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President - Saint Petersburg Economic Development Corporation

Posted By Joe Hamilton


J.P. DuBuque is "Storyteller in Chief" of St. Pete's renaissance and one of the main players responsible for bringing it to fruition. The veteran corporate recruiter was hired as the St. Pete EDC's first President and started his tenure in November 2017. In his role, DuBuque is on the cutting edge of expanding and developing local business, bringing in jobs and fulfilling the Grow Smarter initiative. He's also in charge of recruiting companies from outside our market. That priority brought DuBuque and Mayor Kriseman to San Francisco in early May for an inaugural economic development trip, to tell the story of St. Pete to growing tech startups in the Bay Area.

Years in St. Pete

1.5 years, Tampa Bay 6 years.

Organizations involved in

St. Pete EDC takes up all of my time, because it is a startup.

What gets you out of bed every day?

With economic development I really do have an opportunity to impact folks. When we make an announcement of jobs that have been created, a company that we have helped, it’s not just about a number of jobs, it’s about the families that have been positively impacted by what we do. That’s pretty fulfilling.

Why St. Pete?

Why not St. Pete? St. Pete is the coolest place on earth and I want to be a part of it. I want to be a part of driving this city to the next level.

What is one habit that you keep?

Working out, I work out 3-4 times every week whether I need to or not.

Who are some people that influence you?

On a daily basis, Chris Steinocher from the Chamber certainly influences me with the drive he has and the desire to keep the funk in St. Pete is certainly something that I have the great opportunity to follow.

What is one piece of insight - a book, methodology, practice - that you would share with our readers?

One of the things that I’ve tried to do in my professional life and something I think many leaders get wrong – is our job as a leader is to motivate the folks working with us to be the best they can be. That is all our job is. Our job is not to control them. If we do that right, we’ll be very successful as leaders.

What is one thing you wish you knew about your work 3 years ago?

I really wish that I knew how much time it was going to take. This is a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week type of thing. Truth be told, sometimes it’s hard to have a family life and a personal life when you’re running a startup organization.

What’s next?

To take the EDC to the next level and start providing real impact for the community. Helping companies grow jobs, recruiting new companies to town and really telling the story of St. Pete as a business and career location in a way that drives the economy.

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