Economic developer helped Jacksonville recruit Fidelity, Deutsche Bank and Amazon during his 24-year-career here.
Jerry Mallot, president of JAXUSA Partnership and executive vice President of JAX Chamber, will retire from his roles effective Sept. 1, he announced Monday.
“I don’t want to just stop doing anything,” Mallot said. “I am staying right here and will be engaged in the community, but with a lot more flexibility on time and have a chance to do some traveling and other things (wife) Sarah and I are looking forward to.”
Mallot, 70, joined the Chamber in 1994 when he was recruited from Tampa to lead a regional economic development organization in Northeast Florida, known then as Cornerstone.
Mallot is regarded as one of the top economic developers in the country and has been named Economic Developer of the Year in both Florida and Kansas.
He is a past chair of Leadership Jacksonville and Community Connections of Jacksonville.
“This is truly the best city and region in the country to live and to do business – and that certainly helps when you’re bringing top companies to the region,” Mallot said in a news release about his retirement.
Some of Northeast Florida’s largest economic development deals during Mallot’s tenure include recruiting the headquarters of Fidelity National Financial in 2003 from California; attracting Deutsche Bank and luring four Amazon facilities.
“Having Fidelity National move their corporate headquarters to Jacksonville, and then separating FIS into another Fortune 500 company has had a phenomenal impact on our region,” Mallot said. “The other one more recently is Amazon, because 5,000 jobs is putting a lot of people to work and it was exciting to be a part of that process.
“There is no one person or one organization that makes it happen. We have this wonderful collective partnership that truly works.”
“Our economy is thriving and poised for even more growth because of the work Jerry and his team have done here for the past two decades,” said Jacksonville University President Tim Cost, who serves as chair of JAXUSA Partnership.
“The investment he’s helped attract to our city is remarkable,” said JAX Chamber Chair John Peyton, who served as Jacksonville’s mayor from 2003-11 and worked with Mallot on several high-profile projects.
“Jerry is so incredibly skilled at finding ways to get a deal done, it’s been a privilege to work with him over the years,” Peyton said.
A committee of current and past volunteer leaders of JAX Chamber and JAXUSA Partnership will work with a search firm to find Mallot’s successor.
It includes Daniel Davis, JAX Chamber president and CEO; Kelly Madden, head of commercial banking for Florida for Wells Fargo and past chair of both JAX Chamber and JAXUSA Partnership; Darnell Smith, North Florida market president for Florida Blue and past chair of JAX Chamber; Peyton, president of Gate Petroleum; and Cost.
Davis will begin a “listening tour” with JAXUSA Partnership investors and regional partners for input regarding the next president.
“You’re not going to be able to really replace a leader like Jerry Mallot. He’s done so much for our community,” Davis said. “We have talented, engaged investors and partners we will lean on as we make this important decision.”
Mallot’s successor is expected to be named this summer.
“It’s amazing to look around at different projects and see how far we’ve come,” Mallot said. “We have so much momentum here and I look forward to seeing it continue.”
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