New Conference Focuses on Economic Diversification

Northwest Florida Economic Summit will revolve around contracts and collaboration
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William Loiry, a defense and security facilitator and business leader, is a promoter of responsible business growth. To advance that objective, Loiry is bringing a new targeted summit to Northwest Florida.

Since 1996, Loiry has organized security and defense summits throughout the nation. Now he is bringing about an inaugural Northwest Florida Economic Summit, scheduled for Oct. 17–18 at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center.

The summit will give business owners, government officials, military personnel, academics and community leaders from Tallahassee to Pensacola a chance to learn from one another about how best to serve and improve Northwest Florida.

Loiry believes that the region relies too heavily on tourism and related activities and that its stability and prosperity require economic diversification.

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While acknowledging tourism is essential, Loiry knows the region is capable of much more.

“This summit will help make Northwest Florida a stellar place to live and work by bringing together people with the experience to begin diversifying the economy even more so,” Loiry said.

The summit will address areas including technology, biotechnology, cybersecurity, defense (aviation, aerospace, special forces, shipbuilding), distribution and logistics, energy and construction. The meeting will feature roundtable discussions, general sessions and invaluable matchmaking sessions.

In matchmaking sessions, business people meet one on one with local, state and federal officials that award grants and contracts.

Loiry said a number of construction and engineering companies will be represented at the summit. All are interested in contracts that will arise from the $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure bill that was passed recently.

Additionally, the summit will focus on projects planned by the U.S. Department of Defense, Florida Department of Transportation, Florida’s Great Northwest, Enterprise Florida, Triumph Gulf Coast and agencies related to small business.

“This summit is different because it’s not focused on 30,000 feet ideas and it’s not structured like ‘TED Talks,’ ” Loiry said. “Instead, we are highly focused on how small, mid-sized and even large businesses can connect and gain economic grants and contracts in order to expand.”

WANT TO GO? For more information on the 2023 Air Force Contracting Summit and the 2022 Northwest Florida Economic Summit, visit and, respectively.

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