Mayor Alvin Brown, City Council President Bill Bishop and others welcoming Mass Mutual to Downtown Jacksonville
September 20, 2012
Financial Design Associates plans to hire 25 in next two years
 
Financial Design Associates, a local branch of the 161-year-old Fortune 500 company Mass Mutual, has moved operations from the Southside to the BB&T Tower in Downtown Jacksonville.
 
Mayor Alvin Brown joined Jacksonville City Council President Bill Bishop, Councilman Don Redman, Downtown stakeholders and representatives of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce to welcome Managing Partner Roger Dominey and dozens of his staff members.
 
Financial Design Associates started as a Mass Mutual branch in 1999 with five staff members and has since grown to 50, covering a service area that straddles Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. With the move to Downtown, the firm has announced plans to hire 25 new employees in the next two years and double the size of business within the next five.
September 06, 2012
Mayor Alvin Brown and the City of Jacksonville, in partnership with  the Jacksonville Military Veterans Coalition (JMVC) Jobs for Vets initiative, will offer career counseling to military veterans and service members planning their transition back to civilian life. This free service will be offered at City Hall on the third Thursday of each month, starting Sept. 20.
 
Mayor Brown and Council President Bishop with their appointments to the DIA Board of Directors
August 31, 2012
Mayor Brown, Council President Bishop announce selections
 
Nine members of the Jacksonville community, each demonstrating a vested interest in the revitalization and continued success of Downtown, have been selected to serve on the board of directors for the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA).
 
Mayor Alvin Brown’s plans to create the DIA received unanimous approval from City Council on Aug. 15. The DIA’s projects will be guided by a nine-member board of directors who will conduct open-to-the-public business on an unpaid, volunteer basis. Of the nine, five are to be appointed by the mayor and four by the council president. All nine are confirmed by City Council.
 
“I’m excited to partner with business and community leaders to usher in this new era for our Downtown,” said Mayor Brown. “Everyone brings to the table a unique perspective on what it will take to create a sustainable environment to lure major companies, small businesses and world-class entertainment. This is a tremendous opportunity to polish the Jacksonville brand and make our city more competitive at a time cities all over the nation are fighting to recover.”
A view of Downtown Jacksonville from Friendship Fountain
August 24, 2012
Three-week project focuses on Downtown revitalization

A consulting team commissioned by the worldwide technology services company IBM at no cost to taxpayers has concluded a three-week research project Downtown and is now finalizing an action plan to help Mayor Alvin Brown’s efforts to revitalize the urban center.

The work comes as part of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge, a worldwide initiative to distribute a total of $50 million worth of services and technical assistance to 100 cities through 2013. The project carries an approximate value of $400,000.

Jaguars Owner Shad Khan and Mayor Alvin Brown at the NFL's announcement
August 21, 2012
Jaguars to Debut at London's Wembley Stadium in 2013

With interest in the NFL in the United Kingdom at an all-time high, the Jacksonville Jaguars have made a multi-year commitment to International Series games in London.

The Jaguars will play one regular-season home game in the United Kingdom in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, all at London’s historic Wembley Stadium. The date of the 2013 game as well as the opposing team will be announced in the months ahead.
An aerial view of Downtown Jacksonville
August 15, 2012
Nine-member board will serve vital role to grow area economy
 
The Jacksonville City Council unanimously approved Mayor Alvin Brown’s proposal to create a Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) that will focus on Jacksonville’s urban center with a goal of building a more vibrant and competitive city.
 
“Already, there are entrepreneurs and major job creators investing in Downtown Jacksonville. The DIA will intensify the effort to direct good-paying career opportunities and economic activity to our city center,” said Mayor Brown. “I thank City Council for giving such comprehensive attention to the goal of attracting new Downtown residents and visitors, increasing the value of our Downtown properties, and helping to restore economic security for all of Jacksonville.”
 
Legislation creating the DIA (2012-364) received unanimous Council approval on Wednesday night. The Mayor and City Council will select a nine-member board of directors to oversee the DIA on an unpaid, volunteer basis. 
A Water Taxi crossing the St. Johns River in Downtown Jacksonville
August 07, 2012
Three-week project focuses on revitalization at no cost to taxpayers

A team of IBM experts, funded by a grant from the major technology services company IBM, has started a three-week project to determine realistic solutions to revitalize Downtown Jacksonville.

The project is part of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant program, a worldwide initiative to provide a total of $50 million worth of services and technical assistance to the most progressive 100 cities around the world through 2013. The project carries an approximate value of $400,000 and requires no tax dollars.

Jacksonville was selected earlier this year among eight cities nationally and 33 globally after Mayor Alvin Brown and a number of stakeholders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors met with IBM representatives at City Hall to make the case for Downtown.
Mayor Brown singing his economic development legilsation, approved unanimously by City Council, into law
June 28, 2012
Plan streamlines process to make Jacksonville more competitive

Mayor Alvin Brown’s plan to streamline city job-creating functions by transforming the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission into an executive-run Office of Economic Development is now official.

Mayor Brown signed his economic development legislation (2012-212) today at 9:30 a.m. while commending City Council for the unanimous vote on June 26, 2012, backing the mayor’s vision for Jacksonville’s future.

“This is more than policy and it’s more than structure,” said the mayor. “It’s the unanimous opinion of our elected City Council to do what’s right for the taxpayers. It’s the conversation-starter with business leaders wondering where to expand or relocate. And it’s a solution for the nearly 38,000 people in our city who remain out of work and deserve a chance to rebuild themselves.”
Mayor Alvin Brown
June 26, 2012
Legislation streamlines operations to make Jacksonville a more competitive city for jobs

Jacksonville City Council has approved Mayor Alvin Brown’s plan to make Jacksonville a more economically viable city by streamlining job-creation efforts while increasing the focus on sports, entertainment and special events.
“In today’s economy, there is no time to wait. Cities all over America are working hard to create jobs. Jacksonville must work harder – and smarter – to put people back to work with good-paying, career-driven opportunities,” said Mayor Brown. “I applaud our City Council members for their dedication to making Jacksonville more competitive.”

With council’s approval of the mayor’s economic development legislation (2012-212), the mayor is moving forward with transforming the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission to create the Office of Economic Development. The new office replaces a commissioner system of oversight with a Chief Economic Development Officer who will be appointed by the mayor and approved by Council to serve the public in a day-to-day executive capacity under a mission to make Jacksonville more competitive.
 

Mayor Alvin Brown and Admiral Victor Guillory
June 26, 2012
 Mayor Alvin Brown has announced two major steps forward in his administration’s goal to deliver quality, cost-effective services to Jacksonville’s military and veterans community.
 
  • The U.S. Department of Labor is giving the City of Jacksonville a $218,260 grant to help homeless veterans get job training.
 
  • The Florida Committee for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) has bestowed the Pro Patria award on Mayor Alvin Brown’s Jobs for Veterans program, a public-private partnership with the Jacksonville Military Veterans Coalition and more than 80 employers. This represents the highest honor the ESGR, a Department of Defense agency, bestows to recognize best practices. Normally the award goes to a business, but for the first time the award went to a municipality to recognize Jobs for Veterans.
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