District 1

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Meet Council Member Gerdes


copley.gerdes@stpete.org | Legislative Aide: linnie.randolph@stpete.org | 727-551-3528


Charles Copley Gerdes was born and raised in Saint Petersburg, Fl.. He and his wife, Cecily Valenty Gerdes, were married in 2016 and have two children, Calley and Cade. Copley and his family are members at Pasadena Yacht and Country Club. They enjoy afternoons on the boat, playing golf, and spending time with their family. Both Cecily and Copley have a passion for wine and you can often find them enjoying a glass after the kids go to bed!

In 2011, I joined Northwestern Mutual as an Intern. I quickly became a Winter Camp attendee (Top 100 Interns during the 4th Quarter), and converted to a full-time Financial Representative. In 2013, I was named College Unit Director for the St. Pete district office and from there have become a Growth and Development Director. This new position allows to me to recruit and develop new advisors to our amazing firm while also running my personal practice. St. Pete is my hometown and I love the opportunity to help its citizens become financially secure while also helping people find their amazing future with Northwestern Mutual.

I have a very diverse professional background. I began as a religion major with an emphasis on Catholic Studies at Saint Leo University. While at Saint Leo, I was a two-sport Division II athlete, participating in baseball and swimming. After graduating in 2006, I took a graduate assistant position with the baseball team, and worked my way to recruiting coordinator. In 2008, I left Saint Leo for the business world. I became a Business Analyst with FrankCrum, Inc. in Clearwater, Fl. I handled a multitude of business-to-business situations including client on-boarding and retention. In 2010, I joined Keane, Reese, Vesely and Gerdes P.A. as Director of Special Projects. It was an amazing opportunity to work with my father, Charlie Gerdes, and see first-hand how a law office works.

Founder and President of Love McKinley
“To inspire hope and support local families who have been impacted by pediatric cancer, and fund organizations that aspire to find a cure for these brave children.” We began this endeavor with a purpose specifically directed at supporting, and serving local families with a child undergoing treatment for pediatric cancer in the greater Tampa Bay area.

Committee Member on Northwestern Mutual Community Action Committee
The Northwestern Mutual Community Action Committee works to enhance community involvement and our local brand through volunteer and fundraising efforts focused on supporting the mission of eradicating childhood cancer. We provide the Greater Tampa Bay community “with opportunities to raise money and awareness of childhood cancer causes, primarily research into new treatments and cures. We strive to encourage and empower others to get involved and make a difference for children with cancer.”

Committee Assignments

  • Arts Advisory Committee
  • Budget, Finance, and Taxation Committee (Chair)
  • Community Development Block Grant Committee
  • Co-Sponsored Events Committee
  • Committee of the Whole
  • Housing, Land Use and Transportation Committee (Alternate)
  • Investment Oversight Committee
  • Public Services and Infrastructure Committee
  • Youth and Family Services Committee

Terms of Office

Elected to City Council January 2022; term expires January 2, 2025

District 1 Map

PDF Map 

District 1 Precincts

  • 211
  • 215
  • 216
  • 222
  • 230
  • 231
  • 232
  • 235
  • 236
  • 237
  • 240
  • 241