Held April 29 at the Museum of Fine Arts, the second annual “Engage St. Pete” created new connections, facilitated new conversations, fostered new ideas, and planted more seeds for real action items in areas vital to the future of St. Petersburg. Aimed at leaders and future leaders, attendance nearly doubled last year’s inaugural with over 500 participants.
Engage co-founder and director Tobin Robeck said the event is an opportunity to “introduce ambitious, civically interested, and fresh-thinking professionals with the individuals and organizations that make things happen in St. Petersburg.”
Highlights included a keynote from locally based national author Peter Kageyama and breakout discussions covering: Development, Transportation, the Waterfront, the Arts, and civic Activism. Session panelists included St. Pete residents, entrepreneurs, innovators, civic doers, corporate disruptors, and general thought-leaders across a range of fields and industries – such as Ken Welch, Darden Rice, Karl Nurse, Mark Stroud, Darryl LeClair, Raul Quintana, David Vann, Amy Miller, Amanda Taylor, Ya La’ford, Marina Williams, Alec Smith, and Kenneth Strickland.
The title sponsor of Engage St. Pete is ASI (American Strategic Insurance). Other sponsors included: All Children’s Hospital; RE/MAX Metro Tampa Bay; Frey, Masterson & Associates; PJ Callaghan Construction; North Shore Wealth Management; Turner Construction; Central Avenue Oyster Bar; Landis Communication; Green Bench Brewing; Johnny Reno’s; Red Mesa Cantina; The Avenue; Pasadena Liquors; The Getaway; Coyote Heaven Photography; Urban Brew & Barbeque; and Uber.
Hosted by the Sunset Rotary Foundation and the Chamber’s St. Pete Young Professionals, Engage St. Pete was partly inspired by such programs as Leadership St. Pete and the BuildThePier campaign, along with the continued emergence and growth in prominence of St. Pete’s fresh, ambitious, forward-thinking, creative, professional class.
“A common thread among the extremely talented group that pulls this together is that we recognize we’re fortunate to live in a world-class community – St. Pete has provided such amazing opportunities for many of us,” said Robeck, “This is a chance to give back, and to help make sure that we as citizens are contributing to keeping us on the right track.”