Awards & Installation Banquet Aug. 26 at Embassy Suites on the University of South Florida campus.
Tickets are $55 per person or $100 per couple. The deadline to purchase them is Aug. 22. To do so, stop by the chamber office at 9385 N. 56th St. or call (813) 989-7004.
Joyce McKenzie can be reached at [email protected]