Writer: Alejandro Sanchez
2 min read October 2021— Despite the tremendous challenges brought by the pandemic, local business and community leaders agreed that Palm Beach County’s economy has great potential not just to recover but to become a focal point for business activity in the United States.
“It’s a good time, and I would say an unexpected outcome from what a little more than a year ago seemed a very daunting situation,” said West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Raphael Clemente during the event.
With two panels focused on healthcare and infrastructure, the Invest: Palm Beach Launch Conference, held on Thursday, Oct. 21 on Zoom Webinar, outlined the landscape for the local and regional economy looking into the future. The discussions spotlighted the future of Palm Beach County from the perspective of both public and private leaders, who also focused on what this future means for the region’s industries.
Invest: Palm Beach is an annual business intelligence report compiled by media platform Capital Analytics as part of its suite of yearly reports focusing on local and regional economies. CEO Abby Melone welcomed guests and panelists. ”Despite the challenges, there’s no doubt that Palm Beach County is moving forward, and in a positive direction,” she told the panelists and audience.
County Administrator Verendia Baker provided the keynote address, highlighting the challenges of the pandemic and the resilience of the local business community during this critical time. “I am proud to be involved in such a thriving county and plan to keep things progressing during my tenure as county administrator,” said Baker. “I am proud of the teamwork we put in here in Palm Beach County. We work together as a community, the business community, the nonprofits as well as the government to make our community the best it can be.”
Known for its highly educated and growing workforce, a diversified portfolio of industries, fantastic weather and as a strategic location for international commerce, Palm Beach County appears set on a path toward economic prosperity in 2022, a view upheld by the day’s panelists.
The first panel, “Healthcare Innovation: How the industry is tackling healthcare’s most pressing challenges,” dove into successful strategies implemented at a county level to manage the spread of COVID-19 and the services provided to the community during this critical time. Panelists also talked about the transformations facing the industry. Moderated by Alina Alonso, MD, Director, Florida Department of Health – Palm Beach County, the panelists were Florida Blue Market President Penny Shaffer and Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University Dean and Prof. Safiya George Dalmida.
The second panel, “Community Minded: How Palm Beach County is addressing challenges related to infrastructure, redevelopment and mobility,” talked about the potential for the county and the region as new infrastructural developments are consolidated. Moderated by Andrew Duffell, president of the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University, the panelists were Palm Beach International Airport Director Laura Beebe and PBC Planning, Zoning and Building Executive Director Ramsay Bulkeley.
Glenn Jergensen, executive director of the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council offered the event’s closing remarks. “We are Florida’s cultural capital,” said Jergensen, highlighting the region’s tourism potential.
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