BEDC BEGAN WITH A FOCUS GROUP

With the economy stumbling throughout the United States, and worldwide economic forces affecting local business, the business leaders of Bartow recognize that we must improve our competitiveness in order to survive and thrive in the next decade. Bartowans are very protective of their community to the point that some see economic development as a threat to the identity of the community. However, economic growth is the only way to ensure that costs for the community’s public services, necessary to support and enhance a community’s quality of life, remain affordable. To that end, the leaders of the Bartow business community – namely, the members of the Greater Bartow Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100 and City of Bartow officials – have partnered to evaluate the current economic development status in Bartow, and develop a proactive plan to improve the local business climate. This plan is meant to support the City of Bartow’s recently completed Strategic Plan.

In early September, 2011, initial meetings were conducted to introduce the project, with Rich Thompson as moderator. From those initial meetings, five areas were selected as opportunities from which to advance an Economic Development Initiative. Steering committees were selected and directed to meet on each subject area. These meetings took place from September 28 through December 14, 2011. The Steering Committees addressed the following subject areas:

Marketing
Municipal and Business Infrastructure
Education and Workforce Development
Community Culture and Community Services
Regional Impacts

Each of these subcommittees was populated by business members and government staff as necessary, based on interest in that group. Some participants were on more than one committee. In addition, numerous additional members were present or invited from the community to participate. Each person who attended these meetings are acknowledged at the end of this document.

 

Consistency with the City Strategic Plan

City Manager George Long is charged with the preparation and implementation of a Strategic Plan for the City of Bartow operations. The plan incorporates one, five, and 15-year milestones. The overall vision and mission of the city is to improve the quality of life of Bartow residents, with the Economic Development Initiative supporting the Strategic Plan. As this Economic Development Initiative (EDI) is finalized, consistency with the City Strategic Plan is vital if both are to achieve their respective purpose(s). Additionally, it is vital that all public and private agencies/organizations such as the City, Chamber of Commerce, CRA, Main Street Bartow, as well as other civic organizations work in harmony in order for the EDI to succeed.

 


Large Scale Drivers Of Economic Activity

Several currently existing or coming economic drivers were identified that can help with job creation, economic diversification, and quality of life in Bartow.

•    CSX Integrated Logistics Center (ILC) – Located just east of Bartow’s city limits, the CSX Integrated Logistics Center (ILC) will be built by Evansville Western Railway, a subsidiary of CSX, and be a centralized hub of transportation, logistics and goods distribution anchored by a new rail-based intermodal and automotive terminal. Within the terminal facility, containers will be transferred from rail to truck (inbound) and truck to rail (outbound). In addition, vehicles will be unloaded and positioned for transfer to retail sales locations. The other important part of the ILC concept is the planned development of distribution centers, warehouses, light manufacturing and offices in proximity to the terminal facility.

•    Central Florida Parkway – This project will link all the small towns east of Bartow, and will link the Polk Parkway with State Road 60.

•    Polk State College/Clear Springs Advanced Technology Center – This economic opportunity represents a public/private partnership between Clear Springs and Polk State College that will strengthen and grow both business and education in the region. The advanced technology center is a planned $24-million facility based on a $12-million donation by Stan Phelps, Chairman of Clear Springs, and a $12-million match being sought through the State of Florida Facility Enhancement Challenge Grant Program. In addition to the $12-million donation, Mr. Phelps has donated 20 acres of land for the facility. Quality of workforce is one of the first questions companies ask when they consider locating or expanding a facility. Workforce training at the Advanced Technology Center will address a critical industry need in high-wage, high-skill training and will provide companies across Florida and throughout the country with a much-needed, highly-qualified workforce pool.

•    Bartow City Airport and Industrial Park – The airport supports small and mid-sized aircraft and supports instrumented approaches. It is frequently used (50,000 aircraft operations per year) by local business and industries with national interests, and is considered a reliever airport for the annual Sun ‘n Fun fly-in each April in Lakeland. The new, beautiful terminal has excellent meeting and restaurant facilities. The Industrial Park supports chemical processing, light manufacturing, materials handling, and a host of other business sectors. Aircraft maintenance and fueling are offered as well.

•    Legoland – The tourism industry will greatly increase its presence in Polk County due to the arrival of Legoland, Florida. The Economic Development committee believes that history tourism can piggyback on existing tourism in Polk and surrounding counties, with the Polk County Historical Museum, located within the old Polk County Courthouse, being the key facility in Bartow.

•    Streamsong Resort – As one of Central Florida’s largest landowners, with approximately 250,000 acres under direct ownership, Mosaic plans to extend its land stewardship into building a destination resort that showcases the environmental beauty and commercial viability of reclaimed land, creating more than 200 permanent jobs in the process. Mosaic is the resort owner, but will hire an experienced resort management company to operate and manage the entire resort. This will include the hiring and training of employees prior to the resort’s anticipated opening in fall 2013. Given the fact that the resort opening is well over a year away, hiring of employees will be gradual and in stages as the construction nears completion. The resort will open in two phases. The golf courses, the golf clubhouse and its associated meeting and dining facilities are expected to open in late 2012. The main lodge, conference center and all other resort amenities are expected to begin welcoming guests in fall 2013. It is anticipated that the two golf courses and clubhouse facilities will be open in the fall of 2012.

•    Historical Drivers – Historically, the main industries that have propelled and sustained Bartow’s economy have included phosphate and related businesses, citrus and agriculture. These businesses will continue to impact the city, although as phosphate mining moves south and away from the city, this industry will impact less in the future. It is further noted that county and state government has played – and will continue to play – a big role in Bartow’s economy. Good relations with governmental entities should be a priority for Bartow in order to retain these operations. As a result, Bartow businesses will continue to benefit from the influx of thousands of county and state workers.

 

External Markets

The top three external markets include Site Selectors, the Cultural Arts Community, and Professionals. These are discussed in detail, while other areas that were discussed are listed at the end of this section.

•    Education system – At the middle school level, Bartow has Union Academy, a math and science magnet school. Bartow is home to the Summerlin Academy and the acclaimed International Baccalaureate program, as well as Bartow High School. Dual enrollment is available to high school students through Polk State College. Special needs programs are available at the Polk Life and Learning Center. Finally, for adults, ongoing workforce training is available through the Clear Springs Polk State College Corporate College program..

•    Cultural base – Bartow is the center of numerous cultural programs.

•    Bartow is business friendly – Permitting is fast, easy, and accessible.

•    Housing – Bartow is a great community for living. It has the “Hometown USA” feeling and is close to several large metro areas.

•    Bartow is a population and geographic center of Florida.

•    Bartow is more than just the intersection of State Road 60 and US 98.
Cultural Arts Community: The message to the Cultural Arts Community:

•    There’s lots to do in Bartow.

•    The Center of Heritage Tourism is in Bartow.

•    Bartow is a “livable” community.

•    An interactive community – we have room to bloom.

•    Creativity is a part of Bartow’s make up.

•    Welcome arts and culture
Professional Community: The professional community represents high paying jobs in our local economy. Some of the disciplines that currently exist in Bartow include:

•    The legal profession, including lawyers and judges and legal assistants. Since Bartow is the County Seat and the courthouse is located here, legal activity is conducted locally.
•    Engineers and scientists, who work with the Florida Department of Transportation, do research for the FIPR Institute, support County road and infrastructure projects, and obtain permits from the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

•    Agri-business and Agri-tech professionals associated with the Florida Department of Agriculture.

•    Banking and Finance. There are numerous banks and savings & loan institutions in Bartow.

•    The Medical Community. Primary care physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, specialists, etc.

 

The message to the professional community should be:

•    Bartow is a live, work, play community

•    Bartow is an active, health-conscious community

•    Bartow has a quality educational system

•    Numerous events and activities serve to enhance the quality of life

•    Bartow is a friendly community

•    Bartow has infrastructure that is essential to today’s business community, including High Speed Internet access. The Clear Springs business park will be a “smart park” with high speed communications.

•    Bartow has an energy/mining industry-related research center with facilities that can be made available to the community at the FIPR Institute.

•    A consistent message of: Work Here / Live Here

 

Other External Markets:

•    Government Services – Bartow is the county seat, and therefore the home to many of the Polk County government facilities, including the administration building and the county courthouse. Marketing efforts need to be directed to the County managers and decision makers to let them know that we are happy to have them here, and have other facilities and land that can be made available for their facilities as well.

•    Corporations / Industry (PC Training) – Other corporate offices not mentioned above

•    CSX Spinoffs

•    Foreign Trade Zone businesses – Exporting and importing

•    Airport Clientele (pilots, Sun ‘n Fun)

•    Green – those who love nature (land, sunshine and lakes)

•    Financial sector – start-up money, venture capital

•    CFDC and Governing Bodies – Sports Marketing

•    Commercial Developers

•    Tourism – Support vendors

•    Mosaic

 

Internal Markets

•    Bartow recognizes that, even during periods of economic recession, local economic development can resist national trends and continue to serve and enhance the community’s quality of life.

•    Business permitting is a “One Stop” expedited experience. Simplified processes to start and operate a business are essential to a business-friendly environment.
•    Per Capita, there are more parks and recreational opportunities in and near Bartow compared to other communities.

•    As a geographical hub, Bartow is positioned to provide easy access to both coasts and north/south transportation corridors.

•    We are proud to be the county seat of Polk County, where both county and state headquarters are located.

•    Opportunities exist for smart, targeted growth.

•    We have a world class International Baccalaureate (IB) School, as well as a STEM schools (Bartow Elementary Academy and Union Academy) and Summerlin Military Academy.

•    There is a strong sense of pride in our community.

•    Bartowans are prepared to address issues and overcome obstacles.

•    Business is the foundation on which our community is built.

•    Assuring business diversity in the economic development process is vital.

•    Economic prosperity makes for better quality of life.

 


Municipal and Business Infrastructure

Infrastructure refers to the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g., buildings, roads, power supply, water sewer, etc. ) needed for the operation of an enterprise. Much of Bartow’s infrastructure is the responsibility of the City, but some is the responsibility of the developer, builder/property owner or county. Good infrastructure is sustainable and environmentally compatible, and allows for the efficient conduct of business.

 

Municipal Infrastructure

The following are components of Bartow’s municipal infrastructure: reuse water; roads, curbs, sidewalks improvement; water and sewer lines, including inspection, replacement and expansion; water utilization and conservation; stormwater management (including compliance with FDEP and EPA requirements to protect waters of the State); public facilities and public safety; public recreation / trails and river access; Bartow Municipal Airport and Civic Centers; electrical utilities; communications infrastructure including telephone, fiber optic cable, and wireless computer access; and municipal parking.

With respect to public electric service, the City of Bartow conducted an electric rate study, which resulted in reduced rates for all customers, and also created a new preferential rate category for large users as an economic incentive. In the past, prospective businesses decided to locate outside of Bartow, because of its higher electricity costs. With the new incentive, Bartow is now able to compete head to head with other larger public utilities. This is an ongoing process; the City will continue to monitor and evaluate results with the goal of “leveling the playing field.”

•    Roads, Curbs and Sidewalk Improvements – The City of Bartow manages many, but not all roads; some are county roads (e.g., CR 555), state highways (e.g., SR 60), or federal highways (e.g., U.S. 98). Although these are not managed by the City, Bartow is a stakeholder, especially where they connect to the City’s road system. The City has a program for maintenance and improvements.

•    Water/Sewer Inspection, Replacement and Expansion – Water and sewer services are provided through sophisticated pipe networks that exist throughout the city. Repair and maintenance can include costly and invasive excavation or newer technologies such as horizontal drilling. Older pipes can be fractured in place with new pipes being installed in essentially the same location. City managers are considering the use of these new technologies to minimize disruptions to other services and infrastructure, such as roadways. Expansions are often paid for by developers if the water and sewer lines are not already in place.

•    Public Facilities/Services – Public facilities/services include Bartow Municipal Airport, civic center buildings, City Hall, all park and recreation facilities such as baseball and soccer fields, gymnasiums, and the playgrounds within the parks, as well as Bartow-based police and fire departments.

 

Business Infrastructure
A number of areas were identified concerning business infrastructure including: access to fiber optic networks and fast internet connections; availability of wireless networks (WiFi); transportation and access management, downtown parking; incentives for creating infrastructure; defining a core development area. Two areas were considered of primary importance on which to focus: Fiber optic and fast Internet access, transportation/access and incentives.

Fiber Optic / Fast Internet Connection: The City has a loop finished around the City to provide fiber optic access for its own facilities, and, to be a provider for others.

Incentives: During tough economic times, and despite the recent and continuing economic downturn and budget deficits, economic development incentives remain important tools for communities to attract and retain growing businesses. These incentives are by no means giveaway programs. They are investments that generate positive economic returns by creating jobs and generating new tax revenue. Incentives are often performance-based, and companies must reach job and investment goals in order to receive benefits.

 

Education and Workforce Development

An educated work force is a ready and powerful work force. Trained people are necessary for thriving companies and those ready to make the next step toward growth and success. As society marches further into the digital age, the quality and level of education becomes ever more important to economic competition. A continuously-learning workforce is therefore vital to Bartow’s economic success, so opportunities to learn must transcend age and be offered to the old and the young alike.

Bartow schools consistently rank as some of the best in the state. Bartow High has made Newsweek’s list of the best high schools in America every year that the publication has done the list. Bartow’s International Baccalaureate program is consistently ranked in the top 100 in the entire nation. The addition of Summerlin Academy offers high school students an experience similar to U.S. military academies in Annapolis, Colorado Springs and West Point, along with top-ranked elementary schools, trade schools and first-rate colleges and universities. Bartow is well-positioned to provide companies with appropriate workforce candidates. However, even with these educational resources, Polk County’s graduation rate is 73 percent.

Very soon, Bartowans take advantage of workforce education through the Polk State College Advanced Technology Center at Clear Springs campus on SR 60. Classes are also available for a number of vocations and professions through the existing curriculum on other campuses and through remote learning. Having the Corporate College campus in Bartow is a training advantage to our workforce. Additionally, Florida Polytechnic University offers post-secondary STEM training nearby.

 

Diversity And Unity In The Workforce

Bartow recognizes and embraces new and existing initiatives to promote diversity and unity, especially concerning workforce development. From an economic development standpoint, efforts to raise awareness and address diversity are vital. Opportunities to create potential incentives for those interested in Bartow could be based on businesses that provide training and jobs specifically aligned with local demographics. Efforts to address diversity have primarily been undertaken through limited activities of the Community Relations Committee, a partnership between the City and the Chamber of Commerce. It is suggested that economic development efforts take a hard look at the area’s potential for promoting both local business and diversity in the workplace. Attempts are made to address diversity on several levels through dialogue that identifies and recruits potential businesses whose labor needs could be met by the unemployed or underemployed in our community.

Community Relations Committee – The Bartow Community Relations Committee is an appropriate group to continue to review opportunities for various community projects aimed at promoting diversity. The mission and vision for this group should be reviewed and opportunities tied to economic development should be considered.

 

Education In The Workforce

A workforce is defined as all people working or available to work within a specific geographical area, industry or company. Everything that educates a population, prepares people for work, or provides them an opportunity to improve their skills constitutes part of the workforce education system. The focus of this indicator lies in the fact that our community should specifically look directly at the preparation and continued education of the workforce. This spectrum ranges from the K-12 system to training in specific skills, such as machining or welding, to advanced education through community colleges and universities. It can also be the provision of more basic skills necessary for an individual to be a contributing member of the workforce through basic literacy training, math skills, GED, etc. The educational status of Bartow’s workforce provides a measure of resources and the ability to support different businesses/industries. A skilled, diverse workforce will provide greater opportunities for a larger number of business opportunities. A more diversified workforce allows for greater resiliency in times of economic downturn. In general, wages increase commensurate with higher education and skill level, thus providing a higher standard of living and quality of life. Businesses will seek out a strong, educated workforce, which then affects job growth, transportation, wages and the need for housing.

 

Workforce Target Areas/Zones

A successful strategy to engage lower income households/individuals, in the overall economic development effort will help decrease poverty and improve the overall quality of life in the community. A tool that can be used to engage people is to create workshops for various groups using the advocacy group leader(s).

Bartow Community Redevelopment Agency – The mission of the Bartow Community Redevelopment Agency is to eliminate blight and promote redevelopment of property within the CRA district by the private sector. Enterprise zones and Green zone designations would allow for economic development incentives. This component could make Bartow a model for ED plans.

Workforce Advocacy Group – A Workforce Advocacy Group could exist to promote and communicate job opportunities to minority populations via public job postings/job board and other means. This group could also solicit feedback from constituents and relay concerns to governmental/civic leaders on a continuing basis.

Enterprise Zone/Green Zone/Brownfields Designation – Enterprise Zones and Green Zone designations, and Brownfields designations facilitate access to economic development incentives offered through local, state and national programs. By embracing sustainable practices associated with Green Zones, new jobs can be created and provide the means for some of Bartow’s workforce to become certified building energy raters, certified energy efficient window, insulation, solar array, and air conditioning installers, and more. The knowledge obtained in pursuit of new careers can transform beneficiaries into “change agents” who spread the word about the economic benefits of energy-efficient buildings, including lower monthly energy bills. Finally, the expense to reduce energy consumption can be financed and spread out over a 10- to 15-year period while the resulting cost savings essentially repay that expense in five to 10 years; net cost savings can provide additional spendable income to homeowners and higher operating margins to business owners. This will further stimulate the local economy.

 

Community Culture/Community Services

Nonprofit arts and culture are a significant industry in the state of Florida, one that generates $3.1 billion in local economic activity. This economic impact sends a strong signal that when we support the arts, we not only enhance our quality of life, but also invest in Bartow’s economic well-being. Cultural economic development means leveraging our creative talent and cultural assets to spur economic growth and community prosperity. The cultural sector is a critical contributor to a community’s economy because it creates jobs, strengthens a community’s tax base, attracts and retains people to live and work in the community. It influences business development and expansion decisions, inspires downtown revitalization and historic preservation, builds community identity and pride of place, promotes diversity, and stimulates the growth of creative enterprise. There is strong reason to believe that the cultural sector will, in fact, have an even more important role in the “new economy” characterized by technology, innovation and creativity. Cultural economic development should be viewed as a valuable, creative, energetic, flexible, under-utilized, cost-effective and available resource for job creation and retention, entrepreneurship and community revitalization. An increase in the interest of heritage and historical sites supports Bartow’s position as a historical center.

 


Community Culture

Arts – The arts mean business. Communities that invest in the arts reap the additional benefits of jobs, economic growth and quality of life that position those communities to compete in our 21st century creative economy. Bartow currently has opportunities to build social capital by boosting civic engagement, as well as building organizational capacity for effective action. This could include the performing and fine arts, a movie theatre, dinner theatre and public art.

History/Heritage – Having the Polk County Historical Museum, the L.B. Brown House and the potential for a preserved/restored Historic Cigar Factory in our community are great incentives for investigating opportunities for the promotion of historic and heritage tourism, as well as expanding other local tourist attractions.

Evening Events – Bartow currently has little to offer in the way of nightlife. Other than large annual or monthly events such as parades and Main Street Bartow’s Friday Fest, there is little to keep people from travelling to neighboring cities in the evening. Businesses that can provide nighttime food and entertainment venues would provide alternatives to resident out-migration and could provide opportunities to tap into county and state workers after normal work hours.

 

Community Services

Quality community services are highly correlated to economic growth. Community services and well-maintained infrastructure attracts private investment, with schools and health services among the most important community service considerations for industrial and business location decisions. The provision of local services is critical not only to economic development, but also to the quality of life in a community. Through leadership and creativity, community services make a positive difference by encouraging resident involvement and strengthening community resiliency. Quality, inclusivity and accessibility, offer diversity of experience, environmental stewardship, personal development and provides opportunities for healthy lifestyles through fun, play and celebration.

Community services provide for the protection of our citizens, and maintenance and enhancement of public facilities including, but not limited to, parks & recreation facilities, entryways & medians and other public areas. Objectives inherent in this effort require not only promoting positive social behavior, interaction with others, self-discovery, and skill development, but also implementing and supporting a wide variety of services for all ages, backgrounds, and needs.

Recreation – Encourage the local business community to support local community action/civic group events and community activities that offer quality of life benefits. Investigate the development of a program with local business community to recognize and reward employees, via early release from work or other reward(s)/recognition for attending community events emphasizing the value and benefit for the event, themselves and the community. Support the development of new and expanded diverse recreational activities to include, but is not limited to seniors, teens, youth, etc.

Health & Human Services – Strengthen relationship with local healthcare facilities to offer incentives for physicians to open their practices in Bartow instead of South Lakeland. Complete community needs assessment should be made of existing health & human services offerings.

Facilities – Continue to maintain public facilities and support local police and fire services.

 

Regional Impacts

Maximizing economic development opportunities in a community includes an analysis to determine pre-existing business clusters, which are defined as interconnected businesses, suppliers, and associated institutions in a particular field, (i.e. Silicon Valley). Bartow business clusters could be used to foster development of similar industries that are suppliers or consumers of the cluster products. This can expand the industry horizontally (adding more similar organizations) and vertically (adding more industries/organizations that do different things, but rely on each other). Bartow can perform analyses to determine what advantages the area has, and what industries could benefit from clustering, and try to attract them. This effort should also consider efforts by other neighboring economic development groups, as well as those currently in place from the CFDC.

Another helpful tool would be to consider concentrating businesses based upon business and/or technology infrastructure such as Enterprise Zones, business incubators, technology parks, data centers, etc., as well as those which will employ local people using locally-available physical resources.

 

Target Specific Industries (clusters) Best Suited To Bartow

Cluster Analysis – A study and analysis of existing business/industry in the greater Bartow area will determine opportunities for the recruitment of new business.

Marketing Government and Private Sector – What may draw the private sector might not be the same for the government sector. Marketing efforts could engage strategies to attract these two sector types. A detailed plan for both, specifying benefits of opening a business in Bartow, together with emphasis on operating lower cost (due to incentives provided), and by using the local labor force, would potentially create higher interest than waiting for those businesses to discover us by a chance.

 

Economic Development Contact

In the changing business environment, it is a must to have an entity (person, office, organization, etc.) whose sole responsibility is to help potential investors and/or business owners by providing them with the information about Bartow and Bartow’s region. This includes investment opportunities, site selection, where and how to find competent and trained workforce, and incentives for opening a business in this area.

Central Economic Development Point of Contact – An initial point of contact for economic development prospects should be determined. Along with a process for engaging appropriate follow-up to best facilitate economic development candidates, a designated initial point of contact will ensure that opportunities are not lost and that first impressions are not compromised.

 

Retain Existing Businesses

Aside from the fact that existing businesses create new jobs, there are a number of other reasons that are often cited to document the value of existing businesses. Existing businesses that make investments in facilities, create jobs, and pay taxes are at the heart of strong local economies. Existing businesses already have a stake in the community and are demonstrably contributing to the economic vitality and social fabric of the community.

Business owners know that it is easier and less expensive to retain existing customers. The same thing is true for communities that focus on retaining existing businesses. Keeping a business in your community is less costly than attracting new industry. Industry attraction efforts often include significant tax incentives and substantial infrastructure development costs. Existing businesses may seek some of these incentives, but more often than not, the fiscal cost per job created is less for an existing business than for a new business.
Keeping what you have is good for the development and growth of smaller firms. Businesses that export goods and services generate the revenue that funds smaller, local service businesses. Both types of firms are necessary and the service firms may not survive if the exporting firms close or move away.

Every economy loses about 10 percent of its jobs annually due to retirements, business closings, product life cycles, etc. Existing businesses are best positioned locally to replace those jobs. Building on existing community business strengths and finding & fixing problems for existing businesses have proven to be successful industry recruitment strategies.

Also, certain types of businesses may have less than positive impacts on the quality of life of a community. Keep this in mind when identifying businesses for targeted recruitment efforts.

Satisfied existing businesses can be a community’s best ambassadors when recruiting new firms to the area as well as serving as a source of leads when seeking new firms to recruit. If an existing business is a thriving and growing concern, or is viewed as having growth potential, it may be the target of recruitment activities by another community. Thus it is in the best interests of local communities to make every effort to retain them.

Survey for Existing Businesses – A business needs assessment survey is one way to determine what the local business’s strengths are and where its opportunities lie, as well as soliciting opinions regarding strategies to enhance local business development. Businesses could be asked to complete either an online survey or, if they prefer, a paper copy of the survey instrument. This effort would help develop a greater understanding of our local small business needs and contributions to our local economy. Responses can help identify and point out potential niches in terms of service and goods, as well as revealing potential training needs for small businesses.

 

Acknowledgements:

Steering Committee Members
George Long, Brian Hinton, Larry Madrid, Rich Thompson, Jeff Clark

Subcommittee Members
Marketing Subcommittee: Brian Hinton, Jeff Clark, George Long, Virginia Condello, Shannon Medley, Karen Guffey, Sharon Casey, David & Susie Brewer, Nell Nelson, Cindy Barrow, Jim DeGennaro, Rob Clancey, Carole McKenzie, Larry Madrid, Bartow Marketing Partnership, Linda Allen, Trish Pfeiffer, Pam Mitchell, Myrtice Young

Business / Municipal Infrastructure(s) Subcommittee: Brian Hinton, Jeff Clark, George Long, Virginia Condello, David & Susie Brewer, James Clements, Ed Locke, Jennifer Sturgis, Doug Conner, Larry Madrid, Bob Wiegers, Richard Dreyer, Carlos Sandoval, Doug Sackett

Education / Workforce Subcommittee: Brian Hinton, Jeff Clark, George Long, Virginia Condello, David & Susie Brewer, Karen Guffey, Wayne Kline, Larry Madrid, Jim DeGennaro, Catherine Tucker, Mike DeNeve

Community Culture / Services Subcommittee: Brian Hinton, Jeff Clark, George Long, Virginia Condello, Shannon Medley, David & Susie Brewer, Myrtice Young, Marie Wilmot, Clint Edwards, Karen Whaley, Trish Pfeiffer, Troy DeDecker

Regional Impact Subcommittee: Brian Hinton, Jeff Clark, George Long, Virginia Condello, David & Susie Brewer, Anita Stasiak, Pat Huff, Lea Ann Thomas, Patrick Brett, Karen Whaley, Don Wilson, Cindy Rodriguez, Rob Kincart, Howe Wallace