2024 CDFC Mission Trip Recap

Last month, Architect Emily Breheny, joined the Central Florida Development Council on their 2024 Leadership Mission Trip to learn about “infrastructure planning, collaboration, and innovation in the Jacksonville area.” During this trip, the attendees met with local leaders, private-sector executives, and area officials to hear about their collective experience in creating solutions for their community.

This was a great opportunity to network with both CFDC attendees and leaders in the Jacksonville area. Emily was able to learn about how Jacksonville has been able to re-envision the city landscape and re-use various historic buildings, like Cowford Chophouse, once the First National Bank of Florida and now Steakhouse and rooftop lounge where the Leadership Mission trip kicked off.

There was plenty of notable information with speakers like Aundra Wallace (President, JAXUSA) who spoke about Quality of Life through an Economic Development Lens. In his talk, Aundra emphasized that being a quick decision-maker keeps projects on track and the importance of attainable housing for the community. “An interesting thought Aundra shared was that Gen-Z doesn’t move to a city for a job like previous generations, but rather for the location as a whole,” Emily remarked.

The trip continued with a site visit to Miller Electric Company where key leaders discussed re-use and sustainability ideas. Attendees learned about the new Skyway plan to turn the outdated transportation into a track for autonomous vehicles and were able to see Miller Electric’s EV design station that has various Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers and allows Miller Electric to collect important research on EV chargers while providing a space for the public to utilize various chargers.

“The CDFC’s Leadership Mission trip to Jacksonville gave me a new perspective on economic development that I’m bringing back to Polk County to use as inspiration in my work,” said Emily. Overall, the event was extremely welcoming to new and long-term members alike and Emily looks forward to continuing to staying involved with the Central Florida Development Council and attending future events.

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Images courtesy of the Central Florida Development Council

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