Economic expansion, public policy, rogue employees and golf
The first quarter was outstanding for our region as we continue to lead large metro areas with the lowest unemployment, national recognition, and an optimistic eye on the future.
We are now halfway through the state legislative session and pushing hard for beach nourishment appropriation in the Florida House of Representatives. Representative George Moraitis will be key for us to make sure we receive state funds for some of our 23 miles of beachfront.
Key to our economic development plans are future projects which include Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale beach CRA, Nova Southeastern University and multi-family projects which will keep the construction sector healthy.
We have received no less than one dozen awards for everything from livability to the happiest place for 30-something professionals. This renaissance of what already was a fantastic region, larger than many states, has many business site selectors moving South Florida to the "must take seriously" category.
One of the reasons for our success is because of great leadership from folks like our 2014 Downtowner of the Year, Romney Rogers, Fort Lauderdale city commissioner. Last week we celebrated this servant leader as a great example of how to do it right--family, faith, friendship, focus. Congratulations to Romney for this well deserved recognition.
Your Chamber Board is also focused on issues like the Florida Panthers' funding request, Port Everglades expansion, multi-modal transportation solutions, and continued protection of the free enterprise system including fewer government regulations.
Last week Directors formally opposed the $86.8 million, 14-year cash request from the Florida Panthers as Broward County Commissioners weigh their options. Directors also opposed sweeping changes to the state's open records law which would subject private organizations like the Chamber and other non-profits that receive public support (dues, sponsorships, registration fees) to some of the same open records standards as government. Senate bill 1648 passed last week but yesterday a different version was received in the House Government Operations Committee removing the onerous language.
Lastly, there are two upcoming Chamber programs in which I encourage your participation. If you manage employees then you'll want to attend, "When Employees Go Rogue," Friday, April 4, 8:00 am at Chamber Headquarters. What do Sean Murphy, Paula Deen, Annie Dookhan, Edward Snowden and Aaron Hernandez have in common? All created headaches for their employers in 2013. It's just a matter of time before every business has to deal with a rogue employee.
Then register too for the Chamber's Annual Golf Classic on April 14 at the challenging Fort Lauderdale Country Club. This will surely sell out and there are fantastic prizes like an two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer autogrpahed club with head cover.
See you around the Chamber.