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Breaking News: Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance’s Mid-Year Meeting Unveils Local Economic Insights

Over 600 members and guests attended the event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood.

During today’s Mid-Year Luncheon, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance provided the latest updates regarding business developments in Broward County. During the luncheon, presented by FPL and Memorial Healthcare System, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance’s president and CEO, Bob Swindell (pictured), along with the Alliance Chair, Erick Strati, the Wells Fargo Commercial Banking Market Executive for South Florida, provided an update on the Alliance’s ongoing efforts as the official public-private partnership for economic development in Broward.

The Alliance’s Fiscal Year 2024 economic development marketing campaign began on Oct. 1, 2023. It targeted C-Level executives, company location decision-makers and talent in targeted industries of aviation and aerospace, financial services, life sciences, technology and headquarters. Results at the mid-year point included:

  • 6.8 million advertising impressions
  • 2.6 million play-throughs of video and streaming audio ads
  • More than 65,000 clicks to the Alliance’s website.

Companies assisted so far in FY24 included:

  • Aerothrust, an aviation maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) company, has announced its plan to hire 85 airframe and powerplant technicians. The new hires will work at Aerothrust’s newly acquired 45,000 sq. ft. space in Davie, where the company is investing over $15 million in capital. Furthermore, Aerothrust will establish its Academy Center of Excellence for training purposes and has offered a five-year work guarantee to its trainees.
  • ARC-145 relocated to a new 5,000-square-foot facility in Miramar. The company intends to hire up to 20 employees over the next three years and will invest $250,000 in the process. During the relocation process, the City of Miramar assisted ARC-145. The company also collaborates with Broward College to hire apprentices for the new facility.
  • Two Cheney Brothers, Inc.’s affiliates, Grand Western Beef and Crazy Fish, are planning to expand their operations to a new 70,000-square-foot processing facility in Pompano Beach. The new facility is expected to house approximately 150 employees and requires a capital investment of more than $40 million.
  • Chick-fil-A is opening a new food and beverage logistics center in Weston. The company’s investment of $55.5 million will create 116 new jobs in the area. The economic development department of FPL also assisted the company in setting up the logistics center.

“We hear from leaders every day that they have never experienced a more business-friendly community than Greater Fort Lauderdale,” Swindell says. “We are proud that companies and talent continue to choose our highly competitive business climate and unbeatable quality of life. Events like the Mid-Year Meeting help us celebrate these wins with our community, members and partners.”

Rob Long, president and CEO of Space Florida, was the keynote speaker for the event. Bernhard Riegl, Ph.D., was awarded the annual World Class Faculty Award by The Alliance. He is the Director of the National Coral Reef Institute and a Professor and Chair of Marine and Environmental Sciences for the Halmos College of Arts & Sciences at Nova Southeastern University. Riegl has gained recognition as an authority on coral reefs, their biology and geology, mapping, remote-sensing, and modeling. His research has taken him to various parts of the world, and he advised the nature conservation authorities of South Africa, Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Ecuador, Belize, and Florida. Riegl has authored over 200 scientific publications and edited two book series. He is also a member of the advisory boards of research centers in Germany, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia.

The results from Kaufman Rossin’s 2024 Broward Executive Survey revealed that 70% of the leaders in Broward who participated in the survey predicted that the economic conditions in 2025 will be better or much better than in 2024. The survey also highlighted that the cost and availability of employee housing are the primary issues companies face, followed closely by employee issues such as inflation and employee retention. Additionally, the survey found that companies plan to invest in salaries, technology, and marketing in the coming year. Looking ahead two years, the respondents believe that 64% of their workforce will be entirely on-site, 20% will be hybrid, and 16% will be fully remote.

Sponsors of the meeting included: presenting sponsors: FPL and Memorial Healthcare System; platinum sponsors: Delta, FXE – City of Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, Broward MPO, Seminole Tribe of Florida, and South Florida Business Journal; gold sponsors: Amazon, City of Hollywood, JM Family Enterprises, Inc., JetBlue, and South Florida Business and Wealth; silver sponsors: Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development, Capital Analytics Associates, City of Fort Lauderdale, Fision by Hotwire Communications, FLL – Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Starmark; and bAlliance’ssors: Becker, Crown Castle and Kelley Kronenberg.

The Alliance’s Annual Meeting and dinner will be held on Oct. 24, 2024, at the new FTL War Memorial. To learn more about the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, call (954) 524-3113.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.