TAMPA BAY -The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Fabian Yepez as the Lightning Community Hero this evening during the first period of tonight’s game against the Boston Bruins. Yepez, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, presented by Jabil, will donate the money to Hispanic Business Initiative, also known as Prospera.
Yepez became the Regional Vice President for Prospera on the west coast of Florida in 2016. Prospera is a non-profit, economic development organization that provides bilingual assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs who wish to establish or grow their businesses. As a past business owner himself, Yepez is a Multicultural Marketing Strategist with over 20 years of experience that has helped companies here and abroad to effectively connect with the diverse Hispanic market. He has been able to use this expertise to help numerous Hispanic entrepreneurs succeed in running a business here in the bay area.
The grant tonight will be used to expand Prospera’s reach throughout Tampa Bay. First, they plan to educate 250 Hispanic entrepreneurs. Prospera will also provide individual business consulting and handholding to at least 150 aspiring or established Hispanic entrepreneurs. Prospera will work step-by-step with these entrepreneurs, ensuring they are able to get their business up and running and maintain their success for years to come.
Yepez became the 485th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the Lightning Community Hero program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through tonight’s game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $25.35 million to more than 600 unique nonprofits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. During the summer of 2021, the Viniks announced the community hero program will give away another $10 million over the next five seasons.