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Preserve the ‘Burg executive director Monica Kile is stepping down

Margie Manning

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Monica Kile, executive director, Preserve the 'Burg, in the St. Pete Catalyst studio earlier this year.

Monica Kile is leaving her post as executive director of Preserve the ‘Burg effective Monday, Aug. 31.

Kile cited family health issues and the Covid-19 pandemic for her resignation, which she announced Friday in the organization’s newsletter.

Her husband, Jon Kile, has a rare genetic condition called vascular Ehlers-Danlos Sydrome, a connective tissue disorder. Monica Kile wrote that both Jon and their two young children are at an extremely high risk of negative outcomes from a Covid infection. Since the children could not return to school in person, the family took the opportunity to buy an RV and travel the country, Kile wrote.

Kile has been involved with Preserve the ‘Burg for 14 years, initially as a volunteer and board member. She served two stints as executive director of Preserve the ‘Burg, first from 2013 to 2015 when the organization was called St. Petersburg Preservation. She returned to the top staff position in 2019 after directing the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Eckerd College, and working on special projects with organizations like the Palladium Theater and the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg.

Preserve the ‘Burg is a nonprofit organization focused on educating residents and visitors about the unique cultural and architectural history of the city and celebrating those places that keep St. Pete special.  The organization also advocates for better preservation laws, place-conscious development, and thoughtful maintenance of historic buildings.

“There’s a reason I love St. Pete and you love St. Pete, and it is intangible and it’s made up of a lot of different things, but one part of it is these great buildings we have,” Kile told Joe Hamilton, publisher of the St. Pete Catalyst, during an interview earlier this year.

Preserve the ‘Burg has challenged some development projects in the city, but Kile said they’ve also found common ground with many developers.

“I think the thing we’re trying to get across is that we’re really on the same side,” she said. “Developers right now, especially in St. Pete, the reason they are here and are coming from out of the city and out of the state is because St. Pete is really special. We have to be careful not to kill the goose that laid the golden egg. I think particularly some of the new developers coming in see that and the conversation is getting a little easier, but it’s definitely a challenge.”

Preserve the ‘Burg has not announced a new executive director.

 

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