Tampa City Hall spokeswoman Ali Glisson leaving to work for Lightning owner Jeff Vinik

Published August 14 2015
Updated August 15 2015

TAMPA — Mayor Bob Buckhorn is losing a second top aide to Jeff Vinik.

Ali Glisson, City Hall's director of public affairs for nearly four years, is leaving to become director of communications for Strategic Property Partners, the Vinik company planning a $1 billion development near Amalie Arena.

Glisson's last day at the city is Friday. She starts her new job Monday.

"It's been a really great experience, but I was looking for new challenges," she said. "This is just an amazing opportunity, one that I could not turn down. To be able to stay in Tampa, which is my hometown, and be a part of that project — I could not say 'no' to that."

To replace her, Buckhorn has hired 32-year-old Ashley Bauman from the Washington, D.C., strategic communications and public relations firm Scott Circle. Like Glisson, Bauman has roots in Florida and a background in political communications for the Democratic Party.

A third-generation native of Naples and a graduate of the University of Florida, Bauman has worked as a senior communications adviser to Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and as communications director for the Democratic Party of Virginia.

And she knows Tampa, having lived here from 2009 to 2011 while working as statewide press secretary for Organizing for America-Florida, which grew out of the network of volunteers that worked to elect President Barack Obama in 2008.

Bauman starts Sept. 14 at an annual salary of $110,000. Her appointment will go to the City Council for confirmation.

Buckhorn said he has known Bauman since Obama's campaign in 2008 and expects her to bring experience and a diverse background that will make her "an asset to the citizens of Tampa."

"I like communications directors that have come out of campaigns," he said, "because I think they bring a special skill set that normal public information officers don't have."

Glisson, 28, is the second member of Buckhorn's inner circle to take a job with Vinik's organization.

In 2013, then-City Attorney Jim Shimberg Jr. joined Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment, the parent company of the Lightning, as executive vice president and general counsel. He is also the chief operating officer of SPP.

Glisson is a graduate of the Academy of the Holy Names and George Washington University, In her job with the city, she served as a primary contact for reporters. Leading a team of 13, she also oversaw the city's marketing, advertising and cable television operations and guided several projects, including Coast Bike Share, the privately run bike rental program that launched late last year.

"She did an amazing job telling Tampa's story for the last four years," Buckhorn said. "There's nobody who could have done it any better."

Contact Richard Danielson at [email protected] or (813) 226-3403. Follow @Danielson_Times

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