BRIDG names former SeaWorld, Valencia executive new leader

A longtime Valencia College executive with experience at SeaWorld will lead a not-for-profit group at the head of Kissimmee’s push to become a sensor technology hub.

Valencia VP for Public Affairs Jay Galbraith has been named the new president of BRIDG.

The group has been instrumental in helping the region land advanced grants that have it poised to become a national research hub.

BRIDG has also helped lead the development of the 500-acre tech campus NeoCity in Kissimmee.

“Jay brings a wealth of experience and connections in Central Florida and beyond,’ said Clarence Thacker, chairman of the BRIDG board. “His strength in business administration and partnership relations strengthen the sustainability of the organization well into the future.”

Galbraith has been at Valencia since 2014 following a seven-year stint as a corporate vice president at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.

“The recent successes in (BRIDG’s) key partnership grants will serve as the catalyst to see the vision realized in the near future,” Galbraith said in the release.

Galbraith takes over for John Allgair, who has been with BRIDG since 2016 and most recently served as interim president.

In January, the U.S. National Science Foundation named Central Florida as one of 10 regional innovation engines in the country, with a focus on semiconductors thanks, in part, to BRIDG’s presence and expertise.