Defense Networking Forum

Networking Forum Creates Opportunities for Pinellas Defense Industry

On April 27, 2023 Pinellas County Economic Development (PCED) hosted a Defense Networking Forum in partnership with The Maritime and Defense Technology Hub (The Hub), the Global Forensic Justice Center at Florida International University, and sponsors Alakai Defense and the Florida Defense Contractors Association. The event was a success enjoyed by nearly 100 attendees. “We had an excellent turnout,” expounds Scott Talcott, Economic Development Manager with PCED. “More than 46 different companies were represented, including five that are new to Pinellas. This was a fantastic opportunity for them to get a feel for our robust defense industry and the many opportunities it offers for both new and existing businesses.”

The event featured informative presentations from Kevin Lothridge, Deputy Executive Director of the Global Forensic Justice Center at Florida International University; Kathleen Peters, Vice Chair of the Pinellas County Board of County Commission; Ed Dottery, President of Alakai Defense Systems; and Retired Brigadier General Chip Diehl. Participants enjoyed ample opportunities for networking, and facility tours of the Global Forensic and Justice Center included an up-close look at Pinellas County’s Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF), which was funded in part by the County’s Employment Sites Program. Allison Barlow, Executive Director of the St. Petersburg Innovation District, joined Scott Talcott to provide matchmaking assistance for interested company representatives.

Forum attendees, sponsors, and guest speakers all provided positive feedback on the event and were eager to see more events like it in the future. “This was an excellent networking forum for our defense industry and created a platform for enhanced relationship-building among our local defense contractors,” summarized PCED’s Business Development Division Director Suzanne Christman.

Learn more about Pinellas County’s defense industry.

Pinellas County – The Ideal Business Climate

Pinellas County Economic Development (PCED) works with existing businesses to encourage expansion and seeks to attract new companies with high-wage careers to Central Florida’s Gulf Coast. Through investment tools, professional courses and business counseling sessions, trade missions to open new markets, as well as local, regional and statewide partnerships, PCED fosters a pro-business climate in Pinellas County, Florida.

Pinellas County Economic Development
The EpiCenter, 13805 58th Street North, Suite 1-200
Clearwater, Florida 33760

(727) 464-7332 direct
(888) 759-5627 outside of Florida
(727) 464-7053 fax