Tampa Bay Economic Development Council recaps 2022 fiscal year at “Limitless” Annual Meeting

October 27, 2022

Citi recognized for its profound impact on our region with the 4th Annual Community Transformer Award presented by TECO

TAMPA, Fla. (October 27, 2022) – The Tampa Bay Economic Development Council recapped its past fiscal year with more than 400 business and community leaders in attendance at its Limitless Annual Meeting presented by Strategic Property Partners on October 19 at the Straz Center for Performing Arts.

This past year, the Tampa Bay area experienced tremendous growth and made national headlines as one of the country’s leading relocation markets. The Tampa Bay EDC was busier than ever managing a robust project pipeline of both domestic and international companies that are eager to relocate or expand to Tampa and Hillsborough County. In total, the Tampa Bay EDC closed 22 projects, which will bring 2,663 new jobs and $105 million in capital investment.

“When I first arrived here in 2016, Tampa was still one of the best kept secrets in the country. I certainly can’t say that anymore,” said Craig J. Richard, president and CEO of the Tampa Bay EDC. “Tampa basked in the national spotlight this year, as headlines touted our city’s transformation into one of the most desirable places in the country to live and work, and it’s all thanks to the collaborative spirit of our government leaders, business community, academic institutions and workforce boards.”

Other fiscal year highlights include:

  • Florida Trend named the Tampa Bay EDC among the Best Companies to Work For in Florida.
  • Seven new corporate headquarters joined the local business community: AFC Logistics, Clarify, HSP Group, Inpeco, Merit Logistics, NuMedTechs, Shufflrr.
  • The growth of the distribution and logistics sector was a big story this year with 5 of the 22 projects closed from this category.
  • The revamped business and retention program, Expand Tampa Bay, surveyed more than 150 local companies representing more than 39,000 employees. 67% of companies reported an increase in sales and 53% intend to expand in the next three years, creating an estimated 6,000 new jobs and $300 million in capital investment.
  • The greatest job demand is coming from our financial services, information technology and manufacturing sectors.
  • A new LinkedIn lead generation campaign highly targeted to our strategic growth area industries generated more than 700,000 impressions and 15 solid leads.
  • The EDC’s Investor retention rate is 90% and financial position remains strong with increased cash reserves and net assets up by more than 6% over the last year.
  • With funding from Hillsborough County, and a partnership with Visit Tampa Bay, the Make It Tampa Bay talent attraction campaign relaunched in key markets nationwide, generating more than 11 million impressions.
  • A commissioned competitiveness study examined how the Tampa MSA stacks up against other large metros nationwide and a committee was formed to leverage the study’s findings to identify challenges and areas of opportunity that the EDC could prioritize for action.
  • With funds raised in the first year of its capital campaign, the Tampa Bay Economic Prosperity Foundation began implementing its Inclusive Economic Growth Initiative, including hiring GAI Community Solutions Group to craft a vision for a new industrial district and East Tampa and launching the CertUp career awareness campaign. Both initiatives aim to bring jobs, workforce training and capital investment into East Tampa, Central Park and Ybor City, and Uptown.
Pictured from left to right: Craig Richard; Jennifer Suarez Jankes, Citi’s Tampa Campus General Counsel and Legal Team Site Head; Archie Collins, CEO of TECO; and James Nozar, 2022 Chair of the Tampa Bay EDC

Citi was honored with the 4th Annual Community Transformer Award, presented by TECO. The award honors an EDC project that has gone above and beyond bringing jobs and capital investment to Tampa and Hillsborough County, but one that has also made significant contributions to the community and a profound impact on the region.

Citi has been instrumental in putting Tampa’s financial services sector on the map. The Tampa Bay EDC has assisted Citi with numerous expansions over the years. Since arriving in our market nearly 40 years ago, Citi has grown to more than 10,000 employees in Tampa, the second largest site in the country behind its New York headquarters. Citi continuously demonstrates its commitment to the community. In the past year alone, Citi has given more than $800,000 to local nonprofits and more than 3,000 of their Tampa employees volunteered their time in service to the community.

After recapping the 2022 fiscal year, EDC Chair James Nozar and Richard moved to have the board approve the new slate of executive officers. The 2023 leadership includes:

  • Chair, Angel Gonzalez, SouthState Bank
  • Vice Chair, Joe Lopano, Tampa International Airport
  • Secretary/Treasurer, Ron Christaldi, Shumaker
  • General Counsel, Ben Dachepalli, Bradley

Officially taking the reigns as chair, Angel Gonzalez, regional president at SouthState Bank, joined the program to preview the upcoming year and new strategic plan. The three goals of the successfully completed 2020-2022 Opportunity Tampa Bay Strategic Plan – Business Development, Talent Attraction and Placemaking – are still just as relevant, but with one minor tweak. Talent attraction was expanded to include development and will place greater emphasis on collaboration with education and workforce partners to meet the skills local employers need.

A new mission and vision that better reflects the Tampa Bay EDC’s focus and aspirations for the local economy and business community.

The new mission:

To advance a diversified local economy that is beneficial to all by attracting, expanding and retaining quality employers, a talented workforce, and investment.

The new vision:

We are a leading global business destination that welcomes everyone, cultivates top talent, promotes economic mobility, and is an ideal community to build a company’s future.

“With these changes, we have an excellent framework for strengthening and diversifying our economy that is collaborative, inclusive, and forward thinking,” said Gonzalez. “It’s going to be an incredible year with so many opportunities to make an impact. I look forward to serving as chair and working more closely with the EDC’s staff, my fellow Investors and our community partners to achieve our goals.”

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.