McCarthy, Hatt Receive Awards at EDC Annual Meeting

Gary R. Cunningham Distinguished Service and Volunteer of the Year awards presented

Brevard County, Fla. (October 16, 2014) – The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC) is pleased to announce its 2014 recipients of the Gary R. Cunningham Distinguished Service for Economic Development and Volunteer of the Year awards. The winners were announced last night at the EDC’s Annual Meeting held at the Crowne Plaza Oceanfront in Melbourne.

Created in honor of Gary R. Cunningham, a renowned Central Florida business leader and founding member of the structure of what we all know today as the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, the Distinguished Service for Economic Development award is presented each year to an individual who has contributed significantly to the economic advancement of Brevard County and to the advancement of the EDC’s mission and vision. It pays tribute to someone, who, like Gary, has given of themselves for the greater economic good of our community.

The EDC presented the award to Eugene ‘Gene’ McCarthy, a long-time resident of Brevard County.

For the past 18 years, McCarthy has been instrumental in furthering economic development. One of the hallmarks of his efforts was co-founding the Brevard Vision 2005 program, a countywide program established to strategically plan for growth. McCarthy’s strong business acumen and experience, garnered through decades in both the stockbroking and real estate fields, helped him serve as not only an EDC chairman, but as a resource in successfully recruiting companies to Brevard.

A veteran himself, he also fully backed the EDC’s military support efforts and was a constant fixture for many years on annual community leader trips to Washington D.C. to fight for our local military installations.

In addition, EDC staff has the unique opportunity, each year, to nominate an EDC investor as its Volunteer of the Year. The criterion for this award consists of donating a significant amount of energy and expertise in a way that has assisted economic development initiatives. This year’s recipient of the EDC’s Volunteer of the Year Award is Don Hatt.

Over the past year, Hatt has taken on an active role in advocacy efforts for BrevardWORKS, a group working to educate and inform voters about the upcoming AVT program referendum. He has helped strategize fundraising opportunities and attends several meetings a week with CEO and business owners on behalf of the BrevardWORKS committee. Now retired, Hatt is a former chief executive officer who held leadership roles within a number of financial services organizations.

“The presentation of these two awards further demonstrates the tireless efforts and commitment of these community leaders to economic development on the Space Coast,” said Lynda Weatherman, president and CEO of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast. “The EDC thrives on the work of its community partners and volunteers and is extremely grateful to have the opportunity to present these awards.”


About the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast
The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast is dedicated to attracting new business and investment and expanding existing industry throughout the Space Coast, influencing change on government laws and regulations affecting economic development, promoting the Space Coast to encourage new investment, supporting efforts of Space Coast military installations, and relaying new programs and procedures to assist manufacturing and high tech companies. The EDC is a private, not-for-profit coalition whose stakeholders are business leaders committed to the economic growth and stability of Florida’s Space Coast. Visit