Jeanette LaRussa Fenton
Jeanette LaRussa Fenton is a fourth generation and lifelong resident of her beloved hometown of Tampa, Florida. She is an honors graduate of St. Joseph Catholic School and Tampa Catholic High School. She holds an Associate of Arts degree with honors from Hillsborough Community College and is a graduate of the University of South Florida with Bachelors of Arts degrees in Mass Communications and Sociology. She obtained her Master of Science Degree in Management from National-Louis University.
Appointed by Mayor Pam Iorio in October 2005 to lead economic development efforts in Drew Park and West Tampa. Fenton works with residents, businesses, public and private sector organizations, and potential investors to maximize the quality, pace and positive economic impact of community revitalization initiatives.
Appointed by Mayor Iorio in May 2004 as Director, Intergovernmental Relations. Responsibilities included lobbying the Florida legislature on behalf of the City of Tampa and coordinating the City’s state and federal legislative agenda. Previously served as Assistant Director.
Appointed by Mayor Dick A. Greco in October 1995 as the Manager of the City of Tampa Private Industry Council. Responsible for job training services to disadvantaged youth, adults, and displaced workers, and other economic development activities. Instrumental in guiding the successful consolidation of City and County workforce development programs.
Prior to working with the City, Fenton was employed with Hillsborough County government for almost 20 years in various capacities including social services, civil rights outreach and compliance, growth management, and community development. Appointed the first Director of the Hillsborough County Commerce Department in July 1991 with responsibility for the County’s economic development, consumer protection, and volunteer programs. Recipient of the 1995 “Excellence in Government” award, the highest honor bestowed upon a County employee.
Retiring from local government after over 41 years of public service, Fenton is now President of Solution Services Tampa, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in community and economic development, strategic planning, communications, governmental affairs, and community relations.
Appointed by Governor Lawton Chiles in 1996 to the Florida Commission on Human Relations and served until 1999. Other current and past affiliations include: Athena Society, Inc.; Powerstories Theatre, Inc. (Chair, Board of Directors); Network of Executive Women, (President 2004-05); Florida Redevelopment Association; Hillsborough Community Housing Resource Board (Founder, Past President, Board of Directors); Florida Association of Intergovernmental Relations (President 2002); Toastmasters, International (President 2010-2011); Italian Club.
Honors and awards include: City of Tampa Josephine Howard Stafford Memorial Award; Florida Redevelopment Association Lifetime Achievement Award; Suncoast Girl Scouts “Woman of Distinction;” Human Rights Award from the Tampa/Hillsborough Human Rights Council; first recipient of the Italian-American Woman of Excellence Award in Government; Hillsborough Community College’s 40th Anniversary- 40 Distinguished Alumni.