Couch Family Foundation

Ted Couch, Sr. was born October 24th, 1936 in Tampa, Florida. He graduated from Jesuit High School in 1954, entered a Roman Catholic Seminary for one year and thereafter attended the University of Tampa and the Louisiana State University School of Banking.

 

His full time working career began in 1956 with the newly formed First Industrial Savings Bank of Tampa where he was employed as a runner. In 1958 First Industrial became the Northside Bank of Tampa and moved to a North Tampa location as a full commercial bank. By this time Mr. Couch had worked his way up to becoming an officer of the bank and after holding every office position in the bank in 1966 he earned the title of President. In 1977 Mr. Couch left the bank to pursue the development of commercial real estate in the North Tampa area and to date continues to manage the properties he developed over the last 30 years.

 

In 1981, Mr. Couch and his partner George Cortner agreed to fund a chair in cancer research at the University of South Florida. This financial support from the community assisted in the appropriation of funding by the Legislature and through the persistence of then House Speaker, H. Lee Moffitt, the Moffitt Cancer and Research Center on the campus of USF became a reality. Mr. Couch chaired the board of directors of the Moffitt Cancer Center for 7 years. In 2000, he stepped down to chair Moffitt’s first capital campaign. This ambitious effort concluded in 2006 after exceeding the $87 million goal.

 

During his working career, Mr. Couch has chaired the University Community Hospital board and is now emeritus after 27 years of service. He has served on numerous boards and foundations in the community and has been a consistent donor to countless charities in the Tampa Bay Community. He maintains that wealth demands increased responsibility along with personal discipline and that wealth does not bring happiness to a person’s life but sharing of wealth does.

 

OFFICERS:

 

President:

Mrs. Martha K. Couch

 

Vice President and Chairman:

 Mr. Theodore J. Couch, Sr.

 

Vice President:

 Mr. Theodore J. Couch, Jr.

 

Secretary and Treasurer:

Mr. William C. Crowder, Esquire

 

DIRECTORS:

 

Mr. William C. Crowder, Esquire

Mrs. Martha K. Couch

Mr. Richard M. Couch

Mr. Theodore J. Couch, Jr.

Mr. Theodore J. Couch, Sr.

Mrs. Michelle A. Novacek

T.J. Couch, Jr., a Tampa native, attended the University of South Florida from 1990 to 1994, and was conferred his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication. In 2003 Couch was accepted into the prestigious Executive Master of Business Administration cohort. He competed in the program and was conferred his M.B.A. in 2005.

 

Couch began his professional career at the Museum of Science and Industry shortly before the museum opened their $35 million expansion. When Mr. Couch left the museum in 2005, he was the Director of Business Enterprises where he directed all aspects of the IMAX Dome Theatre operations and MOSI’s retail operations. This included oversight of three retail stores, 3rd party business relationships, contract negotiation and compliance, off-site retail sales, special events and vended products.

 

Having a keen interest in the performing and visual arts, Couch has served as a creative consultant on numerous film productions by providing his insight into script development, cinemagraphic editing and production release marketing. He is also proud to presently serve in the community on the Board of Directors for the Life Enrichment Center (chairman), the University Area Community Development Corporation, the University of South Florida Foundation, and the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. In addition, he directs the daily activities of the Couch Family Foundation, a grant-making charitable foundation that funds projects that improve the quality of the Tampa community.

 

Presently, Couch is honored to be working alongside his father, Ted Couch, Sr., on various business and charitable projects in the Tampa metropolitan area.

 

Richard M. Couch, a real estate broker for over 10 years in Citrus, Sumter, Marion, Levy, & Gilchrist Counties, specializes in the marketing of residential homes in deed restricted communities, vacant acreage, homes with acreage, working cattle & horse farms, large tracts of land suitable for development, aviation communities, and commercial properties.

 

Previously Rick Couch served as Vice President & Senior Lender for Merchant Bank of Tampa. He is also a licensed Commercial Pilot with multi-engine & instrument ratings. In his past flying career, Couch operated freight/cargo flights out of Tampa and was a corporate pilot for construction companies.

 

He also is proud to have served his country in the United States Marine Corps.

 

Michelle Novacek’s career in marketing began in Atlanta, GA as Director of Marketing for a division of Turner Broadcasting promoting newly-colorized movies, and has spanned consulting positions in emergent market development for clients as widely varied as GTE in Dallas, TX and the US Embassy in Vienna, Austria.

 

Currently based in Western North Carolina, Michelle serves as the Assistant Director of GEAR UP at Appalachian State University. GEAR UP's goals are to reverse drop out rates and to raise national college enrollment. Targeted to disadvantaged middle and high school students, the program provides services including additional tutoring, AP classes, financial literacy training, job shadowing, and university visits.

 

Michelle is an avid camper, hiker and scouter.  She is a graduate of Furman University, and holds a Masters in International Business from the BI Handelsskole in Oslo, Norway.