The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that three new investors— AGTC, Clay Electric, Coldwell Banker M.M. Parrish, Jones Edmunds — have made pledges to the Transforming Greater Gainesville five-year economic development strategy. The investments were garnered as a result of mid-campaign fundraising efforts for the initiative, which officially commenced in January 2015. Since then, the work done through TGG has resulted in the announcement of nearly 1,000 new jobs and nearly $48 million in new capital investment.
“The jobs and investment that have infused the Greater Gainesville region illustrate how economic development equates to economic opportunity,” said Chamber Board Chair Rory Causseaux. “These opportunities resonate throughout the community in the form of success for businesses, upward mobility for families and new investments in the community. Moreover, these outcomes provide a compelling case for investing in our ongoing transformation. We greatly appreciate that these generous companies see and have decided to support that vision.”
Including its three new investors, the Transforming Greater Gainesville strategy is funded by nearly 80 donors, all of whom are building on the contributions they make through the course of doing business and employing tens of thousands of people.
“Quality of life begins with jobs for people and success for businesses,” said Chamber President/CEO Susan Davenport. “The new investments infusing the Transforming Greater Gainesville economic development strategy signify a commitment to supporting optimal quality of life in this region on the part of both companies and the individuals who run them.”
The TGG strategy has a goal to support the creation of new jobs and capital investment by leveraging regional assets to attract and retain companies and talent in five target sectors—IT/Software, Agricultural Sciences, Life Sciences & Biotechnology, Advanced Logistics, and Advanced Manufacturing/Materials. These sectors all contain identified opportunities for individuals across the education spectrum from the GED to the Ph.D. The strategy’s results to date are indicative of these opportunities.
<strong>What our investors are saying:</strong>
Sue Washer, CEO, AGTC
“AGTC is an innovative company that got its start licensing technology from the University of Florida.” said AGTC CEO Sue Washer. “Greater Gainesville, UF and Santa Fe College have been a source of talent as our company has grown. Supporting the growth of innovation through our investment in the Chamber’s economic development efforts represents a way for AGTC to reinvest in the area, strengthening our growing biotech hub.”
AGTC is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that uses its proprietary gene therapy platform to develop products designed to transform the lives of patients with severe diseases, with an initial focus in ophthalmology. AGTC’s lead product candidates focus on inherited orphan diseases of the eye, caused by mutations in single genes that significantly affect visual function and currently lack effective medical treatments. AGTC has a significant intellectual property portfolio and expertise in the design of gene therapy products including capsids, promoters and expression cassettes, as well as, expertise in the formulation, manufacture and physical delivery of gene therapy products.
Richard “Ricky” Davis, General Manager & CEO, Clay Electric
“Clay Electric’s vision statement is to be an innovative and proactive cooperative while meeting the competitive, political, regulatory, economic and technological challenges within the changing utility industry,” said General Manager & CEO Ricky Davis. “The Transforming Greater Gainesville Economic Development strategy speaks to some of the same elements on a broader scale that includes all businesses and people. In the end, both Clay Electric’s purpose and the Chamber’s are rooted in a common goal to improve quality of life and strengthen the community, and that is why we chose to invest in the TGG strategy.”
Clay Electric Cooperative is an incorporated, member-owned, not-for-profit electric power supplier that is democratically organized and controlled by those it serves. Formally organized in 1937, the co-op has traditionally been known for its excellent service. The co-op is also a Touchstone Energy cooperative- a national alliance of local, member-owned electric cooperatives committed to high standards of service. Headquartered in Keystone Heights, Florida, the electric co-op is one of the largest in the United States. Clay Electric’s purpose statement is to improve the quality of life of its members by delivering electricity and strengthening the communities it serves.
J. Parrish, President/CEO, Coldwell Banker M.M. Parrish Realtors
“For the more than 100 years M.M. Parrish has prioritized support of the Gainesville business and philanthropic communities. We have watched this region evolve from a small college town to an extraordinary cultural and educational center of excellence with an unmatched quality of life,” said Coldwell Banker M.M. Parrish Realtors Owner J.Parrish. “Gainesville’s foundation is strong, and its progress, steady. We can continue to elevate opportunities for our businesses and residents by deliberately and strategically plotting Gainesville’s next growth steps. The Chamber’s ‘Transforming Greater Gainesville’ plan is a formula for doing that, and M.M. Parrish supports its vision of our region as a global hub of talent, innovation and opportunity.”
Coldwell Banker M.M. Parrish Realtors is a full service Brokerage firm specializing in Gainesville Real Estate and Real Estate in the surrounding areas. The company operates from two local locations and has more than 80 sales associates. Founded in 1911 by Mercer Moorman Parrish, Sr., and his father, James Howard Parrish, M.M. Parrish Realtors is one of Gainesville’s oldest companies and the oldest member of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce. M.M. Parrish has a strong cultural of supporting the community, and has staff, management and sales associates participating in hundreds of different volunteer programs, organizations, fundraisers and community events as individuals. As a company, M.M. Parrish is involved in many local charities and sponsors several local events annually. Signature programs include Habitat for Humanity, the Children’s Home Society of Florida, and the Food4Kids Backpack program.
Ken Vogel, Managing Director, Senior Vice President, Jones Edmunds
“The services and solutions we provide at Jones Edmunds are inherently future-focused, and centered on ensuring our clients and our state have the capacity to accommodate a future that provides opportunities for everyone,” said Managing Director & Senior Vice President Ken Vogel. “This is one reason why we saw immediate connectivity between Jones Edmunds’ vision and the Chamber’s economic development efforts. Both business growth and economic opportunity are critical to the future of our region, our state and our company, and Transforming Greater Gainesville will greatly benefit the people and businesses of the region.”
Established in 1974, Jones Edmunds is a Florida-based, multi-disciplinary consulting firm dedicated to providing environmental and infrastructure solutions with integrity, knowledge, and service. Our services include water, wastewater, reclaimed water, water resources, flood protection, environmental, civil/site engineering, stormwater/drainage, solid waste, transportation, demolition, construction administration, and geospatial/asset management. Jones Edmunds is nationally ranked by Engineering News-Record among the Top 500 Design firms and Top 200 Environmental firms in the United States.