Up Front - The Publisher's Column
Tallahassee on My Mind
Associate Editor Lilly Rockwell, the youngest member of our editorial staff, has won a national writing award. The Society of Professional Journalists honored her with a prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award for investigative reporting for regional magazines.
Rockwell’s story, “Crime, No Punishment” [November], reported on Florida’s futile efforts over the decades to catch and prosecute fraudsters who perpetrate billions of dollars in Medicaid fraud, despite the state spending $25 million annually on a large investigative staff.
This month, Lilly and our north Florida correspondent, Charlotte Crane, turn their attention to Tallahassee, exploring the business growth of our capital city.
The capitol is in Tallahassee for a simple reason — it was chosen in the first half of the 1800s because it was halfway between the population centers of Pensacola and St. Augustine. In fact, the first territorial capitol was a collection of three log cabins. The brick building we know as the “Old Capitol” was completed in 1845, but it didn’t have indoor plumbing until 1891. All state offices were housed in that one building until 1911.
From these humble beginnings, Tallahassee grew along with the state. Government offices spread into multiple buildings. But by 2000, wise business leaders could foresee shrinking state government employment and began working to diversify the economy.
If you read this month’s Tallahassee business portrait, you will learn that the diversification is taking effect. The state still employs many, but education and health care have become mainstays. Banking and professional services have expanded. There’s a widening array of technology ventures.
The city is developing parks and streetscapes, and investors are building restaurants and hotels to make the city more attractive, especially for young professionals. This affordable lifestyle is attracting companies to the Tallahassee region that want their workers to live close by and raise a family around good schools, plentiful cultural attractions and multiple outdoor activities.
I visit Tallassee frequently, and it’s always a pleasure.
Florida Trend partners with state government on one very important venture — we publish a special edition called Business Florida as a guide for out-of-state companies that are considering relocating or expanding in Florida.
The next edition of Business Florida publishes in October. We mail the issue to 10,000 prospects and influential people around the country. Another 10,000 copies are distributed by the governor and Enterprise Florida during missions and trade shows worldwide. Tens of thousands more go to executives visiting Florida, relocation professionals, targeted industry executives and economic development organizations. Finally, a digital edition is circulated even more widely.
The magazine lists reasons why a business should move to Florida, highlighting success stories, and provides a state locator map. Then Business Florida reviews each region with reports, statistics and contact information.
Most Florida-based executives never see Business Florida because it’s aimed elsewhere, but if you’re curious, please let me know and I’ll shoot a copy right over. And if your organization wishes to join forces with the state to market itself to these Florida prospects, please alert me so I can provide more information.
Fitness update: After a layoff because of surgery, I’m back on the jogging trail, recording a 10:30 mile and working toward a 5k again. I’m still trying to get under 10:00 for the whole 5k distance — and I will do it!
— Andy Corty