Michelle Stom, MPA, APR, manages Tampa Bay Water’s Public Affairs Division, overseeing the agency’s strategic planning, public communications and information, education and outreach, and government affairs efforts.
In this capacity, Ms. Stom directs public outreach efforts during the siting, permitting, development and construction for the agency’s water supply projects. She played a very important role in the public outreach for the nation’s largest operating, 25-million-gallon-per-day seawater desalination plant, the 15.5-billion-gallon regional reservoir, and an Enhanced Surface Water System that includes intakes on the Alafia River and Tampa Bypass Canal and a 120-million-gallon-per-day, state-of-the-art surface water treatment facility. In addition, Michelle leads the agency's strategic planning and performance measurement program and oversees the agency's state and federal legislative program. Michelle also oversees the production of agency collateral materials including annual reports, brochures, project fact sheets, website and social media; media and speakers training for agency staff; message development and strategic communications support for agency initiatives; and serves as the Public Information Officer and media liaison in the event of agency emergencies.
During Michelle's tenure and through the efforts of the Public Affairs Division, the agency received numerous awards including the 2017 American Metropolitan Water Agency Platinum Award for Utility Excellence, the Gold Marcom Award from the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals, a Silver Telly Award, an ADDY Award from the American Advertising Federation Tampa Bay, a Bronze Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of America, a Radiance Award and Prestige Awards from state and local chapters of the Public Relations Society of America.
Ms. Stom holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism, with a minor in business administration, and a master’s degree in public administration from the Pennsylvania State University; and has earned her Accreditation in Public Relations from the Public Relations Society of America. Michelle began working for Tampa Bay Water in 2001 and has more than 25 years’ experience in public information and public relations.
Prior to joining Tampa Bay Water, Michelle worked as a Deputy Press Secretary with the Pennsylvania Department of Education where she was involved in creating education legislation; planning and executing events for the Secretary of Education and the Governor; and handling media relations on various education-related topics.