Group also names permanent Executive Director and adds new Manager of Membership and Programs
The Florida Economic Development Council (FEDC), the state’s professional association of economic, workforce, and community developers has announced its 2016-2017 board of directors. In addition, the FEDC board voted to transition Beth Kirkland, CEcD, from Interim Executive Director to Executive Director. Jill Blackman also joined the FEDC staff this month as Manager of Membership and Programs.
“I am honored to have been selected to chair the Florida Economic Development Council and represent the dedicated group of professionals that work tirelessly to improve the economies in their cities, counties, and regions throughout Florida,” said Cathy Chambers, Senior Vice President of Strategy & Business Development, JAXUSA Partnership. “The opportunity to lead FEDC comes at a critical time as we advocate on behalf of the industry to build support for economic development, increase Florida’s competitiveness and ensure that our professionals have the necessary tools and resources to attract jobs and capital investment to the state.”
The 2016-2017 FEDC board of directors includes:
- Chair: Cathy Chambers, Senior Vice President of Strategy & Business Development, JAXUSA Partnership
- Chair-Elect: Crystal Stiles, Manager, Economic Development, Florida Power & Light
- Immediate Past Chair: Bob Swindell, President & CEO, Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance
- Vice Chair of Professional Development: Shannon Ogletree, CEcD, Director, Santa Rosa EDC
- Vice Chair of Membership and Regional Relations: Jeff Hendry, Executive Director, North Florida Economic Development Partnership
- Vice Chair of Economic Development Advocacy: Danita Andrews, Director of Business Development, Florida West EDA
- Vice Chair of Finance: Deborah Petrell, Senior Vice President & Sales and Marketing Manager, Florida First Capital Finance Corporation
- Vice Chair of Marketing & Communications: Michelle Bauer, Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Tampa Hillsborough EDC
- Executive Director: Beth Kirkland, CEcD, Florida Economic Development Council
The following individuals currently serve in the role of FEDC Regional Director:
- Northeast Region: Ed Randolph, Business Development Coordinator, City of Jacksonville
- East Central Region: Marc Hoenstine, CEcD, Economic Development Manager and External Relations, Duke Energy
- Tampa Bay Region: Suzanne Christman, CEcD, Senior Manager of Business Development, Pinellas County Economic Development
- Southwest Region: Lucienne Pears, Business Development Specialist, Charlotte County EDO
- South Central Region: Tracy Whirls, Executive Director, Glades County EDC, Inc.
- Southeast Region: Pete Tesch, President &CEO, Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County
- Northwest Region: Rick Byars, Community and Economic Development Manager, Gulf Power
The North Central Region Director position is currently vacant.
Several individuals have also been appointed and named as Ex Officio to the 2016-2017 FEDC board:
Chair Appointment to the Executive Board:
- Jayne Burgess, Senior Director, Career Source Florida
Chair Appointment to the Board:
- Andrew Duffell, President & CEO, Research Park at Florida Atlanta University
- Bill Cronin, President & CEO, Pasco EDC
- Cyndi Jantomaso, President & CEO, Haines City EDC
- Crystal Sircy, Executive Vice President & COO, Enterprise Florida
- Andra Cornelius, CEcD, Senior Vice President, Business & Workforce Development, Career Source Florida
Beth Kirkland, who has run the day-to-day operations of the FEDC in the interim role since last year, is excited about her transition to permanent leadership. “The FEDC board and member support has been tremendous during my year as Interim Executive Director,” she said. “Florida economic, workforce, and community development professionals are truly exemplary in the work they do to prepare and promote strong business climates in their local communities. It is a privilege to formally serve the board and our membership as Executive Director.”
About Florida Economic Development Council
The Florida Economic Development Council (FEDC) is the professional association of economic, workforce and community developers. These professionals work in Florida’s 67 counties, 400+ cities, 24 workforce regions, 28 colleges, 12 universities, as well as utilities, ports, airports, and industrial authorities.
FEDC’s members are among the highest credentialed professionals in the industry – many with advanced degrees in finance, business, IT, engineering, planning and real estate.
The staff, board members and committee members of the Florida Economic Development Council dedicate themselves to providing leadership and vision to advance economic development professionals and economic development throughout the state of Florida as a whole.