Monthly Archives: June 2019


Sunrise Volkswagen of Fort Pierce, the newest VW dealership in the United States, opened in February right next to the oldest dealership in town, 87-year-old Sunrise Ford. The sparkling new VW store south of Midway Road on U.S. 1 opened with 20 employees and 135 new models, from Passat and Jetta sedans to three-row Atlas SUVs. Most of Volkswagen’s U.S. dealer network has filled out, meaning that a new franchise is rare. About 30 companies, most of them with established VW dealerships, vied for the open “point” on the Volkswagen U.S. map.
Jun. 28, 2019|

Youth Guidance Tropical Night Luau was a big hit

Anne Kroh, left, Youth Guidance Board member; and Brian Kroh, right, General Manager of Johns Island Club

Enjoying the Youth Guidance Tropical Night Luau are Anne Kroh, left, Youth Guidance Board member; and Brian Kroh, right, General Manager of Johns Island Club.

VERO BEACH - The Youth Guidance 42nd Annual Tropical Night Luau on June 8th was a tremendous success. Held at Oak Harbor, the Luau was well attended, with approximately 250 partygoers. Guests had a wonderful time dancing to The Gypsy Lane band, feasting on the tropical fare and mingling with friends, old and new.

The Silent and live auctions featured spectacular items donated by local businesses and individuals including vacations, trips, services, restaurants, recreation packages, art and jewelry, and many more wonderful articles. Adding to the festivities was vibrant luau attire and leis that were worn by attendees.

“Through the generous event sponsorships and community donations, hundreds of Youth Guidance children will enjoy year-round activities,” said Felix Cruz, Executive Director of Youth Guidance. “We would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to everyone who made the event so successful!”

All proceeds supported the Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy. Youth Guidance is dedicated to enriching the lives of Indian River County youth through mentoring relationships that inspire trust, self-esteem and positive futures. Youth Guidance works with kindergarten through 12th-grade children. Programs are all free and children are provided with a nutritious meal before programs.

About Youth Guidance
Youth Guidance children are all from low-income homes, who without guidance, may remain trapped in a cycle of generational poverty, dimming their hopes for the future. With the direction of staff, mentors, and volunteers, these children can experience a path toward a brighter future.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, mentor, volunteering, or learning more about Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy call 772.492.3933 or visit

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Magazine Inc. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Jun. 27, 2019|

Christopher Soska became the new chief operating officer of Cleveland Clinic Martin Health

Christopher Soska

Christopher Soska

Christopher Soska became the new chief operating officer of Cleveland Clinic Martin Health on May 30.

Soska, who has served as system executive director for hospital and ambulatory operations since August 2018, brings 20 years of Cleveland Clinic leadership experience to his role as COO

As COO, Soska will work with the Cleveland Clinic Martin Health leadership to implement strategic and operational goals for the organization. He will also work with Cleveland Clinic Florida region leaders to ensure Martin Health’s effective integration as part of a regional health system.

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Magazine Inc. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Jun. 26, 2019|

The 19th Hole Restaurant has become Port St. Lucie’s hot spot for music and dancing!

Sponsored Content

PORT ST. LUCIE - New owner, Mark Maffei, has transformed the 19th Hole Restaurant from an after golf stop to a top venue for delicious meals and phenomenal entertainment. The 19th Hole Restaurant is located at 2601 SE Morningside Blvd. at the Saints Golf Course in Port St. Lucie. The beautiful new décor invites you in, but the scrumptious menu, daily specials and nightly performances will keep you coming back.

Various entertainment is available Tuesday through Sunday evenings for your pleasure while dinning or enjoying a cocktail at their spacious bar. There’s something for everyone whether you enjoy karaoke, dancing, or relaxing to the sounds. Visit their website at for nightly performances.

Upcoming special evenings include the Oldies Dance Party on July 3rd, 5:30-9 p.m., featuring music from the 50’s-80’s. This performance is free to all in their main dining room. On July 13th the incomparable La Orquesta Herencia Latina will perform in their ballroom from 7-10 p.m. The dinner show starts at 5 p.m. and includes a 4 entrée buffet selection, salad, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage station (open bar for alcohol). Tickets, which include the dinner, are $30. For reservations call 772.337.0180.

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Magazine Inc. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Jun. 26, 2019|


Indian River Magazine Inc. President and Publisher Gregory Enns, and Florida Small Business Development Center Regional Director Tom Kindred Jr.

Indian River Magazine Inc. President and Publisher Gregory Enns, left, and Florida Small Business Development Center Regional Director Tom Kindred Jr. teamed up to launch Treasure Coast Business. SUSAN KLEIN

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Treasure Coast Business, a quarterly magazine whose mission is to give business leaders, owners and operators a snapshot of the Treasure Coast economic environment to enable them to make decisions that maintain and grow their businesses.

This first issue was produced through a unique private/public partnership between Indian River Magazine Inc. and the Florida Small Business Development Center at Indian River State College, headed by Tom Kindred Jr.

With newspapers throughout the country scaling back their local business news over the last decade, Tom and I had been discussing for years a way to help fill in the gap and serve the local business community.

Utilizing my background as an entrepreneur and former business editor and Indian River State College’s innovative assistance programs that help entrepreneurs grow their businesses, we came up with the idea to launch a local publication and website. The aim is to focus exclusively on business news and developments in the region while providing business operators with news about the resources available to help them make the best decisions on sustaining and expanding their businesses.

The enterprise we created combines the talents of the award-winning professional journalists from the Indian River Magazine staff with the business experts from the Florida Small Business Development Center who have extensive experience assisting small businesses with virtually any issue that arises.

So, in this magazine you will find a mix of news stories and features about local businesses, such as our cover story on manufacturing. Who would have thought it could make such a comeback on the Treasure Coast? Besides stories about significant business developments, you’ll also find useful stories and columns with guidance and suggestions for negotiating both common and difficult business issues. And because the Small Business Development Center is based at Indian River State College, you’ll also find useful news about available resources and developments at the college.

Through direct mail and distribution at businesses throughout the region, each issue will reach more than 5,000 business leaders, owners and operators on the Treasure Coast. Beyond this publication, we will also reach thousands on our website,, and Treasure Coast Business email newsletter that goes out weekly. You can subscribe to the print magazine and sign up for the newsletter by visiting You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Our distribution model ensures that the magazine and its content is broadcast beyond the local business community in hopes that businesses outside the region will find the Treasure Coast a dynamic and supportive environment in which to relocate their businesses.

Tremendous thanks go out to the county economic development councils, chambers of commerce and businesses on the Treasure Coast that have become Treasure Coast Business advertisers and helped us support our mission of bringing you this publication. We hope they and future advertisers will find Treasure Coast Business an effective means to market their goods and services to the Treasure Coast business community.

Since this is our first issue, we hope you will give us your feedback on what you find useful about the magazine and suggest topics, columns or features that we should add to our next issue, which will arrive in September. You can do this by clicking on the “Tell Us About This Issue’’ button on the website, or by reaching me at 772.940.9005 or [email protected]. You may also contact Tom at 772.708.3673 or [email protected].

Please enjoy this issue. We look forward to hearing from you and delivering to you our next issue in September.

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Magazine Inc. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Jun. 26, 2019|



For decades, Treasure Coast locals and visitors alike have observed those hopeful individuals walking on stretches of our 65-mile coastline, equipped with their metal detectors and headphones, yearning for that joyous tone that indicates metal might be waiting for them under the surface. Out comes the sand sifter to see if centuries old gold, silver or other precious treasures might appear. And, it’s not unusual to see real treasure hunters just offshore aboard vessels aptly named Aarrr Booty or Sea Reaper when the seas are calm and the visibility is good. These hunters are in the water probing areas around 300-plus-year-old shipwrecks and limestone reefs, hoping to catch a glint of shimmer and uncover millions of dollars worth of treasure. After all, it’s happened before. Most people think these stories are for the movies, but here on the Treasure Coast, it’s real.

The story of the Treasure Coast began in 1715 when a fleet of Spanish ships — loaded with gold, silver, jewels and other treasures — was anchored just offshore about to make its way back to Spain. This was before the Weather Channel, so little did the explorers know a hurricane was headed right towards them. Most of the ships sank, scattering the treasure onto the ocean floor. To this day, these treasures are still found by lucky beachgoers or divers — giving the region its well-deserved name.

Fast forward to 2017 and 2018. Tourism is Florida’s number one industry, welcoming 126.1 million visitors that spent $112 billion supporting 1.4 million Florida jobs. Tourism keeps taxes low, saving every Florida household $1,549 a year in taxes. This influx of visitors and spending is likely what allows Florida to tout its “no state income tax” mantra. Tourism is the economic driver that creates the quality of life Florida residents deserve.

And here on the Treasure Coast, tourism contributes to the quality of life for local residents as well. It supports local businesses, and sales tax from visitor spending helps pay for local services such as public safety, schools, roads/bridges and environmental projects.

For years, the Treasure Coast tourism agencies have partnered together, leveraging their budgets and resources to promote the region in shared and/or emerging markets that would otherwise be unattainable. It made sense for the agencies not only to partner to extend their budgets, but also because the three counties have similar features, such as uncrowded beaches, acres of land conservation teeming with wildlife, vibrant arts and culture scenes, fantastic water activities ranging from boating to fishing to kayaking and a fascinating history that speaks to the coast’s unique name. It is all of this along with a laid-back, small town, old Florida atmosphere. It’s perfectly packaged, it just needed to be branded, funded and marketed to travelers that don’t know it exists.

When the tourism leaders learned that Visit Florida, the state’s official destination marketing organization, could fund regional tourism programs, the Treasure Coast tourism offices didn’t hesitate to jump on the opportunity. “ I was listening to the chief marketing officer at a Visit Florida conference a year and a half ago,” says Nerissa Okiye, tourism manager for Martin County, “when the subject of regional tourism marketing came up. I instantly texted my St. Lucie and Indian River colleagues across the room and said, ‘Hey, we’re already doing this!’ But I knew we needed to do it more, so I literally emailed the CMO the next day.” That’s when the Treasure Coast tourism brand started into development.

“The brand development process was an easy process for us,” states Allison McNeal, director of tourism for Indian River County. “The three of us have worked together for years, so we already had a vision of what we wanted and needed; we just didn’t have the resources or the funding to make it happen. Visit Florida did that for us, and today we have something we should all be proud of.”

Visit Florida played and continues to play a crucial role in the Treasure Coast’s tourism marketing efforts. After the brand and first campaign was finalized, the three agencies applied for and received a regional marketing grant from Visit Florida to launch its first campaign in the Atlanta market in May. Palm Beach International Airport, the region’s closest commercial airport offering daily non-stop flights from Atlanta, also joined in the campaign as the Treasure Coast’s official airline partner. The new campaign touts the Treasure Coast as a special and authentic Florida experience that’s a little off-the-beaten path.

The three Treasure Coast tourism offices are optimistic that this cohesive marketing approach will bring more exposure, visitors and economic impact to the area, especially in the low and shoulder season months when the local businesses need it most. “We recognize how valuable tourism is to our communities and to the quality of life of our residents,” says Charlotte Bireley, director of tourism and marketing in St. Lucie County. “ So from a strategic standpoint, we are aiming to build a sustainable model that will keep our local businesses successful year-round. This is the beginning stage of it. We know why the Treasure Coast is special, and we know that visitors can have real authentic Florida experiences here … and through our marketing strategy and messaging, we are aiming to keep it that way.

Do you have a best practice to share with our readers? For more info, email [email protected]

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Magazine Inc. For more information or to report news email [email protected]


Charlotte Bireley is the director of tourism and marketing for Visit St. Lucie, St. Lucie County’s official destination marketing organization. Bireley has been leading the tourism marketing efforts for St. Lucie County since 2009.

Jun. 26, 2019|


Building construction is hot on the Treasure Coast and could be considered at boom-time rates in some spots as the area tries to keep up with growth spurred by high consumer confidence in a robust economy, contractors and building officials told Treasure Coast Business.
Jun. 20, 2019|


In August 2016 a group of Treasure Coast manufacturers met to share ideas and find solutions to challenges facing the advanced manufacturing industry. These challenges ranged from building stronger partnerships with local governments, strengthening relationships with regional and state political leadership to the truly daunting issue of recruiting and developing a skilled labor force. Attracting more than 100 attendees, the kick-off meeting demonstrated strong interest in creating an organization that would provide a unified “voice” for the regional manufacturing industry.
Jun. 20, 2019|


For 38 years, Kay Robinson has assembled parts that become wings, doors and center sections for Boeing jets, and she cannot think of doing anything else. She knows she doesn’t want to retire anytime soon. Robinson says a woman her age doesn’t give out her age. Still, she acknowledges she’s past the time when most people retire. She found what it would be like to be retired when she had a bunch of earned hours to burn before the end of last year. So, she stayed at home in Fort Pierce. And got bored out of her gourd.
Jun. 18, 2019|

John’s Island Foundation grant helps Whole Family Health Center solve patient transportation challenge

Staff of Whole Family Health with the van purchased with a grant from the John’s Island Foundation, from left to right, Allison Zukowski, Carly Pye, Marie Andress, Sara Dingwall, and Laura Graze

FORT PIERCE – When a community unites to help those in need, the ripple effect is a powerful thing. When Whole Family Health […]

Jun. 14, 2019|