TAMPA, Fla., Wednesday, December 19, 2018 – Former Tampa philanthropists, business and community leaders, Art and Polly Pepin along with the Pepin Family, were honored with a road designation ceremony on Friday, December 21 at the Pepin Distributing Company from Florida State Senator Janet Cruz. Tom Pepin, Art Pepin’s son, spoke on his family’s behalf in addition to being presented a Hillsborough County commendation from Commissioner Sandra Murman.
“Pepin Distributing has been a pillar of the Tampa Bay community for over 50 years. Art Pepin built his company on the philosophy that “Making Friends is our Foundation,” said Cruz. “The Pepin family has been a great friend and neighbor to our community. Art instilled these values in his son, Tom, and I am so grateful that we are able to honor his continued generosity with the designation of Pepin Memorial Road.”
During the 2018 Legislative Session, the Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 382, designating a portion of county right-of-way known as 56th Street, lying between E. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Harney Road, in Hillsborough County as “Pepin Memorial Road.” The Hillsborough County Commission followed by passing Resolution 18, sponsored by Commissioner Murman, to formalize the road designation.
“Tom Pepin and the Pepin family have given so much to our community and to Hillsborough County over the years. From the Pepin Heart Institute and Pepin Academies to the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Special Olympics, the causes aided and the needs met are countless,” said Murman. “We appreciate what they’ve done for us, and the road naming is a great way to honor the family’s contributions.”
Art, the founder of Pepin Distributing, entered the Florida distributing market in the 1960s and made his early distributions on the back of his station wagon. Until his passing in 2000, Art steered the company as a community partner and philanthropic leader throughout the Tampa Bay area. His legacy has continued under Tom Pepin, who became the chief executive of Pepin Distributing in the 1980s. The company now partners and supports many local organizations and causes including Pepin Heart Institute, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, MacDonald Training Center, Special Olympics, March of Dimes and the University of Tampa.
“I grew up in a family that believed in the power of the greater good. My father, Art Pepin, was the most compassionate person I’ve ever known. He instilled in me to always treat everyone with the same respect, dignity and kindness,” said Tom Pepin. “The Tampa Bay community has always been generous to our family, and it’s important we give back in return.”