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Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance Mid-Year Meeting Features address by Governor Ron DeSantis, Economic Results, Awards and SunTrust Foundation Grant
Published Wednesday, May 8, 2019 1:30 pm


Media Contact:
Maggie Gunther, APR
Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance


Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance Mid-Year Meeting Features address by Governor Ron DeSantis, Economic Results, Awards and SunTrust Foundation Grant

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance hosted its Mid-Year Luncheon, presented by FPL, on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 to an audience of nearly 600 members and guests at the Pier Sixty-Six Resort and Marina in Fort Lauderdale.  

Alliance President/CEO Bob Swindell and Chair Nelson Fernandez, Executive Vice President & Principal of ANF Group, Inc., reported the following results of the Alliance’s ongoing work as the official public/private partnership for economic development in Broward County: More than $216 million in capital investment by Alliance-assisted companies since the start of the Alliance fiscal year that began October 1, 2018; 1038 new jobs and 409 retained jobs.

Companies assisted included:

  • Decimal Engineering, which specializes in precision sheet metal fabrication for numerous industries including marine, defense and technology, is adding 20 new jobs, retaining 115 and making a capital investment of $9.9 million dollars at its new manufacturing facility in Coral Springs.
  • DNA Labs International, a company providing forensic DNA analysis, is adding 10 jobs, retaining 33 jobs and making a $7.5 million capital investment in Deerfield Beach.
  • ICON International, a corporate barter company headquartered in Connecticut, has opened a new office in Fort Lauderdale’s uptown area, adding 50 new jobs.
  • Techtronic Industries, a group of companies that includes iconic brands such as Milwaukee tool, Ryobi, Hoover and Dirt Devil, has relocated its U.S. headquarters from Baltimore to Fort Lauderdale, adding 75 new jobs.
  • Wayman Aviation, which provides aviation career preparation and recently celebrated the grand opening of its new flight training facility, is adding 20 new jobs and making a capital investment of $4.5 million in Pembroke Pines.

“Companies continue to choose Greater Fort Lauderdale’s highly competitive business climate and unbeatable quality of life. The Alliance is proud to share the story of our community as a premier business destination and talent hub while working year-round with a variety of partners on important initiatives that challenge the status quo and help bring prosperity to all,” said Bob Swindell, President & CEO.

Governor Ron DeSantis was the event’s guest speaker. He shared some of the results and milestones of his administration’s first months and the legislative session, which recently concluded in Tallahassee.

The Alliance presented its annual World Class Faculty and Economic Development Partner of the Year Awards:

  • The 2019 Alliance World Class Faculty honoree is Evangelos Kaisar, Ph.D., Associate Professor & Director of FMRI, MITSL and the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatics Engineering at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Kaisar is an internationally recognized and highly regarded faculty member in transportation and logistics engineering. He leads FAU’s Freight Mobility Research Institute (FMRI), which promotes strategies that lead to connecting people with living-wage jobs, supporting neighborhood business growth, and growing vibrant commercial areas. In addition, Dr. Kaisar’s research in modeling and simulation has aided the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts in improving preparedness and catastrophic events management. VIDEO LINK

  • The 2019 Economic Development Partner of the Year is the Broward County Aviation Department, which operates Fort Lauderdale /Hollywood International Airport (FLL). FLL is one of the largest and most powerful economic engines driving the economy of South Florida. For the past two years, FLL has been the fastest growing large hub airport in the U.S., increasing passenger traffic annually 53% to more than 12 million since 2013. FLL employs more than 15,000 employees, of which 75 percent reside in Broward. FLL is in the later stages of a $3.2 billion expansion and modernization program. The program includes the new south runway, the complete renovation of the entire terminal complex, 100 new concessions, new passenger loading facilities, new concourses and the addition of a second customs and immigration facility. VIDEO LINK

The Alliance also announced a $75,000 grant to its 501c3 foundation from the SunTrust Foundation, which will fund a pilot program to help nurture and coach entrepreneurs in Broward County, with a special focus on entrepreneurs in six economically challenged zip codes within Broward County.

Sponsors of the meeting included: presenting sponsor: FPL; platinum sponsors: JetBlue, JM Family Enterprises, Inc., Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina, Seminole Tribe of Florida; South Florida Business Journal; gold sponsors: AutoNation, Becker, Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development, Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, Memorial Healthcare System and South Florida Business & Wealth; and silver sponsors: ANF Group, Inc., Capital Analytics Associates, Crown Castle Fiber, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, Kaufman Rossin and Morris Southeast Group.

It was also announced that the Alliance’s Annual Meeting and dinner will take place October 17, 2019 at the Signature Grand.


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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