TAVARES – Lake County’s Economic Development & Tourism (EDT) Department is hitting the ground running in the new year with the addition of its northeast coordinator, Erika Greene, who covers the business community from Astor to Mount Dora.
Greene is no stranger to Lake County, however, having previously worked for the library system, where she was credited for launching the successful Adult Literacy Program. In her new role, Greene sees herself as a bridge to developing partnerships between the county, businesses and job seekers.
“I’m in the community. I’m a face, I’m a connection and I’m a resource for businesses, the chambers, the cities and the towns, connecting them with resources and educating them about opportunities,” Greene said. “My niche is workforce - helping to build and expand existing employee pools and identifying needs and opportunities to support the local education efforts so they are producing the job seekers that companies will want to hire.”
Greene joins longtime county employee Paul Simmons, a former Growth Management planner who’s been serving as South Lake coordinator since 2013. Most recently, Simmons worked as the liaison between the county, the city of Clermont and Senninger Irrigation on a deal that would allow for the construction of a new joint fire station. He has also been instrumental in aiding the expansions of QuietFlex and Hunt Industrial Park, both located in Groveland.
Adam Sumner, EDT manager and northwest coordinator, covers the Leesburg area and in 2014 played an integral role in luring major business to Lake County, such as Wipaire in Leesburg and CaptiveAire in Groveland. Sumner’s main focus is attracting manufacturing businesses to the area and handling site selection processes countywide, while also serving as the department’s budget manager.
“Three years ago, the strategy for this office shifted to business retention and expansion, and in doing that we had an untested model of putting these coordinators out on the street and challenging them to build relationships with local businesses,” said Robert Chandler, Economic Development & Tourism Director. “We have since become a relied upon source of support within the community, and our team has been wildly successful due to their experience, dedication and unique personalities.”
For information on starting, relocating or expanding a business in Lake County, call Lake County’s Economic Development & Tourism Department at 352-742-3918 or visit www.BusinessInLakeFL.com.