Said Mayor-elect Kriseman: “I thank Tish Elston for her years of dedicated service to this city. I am very grateful that Gary Cornwell has agreed to serve as Interim City Administrator. We need to ensure that, during this important time of transition, that city functions and services continue without interruption. I know Gary will make that happen.
Said Dr. Cornwell: “I am excited for the opportunity to work with Mayor-elect Kriseman, and continue to serve the City of St. Petersburg as the Interim City Administrator. I am looking forward to making sure there is a continuity of the day to day operations of our city government, and to ensuring the citizens receive services in a seamless fashion.”
Dr. Cornwell was hired by the city in 1980. As human resources director, he is responsible for employee recruitment and selection; position compensation and classification; benefits for employees and retirees; labor relations and negotiations; employee development; equal employment opportunity; and city risk management and general liability functions.
He holds a bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University, and a master's and Ph.D., both in industrial/organizational psychology, from the University of South Florida.
He is active with the American Psychological Association, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the Florida Public Personnel Association, the International Personnel Management Association and the Florida Public Employer Labor Relations Association.
Tish Elston has been a calm force in the storms, and a firm hand when needed in the City Administration. No one I know in the administration was more caring, compassionate or concerned about her city and the City's employees.
I was a joy and a pleasure to work with her and for her in my career with the City.
Gary Cornwell is also a good friend, reviewer of my Doctoral thesis and someone from whom I often sought guidance on critical City issues. Gary is well prepared for this role and he will be a significant asset to the new mayor during the transition period.
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