Sep 21, 2022 - News

Scoop: St. Pete Mayor Ken Welch to announce four new hires

Photo illustration of St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch with lines radiating from him.

Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Selene San Felice

St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch will announce key appointments Wednesday, city representatives tell Axios.

Catch up quick: The changes come two weeks after the city's communications director and deputy mayor both quit.

  • Janelle Irwin Taylor, the city's former communications director, resigned Sept. 1, citing a lack of response to what she called a "hostile work environment" created by then-deputy mayor Stephanie Owens.
  • Owens later resigned and Welch eliminated the position.

What's new: Erica Riggins is leaving her job as morning anchor for Bay News 9 to be the city's new public information officer.

More appointments: Welch's senior adviser, Jordan Doyle Walsh, will be interim chief of staff.

  • Alizza Punzalan-Randle was chosen as managing director for communications and community engagement. She was a nonprofit executive for more than 20 years, most recently for St. Pete Free Clinic.
  • Shelly Loos will be director of stakeholder and community engagement. Loos served as vice president of marketing for a South Florida-based technology company for 11 years before moving to St. Pete.

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