‘Good challenges to have:’ Leaders weigh in at Invest: Greater Fort Lauderdale 2022 Launch Conference

‘Good challenges to have:’ Leaders weigh in at Invest: Greater Fort Lauderdale 2022 Launch Conference

2022-07-15T02:55:10-04:00June 9th, 2022|Economy, Fort Lauderdale, Greater Fort Lauderdale, Press Releases|

Writer: Sara Suarez

2 min read June  2022— Greater Fort Lauderdale faces a plethora of challenges but regional leaders speaking at the Invest: Greater Fort Lauderdale Launch Conference on Thursday agreed the overarching trends are positive and that collaborative strategies are the way to address any hurdles. 

“I have always observed that every great success story has its challenges and that every challenge presents an opportunity. Broward is no different – we have our current successes, and we have our challenges,” remarked Chair of the Broward Workshop and event keynote speaker Juliet Roulhac. “It is this incredible mix of opportunities and challenges, I and most of our business community are inspired to engage and invest in building Greater Broward County.”

Juliet Roulhac

Over 250 economic leaders gathered at the Riverside Hotel to mark the 2022 and fifth anniversary edition of Invest: Greater Fort Lauderdale, one in a series of annual reports from independent media platform Capital Analytics Associates that highlight the trends, challenges and opportunities in the local economy. In addition to Roulhac’s keynote address, the conference featured two sets of panelists discussing strategies to create a more equitable and sustainable future and the coming developments in growth and infrastructure, as well as a closing keynote speech. 

CEO of Capital Analytics Abby Melone said the change Greater Fort Lauderdale has experienced over the past years had seen the region emerge stronger. “Greater Fort Lauderdale is now coming into its own as a diverse metropolis. It is making noise as a tech hub – in fact, Brookings has named Greater Fort Lauderdale among tech’s rising stars and West Broward is No. 1 in the state for VC-backed jobs. But it’s not just tech: aviation and aerospace, the financial sector, life sciences and the marine industry also color the character of the region’s diversifying landscape,” Melone said in her opening address. 

The launch conference also marked another milestone for Capital Analytics: the return to live events following two years of online conferences. The event also featured a networking hour. Executives and business leaders then had a follow-up panel discussion that was live streamed on LinkedIn and Youtube

The first panel discussion, “Doing the work,” was moderated by Tarlesha Williams Smith, assistant city manager and director of human resources at the City of Fort Lauderdale. The panel featured Shaheewa Jarrett Gelin, president of the Broward County Black Chamber of Commerce, Michelle Gomez, mayor of the City of Tamarac, and Bob Swindell, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance. Williams Smith started the discussion by citing access to investment capital as one of the “most critical aspects in developing the Black and minority business communities.” Jarret Gelin, Swindell and Gomez answered a variety of questions about their initiatives, decisions and intentionality revolving around diversity, equity and inclusion in Greater Fort Lauderdale.

Jenni Morejon, president and CEO of the Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority, presented  the second panel discussion “Building Broward.” Moderated by Max Crampton-Thomas, regional editor at Capital Analytics, the panel included Chief of Broward and Palm Beach operations Danielle Clermont, President of Miller Construction Company Brian Sudduth and Deputy Dort director of Port Everglades Glenn Wiltshire. Clermont, Sudduth and Wiltshire shared their thoughts on what elements should be prioritized in a time of increased demand, migration, mobility and inflation. The leaders highlighted the importance of creativity and intentionality in their strategies for Broward. 

The event was closed out by a keynote speech from Matthew Caldwell, president and CEO of the Florida Panthers, who touched upon how his organization is reinvesting back into the community and making hockey accessible to the wider community. “In partnership with The Boys and Girls Club, we support the kids right now financially in everything that relates to hockey: events, equipment, travel expenses.  We will continue this support throughout their sports journey all the way to college,” Caldwell shared with the attendees of the event. 

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About Capital Analytics & Invest: Fort Lauderdale 2022 

Capital Analytics is an independent and integrated media platform that produces in-depth business intelligence through its annual print and digital economic reviews, high-impact conferences and events and top-level interviews via its video platform, Invest:Insights.

Invest: Greater Fort Lauderdale 2022 is a deep analysis of the economic trends and leaders that are shaping the future of Broward’s economy. Featuring over 200 exclusive insights of local leaders and thinkers, Invest: provides unbiased investment research for readers. All the Invest: reports seek to  provide comprehensive investment knowledge to local, national and international investors, and to promote our markets as places to do business. 

Every report dissects each industry that composes the economic puzzle of market economies. The Invest: series covers professional services,  real estate, construction, infrastructure, banking and finance, legal, healthcare, education and tourism. Invest: provides its readers with a trustworthy source of information regarding every major trend and development in the economy of the markets it covers.