Tampa Bay’s 10 Leading Ladies 2012: Pam Iorio

November 27, 2013 | South Tampa Magazine | Categories: 10 Leading Women, Editorial, People | Tags: Mayor Pam Iorio, Pam Iorio

Pam Iorio

Former mayor of the city of Tampa, leadership speaker, author


The former mayor of Tampa, Pam Iorio has taken some time away from politics and even some of her philanthropic work to be with her husband Mark Woodard and their children Caitlin and Graham, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t still an integral part of Tampa Bay’s nonprofits. Iorio was an integral part of founding the Tampa Bay History Center, Curtis Hixon Park and Riverwalk and is currently on the board of the USF Foundation.


How did you become involved in your charity? When the Tampa Bay History Center was just a dream I was asked by Tommy Touchton to get involved. I watched it go from a concept to reality, and today it is one of Tampa’s treasures.

What is one of your favorite memories when working with your charity? Standing on the site of where the History Center is today, my first week as mayor, and knowing that we could turn that mound of dirt into something special.

What is one of your favorite charity events in Tampa Bay and why? It was always very moving to attend the annual Latino Scholarship event at the University of South Florida and see so many students who were the first in their family to go to college.

As a leading lady, what is one of your proudest accomplishments? I will always consider it special that my administration was able to play a role in the growth and improvement of Tampa—my home. I am particularly proud whenever I visit the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and the Riverwalk and see so many people enjoying our waterfront.

How do you like to unwind? I like to read, walk, exercise, and play golf.

Who do you most admire in Tampa Bay? Our returning wounded veterans who are resilient in the face of difficult challenges.

Outside of charity work, what inspires you? People who see themselves as givers and who find ways to make the community better without any expectation of it benefiting them.

Which Bay-area spots do you take your out-of-town guests to really show off our city? I take them to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, then the Tampa Bay History Center, then Ybor City.

What advice would you pass on to younger generations? When you learn to lead yourself well, you live a good life.

Finish this sentence: The best meal in town is Roast pork, yellow rice and black beans.

What are you currently reading? A biography of Alexander Hamilton, and Our Divided Political Heart by EJ Dionne

What’s an ideal Friday night for you? Being at home, eating dinner with my husband and taking a walk after dinner.

Name one thing most people wouldn’t know about you. I listen to Motown music all the time.

Who would you pick for a dream date? No good comes from that question!

Favorite album of all time: The Beatles, White Album

Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Sherlock Holmes

Do you have a motto or words of wisdom that you live by? In your own way, make the world a better place.


Aglio Olio



Between half and a full cup of olive oil

6 or more cloves of garlic chopped (more if you have a cholesterol problem—less if you have a dating problem. If you have both problems, toss a coin)

2 spoonfuls of chopped parsley

Hot pepper flakes (optional)



Get a frying pan. Pour in the olive oil. Heat.

Throw in chopped garlic and then parsley and hot pepper flakes.

Cook until garlic begins to change color. Stop and pour over pasta of your choice (I prefer to pour the pasta in the pan and fry for a minute). Top with cheese.