Even I was surprised by the overwhelmingly positive feedback from this year's survey. During a summer of destructive weather and before a presidential election that would set the tone for business for the next four years Florida CEOs were looking forward to 2005 with more optimism than ever before. Eighty-three percent of the business leaders we interviewed say they expect their organizations to improve their performance next year. An even higher proportion of CEOs -- nine out of 10 -- expects to reach revenue goals for this year. Those findings are ringing endorsements for the health of Florida's businesses and the state's business climate.
Florida State University's Lance deHaven-Smith -- you may have seen him being interviewed on national TV during the election season -- took a deeper look at the results in order to understand why CEOs were so optimistic. DeHaven-Smith, who has analyzed the survey since its inception, incorporates additional economic data on Florida and the nation, as well as survey results from previous years, to put the latest findings into perspective. The results suggest that Florida's growing economy (currently the fastest of any state) and business diversification are key reasons for confidence. This overall economic strength is solid enough to help the state ride out temporary downturns in certain sectors, even in tourism and agriculture.
Along with the survey analysis, you won't want to miss the interview with Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute Director and CEO Dr. William S. Dalton on page 7 in the Florida CEO Trends issue. Dalton shares his thoughts about the business side of Moffitt, including how the center plans to turn its biotechnology research projects into self-sustaining revenue sources.
We couldn't produce a Florida CEO Trends survey without the cooperation of Florida's senior executives, and we've included them throughout Annual TopRank Florida. This year's Executive Profiles include extensive commentary from Holland & Knight's Howell Melton and Colonial BancGroup's Israel Velasco. Perspectives from another 23 Florida CEOs, including The Beacon Council's Frank Nero and Ernst & Young's Donn Szaro, are also featured this year.
Along with the Florida CEO Trends survey results, Annual TopRank Florida is filled with extensive data on thousands of companies and organizations from all corners of the state. Ranked lists compiled over the past 12 months, including the popular Florida Public 150 and Florida Private 200 lists, make Annual TopRank Florida a valuable resource for getting a comprehensive look at Florida business. Annual TopRank Florida is also the only place you'll find lists ranking the state's highest-paid executives and corporate directors.
I know you will return to the survey results and rankings as you track your own company's performance throughout the coming year. If you are not a Florida Trend subscriber and would like to order a copy of Florida CEO Trends or the Book of Lists in electronic format, please call (800) 829-9103 or go to FloridaTrend.com's Bookstore.
I encourage you to turn to the Florida Travel Guide to Meetings and Conferences after page 38 for information to help you plan your next corporate event at one of Florida's outstanding hotels, resorts or meeting facilities.