The late James “Don” Porter received the inaugural Leadership Award from the Pasco Economic Development Council for his visionary role in developing the master-planned community at Wiregrass Ranch.
Porter’s family accepted the award at the Pasco EDC 31st Annual Awards and Trade Show on Aug. 31 at Saddlebrook Resort & Spa.
The annual event recognizes local businesses, and their owners, for their contributions to Pasco County’s economic development.
The new award singled out Porter for his “passion, strong will, persistence and dedication,” according to a news release from the Pasco EDC.
The Porter family sold portions of Wiregrass Ranch to develop The Shops at Wiregrass, and more recently Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel. Land donations also were made for the Pasco-Hernando State College’s Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch; and, for a future sports complex at Wiregrass.
Pasco County commissioners recently approved a series of agreements that will lead to construction of the complex.
There will be a 98,000-square-foot indoor sports facility, outdoor ball fields, an amphitheater and event lawn, trails and a playground. A privately financed Marriott hotel also is planned.
In addition, local businesses received awards in six categories.
Twenty-four businesses were nominated, and scored based on company growth, leadership in current business issues and corporate citizenship.
“We love having the opportunity to honor Pasco companies, and all 24 nominees have had such an important impact on economic development,” said Bill Cronin, in a written statement. Cronin is the Pasco EDC’s president and chief executive officer. “It was difficult for the awards committee to narrow it down, but the seven winners truly deserve this honor.”
The winners for Business of the Year were:
- Florida Hospital Center Ice: Start-Up
- Express Employment Professionals: Small business
- FACTS Engineering LLC: Medium business
- TRU Simulation and Training Inc.: Large business
In addition, North Tampa Behavioral Health and Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point received special contribution awards.
For information, visit PascoEDC.com.
Published September 13, 2017