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Restart St. Pete: Kriseman announces list of reopening advisors

Megan Holmes



Photo courtesy of city of St. Petersburg Flickr

Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Facebook Friday afternoon to announce the names of his advisors to assist in strategies related to reopening the St. Petersburg economy. The advisor list is comprised of elected officials, business and nonprofit leaders, health professionals, transportation advisors and local cultural leaders.

Among the business and economic development advisors: Chris Steinocher, President and CEO of the St. Petersburg Chamber; J.P. DuBuque, President and CEO of the St. Pete Economic Development Corporation; and Jason Mathis, CEO of the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership. They are joined by are joined by small business leaders such as Olga Bof, Executive Director of Keep St. Pete Local and Dex Fabian, Publisher of the ever-popular I Love The ‘Burg. An unsurprising move, considering Kriseman’s focus on small business in the administration of the Fighting Chance Fund. Deputy Mayor and City Administrator Kanika Tomalin, the mind behind the Fighting Chance Fund, is also on the list of advisors.

Unlike the statewide task force for reopening Florida, which is conducting its business through public conference calls, Kriseman said he will be meeting with advisors on a one-on-one basis and will also receive input from St. Petersburg City Council during its Council of the Whole meeting April 30.

“Friends, I am as eager as anyone to get St. Pete back to normal,” Kriseman wrote, “but we must do so in a deliberate and thoughtful manner and with respect to national, state, and county decisions.”

“Given the unprecedented nature of this public health crisis,” he continued, “it is imperative that a cross-section of our community be engaged, including and especially those with medical expertise. I am confident we will soon emerge from this challenging time as a stronger and more resilient city.”

The full list of Restart St. Pete Advisors includes:

  • Dr. David Berman, Board certified pediatric infectious disease specialist, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
  • Olga Bof, Executive Director, Keep Saint Petersburg Local
  • Amber Boulding, City of St. Petersburg Emergency Management Manager
  • John Collins, Executive Director, St. Petersburg Arts Alliance
  • Duggan Cooley, CEO, Pinellas Community Foundation
  • J.P. DuBuque, President and CEO, Greater St. Petersburg Area EDC
  • Dexter Fabian, Publisher, I Love the Burg St. Pete
  • Rene Flowers, Pinellas County School Board Member
  • Rev. Watson Haynes, President and CEO, Pinellas County Urban League
  • Dr. Mona Mangat, Member/Past Board Chair Doctors for America, Board-certified allergist & immunologist, Bay Area Allergy and Asthma
  • Jason Mathis, CEO, St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership
  • Brad Miller, CEO, Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority
  • Scott Smith, President, St. Anthony’s Hospital
  • Chris Steinocher, President and CEO, St Petersburg Chamber
  • Dr. Kanika Tomalin, City Administrator and Deputy Mayor
  • Michael Vivio, CEO-Owner, Corp Fitness Works
  • Dr. Israel Wojnowich, City of St. Petersburg Physician, Board certified Family Medicine, Bayfront Health Medical Group
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  1. Avatar

    Kate Jones

    April 24, 2020at12:46 pm

    At least he’s including actual medical doctors!

  2. Avatar

    Jim Anderson

    April 24, 2020at12:47 pm

    Where is the franchise and small business representation

    • Avatar

      Bill Vear

      April 24, 2020at3:18 pm

      I agree, there needs to representation from all sectors, especially those hardest hit!

  3. Avatar

    Robert Hughes

    April 24, 2020at3:17 pm

    No Small Business owners on the list with hands on business experience.
    None of these people have their life savings invested in their St Pete business. Their views would be
    much different if it was their own money that they are losing while being closed up.
    Nobody even asked any of the small business owners?

  4. Avatar

    louis orloff

    April 24, 2020at3:26 pm

    Not a single restaurant owner? Not a single food service company? Not a representative from each local hospital?

    • Avatar

      Robin King

      April 27, 2020at5:47 pm

      I also would have loved to see a restaurant owner here. And retail representation.

  5. Avatar

    Ron Hollis

    April 24, 2020at3:50 pm

    Seems sparse of real small (any size) business representation…all bureaucrats and org reps….hmmm…why wouldn’t it be a formal task force with open public meetings, data and decisions?

    • Avatar

      Jonathon Micklitsch

      April 24, 2020at5:43 pm

      Can you tell what true small business is on this board? Not one shop owner or restaurant owner. There are hundreds of businesses downtown, 4th street, and throughout the up town area along central, 1st ave and more. Not one is listed.

  6. Avatar

    Corbin Supak

    April 24, 2020at4:30 pm

    I don’t see an advocate for pedestrians, cyclists or families. The major change this episode is sparking in cities around the world is with transportation and the use of cars. We need to follow through on reclaiming streets for people, local travel, and local business. It is a matter of public health and prosperity as well as basic sustainability. PSTA has not ever impressed me with their service or advocacy, their CEO is not enough for this debate. We need non-motor transportation adoption in our community if we are going to prosper.

  7. Avatar

    S. Rose Smith-Hayes

    April 24, 2020at6:01 pm

    I would like to see in addition, some representation of owners of beauty salons and barber shops, YMCA workers, school teachers/principals, Daycare workers, nurses and CNAs,police officers and other first responders, please . They represent those impacted the most. White collar workers work from home and you have them over represented. No criticism, just a suggestion, please add these people.

    • Avatar

      LJ Milo

      April 25, 2020at4:27 am

      That is an excellent suggestion!

      • Avatar

        Danny White

        April 26, 2020at5:39 pm

        I agree!

  8. Avatar

    Renee Fromkin

    April 25, 2020at7:07 am

    I would like a response as to why you’re not doing anything about enforcing face masks when every intelligent person and doctor says this is a necessity. Yesterday I went for a walk past the Dali museum and there were 14 people unmasked doing yoga about 3 feet apart. There were very few people wearing masks and this is your city so why aren’t you doing anything about it.

    • Avatar

      Donna Davis

      April 25, 2020at6:54 pm

      Kriseman is doing so much. Citizens need to do their part. Please give credit for all that our Mayor has been doing on all of our behalf. It’s a tough time to ask the mayor to make everyone make responsible decisions.

  9. Avatar

    LJ Milo

    April 25, 2020at4:11 pm

    Kriseman has always been a very pro small business mayor, so I do not understand why this commission doesn’t have more small business representation. They are the backbone of our community and the ones who have suffered the most throughout this catastrophe.

  10. Avatar

    Ross Tarr

    April 26, 2020at9:01 am

    Congratulations on developing a well thought out list. But, the issue of Mom and Pop Shop representation needs to be addressed. Perhaps a Zoom council could be made available to all who hold a St. Pete business license for 25 or less employees. They could then present their voice via one additional representative to the council.

  11. Avatar

    Danny White

    April 26, 2020at5:41 pm

    Where are the financial institution representatives?

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