Grow Smarter Summit: Taking Steps Together

Posted On 12/11/2017 by St. Pete Chamber
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Last Friday, over 200 community members gathered at Pinellas Technical College (PTC) to learn about the Grow Smarter Strategy, the initiatives that are currently underway in St. Pete and the opportunities for future growth in our city.

Jim Donatelli, the 2017 Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Governors, kicked off the event and introduced Scott Gault of the Bank of Tampa, the event’s presenting sponsor. After a welcome from our host, Mayor Kriseman took the stage.

Chris Steinocher, Chamber President & CEO offered the audience background on the Grow Smarter Strategy, an economic development initiative that allows everyone to participate in St. Pete’s growth.

In 2014, the City of St. Pete and the Chamber together hired Market Street Services, Inc to build a strategy for growing St. Pete’s economic position. The Grow Smarter Strategy targets specific job sectors for growth and development. In these “targets”, competitive advantages exist, prospects for future growth are greatest, and return on investment is likely highest.


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Within the five target sectors, there are initiatives that support these six strategic focus areas.

Each focus area has a group of dedicated volunteers that want to help our community grow smarter.

Ryan Griffin, Chair of the Grow Smarter Strategy introduced the work groups, and attendees heard from each focus area on the success that has happened so far, and what’s to come with future initiatives.

DISTRICTS & CORRIDOR DEVELOPMENT
Work Group Leader, Mack Feldman, Feldman Equities, led a discussion with Alison Barlow, Innovation District Executive and Gypsy Gallardo, of the 2020 Plan, on the focus area’s successes.

Innovation District recap – click to watch video.
2020 Plan overview – click to watch video.
TARGETED JOB CREATION
St. Petersburg EDC President, J.P. DuBuque, City Development Administrator, Alan DeLisle and Mike Meidel, Director of Pinellas County Economic Development discussed the importance of job creation and introduced local success stories of expansion, relocation and enhancement:

  • 3 Daughters Brewing
  • Power Design
  • Raymond James
  • PandaDoc
COORDINATED EDUCATION & TRAINING
​Sandra Gadsden, an Iron Yard graduate moderated a discussion on the successes in education, ranging from pre-k to the collegiate level, featuring:

  • Lindsay Carson, Pre-K parent
  • Rebecca Watson, Public School parent
  • Kristin Harding & Rebecca Gagne, PTC students
  • Sridhar Sundaram, USF St. Petersburg Kate Tiedemann College of Business Dean
ENTREPRENEURIAL GROWTH
Ryan Rutan, founding partner of Startups.co updated the audience on the successes, challenges and resources related to the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Chad Nuss, co-founder of InsideOut, moderated a discussion of local success stories featuring:

  • Raphael Perrier, Kawha Coffee
  • Kim Dohrman, Creative Clay
  • Rachel Carpenter, Intrinio
CULTURE & COMMUNITY
Culture & Community encompasses aspects of housing, arts, lifestyle and safety. The work group presented updates on each topic through discussions led by:

  • Chief Holloway, St. Pete Police
  • Karl Nurse, St. Pete City Council
  • John Collins, St. Pete Arts Alliance
AWARENESS BUILDING
Paul Carder, the Chamber’s Marketing Chair and Nina Mahmoudi, the City’s Marketing Manager wrapped up the event with exciting recaps of the Amazon HQ2 proposal, GeekWire attention, and other external city marketing efforts. Joe Hamilton of Big Sea revealed the new website for the Grow Smarter Strategy at www.growsmarterstpete.com.

Watch the Amazon HQ2 Proposal video.
Watch the GeekWire video.

#GROWSMARTERSTPETE SOCIAL WALL & PHOTOS

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THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

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Category: Chamber Updates