Spark Growth and Tampa Bay Partnership to Host 2nd Annual Regional Leadership Conference in Bradenton

Tampa Bay business and community leaders to convene April 10-11, 2014 at Manatee Performing Arts Center

Bradenton, Fla. (March 18, 2014) – How can a region like Tampa Bay and the diverse communities that are a part of it keep up with rapid technological, economic and social change and still maintain its equilibrium?  How can business leaders effectively collaborate with educational institutions, workforce boards, and nonprofits to better utilize the talents of our diverse workforce – one that includes everyone from millennials to seniors? What does Tampa Bay need to do – at the regional and local level – to ensure its future economic competitiveness?  Spark Growth and the Tampa Bay Partnership will explore these and other related issues in depth on April 10-11 at The 2nd Annual Regional Leadership Conference.

“We look forward to welcoming our speakers and attendees to Bradenton for what has been referred to as the most significant economic leadership event of this region,” said Sara Hand, Spark Growth co-founder. “Bringing together thought leaders and decision makers across business, technology, funding and education creates a ‘primordial soup’ so to speak fostering success measured by community engagement, social capital rewards and economic impacts.”

This year’s conference theme is “The World of 3.0 – What our Communities Need for their Future.” Topics to be explored in general sessions include strategies for effective regional collaboration; a focus on innovation and science; advocacy, place-making, and redevelopment; and transforming education to meet 21st century needs. Special guest keynote and general session speakers include Ed Morrison of the Purdue Center for Regional Development; Jeff Borden, academic strategist at Pearson; Jim Stikeleather, executive strategist for Innovation at Dell; and Mark Sharpe, Hillsborough County Commissioner.

Registration for the conference is open.  Tickets may be purchased online at

For more information about the Conference program, travel and hotel arrangements, and other details, visit

About Spark Growth Spark Growth, headquartered in Bradenton, Florida, is an innovative social enterprise that brings an objective, agile and collaborative platform to more traditional economic development circles. We initiate, develop and implement solutions to business development opportunities. Our focus areas are entrepreneurial ecosystem development; women’s issues, particularly in Technology; education, and funding. To learn more, visit



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