Two inspiring individuals prove leaving the corporate world can really pay off

By : Holly Kapherr Alejos
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When I called Victor Bokas for an interview, he was in the middle of working on a five-foot-square commissioned painting for an art collector in Spain. “I could have never done this had I stayed in the corporate world,” he said to me with an incredulous half-laugh. Since being let go from his position as a senior graphic designer at Tupperware Brands in 2015, he has devoted his full energy to his craft, and it’s made all the difference.

Mandy Keyes, owner of Community Cafe in the Grand Central District of St. Petersburg, also left her corporate position as an interior designer to open a storefront on Central Avenue, the area’s main thoroughfare. When I walked into the cafe for our interview, she was in the thick of taking orders, clearing tables, fielding questions – all the things you’d expect from a small-business owner – popping up at intervals during our conversation to tend to her customers. At 10:30 a.m. on a Saturday, the place was packed. It’s working.

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Come OUT St. Pete returns with inaugural parade in second Pride-filled year

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Come OUT St. Pete (COSP) will return for its second outing with an inaugural parade and five days of events Oct. 4-11.

The organization’s mission is to inspire those in the LGBTQ community to live genuinely, raise awareness of LGBTQ issues and encourage public support from community allies. It began last year as a committee of the Grand Central District Association but has since applied for its own 501(c)(3) designation.

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