The Florida High Tech Corridor Presents Dan Webster Young Innovator Scholarship Award

May 10 | news

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (May 10, 2023) – The Florida High Tech Corridor presented Zach Gilmore, Vice President of Business Development for the Jackson County Economic Development Committee, with the Dan Webster Young Innovator Scholarship Award on May 9. The recognition is presented each year to a young innovator working in economic development in Florida. The winner receives a $5,000 scholarship to be applied toward coursework and fees associated with achieving the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation.

In his role as vice president, Gilmore is responsible for business retention and expansion, interacting with both local and state partners to support businesses looking to expand or relocate. He connects companies with both state and local incentive programs and provides technical assistance to prospective employers.

Jackson County has become the home of companies like Proud Source Water, Chick-fil-A, and Amazon under the supervision of Gilmore. The Jackson County Economic Development Committee has been able to leverage grants from Enterprise Florida, Opportunity Florida, and Florida Power & Light Company to help promote the Northwest Florida destination.

Gilmore has been vital in helping Jackson County recover from Hurricane Michael in 2018. His innovative path forward has prioritized both the restoration and growth of the area. He has worked to market the county, revitalize the proposal process, and bring in new faces, all working towards modernization.

“What I find most unique about Zach is his ability to relate to anyone he meets,” said Tiffany Garling, President and CEO of the Jackson Economic Development Committee. “We always create great connections based on Zach’s relationship-building skills.”

Gilmore is a graduate of Chipola College; he went on to graduate from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in finance and real estate with a minor in hospitality. He has worked with the Jackson County Economic Development Committee for three years and has been an FEDC board member since 2022.

The award was presented by Florida High Tech Corridor CEO, Paul Sohl, during the Florida Economic Development Council Dinner at the organization’s annual conference. The award was launched in 2015 in honor of Congressman Dan Webster for his dedication and commitment to economic development in Florida.

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: An economic development initiative of three research universities—the University of Central Florida, the University of South Florida, and the University of Florida—The Florida High Tech Corridor converges and catalyzes the capacity of high tech, innovative, and bright minds across a 23-county region to generate a global ripple effect that advances the lives of people in the communities it serves. Powered by an ethos of collaboration, The Corridor aligns opportunities and resources in academia, industry, and economic development to unleash the region’s expotential. Connect with The Corridor on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Learn more at and subscribe to our newsletter.

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