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Why Greater Gainesville? John Spence

Why Greater Gainesville? John Spence

John Spence- International Speaker and Business Consultant 

We asked local citizens and world travelers why they choose to live in Greater Gainesville.

As an author, international management consultant and professional speaker, I could literally live anywhere in the world, so I am often asked why my wife, Sheila, and I chose to live in Gainesville. I’d like to share some of the reasons why.

First and foremost, there is a real sense of community here; the people are kind, welcoming and there is a sense of pride in living in such a wonderful city. That’s not just our opinion; Gainesville is recognized as one of the best cities to live in and one of the healthiest cities in America. We are home to one of the top universities in the country, the University of Florida, and the No. 1 community college in America, Santa Fe College. Because of that, Gainesville has the vibe of a true college town and an overwhelming array of events related to these great institutions. Both schools have outstanding sports programs, and the Gators are one of the preeminent college sports powerhouses, with multiple SEC championships and national championships in sports including football, baseball, basketball, women’s soccer, golf, tennis, volleyball and gymnastics. If you’re a sports fan, I don’t know that there’s a better city to live in.

If you’re not into college sports, Gainesville offers an incredible array of other activities. We have a vibrant road biking community, a world-class running community, hiking or offroad biking on our many nature trails, fishing, hunting and more natural springs than any other city in the world. Tubing down our rivers or cave diving for the super adventurous is only minutes away. Also, in a drive just a little over an hour to the east or west, you can enjoy the beautiful beaches of St. Augustine or the small fishing villages of Cedar Key or Steinhatchee.

On the cultural front, because of UF and Santa Fe, we are exposed to a wide array of lectures, concerts, art exhibits, theater, dance and other events. We have access to events not only from college students but also top-name authors, thought leaders, political figures, artists and performers from around the world. In addition, the city of Gainesville sponsors numerous events such as outdoor concerts, art shows, educational presentations and sporting events. If you are a speed enthusiast, one of the largest drag racing events in the country, the Gatornationals, is an amazing event each year. If you’re a foodie like I am, there are some absolutely spectacular restaurants in our area.

Lastly, we have a strong and growing business community thanks to one of the top entrepreneurial ecosystems in the country that fosters clean business and employment opportunities. Two premier hospitals ensure that some of the finest medical care in America is just around the corner.

I could honestly go on for another five pages, but these are just a few of the reasons why we believe Gainesville, Florida, is one of the greatest cities in the world — a city we’re very proud to call home.


John Hartnett- V.P. of Global Business Development, Endoscopy Replacement Parts, Inc. 

There is a rhythm to what happens in the Gainesville region. It is the true sense of working together for the benefit of everyone that is so appealing to me. I moved to this area a few years ago with only a notion that it was a nice place to live with pleasant weather and beautiful, natural surroundings; that the town is host to one of the best universities in the nation; and that there is a new kind of “unique” brewing in this special place. All of this holds true, and on top of it all, I was then blindsided by the compassion and sense of purpose and community that already existed.

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My personality and drive continuously pushed the envelope to achieve bigger objectives and involve more personalities in creativity and growth. I quickly learned that this region was the best move I ever made to match these motivations. Within a couple of months, I was literally entrenched in the business community with ease and open arms. The general community wanted to be involved with me as much as I wanted to be a part of them cialis en andorre. I found and still discover that the business, startup, financial, government, philanthropy and all other levels in the economic system are facing the same direction with similar ambitions.

When choosing a home for startups and relocation of a small or medium-size business, it can be tempting to move to a major hub like Silicon Valley. Obviously, there are benefits to moving to that type of city, but they aren’t necessarily better than lesser known, growing regions. The Gainesville area presents the opportunity to have a big impact on building a community altruistically and for the purposes of creating a dynamite business culture. Business leaders shape the local economy by helping develop policy and encouraging smart growth. Our area is in position to apply best practices from successful cities while implementing solutions for our particular needs and industry sectors.

My company is a precision manufacturer of medical devices with a large global presence. We moved to this area to utilize resources that were unavailable to us or cost prohibitive to our growth. In making or decision to relocate, we defined assets of this area such as a highly educated workforce, available and affordable land, organized municipalities, and elements of cooperation, innovation, focus, growth mind-set and most importantly, vision. Since our relocation, this region has continued to improve and impress by having a five-star recognized Chamber of Commerce, identification of five key business sectors, closer ties to the University of Florida and the No. 1 rated community college in the nation, Santa Fe College, along with an overall spotlight on our children’s future through education.

Overall, the energy that exists in this business community is infectious, and everyone wants success for everyone! I have not experienced an atmosphere like this before, and I cherish the excitement and focus that we all share. I have the opportunity to be a business and community leader to help create a high quality of life, and I am thrilled to share in the achievements of my fellows. Our assets are strong and improving, and we are ambitious enough to believe that we will have a global impact. Our community cares, and the quality of life is great.

If you want to be part of a new kind of “unique” and feel that your voice, vision and community are meaningful, then it is easy to realize that the Gainesville region is positioned well for your earnestness and your business success, too!

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