Keynote Presenter: John Delaney
John Delaney will address regional economic development initiatives and the importance of workforce development in the continued economic growth of St. Johns County and the First Coast.
John Delaney has particular expertise in the areas of education, the environment, business relocation and economic development. He brings decades of experience working on some of Northeast Florida’s most successful policy initiatives, as well as close contacts and relationships with officials in the First Coast, across the state of Florida, and throughout the nation.
John has served as mayor of Jacksonville, the 13th largest city in population and the largest in land area. He has served as president of a university, interim chancellor of the state university system, Jacksonville General Counsel, and the Chief Assistant State Attorney for Florida’s Fourth Circuit.
In 2003, John became the University of North Florida’s fifth president, managing a campus of 17,000 students, 600 faculty and 1,400 staff – the twentieth largest employer in Jacksonville. The 1,500-acre campus in Northeast Florida is considered an economic driver in the region, with an annual impact of nearly $1 billion. Under his direction, UNF nearly doubled the building space. John also served as UNF’s chief fundraiser, tripling the University’s privately funded endowment. The school’s last capital campaign was the region’s largest capital campaign ever. He also served as interim chancellor of the State University System of Florida during his time at UNF.
John served two terms as mayor of Jacksonville. During his tenure as mayor, he spearheaded numerous major initiatives, chief among them being The Better Jacksonville Plan, a $2.2 billion improvement plan that gave the city new public facilities and other amenities. John also created the Preservation Project, a massive land conservation program giving Jacksonville the distinction of having the largest park system in the United States. Prior to his role leading the city, John served as the chief assistant state attorney, the number two prosecutor for Northeast Florida, and as the general counsel for the City of Jacksonville.
In addition to his public service, John has also served on numerous non-profit and corporate boards, including Florida Rock Properties (NYSE), the Jacksonville Bank (NASDAQ) and Main Street America, a property and casualty mutual insurance company.
The mission of the Economic Development Council is to promote St. Johns County as an ideal business location and to encourage businesses, both large and small, to expand and relocate within St. Johns County. EDC activities and events are designed to support the success of both new and existing businesses in St. Johns County. We offer resources to businesses and support start-up ventures by providing information and connectivity to a variety of local resources.