City of St. Pete promotes, hires new leadership

Print this page

City of St. Pete promotes, hires new leadership

St. Petersburg, FL — The City of St. Petersburg has announced two leadership position changes, with the promotion of Brian Caper to Director of Economic and Workforce Development and the hiring of Celeste Davis as Director of Arts, Culture and Tourism. 

He fills a vacant position and will oversee economic development, The Greenhouse and the office of the Mayor’s Small Business Liaison.  

Caper joined the City of St. Petersburg in November 2011, serving as an Economic Development Analyst and Economic Development Officer as part of the City’s Economic & Workforce Development team. Most recently, he was Economic Development Manager for the City Development Administration, overseeing the Historic Gas Plant redevelopment process, the Community Benefits Agreement program, and the City’s public-private development efforts.  

Caper has led several special projects, including the formation of the St. Petersburg Innovation District, the Warehouse Arts District, Deuces Live Action Plan, various Brownfields projects, and the St. Petersburg Ocean Team. 

Caper earned his Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning, and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Florida. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, the International Economic Development Council, the Florida Brownfield Association, and the Urban Land Institute. 

“I am excited to welcome Brian Caper to this new leadership role in the City Development Administration. His years of experience with the City will bring a wealth of both industry and institutional knowledge to our City Development team and I know that under his leadership, our city will continue to fulfill our goals for equitable development opportunities,” said City Development Administrator James Corbett. 

Caper began his new role today, August 29. 

Added Brian Caper: “I would like to thank City Development Administrator James Corbett and the Administration for the opportunity to grow St. Petersburg’s inclusive Economic and Workforce Development efforts. I’m honored to lead such a talented team and look forward to working with our economic development partners as we advance the goals, objectives, and initiatives of Mayor Welch and his Administration.”  

The City has also hired Celeste Davis to assume the role of Director of Arts, Culture and Tourism. 

Davis has more than 20 years of experience in arts-related positions, including most recently as Executive Director for Tampa Bay Business for Culture and the Arts.  

She also currently serves as the creator, producer and host of “The Curious Collector: A Conversation Cafe,” a virtual monthly art discussion with the Carter G. Woodson African American History Museum. 

Davis’ previous work includes experience as a community liaison with Fairgrounds St. Pete, a language arts and literature teacher, an interior designer and an artist, builder and architect consultant.  

Davis assumes her new role with the City on September 19. 

“I am excited to welcome Celeste Davis to our City team. Her robust experience in arts-related positions and work on equity, diversion and inclusion within the arts community represents a valuable opportunity to further build Mayor Ken Welch’s Pillar for Progress related to Equitable Development, Arts and Business Opportunities,” said Deputy Mayor Stephanie Owens, who will oversee Davis’ work in the Office of Arts, Culture and Tourism. 

In her role as Community Liaison for Fairgrounds St. Pete, Davis’ work emphasized diversity and inclusion within the local arts community. 

Added Mayor Kenneth T. Welch: “I welcome both Brian Caper and Celeste Davis into their new leadership roles. Both have extensively embraced the concept of inclusive progress within their respective fields and have shown remarkable knowledge and ability to achieve our administration’s goals and priorities. I look forward to working with them to reach our shared vision.”