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Influencer
Posted By Joe Hamilton

Introduction

By day, Shaun Amarnani is senior counsel at Trenam Law. By night, he's involved in nearly every organization for the advancement of St. Petersburg, including his own - St. Pete is for Tech, a website dedicated to the advancement of St. Pete's growing tech scene. Amarnani spent most of his early career in public service, working for the cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg. With such a background, he specializes in economic development, land use, and zoning issues, a focus of his day job and his volunteer work in the Grow Smarter initiative. Despite his young age, Amarnani has been a vocal advocate for St. Pete who actively works to solve the challenges to its growth, and has proven himself a leader committed to moving St. Petersburg forward.

Years in St. Pete

4 years.

Organizations involved in

Board of Directors for Tampa Bay Society of Real Estate Professionals, Chairing Zoning Committee for Grow Smarter, St. Pete Chamber, St. Pete Downtown Partnership, Leadership St. Pete Alumni Association, and Leadership Florida Alumni Network. Also have a website called St. Pete is for Tech.

What gets you out of bed every day?

Trying to make St. Pete, Tampa Bay, and the state of Florida a better place every day by helping to overcome the challenges that hold us back. Plus, my wife makes me get out of bed.

Why St. Pete?

My wife and I used to live in Miami about 7 years ago. Then we moved up to Tampa and discovered St. Pete. We really missed the arts, culture, and walkability of Miami, we found that St. Pete had a lot of those same big city characteristics. We also liked the proximity to the beaches, the parks, and the people.

What is one habit that you keep?

I try to meet with anyone who wants to meet with me. That’s some great advice I got early in my career, it has helped me build great relationships. It has also gotten me business.

Who are some people that influence you?

My dad is a huge influence in my life. He was actually a refugee who grew up in poverty in India. In his life, he went from a refugee camp to moving to the United States to become a successful doctor. He taught me the power of education and how nobody can ever take your education away from you.

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

I’m a huge fan of Keith Ferrazzi’s book Never Eat Alone. He gives great advice about building a network before you need it.

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

Three years ago, I was just finishing up working for the City of Tampa, I then worked for the City of St. Petersburg, and then a year ago I moved to Trenam Law where I use my experience from the city of St. Petersburg and Tampa for my clients at Trenam. I’m happy with my experience and wouldn’t change a thing.

What’s next?

I’m excited about the future of St. Petersburg and Tampa. I hope we look at other cities that have grown up and try to avoid the mistakes they made when they were growing. We need to preserve the culture and feel of the region, while improving the shortcomings. I look forward to helping guide these discussions.

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