On Friday, October 12, Emerge Tampa Bay held its Young Professionals Summit at the Hillsborough Community College – Ybor Campus. More than 100 young professionals and community and business leaders gathered to discuss five different industry sectors affecting economic development in the Tampa Bay region, including urban growth and the environment, medical technology and healthcare research, entrepreneurship and high-tech, cultural impact and education.
As a result of the YP Summit, Emerge Tampa Bay’s 2013 policy priority is to improve the engagement of young professionals with Tampa Bay area civic and elected leaders by regularly inviting these leaders to young professionals meetings and likewise, ensure young professionals are attending public meetings.
The event kicked off with a Set the Stage Panel Discussion that was moderated by Doug Pace, Bayshore Solutions. Panelists were:
- Stuart Rogel, Tampa Bay Partnership
- Rick Homans, Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation
- Mike Meidel, Pinellas County Economic Development
- Bob Rohrlack, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce
- Kelly Miller, Tampa Bay & Company
After a discussion of what economic development means for the region, attendees split up to attend two of the five different breakout sessions, which were moderated by Emerge Tampa Bay members and featured subject-matter experts to help lead discussions.
- Urban Growth/Environment – Mark House, The Beck Group; David Singer, Singer & O’Donniley
- Medical Technology and Healthcare Research – Chris Paradies, Fowler White Boggs; Prem Thomas, Sagene Pharmaceuticals; Matt Marshall, HCA West Florida
- Entrepreneurship and High Tech – Linda Olson, Tampa Bay WaVE; Nathan Schwagler, USF St. Petersburg; Steve Tingiris, Enthusum
- Cultural Impact – Hampton Dohrman, Creative Pinellas/Philanthropic Young Tampa; Jim Porter, Adams & Reese LLP; Michael Kilgore, The Straz Center
- Education – Rob Wolf, Hillsborough Community College; Phil Jones, Hillsborough Education Foundation
After the breakout sessions, attendees reconvened together to vote on the top priorities for Emerge to focus on in the 2013 program year. Using real-time text voting technology via www.polleverywhere.com, attendees quickly narrowed down 30 topline recommendations that resulted from the breakout sessions into a top three list.
- Improve the engagement of young professionals with Tampa Bay area civic and elected leaders by regularly inviting these leaders to young professionals meetings and likewise, ensure young professionals are attending public meetings.
- Reemphasize transportation issues, with particular attention on light rail. Inform the public of the real benefits through advocacy.
- Build a comprehensive mixed-use office, events and co-working space to create a home base for entrepreneurship start-ups.
Following this successful YP Summit, Emerge Tampa Bay looks forward to implementing these policy priorities for 2013 and making a meaningful impact on the region. A big thanks to our event sponsors for helping make this YP Summit a success!