Space Florida’s Frank DiBello: The Man With the Plan

Space Florida President Frank DiBello
Space Florida President Frank DiBello

Florida Today has a lengthy profile of Space Florida President Frank DiBello, who is in the thick of efforts to help find laid off aerospace workers new jobs in the Sunshine State:

Before his September 2009 selection as head of the state agency that works with the space industry, DiBello spent nearly 40 years helping fledgling satellite and spaceflight companies gather investors. Of those companies, some struggled. Some thrived. And some vanished. The varied experience gave the 67-year-old DiBello a singular grounding in the financial aspects of spaceflight and a Rolodex that includes many major players in the space industry….

DiBello offers a recovery plan, using the skilled shuttle workforce to attract a diversified group of high-technology industries, such as companies that specialize in satellite systems and payloads, environmental monitoring, adventure tourism and clean energy. They will be needed to re-inflate the Space Coast economy after the loss of the shuttle program, which injects hundreds of millions of dollars into the county with each shuttle launch, not to mention the impact of thousands of workers who live, work and play here.

DiBello believes in the soundness of his plan. He is slowly convincing others of the plan’s merits and that the space industry’s future has some bright spots.

“It’s his optimism that I think can become infectious,” said Dale Ketcham, director of Spaceport Research and Technology Institute at University of Central Florida.

Read the full story.