St. Petersburg, FL – The City is pleased to announce the selection of our new City Development Administrator and welcome a new member to its leadership team.
Neighborhood and Community Affairs Administrator James Corbett will serve as the town’s new development administrator. Amy Foster, CEO of the Homeless Leadership Alliance of Pinellas and former City Council member, will assume the role of Community and Neighborhood Affairs Administrator. Both positions will take effect on August 15. Acting City Development Administrator Joe Zeoli will assume his former role as the City’s Chief Development Officer.
The city has received several external applications to become the city’s development administrator. After careful consideration, we have determined that Mr. Corbett’s extensive experience in municipal administration and directly with the City of St. Petersburg makes him the most qualified candidate for this position.
Mr. Corbett began working with the City of St. Petersburg in 2005 in the Codes Compliance Department. During his 16-year tenure, he held the positions of Inspection Supervisor, Operations Analyst, Operations Manager, Codes Compliance Manager, and most recently, Community Affairs Administrator and of area.
Mr. Corbett is a state certified building contractor. He received his Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of South Florida.
Before joining the City team, he worked in the financial sector for a large asset management company. He has lived in St. Petersburg for 36 years.
During his time in code compliance and as a neighborhood and community affairs administrator, Mr. Corbett collaborated with others to lead significant reductions of derelict properties and used innovative practices to transform vacant land and degraded properties into affordable home ownership opportunities through the Affordable Housing Lot Disposition Program. He also streamlined the use of technology to collect and analyze data to increase operational efficiency and improve business processes.
“I’m passionate about being able to help facilitate the growth of our great city while making sure we retain all of the wonderful features that make St. Pete unique,” Corbett said. “I am grateful for this new opportunity to help St. Pete continue to shine.”
Ms. Foster will assume the role of Administrator of Community and Neighborhood Affairs. She is a passionate community activist dedicated to empowering girls and women, advocating for equity, and driving holistic systemic change.
Foster currently serves as CEO of the Homeless Leadership Alliance of Pinellas, a position she has held since late 2020. Previously, she served on the Continuum of Care Board for six years, including serving as Chair from 2017-2019.
Foster also served as Executive Director of the Guardian Ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay, where she increased resources and support for children in foster care by more than 500% and advocated for significant legislative changes to protect safety and children’s rights.
Foster also served as National Collaborative Network Manager for a National Science Foundation project providing professional development to 43 states to establish cross-sector public/private partnerships.
She was a member of the city council from 2014 to 2021.
Foster is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She currently lives in North Kenwood with her partner, Damia Kelly. Foster has a daughter, Elena, whom she adopted after Elena left the foster care system in 2015.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to bring my decades of experience in leadership and advocacy roles to the city of St. Petersburg where I will be part of an excellent team of professionals working to ensure equitable access to the quality of life in our city,” says Foster. “I want to thank Mayor Ken Welch and City Administrator Rob Gerdes for entrusting me with this important work and I look forward to this next chapter.”
St. Petersburg Mayor Kenneth T. Welch added, “James Corbett has shown exceptional dedication, professionalism, talent and growth in his 16 years with the city. and will be an asset to our organization in this new role. Amy Foster’s background in the advocacy industry and as a member of City Council makes her an ideal person to lead the Community and Neighborhood Affairs department and I am delighted to welcome her to the team. . I would also like to thank Joe Zeoli for his excellent work as Acting Municipal Development Administrator.