The Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida 2030 Blueprint is an effort I have been proud to help steward since its inception. Florida Blue has maintained its membership with the Florida Chamber since 1947, and I’ve had the distinct privilege of being a member of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees since 2010. In addition to this role, I also serve as a member of the Prosperity Advisory Board, helping to establish pathways to prosperity in each of Florida’s 983 zip codes.
Over the past few years, as Chair of the Florida Chamber Foundation, I have witnessed some truly extraordinary efforts. As I pass the gavel to my friend, Don Kiselewski of Florida Power & Light, I would like to reflect on some of the highlights of my time as chairwoman, focusing on the programs and initiatives that have become key drivers in helping us secure Florida’s future on our way to becoming a top 10 global economy by 2030.
Our annual Future of Florida Forum and solution summits have not only grown in numbers, but have become a powerful platform for change, aligning with the six pillars of our Florida 2030 Blueprint, and fostering a sense of unity, community, and purpose among Florida’s business, philanthropic, workforce, education, and elected leaders. Additionally, these collaborations have served and will continue to serve as catalysts for innovation, fueling our collective drive to overcome challenges and create lasting solutions throughout Florida to improve our communities – down to the zip code level.
You all are part of this Board because you believe that united, we are stronger, and as you know, our movement never stops with our events. Just over the past year, our Florida Chamber Foundation team launched a strategy to continue the year-round conversations hosted at our Forum, and solution summits through impactful webinars and podcasts hosted by our Equality of Opportunity and Future of Work Florida initiatives. These conversations bring together an unprecedented number of civic, business, and government leaders to address the 10 root causes of poverty and what’s needed to secure Florida’s workforce talent. This open dialogue has not only shed light on the pressing issues we face as a state but has ignited a spark of inspiration and determination within all of us to impact real change in our individual communities. A testament to the nearly one thousand leaders who have tuned in!
Our commitment to fostering equality of opportunity has blossomed through the growth of our advisory boards and zip code adoption efforts, now serving more than 120 zip codes throughout Florida.
Let me now address a topic that is at the forefront of every job creator’s mind – talent. The launch of our Future of Work Florida initiative has set the stage for a transformative era in the way we recruit, retain, and engage our talent in Florida. Through this initiative, we are encouraging leaders across Florida to embrace the changing workforce landscape while equipping themselves with the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the ever-evolving world of work. By doing so, we are building a foundation that empowers our workforce and propels our economy forward.
In our pursuit of progress, we have never wavered in our dedication to providing the Florida business community with the metrics that matter to securing Florida’s future. Through robust research, such as the Florida Trade & Logistics 2030 Study, the Florida Workforce Needs Study, the Florida Business & Economic Mid-Year Report, Untapped Potential in FL Report, and our research tools – the Florida Gap Map and The Florida Scorecard – we are arming the business community with the knowledge and understanding of our state and community needs so that we may make informed decisions and drive meaningful change.
In closing, I would like to acknowledge the amazing efforts of our Chamber and Foundation staff, Community Development Partners, Trustees, Board of Directors, advisory board members, and goal leaders, all united in your unwavering support of our foundation. I am inspired by the incredible, collective progress we have made to move Florida forward. Our Chamber and Foundation team has nurtured increased collaboration with several of you, including Florida Prepaid College Foundation, Florida Power & Light, Coke Florida, Florida Philanthropic Network, CareerSource Florida, the Florida Department of Education, and FloridaCommerce to name a few, recognizing that by working together, we can achieve common goals and create a lasting impact that permeates throughout Florida. I am filled with immense hope and confidence for the continued, amazing outcomes we will achieve to ensure Florida’s continued economic prosperity and global competitiveness. Your dedication and passion have been instrumental.
Check out photos below of us uniting on the road to 2030 at the recent October Board of Trustees meeting held in conjunction with the 2023 Florida Chamber Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum: