St. Petersburg Mayor Elect Ken Welch has announced the team of community leaders who will advise him as he readies to take office on January 6.
Stephanie Owens, an experienced leader who served as Welch’s campaign manager and who held appointments in both Barak Obama’s and Bill Clinton’s administrations, will head up the team. She also serves as co-chair of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority and holds board positions for ACLU Florida and the Pinellas County Homeless Leadership Alliance.
Tonjua Williams, President of St. Petersburg College and long-time advocate for education and job growth, will serve as a co-chair on the transition team. Cynthia Johnson, director of Pinellas County Economic Development, will serve as the team’s Economic Development Advisor.
Other leaders on the team reflect business, nonprofit, and civic sectors of the community. They include Melissa Seixas, president of Duke Energy Florida, Troy Taylor, founder and CEO of the third-largest privately held and sixth-largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola products in the nation, Trevor Burgess, President & CEO of Neptune Flood Insurance, Ric Davis, business executive and leader of Concerned Organization for Quality Education of Black Students (COQEBS), Leon Jackson, a member of the “Courageous 12” African-American police officers fought to be treated equally with their white colleagues, Will Packer, Founder and CEO of Will Packer Media, and Lorna Taylor, President and CEO of Premier Eye Care.
In announcing the appointments, Welch said, “These are accomplished leaders who have been successful in the private sector, in the public sector and in their civic endeavors, and they have significantly contributed to our community. I deeply appreciate their willingness to help me assemble a great team and ensure we are ready to hit the ground running when I take office.’’
See Florida Politics for more information about the transition team.