The Florida Economic Gardening Institute in conjunction with the University of Central Florida will host the 9th Annual National Economic Gardening Conference in Orlando on May 19-20, 2011.

The conference’s primary focus is to give business leaders and economic development representatives the tools necessary to develop viable business development programs that will strengthen their communities, regions and states.  Practitioners and speakers from across the country will convene to share ideas and teach new ways to stabilize and grow existing businesses, while learning about the Florida model.

“The theme of the conference this year is going to be focused on the success of the Florida pilot project.  We have been able to scale up the Littleton, Colorado program to a state the size of Florida with high fidelity.  We will explore all the components that led to that success.” said Chris Gibbons, Co-Creator of Economic Gardening.

The conference will begin with a networking reception on Thursday, May 19 at Casa Feliz, the beautifully restored Spanish Farmhouse designed by acclaimed architect James Gamble Rogers located in Winter Park.  The conference will be held at the state-of-the-art facilities at the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management. The scheduled sessions will cover a variety of topics including Entrepreneurs in the Florida Pilot Economic Gardening Program, Building Local Engagement, Outreach and Marketing Strategies, Organizational Culture Perspectives, a Panel Discussion on Other State Programs and their Best Practices, along with many others.

According to Dr. Tom O’Neal, Executive Director of the Florida Economic Gardening Institute, “We look forward to hosting this important and growing event and look forward to the opportunity to share how economic gardening has reshaped the economic development landscape in Florida.”

The cost of the conference is $150 per person through April 30th, and $175 through May 18th, and $200 per person at the door. There are also lodging discounts for conference guests at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. For more information including sponsorships and registration please log on to or call 407-823-6384 for additional information.  Attire for the conference is business casual.

Florida Economic Gardening Institute (FEGI)

The Florida Economic Gardening Institute was created by the 2009 Florida Legislature as the Economic Gardening Technical Assistance Pilot Program to stimulate investment in Florida’s economy by providing technical assistance for expanding businesses in the state.  Qualified companies must be engaged in the following sectors:  Manufacturing; Finance & Insurance Services; Wholesale Trade; Information Industries; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Management Services; and, Administrative & Support Services.  Additional information is available at