The Economic Development Day team assembled a very strong program for the 2013 GNL Class. The economic overview of Collier and Lee County provided a very useful introduction for the day. The Collier County discussion on strategies and plans was particularly interesting. More importantly, we got firsthand input from the recently hired Bruce Register, Director of Economic Development for Collier County.

We were able to get important input on how we align and collaborate with the state, region, and county to grow and enhance future development. We also had the perspective of one of the premier companies in the county, Barron Collier Companies.

The session on the entrepreneurial environment highlighted the growing opportunity for new start-up companies in the region while focusing on a few very successful emerging companies. We enjoyed hearing from the Naples Daily News on some of the current economic development activities and their impact.

A wonderful part of the day was time spent at Arthrex, a great company here in Naples. A presentation on product innovation, views from founder, Reinhold Schmieding, and a visit to their product room were most impressive. We ended the day with beverages and optional dinner at Collier’s Reserve Country Club.

Don Merz

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