Leaders In Northeast FL And JAXUSA Partnership Recognized By Florida Economic Development Council


The Florida Economic Development Council (FEDC) honored Innovate Northeast Florida co-chair Elaine Johnson, Putnam County Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Economic Development Alex McCoy, CEcD, and JAXUSA Partnership, a division of the JAX Chamber, at its recent state conference.

Johnson was presented with the 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award for the Northeast Florida region for her contributions to economic development and accomplishments as co-chair of the Innovate Northeast Florida project, an economic development initiative of the Northeast Florida Regional Council (NEFRC) and JAXUSA Partnership.

Johnson and Jacksonville attorney Bob Rhodes served as co-chairs of Innovate Northeast Florida, www.innovatenortheastflorida.com, a strategic plan to identify the target industries and sub-clusters that will stimulate future economic growth and create an action plan for growing those industries in the region. Johnson is a principal at Navigy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Florida Blue.

Alex McCoy was awarded the inaugural 2012 Young Professional of the Year for his leadership in economic development as a young professional.  Working with contracted staff from the Florida Institute of Government at Florida State University, McCoy is creating an economic development community leadership training program. He earned the CEcD designation from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), which recognizes qualified and dedicated practitioners in the economic development field and sets the standard of excellence within the profession.

“In the Florida economic development community, volunteers and young professionals play a critical role,” said FEDC President and CEO Amy Evancho.  “We applaud Elaine and Alex for their outstanding contributions to advancing economic development practices and policies in the Northeast Florida region.”

Northeast Florida was well represented among the 2012 FEDC Awards winners.  The FEDC  also honored JAXUSA Partnership with its Excellence in International Business award. JAXUSA’s international program was recognized for the tremendous growth it has achieved in the past several years. Currently, there are 23 countries represented by businesses in the region. During the past five years, international companies added more than 2,200 jobs and brought more than $330 million in capital investment.

“The number of international companies in the Jacksonville region has grown tremendously. JAXUSA is a leader in terms of attracting international business to its region and the state of Florida,” said Fredrik Eliasson, the JAXUSA Partnership International Committee chair and executive vice president and chief financial officer at CSX Corporation.

It is through the region’s leadership, community collaboration and leveraging of resources that Northeast Florida is able to grow high-skill, high-wage jobs.  “Elaine and Alex are very deserving of these awards, and we appreciate their dedication, commitment and contributions to support efforts to accelerate job growth and economic development for the benefit of the region,” said Jerry Mallot, president of JAXUSA Partnership.