Thursday, October 27, 2011

So, what's Alex Sink been up to?

Alex Sink was  talking up a way to chart the future with her new Florida Next Foundation. (Photo by James A. Jones Jr.)

Alex Sink, former president of Florida operations for Bank of America, said she tried to retire a decade ago.

It didn’t work out.

Since then she has served as Florida’s chief financial officer and narrowly lost a gubernatorial election to Rick Scott.

Thursday, she spoke to members of the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance about her new think tank, Florida Next Foundation.

Or as Sink put it, Florida Next is a “think and do tank.”

Florida Next is dedicated to reinvigorating and re-envisioning Florida’s small business and quality of life, Sink, 63, told the audience at Polo Grill.

Sink, who now serves as a senior advisor with Tampa-based Hyde Park Capital, asked audience members to imagine a newspaper headline that said local area lands new company with 500 jobs.

An even better headline would be if 500 local small businesses announced they were each hiring one new employee, she said.

Sink said she liked the notion of trying to build on businesses already in the area, rather than trying to lure large corporations that may be chasing cheap labor, and could easily move on in a  few years.

“What can’t Florida be the start-up state? Why can’t Sarasota-Manatee be a startup region?” she asked.

Local communities should tap into the mentoring talents of retirees, but should also try to stem the brain drain of  local youth who go elsewhere for greater opportunity, she said.

For more, see Friday's Herald.

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