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Tampa Downtown Partnership woos new CEO from Detroit organization

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A leader in economic development from Detroit has been named the president and CEO of the Tampa Downtown Partnership.

Kenyetta Bridges, who was most recently COO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., will lead the private nonprofit that aims to advance Tampa’s downtown.

Kenyetta Bridges will become the president and CEO of Tampa Downtown Partnership.
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“Downtown Tampa is alive with energy and opportunity,” Bridges says in a statement. "I’m excited to join the leading edge of the wave of positive momentum that has brought Tampa’s Downtown and the region into the national and international spotlight as one of the best places in America to live, work and play.” 

Bridges will begin her new role July 1.

The Tampa Downtown Partnership serves the business community through advocacy, partnerships and networking and administers the city’s Special Services District program, which improves the look and operations of downtown Tampa.

“As our city booms, the Tampa Downtown Partnership has a vital role in building upon what we all love about this place — the characteristics that make our community special,” says Stephen Panzarino, chair of the search committee for the partnership’s board of directors. “Ms. Bridges brings experience that can elevate the Partnership as a partner in planning and executing Downtown growth.”

Among Bridges' accomplishments to revitalize Detroit over the last five years were helping to bring $3.8 billion in investments, 10,000 new jobs, affordable housing options and entertainment spaces to the city, according to the statement. Some projects she and her team worked on include The District Detroit, a sports and entertainment district; Ford’s Michigan Central Station, a cultural and technology hub in a restored train station; the Future of Health academic medical center; the Hudson’s block transformational project; and Michigan State Fairgrounds and Detroit Pistons headquarters redevelopment. 

Bridges started with the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation in 2005 and held progressively more senior positions before she became the executive vice president and then COO in 2023. 

Shaun Drinkard, who has been serving as interim president of the Tampa Downtown Partnership, will continue on through June 30 then will remain a key member of the staff, bringing his expertise to the partnership’s initiatives, the organization says.



Elizabeth King

Elizabeth is a business news reporter with the Business Observer, covering primarily Sarasota-Bradenton, in addition to other parts of the region. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, she previously covered hyperlocal news in Maryland for Patch for 12 years. Now she lives in Sarasota County.

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