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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Mississippi's Gray Swoope picked at next Enterprise Florida chief



F. Gray Swoope Jr. of the Mississippi Development Authority was hired Monday as president of Enterprise Florida, the organization announced. (STORY HERE.)

Swoope had the backing of Gov. Rick Scott, who wrote a letter to EFI Vice President Hal Melton urging the board to “move as expeditiously as possible” to hire him. Scott wants Swoope to also serve has head of a new state department that would house all of Florida’s economic development efforts.

Swoope’s contract was not finalized, but the board discussed an annual salary of $130,000 that with incentives would not exceed $300,000.

“As you get to know Gray, I am certain you will be as excited as I am about the role he can play in helping Florida businesses expand, recruiting new industry to our state and, ultimately, creating new jobs for our citizens,” Scott wrote in the letter to Melton.

Last month, Scott fired the previous president, John A. Adams Jr., saying he wanted to take the state’s group in a “different direction.” Adams was owed at least $132,000.

Swoope is credited with bringing Toyota,  PACCAR and GE Aviation to Mississippi.

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 10:27am]


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