Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg's marketing director leaves for the Edwards Group

Beth Herendeen, who had held the job since 2007, was paid more than $100,000 annually.

Beth Herendeen, who had held the job since 2007, was paid more than $100,000 annually.

ST. PETERSBURG — When Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman was on the campaign trail, he vowed to scrutinize the city's marketing and communications department, which he said didn't do enough to promote local businesses and hot spots.

With Kriseman ready to assume the mayor's seat Jan. 2, the head of that department said Sunday she's leaving — becoming the first city executive to announce a departure since Tuesday's election.

"I have accepted a position with the Edwards Group and will start tomorrow," Beth Herendeen wrote in an email Sunday. "I didn't announce it until after the election because some of you might have wanted to make a story out of it … and there is no story here."

The Edwards Group, owned by prominent businessman Bill Edwards, controls several Tampa Bay real-estate and business holdings including the Shops at St. Pete, formerly called BayWalk. The company also manages the Mahaffey Theater.

Herendeen earned more than $100,000 to lead the marketing department, which had 19 employees and an annual budget of $2.1 million. She said in her email she "was simply given an offer she couldn't refuse."

Herendeen's new position will reunite her with former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, who became president of the Edwards Group in 2011.

The marketing office she led came under fire in August when Kriseman and City Council Chairman Karl Nurse accused the department of failing to adequately promote the city outside the region.

Herendeen, at that time, said the department didn't have the budget to do traditional marketing, so it focused on communicating with residents.

On Sunday, Kriseman struck only positive notes about Herendeen and her service to the city, saying he is sorry she's leaving and wishes her the best.

"Our transition team will work to identify great people to ensure a smooth transfer of power between my incoming administration and the talented individuals already hard at work for St. Petersburg," he said in a statement.

Herendeen's email did not elaborate on her departure. She did not return calls to her cell phone for comment.

According to St. Petersburg's website, Herendeen joined the city in 1993 as an event coordinator at Tropicana Field. She left the city for several years and returned in 2001. She was named the marketing and communications director in 2007, and oversees marketing of the city, communication with the media and the public, the city's website and public access television station and other duties.

Times staff writer Mark Puente contributed to this report. Brittany Alana Davis can be reached at or 727-445-4155.

St. Petersburg's marketing director leaves for the Edwards Group 11/10/13 [Last modified: Sunday, November 10, 2013 8:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees


    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact


    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show


    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.