Richard Ennis, executive director of Melbourne International Airport, and Katherine Cobb, a provost at Eastern Florida State College, were honored Wednesday night at the annual meeting of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast.
Ennis received the EDC’s Volunteer of the Year award, while Cobb received the Thomas E. Gamble Excellence in Education for Economic Development Award, according to Local 6's news partner Florida Today.
Nearly 400 people attended Wednesday’s event, held at the KSC Visitor Complex. The turnout was one of the largest for the annual meeting.
The EDC, made up of business representatives, lawmakers and civic leaders it calls “investors,” is a semi-public agency tasked with advancing jobs and economic growth in Brevard County. Its budget comes from those investors and an allocation from Brevard County.
While the commission has come under fire recently from some critics for not being as transparent as they would like, its president and chief executive officer, Lynda Weatherman, released to the attendees job-creation figures that she said shows the EDC’s on the right track with its policies.
The figure show the Brevard EDC was fifth top performer in the state when it came to job creation.
Between Jan. 1, 2010, and last Sept. 30, according to figures from Enterprise Florida, the EDC helped with the creation of 4,921 jobs in Brevard. That was fifth highest in the state and behind larger-populated counties — and bigger economic development organizations — such as Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Orange and Duval.
“So despite bigger, more powerful (economic development organizations), we have had the ability and smarts to facilitate and create the opportunity for economic development by design,” Weatherman said during her presentation.