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Meet the Panelists!

Posted By LocalShops1, Monday, September 9, 2013


We have rounded up five top business and academic leaders to grill the St. Petersburg mayoral candidates during our forum,  Business Matters, Tuesday, Sept. 10. The event kicks off with a networking reception at 5 pm, followed by the debate 6-7 pm.


The forum is presented by LocalShops1 and USF St. Petersburg, and sponsored by the League of Women Voters, USFSP Student Government Association and USFSPl's Bishop Center for Ethical Leadership. Reception appetizers provided by Island Flavors And Tings. 

Admission is free and open to the public. To reserve your seat, go to



Forum Panelists

Linda Hersey, freelance journalist
Linda Fullerton Hersey is a 25-year journalist with a background that includes statehouse and investigative reporting for Knight-
Ridder and roles as city editor in South Florida and Maine. Most recently, she worked for AOL/Patch Media for three years, 
launching and running a network of digital community news sites. Linda is an Old Northeast resident and fourth-generation Floridian.


Jack King, Three Birds Tavern
Jack co-owns Three Birds Tavern in St. Petersburg with his wife, Robin. Before moving to the area in 2009, Jack was an AV rated trial attorney in Cleveland for more than 25 years, specializing in medical malpractice, aviation and employment law. Jack holds the record for the largest single medical malpractice judgment ever collected in Ohio and he has represented clients in 26 states and seven countries. Jack and Robin live in St. Petersburg, and together they have five adult children.

Mark Lombardi-Nelson, Student Body President
Mark, a Florida native who has lived in St. Petersburg for the past three years, is studying entrepreneurship at USFSP. A self-
proclaimed risk-taker and rule-breaker, Mark describes himself as an "eccentric individual who finds passion through people.” 
He is a musician, brother, son, creator, thespian, lover, somewhat of a scholar, workaholic, and a leader. And more you might not know: Mark has won two man pageants and has Viking ancestry. 


Bill Jackson, SEIA at USF St. Petersburg
Bill, director of the Sustainable Entrepreneurship & Innovation Alliance, teaches entrepreneurship at USFSP and is co-founder 
of Gazelle Lab business accelerator program, housed at USFSP. He serves on the executive board member for the United States 
Association for Small Business & Entrepreneurship, managing editor of the Journal of Business & Entrepreneurship, and executive director of the Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. 


Mo Venouziou, LocalShops1
After earning a bachelor’s degree in economics from Rochester University and a master’s in mathematics from Syracuse, Mo moved 
to the Tampa Bay region to join LocalShops1. As vice president of the Buy Local advocacy organization, his responsibilities include community and media outreach, project management and membership relations. Mo also serves as an adjunct professor at St. Pete College, and was runner up for best professor in Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay, 2012.

Reserve your seat at

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