HQ Task Force Gets Down to Business

January 22, 2015

One of the EDC’s top priorities is to recruit a major corporate headquarters to Hillsborough County, and we wasted no time getting back to that effort after the holidays. Ellen Harpel (pictured), President of Business Development Advisors, the economic development research and market intelligence firm we’ve retained to support our headquarters initiative, joined our January 12 task force meeting to share her recommendations to narrow the list of prospects our team will pursue.
The Headquarters Task Force, led by co-chairmen Chuck Sykes, CEO of Sykes Enterprises, and Gordon Gillette, President of Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas, is using a methodical, research-based approach for targeting headquarter relocation projects. Using Ellen’s excellent guidelines, our carefully chosen prospect list, and the industry connections and personal contacts of our task force members, we have a highly focused plan and are moving forward with it.
As we learned from the results of the CEO perception research presented by Barry Quarles of Market Enhancement Group last month, CEOs interested in relocation want to meet with and hear directly from the leadership of a community. They want to sit down and talk with peers who understand their concerns and needs and address them directly. What Hillsborough County has now is a dream team of elected officials and business leaders working together toward the same goal, who can visit prospect CEOs in our target markets to deliver compelling pitches for our community.
We have the right leadership, at the right time, with the right message. While our Headquarters Task Force has a lot of work to do, it could not be doing it at a better moment in the history of Hillsborough County. We know this mission and our task force leaders will shape our community’s economic future in many exciting and measurable ways.  We’ll keep you posted on our progress every step of the journey.
Read what Chuck Sykes has to say about what it takes to lure a Fortune 500 firm to Tampa here.