Investor Spotlight: Florida Blue

September 23, 2016

florida-blue-crossA leader in Florida’s health industry, Florida Blue’s mission is to help people and communities achieve better health. Helping people in their pursuit of health reflects Florida Blue’s commitment to ensuring affordable plans, providing personal support for health and wellness, and building strong communities that enable health and wellness for all. Florida Blue has approximately 5 million health care members and serves 15.5 million people in 16 states through its affiliated companies.

David Pizzo is Florida Blue’s Market President, West Florida Region, overseeing operations in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, Sarasota, Manatee, Lee, and other western counties south to Collier. Prior to this role, Pizzo served as Florida Blue’s Vice President of advertising, brand management, and market communications. Prior to joining Florida Blue, Pizzo served as Senior Vice President for Commonhealth, the world’s largest health care marketing communications firm.

In addition to being involved with the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and serving as Chairman in 2013, he works with a variety of organizations, including MacDill AFB Honorary Commander, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, CEO Council of Tampa Bay, United Way Suncoast, and American Cancer Society.23072-david-headshot

1. Those of us who live here know that Hillsborough County is a great place to live and work. When you are recruiting top talent from out of market, what aspects of our community are often cited as positive factors influencing their decision to relocate here?
Our reputation as a great place to live and work is well known by those who are relocating here. They know our business community is growing and offers a variety of opportunities for the talented workforce. People also see there are a lot of resources and connections here to help them grow their companies and individual skills.

From a quality of life standpoint, the individuals we try to recruit here are impressed by how large and diverse Tampa Bay is and how much there is to do in our area. Whether you’re into sports or the arts or the outdoors, there is something for everyone here.

2. What is your favorite aspect of living in Tampa Bay?
Since moving to the area over eight years ago, I’ve been able to get involved in the very close-knit, welcoming business and philanthropic community here. It was so easy to get involved, especially with the EDC. I had only been here for two years when I was asked to become an executive officer when the EDC was starting up on its own. This is the case for so many people who come here. They find they can be involved as much as they want to with different organizations and charities.

Also, you truly cannot beat living here. The people are nice, there is tons to do, and life on the water is beautiful.

3. Where do you derive the most benefit for yourself and your company as an Investor of the EDC?
Being able to network with likeminded individuals who are invested in making their community better for everyone is one of the best aspects of being involved with the EDC. We’ve been able to build relationships with the big players in the area, as well as our customers and potential clients.
Additionally, being a part of the EDC helps us further along on our mission to help people and communities achieve better health.

4. How has the EDC played a role in helping your business succeed in Tampa and Hillsborough County?
Being a part of the EDC has helped us build greater visibility in the area. We’re not a Jacksonville-focused company; this area, like many others in Florida, is vital to our business.

Additionally, being involved with the EDC has helped us understand the dynamics of Tampa and Hillsborough County. Investors are constantly updated on business happenings as well as recent data and research findings, which is so critical for a company like ours that insures one out of every three Floridians. I’ve been able to represent the region and my company as the EDC chair in 2013 and on missions to Canada, Germany, Panama, and New York.

5. What is the number one thing that you believe will impact your region’s competitiveness in the coming decade?
This region’s talent will definitely impact Tampa and Hillsborough County. Talent is the foundation to every great business, and our region has a talented workforce that employers need.

Our area has this great ability to come together and work on what we need to improve in order to be successful, whether it is talent needs, transportation, etc. I think this unique ability and regional approach will take our community far.