The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay lost one if its most dedicated advocates last month. Jim Strenski, 91, passed away peacefully on July 7, 2021 in Clearwater. Jim was a loving husband, devoted father and grandfather, successful entrepreneur and generous philanthropist. His Catholic faith and commitment to helping others were unwavering.
“Jim and Jane Strenski were welcoming advocates of the Foundation when I arrived in 2012. I learned I could depend on Jim for candid, wise leadership and marketing advice. He loved God, family, and community and committed wholeheartedly to all of them. He believed deeply that our community would only thrive when joined together philanthropically, ‘Together We Are Doing Good for Great Causes.’ We will miss him.” – Marlene Spalten, President and CEO
Jim graduated from Marquette University in 1952 with a BA in Journalism. At Marquette, he met Jane Wambach and the two were were married May 15, 1954. They were married 64 years and had five children.
In 1962, Jim founded Public Communications, Inc. (PCI) in Chicago and later added offices in Tampa and Miami. He was deeply committed to public service. Besides serving on the board of the Community Foundation and as the long-standing chair of the Foundation’s marketing committee, Jim served on the board of The Florida Orchestra, and was chairman of the board 2004-2005. He was a member of the Outback Bowl Board of Directors and chairman of the public relations committee for many years. He was a board member of Concerned Citizens of Clearwater; a trustee and passionate fundraiser for Academy Prep Center of Tampa; and a member of the Bequest Society of Jesuit High School. He was also a member of the President’s Society Honor Roll for annual donations to Marquette University. In the 1960s, he supported open housing policies and founded HOPE (Homes of Private Enterprise) to provide housing for under resourced families living in the Chicago area.
In addition to his five children, Jim is survived by 12 grandchildren. Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Jane.