Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) is a partnership between Florida's business and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for the state of Florida.
Why does EFI have a Board of Directors?
Florida was the first state to convert its Department of Commerce into a 501(c) 3 public/private partnership in which business has a leadership role. As such, Enterprise Florida (EFI) is overseen by a board comprising an alliance of Florida businesses, trade organizations, educational institutions, governments and economic development organizations. These organizations help shape the future of Florida’s economy by setting a course for increased opportunity for all Floridians through the creation and retention of quality, high-skill jobs. The goal is to create a better future for Floridians through jobs that can enhance quality of life for families. While businesses and citizens strengthen their communities through volunteerism, board members do the same by participating in this economic development effort on behalf of the state.
Who is on the EFI Board of Directors?
The EFI Board of Directors has 59 voting members representing both the public and private sectors. Members include elected officials such as Governor Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Commissioner of Agriculture Nicki Fried, lawmakers, individuals appointed by the Governor, Legislative leadership, and corporate sponsors. Florida Statute (288.901, F.S.) states there shall be 14 appointed members of the EFI Board (6 appointed by the Governor, 4 from the House of Representatives and 4 from the Senate). All appointed members are subject to Senate approval.
Why does EFI have paid investors on its Board of Directors?
The statute (288.904 F.S.) that created the EFI public-private partnership requires that the organization create a mechanism to raise private funds through corporate involvement to help fund economic development in the state. Corporate sponsors who serve on the board contribute $50,000 to support the activities of the public-private partnership, which is allowable under the statute.
Are EFI’s Board of Directors meetings open to the public?
All of EFI Board meetings, including committee meetings, are publicly noticed under the Sunshine Law. In addition, EFI requested the Florida Channel televise the meetings live on air. EFI welcomes the public’s interest in the operations and performance of its objectives.
What is the EFI Board of Director Finance & Compensation Committee responsible for?
EFI’s Finance and Compensation Committee is responsible for completing a thorough annual performance evaluation of EFI’s President & CEO, including the calculation of recommended performance incentive. The evaluation will be in cooperation with the Vice Chair and Immediate Past Vice-Chair or Vice-Chair Elect of the EFI Board of Directors. The committee also recommends contract salary actions for the President & CEO to the EFI Board. In addition, the committee recommends annual performance pool payout amounts under the EFI performance incentive program for approval by the EFI Board of Directors. The committee reviews, evaluates and approves the salary and incentive policy for EFI to be administered by the President & CEO.
How does EFI ensure there is no conflict of interest with its Board Members?
Florida was the first state to convert its Department of Commerce into a 501(c) 3 public/private partnership in which business has a leadership role. With this move came stringent corporate governance measures. All EFI board meetings and committee meetings involving board members are publicly noticed and open to the public. Board meetings are televised and committee meetings can be accessed via teleconference. Meeting minutes are available for public access.
Conflict of Interest:
If a board member has a conflict with an EFI contract or agreement, the member is compelled to disclose the conflict of interest and abstain from voting.
Economic Development Incentives:
Regarding state incentives, board members do not vote on the approval/disapproval of incentives, or provide input in any way. The state’s economic development incentives process is purely objective. Such projects are not discussed at board meetings or during any committee meeting that may involve a board member. The businesses and corporations represented on EFI’s board also have their own ethical guidelines and corporate policies, which are compliant with the law.
State-funded financial transactions:
Board membership does not accord access to or influence on routine financial transactions of the state. Board members may be employed by companies with existing state contracts. State-contracts are transparent and involve processes designed to ensure fairness and accountability.