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St. Pete entrepreneur will join USF St. Petersburg campus board

Margie Manning



Reuben Pressman is founder and CEO of Presence. (Photo courtesy of City of St. Pete Flickr)

A University of South Florida board of trustees committee appointed Reuben Pressman, founder and CEO of Presence, to the USF St. Petersburg campus advisory board.

“I see him as a new member that will add to the diversity of experience for our campus and I see him as the next generation of leaders that we want to see represent the University of South Florida,” said Melissa Seixas, a USF trustee who also chairs the St. Petersburg campus advisory board.

The USF board governance committee approved his appointment unanimously on Tuesday.

Pressman grew up in Pinellas County and attended the USF St. Petersburg campus, where he enrolled in the entrepreneurial program. He graduated from USF St. Petersburg in 2011 with a B.S. in Entrepreneurship. He lives in St. Petersburg and serves as Entrepreneur-In-Residence for the city, advocating for entrepreneurs and promoting the city around the United States for corporate, workforce and investor recruitment, as well as helping improve government efficiencies.

He also serves on several community and non-profit boards in the arts, technology, university and entrepreneurship. In 2018, he was one of seven USF outstanding alumni for his contributions to the USF Alumni Association.

Pressman founded Presence, formerly called Check I’m Here, in 2014. Presence is a software company in St. Petersburg that helps higher educational institutions collect and understand data and take action to increase co-curricular student engagement, success and workforce readiness. Pressman has grown Presence to 250 universities with more than 1.5 million students, including University of Minnesota, Washington State, Texas A&M and Louisiana State University, among others.

USF President Steve Currall said he spoke with Pressman about that.

“We also talked about the fact that his company works in the higher education space and he fully understands the importance of keeping separate his commercial activities from his service on the campus advisory board,” Currall said. “I felt comfortable with his understanding of that and I think he’ll be a great contributor to the campus advisory board.”

Related: Catching up with Reuben Pressman: Tech entrepreneur learns to value a slower pace during Covid

The USF St. Petersburg campus advisory board is made up of seven community leaders who serve four-year terms. The chair of the faculty senate and the president of the student body of the campus serve as ex officio members of the advisory board. The board has the authority to approve and submit an annual operating plan, budget and legislative budget request to the USF Board of Trustees. 

The campus advisory board is next scheduled to meet June 16 for a budget workshop.

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