Tampa Bay Business Women Awards 2023: Dr. Kanika Tomalin

Dr. Kanika Tomalin oversees the college’s operations, planning and emergency management; strategic planning; institutional effectiveness; external affairs; technology services; sustainability and resilience and the St. Pete Center for Civic Engagement and Social Impact.

Prior to joining Eckerd College, she served as the deputy mayor and city administrator of the City of St. Petersburg. In these roles she oversaw a $770 million budget and led a team of more than 3,000 employees, in service to 270,000 residents. She was the founder and executive lead on initiatives such as the City’s vision, Healthy St. Pete, the St. Pete Innovation District, the integrated water master plan, the For All, From All Housing Affordability plan, the St. Pete Pier District, Fire Cadet training program, Youth Development Grants, Citywide diversity training and scholarships, Deuces Rising redevelopment plan, Community Benefits Agreement, Youth Intervention programs and much more.

HOW DO YOU CONTINUE TO EVOLVE AND GROW AS A LEADER?

In my efforts to grow, and evolve, as a leader, I seek out new opportunities, and adventures, for professional development. I listen to those I am fortunate to lead in order to offer compassionate, constructive guidance that enables their effectiveness and I reflect on the leadership that most resonates and influences me, with a commitment to offer that which I expect.

Most recently, I have been accepted to the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Institute for Educational Management and will complete that immersive coursework this summer. I recently completed the Education Advisory Board’s Future President’s Intensive and was, recently, approved to join the faculty in the Business discipline of Eckerd College. These opportunities to continue to develop subject matter expertise in higher education and build on decades of other senior leadership experience will reinforce my personal goals and commitment to constant professional growth.

WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED IN YOUR CAREER? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THOSE CHALLENGES?

The multi-disciplinary trajectory of my career has presented many opportunities as well as challenges. I have been fortunate to work in several sectors, ranging from media to higher education, with service in health care and government rounding out my experience.

While my roles have been varied, opportunity creation is the common thread that runs through every chapter of my career. The conviction to serve as an engineer of opportunity for others is a self-assigned responsibility that has sometimes presented welcome challenges. In times when paths for possibilities and progress did not prevail as a priority for the organization I was serving, I’ve always worked with leadership to constructively create sustainable, self-perpetuating opportunities for those who seek them.

 

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