Chief named for Downtown Partnership
By JON WILSON
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 18, 2001
ST. PETERSBURG -- A seasoned professional who has led downtown booster organizations in New Orleans and Jackson, Miss., will become director of the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership on March 19.
Donald A. Shea replaces Marty Normile, who announced last year he would step down from the post he has held for 17 years.
Shea is currently president of Jackson's Capital Center, a business improvement district that takes in a 62-block downtown area in the state capital. He has had the job for nearly four years.
Before that, he was president for five years of the downtown development district in New Orleans.
He also served as executive director of the New Orleans Regional Medical Center.
Part of that job included fostering collaboration between New Orleans' two medical schools at Tulane University and Louisiana State University, a Baton Rouge-based school that maintains its medical school in New Orleans.
St. Petersburg's own medical complex is intriguing to Shea, as is the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus.
"Hospitals and colleges are turning out to be bedrock institutions because they have a long-term stake in the community. I'm really excited about the prospects of the USF campus there," Shea said last week.
"I've been impressed from afar about what's gone on in St. Pete the last 15 or 20 years," Shea said.
Shea has a connection to St. Petersburg through Leland Speed, who is chairman of the Jackson association. Speed's Parkway Properties owns the SouthTrust tower and a part of the South Core garage where Florida Power offices are situated, Normile said.
Shea, 49, is a Boston native. He has a bachelor's degree in urban affairs from the University of Massachusetts and a master's degree in city planning from Harvard. He is single.
Normile is staying in St. Petersburg and will remain involved with the Downtown Partnership.
"I'm going to stay on for a transition period and focus on the USGS expansion," Normile said, referring to the U.S. Geological Survey's plans to add a third building and another 40 employees to its operation on the edge of the USF campus.
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