Pasco Economic Development Council 31st annual Awards and Trade Show

 The Pasco Economic Development Council hosted its 31st annual Awards and Trade Show on Thursday, August. 31, 2017, located at Saddlebrook Resort and Spa.

The evening at Saddlebrook Resort and Spa opened with a reception at 5 p.m., followed by the awards celebration 6-7 p.m. After the awards, festivities continued with the trade show and dinner, which featured more than 50 exhibitors from businesses throughout Pasco County.

“I think people thoroughly enjoyed the upbeat tempo and all of the networking opportunities,” said Bill Cronin, Pasco EDC, President/CEO. “We love having the opportunity to honor Pasco companies, and all 24 nominees have had such an important impact on economic development. It was difficult for the awards committee to narrow it down, but the seven winners truly deserve this honor.”

With new award categories, nominees were scored based on company growth, leadership in current business issues and corporate citizenship.

Some businesses that were nominated were: Academy at the Lakes Inc., Avalon Park West, Florida Hospital Center Ice, Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, R.J. Kielty Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, and Wiregrass Ranch.

More than 600 business and community leaders attended the trade show. Seven awards were distributed at the event. Nominees were scored based on: company growth, leadership in current business issues, and corporate citizenship. The 2017 Pasco EDC Award Winners are:

  1. Business of the Year- Start-Up Category: Florida Hospital Center Ice
    Florida Hospital Center Ice is a 150,000-square foot facility just off Interstate 75 in Wesley Chapel, with over $30 million in capital investment
  2. Business of the Year- Small Category: Express Employment Professionals
    Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the local franchise remains in the top 15 percent of the company for its fifth consecutive year.
  3. Business of the Year- Medium Category: FACTS Engineering LLC
    FACTS Engineering has seen a sales increase of 33 percent over the last year. During that time, they invested over $250,000 in a parking lot expansion, and over $200,000 in office, warehouse and IT enhancements.
  4. Business of the Year- Large Category: TRU Simulation and Training, Inc.
    TRU recently invested over $5 million in facility expansion and purchased another $15 million in simulation devices.
  5. Special Contribution- North Tampa Behavioral Health
    Their $15 million facility expansion will help them focus on their veterans and active duty program CORE: Challenge, Overcome, Restore, and Empower. They provide the only services in the area that offer treatment for emergency responders. 
  6. Special Recognition- Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point
    In August 2016, lightning struck the generators on the hospital roof, catching fire, and causing all power on the campus to be lost. They were able to overcame the situation and safely evacuate over 1,000 patients, visitors and personnel in under seven hours without any injuries.
  7. Leadership Award- The late, James “Don” Porter
    Porter’s passion, strong will, persistence, and dedication, served him well as he led the convening of county stakeholders in creating a world-class master planned development, Wiregrass Ranch. You can still see evidence of Don’s work and vision around Wiregrass Ranch today.

About Pasco Economic Development Council
The Pasco Economic Development Council is committed to developing Florida's most competitive climate for business growth by providing businesses, that seek to start, move, or grow in the North Tampa Bay area, a comprehensive suite of programs that can help them to reach their full economic potential.  Since 1987, Pasco EDC has fostered a strong partnership funded by corporate and public investors focused on the economic vitality of Pasco County.  Discover more at

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