SelectFlorida is the state of Florida’s official international commerce organization, serving as a catalyst for economic development, economic diversification into targeted industries, and high-wage job creation for Floridians.
SelectFlorida, Inc. (SelectFL) was formed and founded in 2023 to absorb the state’s international commerce functions and operate as a model Direct Support Organization (DSO) for the Florida Department of Commerce (FloridaCommerce). SelectFL is proud to be the state’s official international trade and investment promotion agency.
SelectFlorida’s mission to is attract, retain, and create higher-wage jobs for Floridians by working closely with FloridaCommerce to achieve this goal.
SelectFlorida operates as a public-private partnership collaborating with private sector leaders and investors to drive Florida’s economic growth alongside FloridaCommerce.
SelectFlorida serves as a catalyst for economic development by promoting Florida as a premier business destination and expanding the state’s economy through private-sector job creation.
SelectFlorida works closely with Florida, U.S., and international businesses in key targeted industries, connecting them with state and local resources.
In pursuit of this important mission, SelectFlorida is proud to partner with a statewide network of economic development partners amplifying our impact.
OUR CORE PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
For companies expanding or locating in Florida:
Florida companies interested in global growth:
WHO WE SERVE
SelectFlorida supports mostly small to medium sized (SME) manufacturers in growing their business overseas through a consultative approach to export assistance and also works with international businesses seeking to invest and expand in Florida, utilizing our expansive network of international offices in key global markets. Both activities generate a significant Return on Investment (ROI) for the state and are highly regarded as model programs in the U.S. and around the world.
SelectFlorida is also honored to serve the executive leadership of the state of Florida by organizing international missions and forging international partnerships that support the expansion of international business. SelectFlorida’s team has many years of experience supporting the international visits and mission of Governors and Secretaries for our great state.
SELECTFLORIDA BOARD MEMBERS
State Director, Florida Small Business Development Center
Greg Britton is the State Director of the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, Florida’s largest and leading provider of assistance for small and medium-sized businesses. In this capacity, Britton is responsible for overseeing the operations of the network’s more than 40 offices and over 250 employees, executing the Florida SBDC’s strategy, and ensuring the network continues to exceed stakeholder expectations and contribute value to Florida’s bottom line. As a senior manufacturing executive, Britton holds more than 25 years of experience in aviation, medical, oil and gas, and high-tech commercial production manufacturing. Before joining the Florida SBDC, he revitalized, turned around, and led multiple organizations and businesses. Most recently, Britton was the Chief Operating Officer for DEFENSEWERX, an organization with the mission to cultivate innovative collaboration between the private sector and our armed forces. He garnered that position after first serving as the Chief of Strategic Partnerships and the Interim Director of AFWERX Vegas. Prior to his time with DEFENSEWERX, Britton was Director of the Division of Strategic Business Development for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). During his time at DEO, Britton applied his business management style and team building skills to make significant gains for the department whose primary responsibility combines economic development initiatives, workforce support and training and community development efforts to fuel job creation around the state. Before his time of service in the public sector, Britton spent his career with Fort Walton Machining, Inc. (FWM), a company that offers laser, saw, welding, grinding, and other equipment, as well as provides fabrication, engineering, and finishing services. FWM serves the aerospace, commercial, defense, and medical industries in the United States. Britton received a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Trine University. He currently serves on the board of trustees of the Florida Chamber Foundation and previously served as board chairman of the Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council and the One Okaloosa EDC. He is a former University of West Florida trustee and a former member of the state advisory board of the Florida SBDC Network.
President & CEO, Florida’s Great Northwest
After her non-profit public relations career morphed into the economic development profession, Jennifer Conoley has been promoting Northwest Florida for growth and diversification, attracting quality companies, and fostering new job creation since 2009. In March 2020, Conoley became the leader of Florida’s Great Northwest (FGNW), the regional economic development organization for the 13-county region of Florida’s panhandle. FGNW, along with its investors, are a unified voice promoting, advocating, and collaborating for Northwest Florida’s business competitiveness. Under Conoley’s leadership, FGNW has spearheaded key initiatives for Northwest Florida, including: The attraction of Probes Unlimited Inc., a manufacturer of customer temperature OEM sensing devices, to the rural community of Bonifay (Holmes County), adding 60 quality jobs to the area. The attraction of Central Moloney Inc., an electrical distribution transformer manufacturer, at two locations in Northwest Florida (Bay County and Okaloosa County), creating 550 quality jobs with a $75 million capital investment. The creation and launch of Leadership Northwest Florida, an educational program focused on regional collaboration through community, content, and connection. It elevated the impressions of Northwest Florida’s industry diversity to site selectors and company executives through a new, signature ‘Beyond Our Beaches’ brand to include an inbound site selectors event, a data-driven revamp of our marketing materials and a ‘Best in Show’ award-winning local craft beer gift campaign. Before joining FGNW, Conoley was a senior economic development project manager for Gulf Power for seven years. She began her economic development career with the Bay County Economic Development Alliance in Panama City, Fla. in March 2009 serving as project and marketing manager. Conoley graduated summa cum laude from Florida State University and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication. She is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) with the International Economic Development Council and a Master Economic Development Practitioner with the Advanced Economic Development Leadership program offered by Texas Christian University, the University of New Mexico, and the University of Southern Mississippi. Some of her recognitions include: Florida’s 500 Most Influential Business Leaders by Florida Trend (2023), Above and Beyond inaugural award for women in Florida by City & State (2023), Top 50 Economic Developers in North America by Consultant Connect (2021, 2019), Pinnacle Award by 850 Magazine, recognizing outstanding women in Northwest Florida (2017), Top 40 under 40 Rising Star in Economic Development by Development Counsellors International (2017), 12 Interesting People Under 40 You Should Know by Emerald Coast Magazine (2013), 40 Under 40 by 850 Magazine (2012).
Vice President, HNTB
Beth Kigel serves as vice president, national practice consultant, and director of smart and connected solutions. She is based in HNTB’s Miami office. Kigel is a global thought-leader in new mobility and smart city ecosystems and is responsible for assisting transportation agencies, cities, and regions in developing smart and connected infrastructure solutions. She attended The University of Florida and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She then attended University of Central Florida where she received a Master of a Business Administration. Previously, she served as Florida Transportation Commissioner from 2012-2019. Kigel also served as president and CEO of the Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce covering a 10-municipality region. Under her leadership, the Chamber took on key strategic initiatives contributing to improved economic prosperity in the region. Prior to this role, Kigel served in various private sector leadership positions, within engineering and other firms, in areas such as finance, business development, and quality assurance, to government relations. Kigel is active on numerous appointed boards and industry associations, including ITS World Congress Board of Directors; Chair, ITS America Emerging Technologies Committee; Vice Chair of Florida Polytechnic University Board of Trustees; University of Florida Transportation Institute External Board of Advisors; Florida Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; chair, Autonomous Florida Program; Leadership Florida where she served as Chair, Board of Directors 2017-2018; and more. She received the 2018 Leadership and Innovation Award, presented at the Florida Automated Vehicle Summit. Beth also received the 2021 Florida Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Award for her Autonomous Florida leadership. Beth Kigel is also recognized as one of the Florida 500, Florida Trend’s recognition of Florida’s 500 most influential executives.
Chief of Regulatory Compliance, JAXPORT
Primrose, Chief of Regulatory Compliance, oversees the port’s regulatory compliance in the areas of maritime law, environmental policy, safety, and risk management. He also serves as JAXPORT’s liaison with the Jacksonville City Council’s Special Committee on Resiliency and the City of Jacksonville’s Office of General Counsel. Primrose is an experienced public policy professional and licensed attorney. Prior to joining JAXPORT, he served as Deputy General Counsel for Florida Governors Ron DeSantis and Rick Scott, and General Counsel for the State of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management. In these positions, he provided oversight and regulatory strategy on transportation, emergency preparedness, the economy, and other matters impacting the people of Florida. Primrose is a member of the Florida Bar and holds a Juris Doctor from Barry University, a Master of Public Administration from DePaul University, and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Communication from Lake Forest College. In 2021, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis appointed Primrose Chairman of the Florida Elections Commission, a bipartisan group that enforces the state’s election code and campaign finance laws. He is also a member of Leadership Florida Connect Class 11 and a Scholar of the American Enterprise Institute Leadership Network.
President & CEO, Florida Council of 100
Michael Simas is the President & CEO of the Florida Council of 100, a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of chief executives committed to promoting economic growth and improving the quality of life for the people of our state. Now representing more than 150 businesses with over 1.3 million employees, for more than six decades, the Council has been charged with providing advice on key economic development issues from the business community’s perspective to Florida’s elected leaders and government officials across the political and ideological spectrum. Having engaged with Fortune 500 CEOs for the past twenty years, Michael brought his economic development acumen to Florida after serving as Executive Vice President of the Partnership for New York City, the city’s most powerful business association. While there, he forged groundbreaking alliances between many of the state’s largest companies and top elected officials to increase talent, infrastructure, and sector-driven investments in New York’s emerging industries. His accomplishments include spearheading the creation of the $1.2 billion Excelsior Jobs Program to expand the footprint of the city’s growth sector businesses, and leading initiatives that generated $2.7 billion in savings over 10 years for city businesses through coalition building and the negotiation of New York’s first business tax changes in nearly two decades. Additionally, Michael has long been an ardent supporter of innovation as a key driver of economic success. While in New York City, he created the Partnership’s Innovation Council, which brought together the city’s top tech entrepreneurs and investors to advocate for the city’s competitiveness. He also launched the Transit Tech Lab, which for the first time in a century brought private sector solutions to solve the city’s transit crisis, and successfully led advocacy efforts for a city and state government investment of $1.5 billion to accelerate the development of wet lab space, support creation of multiple incubators and accelerators, and attract venture capital investors to the region to scale the city’s life sciences industry. Michael has also held private-sector leadership positions in the financial services and technology industries. He was recognized as one of New York’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars by City and State Magazine. Following the lead of many top executives, Michael moved to Florida full time in 2022. He lives in Sarasota with his wife Cara and their two sons, Logan and Blake.
President & CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce
Mark Wilson serves as president and chief executive officer of Florida’s largest and most influential business advocacy organization. Wilson leads the substantial political, lobbying, grassroots, and economic research operations of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. The Florida Chamber focuses on creating a business climate that generates prosperity and high-paying jobs, vibrant communities, and global competitiveness in Florida by focusing on job creation and the Six Pillars of Florida’s Future Economy: Talent Supply & Education, Innovation & Economic Development, Infrastructure & Growth Leadership, Business Climate & Competitiveness, Civic & Governance Systems and Quality of Life & Quality Places. Through his focus on unifying the business community, Wilson created the Florida Business Agenda and the Florida Chamber Grassroots Network, which mobilizes the business community on issues ranging from taxes and talent to insurance and constitutional amendment reform. Wilson was also the first president of the Florida Justice Reform Institute, a Florida Chamber partner organization focused on reducing frivolous lawsuits. In addition to his legislative successes, Wilson is also the architect of groundbreaking statewide political campaigns that passed significant constitutional amendment reforms, as well as numerous legislative and issue campaigns. Wilson also served as treasurer and co-chair of the Vote No on 4 campaign, an anti-growth proposal, in one of the most successful voter education campaigns in Florida’s history. Wilson earned Florida Trend’s prestigious honor of being names Floridian of the Year for 2023. Wilson is a recent Chair of the National Association of State Chambers, and he serves on the Board of Directors of Florida Association of Chamber Professionals, Select Florida, Leadership Florida, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Chamber Foundation, as well as participation on the Florida Council of 100, the U.S. Chamber’s Committee of 100, and the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. A native of Illinois, Wilson received his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and has earned the national designation of Certified Chamber Executive (CCE). Prior to joining the Florida Chamber in 1998, Wilson served as vice president of the Chicagoland Chamber and previously served with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
President & CEO, Business Development Board of Palm Beach County
Kelly L. Smallridge is President and CEO of Palm Beach County’s public/private economic development agency, the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County (BDB) where she has worked for 34 years. She serves as the longest tenured economic development President in the State of Florida and has a solid track record in facilitating some of the largest job creation projects for Palm Beach County. In 2013, Governor Rick Scott awarded Kelly with the Governor’s Ambassador Medal recognizing her hard work in creating jobs in Palm Beach County. In March of 2022, she was inducted into the University of Florida’s Academy of Golden Gators. Kelly oversees all operations of the Business Development Board which is one of only five Accredited Economic Development Boards in the State of Florida. In 2004, she became the first female President of a South Florida economic development board after serving in many different capacities within the organization including the lead role for the Recruitment, Retention and Expansion from 1988-2004. In addition, she serves on the following boards: Southern Economic Development Council, International Economic Development Council, South Florida Fair, the Homeless Coalition, and The Education Foundation. In 2013 and 2021, she was featured on Fox News, CNBC, Bloomberg and the NY Post touting the assets of Palm Beach County and leading the “Wall Street South” initiative. Under her leadership, the BDB has transformed the economy of Palm Beach County and the organization has received numerous state and national awards for its work in recruiting and expanding companies to Palm Beach County. Kelly is also credited with leading the Wall Street South initiative which has led to the expansion of over 100 financial service firms from the Northeast to Palm Beach County including New Day USA, Millenium Asset Management, Point72, RiverNorth, Sanders Capital and Siris Capital to name a few. Her aggressive style in facilitating relocations and expansions has led to big announcements of jobs for the county from companies like Carrier Corporation, Amazon, ADT, Pratt & Whitney, Finfrock, Fed Ex, Sikorsky Helicopters, Aldi, and TBC Corporation to name a few. Kelly is also credited with creating several new programs for Palm Beach County: the first Expedited Permitting Ordinance which was adopted by 15 cities in Palm Beach County; a countywide “Shovel Ready” program to identify sites ready for construction within 12 months as well as several education initiatives involving high school and college level students. Some of her awards and recognitions include: -Florida Economic Developer of the Year in 2022 -Business of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches 2022 -Ambassador’s Medal by Governor Rick Scott -“Florida’s 500 Most Influential Business Leaders” by Florida Trend for last 10 years -“Palm Beach 100” by Palm Beach Media Group 2020, 2021 and 2022 -“Top 40 Business Leaders” by South Florida CEO -“Small Business Leader of the Year” by the Sun Sentinel -“Palm Beach County Public Schools Distinguished Alumni Award” by the Education Foundation -“Top 40 Influential Business Leader” by Palm Beacher Magazine -“Ultimate CEO” by the South Florida Business Journal -“Woman of the Year” Palm Beach North Chamber -“2021 Influential Business Woman Honoree” South Florida Business Journal Kelly has three sons, graduated from the University of Florida and resides in Wellington.