FGNW NEWS


 

Florida Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly Appoints Jennifer Conoley to the SelectFlorida Board of Directors

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly announced the first SelectFlorida Board of Directors, appointing Greg Britton, Jennifer Conoley, Beth Kigel, Nick Primrose, Michael Simas, Kelly Smallridge and Mark Wilson to the board.

SelectFlorida was formed and founded in 2023 to lead the state’s international commerce functions under FloridaCommerce following the signing of House Bill 5. SelectFlorida serves as a catalyst for economic development by promoting Florida as a premier business destination and expanding the state’s economic power through private-sector job creation.

“To be chosen as an inaugural board member of this important organization is an honor,” said Jennifer Conoley, President & CEO of Florida’s Great Northwest. “Promoting Florida as a business destination is crucial in creating more high-skill, high-wage job opportunities in the private sector, and I’m excited to join my other colleagues on the SelectFlorida board and contribute to this goal.”

 

Greg Britton 

Greg Britton is the State Director for the Florida Small Business Development Center Network. Britton most recently served as Chief Operations Officer of DEFENSEWERX and the Director of the Division of Strategic Business Development at the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. He received a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Trine University.

Jennifer Conoley

Jennifer Conoley serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Florida’s Great Northwest, the regional economic development organization for the 13-county region of Florida’s panhandle. She is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) with the International Economic Development Council and a Master Economic Development Practitioner with the Advanced Economic Development Leadership program. Conoley has been promoting Northwest Florida for growth and diversification, attracting quality companies, and fostering new job creation since 2009. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Florida State University.

Beth Kigel

Beth Kigel serves as Vice President and Director of Smart and Connected Solutions at the HNTB corporation. Previously, Kigel served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce, covering a 10-municipality region with 850 member organizations. Kigel received her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and her Master of Business Administration at the University of Central Florida.

Nick Primrose

Nick Primrose serves as the Chief of Regulatory Compliance at Jacksonville Port Authority. Previously, Primrose served as Deputy General Counsel for Governor Ron DeSantis and General Counsel for the State of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management. Primrose received his undergraduate degree from Lake Forest College, a Master of Public Administration from DePaul University and his juris doctor from Barry University.

Michael Simas

Michael Simas is the President & CEO of The Florida Council of 100. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President of the Partnership for New York City. Simas is a corporate and nonprofit executive with nearly 20 years of experience advising Chief Executive Officer’s and working with public, private and civic partners to mobilize private sector resources in support of economic growth and innovation.

Kelly Smallridge

Kelly Smallridge serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County. Smallridge received her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida.

Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. In his role, Wilson works with business leaders to create a business climate that generates prosperity and high-paying jobs, vibrant communities and global competitiveness.  Prior to joining the Florida Chamber in 1998, Wilson served as vice president of the Chicagoland Chamber and previously served with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Wilson received his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and earned the national designation Certified Chamber Executive.

 

About SelectFlorida

SelectFlorida serves as a catalyst for economic development by promoting Florida as a premier business destination and expanding the state’s economy through private-sector job creation. As a public-private partnership of Florida’s business and government leaders, SelectFlorida facilitates job growth through recruitment and retention, business growth through international trade and exporting programs, promotion and protection of Florida’s military bases, and capital funding programs to assist small and minority businesses. 

 

About Florida's Great Northwest

Florida’s Great Northwest is the regional economic development organization for the 13-county region of the Florida Panhandle. The organization's purpose is to promote Northwest Florida for economic growth and diversification, to advocate for economic development issues that affect the region, and to collaborate to improve regional competitiveness. Beyond our beaches, Northwest Florida offers business competitive, bottom-line advantages in workforce training, upgraded infrastructure, access to a host of defense assets, and a diverse base of industries that already call the region home.

 

NEWS

NORTHWEST FLORIDA’S STATE LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION GATHE RS WITH BUSINESS LEADERS IN TALLAHASSEE

Tallahassee, FL – This week, community leaders from the region’s 13 counties gathered in the State’s Capitol to support the legislators from Northwest Florida to demonstrate the commitment to their state leadership roles that are critical keys to the region’s success in economic competitiveness.

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Florida's Great Northwest Hosts Top Site Location Consultants in Marianna

Florida's Great Northwest (FGNW) hosted four top site location consultants this month in Marianna, Florida as part of their ‘Beyond Our Beaches’ Site Selector Mission.

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Florida’s Great Northwest CEO Recognized as One of Florida’s Most Influential Business Leaders

Northwest Florida – Jennifer Conoley, President & CEO of Florida’s Great Northwest (FGNW), has been named to Florida Trend’s prestigious Florida 500 list. This annual list highlights the 500 most influential executives in different economic sectors throughout the state of Florida. The editors of Florida Trend conducted a year-long research initiative resulting in a personal and engaging look at the state's most influential business leaders.

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SAVE THE DATES: Northwest Florida Days 2024

We kindly ask for you to please save the dates for our 2024 Northwest Florida Days events in Tallahassee during Florida’s Legislative Session: January 17th - 18th, 2024.

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Over 100 Regional Leaders Gather with Nationally Recognized Workforce and Data Strategist

Filling open positions with a qualified workforce is the number one site selection factor in many companies’ decisions about where to locate or expand. This workforce gap is found in nearly every city across the United States. While it’s not a unique program to our region, Florida’s Great Northwest and Opportunity Florida, regional economic development organizations in Northwest Florida, hosted an event to explore the truth in data and dispel myths related to workforce challenges.

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FLORIDA’S GREAT NORTHWEST FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES SELECTION OF LEADERSHIP NORTHWEST FLORIDA CLASS II

Florida’s Great Northwest (FGNW) Foundation has selected its participants for Leadership Northwest Florida. Twenty-two leaders were selected to participate in Class II of the program focused on regional collaboration through community, content and connection.

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National Workforce Strategist Addresses Labor Force Challenges at Upcoming Luncheon

Florida’s Great Northwest and Opportunity Florida invite business leaders to “Difficult Conversations About Workforce”

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Central Moloney, Inc. Creates 550 Jobs in Northwest Florida

Leading Transformer Manufacturer Establishes Locations in Bay and Okaloosa Counties, Investing $75 million

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Northwest Florida Labor Supply & Demand Research Analysis Year 2 Update

ABLE Operations was tasked with providing Florida’s Great Northwest (FGNW) with research and analysis of the regional labor market. This document is an update to Florida’s Great Northwest Supply & Demand Research Analysis completed in March 2021. In addition to the industries and occupations identified in the previous study, this update will consider the labor market for nursing and cyber security occupations. The update of this study includes additional years of data and adjusted growth forecasts for the region. The purpose of this study is to inform Florida’s Great Northwest and Triumph Gulf Coast of strengths and potential gaps between key regional industries’ demand for employees, and the ability of the local training/education institutions to supply these skills.

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