Round two for Petway, JEDCTom Petway
...For the second time in five years, Tom Petway is serving as the chairman of the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission.
, who had been reappointed to the JEDC
a couple of months earlier to finish Chipper Hall's term, agreed recently to replace Newbill as chair.
Over the past five-plus years, the JEDC
has incentivized dozens of economic development projects with hundreds of millions of dollars and Petway
was in on many of those deals, including the Adam's Mark Hotel
and Berkman Plaza.Since Petway
stepped down in 1999 to make way for Leerie Jenkins, the JEDC
has continued its course, approving several other major projects, including the Vestcor residential development and the 10-year, three-phase, mixed-use Shipyards project. With so many major projects in the works, the sentiment of many, including some City Council members, is for the JEDC
to start concentrating on smaller, varied developments that will complement the major projects that will be completed within the next couple of years. However, in a manner similar to his
first stint as chair, Petway
still sees the JEDC
as a powerful tool to help drive the revitalization of downtown Jacksonville and also serve areas of town that need economic assistance. "There's no reason to limit our activity," said Petway
, adding that every proposed project should be evaluated no matter how much in incentives is being sought."There's no reason to exclude anything.Small, medium and large economic development projects can be accommodated." Petway, who is chairman of the board at Zurich Insurance Services, Inc. and part owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, was asked by Mayor John Delaney to serve on the JEDC shortly after Delaney was elected in 1995.
"The JEDC was operating prior to those dates ," said Petway
."We operated under an executive [mayoral] order before we were constituted as a legal entity by State legislation." According to Petway
, the JEDC
really took flight as the area's preeminent economic driver after a Delaney-organized meeting at the University of North Florida
.Although the meeting took place before the legislation was enacted, it still served as the catalyst for the JEDC
and helped lay the groundwork for the 14-division organization. "The mayor had an economic development summit at UNF right after he
was elected in 1995," said Petway
."Hundreds of economic planners from all over town were invited.The objective was to get out of the box regarding the future of economic development.At the time, there were 29 different initiatives involving various groups from all over the city and county and they were all doing their own thing. "The plan was to consolidate them into one economic development organization much like the city government did years earlier.My goal in my original tenure was organizing the new company that was expected to deal with economic development in Jacksonville." One aspect of reaching that goal was met when Petway
helped arrange the JEDC
into 14 divisions with distinctly different priorities, goals and staff.Upon reflection, Petway
also points to Cecil Field as one of his, and the JEDC's
, early and major successes.
"The Chamber was the marketing wing and the way we merged the Cecil Field closing and bringing it into the economic development scene was the highlight of that period of time," said Petway
. Despite his
recent reappointment to the JEDC
, Petway's days on the Commission are numbered (his term doesn't expire until June 30, 2004, but he
doesn't plan to serve that long).Like Delaney, he
will step down at the end of next June and focus on running his
business.As a CEO and co-chair with Peter Rummell of the Super Bowl Host Committee, Petway will also turn his attention to helping Jacksonville prepare for the 2005 Super Bowl.
"They have an awful lot going on," said Petway
."They have a good executive director in Kirk Wendland and a good board of commissioners.There's a lot in the pipeline downtown and on the north and west side.Downtown development is well underway with the new ball park, arena and renovations to Alltel Stadium.The east side of downtown [the Talleyrand area] is on everybody's radar screen. "I'm just doing this for Mayor Delaney.After he's
gone, I'm gone too."