About seven months after Collier County commissioners approved the creation of the Office of Business and Economic Development, it's new leader is ready to get to work.
Bruce Register will start his job as director of business and economic development today.
Register, who was offered the job last month following an interview with County Manager Leo Ochs, was the corporate business development manager for Hillsborough County, a position he held since 1997. The 53-year-old also co-owns Dot Walden Farms in Dover, which is near Tampa.
Ochs said Friday he is excited to welcome register to Collier County.
"He will be a great addition to our organization and out community. He will be hitting the ground running from day one," Ochs said in a statement. "In addition to recruiting a staff and meeting with Commissioner and key internal directors and managers, Bruce will be out in the community establishing working relationships with business and civic leaders, conducting his own preliminary assessment of our business climate and listening to suggestions on how county government can help local businesses prosper."
That research, Ochs said, will be used to develop a business plan for the new department the contains specific strategies and goals that will be presented to the commissioners. He will also work to establish partnerships for collaboration with state and regional organizations and associations that can help market and promote advantages of doing business in Southwest Florida, Ochs said.
Register declined to be interviewed before starting his position, saying he preferred to discuss his job in the coming days and weeks with Ochs and the commissioners before making a public statement.
However, he has said he sees his new role as being a liaison between the county government, the business community and private, nonprofit organizations.
A native Floridian, Register holds a bachelor's degree in government and philosophy from Florida State University and a master's degree in public administration from the University of South Florida. He is a certified economic developer through the Economic Development Council.
His annual salary will be $103,500.