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Florida Chamber names GrayRobinson founder to chair innovation report

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Florida’s Chamber of Commerce named a prominent legal expert to head its upcoming report on the effect of innovation on the state’s economy.

The Florida Chamber Foundation announced J. Charles “Charlie” Gray, founder and chair of the GrayRobinson corporate law firm, as co-chair of the “Blueprint for Florida’s Innovation Economy.”

The report, a collaboration between the Foundation and the Florida Research Consortium, will assess innovation and its impact on Florida’s economy. The final data will be used to develop a roadmap for state-level policy and investments.

Gray’s role will be to provide counsel and guidance on research activities. He will also take the lead in rolling out of the report, which will publish in October 2015.

“Charlie Gray has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to improving Florida’s economy through innovation,” said Florida Chamber Foundation Executive Vice President Tony Carvajal. “His history of success as a business and civic leader make him the perfect choice for co-chairing this report.”

“Blueprint for Florida’s Innovation Economy” will also become a part of the Foundation’s upcoming Cornerstone 2030 strategic plan to shape Florida’s future.

“I am honored to be a part of this important project,” Gray said in a statement. “This report will provide recommendations on how to expand Florida’s innovation economy and propel our state’s investment in advanced technology research.”

The Florida Chamber Foundation, founded in 1968, endeavors to find business-led solutions to the state’s economic challenges. The organization has recently concentrated on developing “Six Pillars,” a platform for the first-ever, long-term strategic plan for the state. Six topics identified for change include Talent Supply and Education; Innovation and Economic Development; Infrastructure and Growth Leadership; Business Climate and Competitiveness; Civic and Governance Systems, and Quality of Life and Quality Places.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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