A broad cross-section of community leaders, including St. Petersburg College President Bill Law and Downtown/Midtown Provost Kevin Gordon, will take questions from citizens when the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions continues a unique design for civic dialog at its second Speed Date Your Local Leaders program April 22.
The event, which includes free pizza and soft drinks, will be from 6-8 p.m. at the Museum of Fine Arts, 235 Beach Drive NE., St. Petersburg.
ISPS is dedicated to elevating civic engagement through public forums that offer in-depth exploration of today’s critical issues. The Speed Date format gives community members a special way to connect with community leaders in an informal setting.
At its debut of this new concept in civic engagement held at SPC’s Clearwater campus last December for north county residents, almost 100 attendees took advantage of the opportunity to meet face to face with representatives from government, business, not-for-profit and education arenas. The leaders rotated from table to table every seven minutes, offering each group of participants an opportunity to ask questions or offer ideas that might never have prompted a phone call, email or public testimony.
Sixteen local leaders, mostly representing St. Petersburg or south county constituencies, have committed to participating this time. They are:
- Bridgette Bello, Publisher, Tampa Bay Business Journal
- Dr. Marcie Biddleman, Executive Director, Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County
- David Downing, Executive Director, Visit St. Petersburg-Clearwater
- Kathryn Gillette, CEO, Bayfront Health St. Petersburg
- Dr. Kevin Gordon, Provost, St. Petersburg College Downtown & Midtown Centers
- Watson L. Haynes II, President & CEO, Pinellas County Urban League
- Anthony Holloway, Chief of Police, City of St. Petersburg
- Jeff Johnson, State Director, AARP Florida
- Rick Kriseman, Mayor, City of St. Petersburg
- Dr. Bill Law, President, St. Petersburg College
- Dr. Kent Lydecker, Director, Museum of Fine Arts
- Tim Nickens, Editor of Editorials, Tampa Bay Times
- Chris Steinocher, President & CEO, St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce
- Dr. Kanika Tomalin, Deputy Mayor, City of St. Petersburg
- Dr. Sophia Wisniewska, Chancellor, USF St. Petersburg
- Ken Welch, Pinellas County Commissioner
Speed Date Your Local Leaders is modeled after a program by the same name offered by the Institute’s partner organization, The Village Square Tallahassee.
The event is free and open to the public, but participants are required to register in advance through the Institute’s website: solutions.spcollege.edu