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The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County hosted its first Economic Development Forum Thursday, April 23, 2015 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.  With over 300 people in attendance, the half day forum began with a breakfast featuring keynote speaker Bill Johnson, Florida Secretary of Commerce and President of Enterprise Florida.

Following the breakfast were five economic development sessions:

1. The CEO Corporate Think Tank featured panelists Chris Jamroz, President & COO of GardaWorld Cash Services; Jeff Scott, President & CEO of Olympus Insurance, Gemini Financial Holdings Corp.; Drew Levine, President of G4S Secure Solutions North America; and Jeff Stoops, President & CEO of SBA Communications.  They discussed ways in which Palm Beach County can become a world class business destination and highlighted the County’s key attributes as well as ideas to make the area even more competitive.

2. The Branding & Marketing of Education session included Palm Beach County educators and business leaders who discussed the measures being taken to communicate the County’s exceptional education system and how business executives can take a leadership role to help further drive education excellence.

3. The Economic Competitiveness Panel, moderated by Shannon LaRocque, Assistant County Administrator, discussed best case practices for community competitiveness. The panelists were Angelo Bianco, Parnter of Crocker Partners; C.J. Evans, JR, Principal of Merit Advisors, L.P.; and Al Latimer, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Enterprise Florida, Inc.

4. The Economic Development Stakeholder discussion featured relocation and expansion activities in Palm Beach County facilitated by the BDB in cooperation with the State, County and cities.  Michael Busha, Executive Director of Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council and Jerry Allen, Deputy Director of Palm Beach International Airport shared important updates and topics relevant to their respective organizations.

5. The Real Estate Panel, with industry experts Kenneth Krasnow, Managing Director of South Florida CBRE; Neil Merin, Chairman of NAI Merin Hunter Codman; and Brian Seymour, Shareholder of Gunster discussed current commercial real estate trends shaping Palm Beach County’s future growth.

The Economic Development Forum concluded with a luncheon featuring keynote speaker John Kaliski, Principal of Cambridge Systematics, Inc. with Florida Trade and Logistics Study commissioned by the Florida Chamber. The study builds on Florida’s once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the state’s economy to become a global hub for trade, logistics and export-oriented manufacturing activities and provides a roadmap for tremendous private-sector job growth and positive economic activity.

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