About Winter Haven EDC

The people who make it happen

Our Mission

The Winter Haven Economic Development Council’s mission as a private, non-profit consultant is to foster expansion of existing businesses and industry, attract new high-skill, high-wage business and industry; expand economic and job opportunities for Winter Haven residents; broaden the local tax base and enhance relationships with local, regional, state, national and international economic development organizations and agencies.

Our Goals

To ensure organizational success, the Winter Haven Economic Development Council Strategic Plan comprises a set of goals, strategies and key economic development initiatives organized around the following eight goal areas:

Leverage the significant talent and organizational resources of partner organizations, as well as the public and private sector.

Implement internal and external marketing activities through the Greater Winter Haven EDC.

Refine industry cluster support platforms and focus sector-specific efforts on key areas of opportunity.

Invest in downtown (re)development.

Ensure that sufficient workforce talent is available to meet the needs of existing and new businesses.

Fuel a culture of entrepreneurship within Winter Haven.

Encourage excellence in leadership in the public and private sector on issues related to economic development and growth in the City of Winter Haven.

Provide support to city leaders on city planning issues and capital improvement projects which prominently impact economic development.

Our Investors / Board of Directors

The Winter Haven Economic Development Council is inspired in vision, in energy and in financial support by the public and private sectors in our community. Through a generous grant from the City of Winter Haven and the significant financial contributions of local business leaders, our mission to expand local business, recruit new business, create new high-paying jobs and add new capital investment can be achieved. The partners below are invested in our community and are interested in seeing you succeed in our vibrant, pro-business city.

Interested in becoming an investor?

Our Team

Bruce Lyon

Bruce Lyon


Bruce Lyon has 20 years of experience in economic development and comes to the WHEDC after 12 years of managing his own consulting firm where his practice focused on urban economic development, market analysis, strategic planning and business assistance. During his career, Bruce has worked in 21 states and countless cities performing economic analysis and project management services in economic development. He also has experience in shopping center development, lease negotiations, land assembly and housing. With a BBA in Finance and an MBA, Bruce brings a depth of business knowledge to Winter Haven’s economic development activities.

Julie Sands

Julie Sands

Program Manager

Julie Sands has extensive experience in corporate finance in a variety of industry and company size. She began her career in corporate financial management with a Fortune 100 company where she forced on strategic planning, treasury and large-scale lease operations (airplanes, satellites, etc.). Later, as owner/CFO of a midsized regional retailer she gained exposure to ownership responsibilities, retail operations, site selection and capital management. With a degree in Finance and experience starting two tech firms Julie has an uncanny awareness of the needs of our local businesses and economy.

Ready to get started?

We’re here to make the experience of starting, expanding or relocating your business as hassle-free as possible.
Find out how we can help you take advantage of our thriving business community today.