© 2016 All rights reserved.
Kelly L. Smallridge is President and CEO of Palm Beach County’s public/private economic development agency, the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County (BDB) where she has worked for 32 years. She serves as the longest tenured economic development President in the State of Florida and has a solid track record in facilitating some of the largest job creation projects for Palm Beach County. In 2013, Governor Rick Scott awarded Kelly with the Governor’s Ambassador Medal recognizing her hard work in creating jobs in Palm Beach County.
Kelly oversees all operations of the Business Development Board which is one of only two Accredited Economic Development Boards in the State of Florida. In 2004, she became the first female President of a South Florida economic development board after serving in many different capacities within the organization including the lead role for the Recruitment, Retention and Expansion from 1988-2004. In addition, she serves as Chair of the Florida Economic Development Council and as a director of the following boards: Enterprise Florida, South Florida Fair, the Homeless Coalition, and The Education Foundation.
In 2013 and 2019, she was featured on Fox News, CNBC and the NY Post touting the assets of Palm Beach County. Under her leadership, the BDB has received numerous state and national awards for its work in recruiting and expanding companies to Palm Beach County and is credited with facilitating two of the world’s largest bioscience organizations to the state: The Scripps Research Institute from San Diego and the Max Planck Society from Germany. Her aggressive style in facilitating relocations and expansions has led to big announcements of jobs for this county from companies like United Technologies, Amazon, ADT, Pratt & Whitney, G4S, Fed Ex, Sikorsky Helicopters, Aldi, and TBC Corporation to name a few.
Kelly is also credited with creating several new programs for Palm Beach County: the first Expedited Permitting Ordinance which was adopted by 15 cities in Palm Beach County; a countywide “Shovel Ready” program to identify sites ready for construction within 12 months as well as an Education Initiative which provides a one-stop resource for CEOs to find public, private, charter and faith-based schools when deciding to relocate.
Awards and Recognition:
- Ambassador’s Medal by Governor Rick Scott
- “Florida’s 500 Most Influential Business Leaders” by Florida Trend
- “Top 40 Business Leadesr” by South Florida CEO
- “Small Business Leader of the Year” by the Sun Sentinel
- “Palm Beach County Public Schools Distinguished Alumni Award” by the Education Foundation
- “Top 40 Influential Business Leader” by Palm Beacher Magazine
- “Ultimate CEO” by the South Florida Business Journal
Kelly graduated from the University of Florida. She has three sons and resides in Wellington.