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Chris Hart IV

It’s official: Pete Antonacci hired as Enterprise Florida CEO

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Without surprise or intrigue, the full board of Enterprise Florida (EFI) on Monday hired lawyer and Gov. Rick Scott loyalist Pete Antonacci to be its next leader. The former lobbyist had been recommended as the new CEO by the jobs-recruiting agency’s executive committee during a conference call last week. Scott chairs the EFI board of directors as governor.

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Personnel note: Chris Hart IV joins Florida TaxWatch

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Chris Hart IV, who stepped down after less than three months as CEO of Enterprise Florida (EFI), has taken a post as Executive Vice President of Florida TaxWatch, the organization announced Thursday. “We are thrilled to welcome Chris as part of the Florida TaxWatch family as a key part of our leadership team,” TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro said in a statement. “He will be at the center of efforts to ensure that the nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institute builds upon its successes while…

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Family affair: Chris Hart, family open home decor and design firm

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Chris Hart is getting back to business, and this time it’s a family affair. Hart, the former president and CEO of Enterprise Florida, and his wife, Amy, recently opened The Hare & The Hart, a home décor and design firm in Tallahassee. The family-owned company specializes in toile with a hometown twist. “As a tribute to the town I’ve called home for a good part of three decades, I have designed a toile that shows some of its iconic sites…

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Enterprise Florida names Mike Grissom interim CEO

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Enterprise Florida’s Executive Committee named Mike Grissom interim CEO Tuesday, a day after the embattled agency’s CEO abruptly resigned. Former CEO Chris Hart IV resigned after serving only three months on the job. Stan Connally, vice chairman of the Enterprise board of directors, hastily called the meeting Tuesday and nominated Grissom, who served as interim CEO last year. Grissom is the current executive vice president of the economic development agency. “Mike Grissom served in the previous interim CEO role,” said…

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Mark Wilson calls House push to eliminate Enterprise Florida ‘a political conversation about ideology’

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Addressing what he called the “obvious elephant in the room,” Florida Chamber President Mark Wilson criticized Florida House members who backed an effort to end economic incentive programs, calling the move political. “I want to be blunt for a few minutes,” said Wilson. “This is not a Legislature trying to seek how to diversify the economy and how to grow trade. This is a political conversation about an ideology that frankly is silly.” Wilson made his comments during the 2017…

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Professional services firm announces HQ relocation to Tampa from North Carolina

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BlueLine Associates, a professional services firm, is relocating its global headquarters from Cary, North Carolina to Tampa. For the move., BlueLine expects to invest more than $2 million in the local economy, and create 150 new jobs, paying an average wage of $71,909. While the firm currently has offices in Tampa, the relocation of its headquarters will expand the company’s footprint to include its financial, legal and human resources groups. Gov. Rick Scott hailed the move as “great news.” “We…

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House panel begins discussions about economic incentives

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A Florida House subcommittee took its first stab at addressing economic incentives during a panel discussion Wednesday. While the two-hour House Careers & Competition Subcommittee meeting gave experts a chance to weigh-in on economic incentives, the crux of the discussion centered around a single question from Rep. Halsey Beshears, the committee’s chairman. Beshears asked the panel — which included Chris Hart IV, president and CEO of Enterprise Florida; Cissy Proctor, the executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Development; and…

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