Palm Beach County Business | Winter 2021

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Quarterly Economic Development Magazine | Winter 2021

Quantum Foundation


Palm Beach Park of Commerce A DYNAMIC BUSINESS HUB


FLORIDA PUBLIC UTILITIES Putting Natural Gas to Work

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Winter 2021

Quantum Foundation page 6

Palm Beach Park of Commerce page 8

Florida Public Utilities page 14

D E PA R T M E N T S Economic Development by the Numbers page 3

Mary Anne Cannon page 4

Economic Outlook page 5

Amazon’s Growth in Palm Beach County page 11

Shyft Group/Exuma BioTech page 12



Southern California to South Florida page 13

News and Events page 16

County Corner page 17

Palm Beach Kennel Club page 18

Career Source page 19

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from the


Looking Ahead with Optimism

Kelly Smallridge

For Palm Beach County, as well as our state and nation, 2020 has been a year of unexpected challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic reshaped the business, education and health care sectors, as organizations shifted to a work-from-home or hybrid remote/office model. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our essential workers in all industries, who have kept our country running, despite the risks to themselves and their families. Despite the economic headwinds, Palm Beach County has continued to attract new businesses and professional firms, as you see from this issue of Palm Beach County Business. In some cases, the evolving “work-from-anywhere” model has actually accelerated relocation decisions by executives and entrepreneurs seeking a higher quality of life with lower taxes and operating costs. While our county is a particularly appealing destination for firms from the Northeastern states — especially in the middle of winter –— we are also seeing a new investment and relocation path from California businesses. Reflecting that spirit of growth, we are highlighting Palm Beach Park of Commerce, a dynamic hub for logistics and industrial operations, including a new Amazon distribution facility. We are also featuring Florida Public Utilities (FPU), a key contributor to the robust infrastructure supporting the industrial, health care and hospitality sectors, as well as other types of business. Speaking of hospitality, CareerSource Palm Beach County offers a wide range of services to employers and candidates, as you can see in this issue. In addition, this issue includes a feature article that provides an inside look at Quantum Foundation and its many contributions to our community. While we are living among the most challenging times this nation has ever seen, the Business Development Board is counting its blessings during this winter season. With the support of members like you and our Board of County Commissioners, we are continuing forward in the creation of thousands of high-quality jobs for Palm Beach County. We are truly humbled by the trust you place in our BDB team to lead countywide economic development efforts and sincerely wish you and your family a joyous and healthy holiday. As we move into the holiday season, I would like to thank our BDB members, Board of County Commissioners, and community partners for your invaluable support throughout the year. Through your efforts, you have set the stage for another successful year in 2021!

President & CEO 561.835.1008 Ext. 4121 Gary Hines Senior Vice President – Administration 561.835.1008 Ext. 4111 Lisa Anderson Vice President – Private Funding 561.835.1008 Ext. 4110 Kristen Boyd Vice President – Marketing & Media Relations 561.835.1008 Ext. 4106 Shereena Coleman Vice President - Business Facilitation & The Glades Region 561.835.1008 Ext. 4125 Tim Dougher Vice President – Business Recruitment, Retention and Expansion 561.835.1008 Ext. 4131 Sarah Marcadis Vice President - Member Events 561.835.1008 Ext. 4101 Shawn Rowan Vice President – Business Recruitment, Retention and Expansion 561.835.1008 Ext. 4108

Kelly Smallridge President and CEO

Palm Beach County, Florida is Home to 39 Cities and Towns, Including: City of Atlantis City of Belle Glade City of Boca Raton City of Boynton Beach Town of Briny Breezes Town of Cloud Lake City of Delray Beach Town of Glen Ridge Village of Golf City of Greenacres Town of Gulf Stream Town of Haverhill Town of Highland Beach

Town of Hypoluxo Town of Juno Beach Town of Jupiter Town of Jupiter Inlet Colony Town of Lake Clarke Shores Town of Lake Park City of Lake Worth Beach Town of Lantana Town of Loxahatchee Groves Town of Manalapan Town of Mangonia Park Village of North Palm Beach Town of Ocean Ridge

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City of Pahokee Town of Palm Beach City of Palm Beach Gardens Town of Palm Beach Shores Village of Palm Springs City of Riviera Beach Village of Royal Palm Beach City of South Bay Town of South Palm Beach Village of Tequesta Village of Wellington City of Westlake City of West Palm Beach


Passport Publications | passport media group 1555 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., Suite 1550 West Palm Beach, FL 33401 561.472.8778 • Palm Beach County Business Quarterly is published by Passport Publications & Media Corporation, on behalf of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County and the publisher. © 2021 Passport Publications & Media Corporation

Palm Beach County Sees Major Growth Just within the past year, four international companies have announced relocations to Palm Beach County: n V2Techs announced a relocation from the Netherlands to West Palm Beach, transferring its patented technology for electric ships to the United States. n Misfits Gaming, an esports gaming leader, consolidated its operations from Germany and California to Boca Raton. The new global headquarters will employ local college graduates with an average salary of $95,500. n The North West Company, known throughout Canada, selected Boca Raton for its international headquarters. n Nano Dimension, known for technology used in autonomous drones, cars, phones, and vivo medical devices, announced a new United States headquarters in West Palm Beach, originally based in Israel and China.


BEHIND THE GATES A multi-year initiative to attract executives with second homes in Palm Beach County to move their businesses here


EXPEDITED PERMITTING A program to speed up the permitting process for relocating or expanding companies


SHOVEL READY AND MEGA SITE PROGRAM Promoting large sites and lands that are construction-ready for prospects


BDB BUSINESS VISITATION PROGRAM Growing companies in our backyard matters most therefore, we visit the facilities of 100 companies each year


BDB SITE CONSULTANT FAMILIARIZATION TOUR Each year, the BDB brings site location experts to Palm Beach County for a tour of the area’s assets


BDB NON-PROFIT FOUNDATION The Foundation supports educational and programmatic activities that enhance Palm Beach County’s competitiveness

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS: 87 corporate relocations or expansions 7,587 high salary jobs 3.8 million square feet $612.5 million capital investment

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Pratt & Whitney Leader

Mary Anne Cannon By Carey O’Donnell

Back in her Belmar, New Jersey

, middle school, circa 1975, Mary Anne Cannon had no idea that her analytical thinking plus proficiency in math and science was an equation that would eventually place her at the helm of Pratt & Whitney’s 7,000-acre West Palm Beach site, with its 600,000-square-foot research, development and manufacturing plant that produces the most advanced military and commercial aircraft engines in the world. You could say she was propelled into the world of propulsion technology, a path engineered by her first- generation American mother, whose family immigrated from Russia and Lebanon. “If you’d asked me then, I’d have told you in no uncertain terms that I was going to be a marine biologist. My mother had other ideas, though,” Mary Anne laughs. “The Jacques Cousteau thing wasn’t a ‘real job’ back then, and my mother was determined that all five of her children—I’m the oldest, putting me on the front lines of her energy—would be able to succeed independently. She recognized that my abilities in math and science were a ticket to success in engineering, which was also my dad’s profession. I’d say it’s all added up pretty well, despite my initial objections.” No doubt about that. The University of Virginia Darden School of Business graduate, who earned her engineering degree at Stevens Institute of Technology, started her career at Grumman Aerospace back when females in the profession were few. But In 1988, as a college student, Mary Anne and her sister (who is afraid of flying) headed by train to Florida for spring break, rockand-rolling them right past the Pratt & Whitney site in Jupiter. “That was an ‘aha moment’ for me, as the train passed by the plant,” Many Anne recalls. “The possibility of working in sunny Palm Beach County suddenly dawned on me. In no time I had sent my résumé directly to this plant and also applied for one more job—with GE in Schenectady, New York. I landed both positions. You can guess what happened next.” The West Palm site was where she met her engineer husband, Daniel Murphy, and they have a 22-year-old son, Joe, who’s now at

Florida Tech in Melbourne. His academic track most likely, ahem, STEMS from three generations of genetic wiring. Joe is adept at de-coding his mother’s favorite phrases. While she prides herself on being open-minded to all informed perspectives and listens carefully to all reasonable possibilities, Joe says “… when her response to any question is ‘We’ll see,’ take it from me—it’s a no-go.” Her 800 employees know what the bet-hedging phrase means, too. (“Mary Anne, 800 employees? How do you manage?” “Well, I started with two,” she laughs. “You just build up to it, I guess.”) Recognizing the value of input and candid feedback from others is a learned attribute that she got better at over the years, she admits. “It’s one of the most valuable skills I’ve acquired. Letting others pitch ideas and tackle projects that feel like you should or could do yourself greatly expands your bandwidth and ability to get things done. But it’s hard to give up control to an unknown outcome. It all boils down to this: Good people are everything.” Mary Anne was transferred to Pratt’s Hartford, Connecticut, headquarters in 2000 and has only recently returned to Palm Beach County. When asked what the biggest obstacle has been in her life, she finds an effective, engineer-y way to work the answer: “There’s a resolution to everything. You just begin the process of finding it.” The amateur power-lifter—and 2019 local champion—who can deadlift 275 pounds, drop squats shouldering 175 pounds, and bench press 130 says that as she gets older, she increasingly appreciates the high value of low-maintenance friends. “I have some friends who have been pals for 50 years, and even if we don’t talk for a very long time, we pick up instantly. We’re always there for each other, no matter what. Those are the kind of friends I want, even if we haven’t known each other for long. People who just naturally understand me, and vice versa. Quality over quantity.” Figuring I might qualify after 30 minutes on the phone, I ask Mary Anne if I could take a ride in one of those F35s that are powered by the Pratt F135 engine. A dramatic pause ensued. “We’ll see.”


Good People are Everything.“

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Large Hedge Fund Selects West Palm Beach for Corporate Headquarters Elliott Management, a $41 billion hedge fund manager, has selected West Palm Beach for its corporate headquarters. Employing a total of 466 people across the world, the firm is relocating its main office to West Palm Beach from Midtown Manhattan. As most firms on Wall Street continue a work-from-home model, senior executives at Elliott Management purchased homes in Palm Beach County, leading to the decision. The company will join big names already located in the County, such as:

For eight years, the Business Development Board has strategically been targeting financial service firms in the Northeast. Efforts have included the following: n Interviews on national platforms such as Fox News and CNN n National ad campaigns targeting CEOs in the Northeast n Programs like “Behind the Gates”, which target CEOs with second homes in Palm Beach n Directly mailing bold publications such as “Goodbye Wall Street - Hello Palm Beach” n Branding the City of West Palm Beach as the “Flagler Financial District”

Abbot Downing Addison Capital Partners Affiliated Managers Group AM Global Core Fund Atlantic Creek Real Estate Bergen Asset Management BlackRock Blue Sea Capital Blue Water Worldwide III Capital Management Cambridge Capital Capital Asset Management Group Catalus Capital Chilton Trust Company Comvest Partners Convergence Investment Partners Cresset Wealth Partners Cypress Trust Company Dakota Wealth Management Directional Research & Trading, Inc. DRB Capital DRI Fund DSM Capital Partners Ellevest Evercore Wealth Management Family Office Networks Forbes Family Trust Fortress Investment Group GenSpring Family Offices Glenmede Trust Global Trust Asset Management Golden Tree Asset Management Goldman Sachs Company Govic Capital Graham Capital Management Greenwich Wealth Management Grey Value Management, LLC Halite Partners Hamilton Capital HedgeCo Securities

Hunter Global Investors Impala Asset Management Incapital Intech Intech Investment Management Janus Capital Group JP Morgan JVB Financial Kayne Anderson Lawless Edwards and Warren Lee Munder Investments Lighthouse Partners Looking Glass Investments Matrix Private Capital Group Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Mesirow Financial Morgan Stanley MSD Capital Norwest Equity Partners Oppenheimer & Company Otter Creek Management Omega Advisors Palisade Capital Management Palm Beach Capital Priderock Capital Partners RAM Investment Group Red Oak Capital Partners SkyBridge Capital State Trust Sterling Organization Sun Capital Partners, Inc. The Legend Group Theorem Fund Services Third Friday Total Return Fund Tudor Investment Corporation UBS Financial Services Voloridge Investment Management Wexford Capital

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DEDICATED TO HEALTH EQUITY Editor’s note: The Business Development Board recently interviewed Eric Kelly, president of Quantum Foundation, a dynamic nonprofit committed to improving health and wellness for the entire Palm Beach County community. Here are his comments.

Northend RISE 2019 Fall and Holiday Festivities

Northend RISE 2019 Fall and Holiday Festivities

Q. Tell us about the vision of Quantum Foundation.

Q. What are your strategic focus areas?

Kelly: We want the residents of Palm Beach County to experience an optimal quality of life. In our 20-plus years of operating, we have awarded $145 million in community grants to improve health and wellbeing outcomes in Palm Beach County. We have learned valuable lessons from our local partners, experts at the state/national level, and community residents. This continuous learning has led to an evolution of the way we approach our vision. Quality of life goes beyond the traditional view of health care as a medical provider and patient relationship. We know that health happens in the neighborhoods where people work, live, play, and pray, and healthy life outcomes depend on what experts call “social determinants of health,” such as housing, economic opportunities, education, access to excellent health services, and social networks. Addressing these factors holistically is necessary to improve the health of a neighborhood. The clearest model of our work is Northend RISE, a community initiative that has become a signature effort for Quantum Foundation.

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Kelly: Quantum Foundation maintains a strategic focus on improving overall health outcomes in Palm Beach County through datadriven grantmaking. We recently completed a strategic planning process that crystallized our strategic focus as supporting projects that directly ENGAGE residents to make healthy choices, provide residents with ACCESS to health services, and CONNECT public, private, and nonprofit organizations to holistically address the social determinants of health. Clearly not all neighborhoods in Palm Beach County have equitable conditions for good outcomes. Some have painful histories of health disparity – being denied investments and resources – and now need additional support and intervention to achieve optimal well-being. We call this approach viewing through an “equity lens.” As we move forward, we will continue financing the creation of Federally Qualified Health Centers and the school nurse program in the county. We are also evolving our work to address the social determinants of health, which can change the trajectory of outcomes in historically disinvested neighborhoods.

COVID-19 emergency relief efforts of Feeding Palm Beach County

Q. What are the greatest challenges facing Palm Beach County? Kelly: Our greatest challenges are also our greatest opportunities. In 2020, COVID-19 caused enormous challenges in too many industries to name at this moment. Yet this is also a time that we can set a course to “reform the normal,” providing fair and just opportunities for every person to have optimal life outcomes. While COVID-19 presents clear challenges, this pandemic has also given us a 20/20 view of historical equity gaps in life outcomes. Harvard University’s School of Public Health released a statement some years ago saying, “Your zip code is a better predictor of health outcomes than genetic code.” The challenge and opportunity we have right now is to assess our “on-the-ground” realities. For instance, there are 27 census tracts across Palm Beach County in which 20 percent or more of the population has lived in poverty over the past 30 years, according to census data provided through Brown University and PolicyMap. Life expectancy for residents born in those 27 census tracts is 73.8 years, 6.6 years less than the county average of 80.4 years. These gaps exist throughout the county just streets apart and we have both the challenge and opportunity to “reform the normal” for quality of life and life expectancy from one neighborhood to another.

Q. What role is Quantum Foundation taking to address those challenges? Kelly: Quantum Foundation is known for our grantmaking. We distribute $7.5 million annually in qualified funding across Palm Beach County to improve health outcomes. In light of the challenges since early March, the foundation has awarded and deployed $1 million specifically to address basic needs of residents who have been disparately impacted by the pandemic. We have provided funding for resources like food, shelter, and other emergency assistance due to unemployment. Another of our roles is using data to identify neighborhoods hardest hit by the pandemic. Then we quickly released funding to FoundCare health center to provide mobile/pop-up COVID-19 testing in those neighborhoods, which were areas of historical disinvestment.

COVID-19 emergency relief efforts of Feeding Palm Beach County

In addition to our traditional grantmaking, we are also working closely with the county, school district, business community, and other philanthropic agencies to address the digital divide, which has been exacerbated in recent months. In many neighborhoods, children and families lack access to the internet for services like health care, education, and employment. All of these social factors impact the health and well-being of individuals and families, and we are convening groups of residents to address these issues.

Q. How can the business community engage in community issues with Quantum Foundation? Kelly: We encourage the business community to double down on any current financial support being provided to nonprofit and community-based organizations. This is vital for delivering important health and human services. If you are not involved in a specific community project, you can get engaged with Northend RISE, a Quantum Foundationsupported initiative. To learn more or make a contribution, visit Northend RISE is a member of the national Purpose Built Communities model, which focuses on mixed-income housing, cradle- to-college (career) education and wellness. For more information on the national model, visit and consider getting engaged with the local RISE initiative.

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Palm Beach Park of Commerce A Powerful Magnet for Industrial, Office and Retail Businesses With easy access to major expressways, retail services and nearby residential subdivisions, Palm Beach Park of Commerce is one of the state’s most attractive locations for industrial, office and retail businesses.

Today, this dynamic business park in northern Palm Beach County is enjoying a wave of new construction and leasing activity, while capturing the attention of Fortune 500 companies as well as local and regional businesses.

Beeline Commons: A New Retail Center It’s not just industrial development underway at Palm Beach Park of Commerce. A new mixed-use center, Beeline Commons, will be under construction shortly near the entrance to the Beeline Highway. The 9.54-acre development is designed to provide a town center to support the needs of the 70 existing businesses and 4,800 current employees in the Park, plus another 5,000 people who work and live in the immediate neighborhood. “The Pratt Whitney Complex and Palm Beach Park of Commerce have become a major employment center, and with workforce growth comes the need for services like shopping, dining, and hospitality,” said Neil E. Merin, founder and chairman, NAI/Merin Hunter Codman. He added “Beeline Commons features a sit-down restaurant, medical office buildings, a 130-room hotel, as well as room for two fast food sites and a convenience store.” The firm is handling retail leasing and has partnered with Palm Beach Investment Property, LLC, to bring two 2,200-square-foot quick-service restaurants and a 5,600square-foot gas station/convenience store to the development. “We are proud to partner with Beeline Commons in assisting to fill the needs of thousands of people who work in and around the Palm Beach Park of Commerce,” said Mr. Merin.

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In August, Amazon announced it had chosen Palm Beach Park of Commerce for a 1 million-plus-square-foot fulfillment center—its third in Palm Beach County. Two months later, the Shyft Group, a specialty vehicle company, announced it would open a new facility in the park. (See related stories in this issue.) Located in Jupiter off the Beeline Highway, Palm Beach Park of Commerce is ideally







and to

Christopher Thomson, executive director, industrial brokerage, Cushman & Wakefield, West Palm Beach. “This is one of the few parks in South Florida that allows the sale of the land for larger users, such as corporate headquarters or campus facilities,” said Thomson. “We

have about 200 acres still available, with sites

back in the 1980s to service the north county’s

heavy or general industrial, as well high-tech

ranging from 2 to 42 acres, and several

aviation and aerospace sector, according to

manufacturing and distribution.

Fortune 500 companies are looking at the

Thomson. It was also recognized as a natural

Along with offering sites for sale, the new

park for build-to-suit facilities.”

location for warehousing and distribution

developer has constructed and sold a 220,000-

facilities, including a major Walgreens facility

square-foot speculative building whose major

that was completed in the 1990s.

tenants include Niagara Bottling and Spartan

Additional development plans include a retail complex called Beeline Commons, Surf Ranch Wave Pool, a four-story medical office

In 2014, a new developer purchased the

Motors. “Currently we have about 70,000

building, and a 75,000-square-foot, 120-

vacant land property, and the pace of

square feet available,” said Thomson. “We

room hotel.

development began to accelerate. Since then,

have interest from potential tenants who are

several major parcels have been sold to

interested in large to midsize blocks of space.”

park—which is managed by CBRE—can



Given the success the developer had with their

accommodate up to 6.5 million square feet of

warehouse site for McLane Company, an

first speculative building, a second building is

industrial, office and retail space. It is the

affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway; a 41-acre site

largest remaining fully entitled parcel of

for Niagara Bottling; and an 18-acre parcel for

developable industrial land in South Florida,

Mountain Production, a concert staging

with highway access to 13.75 million people


The 1,300-acre master-planned business




in a one-day, there-and-back drive. Palm

All parcels at the park are fully entitled,

Beach Park of Commerce also enjoys a direct

and any wetland issues have already been

rail link with the Port of Palm Beach.

mitigated, Thomson said. There is flexible

The business park was originally developed

zoning as well, so the park can accommodate

This is one of the few parks in South Florida that allows the sale of the land for LARGER USERS, such as CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS or CAMPUS FACILITIES. — Christopher Thomson

under development, which will be a 200,000square-foot institution building ready for tenants from 30,000 to 200,000 square feet in late 2021. Palm Beach Park of Commerce also offers outdoor storage, which is particularly attractive to automobile, truck and recreational vehicle (RV) businesses. “Today there is a ton of activity throughout Palm Beach Park of Commerce,” said Thomson. “It’s exciting to go out there and see all the energy and excitement.”

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Palm Beach Park of Commerce Directory AEROSPACE Cyient, Inc. CYIENT Defense Services, Inc. Element Materials PSI Manufacturing Operations

Next Level Distribution Natural Armor Palm Coast Sales, Inc. Pyrotechnico Scotter the Artist Walgreens

AUTOMOTIVE 4 Points Market & Eatery Beeline Tire & Auto Repair Inter-Rail Transport of Palm Center RJS Racing Seatbelt Solutions Strobes R Us Total Distribution Services, Inc.

CONSTRUCTION Alloy Cladding American Engineering & Development The Closet Clinic Crowther Roofing and Sheet Metal of FL Designs by Fardella Hardscapes KGMT, LLC Meridian Contract Glazing Oceanside Masonry Powerserve Technologies United Rentals

DISTRIBUTION A-1 Moving & Storage Amazon Biochem Manufacturing Health Restorations IM Management Lea Machine Fire & Safety Equipment LED Mast MMATS Pro Audio

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MANUFACTURING CV Technology FIMCO Manufacturing Garlington Landeweer Yachts Graflex, Inc. Motivational Tubing Niagara Bottling SMARTech Industries ST Machine Vetio Animal Health Xylem, Inc.

OTHER GDP Promotion Mountain Productions Northeastern Riggers Suncoast Carpet Cleaning

TELECOMMUNICATION American Tower AT&T Cell Tower Jade Communications Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited Precision Contracting Services Verizon Wireless

UTILITY Amerigas Florida Power & Light

Amazon to Build Third Facility in Palm Beach County Amazon is planning to build a 1-million-square-foot fulfillment center for large items in northern Palm Beach County. The facility would be located in the Palm Beach Park of Commerce, creating 300 jobs. AZ Palm Beach FL Landlord, an affiliate of SunTrust Equity Funding, purchased the 99.9-acre site at 14490 Corporate Road specifically to host the Amazon facility. It was approved for 974,500 square feet of warehouse space, 25,500 square feet of offices and 578 parking spaces. The county’s planning and building department expedited the permit for the company, a process that typically takes a year. Amazon said it plans to open the facility in fall 2021. This will be Amazon’s third facility that the Business

Development Board has worked on bringing to Palm Beach County. It has other centers in Boca Raton and West Palm Beach. n Fulfillment Center – the 1-million-square-foot facility in unincorporated Jupiter will have a $65 million capital investment n Distribution Center – the 75,000-square-foot distribution center in Boca Raton announced 150 jobs earlier this year n Delivery Station – the 96,000-square-foot delivery station in West Palm Beach created 375 jobs “Amazon is proud to serve customers across Florida, and we are excited to open a new fulfillment center in Palm Beach County,” said Melissa Nick, Amazon’s director of worldwide AMXL corporate operations. “Our growth in Florida is the result of an outstanding workforce, strong local support, and incredible customers, and we are pleased to add hundreds of new jobs to the more than 30,000 Amazonians already working in the state,” said Nick.

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Companies Grow During Pandemic

THE SHYFT GROUP to Open New Facility in Jupiter The Shyft Group, a North American leader in specialty vehicle manufacturing and assembly for the commercial, retail, and service vehicle markets, has announced plans to open an additional facility in Jupiter. The Shyft Group will lease 35,000 square feet of newly constructed commercial space in the Palm Beach Park of Commerce. With 30,000 square feet built as warehouse and 5,000 square feet for office space, the company plans to convert the building to a vehicle assembly and upfit facility, bringing approximately 40 new highly skilled jobs to the area, as it continues to grow. The new Palm Beach facility joins The Shyft Group’s existing 15,000 square foot Strobes-R-Us Florida facility in Pompano Beach.

The Business Development Board, alongside Palm Beach County, assisted The Shyft Group with expedited permitting, and made additional introductions to Palm Beach County’s business community. Cushman Wakefield and Urban Design Kilday Studios helped the BDB bring this new build-to-suit facility to the Palm Beach Park of Commerce. “The Shyft Group’s Strobes-R-Us brand has been a staple supplier for South Florida first responders across federal, state, and local government agencies for decades,” said Daryl Adams, president and CEO, The Shyft Group. “In addition to the BDB, I would like to thank the entire Strobes team for their commitment to the business. The leadership team and I are extremely proud of their continued success.”

EXUMA Biotech Opens New West Palm Beach Lab EXUMA Biotech

, a clinical-stage biotechnology company discovering and developing chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell products and delivery solutions for liquid and solid tumors, is opening a new 6,500-square-foot West Palm Beach laboratory.

enjoy our relationship with the local biotech community and our neighbors in West Palm. We are truly excited about the R&D being done in cell therapy through our global operations and the potential therapies for cancer’s most critical patients.”

“While it was challenging to build this lab during the COVID-19

In the fight against cancer, EXUMA’s global teams are collaborating

pandemic, we are grateful that the Business Development Board of

to develop a first-of-its-kind “off the shelf” treatment, making same-

Palm Beach County was able to assist us in getting the lab up and

day CAR-T a reality for all cancer patients. The new West Palm Beach

running in record time without any major setbacks,” said EXUMA

location recently hired Dr. Sid Kerkar, vice president of oncology and

Biotech Chairman and CEO Dr. Gregory Frost, Ph.D. “We continue to

R&D, to oversee the biotech developments in Palm Beach County.

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Californians Value

Palm Beach County’s The Trend is Real n U.S. metro residents are showing an increased appetite for suburban homes, a trend brought about by the desire for more space and the flexibility to work from home, according to n A Redfin survey reported that 50 percent of respondents from New York, Seattle, San Francisco and Boston said they would move if the option of working from home becomes permanent. n New contracts on single-family homes are significantly up in every price bracket in markets like Palm Beach County, according to a report from Miller Samuel appraisal firm and real estate brokerage Douglas Elliman. n Contracts for homes worth $1 million and above increased by 109.4 percent from June 2019 to June 2020, according to the two firms.

Attractive Business Climate


the growing number of Californians choosing Palm Beach County as a new corporate headquarters location. “The business climate and lower taxes here are very attractive to Californians,” said Gerrity, founder and CEO,, a recent Business Development Board corporate relocation announcement., based in Irvine, California, is the world’s largest online international real estate listings search platform with more than 2.3 million property postings per month from more than 90 different countries. The property technology company recently chose West Palm Beach for its East Coast sales and marketing headquarters. “We could be anywhere in Florida, but Palm Beach County has the lifestyle, the financial talent and the technology base for us to grow our company,” Gerrity said. He noted that the company plans to hire additional local sales staff in the coming year, consisting of digital sales and marketing teams to service thousands of real estate clients along the entire eastern half of the U.S. The company might hire more platform technology and product development staff in the future. It’s not just Gerrity who sees the growth opportunities in Palm Beach County. According to the U.S. Postal Service: n Data suggests a big population decrease in San Francisco, California n Palm Beach County is the No. 2 out-of-state destination for residents leaving San Francisco n The United States Postal Service received 124,131 change-of-address requests originating in San Francisco zip codes between March and November 2020 To support the county’s connections with California, JetBlue recently began daily nonstop service from Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). “We are excited to welcome Los Angeles service to PBI,” said Laura Beebe, director of airports for the Palm Beach County Department of Airports. “Los Angeles has historically been a destination that is in high demand with our customers, so we are thrilled with the new JetBlue service.”

Allie Kirschner

Palm Beach County, a Playground for Millennials Palm Beach County is the new South Florida playground for workoriented Millennials. “This is a great place to call home,” said Allie Kirschner, 25. “Palm Beach County is an up-and-coming gem with plenty of room to breathe. There are countless restaurants, an insanely varied nightlife and tons of opportunities for professionals seeing a rewarding career.” Kirschner is part of a growing demographic trend, as Millennial singles, couples and families — born between 1982 and 2000 — choose Palm Beach County for personal and professional reasons. “You can get all the perks of city life for much less than in larger metropolitan areas,” said Kirschner, who is marketing director for Passport Media Group in West Palm Beach. A recent Business Development Board (BDB) analysis of U.S. Census data indicates: n Nearly 30 percent of Palm Beach County’s population is in the

20-to-44-year-old age range n This population is larger than any other segment in Palm Beach County n 26 percent were in the 45 to 64 group n 23 percent were over age 65 n About 22 percent of the county’s 1.44 million population in 2018 was under age 20 n The 20-to-44-year-old group increased by 8.5 percent between 2010 and 2018 n This increase amounted to a 32,686 population gain n That same year, the county’s median age was 44.6 years Today, Palm Beach County offers both urban and suburban lifestyles that attract recent college graduates, young entrepreneurs and Millennials in their 20s to 40s.

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Florida Public Utilities Company

Putting Reliable Natural Gas to Work Natural gas delivers big benefits for Palm Beach County businesses of all sizes, from hospitals to restaurants to manufacturing and other industrial operations. FPUC provides natural gas and propane service to residential, commercial and industrial markets in a growing number of Palm Beach locations, including Palm Beach Park of Commerce.

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“If you’re planning a new facility, there’s no better time to discover the benefits of safe, reliable natural gas for housing complexes, restaurants and bars, gyms, hotels, salons and spas, medical facilities, retirement homes and more,” said Ben Semchuck, Florida Public Utilities’ Statewide Growth and Retention Manager. As a subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, FPUC serves much of the state directly and through a network of “energy partners” that install and maintain energy-efficient gas appliances in homes and businesses. Natural gas can be used to heat water and buildings, operate refrigeration and cooling equipment, cook and fry food, and dry clothing and linens. In addition, there are natural gas equipment rebates that reduce upfront costs. With superior features and benefits—including hurricaneready reliability—natural gas offers cost-effective energy to businesses, leading to happier, more satisfied customers.

Serving the County’s Builders Natural gas is an economical energy choice for Palm Beach County builders. With natural gas, you can minimize upfront costs during the construction phase while providing a comfortable, reliable, cleaner energy option that increases demand. Currently, FPUC has more than 10,000 home sites in Palm Beach County committed to using natural gas to provide energy for an array of indoor and outdoor gas-fueled amenities. According to the American Gas Association, 85 percent of homebuyers prefer natural gas. When you build with natural gas, you’re building more comfort, reliability and savings into the home.

Propelling Vehicle Fleets Thanks to its price stability, lower maintenance costs and reduced emissions, natural gas is quickly becoming a preferred transportation fuel for fleets of all sizes. Natural gas currently fuels 20 percent of all U.S. transit buses and 60 percent of all garbage trucks, according to the American Gas Association. Many schools, municipalities and businesses across the country are converting their bus fleets to cleaner-burning natural gas. Compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) can be used in all classes of vehicles, from motorcycles and cars to commercial vans, light and heavy-duty trucks, buses, lift trucks, locomotives and ships. In fact, the newest natural gas engines with near-zero emissions technology produce 90 percent fewer nitric oxide (NOx) emissions than the current standard.

Delivering Community Support Recognizing the importance of the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and math) to the future of Palm Beach County, FPUC was a sponsor for the 2020 National Engineers Week Honors & Awards Banquet hosted by the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County (BDB). “We are actively involved with the BDB’s economic development initiatives, in partnership with other public and private-sector organizations throughout the county,” said

Ben Semchuck. “It is part of our commitment to do all we can to support the communities in which we serve, work and reside.” This year, FPUC was community sponsor for the 2020 Progress Palm Beach County event produced by the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce, sponsor for the “Careers in Energy” event produced by the Florida Energy Workforce Consortium, and supporter of the Palm Beach County Education Foundation. “Our team members support United Way, the March for Babies (March of Dimes) for over 20 years, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. FPUC also regularly participates in walks and events in support of many other local organizations and charities,” said Kira Lake, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation’s Director of Growth and Retention, adding that FPUC was presenting sponsor for Little Smiles’ Stars Ball 2020 and community sponsor for the Fourth of July fireworks for the City of Okeechobee, among other civic activities. “We also believe that embracing diversity cultivates innovation and enhances our ability to deliver superior results,” said Kira Lake. “That’s why we promote inclusivity to ensure all people and ideas are treated with the respect they deserve.”

Encouraging ‘Green’ Living Renewable natural gas (RNG) plays an important role in helping bring substantial economic and environmental benefits today, while also assisting in the future of natural gas. ecomposing organic matter produces methane—a potent greenhouse gas. Through the biogas upgrade process, methane can be captured then processed and purified into pipeline-quality renewable natural gas. RNG is then transported to seamlessly complement and mix with traditional natural gas delivered by local distribution companies to end-use customers, substantially lowering the carbon footprint of the entire system while reducing impacts of greenhouse gas emissions. Marlin Gas Services, a subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, is one of the country’s leading providers of virtual pipeline solutions for gas utilities, pipeline companies, industrial facilities, and other markets across the United States. Visit to view their full list of service offerings. “We encourage green living in many other ways,” said Scott Ranck, Florida Public Utilities’ Manager, Energy Conservation. “We believe that educating our business and residential customers about the benefits of conserving energy and energy-efficiency is one of the most vital services we can provide.” Scott added that FPUC continually looks for ways to expand its energy conservation efforts and help customers find ways to reduce energy usage. “As a local, trusted energy provider, FPUC is committed to helping you conserve energy, save money and enjoy the highest level of comfort—no matter what’s in your energy mix.” If you have questions, or would like more information regarding natural gas service and applications, please contact Ben Semchuck at: or call 863.289.7608.

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NEWS TBC Corporation Opens New Office Building

TBC Corporation (TBC), one of North America’s largest marketers of automotive replacement tires, will now join fellow Palm Beach Gardens corporate team members in a new office building at the organization’s headquarters campus. TBC is the parent company to Florida-based Tire Kingdom Service Centers, NTB Tire & Service Centers, Big O Tires and Midas. The four-story, 61,000-square-foot building known as TBC South, was completed in October. It comes on the heels of the completion of the 5,830-square-foot state-of-the-art TBC Learning Center, which serves as a forum for learning and innovation in a classroom environment for an interactive, innovative and collaborative experience.

Economist Says Managing COVID


Marketing Agency Selects Palm Beach County Moving Minds, a global on-demand marketing and technology agency, has chosen to relocate to West Palm Beach from Jacksonville. The award-winning marketing consultancy enables clients to get to market faster and smarter with “Growth as a Managed Service,” an agile #martech model designed for CXOs. From one to many, Moving Minds builds fractional marketing teams on demand to support clients’ growth initiatives and revenue attainment goals. Founded in 2006, Moving Minds serves a global roster of clients ranging from early-stage venture-backed startups to the largest Fortune 500 companies in technology, health care, financial services and digital services, including Siemens, Citi, Schweiger Dermatology, HealthSouth, Axogen, Norwest Venture Partners, MasterCard and Jupiter Medical Center. “We are thrilled to call Palm Beach County the new home of Moving Minds,” said Lou Hughes, CEO. “West Palm Beach gives us greater proximity to a talented, highly educated marketing, creative and technology workforce. West Palm Beach also offers Moving Minds the perfect destination address for our headquarters so that we may continue to attract world-class clients from all over the world.”

Gift of Life Opens New Lab

Will Be Key to Recovery

Mark Hoffman, head of portfolio management at PNC Bank, spoke at a virtual BDB event about investing in a time of uncertainty. “Don’t try to time the market. Set your goals over the long term and be disciplined.” He added that large-cap stocks may continue to do well going into 2021, while fixed-income bond returns will be low for an extended period. From a national perspective, Gus Faucher, chief economist, PNC, said the U.S. economy has been able to rebound after the sudden downturn in March and April. For example: n 7.9 percent unemployment rate in September compared with 14.7 percent in April n 11.4 million jobs added since April, although 22 million jobs were lost this spring n 10 percent drop in housing starts in September, versus 40 percent drop in February n 6 percent drop in auto sales, compared with 50 percent drop in February

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Last year, Gift of Life Marrow Registry became the first registry in the world to operate an in-house stem cell collection center right here in Boca Raton. Recently, it announced the first-of-its-kind Center for Cell and Gene Therapy. The BDB congratulates this 17,465-squarefoot global headquarters and BDB member!

COUNTYCORNER The Palm Beach County Economic Environment: Reflections on 2020 and the Outlook Ahead


he Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners prioritizes economic development by driving the creation of employment opportunities while reducing disparities and improving quality of life in Palm Beach County. 2020 posed unique challenges and opportunities to the Palm Beach County business community. In response to COVID-19, the Board took aggressive action to shift economic development efforts towards the preservation and recovery of existing Palm Beach County businesses adversely impacted by COVID-19. Small business owners in particular faced highly difficult circumstances including service limitations and closures. In response, the Board approved a sizeable portion of the County’s $261 million allocation of federal CARES Act dollars to support the Restart Business grant program. Since the program’s May 2020 launch, more than 5,000 businesses have received over $78 million in grants to support their preservation and recovery in the face of COVID-19. Small businesses were prioritized by the County, resulting in a wide variety of small businesses receiving grants, including: hair and nail salons; bars, restaurants, and other food service providers; gyms and fitness studios; brickand-mortar stores; and professional services including accountants and attorneys. More than 95 percent of grantee businesses have 25 employees or less; and more than 70 percent have $250,000 or less in annual gross receipts or sales. For nearly 60 percent of grantee businesses, the Palm Beach County grant was the only COVID-related grant or forgivable loan relief they received. The County’s stable labor force and relatively low unemployment rate in 2019 fluctuated in 2020. The labor force shrank from a high of 742,269 in February 2020 to a low of 653,719 in April 2020, while the unemployment rate was at a low of 3 percent in February 2020 and a high of 14.1 percent in May 2020. In August 2020, the labor force began increasing, and unemployment rates began decreasing. We expect this trend to continue in 2021. Palm Beach County ranks 131st of 3,142 counties nationwide for industry diversity in a study conducted by Emsi Economic Modeling. Much of the stability experienced in 2019 was a result of the county’s industry diversity. The county’s top 5 industry sectors—professional and business services; trade, transportation, and utilities; education and health services; leisure and hospitality; and government—all experienced year-over-year job losses from 2019 to 2020. The hospitality and leisure industry experienced the greatest job loss as a result of COVID-19: 16,800 jobs lost, equivalent of 24 percent of the sector’s employed labor force. All sectors started to show a recovery in jobs as of September 2020. The hospitality and leisure industry showed the

By Sherry Howard, Deputy Director Palm Beach County Department of Housing and Economic Sustainability

largest recovery, with 5,500 jobs recovered from September to October 2020. Although COVID-19 critically impacted the county’s business and economic environment, there were some economic development constants in 2020. The County continued its Business Loan Program, offering gap financing with favorable terms. To date, Business Loan Program borrowers have created more than 2,116 new jobs in Palm Beach County. During the pandemic, 10 loans were closed. These borrowers are expected to create 28 jobs and support their loan-funded projects with $2.96 million in additional capital investments. More than 13,000 small businesses received a variety of technical assistance such as business plan development, credit repair, and licensing through the County’s Department of Housing and Economic Sustainability and services provided through the County’s contracted economic development partners. The County’s Office of Equal Business Opportunity certified 656 small, minority or women-owned businesses to serve as vendors providing goods and services to Palm Beach County. And the County’s construction industry is outpacing 2019 both in permitting issuance and capital investment. Our economic vision for Palm Beach County in 2021 is focused on recovery while at the same time continuing to attract new businesses and diversify our industry base. We expect the hospitality and leisure industry to experience some recovery over the next 24 to 36 months through the promotion of the health and safety of the county’s beaches, environmental areas, parks, and open-air recreational spaces. The Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners knows the county’s path to full economic recovery will be challenging. But the Board is committed to implementing and refining economic development strategies for a robust economic recovery. To learn more about the Department of Housing & Economic Sustainability, or any of the County’s economic development and business investment programs, please contact me at 561-233-3600 or

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Reinventing the

PALM BEACH KENNEL CLUB! Palm Beach Kennel Club is racing into the New Year. Although live greyhound events concluded December 31, the longtime West Palm Beach venue will continue to offer poker, simulcast betting, and dining at two restaurants, while hosting special events. “We have been here for nearly 90 years, and we will continue to contribute to the vitality of our community,” said Pat Rooney, president. “We are exploring options such as hosting business events on our centrally located property.” For instance, Palm Beach Kennel Club (PBKC) hosted a school supply drive this fall and loaned a portion of its parking lot to Amazon for delivering products to the region’s residents. Palm Beach Kennel Club opened its doors in 1932, introducing greyhound racing and pari-mutuel wagering to Palm Beach County. An estimated crowd of 4,000 attended opening night with 24 mutuel windows to accommodate the jampacked grandstands. Through the decades, an estimated 45 million attendees have come through the turnstiles at PBKC, located at 1111 N. Congress Avenue, wagering billions of dollars. In 1970, the track was purchased by Arthur J. Rooney, Sr. and his five sons: Dan, Art Jr., Tim, Pat and John. The Rooney Family also owns the Pittsburgh Steelers, six-time NFL champions. PBKC was granted year-round racing in 1987, and in 1991 simulcast wagering was introduced. Last year, there were 310 racing days, 412 live performances with $61.8 million bet on track and $134.6 million wagered on PBKC greyhounds. Since 1997, The Poker Room has been one of PBKC’s biggest draws. In 2011 the Poker Room made history as the first non-casino to host World Series of Poker Circuit Events, and today it is still one of Florida’s largest poker rooms. PBKC has also played a major role in the community in terms of economic and social contributions. Last year, PBKC employed 520 with a payroll of $16.6 million, and the 12 contracted kennels earned $3.9 million in purses. The State of Florida and Palm Beach County received $4.7 million in pari-mutuel, Poker Room and other taxes, and over $10 million was spent on goods and services. PBKC has also donated millions to charity and scholarship organizations since 1932. Last year, $498,552 was distributed to worthy organizations. Four greyhound adoption groups received $78,742 in funds and support, and the Poker Room hosted 10 charity tournaments, raising $83,215 for local charities. In addition, since 2001, the Rooney’s Golf Foundation has donated $1,030,441 to local organizations.

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Pat Rooney, President


Serving Palm Beach County’s Hospitality Industry Serving The Ben Bernardo Neto, general manager of The Ben West Palm Beach, comments on CareerSource Palm Beach County’s services. Q. How long have you been working with The Ben? A. Since March 2019 to plan the opening of The Ben in February 2020.

Q. What services did CareerSource PBC provide? A. CareerSource helped us with the opening job fair and the ongoing task of finding top talent for our open positions.

Q. Who have you worked with at our company? A. Robin Parsons, Recruiter and Michael Corbit, Vice President, Business Development

Palm Beach County’s hospitality industry encompasses the region’s restaurants and hotels as well as the broader travel, tourism and recreation sectors. Employing more than 100,000 people, hospitality is one of the largest job creators and economic contributors in Palm Beach County, accounting for one out of 12 jobs. For many years, CareerSource Palm Beach County has offered a wide range of employment services to the region’s hospitality businesses, from job fairs for new properties, to candidate searches for managerial and professional positions. Fortunately, Palm Beach County has a large talent pool of

Q. How do you feel about the quality of the work that was performed?

individuals with the skills and experience to help employers

A. Best in class, always able to personalize to our needs, and

fact, the hospitality industry offers residents a wide variety of

they do all the sourcing of each position.

occupations, including food service, event planners, finance,

Q. How has The Ben benefited from CareerSource’s PBC services?

serve their customers and meet their business objectives. In

hostesses, chefs, marketing, customer service, housekeeping, concierge, maintenance, management, human resources,

A. They are true partners and focus on listening to the skill sets

recreation, valet, security and more. The hospitality industry

needed for each position.

also offers a virtually unlimited career path for those interested

Q. What would you say to someone else who is considering our service?

in providing superior customer service. At CareerSource we help people find employment in

A. Trust the process and spend time providing detailed information

many of these jobs, along with available training through our

on each position.

educational partner institutions offering industry professional

Q. What have our services done for your business? A. You have helped the managers spend more time on the floor,

certifications. We invite you to learn about our services to employers

as they know the CareerSource team is working hard to get them

and job candidates as Palm Beach County’s hospitality industry

the best talent available in the county.

moves forward into the New Year.

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A Leader in the Hospitality Sector Roger Amidon, general manager, Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa, has been a leader in Palm Beach County’s hospitality sector for many years. Here are his thoughts about CareerSource PBC. “CareerSource Palm Beach County has provided exceptional assistance with our hiring needs, including informative webinars,” said Amidon, who has been general manager of the resort for nine years. “The biggest benefit is being able to hire good quality employees who are provided with support from CareerSource Palm Beach County to be successful in their new roles.” Amidon praised the work of Dr. Elsa DeGoias, disability services manager, and Yahaira Battiata, career consultant, disability services, for their assistance in meeting the hotel’s talent requirements. Speaking to other hospitality leaders, Amidon said, CareerSource Palm Beach County’s service is a win-win for the resort and employees. “Our resort benefits by hiring great workers, and the community benefits by offering individuals with disabilities a platform to become self-sufficient. We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with CareerSource Palm Beach County and thank them for all they do for employers and the community.”

Central Career Center 3400 Belvedere Road West Palm Beach, FL 33406 561.340.1060

West Career Center 1085 S. Main St. Belle Glade, FL 33430 561.829.2040

Connecting business with talent |

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Roger Amidon

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