Media Contact: 
Stacey Swank

Pinellas County Economic Dev.

(727) 464-7425

Media Contact: 
Michelle Bauer

Tampa Hillsborough EDC

 (813) 518-2644

Media Contact: 
Jennifer Lachtara

Pasco EDC
(813) 926-0827 ext. 225

Tampa Bay Export Alliance heads to

Dominican Republic for export sales mission

Tampa Bay - December 5, 2016 - This morning, a group of 36 local business leaders flew to the Dominican Republic to participate in the Tampa Bay Export Alliance (TBEA)'s latest multi-day export sales mission to the Caribbean island nation.

The delegates will arrive in the capital city of Santo Domingo and begin a busy schedule of activities that includes a country commercial briefing by the U.S. Embassy, a welcome reception hosted by the U.S. Ambassador, and a "Doing Business in the Caribbean" briefing at the U.S. Embassy. Thirteen local companies will be participating in the Gold Key program, facilitated by the U.S. Commercial Service, which provides them with customized one-on-one meetings with companies located in the Dominican Republic.

"Gold Key companies have the best opportunity to get their products and services in front of businesses that are likely to purchase from them," says Lorrie Belovich, director, International Business Development for the Tampa Hillsborough EDC. "Local companies that have participated in this program have enjoyed great success in entering new foreign markets, and received the kind of on-the-ground support and introductions that are difficult for most businesses to get on their own."

The Tampa Bay Export Alliance has hosted several missions, most recently to Costa Rica and Canada. The regional international effort started as an alliance between Pinellas County Economic Development and the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation. The mission to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic is the first to include the Pasco Economic Development Council.

"We're so pleased to welcome Bill and the team from Pasco County to the Alliance and this mission," said Mike Meidel, Director of Pinellas County Economic Development. "The interest and response from the business community to this trip to the Dominican Republic has confirmed that there are strong opportunities for Tampa Bay companies."

On his first mission as the recently appointed President and CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, Craig J. Richard, CEcD looks forward to having his neighbors to the north on board.

"Working with the Pasco EDC to expand Tampa Bay's export business is another solid example of how our area economic development organizations are collaborating to generate more economic prosperity in the entire region," Richard said.

Bill Cronin, President and CEO of the Pasco EDC, said, "I am excited that Pasco EDC was invited to join the Tampa Bay Export Alliance. The Tampa Bay region is stronger when we all work together, and I am confident the partnership between Pasco, Pinellas, and Hillsborough will boost international trade, attract foreign direct investment and create opportunities for our workforce throughout this great region."

The export sales mission to the Dominican Republic is generously sponsored by Tampa International Airport, Port Tampa Bay, and Enterprise Florida, who are also participating as delegates.

For more updates on the Tampa Bay Export Alliance, please visit

The Tampa Bay Export Alliance (TBEA) is a cooperative effort between Pinellas County Economic Development, the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and the Pasco Economic Development Council. It was formed to grow jobs and capital investment by increasing the international export of products and services within the bi-county area. The TBEA conducts joint export activities, such as seminars, trade events and trade missions, and supports the export-related growth initiatives of regional economic partners, including Tampa International Airport and Port Tampa Bay.

Pinellas County Economic Development (PCED) works with existing businesses to encourage expansion and seeks to attract new companies with high-wage careers to our community. Through investment tools, business classes, professional consulting services, trade missions to open new markets, and strategic partnerships, PCED fosters a pro-business environment and promotes the Ideal Business Climate of Pinellas County, Florida.

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Pinellas County Economic Development | 13805 58th Street N. | Suite 1-200 | Clearwater | FL | 33760