A graduate from The Ohio State University, Vince Torres-Roa intended to apply his patience and love of children to a teaching career. But while doing his work-study program in the university’s admissions department, he was such a great ambassador he was hired as a full-time recruiter right after graduating.
“I guess I was really good at it and I enjoyed it, so I stuck around,” Vince said.
Several years later, after returning to his hometown in Plant City, he is still a great ambassador, but this time for Tampa International Airport. As a Guest Services Manager, he’s responsible for managing the front lines of TPA’s stellar customer service – our Guest Services Representatives – and his enthusiasm for the airport is infectious.
Always smiling, Vince has a knack for making visitors, passengers and fellow employees feel at ease. A frequent traveler himself, he has been through several airports around the world – from Barcelona to Paris to Prague to London – and considers Tampa International among the best.
“Being my home airport, I’ve flown out of here frequently as a business and leisure flyer,” Vince said. “You don’t really pay attention to the little things that make an airport great, but working here really puts things in perspective. There’s a huge army of people here that make Tampa International Airport amazing.”
Vince was born in the silver mining town of Taxco, Guerrero Mexico, as the youngest sibling of a large family. The family moved to Plant City in the early 80’s and Vince enjoyed growing up in smaller community.
After attending school and working in Ohio for several years, he knew he wanted to return home. In 2005, he returned and got a job in the financial aid office at the University of South Florida. There, he worked his way up the ladder quickly, becoming a senior financial aid officer within a year then becoming the University’s Verification Coordinator for Title IV federal financial aid disbursements, training the financial aid staff at USF’s main campus, Lakeland, Sarasota/Manatee and St. Pete satellite campuses. “My main role was to make sure the our university was in compliance with any new federal regulations guidelines on disbursements of federal student aid funds.”
Two years ago, Vince left his job and flew to the Netherlands to help his aunt care for uncle, who was dying.
“I was close to them and I value family above everything else,” Vince said. “You can’t get those moments back.”
Vince stayed in the Netherlands until the passing of his uncle, returning to no job. A year ago, he came to TPA as a temp in the Guest Services Department and was hired as a manager in January. He said he loves working for Director of Guest Services Brenda Geoghagan and the entire staff.
While Vince focuses on his career at the airport, he hopes to fulfill one of his dreams he had to postpone when he left for the Netherlands to be with his family. He began going to grad school at USF, working in his master’s degree in higher education administration, but left in the middle of his coursework.
“My goal is to get back to school and finish,” Vince said. “It’s one of those things I need to accomplish in the near future.” He also hopes to continue traveling, spending time with family and meeting new and interesting people at TPA.