EDC director sees 'tremendous opportunities' in Crestview

Published: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 11:42 AM.

CRESTVIEW — The Okaloosa County Economic Development Council's new executive director came to town recently and liked what he saw.

"As I've looked around this community, you all have tremendous opportunities and attributes in the economic development area," Nathan Sparks said.

Sparks, who was hired earlier this year to replace former director Larry Sassano, addressed the Crestview City Council for the first time during its Monday evening meeting.

Crestview has several "differentiators worth noting" that make it stand out among other communities, Sparks said. Among them are the Hub City's multiple transportation modes, Bob Sikes Airport, a "beautiful" downtown and the Florida A&M University school of pharmacy, part of a strong health sciences community that employs 11.3 percent of area workers. "That's twice the average," Sparks said.

Sparks also credited Crestview's enterprise zone, which he termed an "underused asset, and said of the EDC's 29 active projects, 10 are in Crestview.

"Businesses are very receptive to talking about Okaloosa County and Crestview in particular," Sparks said.

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