TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Shawn Copeland, 61, took good care of himself. Frequently, you could find him in the gym at Tampa Electric’s downtown headquarters where he was the Vice President of Safety.
When TECO CEO Archie Collins got a call early one morning in February 2021, he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Copeland had died suddenly of a heart attack at his home.
Later that day, Collins went and sat in Copeland’s office, which was just a few feet from his. On the desk, he saw a list and what it said stopped him cold.
“The third item on the list [was] heart attack. Tell the story.”
Just days before Copeland died, he had written “heart attack” on the list of topics he planned to cover at an upcoming town hall meeting for TECO employees.
“February is heart month, so I think it had something to do with that.”
Losing his friend and colleague so suddenly hit Collins hard and provided a good reason for Collins to say yes when he was asked to chair the 2023 Tampa Bay Heart Walk, taking place Saturday, Nov. 4.
“We worry about all these things in our day to day lives that at the end of the day how important are they really? We have so many blessings. We have so many things to be grateful for. Take the time to recognize them and appreciate them.”