About

The Bridge Between Public & Private Sectors

The Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is the lead economic development organization for the Bradenton Area’s nine communities located on the south side of Tampa Bay.

With a team of dynamic professionals and diverse volunteer leadership from the public and private sectors, the EDC collaborates with economic development partners throughout the Tampa Bay region. Additionally, the EDC’s multi-year strategy for bringing greater diversity to the Bradenton Area’s economy aligns the community’s assets with business sectors that already have a presence in Manatee County.

Bradenton Area EDC Staff

The EDC works to diversify the local economy by attracting and retaining high-wage jobs for area residents and connecting established businesses to the resources they need to succeed.

Sharon Hillstrom

President & CEO

Maxwell Stewart

Vice President Economic Development

Lauren Kratsch

Senior Director Business Relations

Elizabeth Cordes

Director of Investor Relations

Carole Guevara

Office Manager

Ellen Kelley

Research & Administrative Coordinator
Sharon Hillstrom

Sharon Hillstrom

President & CEO

Maxwell Stewart

Maxwell Stewart

Vice President Economic Development

Lauren Kratsch

Lauren Kratsch

Senior Director Business Relations

Elizabeth Cordes

Elizabeth Cordes

Director of Investor Relations

Carole Guevara

Carole Guevara

Office Manager

Meet the Board

The EDC’s leadership includes representation from throughout the nine communities of the Bradenton Area. From business owners to local government officials, from educators to business resource providers, the EDC’s leaders share a mutual commitment to creating a more diverse local economy now and for future generations.

Executive Committee

Dr. Karen Holbrook

Chair
Regional Chancellor

Andy Stultz

Chair Elect
President

Ben Hanan

Immediate Past Chair
Partner

Nathan Bailey

Secretary
CEO/COO

Chris Cianfaglione

Treasurer
Landscape Architect and Associate

Patrick Del Medico

At-Large
Executive Partner/COO

Anne Rollings

At-Large
Corporate Office Operations, Business Development, Government Affairs & Community Relations
Gecko's Hospitality Group

Board of Directors

In addition to the Executive Committee members, the following directors serve on the EDC board:

2024 Economic Forecast Presentation

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Contact Lauren

Lauren Kratsch

Lauren Kratsch

Senior Director Business Relations

Assistance for Local Companies Seeking to Export

Getting started and overcoming obstacles – The EDC’s partnership with the U.S. Commercial Service will help your business start off on the right foot. If you already are frustrated by previous attempts to export, the EDC and its partners will help you get on track.

Expanding your markets – Working with Enterprise Florida, the state’s economic development agency, we assist local businesses connect with state-sponsored trade missions to foreign countries. Looking to ship by sea? The EDC experts at Port Manatee provide advice and access to global business relationships.

Grants and financing – Federal and state programs may be available to help reduce the cost of exporting your goods or services.

Assistance for Foreign-Based Companies

Our sophisticated approach to business recruitment is underpinned by our innate desire to provide essential services to companies entering the U.S. market. Because fostering a diverse business climate and community is important to our mission, we believe no question or ask is too big or too small. Below is a quick snapshot of the services and assets.