BRADENTON – The Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp. (EDC) has appointed Max Stewart to the new position of director of business development for the private, not-for-profit organization that leads economic development activities in Manatee County. Stewart is the former regional manager for international trade development for Enterprise Florida Inc. (EFI), the state’s public/private partnership for economic development.
“Max Stewart is the ideal candidate to take our business recruitment efforts to the next level,” said Sharon Hillstrom, EDC president and CEO. “Selecting a seasoned professional like Max underscores that the Bradenton area is serious about helping local businesses grow while bringing new businesses and jobs to the residents of Manatee County. His experience with international trade development for Florida businesses aligns well with our efforts to assist local businesses in reaching the world with their goods and services.”
Stewart joined EFI in 2013 and was responsible for an 11-county region from Citrus to Collier counties (Naples). He was charged with developing and supporting Florida manufacturing and service companies in their exports and increasing their international focus. He also served as EFI’s co-lead for Florida’s information and communications technology sector, and was Florida’s economic development and trade liaison for Mexico and Canada.
Previously, Stewart was president and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Central Florida for 10 years. In that post, he managed central Florida’s foreign visitor development, government dignitary visits, and business and trade promotion. The council supported international development programs throughout Central Florida in collaboration with several federal agencies.
Stewart holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Central Florida.
About the Bradenton Area EDC
The Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp. (EDC) is the lead economic development organization for the Bradenton area’s nine communities located on the south side of Tampa Bay. The EDC works to diversify the local economy by attracting and retaining high-wage jobs for area residents, and connecting existing businesses to the resources they need to succeed. Information: BradentonAreaEDC.com.