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Lake County, FL Office of Elevate Lake

Lake County congratulates City of Tavares and WattNext, Inc. on Industry Innovation Award

Release Date: September 15, 2011

TAVARES —The City of Tavares and WattNext, Inc. were presented with a prestigious William C. Schwartz Industry Innovation Award by the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission (EDC) at its annual awards luncheon ceremony held on Sept. 14 in Orlando, Fla.

The William C. Schwartz Award is presented to companies or organizations within Central Florida based on their creative innovation in areas of business processes, technology development, strategic partnerships and products or services.

“We offer our congratulations to Tavares and WattNext for their successes that resulted in this distinguished award,” said County Manager Darren Gray. “The innovative approach taken by both organizations has been a great achievement, and their success translates into creating a positive economic outlook for the entire County.”

The City of Tavares was recognized for recently implementing a successful downtown master plan which included design and construction of an $8 million marina project along the waterfront in downtown, and rebranded the city as “America’s Seaplane City”. The results of the rebranding have transformed its downtown into a thriving entertainment district, despite negative economic conditions.

WattNext, Inc., located in Eustis, was acknowledged for development of a solar array shade structure called “Watt Tree”, which connects solar power, electric vehicles and the smart grid. WattNext, Inc. is the first for-profit spin-out company from the Lake County-based, non-profit environmental technology business incubator, RubeLab.

For more information about Economic Development initiatives in Lake County, contact the Lake County Office of Economic Development & Tourism at (352) 343-9899 or visit

Lake County media contact:
Kelly Lafollette
Information Outreach Director
Office: 352-343-9603; Cell: 352-455-0445

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