Bradenton-Sarasota-St. Petersburg, Florida (January 8, 2015) – For the first time, the board of directors of both Manatee Chamber of Commerce and Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation have elected chairs from the same company – Blalock Walters, P.A. With a history of leadership and commitment to both organizations, Blalock Walters attorneys have served as Chamber and EDC past chairs, board and trustee members, and have participated on various development committees over the past 40 years.
Jonathan Fleece, Managing Partner of Blalock Walters, P.A., has been elected 2015 Chair of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. A member of the Chamber’s board since 2010, former Chair of Chamber Health Care Committee, and former Vice Chair of Community Development & Communication, Fleece plans to emphasize five leadership initiatives that support the mission of building a positive business environment while enhancing the community’s quality of life: education and workforce development, technology, workforce housing, and member engagement.
“It is an honor and a privilege to serve as Chair of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce,” Fleece said. “Over the course of my chairmanship, I plan to focus on advancing the issues that are important to our economy and community. I look forward to serving alongside my fellow board members and the Chamber team, complementing the outstanding work the organization does on behalf of our business community.”
“We are excited to have Jonathan as our Chairman of the Board,” said Bob Bartz, President, Manatee Chamber of Commerce. “Jonathan has been very involved in the Chamber for many years and the breadth and depth of his knowledge of our organization and the community will serve us well as he leads us to new heights in 2015.”
The Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation, the lead economic development organization for the Bradenton Area’s nine communities located south of Tampa Bay, has named Mark Barnebey, Principal at Blalock Walters, P.A., Chair of the 2015 Board of Directors. Barnebey has been instrumental in the EDC’s growth and its independence from the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, becoming its own not-for-profit corporation in 2012. Barnebey has served on the EDC Executive Committee, as Secretary, and Chair-Elect.
As Chair, Barnebey will oversee the corporation’s strategy of bringing greater diversity to the Bradenton Area’s economy and aligning the community’s assets with business sectors already in Manatee County.
“I look forward to working with the EDC staff and board members to diversify the local economy by attracting and retaining high-wage jobs for area residents, and connecting existing businesses to the resources they need to succeed,” said Barnebey. “Considering the strong regional, national and international competition, it is vital for the growth of our community to have a robust economic development arm, like the EDC.”
“Mark Barnebey is the right leader at the right time as the Bradenton Area EDC focuses on a strategic planning process in 2015 that will guide the EDC’s work for the next several years,” said Sharon Hillstrom, EDC president and chief executive officer. “Mark’s extensive community knowledge and abiding commitment to enhancing the quality of life in the Bradenton area will continue to be vital qualities in his role as EDC Chair.
Mark Barnebey, Florida Board Certified in City, County and Local Government Law, practices in our Land Use Law, Local Government Law, and Real Estate service groups. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Blalock Walters, P.A. is a multi-practice, regional law firm built on a foundation of integrity and hard work. With over 20 attorneys, we serve a wide range of clients in diverse industries. Throughout its more than 90-year history the firm has been a trusted advisor in resolving the legal needs of individuals, leading businesses and other institutions throughout Southwest Florida and beyond. Blalock Walters’ offices are located in Bradenton, Sarasota, and St. Petersburg, Florida. For more information, please visit www.blalockwalters.com.