2 min read JUNE 2021 — Optimism, innovation and a vision of long-term success for the Tampa Bay region echoed throughout the official Invest: Tampa Bay 2021 launch conference on Thursday, June 10, with Florida House of Representatives Speaker Chris Sprowls saying there is an excitement permeating the Tampa Bay region but that a focus on people and prosperity is necessary.
Providing the day’s keynote address, Sprowls highlighted House efforts to bolster entrepreneurial, environmental and educational efforts throughout the state. “COVID may have changed the entire way that we as people and business owners have interacted with each other over the course of last year. But, thankfully, our region and our state through smart business people and bold leaders have been able to evolve and flourish,” Sprowls said.
With three panels featuring some of Tampa Bay’s top civic and business leaders, the conference was the culmination of a rigorous research period that culminated in the release of the third annual Invest: Tampa Bay report, a robust analysis of the region’s main economic sectors.
Published by media platform Capital Analytics, the 2021 report showcases the strength and overall resilience of the local economy through C-level insider insights and key business intelligence. The official launch conference took place via Zoom and garnered over 600 registrations.
“In all our discussions with hundreds of businesses and political leaders, a common thread is how far we have come in such a short time,” Capital Analytics CEO Abby Melone said in her opening remarks. “We are looking forward with an optimistic eye, knowing we can apply the lessons from the past year to craft an even brighter future.”
The first panel, “Healthcare of the future: How 2020’s challenges have influenced 2021’s innovations,” focused on how the healthcare industry rose to meet the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Moderated by Bruce Lamb, shareholder and head of the healthcare practice for Gunster, the panel brought together John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General Hospital; Scott Heberlein, partner with HealthEdge Investment Partners; David Pizzo, market president of Florida Blue; and Ravi Chari, MD, president and CEO of HCA Healthcare’s West Florida Division.
For healthcare systems, working collaboratively with each other and government leaders and speaking as one voice was the key in navigating pandemic challenges, Couris said. The expansion of telehealth capabilities has been one of the major silver linings coming from the COVID experience, the healthcare leaders said during their discussion.
The second panel, “How current challenges and the state’s legislative decisions are impacting local growth in Tampa Bay,” was moderated by Hala Sandridge, shareholder of Buchanan Ingersoll Rooney PC. Featuring Ron Pierce, president and CEO of RSA Consulting Group LLC, and Jan Gorrie, managing partner of Ballard Partners, the conversation revolved around the state budget and how to best ensure cohesion in local policymaking. Redistricting will be a key issue business leaders and local residents should keep a close eye on moving forward, Pierce said.
Moderated by Joel Stevens, senior managing director of Bernstein Private Wealth Management, the third panel focused on the impact of financial institutions on equity and economic recovery. The panel, “Regaining Financial Footing: How financial institutions are helping to resolve issues of equity and economic recovery,” included Rita Lowman, president of Pilot Bank; Albert Lee, president and CEO of Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation; Cary Putrino, regional president of Fifth Third Bank; and Greg Kadet, managing director and market head for Greater Florida of UBS.
The leaders touched on important industry developments such as the Paycheck Protection Program as well as the further digitalization occurring in the banking and financial sector. Strong banking relationships and financial literacy rose to the forefront for people and businesses during this cycle. Understanding the landscape and the available products, coupled with financial literacy, are important for a person to be successful in their own personal or business finances, Lee said during the panel.
Visit Tampa Bay President and CEO Santiago Corrada closed off the event with the closing keynote address. The tremendous success of Tampa Bay’s hospitality and tourism industry over these past few months has been the result of a widespread community effort to make people feel confident and comfortable traveling to the area, he said. Corrada highlighted the importance of the tourism industry in the recovery process and long-term success of the Tampa Bay region.
Click here to see the event in its entirety.
Tampa Bay’s economic resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges and innovation stemming from the pandemic highlighted the launch of the second edition of Invest: Tampa Bay 2020.
In this time of uncertainty, it has never been more important to showcase the strength and overall resilience of the local community and economy. On Thursday, integrated media platform Capital Analytics provided an opportunity to shed light on the challenges and opportunities in the region as it launched its 156-page analysis Invest: Tampa Bay 2020 with a virtual launch conference held via Zoom Webinar.
The 2020 edition of Invest: Tampa Bay highlights the region of Tampa Bay, including both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, as well as a special focus chapter on the city of Clearwater. The in-depth and well-researched economic analysis also highlights business opportunities that exist for investors, entrepreneurs and innovators within the Tampa Bay region despite the harsh economic climate resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the opportunities spotlighted throughout the publication include Tampa Bay’s healthcare market that has made significant strides to establish this region as one of the preeminent medical hubs in Florida. The region’s real estate market is also covered in great detail as new developments continue to rise from the ground despite major roadblocks caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a true testament to the thoughtful and strategic planning by the sector’s leaders. The publication also dives into the banking and finance sector, which has remained strong while also aiding the local business community through this unprecedented time.
The launch conference was the first that Capital Analytics has held in virtual forum, and by all it was a resounding success, reflecting the get-it-done character of the region. “When I think of our global readership and the Tampa Bay business community’s lean-in attitude over the past couple of months, it’s a testament to the ingenuity and collaborative spirit of the Tampa Bay community,” said Capital Analytics’ CEO Abby Melone in her opening remarks. “Rather than shelter in place and do nothing, we sheltered in place and did plenty to promote community and push our business forward despite the challenges. Businesses across the Tampa Bay region are being innovative and embracing technology as they pivot from a pre-pandemic to a post-pandemic world.” The event featured three robust panel discussions and ended with a thoughtful closing keynote speech by Pinellas County Commissioner Kenneth Welch.
All three panels addressed the current economic climate as well as prevailing themes currently dominating the Tampa Bay region’s economy: finance and banking in the time of a pandemic, adaptation and transformation for the legal sector, and innovation within the business community stemming from the current crisis. Gregory Kadet of UBS Global Wealth Management U.S., Terry Igo of the Tampa Bay Trust Company, Scott Perry of AmeriLife Group and Travis Jennings of Finance Cape all participated in the panel, “Making the right financial choices amid economic uncertainty.” Rita Lowman of Pilot Bank moderated. The second panel, “Adaptation for legal professionals in the wake of the pandemic,” featured Marie Tomassi of Trenam Law, William Schifino of Gunster, Michael Lundy of Older, Lundy and Alvarez and Alan Higbee of Shutts and Bowen. The moderator was Kevin Johnson of Johnson Jackson. The final panel, “Crisis breeds innovation: What this means for the business community,” consisted of John Couris of Tampa General Hospital, John Johannessen of AdventHealth and Douglas Wright of Holland & Knight. The moderator for this panel was Christopher Bowen of RD Management.
“The value of Invest: Tampa Bay is that it brings us together to listen, to learn, to collaborate and to build a stronger, more resilient and prosperous Tampa Bay,” remarked Commissioner Welch in his closing keynote speech.
Tampa Bay’s diverse and strong economy is highlighted at the first release of Invest: Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay’s diverse economy and appeal for healthcare, tech and innovation, talented workers, new businesses, a booming startup industry and the continued growth of the real estate market are some of the focal points of Invest: Tampa Bay’s first edition. The 2019 report highlights the growth in the entire Tampa Bay region as well as the technological renaissance the area is currently experiencing.
Tampa Bay’s technology and innovation sector is a main focus throughout the community and its impact is felt in all economic sectors. Residential and commercial development is a significant driver of construction in Tampa Bay, and there is no slowdown in sight. Tourism, arts, culture, and sports are covered in detail as they are some of the area’s largest economic drivers. Invest: Tampa Bay also puts particular focus on the healthcare sector as Tampa Bay continues to grow as a hub for medical innovation and leadership. This publication from Capital Analytics is a 156-page economic analysis that highlights Tampa Bay’s economy, key sectors and opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and innovators.