Brian Rewis
Brian Rewis

Three promotions announced today bring an updated leadership structure to the 73-employee city of Lakeland department that oversees community and economic growth.

The Department of Community and Economic Development will be led by Brian Rewis, 48, who served as interim director for the last six months. He will be assisted by:

  • Teresa Maio, 52, the new assistant director of community development. She previously served as planning and housing manager and has been with the city since 2009. In her new role, she will coordinate planning, transportation, construction services and housing, according to City Manager Shawn Sherrouse.
  • Alis Drumgo, 41, will head the newly created Division of Economic Development. He will retain his duties as manager of the Lakeland Community Redevelopment Agency. In his new role, he will market Lakeland “to the type of economic development desired,” Sherrouse said.
Teresa Maio, Brian Rewis, Alis Drumgo
From left: Teresa Maio, Brian Rewis, Alis Drumgo

All three promotions took effect today. Rewis is being paid $147,672 a year, the level he was raised to when he became interim director in June; Maio's salary was raised to $130,000 a year, up from $120,200; Drumgo was raised to $120,000 a year, up from $94,200. Drumgo's salary will be paid in part from CRA funds, Sherrouse said.

Sherrouse said he has researched cities such as Greenville, S.C., and Chattanooga that Lakeland aspires to emulate and “you find that their organizations, their city staff, has responsibility for economic development. So I feel this is a move to really place a focus and emphasis again on the future economic viability of Lakeland.”

He added, “Certainly we will have partners in that effort,” naming the Lakeland Economic Development Council, the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority and the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce.

Rewis succeeds Nicole Travis, who was promoted to deputy city manager in May. In his new role, he will continue to report to Travis.

He started with the city of Lakeland in June 2003 as code enforcement manager. In April 2008, he was promoted to the then-new position of neighborhood services manager combining code enforcement and affordable housing. In May 2015, he became community improvement manager, adding building inspection and the department's computer operations to his previous responsibilities. He became assistant director of the department in December 2018.

The Community and Economic Development Department currently has 68 full-time positions and 5 part-time positions, Rewis said.

Sherrouse announced the promotions at this morning's City Commission meeting, saying of Rewis, “He has proven his leadership in guiding the Department as we have experienced unprecedented growth and he continues to be an advocate for our customers.”

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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