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Florida Chamber Foundation Focuses on Future of Florida At Annual Future of Florida Forum

Orlando, Fla. (Sept. 27, 2017) – The Florida Chamber Foundation this week is gathering business and industry leaders and elected officials from around the state at the 2017 Future of Florida Forum in Orlando to ask, is Florida ready for the future?

From conversations on economic prosperity and the future of workforce to discussions on Hurricane Irma recovery efforts and what Florida’s next steps are, this two-day event asks business leaders to lead conversations with state and local leaders to help secure Florida’s future.

The event began with Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis discussing Hurricane Irma recovery efforts around the state. His remarks focused on assignment of benefits abuse, which contributes to increasing insurance rates in Florida.

His call to action to businesses and legislators was clear- “doing nothing is not an option.”

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam also discussed the future of Florida’s agriculture industry and with it, the future of talent and workforce, and the need to attract new jobs to our state.

“All the bright and shiny industries that we want to come here- we need to have the talent to have those jobs,” said Commissioner Putnam.


Day one of the 2017 Future of Florida Forum continues with a special Women’s Hall of Fame presentation, where three inductees will be honored by members of the Florida Commission on the Status of Women and Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis. Media are invited to view the presentation and the entire 2017 Future of Florida Forum at


Day 2 Speakers and Topics Include:

 Florida’s Cradle to Career Continuum Ι 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. 

  • Jobs 2030
    • Jerry Parrish, Ph.D., Chief Economist, Florida Chamber Foundation
  • Florida K-12 Education System: Moving in the Right Direction
    • Pam Stewart, Commissioner, Florida Department of Education
  • Launch My Career Florida: Connecting Talent to Opportunities
    • Mark Schneider, Vice President and Institute Fellow, American Institutes for Research
  • The Business Case for Early Learning
    • Brittany Birken, Ph.D., CEO, Florida Children’s Council
    • Dr. Katharine Stevens, Resident Scholar, Education Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute


PRESS CONFERENCE: Launch My Career Florida Ι 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. 

  • Jaimie Francis, Director of Programs and Operations, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
  • Cissy Proctor, Executive Director, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
  • Mark Schneider, Vice President and Institute Fellow, American Institutes for Research
  • Rebecca Schumacher, Executive Director, Florida School Counselor Association


Keeping Florida Open for Business Ι 10:00 – 11:15 a.m.

  • Representative Danny Burgess (R-Zephyrhills)
  • Representative Jay Fant (R-Jacksonville)
  • Representative Rene Plasencia (R-Titusville)


Planning For the Future: Economic Opportunity, Health and More Ι 10:00 – 11:15 a.m.

  • Julie Cummings, Co-Chair, Florida Women’s Funding Alliance
  • Paula Liang, Co-Chair, Florida Women’s Funding Alliance An Affinity Group of the Florida Philanthropic Network
  • Dotti Groover-Skipper, Anti-Trafficking Director, The Salvation Army Florida Divisional Headquarters


Meeting Florida’s Infrastructure Needs Ι 10:00 – 11:15 a.m.

  • Moderator: Alice Ancona, Director of International Trade, Florida Chamber of Commerce
  • Jim Avitabile, Strategic Initiatives Market Leader, RS&H, Inc.
  • Loreen Bobo, P.E., I-4 Ultimate Construction Program Manager, Florida Department of Transportation, D5
  • Christopher Emmanuel, Policy Director, Florida Chamber of Commerce
  • Tim Giuliani, President & CEO, Orlando Economic Partnership
  • Gary Huttmann, Deputy Executive Director, MetroPlan Orlando
  • John Kaliski, Principal, Cambridge Systematics, Inc
  • Rob Palmer, Planning and Mobility Leader, RS&H, Inc.


Future of Florida Forum General Session Lunch and Florida Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors Annual Meeting Ι 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

  •  Syd Kitson, Chairman and CEO, Kitson & Partners; Chair, Florida Chamber of Commerce


The Future of Florida’s Economic Development

  • Moderator: Marshall Criser, III, Chancellor, State University System of Florida; Florida Chamber Past Chair
  • Pete Antonacci, President and CEO, Enterprise Florida
  • Ken Lawson, President and CEO, VISIT FLORIDA
  • Cissy Proctor, Executive Director, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity


A Live Skype Conversation with U.S. Senator Marco Rubio


Hurricane Irma Recovery Efforts

  • Kenny Montilla, Mobilization Program Director, Airbnb
  • Harry Sideris, State President, Florida, Duke Energy
  • Eric Silagy, President & CEO, Florida Power & Light Co.
  • Stephanie Smith, Manager, Florida Public Policy, Uber
  • Glenn Wiltshire, Deputy Port Director, Port Everglades


Future of Florida Forum Leadership Dinner Ι 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

  •  Marian Johnson, Senior Vice President, Political Operations, Florida Chamber of Commerce


A Conversation with Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission Members

  • Carlos Beruff, Chair, Florida Constitution Revision Commission
  • Belinda Keiser, Vice Chancellor, Keiser University
  • Bill Schifino, President, Florida Bar
  • Carolyn Timmann, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, Martin County

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