I think we can all agree that this has been a year of change. Florida has a new Governor, new leaders in Congress, a newly structured department of economic opportunity and a new look and feel for your FEDC. Yes, economic and workforce development professionals have redefined the vision, mission and activities of the Florida Economic Development Council.
I can’t thank you enough for the honor of working alongside the best in class to renew and revive the economy of the 4th largest state in the nation.
This year with your help we have clearly defined the purpose of FEDC: Educate, Advocate, Connect.
The Florida Economic Development Council is dedicated to providing leadership and vision to advance economic development professionals and economic development throughout the state of Florida.
As you have witnessed today and will witness tomorrow, FEDC is committed to developing, promoting, and providing continuing professional development and best practices for our members. We enable our members to excel in this austere profession by staying ahead of the changes in state economic development programs and by implementing internationally proven best practices for business retention, expansion and attraction.
Results: Upcoming Webinars being launched; regional meetings to educate prospective and existing FEDC members.
As advocates for a strong portfolio of tools and resources, we are an active presence at our state’s capitol in Tallahassee. Each of you works year round to develop and promote sound economic development policy. Committed staff and volunteers share timely and pertinent legislative updates so that you can lead your local communities in the proactive advancement of our state’s economy.
Results: This year we had our President/CEO, Amy Evancho, visible almost every day of session and not only did she meet with legislators to carry our message, we had government relation teams from Tampa Bay Partnership, The Beacon Council, Jacksonville and Broward County government, UCF assisting Amy and our Advocacy Chair, Bill Lambert with a strong legislative agenda for economic development professionals.
The third tenant of this newly defined organization is being carried out here this week and everyday in your communities, throughout the eight diverse regions of our state and member to member. I can’t go without thanking each of you who joined Amy and key technology partners to redesign our Web site and implement a comprehensive communications strategy through focus groups and social media. Your willingness to “like” FEDC, “retweet” FEDC and “post” best practices and advocacy news has strengthened the organization and elevated FEDC’s role in the historic changes to our state economic and workforce development infrastructure.
Results: We have had more action and participation since the launch of our Website and every member and our Regional Directors have a way of keeping you updated.
As we embrace all of these changes and prepare for the new fiscal year and legislative season, which will be upon us in mere weeks, I challenge you to continue to identify early those critical business climate issues and economic development tools that will elevate the competitiveness of Florida; communicate what is working and what needs improving; and engage fellow professionals, local and state elected officials and your business leaders in advancing the NEW FLORIDA.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be your Chair this year and working with one of the strongest Boards that is committed to CHANGE and their volunteer hours that make FEDC a success.
Could all of the Board Members and special appointments to the Board stand for a round of applause?
Thank you and God Bless.