Focusing on recruiting new companies and expanding our existing business community, the Flagler County DEO professional team is trained to assist company executives and site consultants in every aspect of the site selection process.
The Economic Opportunity Advisory Council consists of nine members appointed by the Flagler County Board of County Commissioners based on his/her targeted industry expertise.
Partnerships with our local governments and municipalities are the backbone of Flagler Department of Economic Opportunity. Through local partnerships, we create a network of resources to assist businesses in all their needs.
Helga van Eckert
Helga van Eckert has over 15 years experience in driving public/private partnerships that promote the growth of new business while ensuring the retention and expansion of existing businesses, all while providing for an enhanced quality of life. Relocating from New Jersey, where she served as the Executive Director of a northern New Jersey city Department of Economic and Community Development, Redevelopment, Urban Enterprise Zone and Business Improvement District, Ms. Van Eckert has a reputation of being a strong leader, team builder and innovative problem-solver. In New Jersey she leaves behind a legacy of having negotiated and managed multiple developer/redeveloper agreements that have resulted in approximately 1.5 million square feet of industrial/warehouse space, over 1,000 new jobs and millions in municipal tax revenues. Helga has been charged with repositioning Flagler County to compete nationally in business recruitment and economic development.
Donald O’Brien, appointed Chair to the Economic Opportunity Advisory Council in 2017. Donald is a Rotarian and a member of several community and business organizations. He is a board member and past two-time Chairman of the Board of the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member of the Florida Hospital Flagler Foundation Board and chairs the 20/20 Society fundraising campaign, and serves on the board and the finance committee of the Early Learning Coalition of Flagler and Volusia Counties.
Flagler County Schools
Jacob Oliva, the current Superintendent for Flagler County Schools, is a native Floridian. He has been an educator and administrator in the Flagler County School District for fourteen years. He has been an integral part of the development and implementation of the 1:1 student to computer initiative for grades 5 – 12 for all students in Flagler County Schools. He has also been instrumental in implementing the turn-around leadership project for reforming the lowest performing schools in the District.
Under this plan the District wide achievement has increased from 22nd in the State to 11th. Mr. Oliva is focused on achieving the District’s vision of being the Nation’s Premier Learning Organization; focusing on individual student achievement by creating learning environments where students will acquire the skills they need to be college and career ready. To this end, Mr. Oliva also initiated the Flagship Schools program matching each school with an industry based academy providing practical experience and knowledge in industries aligning with those targeted by the state and Flagler County.
Business Concierge Services
Flagler County DEO prides itself on service to businesses to include connection to relocation services, temporary office space, employment assistance and temporary administrative support.