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News & Press: LocalShops1 Press Releases

Nose to Nose

Friday, September 13, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Mo Venouziou
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ST. PETERSBURG, FL -- Mayor Bill Foster and challenger Rick Kriseman faced off on Sept. 10, 2013 in their first one-on-one debate in the St. Petersburg mayoral race. The debate was a production on USF St. Petersburg and LocalShops1, and was sponsored by the League of Women Voters and USF St. Petersburg, along with its Student Government Association and the school's Bishop Center for Ethical Leadership. Food for the reception was sponsored by Island Flavors And Tings. 


Under the watchful eyes of every major TV and print news outlet in the area and with citizens filling the room to the brim, Foster and Kriseman spent an hour completely focused on the issues facing small business owners in St. Petersburg.  They faced questions from a panel of five business and academic leaders, as well as those submitted by the audience.


"By holding the first mayoral debate after the primaries, we were able to bring issues facing small business to the top of the headlines and the front of the candidates' minds," said Ester Venouziou, president and founder of LocalShops1.


Do the candidates understand the issues currently facing small businesses? Are they prepared to use the office of the mayor to address them?  Read highlights from the press or watch the full debate here.


The debate was moderated by Judithanne Scourfield McLauchlan, Ph.D., associate director of the USFSP Bishop Center for Ethical Leadership and Civic Engagement. 


The panel was comprised of:


William Jackson, Ph.D., USFSP professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Director of the USFSP Entrepreneurship Program; Mo Venouziou, Ph.D., vice president of LocalShops1 and instructor at St. Petersburg College; Linda Hersey, veteran journalist; Jack King, Three Birds Tavern co-owner; and Mark Lombardi-Nelson, USFSP Student Government President and member of the USF System Board of Trustees 

For media inquiries please contact Ester Venouziou at

About Us:

USF St. Petersburg is a public university in the University of South Florida System, providing quality undergraduate and graduate education in a close-knit environment. 

       - Bishop Center for Ethical Leadership and Civic Engagement promotes leadership through research, teaching and experiential learning.

        - USFSP Student Government Association represents students' interests and concerns in the larger university community, while working to build a vibrant campus life.



LocalShops1 is a grassroots coalition of hundreds of businesses, artists and community organizations, and thousands of energized shoppers dedicated to supporting locally-owned businesses. As the region’s most active voice for small business, it has made a name for itself through exciting events; advocacy of the buy-local movement; and uniting businesses, merchant associations, and community organizations from all across Tampa Bay.



The League of Women Voters is a non partisan organization encouraging informed and active participation in government.  It works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.



Island Flavors and 'Tings caters events, offers great meals at markets and has a restaurant/ retail location serving as a unique showplace of the cultural richness of the Caribbean Islands.. groceries, accessories, Island music and the finest Jamaican cuisine. Their food is a kind of reggae/calypso medley; full of subtleties, yet pulsating.