Governor Scott Announces Two Jacksonville Area Companies as Innovators in Business

Awards honor businesses for job creation, entrepreneurship, and export growth and excellence

Today, Governor Rick Scott, along with Secretary of Commerce and President & CEO of Enterprise Florida (EFI) Gray Swoope, announced the Jacksonville area winners of the 2013 Governor’s Innovators in Business Awards during Florida Business Innovators Week. The awards recognize Florida companies in select industries that have influenced the state’s economic growth and diversification over the last year.

Governor Scott said, “The private sector of Florida’s First Coast is creating jobs for the families who call the area home. I am excited to join Enterprise Florida today to announce our winners for the Governor’s Innovators in Business Awards. Florida’s private-sector turnaround and growth is great news, but we still have a long way to go. I look forward to continuing to work to ensure that every Floridian can find a great job.”

Secretary of Commerce Swoope said, “Florida and its companies continue to be the model for economic recovery and growth. Companies from every industry around the state have helped produce jobs and provide opportunities that companies in other states just haven’t been able to match. They truly deserve to be recognized for their resilience, innovation and achievements. On behalf of EFI, congratulations to each of these worthy companies and we look forward to their continued success.”

EFI has hosted the annual program for 30 years. The winners are chosen by a panel of judges that includes business leaders, past winners and EFI staff. Winners were recognized at a special event in the Governor’s Mansion this evening. The event was sponsored by Bank of America and Florida Trend magazine.

Omni Amelia Island Plantation of Nassau County won the Innovation and Expansion in Tourism and Hospitality in a mid market. Omni Amelia Island Plantation has had a positive job impact on Nassau County, adding 160 permanent jobs and 200 additional seasonal associates. With more than 1,000 employees during season, they are the largest employer in the county.

“It’s an honor for Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort to be this year’s recipient of The Governor’s Innovation/Expansion in Tourism/Hospitality Award,” said Donald Stamets, Managing Director of Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort. “This recognition is truly a testament to the exceptional quality of hospitality and dedication of everyone involved in the extensive $85 million re-imagination of our property, celebrating a new chapter in a 40-year history. The future is exciting for this landmark destination and we are confident visitors to the great state of Florida will be pleased with all we have to offer.”

Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc. of Duval County won the Rising Star award in a mega market. Deutsche Bank, a global banking and financial services company, with offices in Duval County won the Rising Star award in a mega market. The bank’s Jacksonville campus has grown rapidly from 100 employees since opening the facility in 2008, with plans to continue its expansion through 2015.

“Deutsche Bank is honored to receive the Governor’s Innovators in Business — Rising Star Award. We are proud of our growth and excited about the future of Deutsche Bank in Florida,” said Leslie Slover, head of Technology and Operations Service Centers for the Americas.

“Our efforts would not have been possible without the initiatives led by Governor Rick Scott’s administration and Enterprise Florida. Their economic policies have restored job growth and created opportunities for firms like Deutsche Bank to establish sustainable roots in the region,” added Michael Drexler, head of Corporate Banking & Securities Florida.


Three awards were given in each of the following categories:

  • Governor’s Business Expansion Award: Florida companies that expanded their operations in 2012, investing capital and creating jobs for Floridians.
  • Governor’s Newcomer Award: New-to-Florida companies that began business operations in 2012.
  • Governor’s Export Excellence Award: Florida companies with new or significant increases in documented export sales in 2012.
  • Governor’s Innovation/Entrepreneurship Award: Florida start-up companies or innovative companies that have set a standard for entrepreneurship and creativity in the past three years.
  • Governor’s Innovation in Tourism and Hospitality Award: Florida companies that best exemplify innovation developed through product or process in the last three years.
  • Governor’s Rising Star Awards: Rising Florida companies that have shown a commitment to business growth, professional excellence and involvement in their communities.

To see the full list of this year’s winners please click here.




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