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Rick Homans to take over at Tampa Bay Partnership

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Rick Homans has been named the next president and CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership, beginning November 9.

Homans has been serving as CEO and president of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. since January of 2012. Prior to that, he served as Cabinet secretary of the economic development department and taxation and revenue department for the state of New Mexico.

“I am confident that Rick is the right person for the job as his extensive experience closely aligns with the strategic direction of the organization, which will focus on solidifying ‘one voice’ for the region,” Tampa Bay Partnership Chair Brian Lamb said in a statement.

The Partnership had been rudderless since last November, when its longtime leader Stuart Rogel stepped down. It happened just weeks after Pinellas County voters had soundly rejected the Greenlight Pinellas transportation tax, a proposal strongly pushed by Rogel and the Partnership.

Although he was praised in a statement today by Hillsborough County Commission Chair Sandy Murman, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing for Homans at the EDC.

In June of 2014, Commissioners criticized Homans for failing to communicate on a regular basis with the county government, the EDC’s biggest public funding source. “He’s ignoring this board,” Commissioner Al Higginbotham said at the time. “I don’t like it.”

But that was then. Now, Homans is “the ideal person to lead the charge in improving the region’s competitiveness and economic prosperity,” said Murman.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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