The most misunderstood issue around the planned merger of the three campuses of University of South Florida is that St. Petersburg has “lost its university,” says Martin Tadlock, regional chancellor at USF St. Petersburg.
Five weeks after the Cross-Bay Ferry resumed crossing the bay, business is brisk, with ridership divided evenly between St. Petersburg residents and visitors heading east to sample what Tampa’s channel district has to offer, and Tampa people boating west for a meal or shopping excursion in downtown St. Pete.
The language of the 2018 summit focused squarely on inclusion and equity more than ever before. “I didn’t know what equity meant,” Steinocher candidly admitted. “It’s not just, ‘let’s help everybody and everybody will rise.’ We began to really buy into this notion of ‘let’s go where we have the most critical needs, let’s invest in those and watch how it all sprouts.’”
As St. Petersburg moves into year five of Grow Smarter, bolstered by new funding, a dedicated staff, and the collective hopes of the community, we will look for forward motion.
In the summer of 2011, a half-dozen young tech companies embarked on an adventure that was relatively new in Tampa Bay at that time. They were part of the first Gazelle Lab business accelerator, a St. Petersburg-based initiative to foster development of the fledgling firms by providing small cash infusions and a big dose of mentoring, with the goal of building an entrepreneurial community locally.