Regional Leaders Discuss State of the Region at JAXUSA Partnership Economic Development Forum


Leading business and civic leaders examined the JAX Region’s opportunities for business growth and development during a Regional Economic Development Forum today at the University of North Florida (UNF) in partnership with JAXUSA Partnership, a division of the JAX Chamber.

The program featured a “State of the Region” panel and group discussion focusing on economic development initiatives throughout the JAX Region. Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of CSX Corp. Fredrik Eliasson, who serves as JAXUSA Partnership Business Development Chair, moderated the panel.

The panelists included Baker County Commission Vice Chair Jimmy Anderson, Clay County Commissioner and Chamber President Doug Conkey, Jacksonville City Council President Bill Bishop, Flagler County Commissioner and Economic Opportunity Advisory Council Chair Barbara Revels, Nassau County Commission Chair Danny Leeper and St. Johns County Commission Chair Jay Morris.

“The forum provided a wonderful opportunity to hear from business and government leaders in our seven-county region and their recommendations to foster economic development in the Northeast Florida region,” Bishop said. “It is important that we work together to develop a strategic platform and initiatives for the economic good of the region.”

The event also included an overview of the regional public policy agenda and an update regarding public policy initiatives and legislative activity at the state level.

“Economic growth, high-paying jobs and capital investment are vital to our region’s future success,” said Charley Hood, Rayonier vice president of Government Affairs and Chamber public policy chair, who provided the overview of the Regional Public Policy Agenda. “It is essential for our regional business and civic leaders to work together with the common goal of facilitating economic growth."

Earlier this year, the Northeast Florida 2013 Advocacy Agenda was developed with collaborative input from chambers of commerce and other local leaders to identify priorities and opportunities for job growth and creation throughout the region. The agenda outlines local, state and federal issues in six areas that will impact future economic growth in the region.

“Regional collaboration is vital to advance our common goals,” said JAX Chamber Interim President and CEO and JAXUSA Partnership President Jerry Mallot. “With our leaders working closely together, the JAX Region will enjoy greater economic prosperity.”