By John Kennedy
The Palm Beach Post, Fla.
A 15-year-old Boca Raton girl who founded her own million-dollar company was seated in the House gallery Tuesday and received a shout-out from Gov. Rick Scott in his annual State of the State address.
Rachel Zietz, CEO of Gladiator Lacrosse, which she started two years ago after being frustrated at the quality of lacrosse equipment she could find, was invited to Tallahassee by the governor’s office.
Zietz, a student at Fort Lauderdale’s Pine Crest School, was the first of five Floridians the governor singled out for their accomplishments in his State of the State.
“This young business owner now has three employees that help her out while she is in class,” Scott told lawmakers, as Zietz stood in the House gallery. “Rachel, thank you for helping to make Florida first for jobs.”
Scott said Zietz is an example of the kind of innovation he wants to encourage with his proposed $1 billion tax break package aimed, in part, at developing more manufacturing in Florida.
Zietz attended the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy as a middle-schooler and soon started her company making goals and rebounders, fabricated in China and imported to the U.S.
The firm has produced more than $1 million in revenue over its two years.
Zietz said she was thrilled by Scott’s invitation.
“And for 2016, we’re adding a bunch of new products to our lineup,” she said, following the governor’s speech.