Dr. Kanika Tomalin is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg. In this role, she leads, directs, and integrates all aspects of the Foundation’s internal and external activities and initiatives. Working closely with the Foundation team, Dr. Tomalin creates and executes the Foundation’s strategic plan—overseeing grantmaking, strategic initiatives, and the Center for Health Equity. She guides the organization as a steward of the community’s resources, consistently reporting back to the community and ensuring decisions and plans of action are mission-aligned and based in equity.
Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as the Chief Operating Officer and Vice President for Strategy at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg. In this role she oversaw 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.
Before that, she served eight years as Deputy Mayor and City Administrator of the City of St. Petersburg, working in partnership with former Mayor Rick Kriseman to strategically advance one of Florida’s largest cities toward its goals. Defining initiatives were developed under Dr. Tomalin’s visionary leadership. She was the Founder or Executive Lead on signature advancements such as: the City’s vision, Healthy St. Pete, the Innovation District, integrated water master plan, the For All, From All Housing Affordability plan, the St. Pete Pier, 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.
Before Dr. Tomalin’s time in City Hall she served as the Regional Vice President of External Affairs for the seven hospital, five-county Bayfront Health Network and Director of Strategy for Health Management Associates’ 23-hospital Florida Group. For more than 13 years as a C-suite executive in various leadership roles for Bayfront Health System, she guided the organization’s strategic planning; government relations; marketing; media; community affairs; external and internal communications and patient experience.
She has also worked at the St. Petersburg Times, the Palm Beach Post, WTXL-TV in Tallahassee, WAVE-TV in Louisville, KY and WRXB radio in St. Petersburg.
Dr. Tomalin received a Journalism degree from Florida A&M University, an MBA from the University of Miami and a Doctorate in Law and Policy from Northeastern University. Her commitment to community is evident in her outreach and service-driven outcomes. She serves on the Boards of The Dali Museum; Academy Prep St. Petersburg; Bayfront Health Foundation; and Celma Mastry Ovarian Cancer Foundation. Previous board and executive leadership positions include: American Heart Association; St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors; Vice-Chair of the St. Petersburg College Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions; St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership; Bayfront Health, Education and Research Organization; Pinellas County Urban League; YWCA of Tampa Bay; Canterbury School of Florida; Great Explorations Children’s Museum; Pinellas Enrichment for Mental Health Services Advisory Board; USF St. Pete Celebrates! Host Committee; American Heart Association Go Red for Women Executive Cabinet and American Stage.
She has received numerous honors and appointments, including being named: the ACLU’s Gardner Beckett Civil Liberties honoree; St. Petersburg Chamber’s Businesswoman of the Year, inaugural “Iconic Woman to Watch” and Young Business Leader of the Year; Gwen Reese Lifetime Achievement Award; YWCA of Tampa Bay’s Woman of Distinction; one of Florida Business Observer’s 40 Under 40; one of Florida’s Most Powerful and Influential Women; recipient of the Florida Diversity Council’s Glass Ceiling Award; Metro Health Robert Page Distinguished Leadership Award; Studio@620 Honors Community Leadership Award; Pinellas County Urban League Whitney Young Empowerment Award; one of Academy Prep’s Inaugural “Five Fabulous Females”; one of Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 30 Under 30; PEMHS’ PACE Award for Community Service; Association of Healthcare Philanthropists fellow; and a Kaiser Family Foundation urban public health reporting fellowship.
Dr. Tomalin was married for 17 years to well-known adventure journalist Terry Tomalin, until his passing in 2016. She is the fifth generation of her family to call St. Petersburg home and enjoys life here with her children Kai and Nia. Kai recently graduated from American University in Washington D.C. Nia is a second-year student at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York.