Blockbuster: Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker leaving job with USF to join Bill Edwards' company

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They are two of biggest dealmakers in all of Tampa Bay.

One is Rick Baker, the former mayor of St. Petersburg, whose eight years in office were highlighted by a series of successful public-private partnerships; the other is Bill Edwards, a music impresario and local developer who has  made quite a splash in the community with his philanthropy and by purchasing the BayWalk entertainment complex, locking up a management deal to operate Mahaffey Theater and redeveloping the Club at Treasure Island.

Today, Baker and Edwards are joining forces.

Baker has notified University of South Florida president Judy Genshaft that he is leaving his post as Director of Innovation Partnerships to join The Edwards Group, where Baker will lead a group of companies involved in commercial real estate, hotels, entertainment, The Club at Treasure Island, Baywalk, and other lines of business.

“Rick Baker is a proven and transformative success story, in both the public and private secots, who can hit the ground running.  Rick is a significant addition to our team,” Edwards said today.

“I am excited to join Bill Edwards in his many efforts to make St. Petersburg an even greater place,” said Baker. “Bill has already had a very positive impact on our community — and I believe there will be many more “Great Days in St. Petersburg” to come.”

Developing…

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.