Joe Guidry, former opinion editor, The Tampa Tribune
Joe Guidry, a Tampa native, worked for The Tampa Tribune Company for more than 40 years. He joined The Tampa Tribune Editorial Department in 1984, later became Deputy Editorial Page editor and took over as Opinion Page Editor in 2008, a position he held until the Tribune ceased publication in May 2016.
Environmental stewardship was a priority throughout Guidry’s editorial career. During the 1980s, he undertook a “Saving the Bay” series, writing more than 50 editorials on the importance of cleaning and protecting Tampa Bay, advocating for such measures as the Surface Water Management Improvement (SWIM) legislation and the selection of Tampa Bay for the National Estuary Program. He raised alarms over proposals to build a marina and an electric plant on pristine sections of the Bay.
Guidry vigorously championed land preservation efforts throughout the years, including the Hillsborough County Environmental Land Acquisition and Protection Program (ELAPP), Preservation 2000, Florida Forever, and the Florida Land and Water Legacy Amendment. The University of South Florida graduate consistently defended pollution controls and responsible planning and emphasized the economic payoff of resource protection.
His writings have won a number of awards, including the national Aldo Leopold Award for Distinguished Editorial Writing, the Al Burt Award for journalism that promoted conservation and responsible growth, and the Terrell Sessums Award for leadership in safeguarding Tampa Bay.
Guidry has been an active supporter of numerous local non-profit and charitable institutions, including the Boy Scouts, Tampa Bay History Center, Children’s Cancer Research Group and Tampa Catholic High School. He was a 2016 recipient this year of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of South Florida.