The St. Petersburg Area EDC is led by some of the City's most innovative leaders in business. A dynamic group of officers, elected each year, combined with a visionary Board of Governors allow the EDC to make a dramatic impact.
Chair - Jill Wilkinson
Market President of St. Petersburg, SunTrust
Jill Wilkinson is the relationship manager and market president for commercial and not for profit companies in the Tampa Bay market of SunTrust Bank. Her specialties include tax exempt bond financings, commercial lending to large and mid-size companies & not for profits, capital markets and business transition.
Wilkinson serves on the advisory board to the Dean of the College of Business for University of South Florida St. Petersburg, as well as the boards of the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership and the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce.
Vice Chair - Danielle Ruiz
Danielle Ruiz is the Senior Economic Development Manager at Duke Energy. She is responsible for the attraction and location of new business, as well as the retention and growth of existing companies to Duke Energy’s 35-county service area in Florida, with a focus on Tampa-St.Pete and North Florida markets. Ruiz provides direct support in the form of programs and services to state and local economic development leaders and assists in enhancing the overall package to prospective businesses seeking an opportunity for a new location, capital investment and job creation in our Florida communities.
She received her Bachelor of Science in Management/International Business from Clemson University.
Immediate Past Chair - Chad Loar
"Investing in the communities where we do business and where our employees and their families live is deeply rooted in our corporate culture. We believe that it's our responsibility to support organizations like the St. Petersburg EDC to ensure the economic growth of the area and provide employment opportunities to retain and attract talent. We all win when we move together toward success."
W. Chadwick (Chad) Loar is the regional president of the Florida West region, an area that encompasses Tallahassee south to Naples and Central Florida, for PNC Bank.
Prior to being named to his current position in July 2016, Loar served as corporate and commercial banking manager for PNC's Florida West region. He continues to lead and manage PNC's corporate banking team focused on delivering the bank's suite of products and services to corporate (with annual revenues greater than $50 million) and commercial (annual revenues between $10 million and $50 million) companies, in central and west Florida.
Active in the community, Loar is past president of the board of directors for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation as well as chairs of their infamous event titled "Brinner of Hope." In addition, he serves as board member for St. Petersburg Economic Development Council, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Tampa Bay Partnership and Central Florida Partnership. Loar is also a member of Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), alumni for Leadership Tampa Class of 2013 and Tampa Connection Class of 2008.
Loar earned a MBA from the University of Florida and B.S. in finance from Florida State University and holds a Series79 and 63 license.
Secretary/Treasurer - Brian Auld
President, Tampa Bay Rays
Brian Auld is entering his third season as President of the Tampa Bay Rays, and his twelfth season with the club. During his first year as team president, Auld brought a renewed focus to the Rays mission: to energize the community through the magic of Rays baseball, by emphasizing the Rays commitment to the community and its employee-first culture.
Prior to joining the Rays, Auld attended Harvard Business School, where he earned his MBA focusing on managing human capital, marketing and finance. Auld’s previous work experience includes serving as lead teacher and director of development for the East Palo Alto Charter School in California.
General Counsel - Bob Warchola
Partner, Shumaker, Loop, & Kendrick, LLP
Robert R. Warchola has extensive jury and non-jury trial experience representing various individuals and entities in commercial disputes including athletes, physicians, public companies, sureties, and governmental agencies. He also represents individuals and entities in the healthcare field. He has been representing physicians since 1997 and continues to represent physicians and physician practice groups on a variety of issues. He has also been representing contractors, sureties, and governmental agencies in construction matters since 1992. His commercial practice also includes representing a public company, numerous individuals and entities in real estate transactions, and advising clients on general business matters.
Secretary/Treasurer - John McLain
CEO, Bayfront Health St. Petersburg
John McLain is a senior hospital executive with extensive experience in acute care hospital operations, service line expansion, strategic planning and medical staff development. He demonstrates proven ability to connect strategy with results and accomplish organizational goals.
McLain was named CEO of Bayfront Health St. Petersburg in 2017. He comes to St. Petersburg from Venice Regional Bayfront Health where he also has served as CEO. In this role, he was a strong leader in setting the future course of the system and rebuilding physician, employee and community confidence in the hospital.
Over his nearly 30 years in hospital administration, McLain has developed strong leadership skills and remained focused on employee, physician and patient satisfaction and operational excellence. Additionally, he has also previously served as CEO of hospitals in Tennessee and Virginia and in administrative roles at hospitals in Alabama and Georgia.
McLain earned his master’s degrees in Healthcare Administration and Business Administration from Georgia State University in Atlanta and bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Religion from Emory University.
Christopher Steinocher is President and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce. He joined the Chamber in February of 2011 and is responsible for the vision, strategic direction and overall operations of the Chamber.
Prior to the Chamber, Mr. Steinocher was with the Tampa Bay Partnership as COO and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, a job he held for 17 years, helping start the regional economic development group. Mr. Steinocher was also the AVP of Marketing for Fortune Bank, a Tampa Bay based bank with 46 branch locations throughout He has over 29 years of experience in marketing and community development, 27 of which have been in the St. Petersburg region. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Emory University.
His current post is a coming home of sorts for him as he was employed at the Chamber over 24 years ago. He’s been a resident of St. Petersburg for over 26 years along with his wife, Juli. They are the proud parents of two boys. His professional goal with the Chamber is to ensure this city does everything it can to be so attractive to his two boys that they’ll never want to move to another market – (after all, isn’t that every parents’ desire?!). His personal goal is to be the starting 2nd baseman for the kids & kubs softball team in the year 2039.
Immediate Past Chair - David R. Punzak
Director and Assistant General Counsel, Tech Data Corporation
"We here at Tech Data understand the importance of investing in our local community. We view our investment in the St.Pete EDC as just that -- a tangible representation of our commitment to growing our community so that there is uplifting, sustainable prosperity for all."
David R. Punzak, 2018 St. Petersburg EDC Chair and 2017 Founding Vice Chair is a recognized community leader with more than 30 years' experience as a commercial transactional attorney specializing in mergers and acquisitions, and finance matters. In his current role at Tech Data, Punzak focuses on commercial matters and transactions for Tech Data's Americas Division.
Punzak has an extensive history of volunteering and community service in the Tampa- St. Petersburg region. Since 2012, he has served on the Board of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, including two terms as Chairman, and as leader of its Economic Development Committee. Punzak has also held leadership roles at Baseball Forever St. Pete, the Suncoasters, the Tampa Chamber of Commerce, St. Pete's Development Review Commission, the Dali Museum, the Heroes of the St. Petersburg Police, and The Dali Museum.