One of the major tasks the EDC has undertaken in the past year focused on the image and message that we carry to the world’s businesses about Manatee County as a vibrant location for high-growth, higher wage businesses.
As part of our outreach strategy, we wanted to create a new visual image for the community as a business destination, and shape the messages that would resonate best with our target audiences.
Major elements of the outreach program, which is based on research with business location decision-makers, include:
- Promoting the place name primarily as “Bradenton Area” and changing the EDC’s name to Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp.
- Visually identifying the community’s business location brand through a logo featuring a stylized version of the Skyway Bridge and the words “Bradenton Area Economic Development”
- Providing a sophisticated, targeted approach to identifying and reaching business location decision-makers
- Identifying professional, cost-effective tools and tactics for delivering the message
Sharon Hillstrom is the President and CEO of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation. She assumed this role in December of 2011. She is responsible for the development and oversight of all Economic Development programs to recruit new high-impact businesses and to assist in the retention and growth of targeted existing businesses in Manatee County. Ms. Hillstrom spearheads business development efforts in the targeted industry sectors of sports performance and life science. Ms. Hillstrom also oversees the operational management of the MEDC, including budget management, staff development and supervision, investor recruitment and retention, and community relations. Ms. Hillstrom is a board member of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, the Suncoast Workforce and the Tampa Bay Partnership.