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United States Chamber of Commerce Accredited

April 2015 CEO Luncheon

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 3.20.58 PMThe second quarterly CEO luncheon was held April 22 at the President’s house on the University of Florida campus. In his opening comments, Chairman Todd Powell set the tone for both the event and the year ahead by illustrating what a Transformed Greater Gainesville would look like from a global perspective:

“Imagine being able to say to anyone, anywhere in the world, ‘I’m from Gainesville,’ and having that person know exactly where you are talking about.”

Florida Secretary of Commerce Bill Johnson, President and CEO of Enterprise Florida, followed by outlining a similar statewide vision spurred by enhanced state marketing efforts and regional support and collaboration, citing CEO Investors as an example of the strong public/private partnerships that are critical to growing and diversifying Florida’s economy. In particular, Johnson illustrated the wide gap between Florida’s marketing investment versus those of other states that spend more, but have fewer or lesser business climate assets to work with. He also underscored his strong commitment to ensuring lawmakers understand the return on funds invested in marketing the state.

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 3.21.07 PMVia numerous, Florida-specific facts and statistics, Johnson summed up what we all know through both experience and anecdote: no other state has or can duplicate Florida’s unique mix of geographic, talent, business climate and quality-of-life assets. Johnson recognized Greater Gainesville as a research, education and talent powerhouse, and one of the many tremendous economic, community and state assets that make Florida a strong competitor for business attraction, retention and growth.

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