Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance Annual Dinner features Keynote by Florida Panthers CEO Vinnie Viola,
- Jobs Announcements, New Initiatives, Leadership and Education Partnership Awards, and Installation of Dr. Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson as new Chair
Published Monday, October 30, 2017

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, Broward County’s official public/private partnership for economic development, reported at its 2017 annual meeting on Thursday, October 19 that it assisted businesses in creating 1,978 new high-value jobs, retaining 1,967 jobs and securing $256 million in new capital investment during its 2016-17 fiscal year that ended September 30. 

Two of of the year’s high-impact projects were:

  • Apotex Pharmaceuticals, the largest Canadian owned pharmaceutical company, which is developing a new R&D center and advanced manufacturing and packaging facility in Miramar that will serve as the U.S. headquarters for Apotex Corp. and the U.S. offices for Apobiologix. The expansion creates 150 new jobs with a capital investment of $184 million. The move marks the largest investment that Apotex has made in the U.S.
  • Sixt rent a car, the world’s premiere affordable luxury car rental service with more than 2,000 locations in over 100 countries, chose to locate its new, expanded North American headquarters in Fort Lauderdale over other sites in Georgia, Texas and California. The company will be creating 300 new jobs and making a capital investment of $10,400,000.

These companies were among a group of nearly 300 companies that were provided services by the Alliance during its 2016-17 fiscal year.  

The Alliance reported that over the past eleven years, the Alliance, working with Broward County, CareerSource Broward and local municipalities, helped businesses create or retain more than 28,000 direct jobs that are estimated to have generated through direct, indirect and induced effects total employment of more than 62,000 jobs resulting in $2.4 billion in annual personal income and $12.3 billion in annual economic impact, according to an independent study by the South Florida Regional Planning Council.

During the meeting, Bill White, Co-Founder and Principal of Compass Office Solutions, who had served the past year as Chair of the Board of the Alliance, turned the gavel over to Dr. Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson, Vice President for Advancement and Community Relations at Nova Southeastern University, who will be the Alliance’s 2017-18 Chair. O’Flannery Anderson laid out plans and initiatives for the organization’s new fiscal year. It was also announced that the Seminole Tribe of Florida had joined the Alliance as a CEO Council member company, committing $50,000 annually to the Alliance’s national business marketing campaign.

AutoNation Chairman, CEO and President Mike Jackson presented George L. Hanbury, II, Ph.D., President of Nova Southeastern University with the Alliance’s 2017 Ray Ferrero, Jr. Economic Development Leadership Award. “The Alliance’s Ferrero award is presented each year to the Broward business leader who embodies the qualities, vision and commitment to economic development and our community of Chancellor Ferrero,” said Bob Swindell, President and CEO of the Alliance.  “President Hanbury has worked tirelessly to make Nova Southeastern University, and in turn our community, a global leader in research and economic development.”  Previous recipients include Jackson, Ferrero, who serves as Chancellor of Nova Southeastern University, Former Chairman and CEO of Stiles, Terry Stiles, City Furniture CEO Keith Koenig, JMFamily Enterprises President and CEO Colin Brown, and H. Wayne Huizenga.

The Alliance also presented its annual economic development leadership awards (VIDEO) to six other individuals who have gone above and beyond in their work in the community helping to grow jobs and strengthen the economy. Those honored, with the Alliance Council who presented the awards in parenthesis, were: Dr. Penny Shaffer, Florida Blue (CEO Council); Lonnie Maier, Fibernet Direct (Governor Council); Heidi Davis Knapik, Gunster (Leadership Council); Rich Ducharme, Sapoznik Insurance (Corporate Council); Russell Weaver, NAI Rauch Weaver Norfleet Kurtz & Co. (Entrepreneurship Council); and Ric Green, Greater Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce (Partner Council). Memorial Healthcare System was awarded the Alliance’s Educational Partnership Award (VIDEO) for their ongoing partnership with Broward College.

The annual meeting, with more than 750 in attendance, was held at the Signature Grand in Davie. The keynote speaker was Vincent “Vinnie” Viola, Chairman, Owner and Governor of Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, which operates the Florida Panthers Hockey Club as well as the BB&T Center. He is also the Chairman Emeritus of Virtu Financial and part owner of the Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby winning horse, “Always Dreaming.”

The event was sponsored by Platinum Sponsors: JM Family Enterprises, Inc., Signature Grand, South Florida Business Journal and South Florida Business & Wealth; Gold Sponsors: Baptist Health South Florida’s Miami Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute, City of Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, JetBlue and Memorial Healthcare System; and Silver Sponsors: AutoNation, Becker & Poliakoff, Capital Analytics Associates, FPL, Fibernet Direct, Gunster, Nova Southeastern University, Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina and Starmark.


The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance  ( is Broward County’s official public/private partnership for economic development. Its mission is to lead Broward County in building a stronger and more diverse economy by stimulating the creation of new jobs and capital investment while facilitating the growth and retention of businesses in Broward County.  Services offered by the Alliance include assistance with business relocation or expansion and site selection; incentive programs and information; market research; and serving as a liaison for workforce development between CareerSource Broward, educational institutions and the business community.  To learn more, call (954) 524-3113.

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