With Just Getting Started, Deputy Mayor and City Administrator Dr. Kanika Tomalin is “telling the St. Pete story” through one-on-one conversations with change-makers. With many exciting plans and projects on the horizon, St. Petersburg’s upward trajectory remains strong. “So much has been done, but here’s the secret: We’re just getting started.”
Dr. Tomalin's guest is Dr. Tashika Griffith, provost of St. Pete College downtown and midtown, and the Palladium Theater. She is also the 2020 Chair of the city's Grow Smarter initiative - a comprehensive economic development strategy that is focused on inclusive prosperity and equitable economic growth. Now in its sixth year, Grow Smarter has been a tremendous success - but, as Dr. Griffith points out, the pandemic has made certain pivots increasingly necessary: "We want to be sure, as the needs evolve, that we're right there to make sure that we understand it and contribute to the solution."
Dr. Tomalin’s guest is Dr. Tashika Griffith, provost of St. Pete College downtown and midtown, and the Palladium Theater. She is also the 2020 Chair of the city’s Grow Smarter initiative – a comprehensive economic development strategy that is focused on inclusive prosperity and equitable economic growth
The importance of Grow Smarter is: How can we bridge the gap? How can we truly reduce the inequities, so that no matter what areas, everyone's prospering?"
A lot of people don't realize that a part of the initiative for Grow Smarter was to extend a reaching hand of help from business leaders, and they stepped up ... a lot of business leaders came in and said 'As a big business, how can I help small businesses?"
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.