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Here are the finalists for CEO of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater

Margie Manning

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(Photo: Visit St. Pete Clearwater)

Tim Ramsberger, the chief operating officer of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, is one of three finalists for the top job at the tourism agency.

Barry Burton, Pinellas County Administrator, named the finalists names nearly a month after Jim Dean, interim president and CEO, resigned. Dean stepped in after long-time CEO David Downing resigned. Dean served in the job for about two months before was elected president and CEO of the Memphis Zoo, according to localmemphis.com.

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is a department of Pinellas County government, and the official tourism marketing and management organization for the St. Petersburg and Clearwater area.

The new CEO will be responsible for overseeing daily operations of the agency.

Here’s the short list of candidates Burton unveiled Tuesday morning.

Brent DeRaad (LinkedIn)

Brent DeRaad, president and CEO, Visit Tucson. He’s been in that job since 2012, managing a $10 million budget and 40 full-time employees. Before joining Visit Tucson, he held three different positions, including executive vice president, with the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Tamara Pigott

Tamara Pigott, executive director, Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau. Pigott has led the Lee County VCB, with a $20 million budget, since 2010. Prior to taking the top job, she was deputy director from 2006 to 2010, and she established and ran the first-ever Beach & Shoreline program for Lee County for six years.

Ramsberger has been COO for VSPC since 2016. He’s led efforts to rebuild and rebrand the Sports Commission and the community/brand engagement departments, as well as guiding key funding support programs, such as the capital project funding and elite event funding program totaling more than $80 million.

Tim Ramsberger (LinkedIn)

He’s a familiar name in St. Pete. Before joining VSPC, he spent 10 years launching and running the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

“We received a lot of high-quality interest with this incredible opportunity and I’m very pleased with the finalists,” Burton said in a statement. “I’m excited for the community to meet all three top-notch professionals and select the next leader for a world-class destination.”

The tourism industry is invited to a meet-and-greet with the three finalists from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort. RSVP to attend here.

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