Brian Volner, Sharon Hillstrom and David Sessions

Brian Volner, Sharon Hillstrom and David Sessions

Image: Lori Sax

Business, government and civic leaders came together at Manatee Technical College on Oct. 8 for the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp.’s Annual Update, which featured a briefing from EDC leaders and a panel discussion with executives from three local businesses.

Additionally, Bradenton Area EDC presented the 2021 Rick Fawley Economic Development Award of Distinction to Rae Dowling, former area manager for external affairs at FPL, to recognize her contributions to the community and her support of economic development. The organization also announced that David Sessions, president and CEO of Willis Smith Construction, will serve as the 2022 chair of its board of directors.

At the event, Sharon Hillstrom, Bradenton Area EDC president and CEO, reported that since 2009, the EDC and its partners have assisted more than 183 businesses with expansions and relocations, which are projected to deliver more than 8,300 jobs and over $2 billion in wages from direct and indirect jobs through 2026. Hillstrom also said that the companies plan to invest more than $1.2 billion in capital investment in Manatee County.

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