Tampa hires Lakeland economic development guru as Carole Post departs

Nicole B. Travis, a Lakeland deputy city manager, will start later in January, replacing Post who returns to the University of South Florida after two years working for Mayor Jane Castor.
Nicole B. Travis, deputy city manager for the city of Lakeland, will become Tampa's top economic development official, Mayor Jane Castor announced Thursday.
Nicole B. Travis, deputy city manager for the city of Lakeland, will become Tampa's top economic development official, Mayor Jane Castor announced Thursday. [ City of Tampa ]
Published Jan. 6, 2022|Updated Jan. 6, 2022

TAMPA — Tampa will soon have a new person at the helm of its economic development portfolio.

Nicole B. Travis, a deputy city manager in Lakeland who also served as the that city’s director of economic development, will begin her new job on Jan. 24 as Carole Post, the current administrator of development and economic opportunity, prepares to return to the University of South Florida.

Post and Travis will work together for a month during a transition before Post returns to the university to head university-wide facilities and public safety operations.

Post had been on a two-year leave from USF. Her last day at the city is Feb. 25.

Travis’s work fit nicely with Castor’s strategic initiatives, according to a news release. Travis established public-private partnerships to revitalize Lakeland’s downtown, planned commercial corridors and fostered entrepreneurial activities in the city of 108,000.

Travis has also led efforts to increase Lakeland’s affordable housing inventory, the release stated.

“Landing Nicole for this critical position is a big coup for Tampa,” said Castor. “She has the experience, track record, and passion to deliver on our commitment to Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow and ensuring we maintain our momentum while protecting and nourishing what makes our community so special.”

Travis began her local government career as an urban designer with the city of Tampa from 2006 and 2009. She has also worked in the private sector as a project leader for architectural firms in Florida and Virginia.

”Tampa is a growing, diverse and innovative city with a thriving future. I am both honored and excited to join Mayor Castor’s administration to help further her vision of Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow. I look forward to working closely with her leadership team and city staff to ensure Tampa continues on the Mayor’s commitment to provide the highest level of service to residents and the business community,” said Travis in the release.

Travis will make $214,260.

The mayor praised Post’s work for Tampa, including streamlining the building permitting process, reorganizing the city planning activities, leading the $38 million renovation of the Tampa Convention Center and directing coronavirus relief efforts, including “Lift Up Local,” to allow restaurants and other businesses to continue to operate during the pandemic.

“It was a great honor to serve in Mayor Castor’s administration, which has been making strides since the very beginning,” said Post. “I am proud to have built an amazing team that demonstrates tremendous dedication and commitment every day, and continuously advances all five of the Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow strategic initiatives.”I could not be prouder of the progress we have made and am eager to see it continue to flourish.”