How did the economy of Citrus County fare in 1995? Will the business climate improve this year? What are the key challenges business owners and workers will face in 1996?
For the answers to these and other economic questions, the Citrus Times invited nine business and government leaders to our annual Business Roundtable discussion.
The participants represented a cross-section of the local economic community, from retail sales and investment experts to the county's leading entrepreneur/developer. We also brought in government officials, including city and county officeholders, and representatives of tourism development and job training programs.
The free-flowing, hourlong discussion touched on economic development, tourism, the effects of the fishing net ban and layoffs at Florida Power Corp., how to improve business-school partnerships, how the Citrus 20/20 Vision will be implemented this year and a host of other topics.
Participating from the Citrus Times were Greg Hamilton, Ian James, Jim Ross and Ron Thompson.
Who's who at the table:
The participants in the Times' 1996 Business Roundtable are
Gary Bartell, a member of the Citrus County Commission.
Kevin Cunningham, owner of Cunningham Insurance and a member of the Economic Development Association of Citrus County.
Avis Craig, a planner with the engineering firm of Berryman & Henigar and a member of the Citrus 20/20 steering committee.
Mary Craven, Citrus County's tourist/business facilitator.
Michael Harbour, a regional manager of Florida Power Corp.
John Jendro, investment manager with AVP Investments, Raymond James & Associates.
Joan Ogle, general manager of Crystal River Mall and a member of the Crystal River City Council.
Stan Olsen, developer of the Black Diamond and Meadowcrest communities and a founder of Digital Equipment Corp., the computer manufacturing giant.
Gloria Washington, an instructor with the Citrus/Hernando Private Industry Council.