Florida Trend's look at 2009: Brain drain, biotech and beating a path out of here
Wake up and good morning. Florida Trend magazine's just published its picks for 2009 Florida newsmakers with some notable choices by topic as well as in the Tampa Bay business world. Among them:
* Brain drain: We need all the Albert Einsteins we can get but we're losing smart and well educated people to other states that offer better pay or job stability. Example? "When Joe Sanders moved to Tallahassee in 2006 from the University of Georgia as a professor and chairman of the art department at Florida State University, he imagined he would stay put for a while as he helped the university expand its art programs and rise in national rankings." He's already gone, as are many others from Florida.
* Rise of Orlando's Medical City: The bustling new biomed hub in southeast Orlando is predicted to transform central Florida's economy. UCF's College of Medicine welcomed its charter class in August. California-based Burnham Institute for Medical Research (see photo) opened the doors of its new facility in October. UCF's Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, which is also home to the new M.D. Anderson Orlando Cancer Research Institute, opened as well. And both Nemours Children's Hospital and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center broke ground last year. Two significant leaders in the evolution of the 600-acre complex are University of Central Florida President John Hitt and Senior Managing Director Rasesh "Sesh" Thakkar of the Tavistock Group. Read more here.
* Jobless exodus from Florida: Since he was laid off from a southwest Florida insurance agency last March, Raymmar "Ray" Tirado figures he's sent out at least 300 resumes. Many of the better companies where he applied never called — despite his five years of success in Florida insurance sales and risk management and his participation in the Manatee Chamber and young professionals groups. Last month, the 26-year-old gave up on Florida, packed a U-Haul trailer and headed back Columbus, Ohio, to live with his mother.
Florida Trend (a sister publication of the St. Petersburg Times) has other tasty 2009 bits touching on Sarasota Ponzi schemer Art Nadel and former Tampa Bay Bucs president Gay Culverhouse. Read the whole package (including the pick of Floridian of the Year) here.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist