We are a Florida Nonprofit organization comprised of business leaders and regional partners focused on improving the economic condition of our region, which includes St. Lucie, Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and Palm Beach Counties. Our role is to provide a direct mechanism to advance partner ideas and interests and to give them a regional voice and platform.
Our mission is to partner with regional leaders to influence and advance thoughtful regional economic development in Southeast Florida. PREA's aim is to build an effective" Center of Influence" that facilitates planning, advocacy and action that empowers business leaders to effectively chart our region's economic course.
We believe our business community has a duty and a stake in improving the quality of life in the area. We also recognize the importance of building a common platform that articulates common goals created through an inclusive exchange of ideas from all stakeholders in the community. Such a platform is essential to realize our common vision for sustainable and positive economic growth.
We recognize the effectiveness of economic development organizations working in our area. We don't seek to replicate their mission, but rather to leverage it in a way that serves business interests throughout the region. We are stronger when partnering with one another in new ways that are only possible with the resources and cooperation of the entire region.
We help regional businesses and foster the creation and sharing of ideas, knowledge, and networks by area leaders.
We are actively engaged in regional business retention and expansion efforts. We are responsive to existing businesses to help them expand and thrive here. We also provide assistance for businesses relocating to the area.
The PREA Think Tank (Ideas to Action Group) is a rotating group of business leaders focused on specific issues integral to future regional economic growth. The quarterly groups work to identify opportunities and projects, which then guide PREA's mission.
Another important focus is the creation of a regional business plan. Regions that have created strong business plans and acted on them effectively stand a much better chance of economic success than do those left adrift in a sea of random market forces. This business plan is a necessary early step in making our region more competitive. Most other successful Florida and US regions are already using comprehensive plans to chart their economic courses.
This is not a "typical" networking organization. While we offer traditional events and gatherings that allow business leaders to mingle, they are only a small part of the opportunities that exist to become more familiar with other people working to make the region, and by proxy, their businesses better.
Through our I2A Group, partners get to "roll up their sleeves" and actually work with one another for an extended period of time. These are not "cocktail hour hand shakes", but rather introductions that often develop into the lasting and effective relationships born of common thought and ideas.
The PREA Task Force offers a similar immersion for partners, but one within a context where they can employ their expertise while working on active projects with businesses that are expanding in our region. Partnerships forged in this setting are strong and lasting.
Still other opportunities exist to gain a greater appreciation and understanding of local businesses. Our events will often times feature the work of a particular organization that is contributing to the area economy. During these events, we try to add an educational component so each of us leave a bit more informed as to what makes this region tick and what can make it stronger in the future.
Why do we need regional representation?
"Regions are an important venue for analyzing human activity. Recognized around the world as providing the foundation for economic growth, regions are organically organized, relationship laden geographies tied by common economic interests and infrastructures that allow the pursuit of those interests.
A regional economy is the sum of transactions among firms and people, transactions that do not pay much attention to political or Census boundaries.
The places most relevant for regional analysis do not neatly fit within pre-determined boundaries. Areas such as Silicon Valley, Route 128, and the Research Triangle – the archetypes of successful regional economies – have complex geographic shapes, build on the location of prominent institutions and firms, are influenced by older transportation routes and land use patterns, and expand out of seemingly idiosyncratic and serendipitous events. These spatial patterns do not acknowledge political jurisdictions, but rather follow a different logic, one that motivates firms to locate near others with similar products, markets, and workforce skills."
- Innovative Data Sources For Regional Economic Analysis (Feldman - 2012)