On Friday, April 25, CFO of Florida Jeff Atwater spoke at the Quarterly Pillar Breakfast hosted by the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) and presented by Economic Development Consultants (EDC). Hosted at the Alexander All-Suites Oceanfront Resort, Michael S. Goldberg, Chairman of the Chamber and SVP of Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust opened the meeting, and DeAnne Connolly Graham, Chairman of the Pillar Board introduced Jeff Atwater and welcomed 100 guests.
At the breakfast, Atwater spoke in depth about the rocky history of the state’s top line revenue numbers and its shaky employment rate, which has improved since 2009. “Let me share with you where we are today,” he said. “Top line revenue today is at 25 and a half billion dollars, not yet 28 [billion], but better then 21 million [in 2009].” His speech about Florida’s future was hopeful and he touted the tremendous strides of his administration.
“Housing permits are up 20% and that alone has helped put 41,000 workers in the construction field back in work this year.” said Atwater. “We create the conditions for your success.” In the last year alone, his office has put over 500,000 jobs back on the market. Additionally, over 1.5 billion dollars has transferred to Florida because individuals have decided to relocate to not only live but do business.
A fifth-generation Floridian, Jeff Atwater was elected Florida’s Chief Financial Officer on November 2, 2010, and sworn into office on January 4, 2011. Since assuming office, CFO Atwater’s priorities have been to aggressively eliminate the fraud that increases the cost of living for Floridians, reduce regulations that inhibit job growth and economic expansion, expand his earlier efforts at fiscal transparency and governmental accountability, and protect the state’s most vulnerable citizens from financial harm and abuse.
Immediately following Atwater’s speech, the Chamber and Israel Bonds hosted a panel discussion on “Investment in Israel.” The distinguished panel included the following individuals: CFO Atwater, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, Eli Groner, Israel’s Minister of Economic Affairs to the United States and Lyon Roth, Southeast Florida Israel Bonds Chairman. Development Corporation for Israel, commonly known as Israel Bonds, is a brokerdealer that underwrites securities issued by the State of Israel in the United States.
In addition to his service as an elected official, Atwater has performed volunteer work with many charitable and not-forprofit organizations and has served on a number of governing boards, including the United Way, the Chamber of Commerce, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and Take Stock in Children, among others.