October 21, 2020
Friday, May 10, 2013
Contact: Stuart W. Doyle
ORLANDO, Fla. (May 10, 2013) – Enterprise Florida’s final meeting for its 2012-13 fiscal year, held yesterday in Orlando, focused on the state’s continuing success in generating jobs through new company recruitment and business expansions.
Governor Rick Scott, Secretary of Commerce/Enterprise Florida President & CEO Gray Swoope and corporate leaders discussed how and why, highlighting recent successes such as Hertz’s announcement this week that it plans to relocate its headquarters to Estero, in Lee County, creating 700 jobs and investing $68.75 million in capital.
“When leading U.S. and global corporations choose to invest their future in Florida, as we’ve seen during the past two years, it’s a strong indicator of our state’s competitive strength and confirmation of its supportive business climate,” said Swoope. His report to the board on job and capital investment progress, comparing the current fiscal year (three quarters, from July 1, 2012 – March 31, 2013) to the same period in 2011-12, reflected Florida’s competitive success. The current fiscal year job total to date — 16,052 — marks a 46 percent increase over third quarter last year when the sum was 10,988. Additionally, capital investment by companies is 15 percent higher this year — $1.59 billion — compared to the same period in ’11-12 — $1.38 billion.
From a firsthand perspective, Michelle Robinson, Verizon’s Southeast Region president, accented the points made that Florida has become more business-focused and competitive when she detailed the criteria her company – a Fortune 100 – used to identify a site for its new finance and accounting Center of Excellence. Aside from factors including tax environment, transportation, and labor availability, Robinson noted that Central Florida’s wealth of colleges graduating accounting, business and finance majors was a plus. “While the cost and the quality of labor were important, so was the fact that the area is growing generally and is growing its finance talent specifically,” Robinson said. Verizon’s new facility will create 750 jobs by 2016, making a $50 million capital investment.
A member-led panel presentation on Enterprise Florida’s competitive programs underscored the job and industry growth that derive from competitive projects, international trade initiatives and small/minority/entrepreneurial/capital programs.
The meeting was broadcast live on the Florida Channel and can be accessed through its website: http://thefloridachannel.org/.
During the meeting, Gov. Scott presented board member Kelly Smallridge, president and CEO of the Palm Beach Business Development Board, with his Business Ambassador Award for her 25 years’ service and contributions to economic development. Last month, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel honored Smallridge with its Excalibur Award, which recognizes success in business and community involvement in South Florida.
At-Large membership renewals: May 2013 – May 2014
• Alan Becker, Managing Shareholder, Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.
• Jeff Chamberlain, V.P., Publix Super Markets, Inc.
• Andy Corty, President & Publisher, Florida Trend
• Brett Couch, Florida President, Regions Bank
• Marshall Criser, State President AT&T
• Gordon Gillette, President TECO Energy
• Bill Heavener, Co-Chairman & CEO Full Sail University
• Mike Hightower, V.P. of Government Relations Florida Blue
• Tom Kuntz, Chairman, President & CEO, SunTrust Bank
• Bob McAdam, S.V.P., Darden Restaurants, Inc.
• Win Phillips, CIO, University of Florida
• Jon Rambeau, V.P. & GM of Training & Logistics Solutions Lockheed Martin
• Gary Spulak, President, Embraer Aircraft Holding, Inc.
• Millar Wilson, President & CEO, Mercantil Commercebank
• Rick Wilson, S.V.P., General Counsel, Bacardi, U.S.A., Inc.
New At-Large Board Members:
• Harvey Massey, Chairman & CEO, Massey Services, Inc. — Term to May 9, 2014
• Marion Mathes, CEO, BMG Money, Inc.
• Ernie Diaz, Regional President, TD Bank — Term to Nov. 3, 2013
Ex-Officio Renewals: May 2013 – May 2014
• Dominic Calabro, President & CEO, Florida Tax Watch
• Mike Meidel, Chairman, Florida Economic Development Council — Term of June 2013 – June 2014
• Susan Pareigis, President, Florida Council of 100
• Mark Wilson, President & CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce
Senate confirmation of the following appointments was announced:
• Julius D. Davis, President & CEO, VoltAir Consulting Engineers
• Hayden Dempsey, Greenberg Traurig
• Belinda Keiser, Keiser University
• Chris Kise, Foley & Lardner LLP
• Henry Rodriguez, Woodmere Holdings LLC
The Enterprise Florida board comprises top business, economic development and government leaders statewide. Their leadership and guidance support Enterprise Florida’s efforts to diversify Florida’s economy and increase high-wage job growth.
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Enterprise Florida, Inc. (www.eflorida.com) is a partnership between Florida’s business and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for the state of Florida. Headquartered in Orlando, Enterprise Florida’s mission is to facilitate job growth for Florida’s businesses and citizens leading to a vibrant statewide economy. In pursuit of its mission, Enterprise Florida works closely with a statewide network of economic development partners and is funded both by the State of Florida and by private-sector businesses.