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RISE Board of Directors

A governing body of seven directors develops the policies and goals of the housing authority. This board is made up of volunteers who are appointed by the Mayor of St. Petersburg and confirmed by the City Council. However, the housing authority is not a city department, but is an independent quasi-governmental entity and a political subdivision of the State of Florida, operating under Chapter 421 Florida Statutes.

Commissioner - Amoroso

Roxanne Amoroso

Roxanne Amoroso is the lead Principal of Mosaic Development, LLC, a St. Petersburg based, State of Florida multifamily and master development company. Roxanne is responsible for strategic planning, financing, project delivery and general management for all of Mosaic’s activity in the State of Florida. Roxanne is a nationally recognized expert in real estate development and her expertise in advancing complex real estate development spans almost 30 years. Ms. Amoroso continues to devote her time and expertise to numerous organizations in the City of St. Petersburg.

Two of Ms. Amoroso’s recent master development projects, the Encore in downtown Tampa and Creative Village in downtown Orlando, have earned national attention and recognition for master planning and financing. These project values were $120 million in infrastructure, and ranged from $425 million–$1 billion in economic development.

Ms. Amoroso continues to devote her time and expertise to numerous organizations and is currently the Chairwomen of Bright Community Trust and a member of the Neighborhood Lending Partners Executive Board, as well as a Community Real Estate Development (CRED) Program faculty member of the University of South Florida, Florida Institute of Government. She served on the boards of Urban Land Institute-Tampa Bay and Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Tampa Bay, and was also a member of the board of the State of Florida Brownfield Association. Ms. Amoroso is a sought-after speaker on the topics of economic development financing, Brownfields, and multifamily and mixed- use developments.


James Dates

James Dates is a well versed in administration and management of a wide variety of complex and sensitive governmental initiatives, topics and programs. Has directed, with a strong record of accomplishment and the highest integrity and professionalism, major organization-wide issues relating to government, community affairs, human resources, budget and research, social services, public safety and consumer affairs. Possesses keen communication skills, critical thinking abilities, and exceptionally diverse interpersonal qualities. Maintained highly regarded internal and external reputation and is known as an innovative and collaborative partner with the ability to successfully navigate and negotiate sensitive, difficult, or divisive issues at every level of the organization. Mr. Dates has served on numerous board in the City of St. Petersburg and Pinellas County.

Jerrilyn Evans

Jerrilyn Evans

Jerri is widow and a life-long resident of St. Petersburg, who enjoys time with her daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren and 3 dogs.  She has been involved in the legal community locally for more than 30 years and is currently the legal assistant to Lisa A. Hoppe, Esquire, at Lisa A. Hoppe, P.A. Jerri is the current president of the Florida Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. (BPW/FL) and a past president of BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas, currently serving as their Legislative Chair.

Jerri is active in her community, serving as Vice-Chair on the Personal Enrichment Through Mental Health Services (PEMHS) board, as well as serving on the collaborative Solutions for Administrative Services (SAS) board comprised of PEMHS, Boley and Operation PAR.  She has served in leadership roles in a number of organizations, including as a two-year president of the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club, president of her neighborhood association and the Judicial Assistants Association of Florida, as well as being a graduate of the Tampa Bay Public Leadership Institute and the Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) Leadership programs.


Sharelene Gambrell-Davis

Director Gambrell-Davis joined the Board in January 2018, filling a vacant seat, as the Resident Director. She previously worked as a customer service representative at Quest Diagnostic, and is currently retired. Ms. Gambrell-Davis is delighted to be appointed to serve and represent the residents of SPHA.

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C. Knox LaSister

C. Knox LaSister III has managed several large-scale urban revitalization initiatives, involving federal, state and local resources, in collaboration with multiple partners across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands. His work has integrated affordable housing development with job creation, education and training, health and nutrition and sustainable environmental live-ability. He has developed, rehabilitated and managed single family, multifamily, and commercial properties, simultaneously in several states. Mr. LaSister is an active Board Member of the Urban Homestead Assistance Board (UHAB) in New York City.

Stephanie Owens

Stephanie Owens

Ms. Owens lobbies federal, state and local officials to develop policies that improve communities and helps people live their best lives.

Owens is the principle of Dolphin Strategies LLC, in St. Petersburg, FL. The firm creates public education and participation  strategies that deliver impactful citizen engagement and foster healthy communities. Stephanie also creates voter education and issue advocacy campaigns for companies that promote employee civic and volunteer engagement. She has designed strategies for the American Cancer Society, National Football League, NASCAR, and the African National Congress. Stephanie began her career as a computer scientist and systems engineer at IBM and Xerox.

Ms. Owens served as an appointee of both President Barack Obama and President Bill Clinton, where she held senior positions in the White House, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

During her federal government tenure, she created innovative tactics for implementation of the Affordable Care Act; led citizen participation in the community restoration process after the BP Deep Horizon oil disaster; wrote improvements to federal procurement policy for small and disadvantaged businesses; and directed the White House Federal Interagency Task Force on St. Petersburg.

Ms. Owens is nationally known for building critical cross-sector alliances and coalitions to influence government and corporate policies to improve communities. She is skilled in intersectional diversity and inclusion - and helps organizations understand the nuances between the two - and how they work together to affect outcomes.

In addition to serving on many boards, Stephanie provides volunteer advocacy training for constituencies in historically disenfranchised communities.

Stephanie and her husband have called St. Petersburg home for 23 years.


Terri Lipsey Scott

Director Lipsey Scott joined the Board in September 2018, filling a vacant seat. Director Lipsey Scott’s civic engagements have included memberships in the Junior League, Women of the Word, St. Petersburg Chapter of the Links, Inc., St. Petersburg Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., ALPHA HOUSE, SPC Women on the Way, and Colours of Culture. She has also served on local boards including the Aids Services Association of Pinellas, the St. Petersburg Branch of the NAACP, Community Alliance, Convener of St. Petersburg Together, St. Petersburg College Women on the Way, Alpha House, the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American History Museum and the One City Chorus.

Director Lipsey Scott is an alumnus of Savannah State University and Eckerd College. She is a graduate of the Leadership St. Pete Class of 2008 having served as the community project co-chair and visionary.  Scott is also a retired administrative officer having served the City of St. Petersburg’s Office of the Mayor and City Council from 1987 – 2014. She is currently the Executive Director of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American History Museum.

Dr Arnett

Dr. Arnett Smith
Director Emeritus

Dr. Smith served on SPHA’s Board of Directors from July 2004 to July 2011. In October 2011, the full board voted unanimously to create the title of “Director Emeritus” and selected Dr. Smith as the first former Director to serve the housing authority in this honorary advisory position.