Feb 1, 2019
An experienced leader with Tampa Bay ties is assuming interim leadership of Pinellas County’s tourism marketing agency. Jim Dean will become interim president and CEO of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater effective Monday. David Downing, who headed the department since 2014, resigned in January to take a job in the private sector.
Dean comes to Pinellas County with more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality, travel and tourism industries. From 2010-2017, he served as President of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay & Adventure Island. More recently, he served as President and Corporate Senior Vice President of SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica and Discovery Cove. He has been an advisor and board member of several Tampa Bay area organizations, including Tampa Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau, the USF Muma College of Business and the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation.
“Jim’s extensive experience and collaborative approach will be an asset to the department during this transition,” said Pinellas County Administrator Barry A. Burton.
Dean will be responsible for overseeing daily operations of the agency, which is responsible for marketing Pinellas County across the world. A nationwide recruitment will ensue in the coming weeks to fill the vacancy permanently.