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Florida-Israel Business Accelerator – Connection to Innovation: Shifting Trends in Talent and Customer Loyalty

In 2022-23 Florida-Israel Business Accelerator is committed to helping Florida’s #1 industry, Tourism, and Hospitality, address its main challenge: labor shortage.  FIBA will curate Israeli innovation that can create operational efficiencies, automate tasks and connect employers, employees, operators, and their customers using robots, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and more. FIBA is building a network of hospitality industry partners such as restaurant groups and hotels that are actively looking for solutions and are open to adopting technology. The partners get exposed to cutting-edge solutions and indirectly contribute to the economic development of Florida.

This program produced in conjunction with The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association concentrates on the hospitality industry’s largest challenges: acquiring and retaining employees and customers. 

Jennifer Corinis moderates the Strategies for Employee Retention panel of:

  • GT Shareholder Katie Molloy;
  • Clyde Smith, Bilmar Beach Resort, General Manager; and
  • Matt Loder, Sr., CEO of Crabby Bill’s Seafood, Inc.

This panel addressed innovative techniques and strategies for employee retention.

The evening's second panel was moderated by Ian Anderson, Market President and Publisher, Tampa Bay Business Journal, and included panelists:

  • Ted Turner, a Chick-fil-A franchise owner in Pinellas County;
  • Wayne Raath, Executive Director, The Lone Palm Golf Club (the golf club was founded by George Jenkins, Founder of Publix); and
  • Chuck Prather, Owner of the Birchwood Hotel and the Teak restaurant at St. Petersburg's award-winning St. Pete Pier.

This panel discussed innovative techniques and strategies to build customer loyalty.

Delighting the audience was a Fireside Chat between Ian Anderson and Chris Sullivan, founder and former Chairman and CEO of Outback Steakhouse and current partner in MVP Holdings Tampa, Inc., who shared that the highlight of his career was when Peter Lynch (the famous manager of the Magellan Fund), was identified as an investor in a group selected to develop Outback stores in New England and the then new NASDAQ:OSSI stock soared.