Since 1993, St. Petersburg has operated under the strong mayor form of government - a system that combines the strong political leadership of a mayor with an elected city council.
Kevin King, Chief of Policy & Public Engagement
Kevin directs the day-to-day activities of the Mayor’s Office, serves as the chief policy and communications advisor to Mayor Rick Kriseman, and oversees the Mayor’s appointments to boards & committees. He works closely with the City Administrator and department heads in the development and implementation of external and internal policies.
Wayne Atherholt, Cultural Affairs Director
Wayne is responsible for the City’s cultural affairs strategy and implementation that prioritizes the success of our cultural institutions and our local artists which contribute significantly to not only the economy, but to the cultural fabric and creative nature of the city, its residents and its visitors. He works with the city's Arts Alliance and other groups to advance the city as a major cultural center of the Southeast with multiple arts districts through multiple programs. He interfaces with all city departments to ensure the arts in their broadest definition are a successful part of all aspects of the city.
Jessica Eilerman, Small Business Liaison
In addition to her duties as the Greenhouse Manager within the City Development Administration, Jessica serves as the Mayor’s liaison in developing cooperative relationships among representatives of local business groups and associations and to promote economic development in the City. She helps small and independent businesses navigate city government, leads the Mayor’s Small Business Tour series, and formulates policy aimed at helping St. Petersburg’s businesses thrive.
David Flintom, Mayor’s Action Center Director
David is responsible for the daily operation and strategic implementation of the Mayor's Action Center, which processes citizen requests for assistance with services and distributes them to the responsible departments. David helps to ensure each department’s responsiveness and works closely with our residents to maintain St. Petersburg’s high quality of life.
Nikki Gaskin-Capehart, Urban Affairs Director
Nikki directs the Mayor’s Urban Affairs platform that is focused on investing in the city’s disenfranchised population in a way that places a high priority on people-based strategies for increased opportunity. She works to increase opportunities for job development, nurturing neighborhoods and families, and helps to lead the implementation of the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area Plan with the City’s Economic Development Department.
Benjamin J. Kirby, Communications Director
Ben is the city of St. Petersburg’s Communications Director, primarily serving as the official media and public spokesman for Mayor Rick Kriseman. In this capacity, he also works with the deputy mayor, Mayor's Office and city staff to develop and distribute information to the public as well as to citywide, regional, national and international media outlets. He prepares the mayor, deputy mayor, and agency officials for interviews, and promotes mayoral initiatives through media exposure. He composes press releases, advisories, speeches, talking points and related presentations and information. As the chief media liaison for the Mayor's Office, he develops and maintains media lists and tracks mayoral press coverage. He also assists with social media strategy and content.
Leah McRae, Director of Education and Community Engagement
Leah works with students, families, faculty, as well as community groups and leaders to advocate on behalf of St. Petersburg’s public schools. She serves as a liaison with the Pinellas County School Board and other governmental bodies influencing education policy. Ms. McRae will also lead efforts on the implementation of the Mayor’s Service Learning Initiative, and serve as a representative of the City and the Mayor on issues of youth, education, and civic engagement. She will work closely with departments throughout the city to engage St. Petersburg schools most in need.
John Rodriguez, Government Affairs Director
John is responsible for the creation of the city of St. Petersburg’s legislative agenda, advancing the Mayor’s priorities at the local, regional, and state level, and serving as the City’s primary liaison to other governments and agencies. He oversees the City’s state and federal lobbying efforts and analyzes and recommends changes to existing and proposed laws.
Debbie Volk, StPeteStat Coordinator
Debbie is responsible for overseeing StPeteStat, the Performance Management Program for the city. In her role, she helps increase the accessibility of data and its ability to be shared. This helps build better connections and efficiencies throughout the city, and provides for more data informed decisions. She works with different departments to define goals and process measures to identify proficiencies. These are shared with both administration and the public to be more transparent and accountable.
Sharon Wright, Sustainability & Resiliency Director
Sharon is responsible for delivering the mayor’s sustainability priorities by working across city departments and with citizens, businesses, and community partners to establish a community-wide sustainability program. Sustainability in St. Petersburg means finding the balance between environmental protection, economic vitality, and social equity and responsibility. Sharon’s work includes collaborating on programs like STAR Communities to set goals and implement policies, planning for climate change and resiliency challenges, and working with project teams to build and maintain city facilities sustain and equitably.
Jim Nixon, Mayor's Office LGBT liaison
Jim Nixon currently serves dual roles as LGBTQ Liaison and Marketing Manager at Metro Wellness and Community Centers and has been a constant marketing force in the LGBTQ community throughout Tampa Bay. He hosts a quarterly meeting of the St. Pete LGBTQ Marketing Committee; he has served as Regional Sales Manager at Watermark Newspaper, and he has held a position on the board for the Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce (formerly Tampa Bay Business Guild) for 4 years. He also played an integral role in bringing the IGLTA Conference to St Pete in 2017.
Lieutenant Markus Hughes, Police LGBT liaison
Visit St. Petersburg Police Community Services page for more information.