|3 events that could help you excel
When there are three interesting gatherings coming to the region, the only way to
approach it is in the order of appearance. One of them is near the end of August and
the other two are in October, one at the beginning and one in the middle of the
I’ll be there for all three, even for the stuff that’s not aerospace-related but still
interesting. Here’s a rundown of what to expect.
Want to know more about the defense market outlook or about rapid contracting?
How about unlocking tools and partnerships for small business success? Or perhaps
you’re more interested in aerospace, or economic issues for Northwest Florida.
If so, you’ll want to consider attending the 2017 TeCMEN Industry Day Aug. 29 at the
Emerald Coast Convention Center in Fort Walton Beach.
The center is at 1250 Miracle Strip Parkway, and the Tuesday event begins at 7:30 a.
m. and wraps up at 5 p.m. It’s presented by the Technology Coast Manufacturing and
Engineering Network (TeCMEN), the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa
County and Okaloosa County.
Industry Day is expected to draw between 250 and 275 participants to the all-day
“We would encourage attendees to participate all day,” said Linda Sumblin, manager
of TeCMEN. That’s because it’s packed with information.
The opening keynote address at 8:40 a.m. will be by Allan Bense, former Florida
speaker of the House and Triumph Gulf Coast chairman. As you know, Triumph Gulf
Coast is the non-profit corporation that will be responsible for distributing $1.5 billion
in economic damages money from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. That’s 75
percent of all funds recovered by Florida for economic damages to the state that
resulted from the spill. The 75 percent will go to the eight counties disproportionally
impacted by the spill. They are Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf,
Franklin and Wakulla.
Then there’s Stephen Berthold of Eastern Shipbuilding in Panama City, which in
September 2016 was awarded a contract to build Offshore Patrol Cutters for the
Coast Guard. The company is on a growth curve.
There also will be a panel discussion moderated by Maynard Factor of Micro
Systems, focusing on the defense market outlook. Panelists are Hank Sanders of
Boeing, Woody Tignor of L3 Crestview Aerospace, Roger Ogilvie of BAE Systems,
and Monty Watson of Lockheed Martin.
If your business is involved in defense activities - or wants to be involved - this panel
you’ll want to hear.
And you’ll want to stick around for the next one as well. It’s on Rapid Contracting for
new, novel and transformative solutions for government and war fighters. The military
for some time now has understood that some of the best solutions can be found
outside normal channels, so if you are the creative type, this one is a must.
It’s moderated by Chris Rohe of the National Advanced Mobility Consortium, a
nationwide alliance of traditional and nontraditional small businesses, large defense
contractors, academic institutions and other research organizations involved with the
translational research and development of the complete range of prototype, ground
vehicle and robotics systems and technologies.
Panelists are Anthony Melita, National Spectrum Consortium, Luke Gianelloni, AFRL
Munitions Director Program Manager for PIA with DI, and Charlie Zisette, National
Armaments Consortium, the industrial and academic component of the DoD
Ordnance Technology Consortium.
In the afternoon, there’s another panel discussion on unlocking tools and
partnerships for small business success. Moderated by Dr. David Goetsch, panelists
are John DiGiacomo, PTAC/SBDC, Laurie Moncrieff, Doolittle Institute, and Kevin
Finally, Daryl Taylor of Airbus in Mobile, Ala., will give a talk at 2 p.m. Airbus is
moving towards building four A320 series jetliners each month at the Mobile final
Throughout the day there will be the exhibit hall open for networking opportunities.
Sumblin said the event offers an opportunity “to connect with industry in our local
area.” The panel discussions will highlight “the great and exciting things that are
happening in local area,” she said.
Sumblin, former executive director at Career Source Okaloosa Walton, took over the
position from Jim Breitenfeld. She’s encouraged about the outlook for the economy.
“I think it’s very promising right now,” she said, adding that the county is positioned
For more information or to register, visit www.tecmenindustryday.com.
Gulf Power Economic Symposium
For the 21st year now, Gulf Power is bringing to Northwest Florida its popular
economic symposium. This year it returns to Sandestin.
The 21st Gulf Power Economic Symposium is scheduled for Oct. 1-3 at Sandestin
Golf and Beach Resort. Last year it was held in Panama City.
I’ve been going to these for several years now, and as many as 600 show up. I
usually have to pick the day I want to attend. That’s always a challenge, and this year
the organizers have made it no easier for me.
The first day is always for folks to show up and sign-in - and also get in some golf if
they so chose. And let’s face it. Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is just the kind of
place where you would want to spend a day with nothing in particular planned.
The second and third days are where you can find the meat, so to speak. One talk I’
m particularly looking forward to is by Peter Zeihan, a geopolitical strategist, founder
of Zeihan on Geopolitics and author of The Accidental Superpower.
This is a book has a title that can’t help but intrigue. Published in 2014, it forecasts
the collapse of the global order. He has also written a follow-up, The Absent
In Accidental, his thesis on how the success or failure of nations depends on
geography. It’s a matter of topography, soil quality, access to water - especially
access to water - and other natural factors that determine the winners and losers.
He says geography has shaped the power of states by facilitating or impeding their
He argues that no country has benefited more from its geographic features than the
United States. It has the world’s most extensive natural network of waterways, more
arable land than any other country and the unparalleled protection afforded by two
oceans - one hell of a moat, if you will. By contrast, China has been less lucky, with
scattered waterways, limited agricultural land and insecure frontiers.
He posits that at because the United States is moving towards energy independence,
it will at some point abandon the Bretton Woods international trade and monetary
system that has been the international order since the end of World War II. It made
the United States and particularly the Navy the guarantor of free trade. The United
States will no longer have to secure the Middle East for strategic reasons of energy
supply, he writes.
Demographics also plays a huge role. Population are aging, and most advanced
countries are no longer producing a sizable enough new generation to support the
older generations. While the United States will feel that pinch, it’s nowhere near the
problem faced by other countries, particularly China.
The second day of the symposium also includes the Northwest Florida Made panel,
moderated by Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of
Commerce. Then there’s the topic of the National Economic and Energy Outlook, with
speaker Tom Fanning, chairman, president and CEO of The Southern Company. He’
s also chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and former president and
CEO of Gulf Power.
There’s also a panel called “Talent Talks,” moderated by Madeline Pumariega,
chancellor of the Florida College System. Panelists are Vance Aloupis, CEO of The
Children’s Movement of Florida; Hershel Lyons, chancellor of Florida Public Schools,
Devin Stephenson, president of Northwest Florida State College, Martha Saunders,
president of the University of West Florida, and Randy Hanna, dean of Florida State
University Panama City.
And speaking of talent, Molly Fletcher, CEO of The Molly Fletcher Company, is also
scheduled to talk about unleashing your potential.
There’s also the Florida’s Economic Update by Cissy Proctor, executive director of
the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, followed by a talk on Regional
Economic and Prosperity by Zack Jenkins, director of the HAAS Center at the
University of West Florida. Then Kim Wilmes, president and CEO of Florida’s Great
Northwest, will moderate a Site Selection Panel.
So you can see my dilemma.
For more information or to register, visit www.gulfpowersymposium.com.
Aerospace Alliance Summit
I’ve only missed two of these summits, which launched in 2011 with the inaugural
event in Sandestin. Last year it was held in Gulfport, Miss.
This year it’s returning to New Orleans Oct. 12-13 at the Renaissance New Orleans
Arts Hotel. The welcome reception and dinner is at the National World War II Museum.
The last summit attracted about 130 business, economic development and academic
leaders from the four states. It’s a relatively small gathering, but they are all movers
The message they heard last year was upbeat. Speaker Richard Aboulafia of the
Teal Group noted the aerospace industry was the strongest on the planet, and he
said this region is well-positioned for growth, especially in light of its political power.
The agenda has not yet been released, but likely will be this month.
For reservations, call 877-622-3056. You can also go online to register at https://aws.
For more information you can also get in touch with Melissa Medley at 850-443-2808,
or you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.