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My Florida C F O
Weekly eNewsletter from Florida's Chief Financial Officer

Dear Fellow Floridian:

In honor of Florida’s 500th anniversary, yesterday I announced the start of Florida's Financial History Challenge, a contest designed to engage students of all ages to learn more about our state’s economic history. The challenge, which is part of my Your Money Matters initiative, encourages students to learn about people, places and events in Florida history and use the information they learn to contemplate financial decisions. Florida's Financial History Challenge

The contest is open to students enrolled in any public, private, charter, virtual, alternative or home school for the 2013-2014 school year. The submission deadline is October 11, 2013 (11:59 p.m. EST), after which time the judging process will begin. A total of $2,625 will be awarded to the winning students, who will be announced by December 31, 2013.

Florida’s Financial History Challenge is a great program because it offers students a unique and fun opportunity to learn about our financial history while helping prepare them to make smart financial decisions in the future. To find out more information about the contest, including contest rules and regions, visit

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

News of Interest

Fox Business: Small-Business Lending Jumps in July

Tampa Bay Times: At hurricane season's midpoint, forecasters perplexed

Miami Herald: Veterans find opportunity in entrepreneurship

Sarasota Herald-Tribune: After rowing win, time to shift gears

Tampa Tribune: Big drugmaker inks lease for Tampa office

Elizabeth Burch Appointed to FSBDC Network’s State Advisory Board

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the appointment of Elizabeth Burch to the Florida Small Business Development Center Network’s State Advisory Board.

Elizabeth Burch
    Elizabeth Burch

“I am very pleased to have someone as qualified as Elizabeth to serve on the board as my designee because she is a proven leader who knows what it takes to help small businesses start, grow and succeed,” said CFO Atwater. “I am confident that she will be a strong advocate for Florida’s small business community and will help support small business owners with practical and tested advice.

Burch is President/CEO and majority owner of Dignitas Technologies, a small business that provides support for Live, Virtual and Constructive domains. Her specialization is in modeling, simulation and training for research, development and production type contracts.

Prior to Dignitas Technologies, Burch held the position of Senior Program Manager and Assistance Vice President of Program Management at Science Applications International Corporation in Orlando, Florida, for 16 years. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida.

“I look forward to serving on the board and helping improve the entrepreneurial environment for small business owners in Florida,” said Burch. “The SBDC at UCF provided my organization with invaluable guidance at a level that we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to acquire, so I am honored to have the opportunity to give back to such an important organization.”

The FSBDC Network's Statewide Advisory Board provides advocacy for the FSBDC and the participating universities and community colleges, and guidance to the State Director of the Florida SBDC Network to advance and improve the overall Network administration and programmatic operations.

Burch will serve on the board as CFO Atwater’s designee.

Innovation Drives Florida's Economy

Florida has worked hard to create an environment for long-term growth and investment that allows businesses to better serve their communities and employ more of their neighbors. This culture of economic innovation has helped Florida Florida's Bottom Line be recognized as the “Most Innovative State in the Nation” by Fast Company magazine this year.

Beginning with its edition on biotechnology, Florida’s Bottom Line is presenting a three-part series on Innovative Florida, highlighting the people and industries that are driving our future as a diversified economy. We are now recognized as one of the most attractive areas worldwide for the biotechnology industry, with more than 200 biotechnology companies calling Florida home.

The quarterly edition of Florida's Bottom Line is complemented by its often-updated website, When new economic data is released, it can be found here. Florida's consumer confidence, retail index, employment statistics and various other resources will keep you up-to-date.