Okaloosa economic leader resigns

Larry Sassano nwfdn

Larry Sassano

FILE PHOTO | Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 04:52 PM.

FORT WALTON BEACH — After more than 15 years as president of the Okaloosa County Economic Development Council, Larry Sassano has resigned to accept the top spot at the regional Florida’s Great Northwest office.

Florida’s Great Northwest and the Okaloosa County EDC released joint announcements Monday morning with details about the transition. Sassano’s last day with the EDC will be Nov. 30, and he will officially join Florida’s Great Northwest on Dec. 1.

“Larry’s got over 30 years of economic development experience and most of that here in Northwest Florida,” said John Hutchison, chairman of Florida’s Great Northwest. “He knows the area; he knows why we’re good for business.”

Sassano is out of town this week and was unavailable for comment.

His official title with Florida’s Great Northwest will be interim president. Hutchison said Sassano was given a one-year contract to help guide the organization through its current transition period.

Florida’s Great Northwest was founded in 2000 to market and brand the 16-county Northwest Florida region as a competitive location for business. It is transitioning into more of a marketing engine that will bring business prospects to the individual county’s economic development organization.

“The idea is that Florida’s Great Northwest becomes more of a support organization rather than a standalone organization with a big staff and duplicated programs,” Hutchison said. “I think it’s a positive step that’s going to help the region work together and make us more of a partner with EDOs than a separate organization.

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