By: Kevin Derby
Bill Johnson, well-known throughout the Sunshine State for his leadership of Miami’s port, was chosen on Thursday to replace outgoing state Commerce Secretary Gray Swoope as CEO of Enterprise Florida, the public-private partnership focused on expanding economic development. After leaving PortMiami, Johnson took over as director of the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department.
Named by the Enterprise Florida board during its meeting in Tallahassee on Thursday. Johnson starts his new post on March 1. Speaking to the board, Johnson vowed to lead economic development efforts across the state
“I am thrilled that the Enterprise Florida board has voted for Bill Johnson to become the new executive director, Scott said. “For over 30 years, he has worked with local, state and federal officials to get projects done in Florida to benefit our families -– and I know he will continue to work with elected leaders at all levels of government to bring more opportunities to Florida and ensure we continue to win job creation projects.
“Bill did a stellar job running PortMiami — one of the nation’s top container cargo ports and the busiest cruise port in the world — and has overseen the massive Deep Dredge project which will generate around 30,000 jobs in our state,” Scott added. “His vision to expand and grow PortMiami will allow Florida to take advantage of increased trade opportunities with global markets and enable our state to grow as the leading hub for trade and logistics. Bill has a clear record of creating opportunities in our state and is laser-focused on our goal to make Florida the global destination for jobs. I am confident he will help us on our mission to beat Texas to become the No. 1 state for job creation.”
Mark Wilson, the president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, praised Johnson who had been on that organization’s board, insisting the new hire would help Scott bring new jobs to the Sunshine State.
“Thanks to Gov. Scott and Enterprise Florida’s effort to promote Florida’s business climate, companies like Amazon, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Deutsche Bank, Embraer, GE, Hertz, Lockheed Martin, Navy Federal Credit Union, Northrop Grumman, Darden, USAA, United Technologies Corp. and Verizon and more have either located or expanded in Florida, creating thousands of jobs and economic opportunities,” said Wilson. “With Bill Johnson at the helm of Enterprise Florida, the Florida Chamber is confident Florida will remain competitive in its efforts to secure new private-sector jobs.”