“New generation steps up to lead the Triangle”

Since moving to the Triangle, I’ve had the opportunity to meet hundreds, if not thousands of business, government and civic leaders.  Amongst this group, I’ve met many new leaders that are shaping the future.  I’m honored to be included by the News & Observer in their story, “New generation steps up the lead the Triangle.”  Having multiple generations of leaders “at the table” is something that will serve our region well.

Link to article: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article52581665.html


Leadership in Gainesville

The Gainesville Sun ran an editorial on Sunday, September 14, 2014 titled, “New Leadership.”  Here is an excerpt and link to the full editorial.

“Since Tim Giuliani was hired as president of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce in 2012, the group has become more involved in local government. The chamber has created groups to study issues such as GRU’s finances and governance, and made recommendations for reforms.

The group’s members have advocated for the Plum Creek development and will hopefully be leaders of the campaign for the transportation surtax on the ballot in November. Even if you don’t agree with the chamber’s positions on these issues, it is a positive development that a broader array of community members than before has become involved in public policy.

There have been rough goings in the leadership transitions for some of our major institutions, but these examples provide hope for successful conclusions.”


These comments reflect what a dedicated staff and strong business leaders can mean to a community.  Setting the tone to address the big community issues is the legacy of chambers of commerce leaders for the past 150+ years of American history.  I’m glad to be a part of what is going on in Gainesville (Alachua County), Florida.

Small businesses are critical to our economic future

Small businesses are the economic backbone of nearly every community and employ a significant number of employees. Therefore, the more successful small businesses are in generating revenue and in growing their workforce, the greater the benefits to people living in that community. It is a very simplistic view of economic development, and it is the core reason why chambers of commerce exist.

One could argue many factors are at play in supporting small business, and you would be right, but one of the most critical roles the Gainesville Area Chamber plays in supporting small business is advocating for the business community at-large and providing a unified voice for business. This is why we have a Public Policy Committee to debate issues and bring forth recommendations to our Board of Directors to take positions. Also, this speaks to the hiring of Kamal I. Latham, a seasoned U.S. government diplomat and international business consultant to lead our public policy efforts at the Chamber. Through Kamal’s efforts and expertise, we aim to create an environment in Gainesville, Alachua County, and the surrounding region, that fosters the growth and success of small business.

In May, we hosted our first small business growth dialogue with City of Gainesville leaders to discuss current regulations and ways to either continue what works or develop ways to improve what hasn’t benefitted business growth in the past. After hearing from several business owners in different stages of growth, we released our Small Business Growth Report. The report highlights 27 different recommendations for the city commission to implement based on six key business principles: Accessibility, Accountability, Simplicity, Consistency, Affordability, and Efficiency. Once adopted, the report will help the City of Gainesville provide economic opportunity to every business in the community by using the recommendations and principles as criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of city policies that affect business within city limits.

Stimulating small business growth isn’t confined to city policy. In recent weeks, the Gainesville Chamber hosted another small business growth forum, this time focusing on the cost of energy. Earlier this year, we created an Energy Study Group to focus on energy concerns in our community in an effort to ensure our competitiveness and establish an advantageous platform from which to grow from in the future. We anticipate the release of another report highlighting the opportunities for energy solutions in Gainesville and offering recommendations to benefit the growth of our business community.
Small businesses create jobs and are a key economic driver for our region. Their success is tied to our success in building a sustainable economic future for all businesses.

A new era

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.

Gainesville Chamber President & CEO Announcement

(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.

850 Magazine Cover


What a surprise to be on the cover of the business magazine of Northwest Florida.  I work with such a high caliber team, anyone is worthy of the recognition.  

Having a uber-wife makes something like this possible.  A great partnership can never be over-rated.  I’m grateful and humbled by the recognition.