Business | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce Holds Conference in Sandestin

Sandestin, Florida- August 13, 2012

"An economy based on state government and two state universities is so twentieth century."
That comment came from the keynote speaker at the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Conference.
University of Texas business professor John Doggett also had a message to move our area forward.

"For you to thrive the private sector has to become a greater and greater part of your economy. There is no other way about it."

Professor John Doggett laid out that challenge to local business and community leaders. Currently, led by state government four of the top five employers in Tallahassee are in the public sector.Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare is the only private company to crack the top five at number four.

"We've got to figure out what we can build new jobs in the Tallahassee area and we have great things to build on research at FSU and FAMU," said Doggett.

Doggett says ways to grow the economy include poaching companies from non-business friendly places like California.
"California's going to do a lot to make Florida a better place," said Doggett.

Having the local community college tie in with businesses to train their work forces. It's already happening at Tallahassee Community College.

Said Jim Murdaugh, President of TCC: "We are deeply embedded in the community's work force activities."

Doggett pointed to another state capital, Austin, Texas and Spartanburg, South Carolina where there's more international business investment per capita than any U.S. city, as success stories.
Said Doggett: "If My friends in Spartanburg, South Carolina can do it, is there any excuse?"
Tallahassee's Economic Development Council has already targeted six industries for growth.They include aerospace, renewable energy, information technology, health, transportation and research.

Chair of the Economic Development Council, Karen Moore, said:
"They were identified because we could mirror technology and take the infrastructure that we have here."

So, how did the chamber react to Doggett's challenge? With what we're told was an unprecedented standing ovation...

Doggett says it will take several years to transition from an economy based on public sector jobs to private sector ones.
He also told the crowd at the Hilton Sandestin successful communities never, ever rest.
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Sandestin, Florida- August 10, 2012

Four of the top five largest employers in Leon County are in the public sector. Growing the private sector and the capital county's tax base is one of the hotttest topics at the Chamber of Commerce Annual Community gathering. This year it's in Sandestin.

Every year the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce brings together key business and political leaders for its Annual Chamber Community Conference. It's today through Sunday in Sandestin, Florida. The conference allows attendees to address issues affecting our region's future while making lifetime business connections.

The theme for this year's conference is SEO: Seizing Every Opportunity, an idea stemming from Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Optimization is a tool that can provide businesses the ability to reach new consumers they may have previously missed out on.

This is why the Chamber is so passionate about this year's theme. The 2012 Conference can provide the tools for business owners to expand their business and enhance themselves as a business owner.

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Tallahassee, Florida- August 7, 2012

The Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce Annual Conference is right around the corner.

On August 10th, the conference will converge on Sandestin, Florida. This is video from last year's conference also held in Destin. Over 450 business and community leaders are expected to take part. Why Destin and not here in Tallahassee? The Chamber says that getting everyone away from Tallahassee and into a different central location helps people focus and better immerse themselves in the conference.

"It brings the community together in one location to talk about the issues in the community, to educate people on what's happening in the community, to inform them on the local economy and what we see in the state and national economies," says Bill Moor, Chamber of Commerce Chairman.

The chamber is expecting a record crowd to be on hand this year and WCTV will be there. We will have the conference covered from all angles so be sure to keep it here for all the updates.


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