A Tribute to T.J. Couch

T.J. Couch, Jr., has served as a board member for the Life Enrichment Center (LEC) of Tampa for 17 dedicated years. His father Theodore Couch helped found the LEC in 1980. The Couch Family Foundation firmly believes in giving back to the community and supporting creativity, medical advancement, faith, and community organizations.

The Couch Family Foundation has supported and given back to numerous organizations in the area, including: the Life Enrichment Center of Tampa, the Tampa Bay History Center, the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for Performing Arts, Everyday Blessings, Trinity Café, Meals on Wheels, the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Academy Prep Center of Tampa, Jesuit High School, and the University of South Florida.

Mr. Couch, Jr., has continued to uphold his family’s tradition of philanthropy and his family’s commitment to the visual and performing arts. He has invested unparalleled time, care, and selfless service to the LEC and Tampa community at large.

Mr. Couch has been proud to serve in the community as Chairman of the LEC, Trustee of the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Director at the University of South Florida Foundation, Vice Chairman of the University Area Community Development Corporation, Chairman of Hillsborough County’s Historic Preservation Challenge Grant Program, Vice President and Director of the Couch Family Foundation, and Board Member of Moffitt Cancer Center.

In 2004, Mr. Couch volunteered on the LEC Board of Directors when he realized the center was struggling financially and in danger of closing. He not only helped save the LEC from closure by rallying the necessary resources, but he also ensured the LEC could sustain itself in the future for years to come.

Mr. Couch has since selflessly used his time, experience, talent, and resources to positively impact the community. He did so without fanfare, not asking for or requiring recognition for his constant dedication. Mr. Couch’s devotion stemmed from the firm belief that all people should have opportunities for independence, education, and quality of life. He believed everyone should have access to artistic enrichment and expression regardless of their background. He found endless potential and value in each individual and continually inspired others to reach their full potential. He cultivated an open environment for people to be unafraid to fail, learn, and grow, reinforcing the LEC’s core mission to help all people realize their full creative potential.

Mr. Couch’s unwavering support and unassuming leadership has been instrumental in allowing the LEC to flourish and grow successfully. As Board Treasurer, he created monthly financial reports and as Board President, he ran meetings efficiently, fairly, and effectively. He assumed multiple roles and solved numerous challenges during his time at the LEC. From leading executive board meetings to maintaining the facility, Mr. Couch would don a suit or work clothes without question and humbly do anything that was needed.

Mr. Couch created fundraising events, identified and secured sponsors, lobbied for funding, contacted the media, and acted as the sole director, producer, cameraman, and editor for all of the LEC’S video needs. He has shown up with ladders, shovels, and tools to fix the leaky roof, paint walls, pressure wash the building, fix plumbing issues, tear down trees, and assist with landscaping. Mr. Couch brought in patrons, set up Go Fund Me pages, and provided financial support. His actions and service truly went above and beyond a board member’s call of duty.

Mr. Couch tirelessly worked behind-the-scenes with unpretentious leadership, an infectious drive to find a solution, and with absolutely no expectation of praise or benefit to himself. He was equally dedicated and demanding of himself to do his best no matter the project, endeavor, or his position in everything he was involved in. He responded to every emergency or problem with aplomb and never missed a meeting or event.

Mr. Couch exemplifies the true meaning of service and altruism for the community. His quiet, steadfast involvement in all aspects of the LEC deserves endless praise and thanks. Mr. Couch has set an unparalleled precedent and legacy of service and generosity that will continue to inspire generations to come.

Though Mr. Couch demands no accolades, he is more than deserving of them. Please join us in celebrating and honoring Mr. Couch’s selfless dedication to the LEC and Tampa community.