Florida’s main economic development agency has a new leader, after the Enterprise Florida (EFI) board voted unanimously to install Laura DiBella as its new President and CEO.
Along with that role, DiBella also takes the title of Florida Secretary of Commerce, becoming the first woman to hold that position.
“I’m beyond humbled and grateful to both the Governor and EFI Board for what truly is the opportunity of a lifetime,” DiBella said in a released statement.
“Florida is in an enviable position representing the gold standard for business freedom, all while being incredibly well positioned for even greater success. I’m excited and look forward to championing and leading the outstanding efforts of the entire EFI team, in lockstep with our statewide partners, to really capitalize on this amazing snapshot of time.”
DiBella has served as deputy Secretary of Commerce and EFI’s leader since July 2022, when Marc Adler, the agency’s interim President and CEO, stepped aside to take the helm at the Florida Development Finance Corporation. EFI had been without a permanent official leader since October 2021, when Jamal Sowell, a U.S. Navy Reserve officer, resigned to attend to military duties.
“It has been an honor to work alongside Laura during her time at Enterprise Florida,” said Holly Borgmann, Vice Chair of the EFI Board of Directors.
“In the past few months, she has hit the ground running showcasing Florida as the best place for business. With her incredible background and passion for Enterprise Florida’s mission, I am confident she will lead EFI well and look forward to all she accomplishes as Secretary.”
DiBella previously served as executive director of the Florida Harbor Pilots Association and as executive director of the Nassau County Economic Development Board.
EFI has a 57-member Board, with Gov. Ron DeSantis serving as Chairman. He has nominated EFI board member Freddie Figgers, founder of Figgers Communication, to be Vice Chair of the Board, replacing Borgmann. EFI is expected to confirm him at its next meeting on March 28.
“I want to thank Governor DeSantis for this nomination,” Figgers said in a released statement. “I look forward to working with Secretary DiBella and sharing ideas for her vision to bring the best to Florida. I am extremely confident she will lead EFI forward.”