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Enterprise Florida CEO Candidates Narrowed To 5

Enterprise Florida, the state’s economic development arm, was a step closer Friday to naming a new CEO after a search committee chose five finalists.

Enterprise Florida has been in turmoil since lawmakers earlier this year refused to spend $250 million for a so-called “quick action closing fund.”

The downsizing that followed included Enterprise Florida CEO Bill Johnson. At a search committee meeting Friday, chairman Stan Connally ordered his colleagues to start interviewing five finalists.

“You as committee members can take those conversations where you’d like, you know what we’re looking for here, we’ve talked about it multiple times.”

An EFI spokesman says a new CEO will likely be named at a board meeting Sept. 28 in Orlando. More than 100 economic development experts applied, including an executive with the World Customs Organization in Belgium.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.