Tampa Tiger Bay Club honors John Grant, Arthenia Joyner for lifetime achievement

Each year, the group presents lifetime achievement awards to one Democrat and one Republican.

The Tampa Tiger Bay Club will honor two former state senators during its Fifth Annual Lifetime Achievement Awards Dinner June 21. 

The organization plans to award former Sens. John Grant and Arthenia Joyner at the event, which will begin at 6 p.m. in the Cuban Club Ballroom in Ybor City. Tickets are $60 and the event is open to the public.

Each year, the nonpartisan political group presents lifetime achievement awards to one Democrat and one Republican.

In announcing the event, the Tampa Tiger Bay Club said although the two candidates are political opposites — Grant a Republican and Joyner a Democrat — the two found common ground on issues, such as education.

Joyner served as a member of the state Senate from 2006 to 2016, and was the Senate Minority Leader during her last two years in office. Before that, Joyner represented parts of Tampa Bay in the House, which she was first elected to in 2000.

Joyner broke ground as the first Black woman to practice law in Hillsborough County, and she has continued her practice for 51 years. She later was selected to serve as president of the National Bar Association.

Joyner is a renowned civil rights leader who was arrested multiple times for challenging injustice, and is currently the longest practicing Black woman lawyer in Florida.

Grant represented Pasco and Hillsborough counties in the Florida Senate from 1986 to 2000, and served in the state House from 1980 to 1986. He was also a lawyer with Tampa Estate Planners Law Firm for more than 40 years and specializes in estate planning, trust and probate administration, mediation and elder law.

Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Grant to serve a two-year term on the Florida Ethics Commission in 2019. 

Previous recipients of the club’s lifetime achievement awards include former Florida Gov. Bob Martinez, former Florida House Speaker Terrell Sessums, former U.S. Rep. Mike Bilirakis and former Florida Education Commissioner Betty Castor. 

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


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