ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.– (Feb. 7, 2019) – The Greater St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation held its second Annual Meeting at Openhouse, 1113 Central Avenue in downtown St. Pete.
The evening event, sponsored by PNC Bank, featured highlights from the organization's first two years, a 2019 outlook, and a transition of executive leadership, including the recognition of W. Chadwick (Chad) Loar as 2019 Chairman.
EDC President, J.P. DuBuque kicked off the agenda with a video and explanation of the event theme, Rising.
"Not only does Rising describe our organization, but it perfectly describes the current state of St. Pete," DuBuque said.
The St. Pete EDC formed as a public-private partnership in 2016 and has since opened 52 job creation projects, visited 243 local businesses, and led business development missions to 12 cities.
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, who has participated in several of the EDC's trips noted that he looks forward to continuing to support the EDC and is incredibly proud of the impact the EDC has made thus far.
A dozen companies that have created 467 high-wage jobs were established in St. Pete in the past two years, with the help of the EDC.
Internally, the EDC has grown its investor base to nearly 60 organizations, 17 of which were added in 2018.
John McLain, CEO for Bayfront Health St. Petersburg and Jill Wilkinson, Senior Market President for SunTrust Bank, join Loar as Vice Chair and Secretary and Treasurer for the EDC. Other members of the EDC’s executive leadership include St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, St. Petersburg Chamber President & CEO, Chris Steinocher, EDC Immediate Past Chair, David Punzak, and EDC President, J.P. DuBuque. Bob Warchola of Shumaker Loop and Kendrick will serve as the EDC's General Counsel for the second year.
In 2019, the EDC will increase the number of cities it reaches through business development missions and will continue to grow its investor base. The organization has plans to increase its capacity with the addition of a new team member who will focus on data mining and analytics. As it relates to marketing, the EDC has convened a committee to strategically promote the Trop Site opportunity and will continue to brand its Workforce Resource Map for local employers and Become St. Pete talent attraction campaign.
The St. Petersburg Area EDC's 2019 Annual Meeting was made possible by Presenting Sponsor PNC Bank and community partners including Bluewater Media, St. Petersburg Distillery, 3 Daughter's Brewing, and Green Bench Brewing.
Bill Edwards of The Edwards Group, Jason Mathis of the Downtown Partnership, and Jennifer Brackney of CareerSource Pinellas were among a reported 150 attendees at the event.