Watson L. Haynes II
Watson L. Haynes II, President & CEO of the Pinellas County Urban League (2012), successfully manages the agency’s long/short-range strategic planning, fiscal management and fundraising activities. The agency serves as the Change Agent to address generational poverty with the major focus areas of Economic Development, Housing, Education, Health and Advocacy. The service areas of the Pinellas County Urban League include 24 municipalities in Pinellas County, the Tampa Bay area and Marion, Hernando, Sumter, Lake, Seminole and Pasco counties.
Rev. Haynes has served as the Education and Community Outreach Project Coordinator, Academic and Student Affairs at St. Petersburg College and is a retired management employee of the Florida Department of Labor.
Rev. Haynes was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush in 2002 to the Governing Board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District (a water policy taxing authority covering 16 counties serving 3.5 million residents). He also served as Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee and Diversity Chairman. He was appointed by Governor Charlie Crist to the Florida Commission on Human Relations in 2007. He represented the commission as a member of the Center for Public Safety Innovation (CPSI) Florida Regional Community Policing Institute and reviewed and acted on discrimination cases.
Over the past 30 years, Rev. Haynes has held positions on numerous governmental boards and commissions including Chair of the Pinellas County Charter Review Commission, Chair of the Pinellas Community Foundation and Trustee on the Gulf Coast Legal Services Community Law Program. Haynes was appointed by the Pinellas County Commission as a member of the Health Facilities Finance Authority and the Social Action and Mental Health Funding Advisory Board, member of the Pinellas County Transit Alternatives Stakeholder Committee for Economic Development. He serves on the Board of Governors of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce. He Is a founding member and immediate past Chair of COQEBS (Concerned Organizations for Quality Education for Black Students).Founder and Former President of the Midtown Rotary Club.
Rev. Haynes holds a Master of Science Degree in Management (Managerial Leadership) from National Louis University – Tampa Campus, a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from Eckerd College where he served as a member of the President’s Advisory Council and is a graduate of the Eckerd College Leadership Development Institute. He was awarded the Eckerd College Susan Armacost Alumni Medal for Outstanding Community Service in 2019. He has an Associate in Arts Degree from St. Petersburg College where, in 2007, he was recognized as an outstanding Alumnus and more recently in 2012 was honored by the College and its Board of Trustees for outstanding service to the College and community. He received an AA degree in Theology from the Florida Theological Seminary in Lakeland, Florida and was the first African American elected Senior Class President at St. Petersburg High School. He is the Co-Chaplain for the Eta Rho Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and serves as Associate Pastor at New Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church.
Among his honors include the Cultivating Community Award from the Edible Peace Patch in 2016 and was recognized as AT&T 2018-2019 Florida Black History Month Honoree, the St. Petersburg Bar Association Liberty Award recipient in 2018. In 2019 he received the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) MLK Outstanding Leadership Award. In 2020 received the Tampa Bay Lightning Tampa Bay Hero Award.
He is currently a member of the 17-member Mayor’s (Kriseman) Task Force on Covid19. Recently appointed by St. Police Chief (Holloway) as a citizen member of the Statewide Police Chief sub-committee on Accountability and Societal Change.