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Port Dredging | Hotel Construction | Startup Advice | Relocations and Expansions

A Quarterly Economic Development Publication

New Wave of

Commercial Development

Summer 2014

New FAU President John Kelly Outlines Vision for Future

Port Dredging Project News Max Planck Florida Institute Receives Major Grant Unemployment Rate Continues to Drop All Aboard Florida Plans West Palm Beach Station Peoplexpress Adds PBI Service BDB Honored with Marketing Award Relocations & Expansions

New Commercial Developments Underway A wave of new commercial development is rolling through Palm Beach County

U.S. Ambassador to Singapore Highlights Opportunities in Southeast Asia

County’s Business Partnerships

ON THE COVER Image by Maradonna

Lead to Increase in Hotel Construction

Startup Advice from a Successful Entrepreneur

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Safety a Key Benefit

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Welcome from the President TO OUR MEMBERS AND PARTNERS: Upon reading this issue of Palm Beach County Business you’ll learn about FAU President John Kelly’s vision for the future of the university. Kelly, with a strong background in economic development, is poised to lead FAU’s plans to develop a robust entrepreneurial program in its College of Business. Additionally, this issue features important information regarding new commercial developments underway in the county including an increase in hotel construction. I hope you enjoy reading Palm Beach County Business which is made possible with the support of the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners, CareerSource, NextEra Energy, Inc., Florida Crystals, and Suffolk Construction. As we strategize to further the growth of Palm Beach County’s ever-thriving economy, please continue to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and watch for our e-newsletters to stay well-informed on economic development and business news and events in Palm Beach County.

Kelly Smallridge President and CEO

Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, Inc. 310 Evernia Street | West Palm Beach, FL 33401 561.835.1008 | Palm Beach County’s Economic Development Resource

Published by » Passport

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New FAU President Outlines Vision John Kelly for Future Whether collaborating with the business community or educating development. He was formerly a vice president at Clemson University tomorrow’s workforce, John W. Kelly, Ph.D., the new president of in South Carolina, where his responsibilities included overseeing agricultural extension services for the state. He also Florida Atlantic University (FAU) is looking toward the helped the university raise its academic standing, as future. “Our goal is to become the next great national Clemson is now ranked the 21st best public university in university,” said Kelly in a recent interview for the the country by U.S. News & World Report. Business Development Board. “The advances we make As FAU’s chief executive officer, Kelly oversees an will benefit Palm Beach County and the entire region.” institution that serves more than 30,000 students at the Noting that FAU’s campuses stretch from Fort bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral levels. Pierce to Davie and serve more than 30,000 students , FAU ranks as the most racially, ethnically and culturally Kelly said, “We want to nurture and protect our region’s diverse institution in Florida’s State University System environmental assets, while contributing to economic and is ranked 27th for diversity in the United States. development. We believe our growing university is a FAU is also one of the largest employers in South strong attraction for people moving to the area.” Florida, with more than 3,000 employees, and an annual To do so, FAU will take an energetic and innovative operating budget in excess of $690 million. The approach to its academic programs. “We want to build John W. Kelly, Ph.D. university has an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion a workforce that will strengthen the local economy,” he said. “That means professionals who are strong on both the technical and is conducting millions of dollars’ worth of funded research in skills and the ‘soft’ skills like leadership and communication. For critically important fields. On his initial visits to FAU, Kelly said he was particularly impressed instance, we want our business majors and our chemistry students to by the collaborative ties with Scripps Florida and Max Planck Florida be able to understand each other’s perspectives.” Kelly, 59, comes to FAU with a strong background in economic Institute, housed on the university’s Jupiter campus, as well as FAU’s

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marine science programs. “We have a biotechnology hub in Palm Beach accelerated pipeline to a bachelor’s degree in computer science or County that anyone in the world would want,” he said. “But there are computer engineering. To give students exposure to “real world” settings, internships will be offered in addition to other research jewels throughout the university.” classroom and laboratory instruction. Asked if there were any surprises when relocating “Most tech companies will tell you that a shortage from South Carolina with his family, Kelly said, “We of IT computer science specialists puts a limit on their knew about the great quality of life here. Palm Beach growth potential,” Kelly said. “We want to reach more County has a great reputation as a place to relax, deeply into that sector, providing experiential learning vacation and retire. But I was not as aware of the camps in fields like robots, architecture or big data for county’s truly vibrant economy. We have all kinds of middle and high school students, helping more people businesses here from Fortune 500 companies to understand the career paths that are available right here entrepreneurial startups.” in our community.” Reflecting the region’s commitment to economic Kelly added that FAU plans to enhance its R&D growth and development, Kelly said FAU plans to partnerships with the private sector in the life science, develop a robust entrepreneurial program in its College – John W. Kelly ocean engineering and marine sciences, for example. He of Business, which is one of the ten largest in the said universities like FAU can provide low-cost options country. He added that FAU, Broward College and Palm Beach State College have been jointly awarded a $3.5 million grant by for translational research, helping to turn laboratory findings into the Florida Board of Governors to create a program that will fast-track commercial products. Summing up his approach to economic development, Kelly said, students into the high-tech workplace. The FAU/BC/PBSC program, called the Computer Acceleration “We want to help businesses solve problems, increase the skilled Pipeline to Unlock Regional Excellence (CAPTURE), creates an workforce and provide support to innovative entrepreneurs.”

“ We want to build a workforce that will strengthen the local economy ”


Recent FAU Highlights

 FAU recently welcomed 36 residents in FAU’s first residency program in internal medicine. The residents were selected from a pool of 3,900 highly qualified medical school graduates from across Florida and the nation.  FAU received a lease from the U.S. government to test ocean energy generating turbines in a federal body of water. The five-year lease was issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The work will be carried out by the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC), a multi-disciplinary, public/private research initiative based at FAU.  FAU’s Sport Management MBA is ranked the fourth best program of its kind in North America and the sixth best in the world by SportBusiness International magazine.  Charles H. Hennekens, M.D., Dr.P.H., the first Sir Richard Doll professor in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine received the prestigious Alton Ochnser Award from the Ochnser Clinic Foundation for his research relating tobacco consumption to human disease.  FAU students Sean Dough and Chris Felix recently won the 2014 American Songwriting Award in the Hip Hop category.

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Safety a Key Benefit of Port Dredging Project, Says Port Director, Manny Almira

Chairman Oppel to Retire Port of Palm Beach Chairman Ed Oppel, 74, plans to retire from his elected position on December 31 when his term ends. He was elected commissioner to the Port of Palm Beach District in 2005, and is now serving his second term as chairman. Oppel also served as the port’s executive director from 1996 to 2000, overseeing a $100 million capital improvement project which included the construction of the SkyPass Bridge, construction and development of the port’s Slip 1 and the construction of the 100,000-square-foot cruise terminal and adjacent Class A office space.

Deepening the channel to the Port of Palm Beach would improve vessel safety, while contributing to the economy of the entire region, according to Manuel Almira, executive director, Port of Palm Beach. “Currently, vessels must wait for high tides and daylight hours to enter our port,” said Almira in a recent interview. “A few more feet of depth in the passage through the Lake Worth Inlet would make a big difference in terms of safety, while allowing slightly larger vessels with greater capacity to use our port, which would actually reduce the frequency of visits.” The Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) dredging project would increase the size of the outer channel from 400 to 450 feet, and the inner channel from 300 to 450 feet. Most importantly, the channel depth would increase from 33 to 39 feet, while also providing 425,000 cubic yards of beach-grade sand for the beaches of the Town of Palm Beach at the port’s expense. In June, the ACOE informed the port that further research was needed for the dredging project. Now, the ACOE will await federal appropriations assigned to the project in the Water Resource Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA) to move forward with the research needed for the permitting of the Preconstruction, Engineering, and Design (PED) phase of the Lake Worth Inlet project. “This will give the Corps more time to further answer the environmental concerns that have been raised about the project,” said Almira. “It will make the Corps’ study even stronger in the face of the scrutiny that the project has received.” Addressing the issue of a potentially higher storm surge, Almira noted that National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has determined that increasing the width and depth of the channel will only increase a potential 10-foot storm surge by 0.328 feet. Another concern has been protecting the manatees in the inlet. “There has never been a report of a commercial vessel at the port striking a manatee,” he said. “In the winter, manatees tend to congregate at the warm water discharge at the FPL plant in Riviera Beach, which is well outside the boundaries of this project.“ Chartered in 1915, the Port of Palm Beach is the fourth busiest container port in Florida and one of only 16 net export ports in the United States. In fiscal year 2013, about six vessels per day called on the port for a total of 1,800 visits. “The Port of Palm Beach is vital to exporting sugar and molasses from the Everglades region, supporting the livelihood of the communities around Lake Okeechobee,” said Almira. “Sugar is trucked to the port and loaded onto seagoing barges through a conveyer system. No other port in Florida has this capability.” The port is also a hub for the export of processed metal, which is recycled at international facilities that turn it into steel coils or bars. Overall, the port and its tenants contribute $185 million in revenue and $17.5 million in state and local taxes annually, and 2,850 residents are employed directly and indirectly by the port. “Since our last major dredging project was more than 50 years ago, a deeper channel is important to our future,” added Almira. “We estimate this $88.6 million project would have a two-to-one return on investment, and help our entire region.”



News Events Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience Receives Major Grant Student internship programs at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI) are getting a major boost thanks to an anonymous supporter. Over the next three years, the $309,000 grant will help fund the institute’s high school summer internship program, now in its fourth year, and its new MPFI Scholars undergraduate internship program. “Our high school summer research internship has grown significantly over the past four years, and this grant will be instrumental in allowing us to continue to expand the program,” said Dr. Ana Fiallos, head of education outreach at MPFI. “One of our main goals here at the Institute is to make positive and lasting contributions to the community, and what better way to do that than by working directly with local teenagers.” The granter, who wishes to remain anonymous, is an avid supporter of educational programs throughout Florida, particularly those that make a substantial contribution to the development, growth and success of local communities. “This program makes a tremendous impact on the students, who are able to work in the lab directly alongside MPFI’s world-class scientists,” said Barbara Noble, president of the Max Planck Florida Foundation. “These are students who, with the right guidance, will go on to become some of the brightest minds of their generation. You can’t put a price tag on this kind of opportunity.”

Unemployment Rate Continues to Drop

Florida East Coast Industries, LLC

Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for June fell to 6.1 percent, down 1.8 percentage points from the June 2013 rate of 7.9 percent. The nation’s unemployment rate for June was 6.3 percent and the state’s rate was 6.2 percent (all numbers not seasonally adjusted), according to information provided today by CareerSource Palm Beach County and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “Palm Beach County gained more than 16,000 new jobs over the year and our unemployment rate decrease continues to outpace the nation and the state, indicating our regional economy is performing better than both of these,” said Steve Craig, President and CEO of CareerSource Palm Beach County, the nonprofit organization chartered by the state to lead workforce development in Palm Beach County. “On a percentage basis, job growth is strongest in the construction industry, increasing 10.2 percent over the year,” he added. “The industry sector gaining the most jobs overall is professional and business services with 5,300 new jobs.”

All Aboard Florida Plans West Palm Beach Station

All Aboard Florida recently disclosed plans for its downtown West Palm Beach station, the 60,000-square-foot terminal and platform will be situated between Datura and Evernia Streets, near CityPlace, the Kravis Performing Arts Center and the city’s government center district. The privately funded railroad company’s station is projected to create 1,200 construction jobs and have a $164 million economic impact on Palm Beach County.

PEOPLExpress Adds PBI Service PEOPLExpress Airlines began service to Palm Beach International Airport on July 14. The low-fare carrier now serves Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport in Virginia.

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PEOPLExpress said the Boeing 737 service operates six times a week, except Tuesdays, arriving from Newport News at 2:15 p.m. and departing West Palm Beach at 3 p.m.

Relocations & Expansions With three months remaining in its fiscal year, the Business Development Board (BDB) is on track for a record year in terms of new jobs At the recent Entrepreneurs Luncheon, President and CEO Kelly Smallridge said the BDB has facilitated 17 projects involving 3,712 new jobs and $52.7 million in capital investment. “We have other projects in the works and are looking forward to the next few months,” she said. In partnership with Palm Beach County, the BDB facilitated the June grand opening of Pratt & Whitney’s new West Palm Beach Engine Center. “Pratt & Whitney’s increased footprint over the last several years underscores the fact that Palm Beach County is becoming a major hub for the relocation and expansion of aviation & aerospace companies,” Smallridge said. United Technologies Chairman & CEO Louis Chênevert and Florida Governor Rick Scott first announced the $63.7 million, 230 job expansion in 2012. The completed engine center includes a new state-of-the-art production facility that will support Pratt & Whitney’s ramp up for production of the PurePower® PW1100G-JM engine for the Airbus A320neo aircraft and the F135 engine for the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet. “Pratt & Whitney’s presence in Palm Beach County is significant and we value the company’s commitment to job creation and capital investment here,” said Palm Beach County Mayor, Priscilla A. Taylor. During the event, it was announced that Pratt & Whitney will create an additional 110 new Florida jobs at the facility by the end of 2016 for its military Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) business. The company will make a $25 million capital investment for facility upgrades and equipment as part of this new project. “As our economy continues to improve, more and more opportunities are available for Florida families,” said Governor Rick Scott. “Let’s keep working to build an opportunity economy in our state where business can continue to grow jobs.” Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera said, “The opening of Pratt & Whitney’s West Palm Beach Engine Center is great news for families in West Palm Beach. The creation of 340 new jobs means more Floridians will have the opportunities they need to succeed and provide for their families. The state-of-the-art engine Assembly and Test Facility will play a

key role supporting the production ramp-up of Pratt & Whitney’s next generation PurePower® PW1100G-JM commercial engine and F135 military engine, said Pratt & Whitney President Paul Adams. The new 97,000-square-foot production facility was recently awarded LEED Gold designation. LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program.

BDB Honored with Marketing Award from State Organization The Florida Economic Development Council, Inc. (FEDC) presented the BDB with an award in Economic Development Advertising and Marketing Innovation at its 2014 annual conference held in June in Tampa. The 2014 Florida Economic Development Conference is the premier professional development event attended by economic, workforce and community developers from Florida’s 67 counties, 400 cities, 24 workforce regions, 12 universities and 28 community colleges.

The BDB received the first place award Palm Beach County’s in the Digital Marketing category for its Economic Development Resource education website FEDC’s annual awards serve to emphasize outstanding marketing strategies and encourage the development of more effective marketing tools. Judging criteria included creativity, impact, quality, originality, and substance.


Developments Underway From new hotels and retail centers to office buildings and multifamily residential projects, a wave of new commercial development is rolling through Palm Beach County. Since October 1, 2013, 28 new commercial and multifamily buildings with a total value of more than $65 million have been permitted in the City of West Palm Beach, according to Rick Greene, development services director.

Harbourside Place

Noteworthy projects include the Palm Beach Outlets, the Villas on Antique Row, Evernia Place, the Jefferson, Mizner Lakes, Marriott Residence Inn, PCC Resorts, the Convention Center Hotel, Chapel by the Lake , TRG Related/Rybovich, Palm Harbor Marina, Loftin Place and Clematis Place. “An upsurge in the economy, the creation of an Economic Development Department and the launch of a Flagler Financial District have all played a role in the creation of a massive redevelopment effort citywide,” said Greene. He noted that the department has made significant changes to reduce building permit times and accelerate the development review process. In Boynton Beach, new projects totaling $90 million are now under construction with an estimated $25 to $50 million more in the

Harbourside Place

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pipeline, said Scott Kline, economic development manager, City of Boynton Beach. Major projects include Compson Place, a $50 million development with 338-rental apartments; Quantum Town Center Expansion, a $20 million mixed-use development with 70,000 square feet of new commercial space; Ocean 500, a $40 million, six-story residential building; and a $5 million Holiday Inn & Suites. “We are seeing a tremendous amount of interest in our city, including a renewed interest in living in our downtown,” Kline said. “We expect the projects that come online to serve as a catalyst to even more development in our downtown area.“ The City also recently adopted a Transit Oriented Development (T.O.D.) District near the future downtown Tri-Rail-Coastal commuter station that allows increased density in a mixed-use zoning district. To the south in Delray Beach, construction is scheduled to begin

Harbourside Place

this year on the 650,000-square-foot first phase of Atlantic Crossing, a mixed-use development including residential, retail and office in the downtown core. Another mixed-use project is iPic Theater, which includes a movie theater, office, retail, and parking garage. Construction is expected to begin in 2015. Other Delray Beach projects include a Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott under construction just east of I-95; SOFA, a two-building multifamily project with 172 units; Boueri Building, a mixed-use development with office, retail and residential; Saxena White Corporate Offices in the downtown core; and The Strand, a two-building multifamily development with 198 units.

Harbourside Place

“It’s exciting to see so much development moving forward in Delray Beach,” said Elizabeth C. Burrows, economic development manager, City of Delray Beach/Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency. “We’re gaining lots of Class-A office space that will allow us to accommodate the larger companies that want to be here. And the residential development in the downtown area will help create a more sustainable customer base for our local businesses.” Heading northward, 14 new projects have been approved or recently competed in Palm Beach Gardens, including educational, commercial, residential and professional office buildings. “The city’s proactive business climate embraces innovation and provides an atmosphere for business prosperity,” said Allyson Black, administrative services manager, City of Palm Beach Gardens. One of the largest projects is an expansion and remodeling of PGA Plaza, which will include a Trader Joe’s Supermarket and Ulta, In addition, Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute is expected to complete a new 38,000-square-foot medical building by year-end. The Jewish Community Center‘s Meyer Academy and an expansion of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church are underway, as well as Franklin Academy, a K-8 public charter school. Residential projects include The Hamptons at Palm Beach Gardens, a 224-unit multifamily apartment community; Hampton

Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute

Cay, a 192-unit residential townhome community; and Discovery Village, an assisted living facility with 120-units. New commercial development is also underway in the Town of Jupiter, including Project QualTech, a 370,000-square-foot research

Mandel JCC

and development campus; Lakewood, a mixed-use development with technology space; and Jupiter Medical and Technology Park. John Sickler, director of planning and zoning, said other major projects include the Institute for Healthy Living, which will offer nursing care, assisted living and medical services, as well as hosting a clinical research organization. Also, Frank Entertainment Companies is planning CineBowl & Grille at Abacoa Town Center, which would have 1,567 theater seats, 20 bowling lanes and a restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating.

Harbourside Place Nearly Completed Harbourside Place, a new multiuse development at U.S. 1 and Indiantown Road in Jupiter, is scheduled to open this fall. The multiuse project, developed by Allied Capital & Development of South Florida, aims to become Jupiter’s downtown district and includes:  179-guest room Wyndham Grand Hotel with banquet and convention space  36,500 square feet of restaurant space  53,704 square feet of retail space  59,126 square feet of Class A office space  12,000 square feet of rooftop plaza  public and private marinas  929 parking spaces The Wyndham Grand Jupiter will cater to leisure and business travelers, and is already booking weddings and special events into 2015. The amphitheater and surrounding plaza will host a minimum of 24 events per year, including concerts, festivals and cultural exhibits.

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U.S. Ambassador to Singapore

Highlights Opportunities in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a thriving market with many opportunities for Palm Beach County companies, according to Kirk Wagar, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Singapore. “With 620 million residents, Southeast Asia is larger than Europe and has the best demographics in the emerging world,” said Wagar at a June 19 visit to the Business Development Board. Gary Hines, BDB senior vice president of administration, welcomed attendees to the informal discussion session. Noting the advantages of Singapore as a platform for Florida companies seeking to penetrate Southeast Asia and China, Wagar said, “As an English-speaking nation with a strong legal framework, enforceable intellectual property rights, and a long history of foreign investment, Singapore provides a safer way to enter those markets.” Two potential export sectors for Palm Beach County companies are technology and aviation, according to Wagar. “Southeast Asia is a great market for technology, including technology education and aircraft-related parts and services,” he said. “Those sectors are right in Florida’s sweet spot.” Several attendees at the BDB session agreed, including Paul Bodnar, co-chair at Cambridge Communications & Signal Systems in West Palm Beach, which deploys positive train control systems for the railroad industry. Dan Cane, CEO, Modernizing Medicine in Boca Raton added, “We have identified Singapore as our first international market.”

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Manuel Mencia, senior vice president, Enterprise Florida, Inc. introduced the ambassador and noted that Enterprise Florida is organizing an export sales mission to Singapore and Malaysia on September 19-26. “This mission is a great opportunity to hit two excellent markets,” Mencia said. He added that Florida businesses exported about $237 million in manufactured goods to Singapore and another $69 million to Malaysia in 2013. Wagar became U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Singapore on September 4, 2013. Prior to this assignment he was managing partner of Wagar Law, P.A., a Miamibased law firm. Emphasizing the appeal of Southeast Asia to Florida companies, Wagar said the region has a very attractive demographic profile, with rapidly growing middle class. He added that there are already 3,600 U.S. businesses in Singapore, with additional support and networking opportunities available through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce there. Wagar said P&G’s Global Innovation Center is based in Singapore, and many other leading technology companies also have established a presence there. “When you look at winners and losers in the emerging markets, I believe there is no question that Southeast Asia is a winner,” Wagar said. “These are up-and-coming economies that can be served by Florida companies entering the region.”

County’s Business Partnerships Lead to Increase in Hotel Construction

By Sherry Howard, Deputy Director Palm Beach County Department of Economic Sustainability As the county experiences continued growth in business relocations and expansions, hotel construction projects also are on the rise and Palm Beach County is proud to be a partner in this economic development activity. Discover the Palm Beaches, the new brand for the County’s official tourism marketing corporation reports that from January to May of this year, the fastest hotel occupancy rate occurred in Northern Palm Beach County at 83.2 percent. Just in time to help meet the need for additional accommodations, the new Jupiter Courtyard Marriott hotel opened June 5 on Main Street in Abacoa. Assisted by $2.3 million in financing through the County’s Section 108 Loan Program, the 128-room hotel is anticipated to serve both the business traveler during weekdays and leisure travelers on weekends. It is located directly across the street from Roger Dean Stadium and international security firm G4S, and is in easy walking distance from Scripps and Max Planck Research Institutes, as well as Florida Atlantic University’s Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College. Already, the hotel is drawing a steady business clientele, and guests are discovering the immediate offerings in the adjacent Abacoa town center. Currently with 21 employees, all but three of the hires at the new Marriott have been local residents. In Palm Beach County overall, hoteliers set new occupancy records in February and are anticipated to exceed the record set in 2005 of 89.8 percent. The County’s new tourism branding and marketing campaign have been aggressively employed to encourage long-term recovery, which the Tourist Development Council expects will result in an increase of bed tax collections. This trajectory for Palm Beach County tourism combined with the economic

turnaround is what helps lure hotel investors. Among other hotels projects countywide, one of great significance is the Palm Beach County Convention Center Hotel which is now under construction. This important $110 million Public Private Partnership (P3) with developer Related New York and hotel operator Hilton will provide the key amenity to drawing large events to the convention center and will complete the County’s vision for this economic development and tourism generator. As owner, Palm Beach County will reimburse $27 million in project costs. At its opening, which is currently projected for the first quarter of 2016, the hotel will provide 400 guest rooms, 13 meeting rooms, and two ballrooms. An in-depth economic impact analysis conducted by the Department of Economic Sustainability estimated that the Convention Center Hotel will create more than 1,500 construction and tourism jobs and contribute more than $1 billion to the local economy over ten years, inclusive of increased convention center business and room nights at other accommodations. As our marketing experts with the BDB and Discover the Palm Beaches will tell you, the County continues to offer extraordinary advantages for businesses seeking to establish here, or expand their existing facilities, in a community with a quality of life and amenities that are second to none. Additionally, Palm Beach County programs offer a variety of financing options to support economic development and promote capital investment. To learn more about the County’s business assistance programs, please contact me at (561) 233-3653, or by email at

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Startup Advice

from a Successful Entrepreneur

To succeed as an entrepreneur, you need to overcome your fears, share your dream, and start small, according to Chris Heivly, co-founder of MapQuest. “Fear of failure stops us from doing the things we dream about,” he said at the Business Development Board’s third annual Entrepreneur Luncheon June 26 at the Kravis Center. “But there are some tips and tricks in managing fear.” BDB Chairman Frank Compiani, office managing partner, McGladrey, welcomed several hundred attendees to the quarterly event, and thanked Lynn University, the presenting sponsor. “The BDB supports the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Palm Beach County,” said Kelly Smallridge, President and CEO. “We know that entrepreneurs bring fresh ideas and create new jobs in our region.” In his talk on “Founders, Fear and Forts,” Heivly outlined how MapQuest grew from a small, print-focused company to an online service that was purchased by AOL for $1.2 billion. He now runs a seed-level investment fund called The Startup Factory in North Carolina that makes 10 to 14 new investments a year. Heivly likened the process of launching a new company to building a childhood fort in the backyard. “As a child you shared the dream without inhibitions or fears, got your friends involved in the project, and scrounged around for materials that were close at hand,” he said. “Together, you had a clear and simple purpose – creating a place where you could have fun.” Turning to Palm Beach County, Heivly said the business community should talk with entrepreneurs and listen to what they need, such as advice, money or space. “You should also try to create places where like-minded entrepreneurs can hang out together,” he added. “That’s often what makes the magic happen.” Later in the luncheon, Heivly moderated a panel discussion with three Palm Beach County entrepreneurs, who provide their own insights.  Christopher William Chilvers, president/founder at MRSA-UV in “I can testify to the benefits of starting small,” he said. “Because my costs were so low, I was in the black by my third sale. Once you get traction, the business can evolve from there.”  Nancy Eichler, vice president with Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle in West Palm Beach, said the business has been one of the fastest growing companies in Florida for several years. “As a startup, we did everything ourselves, from packing boxes to doing photo shoots,” she said. “If you want to be successful, you can’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves.”  Randy Webb, chief operating officer at Source One Distributors, Inc., which supplies products to the armed services and law enforcement agencies. “I had spent 25 years in the hotel business, and decided I wanted to work for myself,” he said. “It was a lot of hard work, but it turned out to be a great decision.”

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From top, Chris Heivly with Christopher Chilvers, leading panel discussion, speaking to attendees, and conversing with Randy Webb and Nancy Eichler.


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Profile for Passport Publications & Media Corporation

Palm Beach County Business Magazine (Summer 2014)  

Palm Beach County Business Magazine (Summer 2014)