Florida Voices: Paris Air Show

By: Sunshine State News | Posted: June 18, 2013 3:25 PM

How do the economic development community partners view the progress they're making on perhaps the Sunshine State's biggest trade mission of the year, the Paris Air Show? Gov. Rick Scott's office asked around and here are the responses:

Gray Swoope, Florida secretary of commerce, and president and CEO of Enterprise Florida:

“The partnerships between Governor Scott, Enterprise Florida and our economic development partners are incredibly important. Those relationships show aerospace and aviation leaders that Florida is working collaboratively to keep moving our state’s economy forward. Relationships between a company and a state’s economic development organizations are key factors in the company’s decision to locate or expand in a particular region. Enterprise Florida has tremendous partners and we’re very fortunate to have them here with us on this business development mission.”

Robin Reiter, interim president, Miami-Dade Beacon Council:

“The Beacon Council is delighted to partner with Governor Scott, Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Enterprise Florida on this mission to France. Aviation is a key partner in the economic vitality of Miami-Dade County and we welcome the opportunity to bring more companies home. With more than 420 aviation industry firms employing more than 18,000 people in Miami-Dade, we’ve included aviation as a targeted industry for One Community One Goal and will use this as a platform to promote our airports and our workforce across the globe. Miami-Dade is a fabulous, livable community; from culture and recreation to quality education, and lifestyles; the aviation industry is wanted and welcomed!”

Jerry Mallot, president, JAXUSA Partnership:

“The Paris Air Show is the most important gathering of aviation companies in the world. Working with the governor and EFI we are able to gain access to top executives to find, and further, projects for Northeast Florida. Our team effort is one of the key reasons for our successes.”

Lynda Weatherman, president and CEO, Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast:

“The EDC and Brevard County are well-known across the defense and aviation industries domestically, but we wanted to present our story – our competitive advantages, skilled workforce, pro-business environment and stellar quality of life – to the international marketplace. The Paris Air Show, along with working with Governor Scott, Enterprise Florida and other state partners, has afforded us the perfect opportunity to highlight the Space Coast’s attributes to an influential international audience of business leaders and top companies and lay the groundwork for continued economic growth at home.”

Rick Weddle, president and CEO, Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission:

“With a presence of companies such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, JetBlue, and others, the aviation industry is critically important to Metro Orlando. We are grateful for the leadership of Florida Governor Rick Scott and Enterprise Florida on the mission to the Paris Air Show, which will no doubt help to open doors and conversations with leaders of companies from around the world interested in meeting to discuss potential expansion.”

Neal Wade, executive director, Bay County Economic Development Alliance:

“It is essential for Governor Scott to represent all of Florida at the annual air shows. As the state's top business recruiter, he can meet with the industry's top leaders and help Northwest Florida meet its aerospace job creation objectives.”

Suzanne Christman, CEcD, senior manager of business development, Pinellas County Economic Development:

“Pinellas County Economic Development is delighted to be part of this year’s Florida Pavilion at the International Paris Air Show with Governor Scott and Enterprise Florida. It is the perfect spot, and the most prestigious in the industry, to highlight Pinellas County to aviation and aerospace companies. Pinellas County has all of the right ingredients to ensure success in aviation, aerospace, homeland defense, national security and manufacturing and we will share these messages with the growing companies we will be meeting with in Paris.”

Larry Sassano, president, Florida’s Great Northwest:

“Governor Scott’s participation in the Paris Air Show, meeting with leading aerospace companies and attending high-profile events, demonstrates Florida’s commitment to nurturing the existing aerospace industry and setting the stage for future growth. We are proud to showcase Northwest Florida’s aerospace and aviation assets and immense potential, side-by-side with Governor Scott and Secretary of Commerce Gray Swoope. We know that when a state’s governor meets with CEOs, it creates a relationship that continues long after the air show ends.”

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