By: Susan Towler, Florida Blue Executive Director, CSR/Florida Blue Foundation; Chair of the Florida Chamber Foundation Board of Trustees
The Florida Chamber Foundation team continues to build momentum behind the Florida 2030 Blueprint’s mission and its 39 goals. I’m proud to share with you some recent highlights of our Foundation team uniting Florida’s leaders on the path to making Florida a top 10 global economy by 2030.
May was another busy month for our team, and I’d like to start off by shining the spotlight on our biggest engagement of the month, our Chamber Foundation’s annual Florida Prosperity & Economic Opportunity Solution Summit. It was so great seeing so many of you last week as over 150 attendees and 30 speakers came together on one of the most important issues our state faces – cutting childhood poverty in half by 2030 and ensuring a path to prosperity for ALL Floridians. Many great connections were made that will ultimately help us on our 2030 mission to eliminate barriers to opportunity in Florida.
Together, we are already making such a big difference, and it shows in the numbers. When Mark made his U.S. congressional testimony in 2016, nearly 934,000 Florida children were living in poverty. I am proud to say that thanks to wonderful leaders like you and other stakeholders across Florida who have made an unwavering commitment and investment in prosperity for all, that number is now down to under 764,000!
A special thank you to our Florida Equality of Opportunity Initiative team, SVP Kyle Baltuch and Coordinator Zenani Johnson, and the entire Chamber team for leading the charge in uniting the business community on the Prosperity movement. If you are not already engaged in this important work, please be sure to reach out to Kyle at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Zenani at email@example.com, to learn how you can get involved.
In addition to our annual Prosperity Summit, several of our team members lent their thought leadership at various engagements and meetings during the month of May. Our President, Mark Wilson, traveled to Tampa Bay to meet with Tiger 21. With this group of business leaders, Mark shared an economic update and took a deep dive into the Chamber Foundation’s efforts on cutting childhood poverty in half, a perfect tee-up to our annual Solution Summit. Additionally, our Chamber Foundation’s Director of Research, Dave Sobush, CEcD, spread the word about our Florida 2030 Blueprint mission and Florida’s economic outlook with several engaged business leaders at Florida Tax Collectors Association’s Annual Meeting/Executive Training, the 21st Annual Westshore Development Forum, Florida Institute of CPA’s Corporate Finance Forum and Not for Profit Conference, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits’ Executive Leadership Meeting, and on a panel at the Florida Economic Development Council Foundation’s Annual Conference with Florida 2030 Goal Leaders Ashon Nesbitt of Florida Housing Coalition and Madeleine Thakur of The Children’s Movement of Florida. Dave also provided the business case for resiliency this month at the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council Resiliency Summit and addressed the healthcare workforce crisis as a panelist at a MolinaCares event.
On the Future of Work Florida front, our Senior Director Rachel Ludwig spread the word about our talent-driven initiative at the Institute of Professional Development for Adult Educators (IPDAE) Career Pathways Institute in late May, moderating a panel discussion on the importance of partnerships among local Chambers, workforce education providers, and Florida’s job creators as we work to tackle Florida’s workforce crisis. Thank you to Michael Dalby from the Greater Naples Chamber, Yolanda Flores, and Aaron Paquette from Collier County Public Schools for participating in the panel discussion.
I hope you all will join the most important conversations of the year on securing Florida’s talent at the June 27 Florida Learners to Earners Workforce Solution Summit, held in conjunction with our June 26 Board of Trustees Meeting in Tampa. Please make plans to attend both!
Thank you all for your time and investment in the Foundation’s work and for making the Florida 2030 Blueprint mission your own. Stay tuned for more updates next month on our team’s momentum-building efforts to secure Florida’s future.
Until next time,
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