Former St. Petersburg Mayor to be Keynote Speaker at Economic Forum

Oct 21, 2014

by Staff

Rick Baker, former mayor of St. Petersburg, will be the keynote speaker at Florida Southern College’s second annual real estate and economic forum.

Sponsored by the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise at FSC, For the Love of Downtown 2 will be held from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 31 at the Lake Mirror Auditorium. Cost is $40 per person until Oct. 24 and $45 per person after that.

The forum brings together realtors, lenders, lawyers, market analysts, and financial experts as they explore our economic environment, capital markets, market forecasting, and investor prospects. Mr. Baker, author of the recent book The Seamless City, will speak on the topic “Building a World Class Downtown and a Seamless City.” He was mayor of St. Petersburg from 2001 to 2010 and is currently director of the University of South Florida’s Innovation Partnerships program.

“We are pleased to have Rick Baker as our keynote speaker,” said Dr. Bill Rhey, dean of the Barnett School. “His accomplishments as mayor were truly impressive, and he has valuable insights on how business and government can work together to improve our cities’ lives.”

In addition, the forum will include presentations from Julie Townsend, executive director of the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority; David Petr, president of the Central Florida Development Corp.; and Dr. Brian Nottage, managing director of JP Morgan Asset Management, who will speak on the topic “An Inside Look at the Real Estate Economy.”

A special presentation during the forum will honor Joe P. Ruthven, founder and president of The Ruthvens, a commercial real estate firm in Lakeland.

To register for the event or for more information, see or call 863-616-6458.