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ORLANDO-Once one of Central Florida’s high profile business recruiting organizations, the 25-year-old private, not-for-profit Economic Development Commission of Mid-Florida, has sliced six high-paying positions from its $4.5 million budget, saving an estimated $497,000 per year.

In the past five years alone, EDC’s Web site says it has coordinated the placement of $7 billion in capital investment in metro Orlando; helped create 40,000 jobs; and had a hand in the leasing or construction of 21 million sf of commercial real estate space.

Among those receiving pink slips are Kathy Ramsberger, vice president/television and digital media for the past 11 years; Pat Werner, corporate business development director for the past 16 years; Bob Turk, director of EDC’s Osceola County operations; and Enrique Machado, a director in EDC’s international department.

The departing staffers’ last day will be Sept. 30. EDC’s fiscal year for 2003 begins Oct. 1. The staff reductions bring EDC’s work force to 33. EDC officials couldn’t be reached at GlobeSt.com’s publication deadline.

The organization made headlines in 2000 when local businesses pledged a total $2.6 million for four years to cover EDC’s budget which has grown to $4.5 million from $3.8 million in 1999. The $2.6 million commitment topped the aggregate $2.05 million promise from governments in Orange, Seminole, Lake and Osceola counties.

“That’s the first time in 25 years private money has exceeded public doles,” a private Orlando economics consultant tells GlobeSt.com on condition of anonymity.

EDC generally receives 45% of its budgetary funds from local governments and the balance from the private sector.

EDC made headlines again in March 2001 when the organization hired Raymond Gilley of Clermont, FL, as its first black president/CEO at an estimated salary of $100,000.

The then 42-year-old Gilley came to EDC from Florida Power Corp. where he managed economic development. He replaced Darrell Kelley who resigned to re-enter the private sector

Also in March 2001, EDC lost one of its most productive executives when Hal Sumrall, a marketing authority on small business startups and international trade for 25 years, left to form his own consulting company.

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