By Nathan Sparks, CEcD
Executive Director of One Okaloosa EDC
We sincerely hope that each of you are experiencing a healthy and prosperous New Year thus far, and hopefully your New Year’s Resolutions are all still intact! While I won’t comment on the status of my ill-fated Resolutions (exercise – really?), I am happy to share that the One Okaloosa team picked up right where we left off in 2023. In fact, the first three weeks of the New Year have brought forth a diverse and gratifying workload. From meeting with prospective new businesses, responding to new Requests for Proposal, hosting the new CEO of Space Florida, Mr. Rob Long, and his senior leadership team for an enlightening discussion, traveling to Tallahassee for meetings with our state legislators as they began a new legislative session, coordinating specific requests to be included in a new Federal Legislative Priorities Point Paper, kicking off a new existing industry survey effort, welcoming new One Okaloosa EDC members, announcing new 2024 TeCMEN Industry Day partners and, last but not least, planning some exciting new events for the benefit of our community, there’s certainly been plenty of new fun to be had by our small but mighty team!
Speaking of events, we’re very excited to be nearing the announcement of a special “no cost” workshop opportunity targeted to small businesses that have interest in learning how to do business with (or expanding existing business opportunities with) our local governments. A joint effort between the Florida Small Business Development Center, the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce and One Okaloosa EDC, the workshop will be held in late February and, so far, is set to include representatives from the Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners, the Okaloosa County School District, the City of Crestview, the City of Fort Walton Beach and the City of Niceville. Please keep an eye on One Okaloosa’s social media channels and website for an official date announcement.
A little further out on the horizon is another information-packed One Okaloosa EDC Roundtable Breakfast scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 26, at the Hilton Garden Inn (Okaloosa Island). We have secured Mr. Dave Altig, Executive Vice President and Chief Economic Adviser, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta as our speaker. With the focus of Dave’s planned talk being “Assessing the Big Three: Growth, Inflation and Labor Markets”, attendees will be treated to some invaluable insight on the Fed’s stance on our national economy. We greatly appreciate our Signature Event Sponsor, United Fidelity Bank, for their generous support of this event and encourage you all to register today under the Event section of our website found at https://florida-edc.org/our-organization/one-okaloosa-events.