FEDC Kicks Off Statewide Legislative Series With Orlando, Fort Lauderdale Events

Mar 2, 2008

Above:  FEDC President and CEO Amy Evancho (center) with State Senator Jeremy Ring,  (blue shirt), FEDC Vice Chairman of Membership Deborah Wilkinson and (remaining, from left to right) from Colodny Fass: Maria Elena Abate, Shareholder; Tracy Mayernick, Governmental Consultant; Mike Colodny, Shareholder; and (far right) Frank Mayernick, Associate and Governmental Consultant.


With a kickoff in Orlando on February 27 and a second event in Broward County on February 28, the Florida Economic Development Council this week began a series of legislative “Road Show” updates. 

Following are recaps of each event.



Above:  House Speaker Designate (2010-2012) Dean Cannon was the guest of honor at the kickoff FEDC Legislative Road Show and update on Februrary 27.

FEDC Kickoff Legislative Road Show Convenes Florida House Speaker Designate, Orlando Business Community

Nearly 50 Orlando business leaders, economic developers, governmental officials and representatives from Enterprise Florida convened on February 27, 2008 for a legislative update and one-on-one dialogue with State Representative Dean Cannon, 2010-2012 Speaker Designate and current House Economic Expansion and Infrastructure Chairman.

The event served as the kickoff for the Florida Economic Development Council’s (“FEDC’s”) inaugural series of statewide legislative “Road Shows” designed to provide a community forum in which the organization’s membership is provided with direct access to legislative leaders.

“We are very excited and pleased with the Road Show kickoff participation and Representative Cannon’s remarks regarding the upcoming Legislative Session, as well as his insight on issues affecting economic development and the Florida economy.  We also are grateful to our sponsors who put on this successful FEDC event,” said FEDC Chairman-Elect Ray Gilley.

FEDC, the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission and the Disney Entrepreneurial Center joined forces with FEDC’s statewide governmental consultants, Colodny Fass to sponsor and stage the hour-and-a-half luncheon event.

Representative Cannon discussed Florida’s bleak budget outlook, as well as explained his views to attendees on the need to curb government regulation.  He also encouraged an expedited permitting process in the economic development arena. An extensive question and answer session followed, after which Representative Cannon asked for the group’s input on how the Legislature might best assist economic developers in their vital efforts to grow Florida-based industry.

The event was moderated by governmental consultants Frank and Tracy Mayernick of Colodny Fass, who will facilitate the entire series of statewide-scheduled FEDC Road Shows during 2008.

“The enthusiastic attendance at our kickoff Road Show is indicative of the need for this type of interaction with Florida’s policymakers,” remarked FEDC President and CEO, Amy Evancho.  “Facilitating a strong partnership between Florida’s business community and our lawmakers will result in greater accomplishments toward Florida’s future.”




Above:  State Representative and House Minority Leader Designate Franklin Sands (left) and State Senator Jeremy Ring (right) were panelists at the FEDC Broward Road Show on February 27.

FEDC Legislative Road Show Provides Broward Business Leaders With Lawmakers’ Economic Development Perspectives

A cross-section of Broward County business and civic leaders joined State Senator Jeremy Ring and State Representative and House Minority Leader Designate Franklin Sands on February 28, 2008 for a two-hour legislative update and preview of economic development plans and strategies for the State of Florida.

Second in a series of statewide legislative “Road Shows” held by the Florida Economic Development Council (“FEDC”) in conjunction with its legislative consulting firm, Colodny Fass, the breakfast event was hosted by Citrix at its corporate headquarters in Fort Lauderdale.  The panel-style, question-and-answer format was designed as a community forum at which FEDC membership was provided with direct interaction with legislative leaders.

“For our legislators to take the time just three days before the start of the 2008 Legislative Session to speak to Broward’s economic stakeholders about the issues facing Florida speaks volumes to their dedication and commitment to building strong economic development policies for our state,” said FEDC President and CEO Amy Evancho.

Representative Sands and Senator Ring presented several perspectives of Florida’s economy, together with their individual philosophies on how best to capitalize on Florida’s economic strengths, as well as build upon its target areas.  Their ideas included fostering entrepreneurial efforts with venture capital and bolstering infrastructure by improving the quality of workforce education and training.

FEDC Chairman-Elect Ray Gilley lauded the success of the new FEDC Legislative Road Show series, the first of which took place in Orlando on February 27 and featured 2010-2012 Speaker Designate and current House Economic Expansion and Infrastructure Chairman, State Representative Dean Cannon. 

In addition to FEDC, Colodny Fass and Citrix, other organizational participants in the hour-and-a-half session included Broward Days.

The event was moderated by governmental consultants Frank and Tracy Mayernick of Colodny Fass, who will facilitate the entire series of statewide-scheduled FEDC Road Shows during 2008.



Please note:  On Wednesday, February 27, Senator Ring released the following information:


Senator Ring Files Economic Stimulus Bill Promising High Tech Investments and High Paying Jobs in Florida

Yahoo! Pioneer Also Aims for Creating Innovative Space Prize Award

TALLAHASSEE- Florida’s sluggish economy could get a much needed shot in the arm under legislation filed by state Senator Jeremy Ring (D-Margate).

The bill would tap the country’s fourth largest pension fund to invest in private high-growth industries such as aerospace and aviation engineering, computer technology, renewable energy and medical and life sciences, to create rewarding jobs in Florida.

“All of these sectors would stimulate in Florida new investment opportunities, economic development and good paying jobs,” said Ring. “Our state’s economy will only get worse if we don’t look beyond our over-reliance on old industries such as tourism and agriculture. Prudently harnessing the power of the state pension fund holds the promise for our state to become a national leader in innovative, high-tech fields and innovative, high-paying jobs.”

The legislation, Senate Bill 2310 is patterned after a similar California model in use for several years that taps that state’s California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). The program in 2006 created 124,000 new jobs and added $15.1 billion in value to the California economy. Similar programs are now in use in ten other states.

Ring’s model would allow the State Board of Administrators to identify and invest funds from the Florida State Retirement System in Economically Targeted Investments (ETIs) here in Florida. These investments would be in industries with a potential for high growth and to create high-wage jobs. The program would limit ETI investments to 1% of the net asset value of the entire fund, approximately $1.8 billion presently.

“We wanted something already tested and proven to deliver high dollar returns for our state while safeguarding the interests of our pensioners, participants and beneficiaries,” said Ring. “This model already exists in 10 other states including New York, Massachusetts, Texas, Ohio, and of course California, with some astounding results and at no additional cost to our taxpayers.”

Ring, whose experience building internet giant Yahoo! from the early days of the information age, also proposed under his measure that the Legislature create a reusable space vehicle industry prize program. 

The Florida Prize for Space Exploration would award $40 million ($20 million in state funds and $20 in matching private sector sponsorships) to the private sector firm or individual that provides the most significant advancements within the reusable space vehicle industry.

The proposal mirrors the Orteig Prize that Charles Lindbergh won in 1927 when he became the first to fly from New York to Paris without stopping. Aviation incentive awards in the early 20th Century helped build the nation’s $300 billion commercial aviation industry.

“This is an industry that already exists in Florida,” said Ring. “If we can leverage these dollars to get possibly hundreds of millions in research and development for this industry it would be a great investment for the people of Florida and the most important piece of legislation for Florida’s future we will tackle this year.”

Senate Democratic Leader Steven Geller (D-Cooper City) echoed Ring’s comments. “This idea isn’t rocket science – but it will promote rocket science-like, high-tech industry development, which will create jobs and fuel Florida’s economy. The Legislature needs more of Senator Ring’s ‘outside-the-box’ type of thinking so we can get the state back on track for the long term.”


Should you have any comments or questions, please contact:

Frank Mayernick at (850) 251-8898
Tracy Mayernick at (850) 445-3000
Colodny Fass