Up Front - The Publisher's Column
With Thanksgiving just over and more holidays around the corner, it’s a time for giving thanks.
I give thanks for my wonderful wife, Betty, and for our two sons, now young men in college and grad school striving to build their own fruitful lives. I give thanks to the parents and forebears who have brought us this opportunity. I give thanks to many hardworking colleagues who do great work every day, hopefully in balance with their families. I give thanks to friends and colleagues around Florida who care about this state. And, of course, I’m thankful that I live in the United States, where everything is possible.
While we are thankful, we also realize that all is not right. There are tragedies and challenges all around us. Next month, Florida Trend will note the military personnel from Florida who died fighting during 2012. One struck very close to home. Army Spc. Brittany Gordon, who graduated from St. Petersburg High School with our older son, was killed in October in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan while performing duties as an intelligence analyst. While I understand the need for strength abroad, I can’t reconcile that this smiling little girl is gone. It seems so needless.
And my colleague, David Dale, an accounting supervisor here at Florida Trend, is recovering after being hit by a truck as he crossed the street to our building. We pray for the complete recovery of this caring and considerate man.
Please, give thanks this holiday season for all of your many blessings. And share some kindness with those dealing with problems greater than your own.
As 2012 draws to a close, Florida Trend sets its sights abroad.
Associate editor Lilly Rockwell traveled to Bogotá, Colombia, in advance of the governor’s trade mission to see what Florida’s delegation will learn. Florida-Colombia trade links have grown stronger thanks to improved safety, economic growth and a new trade agreement. Normalized relationships with Latin American countries will be a boon for Florida thanks to our location and Hispanic roots. Read more about Colombia’s relevance to Florida starting.
Our international linkages bring big business to Florida. We offer further reports on the importance of a wider and deeper Panama Canal, the federal EB-5 program of permanent citizenship for foreign investors, and hot opportunities for international trade.
For example, I just attended the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the largest in-water boat extravaganza in the world. On display were toys from Jet Skis up to a 200-foot Diamonds Are Forever super yacht selling in the $70-million range. Also notable were the myriad languages I heard along the docks — French, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese and many other tongues.
The boat show is just one example of Florida’s role as an international hub. This month, Art Basel Miami takes the stage, with two-thirds of gallery exhibitors from other countries. Our airports and ports and service industries are keeping pace with the inflow of visitors from abroad. Air terminal expansions, new air routes, deepwater dredging and highway connections are all in the mix(lists of seaports, airports and foreign trade zones).
Closer to home, this month we offer the annual Golden Spoon awards. Restaurant editor Chris Sherman, who chronicles the dining scene every month, serves up this list of Florida’s finest eateries. This compendium is available at FloridaTrend.com/GoldenSpoons.
Fitness update: My training for the Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving Day took a toll on my joints and muscles. Several of you have suggested biking or even an elliptical instead of jogging to minimize weary bones and maximize fitness, so I’m looking at that for 2013.
— Andy Corty