Rick Staab
CEO, The Intermed Group | Founder, Tyler’s Hope for a Dystonia Cure

I am fortunate enough to be blessed with the opportunities to travel and experience many different cities and cultures. Having stated my fortunes, I have chosen to live in Gainesville, Florida. The decision is both an educated and emotional choice.

I grew up in the research triangle park area of North Carolina and have always been fascinated by biotech and research. My corporate office is in the Progress Corporate Park in Alachua where many publically traded biotech companies are now based. The Sid Martin Biotech Institute is rated the #1 biotech incubator in the world. I have seen tremendous growth and focus in our region in biotech over the last ten years. The resources for talent and willingness to promote my company has been a great reason for our success as well as other companies in the region. We have often taken some difficult issues we have faced in business to our partners at the University of Florida and Santa Fe College for support. There is a collaborative visionary approach to our future in the Greater Gainesville region that is palpable.

When I think of home (Gainesville) I think of the many lakes, beautiful trees and fantastic weather year round. The natural springs, bike trails, athletic fields, and natural attractions provide me with an excitement to get out into our community as well as a serenity experienced in its beauty. The culture in the greater Gainesville community is uniquely stronger than almost all other communities. The size of our region plays a role in the culture that has developed. Being a college community with two of the best educational institutes in the United States, the culture reflects a well-educated and diverse population. There is an overwhelmingly strong sense of community and pride in innovating.

We started a foundation to cure a rare movement disorder (Dystonia) and we are realizing great success in our fight for a cure because this community is so active and supportive. The innovation is seen in cutting edge research and care center created by the brilliant minds at UF and UF Health. Medical tourism is big in our community based largely on the aggressively innovative approaches fostered by our top healthcare facilities in the region.  I believe the next business revolution will be biotechnology and cures and that our community will continue to lead in these areas.

Earlier this year, I boarded a plane that had a large contingency of members from our Chamber of Commerce (recognized among the top in the country) headed to Austin, Texas to explore what we can continue to do to improve the business, health, and education of our community into the future and learn from the mistakes made in other communities. These were all people that paid their own way and had a genuine interest in our region and in ways to constantly improve it. There is and has been tremendous community involvement and a sense of “giving back” that is encouraged and expected in the Greater Gainesville region.

Lastly, I am proud of our regions focus on diversity. Not just ethnic diversity which we have mainly because of our major university but diversity in the arts, education, jobs, and ideas. There is very little I can find in other major cities throughout the globe that I cannot find in Gainesville. The arts are outstanding and through community driven initiatives like the education compact or talent alignment programs that focus on all levels of employment/employability we will continue to have what I feel is the best place to live in the US.

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