Aaron Bryce is Florida Statewide Coordinator for the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College, a St. Petersburg native and a St. Petersburg booster. In nominating Bryce as an Influencer, Jerick Johnson had this to say: "With his respect and appreciation of St. Pete's historical past and his optimistic and forward-looking approach to its future and growth, Aron represents the best of what St. Pete can be.:
Years in St. Pete
My entire life, so 27 years.
Organizations involved in
A few of them. I am the outgoing Chairman of the Board for a local nonprofit called Earth to Autism, the newly elected Vice President of the Council of Neighborhood Associations (also known as CONA), the vice president of my former and current Neighborhood Association, a member of the Carfree St. Pete committee, and a member of the Leadership St. Pete class of 2020.
What gets you out of bed every day?
Probably the fact that I get to live in the greatest city in the world, an incredible place with endless things to enjoy. I’m just eternally grateful to have grown up and to live in the Sunshine City.
Why St. Pete?
St. Pete is our own personal paradise. We’re so fortunate to have laid-back, open-minded people, an incredible art scene, endless restaurants, coffee shops and breweries, and the third-largest urban waterfront park system in North America; what’s not to love?
What is one habit that you keep?
Staying in touch with as many of my former classmates, colleagues and friends as possible, I find there’s infinite value in social capital and the relationships we build. So I try to remain connected with those I am meaningfully engaged with throughout my life.
Who are some people that influence you?
First and foremost, my late mother, who passed away in 2017 from brain cancer. She was an exemplary public servant and leader, whether it was her time in the army, as an attorney, as an educator, or as the veteran’s preference manager at the Florida Department of Veteran Affairs. There are just countless examples of her impact on others. And then secondly, I would say my mom’s mom, my grandmother, she’s one of the strongest people I know. And I’m certainly a better man for knowing her.
What is one piece of insight - a book, methodology, practice - that you would share with our readers?
I would say don’t underestimate yourself. Life is filled with obstacles. But at the end of the day, all that matters is you find what drives you, feed your soul, and keep working on it. I like to say keep moving forward. Also, I would say for the love of cities revisited is an incredible book by a local author – and my friend – Peter Kageyama that explores what makes cities lovable and how that inspires people to do extraordinary things in their homes. So highly recommended.
What is one thing you wish you knew about your work 3 years ago?
I would say the tremendous importance of being patient, trusting the process, and actively building relationships. Life has a way of pivoting constantly. And so being able to accept that and adapt when needed is it’s critical. And then, of course, the power of release relationships should never be misjudged.
Well, a new year filled with exciting and fantastic programming at the institute. Successful six months with leadership St. Pete’s class of 2023 new chapter for CONA and St. Petersburg neighborhoods, and my continued personal development as a professional and leader in our community. I love our home, and I’m committed to our city. I always look forward to every opportunity to learn and grow.