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December 26, 1945|
|Alma mater||University of Florida|
She was raised in Ybor City and grew up working with her family at the Ferlita Bakery. Ferlita attended high school at the Academy of the Holy Names in Tampa and later enrolled at Loyola University New Orleans for her undergraduate studies. She completed her graduate courses at the University of Florida, College of Pharmacy, in Gainesville, Florida.
Rose Ferlita attained her business experience by serving 18 years as a pharmacist in the corporate world with Eckerd and CVS Corporation in Hillsborough County, Florida. In 1984, she founded Rose Drugs, Inc., where she served the pharmacy needs of Seminole Heights, College Hill and surrounding areas.
In March 1999, boosted by a grassroots effort, Ferlita won her first election to Tampa City Council. She served as the District 2 Citywide Tampa City Council Representative and was subsequently re-elected in March 2003.
In 2006, Rose Ferlita ran to fill the vacant seat in the District 1 Hillsborough County Commission race previously held by Kathy Castor, who had successfully run for Florida's 11th Congressional District. In accordance with Florida election law, Ferlita submitted her resignation to the City Council prior to the elections for County Commission. After a heated Republican primary, she won with more than 53% of the votes during the September 5, 2006 primary election. Two months later at the General Election on November 7, 2006 she secured another election victory with more than 58% of the votes.
On July 8, 2010, Ferlita announced her intent to run for mayor of Tampa in 2011. On March 22, 2011, during her watch party at the Sons of Italy Hall in West Tampa, she conceded victory to Democrat Bob Buckhorn with 37% of the vote to his 63%, stating to her friends and supporters that in the end "it's not about the race you lost. It's about the friends you have."
Rose Ferlita currently lives in Hyde Park (Tampa) with her two rescue dogs Hal and Murray.
Elected and appointed offices
- Hillsborough County of Florida, County Commissioner, District 1; November 2006
- City of Tampa Council Member, District Two, Citywide; April 1999 - November 2006
- City of Tampa Public Safety Chair
- City of Tampa Public Works Vice Chair
- Public Transportation Commission
- Public Safety Coordinating Council
Awards and recognitions
- 2011 FBI Director's Community Leadership Awards for her work in starting Bully Busters, a comprehensive nationwide anti-bullying program in Hillsborough County. Presented March 16, 2012 in Washington, DC
- The Elizabeth Prebich Elected Official Leadership Award for 2008 from the National Association of Counties (NACHSA). This award is for distinguished leadership in human services for an elected official whose efforts and commitment have helped increase awareness of the critical role that county human services agencies play in local, state and national arenas, March 2, 2008.
- Italian-American Women of Excellence Award, October, 2004
- The Florida Pharmacy Association honored Rose Ferlita in July 2000 with the James H. Beal Florida Pharmacist of the Year. This honor was bestowed upon her by her fellow pharmacists statewide in recognition of her "outstanding service to pharmacy".
- Faces and Places – "Drug store owner has cure for neighborhood woes". The Tampa Tribune Nov. 23, 1993
- Best of the Bay '94, Drug Store Category, Creative Loafing, September 1994
- "Pharmacy Spotlight" Pharmacy Times, October, 1994
- "Independent Superstars", 1996 Drug Topics, The Drug Topics Honor Roll, October 1995 and 1996
- "Woman of the '90's", St. Petersburg Times, Tampa Edition, May 2, 1994
- Florida Pharmacy Association's James H. Beal Award, "Pharmacist of the Year 2000"
- Harvest of Hope Political Leadership Award, 2005
- "Prescriptions for Success", The Tampa Tribune, February 24, 2005