St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corp. Celebrates 5 Year Impact

Annual Meeting Focuses on “Team Sport” of Recruiting and Retaining Businesses

Last week, the St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation celebrated five years of economic impact at its 5th Annual Meeting.  Since its founding in late 2016, the St. Pete EDC has:

Announced nearly 2,000 jobs

Opened 267 job creation projects for companies considering relocation/expansion in St. Pete

Assisted 45 companies with relocations, expansions, or openings

Made more than 500 local business visits

Annual Report/Strategic PrioritiesClick here

2021 Highlights

2021 was a particularly successful year, as:

St. Pete generated global publicity when Cathie Wood announced the relocation of ARK Invest from New York to St. Pete.

Global e-commerce media firm CitrusAd opened its U.S. headquarters, hired 50 local team members, and is still hiring people with creative and data analytics skills.

Document automation platform PandaDoc—one of the first companies the EDC worked with when PandaDoc opened a St. Pete office in 2017—reached unicorn status with a $1B valuation.

Cybersecurity provider Code-X announced the opening of its global headquarters in St. Pete and plans to hire 40 additional team members in the St. Pete office.

The St. Pete EDC partnered with USF and the Tampa Bay Wave to bring FinTech X Accelerator to St. Pete in 2022 to attract fintech companies to the area and position St. Pete as a fintech leader.

Relocation Success Stories

St. Pete EDC President & CEO J.P. DuBuque characterized economic development as a “team sport,” supported by the efforts of dozens of private and public organizations and individuals. Several companies that relocated their headquarters shared why they decided to “Become St. Pete,” (the meeting’s theme):

DuBuque welcomed recently relocated career exploration platform Shamrck and its founder Sheffie Robinson, who announced Shamrck’s relocation to St. Pete last month.

Meg Charles, co-founder of CodeBoxx, a coding bootcamp and software solutions company that relocated its headquarters in March of 2021, discussed CodeBoxx’s move from Canada, saying she was “blown away” by the help the company received from everyone they met while scouting St. Pete.

Anthony Nagendraraj and Marissa Huggins, co-founders of another Canadian-based company, community management platform Spontivly, announced at the meeting that their company would be relocating its headquarters to St. Pete from Canada in 2022, with plans to hire about 65 people over the next three years.

Ben Minichino, president of Pole Star, who opened the U.S. headquarters of the London-based tech defense company in 2020, discussed his move to the St. Pete Innovation District and his excitement about the new Maritime and Defense Tech Hub there. He noted that they have grown far larger than they expected relatively quickly, and shortly will have more than 25 employees.

New Officers

In addition, the St. Pete EDC elected its new officers for 2022:

-Chair: Marcus Greene, Market President, Truist

-Vice Chair: Bill Kent, President, George F. Young

-Secretary/Treasurer: John Moore, President, Bayfront Health

-Immediate Past President: Danielle Ruiz, Director of Economic Development Industry Recruitment, Duke Energy

-General Counsel: Bob Warchola, Partner, Shumaker

The Mayor of St. Petersburg Ken Welch, St. Pete Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Chris Steinocher, and St. Pete EDC President & CEO J.P DuBuque round out the organization’s Executive Committee.


Plans for 2022

In 2022, the St. Pete EDC plans to release the findings of a recent perception study on how out-of-market executives and site selection consultants view St. Pete as a business location, and to develop a new strategic plan for the organization.

For more information, see the St. Pete EDC's 2021-2022 Annual Report & Strategic Priorities.

Annual Report/Strategic PrioritiesClick here


The event was made possible by a generous group of sponsors:

Presenting sponsor: Truist

Host sponsor: The Don CeSar

Badge sponsor: W3 Insurance

Opening reception sponsor: St. Petersburg College

Sunset reception sponsor: USF

Parking patron: Duke Energy

Champagne toast sponsor: Pole Star

And all of the St. Pete EDC's work is supported by a group of more than 60 businesses, the City of St. Petersburg, and the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce. Our Investors understand they are investing in the future of the St. Petersburg community by expanding the business base, increasing the number of well-paying jobs, and contributing to the growth of the size and purchasing power of the local market.

About the St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation

The St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation promotes St. Pete as a business location to target sector companies, encouraging relocation to and expansion in the innovative, collaborative, and inclusive community of St. Petersburg.  These companies generate opportunities for the people of St. Pete, bringing new jobs and new business to the Sunshine City. The St. Pete EDC is a private-public partnership supported by more than 60 leading Investor organizations. For more, visit

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