*Karen Lustgarten

LNB Members Pompano Beach
LNB Members Pompano Beach

Ever wonder what the restricted areas in North Broward’s top industries are like? What makes big businesses and government entities in this region tick and how can you get private backstage tour tickets to them? Leadership North Broward (LNB), a program of the Greater Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce, is the way. This executive local leadership program costs $600 for Chamber members. It is designed to inform and empower participants to greater business success by connecting with government and business decision makers in the region.

One day a month for seven months, LNB 2018 participants have been experiencing a full itinerary of seminars, field trips and restricted guided tours through the inner workings of eight different industry sectors that impact our region economically.

Among them: tourism, public service (police, S.W.A.T. team, fire-rescue tours), health services (inner workings of area hospitals), local and regional government day, big businesses (Whole Foods docking/deliveries), education entities.

June’s industry field trip featured transportation sites: two executive airports and Port Everglades–not the popular cruise side, but the restricted cargo side.

Presentation at Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport
Presentation at Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport

Did you know that 60% of Pompano Beach Air Park, the executive airport for private aircraft, is devoted to flight training on helicopters and small planes? It also provides aircraft rentals and charters, scenic rides, aerial photography and mapping/surveying. Steve Rocco, Air Park Manager, traced the 71-year history and importance of the facility to the local area including air ambulance and search/rescue services.

The Air Park also is home to storage hangers, aircraft sales, maintenance and avionics repairs when planes break down. And next time you see the Goodyear Blimp in the sky, know that its hangar home is adjacent to the Air Park. Maybe the words “Pompano Beach” will be permanently advertised on its belly when their upcoming land lease is negotiated.

Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport handles large private planes up to 737s. LNB participants were treated to an interactive presentation by the airport’s Assistant Manager Carlton Harrison and Karen Reese about the history and growth of this economic engine. Did you know that the executive airport has its own police substation, a U.S. Customs and Border protection facility, 24-hour airport security, a 24-hour FAA Air Traffic Control Tower, 24-hour aircraft rescue and firefighting services? It’s also a Foreign Trade Zone 241, which means big duty-free benefits to companies here doing international business.

We were driven around this general aviation city with 5,100 employees. Noteworthy was the discussion about excellent career opportunities in aviation, especially at the airport. Both executives emphasized the need for college graduates in airport-related fields and the partnerships forming with local colleges to ensure more graduates enter this field.

Port Everglades does more than $22 billion in trade with the world
Port Everglades does more than $22 billion in trade with the world

An escorted bus tour of Port Everglades’ highly restricted cargo area ended the day. This powerhouse port does more than $22 billion in trade with the world. We were treated to a backstage guided tour covering acres of cargo area where complex cranes and equipment were moving and stacking huge containers that come off ships.

A trip to the top of the Harbor Master Tower, the air traffic control tower of the sea, topped the day. The harbor master shared how he monitors on multiple large computer screens hundreds of ships coming, going and docked at the port along with activity in and around it. The sophisticated operation in his perch with a 360-degree view was impressive.

Participant Johnathan Saluk from American Credit Card Processing Corporation found the experience worthwhile. “You get to see places and businesses you normally don’t see and it’s good networking with members in the group,” he said. “Every day we went out, there was so much going on behind the scenes like at the docks, the satellite beacons, the new technology at the Broward Sherriff’s office.”

For more information about Leadership North Broward call the Pompano Beach Chamber:  954-946-2940 or email Cris:  cagnone@pompanobeachchamber.com

Registration is open now for the next LNP program starting January 2019.
*Karen Lustgarten is President of Multi-Media Works, a multiple award-winning media company specializing in video PR, print and social media with offices in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. She won awards for writing/producing storytelling and marketing videos for businesses and nonprofits and for Website content. Karen founded a newspaper in Washington, DC. and was a syndicated columnist and best-selling author.  www.multi-mediaworks.com