IEDC Leadership Summit, Florida Economic Development Week highlights

February 26, 2020

February presented us with two excellent opportunities to highlight the important work that the business community and economic developers in Tampa Bay are doing to keep our region thriving.


At the International Economic Development Council’s (IEDC’s) 2020 Leadership Summit on February 9-11, City of Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and City of St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman wowed the 500 economic development leaders in attendance with inspiring stories of the rise of their respective cities and our track record of successful regional collaboration. Keynote speakers Jeff Vinik of The Tampa Bay Lightning and SPP; Lorna Taylor, CEO of Premier Eye Care; Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida; and Tim Moore, CEO of Diamond View Studios received standing ovations from the audience for their powerful presentations about placemaking, building more inclusive and equitable companies and communities, and the power of storytelling to attract and keep talent in your community.


One of the more thought-provoking presentations at the IEDC Leadership Summit was from Darin Buelow of Deloitte.  Darin’s presentation explored new ways of measuring economic development – beyond our standard jobs and capital investment metrics. He suggested communities should be looking at societal measures such as poverty rate, educational attainment, income and employment measures, housing measurements, industry and education measurements. He also said that it is worth considering taking a longer-term approach in measuring how a business relocation or expansion project affects these measurements over the long term.


Deloitte is working on a new SIMM (Social Impact Measurement Model) analysis tool that can measure the social impacts of a project. While this is just another tool among the many economic developers have in their tool kit, it can certainly help us take a more holistic assessment of the benefits each project brings to a community, and can help us further refine our prospects to include companies that are in line with our community’s values and dedication to making a positive social impact where they operate.


Joining forces with our colleagues around the state, we celebrated Florida Economic Development Week February 9-15 with a social media campaign highlighting some of our recent projects and people behind these successful relocated or expanding companies. Our marketing team created and posted videos featuring interviews with exciting new-to-Tampa companies Drift and TheIncLab as well as testimonials from other recent projects such as Baker McKenzie, VoltAir, and Velocity Resource Group. These videos received over 15,000 views and our social media posts for the week generated more than 60,000 impressions. We are so proud of these companies and the people who lead them, and grateful for their willingness to share why they love living and doing business in Tampa.


It’s an exciting time to be in economic development as our profession continues to evolve. I look forward to sharing more trends with you in the coming months.


All the best,