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07/03/2021 | Episode 17 | 19:39

Just Getting Started: Mayor Rick Kriseman

Dr. Tomalin's guest is St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. Together, they discuss the St. Pete Pier, which will celebrate its first anniversary on July 6. Other topics include the upcoming redevelopment of Tropicana Field, the city's explosive economic growth and spreading physical infrastructure, and what he hopes will be the legacy of his administration.

Key Insights

  • Kriseman says the Pier was the biggest and most complex project the City has undertaken. "I'd love to be able to say that I'm the one who brought the Pier here, but it was a heavy lift. It was a huge team effort. It took everyone involved giving it more than a hundred percent."
  • The influx of tech companies relocating here, he believes, is "so good for this community that people will have an opportunity to either get a job, or if they've got one, to move up in their career and start working their way up the economic chain."
  • Companies are choosing St. Pete for relocation over other cities, Kriseman opines, because of "the people, and the values we've created here, of the kind of community we want to be."
  • Advice for his successor: "I think the best success comes when you build. When each administration builds on the one before it."
  • "We're not perfect. Not everything we touched worked out exactly the way we wanted it to. What didn't we get done that we wanted to get done? The next administration can pick up the ball and run with that."
  • "I've gotten to work with amazing people; that's the thing I'm going to miss more than anything else. The people I get to work with every day, who are just so committed to everything that is about St. Petersburg."

When the (Pier) design was chosen, it wasn't initially my number one suggestion. But the more I learned about the design, the more I lived with the design, the more I understood why that was the committee's choice."
















We are all very aware of this: As our city continues to grow, we have to do so in a way that we don't lose what makes St. Pete special."

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About the host

Dr. Kanika Tomalin is a thought leader, policy-maker, community ambassador, and health advocate.

As the first African-American, female Deputy Mayor and City Administrator of one of Florida’s largest cities, Dr. Kanika Tomalin is a role model for women from all walks of life and an advocate for innovative policies, equitable community revitalization, healthy families, at-risk youth and education.

Her signature initiative, Healthy St. Pete, which launched in 2014, has made community health a priority and impacts the lives of thousands of Sunshine City residents. By creating access to healthy food options, implementing free fitness zones in city parks and adding resources for individuals and families to make healthy living easier – Dr. Tomalin has made a tangible difference.

Dr. Tomalin’s understanding of the critical role health plays as a determinant of overall quality of life was shaped prior to her career in the public sector. She quickly climbed the ranks in the healthcare industry, most recently serving as the regional vice president of External Affairs for the Bayfront Health Network and director of Strategy for Health Management Associates’ 23-hospital Florida Group.

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