2017 Military, Defense & Veterans Opportunities Summit Agenda


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The 2017 Florida Chamber Foundation’s Military, Defense & Veterans Opportunities Summit gathered leaders from Florida’s military and defense industry, economic development experts, policymakers and the business community  to examine the challenges facing Florida throughout the next 15-plus years and identify solutions.

For more information on how you can get involved, email kbustamante@flfoundation.org


Agenda for Tuesday, August 8th*

Onsite registration: 7:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Event times: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


Welcome, Presentation of Colors, Pledge of Allegiance

  • Doug Davidson, MarketExecutive, Bank of America
  • UCF Air Force ROTC Detachment 159 Color Guard

Florida’s Military, Defense and Veterans State of the State

Join us for a conversation on where Florida’s military, defense and veterans industries currently stand, and where Florida needs to be to ensure continued growth in 2030 and beyond.

  • Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce

Securing Florida’s Future

  • Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam

A Federal Perspective

How do federal conversations impact Florida’s bases, ability to create jobs and ability to remain globally competitive? Join us as we hear a federal perspective on why conversations in D.C. matter in Florida.

  • Secretary Anthony Principi, Principal, The Principi Group, LLC; former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Chairman of the 2005 BRAC Commission

When Businesses Support Military, Defense and Veterans, Florida Wins

Businesses have an important role in transitioning veterans from active duty to the workforce.  From starting their own businesses to ensuring their in-demand skills and talents get utilized, join us for a conversation on how businesses can continue moving the needle.

  • Wayne Peacock, President, USAA’s Property and Casualty Insurance Group

Military and Defense: An Economic Development Driver

Florida’s military and defense industry helps support nearly 775,000 jobs, and makes up 10 percent of our state’s economy. How can Florida leaders ensure we continue to remain competitive, protect bases, create high-wage jobs, and take advantage of the challenges and opportunities that will arise between now and 2030?

  • Moderator: Cissy Proctor, Executive Director, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
  • Kellie Jo Kilberg, Chair, Florida Defense Alliance
  • Keith Hoskins, Western District General Manager, Gulf Power and Chairman, Greater Pensacola Defense Community Partnership
  • Daniel Davis, President & CEO, JAX Chamber

Planning From the Future: Emerging and Expanding Industries

From aviation and aerospace to innovations in bioscience and more, Florida’s military and defense industries support emerging and expanding industries that are crucial to our state’s economic development. Join us as we hear from Florida’s top military and defense leaders on the technological advancements that will ensure Florida remains globally competitive.

  • Moderator: Mark Wilson, President & CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce
  • Kevin Carr, President & CEO, FloridaMakes
  • Steve Botwinik, Director, Fire Control Advanced Programs, Lockheed Martin
  • Rick Simonian, Strategy & Business Development, Harris Corp
  • Tim Jones, President & CEO, Cybrix Group
  • Captain Bill “Roto” Reuter, Board Member, Florida Defense Contractors Association
  • Nancy Anderson, Deputy Director & Program Manager for Commercial Crew Program, Boeing

Veterans Leadership Luncheon

Creating Veteran Owned Business Opportunities

Veterans returning to their communities have skills that fit naturally into creating their own businesses. What does success look like? Join us as we take a look.

  • The Honorable Sam H. Killebrew, Florida House of Representatives
  • Jane Dowgwillo, PTAC Statewide Manager, SBDC
  • Bobby Carbonell, Executive Director, Veterans Florida

What Does Success Look Like?

  • Bobby Carbonell, Executive Director, Veterans Florida
  • Logan Skees, Founder, TrainerSpace; Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program Graduate

The Community’s Commitment to Transitions

From funding veteran ideas to supporting their higher education goals, communities and the businesses in and around them are crucial support system for veterans. Join us as we hear from a diverse group of leaders on how communities can continue to support transitions from active duty to veteran.

  • Jeff Cathey, Senior Vice President, Military Affairs, Military Bank Overseas Division, Bank of America
  • Stephen Moss, Partner, Holland & Knight
  • William J. Lennox Jr., President, Saint Leo University
  • General Michael Fleming,  Senior Vice President, University Relations and Development, Jacksonville University

Closing Comments and Next Steps

*agenda subject to change.