March 21, 2023

Up Front - The Publisher's Column

Investing in Florida

David Denor | 4/26/2019

My wife, Jessica, and I never had a dull moment while we were raising our four children — all separated by just seven years. Often Jessica would look at me not knowing whether to laugh or cry. We made it through those early years by leaning on each other, family and friends. Late nights, early mornings — both of us running in different directions from work to playdates to school activities to sporting events — our lives revolved around doing what we thought was best for our children.

Fast forward to today, in what seems like the blink of an eye. The kids are grown. Our oldest son, now graduated from college, is carving his own path in the corporate world; our daughter is going into her third year of college, pursuing her dream of becoming a pediatric occupational therapist; our second son is leaving home this fall to start college, focusing on a degree in accounting, on his way to becoming a forensic CPA; and our youngest son, now entering his senior year of high school, said this the other day: “Mom and Dad, won’t it be great next year when it is just the three of us at home?”

Jessica and I laughed — but also held back a tear, as the journey of raising our children nears an end. We know, however, that every end brings a beginning — and we can’t wait for the next chapter.

I believe Florida is on a similar trajectory. Since joining Florida Trend nearly three years ago, I have traveled the state — from the Panhandle to Miami — meeting with business executives, government officials and civic leaders, learning what makes this state so unique. Florida is a young state, growing in every direction and continually starting new chapters of its own as it manages a growing and diverse population.

This growth requires continued investments not just in Florida’s transportation infrastructure, but also in our educational system, its curriculum and its facilities. It means providing teachers with well-deserved and competitive compensation. Florida also must keep investing in its post-secondary educational offerings, fund our centers of research and facilitate the growth that is necessary to set Florida universities and colleges apart from their peers.

We must continue to attract and recruit companies across all business sectors, providing a job-rich environment for workers of all skill levels. We must continue to inform those outside the state about Florida’s environmental treasures and unique destinations. This is why we must continue to support statewide organizations such as Enterprise Florida, CareerSource and Visit Florida, while backing the efforts of our regional economic development corporations and state and local chambers as well. They are truly making a difference for our state, keeping commerce strong and tourism second to none.

Florida’s tomorrow is based on the growth and investments of today. The next chapter for our state will be an exciting one. It is our collective responsibility to keep Florida on the path to success.

— David Denor, Publisher


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