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40 Under 40 - Class of 2014
Business Observer Friday, Oct. 10, 2014 8 years ago

Rafaela Amador, 32

Senior Director of Corporate Communications, Tampa Bay Rays

Rafaela Amador grew up on a baseball field. Her brother played baseball in college, her dad was a youth baseball coach and her grandfather played minor league baseball in Puerto Rico. So when she got a call from a senior vice president for the Tampa Bay Rays asking if she’d be interested in a new position with the team, “it was kind of a no brainer,” she says.

Amador was asked to share the story of the impact the Rays make to the community and economy in St. Pete and the Tampa area. “Baseball is how kids learn the value of teamwork and how to try their personal best, and other life lessons,” Amador says. “It’s not just about getting out on the field and playing.”

It’s a good fit for Amador, who worked three years as vice president of public affairs and communications for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, and more recently as an account director for Tucker Hall, leading the Greenlight Pinellas public campaign. Prior to her work with the chamber, she was an English teacher, and before that, she worked as a district aide in the Florida House of Representatives. Suffice it to say, Amador knows the Tampa area.

Growing up in St. Pete, she used to dream about working for the baseball team. She admits it’s hard to believe that her conference room overlooks the field.

Amador just started her dream gig in June, so she’s still learning all facets of the business, but she’s antsy to get to work. “We’re energizing the community through the magic of baseball,” she says. “We have a big microphone and we should use it.”

— Traci McMillan Beach


City of residence: Tampa

Twitter handle: @_razi 

Birthplace: Worcester, Mass.

Years on the Gulf Coast: 27+

Marital status/children: Divorced, one son- Maddox (3 years old)

Alma mater: University of South Florida

Best place to network: St. Pete- Kahwa Coffee, Tampa- Mise En Place

Coolest business experience: Walking out onto the field from the Rays dugout on my first day.

The most important business lesson I’ve learned: I’d say it’s also a life lesson, from Captain Kirk, never be afraid to blow up the Enterprise.

One website that makes your job easier: Twitter. It helps to know what is trending first thing in the morning.

One community group you’re most involved with: Awesome Tampa Bay — a local chapter of the Awesome foundation which awards microgrants to people who want to make Tampa Bay more awesome.

Favorite off-hours activity: The beach is always at the top of the list.

Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: I just couldn’t pick two — John Lennon, Pablo Neruda and His Holiness the Dalai Lama…

Best award you ever received: Best Mom card.

Most adventurous thing you’ve ever done: Climbed the Great Wall of China.

What’s at the top of your bucket list: Going to Bali to watch the waves break backwards.

What new skill would you like to learn: I’d love to learn Mandarin.

Who would play you in a movie about your life: Tina Fey because we have the same glasses and I wish I was funny.

If I had a magic wand I’d: create a flux capacitor to help solve world issues through responsible time travel.

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