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Monthly Archives: July 2019

AVOIDING DATA BREACHES

Think your business is too small to be a target of the cyber bad guys? Think again. According to the Verizon 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report released in May 2019, 43 percent of cyber attacks in 2018 targeted small businesses. That’s pretty high odds.

EXCELLENCE AWARD

Indian River State College has been named the 2019 winner of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. The Aspen Prize, awarded every two years since 2011, recognizes outstanding institutions selected from an original pool of more than 1,000 community colleges nationwide. With a singular focus on student success, the Aspen Prize assesses institutional performance in four areas: student learning, certificate and degree completion, success after graduation in the labor market and in transfer to four-year institutions, and equity in access and success for students of color and low-income students.

HOW DOES YOUR WEBSITE SCORE?

No matter whether you’ve just launched a new website or have had one for many years, your website should showcase your business professionally and build your reputation 24/7.

BUILDING A WORKFORCE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

Training for the manufacturing needs of today and tomorrow has a look far different than in the past, and Indian River State College stands poised to anticipate and fulfill employers’ requirements with a purpose-built facility that joins together advanced technology and leading-edge industry training to meet key areas of workforce need in our region.

BUSINESS INSURANCE: ONE SIZE DOESN’T FIT ALL

If you’re a business owner, you need insurance. But how much and what type can vary greatly depending on your type of business, resources, assets and specific needs. So, what should you consider before purchasing a business policy? Here are some risks and coverages you will want to consider to find the right plan for you.

CLEVELAND CLINIC TAKES OVER MARTIN, VERO HOSPITALS

The face of healthcare changed substantially on the Treasure Coast at the start of the year when Cleveland Clinic’s growing hospital system took over a hospital in Vero Beach, two in Stuart and one in Port St. Lucie. The four hospitals include three that were part of the Martin Health System, which is now Cleveland Clinic Martin Health.

FINDING THE BEST BANKER FOR BETTER BUSINESS

As a business owner, it is critical to maintain a relationship with a bank that can help you navigate the treacherous waters of entrepreneurship.

How do you select the bank that you want to build a relationship with?

As banks continue to merge and grow, community banks become fewer and fewer. It is important to research a bank and a banker to form a long relationship. Today’s technology allows the business to not focus so much on the actual location of the bank but rather the potential for a long-lasting banking relationship.


BUSINESS OWNERS SHOULD USE THE BUSINESS BANKING SPECIALIST AS A CONSULTANT JUST AS THEY SHOULD USE THEIR CPA AND THEIR ATTORNEY. HAVING A SUPPORT TEAM WILL ENSURE THAT YOU ARE MAXIMIZING ALL RESOURCES AVAILABLE.


Talk with other like companies to see where they bank. Specifically talk to them about what they like about their bank or banker and ask if they have a personal business banker that they work with. Most often the large mega banks do not have a person that business owners can work directly with. This can be problematic for a growing business.

Business owners should meet with potential business bankers and interview them to ensure that they understand the current needs and the goals of your company. After you make this important decision choosing a bank and banker, it is important to communicate often to ensure he or she understands where you are in the business as well as where you are heading in the near and distant future.

Some people believe that it is only important to talk to their bank when they have a need. That just isn’t true. As a relationship banker for more than 30 years on the Treasure Coast, I find that talking with my clients often helps me to become more proactive in making recommendations to the business owner.

FORMING A RELATIONSHIP
Operating a business during a booming economy is just as tricky as navigating during a slowing economy. The challenges are different, but both can put you out of business. Managing growth is a common mistake that businesses make that puts pressure on the cash flow of a company.

For example, some new business owners jump into selling a product without realizing that the invoice will need to be carried for sometimes up to 90 days. Working with your community banker can help you put a line of credit in place that will help you bridge the gap between the sale and the collection of the invoice. That same line of credit can help you during a slowdown as you use the line for support during the slower months.

Your business banking specialist can also advise you when purchasing equipment. What type of equipment should you finance and how long should you finance the equipment? Equipment should be amortized based on the actual life expectancy of the equipment and technology as well as the need for future equipment.

Your business banker will also want to discuss a succession plan for the company. Who will take over in the event of your death? Not a pleasant conversation, but for many companies the owner of the company is a key player in the daily operations. Will the company be passed down to the next generation or will the company be sold? Your banker should want to understand your plan, and that includes the overall forecast even after your passing.

Business owners should use the business banking specialist as a consultant just as they should use their CPA and their attorney. Having a support team will ensure that you are maximizing all resources available.

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


Tammy Roncaglione

TAMMY RONCAGLIONE

Senior vice president and St. Lucie community president of CenterState Bank and previously worked with Barnett Bank and Bank of America. She is a founding member of the Treasure Coast Manufacturers Association and is the recipient of the 2019 Pete Hegener Leadership Award from the St. Lucie County Economic Development Council.

MEGAN SMITH NAMED PRESIDENT OF OKEECHOBEE COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

Megan Smith

Megan Smith

Okeechobee County Economic Development Corporation leaders have named their first president and chief executive officer. Megan Smith is set to take the lead of the newly formed public-private partnership in late March.

“The board of directors has been very focused on finding the right professional to take the helm as the inaugural leader of the OCEDC,” says Frank Irby, chair of the organization. “We believe Megan has the right skill sets to set our strategic plan in motion to prepare for job growth and improving the local economy.”

Smith most recently served as vice president for business development at the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Her key responsibilities included the development and implementation of a five-year strategic plan called Advantage Coastal Alabama. Smith was charged with coordinating, communicating and implementing ACA’s objectives through business advocacy and support, education and workforce development, infrastructure and transportation planning, conservation and natural resources review, and new business development.

“The opportunity to be a part of building a new economic development program is very exciting to me,” says Smith. “I look forward to becoming a part of the team focused on putting together the right components for a successful initiative in Okeechobee. The momentum that has been established by the OCEDC is the first step in terms of key ingredients.”

Smith is a graduate of the University of South Alabama with a bachelor of science, computer science; Georgia College and State University, masters of public administration; U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organizational Management; Auburn University’s Economic Development Certification program; and Georgia Institute of Technology’s Economic Development Certification. She has also been a member of the Economic Development Association of Alabama and the Georgia Economic Developers Association.

About the Economic Development Corporation

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

In May 2018, the Economic Council of Okeechobee’s Board of Directors recognized the need for growth and located a study previously performed for Okeechobee in 2005 by POLICOM Corporation, a firm in Martin County specializing in the analysis of local economies to determine whether they are growing or declining. The Economic Council took necessary action to update the 2005 study and presented it to the Board of County Commissioners, requesting support for the update. The commission unanimously voted to seek professional counsel from Bill Fruth with POLICOM Corp. Fruth’s first recommendation was for the community to create and generously fund a professionally-managed economic development organization, as was also his recommendation in the 2005 study.

The Okeechobee County Economic Development Corporation was formed to serve as an independent, sovereign organization governed by investors from the private sector and appointments from participating public and private agencies. The current board of directors includes various industry leaders, including Todd Clemons, Okeechobee Livestock Market; Jon Geitner, Seacoast Bank; Christa Luna, Gilbert Family of Companies; Wes Williamson, Williamson Cattle Company; Keith Walpole, Walpole, Inc.; John Williams, CenterState Bank; and Mack Worley, G.M. Worley, Inc.

Appointments for the board of directors also include: from the Economic Council (Ashley Tripp, Tripp Electric Motors, Inc.; Fred Fanizzi, Quail Creek Plantation; and Frank Irby, retired, Raulerson Hospital), Okeechobee County Commission (Terry Burroughs, County Commissioner District 4); City of Okeechobee (Marcos Montes De Oca, City Administrator); School District (Ken Kenworthy, Superintendent of Schools); Chamber of Commerce (Tabitha Trent, Chamber Chair and CenterState Bank); and Indian River State College (Dr. Ed Massey, Dr. Pam Welmon and Russ Brown).

The talent search for Smith was conducted by The Chason Group, an executive search firm specializing in tourism, economic development, chambers of commerce, foundations and other non-profit organizations.

If you would like more information regarding this initiative, contact Jennifer Tewksbury (863-467-0200, jennifer@economiccouncilofokeechobee.org) or Frank Irby, Chairman of the Board for the Development Corporation (863-610-0592).

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

Rebooting a sports legacy

Major League Baseball took over management of Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, announcing in April it is renaming the facility the Jackie Robinson Training Complex after the Hall of Famer who broke the color barrier when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. MLB began managing the property following a leasing agreement.

Port leads way into new era of prosperity

After years of dormancy, the Port of Fort Pierce leaped into its new life as a mega yacht maintenance, repair, overhaul facility and jobs creator on April 16. A standing ovation followed a lease agreement approval by the St. Lucie County Commission.
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