St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman has named two city employees to key roles within city operations.
Beginning July 1 Economic Development Manager Sophia Sorolis will serve as the go-to person for implementation of the city’s Grow Smarter Strategy. The program is an economic development initiative targeting five business areas including marine and life sciences, specialized manufacturing, financial services, data analytics and creative arts and design.
Sorolis will also partner with the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce to implement initiatives geared toward district and corridor development, awareness building, entrepreneurial growth, coordinated education and training, culture and community.
“There is no one better positioned to lead this critical charge for the city. Working closely with the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Sophia will bring her expertise to the table to implement this business development strategy and to create more jobs and opportunity for all,” Kriseman said.
Sorolis has worked as the city’s economic development manager for eight years and has contributed to major business retention and attraction.
Kriseman also appointed Jessica Eilerman to manage a program collaborated on by both the city and the Chamber called the Greenhouse. Eilerman serves as the city’s small business liasison and will move forward in both capacities.
The Greenhouse provides training, networking, business counseling and other forms of assistance for local small business startups.
“Jessica has been vital to our success and I am excited about the future of the Greenhouse with her at the helm,” Kriseman said.
Eilerman formerly worked as the market manager for the 11-county Gulf Coast Region of the Florida Department of Financial Services under Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.
There she implemented the state market team’s economic development and small business outreach plan.
She also worked for the St. Pete Chamber of Commerce for six years.