the course for a stronger city.
Mike Swesey, president & CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corp., helps business leaders find, explore, and choose the Sunshine City as a place to relocate or expand their companies. He leads St. Pete’s efforts to attract employers that bring higher-paying jobs, innovation, and investment to the area.
Mike is an authentic and approachable leader with more than 30 years of economic development experience. Prior to joining the St. Pete EDC, he drove economic growth in a variety of roles at the Greater Des Moines Partnership in Des Moines, Iowa for more than two decades, most recently as executive vice president. He led 30 successful expansion/relocation projects each year, creating more than $1B in new capital investment. He has marketed the business advantages of that region to site selection consultants, corporate real estate executives, and a national network of business location influencers he has built.
Mike has a bachelor’s degree in city/urban, community, and regional planning from Iowa State University. His Midwestern roots position him well for St. Petersburg’s welcoming culture, and he is no stranger to the region, having visited family and friends here many times each year over the past 20 years.
Mike’s delighted to now be living in Paradise, where he enjoys golf, running and biking on our local trails, being close to the water, and experiencing the great restaurants, festivals, arts, and outdoor life of St. Pete. He is counting the days to the Rays’ first home game next season.
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation
Anne Core, Vice President, Marketing & Communications for the St. Petersburg Economic Development Corp., designs and executes the St. Pete EDC’s marketing and communications initiatives to position St. Petersburg as a world class location for businesses and talent. She oversees the EDC's messaging, including website content, social media, advertising, and communications to prospects, Investors, and community stakeholders.
Anne's background is in helping organizations communicate. Prior to joining the EDC, Anne served as marketing director at a strategic marketing consultancy and as director of marketing at a regional law firm outside Washington, DC. She also served as executive director of a local chamber of commerce and EVP of a tech trade association. Anne graduated cum laude from Georgetown University.
In addition to extolling the virtues of St. Petersburg as a fantastic place to live, work, and play, Anne loves walking near the water with her rescue dog, a Chihuahua-Pekingese mix named Furby, and reading on the beach at sunset.
St. Pete EDC Business Development Manager Christopher “Beau” Giles is a community builder who identifies and works with companies considering relocation to or expansion in St. Petersburg, Florida. Beau listens to their needs and helps them determine whether the Sunshine City is a good fit, including exploring space availability, navigating incentives, liaising with local government, and making connections for talent, funding, and workforce development. Once they’re here, he works with them to help them be successful at growing their business by connecting them to the right people and programs.
Beau has a strong background in economic development, serving as director of community engagement at Synapse Florida, managing grants at the Miami Downtown Development Authority, and working in membership and community development at the South Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce, as well as working in politics.
Beau graduated magna cum laude from Southeastern University and holds a master of arts magna cum laude from Auburn University and a masters in urban and regional planning from the University of South Florida. Outside work you can find Beau playing tennis, enjoying a negroni at Ruby’s Elixir, rooting for Liverpool, or planning a fly-fishing trip.
As the St. Pete EDC’s operations and events assistant, Morgan Lazzara brings community members together. She schedules EDC meetings, assists with event planning and presentations, supports Investor relations, and keeps the office organized.
Morgan’s background is in relationship management and business development. Morgan is a St. Pete native and is excited about being part of the EDC mission—she’s followed us since we were founded because she’s passionate about St. Pete. When she’s not at the EDC, Morgan spends time outdoors with her husband Steven and her son Noble.