Economic yearbook 2009
With housing at a standstill, a diversification effort forges ahead.
“End of last year, everything stopped, (but) the calls are happening again.” — Patty Smail, owner, Shelter Structures
Vero Beach / Indian River County
|See population, income and job statistics from this region.
Patty Smail’s Shelter Structures, based in Stuart, makes custom-designed, fabric-covered steel-frame buildings. [Photo: Jeffrey Salter]
Businesses to Watch
» California-based New Planet Energy is considering building an ethanol plant in Indian River County that would employ as many as 124 people. “It’s a substantial project,” says spokesman Jim Stewart.
» Fast-growing Bridgevine — from startup in 2003 to $19.3 million revenue in 2008 — expects to grow this year and add three or four positions in Vero, but “with the economy in the shape that it’s in now, we’re taking it on a quarter-by-quarter basis,” says CEO Vinny Olmstead. Bridgevine allows customers to shop online for everything from internet service to a dating service.
People to Watch
» Lisa Parker, 40, clinical operations manager for the United States for ADA Medical, a Canadian clinical research company, is leading the company’s expansion into the U.S. in Vero Beach. ADA will work with local physicians on phase two and phase three pharmaceutical trials. “There is a real need in this area for this type of business,” says Parker, a Florida native.