The Florida High Tech Corridor and Florida Economic Development Council Present Sarah Alway with the Young Innovator Scholarship Award

April 29 | news

Pasco Economic Development Coordinator Recognized as the 2024 Dan Webster Young Innovator Scholarship Award Recipient


Lutz, Fla. (April 29, 2024) – The Florida High Tech Corridor and Florida Economic Development Council awarded Sarah Alway of the Pasco Economic Development Council (Pasco EDC) with the Dan Webster Young Innovator Scholarship Award in recognition of her outstanding achievements and professional aspirations.

Presented each year to an emerging leader in Florida’s economic development sector, the recipient receives a $5,000 scholarship to be applied toward coursework and fees associated with achieving the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation.

Alway is the Economic Development Coordinator for the Pasco EDC, and throughout her two-year tenure has made significant contributions to  Pasco EDC while also achieving three promotions that reflect her commitment to the field of economic development.

“Sarah consistently demonstrates innovation in economic development, notably spearheading the successful redevelopment of Pasco EDC’s workforce development website, workforceCONNECT, which underscores her forward-thinking approach and her ability to leverage technology to achieve goals,” said Bill Cronin, Pasco EDC President & CEO. “Her leadership and collaborative skills have cultivated strong relationships within our industry, enhancing her contributions to economic and workforce development, and embodying the spirit of innovation.”

The redevelopment of the workforceConnect website included the integration of innovative features such as an Employer Resource Library, Careerseeker Resource Library and the ConnectOPP tool for enhanced talent engagement. In addition, Alway supports Pasco EDC business  development programs as a key leader in actively retaining and attracting businesses to Pasco County.

“Since embarking on my journey in economic development, my ambition has been clear – to become a Certified Economic Developer and effect positive change while breaking barriers as one of the few female business leaders of an economic development organization in Florida,” said Alway.

A graduate of West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and two minors in Leadership Studies and English, Alway also holds a Master of Science in Economic Development (MSED) from the University of Southern Mississippi.

The Dan Webster Young Innovator Scholarship Award was presented to Alway by Florida High Tech Corridor CEO Paul Sohl during the Florida Economic Development Council’s Diamond Jubilee Awards Dinner at the organization’s annual conference. It was launched in 2015 to honor Congressman Daniel Webster for his dedication and commitment to economic development in Florida, including his support to create the Florida High Tech Corridor.

“This scholarship represents our belief in the potential of rising talents like Sarah, who demonstrate the innovation and leadership essential to Florida’s continued economic growth,” said Sohl. “The Corridor is proud to invest in the next generation of our state’s economic development workforce and empower them to excel in a rigorous process without financial barriers.”

“As an emerging leader in the field of economic development, Sarah embodies the drive, creativity, and passion that are crucial for fostering innovation and growth within our communities,” said Florida Economic Development Council Executive Director Beth Cicchetti, CEcD, MEDP. “Her achievements set a sterling example for the state’s emerging leaders in economic development.”

Alway joins 11 peers who have also received the award:

  • Zach Gilmore, Florida Small Business Development Council at the University of West Florida
  • Bryan Pederson, City of Largo
  • Shane Chadwick, MSED, CEcD, Florida’s Great Northwest
  • Ben Friedman, CERP, Duke Energy
  • Antonio Jefferson, MEDP, City of Gretna
  • Garrett Wright, Public Service Company of Oklahoma (formerly Bay County Economic Development Alliance)
  • Javier Marin, MBA-IB, CEcD, CGBP, City of Tampa
  • Derek Shavor, Hillsborough County
  • Scarlett Phaneuf, CEcD, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative
  • Jill Marasa, Ashley Capital


About The Pasco Economic Development Council

The Pasco Economic Development Council is committed to developing Florida’s most competitive climate for business growth by providing businesses, that seek to start, move, or grow in the North Tampa Bay area, a comprehensive suite of programs that can help them to reach their full economic potential. Since 1987, Pasco EDC has fostered a strong partnership funded by corporate and public investors focused on the economic vitality of Pasco County. Discover more at

About the Florida Economic Development Council

The Florida Economic Development Council educates, advocates, and connects Florida’s economic development stakeholders. It is a membership-based not-for-profit (501(C)(6)) corporation that relies on support from its members and investors to educate and inform business and government leaders about key economic development issues and initiatives. FEDC is Florida’s primary resource for economic development-related policy development, education, and networking.

The Florida Economic Development Council is open to individuals, agencies, and companies who are interested in growing the economy of Florida. Contact FEDC by calling (850) 228-6211 or emailing or

About the Florida High Tech Corridor

The Florida High Tech Corridor (The Corridor) is an initiative of three research universities – the University of Central Florida, the University of South Florida and the University of Florida – created to catalyze an ecosystem that supports the needs and aspirations of innovators who are driving high-tech economic growth in a 23-county region. The Corridor galvanizes a network of economic developers, academic researchers, elected officials and others to meet the needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses, helps businesses navigate available resources and provides direct support through several programs: the Cenfluence industry clustering initiative, matching grants for university research partnerships, and education and coaching for businesses pursuing federal research awards. Connect with The Corridor on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Learn more at and subscribe to our newsletter.