Specialty Manufacturing Cluster Group
October 28, 2003
Clyde Nixon Co-Chair Sun Hydraulics
Peter Straw Co-Chair SAMA
Ric Galberaith Co-Chair ATI
Tony Dertouzos Coordinator Manufacturing Consultant
Bruce Andersen SCTI
David Suchy Teleflex Morse
Ed VerVane Winsulator
Jim Gray Wachovia Bank
Joan McGill Sarasota CED
John Cavanaugh Super Sensitive Music String
Kathy Baylis Sarasota CED
Kevin Connelly Apollo SunGuard
John Baldwin, Vice Chairman of Team USA Inc., Harvey Coles Bank Ltd
Peter Straw welcomes attendees and introduces guest John Baldwin
who is in town for the Transatlantic Business Forum being held at
the Ritz-Carlton on November 3rd and 4th. Dave Suchy and Teleflex
Morse are thanked for hosting today’s meeting.
II. Opening Remarks
Clyde Nixon discusses Specialty Manufacturing and how to
encourage growth and retention of the same. He emphasized that
we need to lobby the government whenever possible to reduce the
financial burdens on companies that do business in Florida.
He went on to say, however, that Florida is never going to be the
lowest cost manufacturing location in the U.S. and certainly not in
the world. If quality of life is not a major consideration, a
manufacturer really has no business in Florida unless they need to
be there to supply a specific market. “Our land cost is high,
unemployment is low and manufacturing skills are scarce.”
Clyde stressed that we need to be proactive in responding to the
needs of employers in order to make it as easy for them to do
business in the area as possible. This means solving problems in a
very timely manner. There is a need for a rapid response team or a
dedicated organization that says, “We care about you.” and where
issues such as PGT’s stoplight and Aladdin’s public bus route needs
do not continue to go unresolved. A Total Team Concept needs to
be embraced, where economic development dollars are spent for
Ric Galberaith continues the opening remarks by reminding the
group that cluster development addresses organic growth (existing
businesses) and inorganic growth (new businesses). He went on to
point out how the U.S. economy has always been driven by
technology and innovation, and that Government, university and
private-sector support is helping to commercialize new
technologies. Approximately 73 percent of all U.S. patents originate
from research conducted through federally funded institutions.
He suggests a three-faceted strategy that includes a focus on
“following the money trail” in Florida’s High Tech Corridor,
consisting of 21 counties, of which Sarasota is a member. The six
sectors targeted for growth in the corridor - Aviation & Aerospace,
Information Technology, Medical Technologies, Microelectronics,
Modeling, Simulation & Training, Optics & Photonics – could be
opportunities for existing Sarasota contract manufacturers to
address a shortage of supply or to develop primary technology to
attract start-ups. As an example of the financial potential, he cited
that Florida companies already account for more than $10 billion in
aerospace and aviation contracts [over $6 billion with the U.S.
Department of Defense and $4 billion awarded by the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration]. A graphic depicting the
revised strategy, titled “Specialty Manufacturing Cluster Strategy”,
was distributed during the discussion.
III. “Build Your Toolkit for Business Retention & Expansion”
At the request of the cluster group, Kathy Baylis brings a CED
presentation titled “Build Your Toolkit for Business Retention &
Expansion”. Prior to her presentation, she elaborates on subjects,
which she finds common to all the cluster groups:
a. Funding is not a barrier for cluster group progress. All viable
concepts, plans and budgets should be submitted for review
b. Anyone can participate in the cluster group process. It is a
c. There is no process owner. The CED manages the cluster
groups, but the process belongs to the community.
d. Each cluster group will determine the ending or completion of
e. The end product or achievements of each cluster will be
documented in final reports.
Kathy delivers a 10-minute synopsized version of the PowerPoint
presentation. The presentation, which normally runs one hour,
includes a well-produced video montage of Sarasota points of
interest (theater, beaches, shopping, etc) and video interviews with
executives of Sun Hydraulics, Florikan, GlassPro and SinoFresh.
Kathy offers to make copies of the CD presentation available to
anyone who wants one. Joan McGill also distributes copies of the
CED’s advertisement series run in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune this
These items give group a better sense of the current message being
delivered about Sarasota businesses and the group concentrates on
the quality of the PowerPoint presentation. The consensus is that it
conveys a positive portrayal in a professional manner and the piece
is earmarked as a resource in the development of the “Make the
Kevin Connelly takes the opportunity to ask about the protocol for
requesting funding for initiatives and Kathy suggests a written
business plan with supporting requests for bid, as applicable.
IV. Subcommittee Reports
Can You Hear Me Now? Tony Dertouzos conveys the regrets of Rod
Hershberger who is unable to commit the time necessary to chair
this committee effectively, a concern he also expressed at the July
meeting. Peter Straw encourages the group to seek out and identify
another candidate to chair this committee.
a. Bruce Andersen delivers a progress report on the
development of the Technical High School. The five-year plan
is in the site selection process and envisions an 80-acre
campus, which will include SCTI at its center. Bruce is
charged with delivery of the educational program and general
planning of the high school. Students, parents, businesses
and other community members will be surveyed for
suggestions and recommendations.
b. Peter Straw informs the group that Lindy Smith of Aladdin
Equipment has expressed current interest in working with the
cluster group. She is a very active member of the Suncoast
Workforce Board and he will increase dialogue with her.
c. Joan McGill emphasizes the importance of manufacturers
reaching out to the high school level. Ed VerVane has had
first-hand experience, at this, with mixed results.
d. Dave Suchy recommends that the cluster group or SAMA
consider sponsoring a presence at the Education Foundation’s
annual Regional Science, Engineering and Technology Fair, to
be next held in March 2004 [last year’s event was attended
by over 750,000 residents and visitors]. Dave distributes
copies of a recent Education Foundation brochure and letter.
Jim Gray [who is a board member of the foundation] will work
on developing a plan for this.
Make the Case
a. Kevin Connelly, subcommittee chair of Make the Case,
reviews the main goal of this initiative; to educate the
community and public officials on the importance of
manufacturing and build a broad base of support for targeted
development of this cluster.
b. The group discusses the importance of this initiative, relative
to the other two. A strong public case for manufacturing will
pave a smoother road for any other initiative.
c. Kevin’s subcommittee is moving forward with its previous
recommendation that a comprehensive marketing plan be put
into place, with an emphasis on public relations. Due to the
broad nature of such a plan, which will include extensive
media coverage, plant tours and middle & high school
outreach, he recommends that a dedicated marketing firm be
hired to achieve this goal. His recommendation to the group
is Peter Straw’s company, Performance Development
Strategies, and has requested a plan and proposal from his
firm. He feels that Peter’s long history of dedication to the
manufacturing community of this area gives him an
exceptional understanding of its needs and he attests to his
company’ marketing expertise.
d. Dave Suchy states the importance of directing the focus of
this subcommittee to county officials. The drive must be to
communicate in economic development terms (i.e. value-
added jobs), so that county government officials would not
think of missing a cluster group meeting. Ric Galberaith
states that Sarasota County Administrator Jim Ley has
indicated to him that he does not hear from manufacturers
and he identifies Mr. Ley as a valuable resource for the “Make
the Case” initiative.
e. David Suchy also raises the question of who is our target for
“Make the Case?” The group consensus is that we need to
especially concentrate on three sectors: Government (both
local and state), Education and the General Public.
f. Jim Gray suggests that we contact other communities that
have already gone through this process and share existing
Peter Straw charges the group with reviewing the resource materials
handed out today. The selected materials contain articles on many
subjects covered by this group, including workforce development,
technology transfer and economic incentives. He requests that
comments, suggestions or ideas be forwarded to Tony Dertouzos
[firstname.lastname@example.org] or to any of the three co-chairs, Clyde Nixon
Peter Straw or Ric Galberaith.
Peter also encourages the group to look for interest groups outside of
manufacturing that can form partnerships to forward our goals. Cluster
group members can also look forward to a report from Kevin Connelly
and Peter, at our next meeting, on the results of the first meeting of
the Enterprise Florida Manufacturing Advisory Council to be held on
Next Specialty Manufacturing Cluster Group meeting is scheduled for
December 9, 2003, 4 PM and will be held at Wachovia Bank, 1819
Main Street – Suite 230 in Sarasota.
V. Resource materials
1. Florida Trend’s Business Florida 2004
2. Area Development September 2003
3. Southern Technology Sites 2003
4. 21st Century Workforce: Suncoast Florida (executive summary)
5. Home Economics, Industry Week (article)
6. Sarasota CED advertising series
7. Diagram: Specialty Manufacturing Cluster Strategy
Respectfully submitted by
Tony Dertouzos – Group Coordinator
Make the Case
Can You Hear Me Now?
Primary Products: Target Support Products: Identify
product/market demand significant gaps in supply &
segments in Florida High support of Florida High Tech
Tech Corridor best supplied Corridor products to build &
by existing Sarasota attract to Sarasota
SPECIALTY MANUFACTURING CLUSTER STRATEGY