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Challenging outdated views of Palm Beach

I was born and raised in the great state of Delaware, known as the First State because it was the first colony to sign the U.S. Constitution. It’s a small place that we lovingly called a “diamond” among the states.

As you’ll learn when you read this month’s Florida Trend Community Portrait of Palm Beach County, that single county has more square miles than all of Delaware. I didn’t know that until I read the section, nor that Palm Beach County’s population is more than 50% greater than Delaware’s populace.

Many of us have outdated views of Palm Beach. We might only think of the spit of land along the Atlantic, fondly referred to as “The Island,” where Bentleys cruise and wealth managers congregate.

Palm Beach County’s brand still benefits from that impression, but the reality is far more complex, as you will read in the big special section.

Palm Beach County

The county, home to 1.4 million, is a hotbed of technology, innovation, education, health care, agriculture and business services. Major firms such as FPL, Office Depot, cell tower company SBA Communications and sugar grower Florida Crystals call it home.

Of course, tourism remains a mainstay. Who wouldn’t want to vacation at Addison Mizner inspired properties like The Breakers or the Boca Raton Resort & Club, stroll the beaches, boat in the Atlantic, fish in Lake Okeechobee, enjoy equestrian sports in Wellington or play golf and tennis virtually everywhere?

Gov. Jeb Bush helped bring Scripps Research Institute to Palm Beach County a decade ago; the Max Planck Institute and dozens of smaller biotech companies have followed. Florida Atlantic University and others provide a strong educational foundation.

The county’s economy also makes it a good home for professional services such as law firms, accountancies and banks. It’s at the forefront of transportation and will house one of the stations for All Aboard Florida, the Miami-Orlando passenger rail link. The county’s western region is an agricultural powerhouse.

The Business Development Board, headed by Kelly Smallridge, aggressively markets Palm Beach County’s many virtues, attracting headquarters without losing the lifestyle lure.

I invite you to update your knowledge by taking a deep dive into this month’s community portrait of Palm Beach County.


Also this month, Florida Trend takes a look at young professionals who are making their marks around the state. We spotlight 18 of the state’s 30-somethings in various fields.


With a statewide population nearing 20 million, it’s no surprise that cancer impacts many tens of thousands of us, either directly or with family and friends.

The growing expertise in cancer care is a trend we should all applaud. Moffitt is already designated as a National Cancer Institute, and many other hospitals are close on its heels with a host of modern therapies.

You can read about these encouraging developments in the health care section.


Fitness update: To be honest, this has been a tough year on the fitness front. I’m not sure why. Florida Trend is doing very well, and the home front is all good. I need to rededicate myself to running more and eating less before my annual physical.

— Andy Corty