Floridian David Hart to head BDA
A Florida lobbyist and business advocate whose career has spanned government and private sector roles that involved public policy initiatives, has been chosen to head efforts to promote Bermuda as a base for international business.
Former executive vice president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce David Hart has been appointed chief executive officer of the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) as of October 1, subject to immigration approval.
He succeeds Roland Burrows, who held the position of CEO for nearly three years.
Susan Pateras, BDA deputy chair, has been appointed interim CEO and will oversee operations until Mr Hart commences service.
The BDA said Mr Burrows will continue to support the agency as a senior consultant through year-end to support the leadership transition.
As executive vice president of the Florida’s Chamber, one of the largest and most successful business advocacy organisations in the United States, Mr Hart was part of the leadership team responsible for consistently enhancing the environment to increase job growth, diversify the economy and attract additional capital investments.
Through collaborations with public and private sector partners these efforts contributed to Florida creating one of every 11 jobs in the United States, attracting $1.19 million in capital every hour, and recently becoming ranked as the 15th largest economy in the world, the BDA said.
He managed the chamber’s extensive legislative and political operations.
He spent five years in Washington, DC serving first as a legislative officer at the United States Department of Transportation and later as the deputy director of legislative affairs at the United States Peace Corps.
He has been the director of governmental and public affairs with Summit Consulting, Inc. in Polk County and also served briefly in the legislative office of the Commissioner of Education.
Political Director for Jeb Bush’s successful 1998 campaign for Governor, he served on Governor Bush’s transition team and as the Director of Legislative Affairs at the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
After spending six years as the Vice President of Government Relations at WCI Communities, David accepted the role of vice president of legislative and governmental affairs for the Florida Home Builders Association in 2007.
Mr Hart said: “I am very excited and honoured to be joining the BDA team. The BDA’s mission of fostering sustainable, equitable prosperity for Bermuda, and encouraging jobs, investment, and innovation to come to the island, has never been more important.
“I am thrilled to join a world class team and accelerate our efforts to bring investment and jobs to Bermuda. Bermuda’s track record of leadership on a global scale, access to world markets and talented pool of human capital are significant strengths as we seek to diversify Bermuda’s economy and support our trading partners worldwide.”
Stephen Weinstein, chairman of the BDA, said: “On behalf of the board of directors, we welcome Mr Hart to the BDA and the Bermuda community at this critical time. His leadership, communication skills, and deep experience in economic development and public policy, are perfect fits for our next stage of challenges and growth.”
Mr Weinstein added: “We thank Roland Andy Burrows for nearly three years of dedicated service as CEO. Under his leadership, the BDA helped navigate Bermuda through one of its most trying economic periods and we wish him well in his future endeavours.”
Mr Burrows said: "The BDA plays a vital role in promoting Bermuda. I am proud of what the BDA has achieved since December 2018 and will continue to support its mission.”
The organisation said Mr Hart’s new appointment highlights the board’s and the BDA’s continued commitment to international business development.
With an aim to increase international investment through innovation, strategic partnerships and targeted marketing of Bermuda’s world class business platform, the BDA said it has also created a new business development committee chaired by BDA board member George Thomas.