BUSINESS BEAT: Leadership North Broward explores North Broward’s economic engines

Posted on 08 July 2018 by LeslieM

By Karen Lustgarten

Ever wonder what the restricted areas in North Broward’s top industries are like? What makes big businesses and government entities in this region tick and how can you get private backstage tour tickets to them? Leadership North Broward (LNB), in conjunction with the Greater Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce, is the way. This executive local leadership program is designed to inform and empower participants to greater business success by connecting with government and business decision makers in the region.

One day a month for seven months, Leadership North Broward 2018 participants have been experiencing a full itinerary of seminars, field trips and restricted guided tours through the inner workings of eight different industry sectors that impact our region economically, including tourism, public service (police, S.W.A.T. team, fire-rescue tours), health services (inner workings of area hospitals), local and regional government day, big businesses (Whole Foods docking/deliveries) and education entities.

June’s industry field trip featured transportation sites: two executive airports and Port Everglades — not the popular cruise side, but the restricted cargo side.

Did you know that 60 percent of Pompano Beach Air Park, the executive airport for private aircraft, is devoted to flight training with helicopters and small planes? It also provides aircraft rentals and charters, scenic rides, aerial photography and mapping/surveying. Steve Rocco, Air Park manager, traced the 71-year history and importance of the facility to the local area, including air ambulance and search/rescue services.

The Air Park also is home to storage hangers, aircraft sales, maintenance and avionics repairs when planes break down. And, the next time you see the Goodyear Blimp in the sky, know that its hangar home is adjacent to the Air Park.

Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport, in contrast, handles large private planes up to 737s. LNB participants were treated to an interactive presentation by the airport’s Assistant Manager Carlton Harrison and Karen Reese about the history and growth of this economic engine on June 21. Did you know that the executive airport has its own police substation, a U.S. Customs and Border protection facility, 24-hour airport security, a 24-hour FAA Air Traffic Control Tower, 24-hour aircraft rescue and firefighting services? It’s also Foreign Trade Zone 241, which means big duty-free benefits to companies here doing international business.

We were driven around this general aviation city within a city with 5,100 employees. Noteworthy was the discussion about excellent career opportunities in aviation, especially at the airport. Both executives emphasized the need for college graduates in airport-related fields and the partnerships forming with local colleges to ensure more graduates enter this field.

An escorted bus tour of Port Everglades’ highly restricted cargo area ended the day. This powerhouse port does more than $22 billion in trade with the world. We were treated to a backstage guided tour covering acres of cargo area where complex cranes and equipment were moving and stacking huge containers that come off ships.

A trip to the top of the Harbor Master Tower, the air traffic control tower of the sea, topped the day. The harbor master shared how he monitors, on multiple large computer screens, hundreds of ships coming, going and docked at the port, along with activity in and around it. The sophisticated operation in his perch with a 360-degree view was impressive.

Participant Johnathan Saluk, from American Credit Card Processing, found the experience worthwhile.

You get to see places and businesses you normally don’t see and it’s good networking with members in the group,” he said. “Every day we went out there was so much going on behind the scenes like at the docks, the satellite beacons, the new technology at the Broward Sherriff’s office.”

The next Leadership North Broward starts January 2019. Applications are accepted now. LNB costs $600 for members of the chamber and $1000 for non-members. But it is $350 for an annual Chamber membership, so you get both for the price of one and save $50! For more information/registration call the Greater Pompano Beach Chamber at 954-946-2940 or e-mail Cagnone@pompanobeachchamber.com.

Karen Lustgarten is president of Multi-Media Works, a multiple award-winning media company specializing in video PR, print and social media with offices in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. She has won awards for writing/producing videos for businesses and nonprofits, and for website content. Karen founded a newspaper in Washington, DC and was a syndicated columnist. www.multi-mediaworks.com.

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