Hillsborough County’s newest legislators share our commitment to workforce, economic development

January 24, 2019

Earlier this month, the EDC hosted its second economic development “boot camp” for our new legislative delegation members and their aides. Representatives Fentrice Driskell, Dianne Hart, Adam Hattersley, and Susan Valdes – along with new Hillsborough County Commissioner Kimberly Overman – joined us for an overview of how economic development is done in Hillsborough County.


Our 2019 Chair, Dr. Judy Genshaft of the USF System, along with Rhea Law of Buchanan Ingersoll Rooney, our 2018 General Counsel, joined me in delivering a primer on how the EDC does business attraction, retention, expansion, marketing, and international trade development. Our partners, City of Tampa Administrator of Economic Opportunity Bob McDonaugh and Hillsborough County Director of Economic Development Lindsey Kimball, explained how incentives are used and awarded. We were also lucky to have representatives from two of our recent projects, Baker McKenzie and Aero Simulation, share why they chose to locate and expand in our market and how they worked with the EDC and its partners on these deals.


Why do an event like this with our newly elected representatives?


If last year’s legislative session taught us anything, it was that the practice of economic development is often misunderstood. And it’s on us to make sure that our

EDC President and CEO Craig Richard pictured with our sponsors from AT&T and new elected officials.

legislators have all the facts.


Our delegates and their aides asked a lot of great questions during the boot camp, and even demonstrated some of their new knowledge during a luncheon panel with our Investors afterward. The panel provided a great opportunity for us to learn more about our new legislators – including Rep. Mike Beltran, who joined us for the panel – and their top priorities for the session. Thanks again to our Investor, Ed Narain of AT&T, who graciously sponsored the lunch and served as our moderator.


It’s a new year, and we’re looking forward to strengthening our relationships with our partners at the local and state level. After last week’s events, I think we’re off to a great start.