See the interview with Gainesville WCJB TV-20 on the announcement of Mobiquity expanding to Gainesville and creating 260 new jobs.
As we head into a brand-new year, the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce ushers in a new era by kicking off 2013 at our annual meeting, ‘Toast to Business.’ Hundreds
of business leaders will gather to welcome the 2013 Chairman of the Board, Mitch Glaeser, and celebrate an evening of prestigious honors and special announcements.
The Toast to Business celebration ﬁttingly follows the Council for Economic Outreach’s
recent Value Statement, which highlighted major accomplishments over the last two years regarding the development of the Gainesville economy, recruitment and expansion of business, and the creation of over 700 jobs and nearly $7 million in capital investment in Alachua County.
Decades of work have been put into building what Gainesville is now, a talented workforce, strong education system, a vibrant startup scene, thriving arts and culture, growing businesses in growing industry sectors, and a very high quality of life. As we move forward into 2013, the foundations of an innovation-based economy are in place. Decades of work have been put into building what Gainesville is now, a talented workforce, strong education
system, a vibrant startup scene, thriving arts and culture, growing businesses in growing industry sectors, and a very high quality of life. The goal is to not only maintain and sustain
these accomplishments but to continue to build momentum and develop talent in our ever increasingly competitive global economy. Historically, chambers of commerce organizations
have been created and sustained by providing businesses with a vehicle to accomplish what no small business could accomplish alone. We will use this strength to win the global talent war.
To recognize and capitalize on the opportunities that 2013 will bring, we will lean on our economic development initiative, Innovation Gainesville, and work collaboratively to ensure that the new era will be one in which Gainesville sets a model for the nation.
For the first time, WWII vet Russ Furnas decided to tell his story. At the age of 92, Russ stood before our Gainesville Chamber staff for 45 minutes to share his life story with most time allotted to his WWII experience. At times, it was clear that recounting stories of being injured, of nearly dying and suffering war fatigue were still tough to handle. He remembered specific details of what unfolded nearly 70 years ago. With great humility he walked through the experience from the day he heard of the bombing on Pearl Harbor, through moving from camp to camp in England and then through the actual battlefield. He ultimately was in Germany at the end of the war, came home and went back to work. No party, no parade, no celebration. Today, we ended his talk with a surprise celebratory cake and decorations. Maybe for him, he felt some respect and gratitude. But I know those of us in the room took away far more.
Our staff hung on to every word with amazement of the real, personable account of a world changing journey Russ was on. He filled the story with lessons in leadership and true honor. What a journey it must have been.
I’d rather share in person if you are interested in the story.
“Thriving business builds a thriving community” is the motto the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce operates by.
Most companies join the Chamber because of our job creation and economic development mission. As we grow our economy, build stronger companies and increase our economic competitiveness, every business in our area benefits. As a result, many choose to get involved and “join our team.”
To build stronger companies and make it easier for them to do business – just like the Florida Innovation Hub at the University of Florida serves companies with a variety of services, connections and advantages – the Chamber serves in a similar capacity for the Gainesville area.
Small Business Support
To help small businesses thrive, the Chamber, which has served as “the voice of business” since 1924, offers members many programs and services:
- Connections to various resources through one-on-one consultations
- Workshops on pressing business issues in partnership with the Santa Fe College Center for Innovation and Economic Development
- Speaker series on economic trends and business insights from industry experts
- Extensive networking and community leadership opportunities
- Industry Roundtables to identify needs specific to your industry
- Insight on public policy issues that impact your business
In addition to the programs and services above, we help foster the success of start-ups by creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem, providing:
- Consultations on starting a company from experienced entrepreneurs
- Small Entrepreneur Roundtable groups to connect entrepreneurs on critical business issues, while fostering a vibrant start-up community
- Connections to the myriad of services and programs available to startups in the community
Just like you, we’re always pushing the envelope, improving our value in the marketplace and delivering results. If you aren’t one of the 1,200 companies that are already taking advantage of our programs and services, we invite you to learn more about the Chamber on our website at www.gainesvillechamber.com, or contact us at (352) 334-7100 to discover the many ways we can help your business thrive.
In August, my family joined the Gainesville community in pursuit of helping create a thriving, globally competitive economy. Over the past few years, business and community leaders have transformed the Chamber-led Innovation Gainesville (iG) plan from a job creation initiative into a cultural mindset. Today, we find ourselves well positioned for the beginning of a global war for jobs.
Over the next 30 years, global annual GDP (gross domestic product- the best measure of economic activity) will grow from $60 trillion to an estimated $200 trillion. Our community will strive to be successful as the world experiences this significant change, where some will succeed and others will fail.
Not only will we lead iG forward as a job creation initiative, but also, we will foster economic opportunities, so all of our friends, colleagues and neighbors can dream big. Thriving businesses and successful entrepreneurs are the backbone to a thriving community. What results is hope, a way to escape poverty, well-funded schools and infrastructure, and support for non-profits that improve the quality of life for all of us.
Every day, we work with small businesses struggling with tough decisions and looking for resources to grow their business and achieve their dreams. Sometimes we connect them with one of our Entrepreneur Roundtable small groups that meet monthly to learn from one another. Sometimes we bring international speakers to Gainesville to broaden the perspective and knowledge of our business leaders. Other days, we work with a company in town to use our economic development toolkit to help them expand and train new employees to enhance their company’s ability to compete globally.
The economic challenges we face as a community have real consequences. Not every community will have a thriving economy and benefit from changes in the global marketplace. In fact, many communities will see their workforce decline, their infrastructure crumble and their cost of doing business soar. The Chamber will keep our eye on the ball and work tirelessly to foster job creation and economic opportunity, as Alachua County continues to be a place where our friends, neighbors and graduates pursue their dreams.
We have assets other communities dream of: a talented workforce, world-class educational and healthcare systems, cultural assets and a high quality of life. However, we also have neighbors who are without a good job and neighborhoods grabbling with the pervasive realities of poverty. Our community must rise together and create economic opportunities so all of our neighbors, friends and graduates can pursue their hopes and dreams in Alachua County.
If you haven’t already joined our effort, we welcome you to do so. It is through a collaborative approach to job creation that will ensure our community prospers. We need you. Together, we are Innovation Gainesville.
(As released by the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce on July 27, 2012)
The Board of the Directors of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce selected Tim Giuliani as the new president and chief executive officer following a national search. He and the Chamber’s leadership team will work closely with community, educational and business leaders to advance Innovation Gainesville and create an environment where businesses can succeed.
“The Gainesville Chamber is leading our economy forward through the Innovation Gainesville initiative led by a collaboration of committed leaders. Today, our community gains a leader who will propel our initiatives forward and take our nationally recognized organization to the next level,” said Mike Gallagher, chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors and President and CEO of SantaFe HealthCare and its affiliates.
Gallagher said, “Tim is already highly familiar with our chamber and Gainesville, having served as our director of Membership from 2006 to 2008. During his tenure he added 200 members to our organization. We expect to see the same level of success from Tim in this new role.”
Giuliani returns to Gainesville from Tallahassee where he served as vice president of Corporate Outreach and Engagement for the Florida Chamber of Commerce since February 2008. In that role, he managed statewide outreach, fundraising and grassroots efforts for the state’s largest business advocacy organization.
The Chamber Board of Directors established a search committee led by chair-elect Mitch Glaeser following the resignation of Brent Christensen, who took a position to head the economic development efforts for the Mississippi Development Authority after leading the Gainesville Chamber for 10 years. After reviewing information on prospective candidates compiled by The PACE Group, a national search firm, the selection committee chose Giuliani after interviewing several candidates. They made their recommendations to the Chamber Board of Directors on July 20.
“The board unanimously approved the selection of Tim and we are confident that our 5-Star chamber is bringing in the best of the best by conducting a thorough national search,” Glaeser said.
Through collaboration with the University of Florida, Santa Fe College and others, the Innovation Gainesville initiative has already begun to show strong results. Dr. Win Phillips, senior vice president and chief operating officer at UF, and a member of the search committee said, “The University has made a long term commitment to Innovation Gainesville and the relationship between the chamber and university is strong and is good for our entire community.”
Sonia Douglas has served as interim President and CEO since the departure of Brent Christensen. “Sonia and the rest of the leadership team have provided exemplary leadership during the transition period. The staff is top notch and I look forward to what we can accomplish together,” said Tim Giuliani.
“I am honored and excited to be selected to lead such a distinguished organization at a time when the need for economic leadership and job creation are so vital,” Giuliani said. “My wife and I are University of Florida alumni, we consider Gainesville home, and we are looking forward to being very involved in the Gainesville community.”
Giuliani earned his bachelor’s in economics and communication from Florida State University and his M.B.A. from the UF Warrington College of Business Administration. Giuliani and his wife, Sarah, both from St. Augustine, FL, have two sons and a daughter. He is expected to start in his position in mid-August.
This year, Congress passed the Startup Act, which included a provision to allow a new financing option termed “crowdfunding.” This is an important new funding option for entrepreneurs that is a game-changer at a time when access to capital is a critical issue for job creation. I’ve posted the best two resources I’ve come across to give you background on this financing option. At the bottom is a link to http://www.CrowdFunder.com, so you can participate.
Colleen Taylor interviews Chance Barnett, Founder & CEO of Crowdfunder on the Crowndfund Act- http://youtu.be/48zBCHruu4Y
Below is an infographic on crowdfunding: