Tampa Bay Economic Development Council caps off its first decade, unveils new brand at Annual Meeting

October 31, 2019

EDC previews new strategic action plan that will guide the organization the next three years


TAMPA, Fla. (October 31, 2019) – Tuesday night, nearly 700 business and community leaders from across Tampa Bay gathered at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts to celebrate the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council’s record-breaking 2019 fiscal year.


Craig Richard, Tampa Bay EDC president and CEO, made an exciting debut, welcoming the crowd and inviting them to repeat the organization’s new name with him, the first time it was formally used.


The event also marked the organization’s 10th anniversary, which was carried throughout the event’s “10-year journey” theme. Dr. Judy Genshaft, the EDC’s 2019 chair then joined Mr. Richard on stage to recap the accomplishments made over the past decade. In 10 years, the EDC closed a jaw-dropping 270 projects, resulting in nearly 34,000 new jobs and $2.5 billion in capital investment in Tampa and Hillsborough County. Those 34,000 jobs are the equivalent to the entire population of Plant City, noted Dr. Genshaft.


Each of the EDC’s past chairs also helped commemorate the anniversary with a video that told the EDC’s story from inception to present day and all the highs and lows in between.


Mr. Richard then acknowledged two staff members who have been with the EDC since the beginning. Bea Bare and Anna Vega were the first employees hired by the new EDC after it spun out of the Tampa Chamber and the Committee of 100. Together, Bare and Vega have served the EDC, Chamber, and the Committee of 100 for a combined 60 years.


“Bea is responsible for recruiting many of the top companies that have helped put Tampa Bay on the map – Citi, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Amgen, just to name a few. And Anna has coordinated more site visits and key leadership meetings than anyone else in this region. She keeps our team in line,” said Richard. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without their many contributions and years of service.”


The program then shifted to the 2019 fiscal year with Mr. Richard recapping the EDC’s accomplishments for the year and the entirety of the past three-year strategic plan cycle. Between fiscal years 2017 and 2019, the EDC really hit its stride. The business development team helped 101 companies create more than 10,000 new jobs and invest more than $1 billion in Tampa and Hillsborough County.


“Our goals were 9,000 jobs and $300 million in capital investment, so we clearly crushed it,” said Richard. “Our business development team did an outstanding job. I commend their hard work and dedication. And I thank all the companies that have chosen to relocate or expand in this market. They are helping to build Tampa Bay’s bright future.”


For the first time, the EDC introduced a new award in partnership with TECO. The Community Transformer Award recognized a past EDC project that has had a profound impact on this community beyond creating jobs and capital investment. TJ Szelistowski, president of TECO Peoples Gas, presented the award to Yvette Segura, regional market president with USAA for the company’s civic, community and business leadership; its corporate giving and employee volunteerism; and the role its team plays as ambassadors for the community and promoting Tampa as a great place to enjoy life and build a career.


The Annual Meeting wasn’t just a look back, but also a look forward. Marie Chinnici-Everitt, the EDC’s 2020 Chair and managing director and chief marketing officer of DTCC, entered the stage to unveil the EDC’s new brand and to preview the new three-year strategic action plan, which kicks off this year. The new brand was created by the EDC’s agency of record, Trickey Jennus.


“Our brand refresh and name change to the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council responds to our investors’ needs and better aligns us with the other major organizations that market Tampa and Hillsborough County nationally and worldwide, including Visit Tampa Bay, Film Tampa Bay and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission,” said Chinnici-Everitt. “While our name has changed, it’s important to note that our service area remains the same.  We will continue to be a collaborative partner with our regional allies on initiatives like trade missions and foreign direct investment pitches – something we’ve been doing successfully for years.”


The EDC’s new strategic action plan has three major goals: business development, talent attraction and placemaking. These goals will drive the content and focus of every one of the EDC’s marketing initiatives. Five strategic growth areas within the existing target industries have also been identified: cybersecurity, FinTech, health tech, cancer solutions, and logistics and IT.


The EDC has been working on talent attraction for years with its Make It Tampa Bay campaign and that will have a greater emphasis under the new strategic action plan. Placemaking, the practice of enhancing a community’s assets to improve its overall attractiveness and livability, is taking the forefront for the first time. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor shared more on this important goal at the meeting. For example, how the EDC and its partners can enhance assets like diversity, inclusive growth, social innovation and smart development in local Opportunity Zones, which make Tampa a top place for jobs and talent.


To check out the new branding, visit the revamped tampabayedc.com website and for photos from the Annual Meeting, check out the EDC’s Facebook page for the complete album.


About the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council

The Tampa Bay Economic Development Council is the lead designated economic development agency for Hillsborough County and the cities of Tampa, Plant City and Temple Terrace. Established in 2009 as a partnership between the public sector and private corporate investors, the EDC works to develop and sustain a thriving local economy through the attraction, retention and expansion of high-wage jobs and capital investment within targeted industry sectors, including Corporate Headquarters, Financial and Professional Services, Information Technology, Life Sciences, Defense and Security, Distribution and Logistics, and Manufacturing. The EDC exists because of the generous support of more than 100 corporations, Hillsborough County, and the cities of Tampa, Plant City and Temple Terrace.