ST. PETERSBURG — Longtime community activist Watson Haynes has been named the new president and chief executive officer of the Pinellas County Urban League. He will begin his new job Monday.
The St. Petersburg native was selected after a nationwide search. Haynes, who said this was the third time he tried for the job, talked about some of the issues he'd like to tackle in his new position. They include the needs of returning veterans, particularly those who are African-American, unemployment, parental involvement and education.
"I'm going to be straight up on a lot of these issues," said Haynes, who is president of the Concerned Citizens for Quality Education for Black Students.
In its announcement, the Urban League noted that Haynes, 59, has more than three decades of leadership and administrative experience, including several gubernatorial appointments. Until Friday, he was an education and community outreach coordinator for St. Petersburg College, a job he said he loved. His other positions have included serving as president and chief executive officer of the Coalition for a Safe and Drug Free St. Petersburg, executive director of Bridges to America, a family and substance abuse treatment center, and executive vice president at Operation PAR.