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Giving back to the community is one of the most rewarding aspects of becoming an entrepreneur. Many of those who have built their own brands from the ground up choose to help others in their own ways, such as donating revenues to charitable causes, non-profit organizations, or local initiatives. Others also launch their passion-fueled businesses and align them to address issues in the community or the world. One of the many generous business personalities is Joanna Danielle Olsen, who has been a business owner for over 25 years and has made countless contributions to her community.
Since 2020, Joanna has been the CEO of the Council of Tampa. She is currently a board member of the Ybor Chamber of Commerce, where she has been serving since 2015. Previously, she served in the Atlanta Women Leaders in Business from 2005 to 2011.
As a business leader with a heart for her community, she has worked on many projects and nonprofits geared toward youth and children, such as the Heart Gallery of Tampa, a non-profit that helps find forever families for Tampa’s foster children. She has also donated to Clothes to Kids, a non-profit organization that provides school-age children from low-income or at-risk families free access to new and high-quality old clothing, and worked with Grace Lutheran, which provides gifts for children in need for Christmas. On top of all her philanthropic efforts, Joanna also sits as part of the Anchorage Kids foundation in PCB, where she has been a member since 2003.
Joanna’s heart and generosity extend to the homeless in her community. She regularly works with Feeding Tampa Bay, a regional affiliate of the national Feeding America network. Feeding Tampa Bay works to feed the roughly one million people in need that reside in the ten counties of West Central Florida. She has also worked with Thorn Ministries of Tampa, which provides supplies for the homeless, as well as My House, a home for neglected and abused youth.
All of this started when Joanna Danielle Olsen ventured into business to fulfill her own dreams. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in science. Her first job off college was with a top design firm in Atlanta, where she worked from 1997 to 1999.
Shortly after, she made the decision to start Paradox, a company that combines music, art, and fashion. In recognition of her company’s success and exemplary philanthropic activities, she was awarded in 2000 by Glamour Magazine with the Woman of the Year Award.
Together with businesswoman and NYU alumna Liliana Lovell, Joanna continued her entrepreneurial journey by opening four Coyote Ugly Saloon locations in Tampa, Atlanta, and Panama City Beach.
As a result of her 2002 purchase of a structure in Tampa’s famed Ybor district, Joanna effectively took on the role of being her own landlord. She relocated the Coyote Ugly Saloon-Tampa to the site, which will soon celebrate its 20th anniversary.
“Through my life experience, resilience, and 25 years of being an entrepreneur, I have learned to never give up no matter what obstacles come my way. Each city has brought its individual challenges that I have had to overcome (weather, demographics and laws/permitting),” Joanna said.
Recently, “unexpected acts of God,” Joanna calls them, have presented the largest difficulties for her. But she has overcome all challenges so far. Situations like the COVID-19 epidemic and staff shortages have forced her to fully embrace her role as a leader.
Joanna Danielle Olsen still has a ton of goals to work towards in the next few years. Her current long-term objectives include growing her businesses internationally, creating more employment opportunities, and building up her portfolio of real estate holdings.