WH(Y)CC is a new article series for YBP’s monthly newsletter that highlights people and organizations challenging the “brain drain” in the Coastal Bend. YBP seeks to stop this exodus of talent by fostering and retaining the young professionals in the Coastal Bend area. WH(Y)CC will explore those who choose Corpus Christi.
By Kathleen Naderer – Corpus Christi’s annual Buc Days celebrations are just around the corner, with this year’s events kicking off on April 2nd and lasting until May 1st. Johnny Philipello, current President and CEO of the Buccaneer Commission, shared some of the things he is most looking forward to this year as well as the ways Buc Days will continue to grow and benefit the Corpus Christi community.
Buc Days is not Johnny Philipello’s first rodeo. Although this year will be his first in Corpus Christi, Philipello has 12 years experience as the Chief Operating Officer for Rodeo Austin. When asked how he was adjusting to his move from Austin to Corpus Christi, Philipello joked that one of the biggest changes is being able to get around town without spending an hour caught up in traffic. “This is a friendly community,” he said, “After only seven months here I already have a great network of friends and support that might take you years to get in Austin.”
And what is Philipello looking forward to at his first Buc Days? To begin with, Rodeo Corpus Christi is celebrating its 25th anniversary, which promises to be an exciting event! The rodeo will feature some amazing pyrotechnic effects and an interesting addition to bullfighting—the rodeo clowns will be equipped with GoPros so the audience can watch the event from their perspective. There will also be more than 25 bands playing music along the beautiful bayfront and a petting zoo sponsored by Stripes at the carnival. Philipello is also eager to see the famous Illuminated Night Parade in person.
But what has Philipello truly excited is raising scholarship money for young people in the Coastal Bend. The Buccaneer Commission has awarded more than $800,000 to high school seniors as well as students at Del Mar College and TAMUCC since 1996, and Philipello wants to see those numbers grow even higher. “It’s important to be a part of your community and give back to it,” Philipello stated. He wants to emphasize the charity mission of Buc Days, increase community support of education and scholarships, and reach as many students who need educational assistance as possible.
Buc Days not only helps support higher education for Coastal Bend citizens, but its rodeos, festivals, and parades also promote economic and professional growth in Corpus Christi. As Philipello explains, “Buc Days creates an opportunity for young professionals to be involved in their community.” Take advantage of this chance to help influence the growth of your community while simultaneously enjoying all the fun and festivities that are a part of Buc Days!
For more information about Buc Days, check out their website here.