February 2, 2023

Up Front - The Publisher's Column

A Time to Reflect

David Denor | 9/25/2020

Florida is a state rich in history, resources and reserves. Too often in the hectic and chaotic drive of our everyday lives, we fail to step back for a moment to realize all that is around us. As challenging as this pandemic has been — personally and professionally — I believe these unprecedented times have provided many of us with an opportunity to reflect, re-value priorities and take a deeper look at our family, professional and social interactions.

Many of us in Florida have used this time to escape and explore the great state that we live in and forget about all the unrest that is happening around us. During the pandemic, countless people have shared with me their adventures visiting state parks and off-the-beaten-path destinations around the state. The diversity of Florida’s natural and cultural history is reflected in our state park system. Whether you are looking to explore beaches, gardens, rivers and lakes, springs or trails, Florida’s state parks will not disappoint. Check out the Florida State Parks website at floridastateparks.org. You’ll find a phenomenal amount of information on all the natural resources Florida has to offer. I encourage you to use the site when planning your next adventure.

In-state travel is also an important way to contribute to the rebuilding of Florida’s critical tourism and hospitality industry, which has been decimated by the pandemic. Dana Young, president and CEO of Visit Florida, the state tourism marketing agency, recently announced a multi-million-dollar campaign to help promote in-state travel. As we begin to climb out of the challenges of COVID-19, now is the time for us, as residents, to help lift Florida’s economy.

Speaking of moving Florida’s economy forward, make sure you don’t miss our Economic Backbone section. This month’s focus is on workforce training, with a look at some of the programs offered through Valencia College, private companies and state and local efforts. Read about an engineering aerospace company that has partnered with George Stone Technical College in Pensacola to help educate and train future aircraft technicians. Also learn about the growing need for medical assistants and the relationships and partnerships that are helping to train tomorrow’s essential workers. You’ll also find helpful lists of the state’s economic development centers, CareerSource offices and Florida’s small business development centers.

Our cover story this month takes a look at efforts being made throughout the state to help ease Florida’s affordable housing shortage. Find out who’s at the forefront of this important issue.

And with voting coming up next month, you’ll want to be sure to read Amy Keller’s insightful look at the constitutional amendments on the ballot and her accompanying feature on page 80 on competitive state House and Senate races that could affect the balance of power statewide.

This is an issue of Florida Trend that you don’t want to miss. As Florida’s Business Authority, Florida Trend looks forward to continuing to help you navigate and decipher the ever-winding course of Florida’s business and political environment.

— David Denor, Publisher


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