Monthly Archives: October 2021

Salvation Army seeking Red Kettle  Sponsors and Ringers

Salvation Army seeking Red Kettle Sponsors and Ringers


The fall season has only just begun but The Salvation Army is already gearing up for the upcoming holiday season, actively recruiting bell ringers and sponsors for their red kettle fundraising campaign.

“The Salvation Army Red Kettle program is our largest fundraiser of the year,” says Captain Jeff Marquis, corps officer for the The Salvation Army in Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee Counties. “Even though this program is only at Christmas time, we rely on these funds to sustain our mission of serving the community year-round.”

The Salvation Army provides basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, and financial assistance to thousands of people in crisis along the Treasure Coast every year. Every donation given in a red kettle stays in the county in which it was raised to support those services but, in order to ensure a successful campaign, the more than 50 red kettles in the three counties must be manned.

“Anyone can volunteer to be a bell ringer,” says Kim Johnson, Director of Development for the local corps. “Individuals, families, social clubs, school clubs, church groups and musical groups. Some volunteers will really have fun with it and dress up or play an instrument or sing and dance along with Christmas music. Others just bring a chair and sit and ring the bell and say ‘thank you’ when a donation is given. We’re flexible. We just appreciate every volunteer.”

She explains that the bell ringing schedule is set up in two-hour timeslots. If a group books a full day of bell ringing, from 10 am to roughly 8 pm, The Salvation Army will recognize them on the kettle sign and on social media.

Businesses can also receive recognition as kettle sponsors. “Kettle sponsors are vitally important because we never have enough volunteers to cover all our kettles,” Johnson explains. “The sponsorships enable us to fill those empty timeslots by offering paid bell ringing positions to some of our clients in need.”

Sponsorships range from $125 per kettle per day to $1500 for the holiday season. In return, businesses will have their name or logo on the kettle sign at their chosen location and be recognized on social media.

To sponsor a kettle, visit or call 772-288-1471, ext. 202. To volunteer to ring bells for The Salvation Army, visit or call 772-288-1471, ext. 216.

Oct. 17, 2021|

Homebuilding industry CEO receives  HearthStone Builder Humanitarian Award

Homebuilding industry CEO receives
HearthStone Builder Humanitarian Award



GreenPointe Holdings, LLC proudly announces President and CEO Ed Burr has received the 2021 Hearthstone BUILDER Humanitarian Award, recognizing builders who have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to public service. Burr, the Founder and Board Chairman of the Monique Burr Foundation for Children (MBF), is this year’s Private Builder Honoree. MBF received a $138,000 donation from the Hearthstone Foundation in Burr’s honor.

“Ed is a true leader in the homebuilding and development industry, and his contributions to public service exemplify the core values of this award,” said Rick Beckwitt, co-CEO and co-President of Lennar. “The prevention education programs that MBF has provided to over 5 million children and teens throughout Florida and the United States are truly inspiring.”

Founded in 1997 by Burr in honor of his late wife, Monique Burr, a devoted child advocate, MBF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing the best prevention education programs to protect children and teens from victimization. MBF Prevention Education Programs are evidence-based/evidence-informed prevention programs that educate and empower children (and adults) with information and strategies to prevent, recognize and respond appropriately to abuse, bullying, cyberbullying, digital dangers, exploitation, and human trafficking. More than 5,000 facilitators have delivered MBF Programs to over 5 million students in the United States and five additional countries.

Burr’s leadership and engagement extends to numerous civic, community and charitable organizations. Burr served on the Florida State University Board of Trustees for more than 10 years including as Chair from 2015 to 2021. Burr also served on the FSU Foundation Board of Trustees, Seminole Boosters Board of Directors and College of Business Real Estate Education and Research Board.

“Ed cares deeply about making the world a better place and has exceeded all expectations with his efforts,” said John Thrasher, Partner, The Southern Group and former President of Florida State University. “I admire his leadership, dedication and commitment to advancing our community, state, and nation.”

Burr is a leading voice in the Jacksonville business community and has served as a volunteer leader of the JAX Chamber for more than 20 years. Burr served as Chair of the Chamber Board of Directors in 2006 and is a longtime chair of the Government Affairs Committee. Burr has supported JAXUSA Partnership, the Chamber’s economic development division, and JAXBIZ, the Chamber’s political committee.

Currently serving on the Board of the Florida Council of 100, Burr previously served as Chairman of the Board for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, Jacksonville Civic Council and Jacksonville Country Day School. Burr is actively involved in several national and regional development organizations, including a past board member of the Northeast Florida Builders Association, a full member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and a founding member of the ULI Center for Leadership.

Since 1999, the Hearthstone BUILDER award has contributed more than $6 million to various charities, making it the single largest charitable award program in the homebuilding industry. Burr was recognized in the May 2021 issue of BUILDER magazine and honored at the BUILDER 100 conference in September that same year. In addition to Burr, Taylor Morrison Chairman and CEO Sheryl Palmer is the 2021 Hearthstone BUILDER Humanitarian Award Public Company honoree.

Award sponsors include Hearthstone, BUILDER, Zonda, Allen Matkins, Bank of America, Barraco & Associates, Inc., Bono’s of America, Buildstrong Education, Capital City Consulting, LLC, CIBC, Crosbie Gliner Schiffman Southard and Swanson, LLP, Developers Researches, First American Title Insurance Co., The Fiorentino Group, Garbett Homes, Gore Lieske & Associates, Great Southern Homes, Hampton Golf, Hayden Homes, Kohler, Land Adviser Capital, Morgan Stanley, PACS, Inc., Pulte Group, Therma-Tru Doors, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., and Whirlpool Corporation.

For more information on GreenPointe and their communities, visit

Oct. 17, 2021|

Art Allen named 2021 Entrepreneur of the Year

Art Allen named 2021 Entrepreneur of the Year


Art Allen, President, A&G Concrete Pools, Inc., has been named Entrepreneur of the Year for 2021 by Indian River State College (IRSC) Foundation. Allen will be honored on Thursday, March 24, 2022, with a gala dinner held at the Richardson Center, located at IRSC Mueller Campus in Vero Beach.

With the vision of building a company that provides first-rate customer service and a positive work environment for its employees, Art founded A&G Concrete Pools, Inc. in 1987. Under his leadership, the company grew from a small garage-based startup to an award-winning leader in the multi-billion-dollar international pool building industry with more than $27 million in annual sales last year. Today, A&G Concrete Pools, Inc. is the largest pool builder in Florida and is ranked 38th nationally.

The company has received national recognition, holding the designation as a "Top 50 Pool Builder in America" by Pool & Spa News. Additionally, A&G Concrete Pools, Inc. is a member of the invitation-only Master Pools Guild. Only 100 pool builders in the world meet the exceptional standards enforced by the Guild. The company has received more than 100 Master Pools Guild Awards—earning five awards in 2019 alone.

Art attributes much of his success to his employees, and it was important to him to ensure his employees received good salaries, health insurance, and benefits. True to this commitment, in 1997, Art started a company-matched employee 401K and began offering health insurance.

Art and his wife Sandee give their time, talent, and treasure to support numerous worthwhile causes on the Treasure Coast and encourage a philanthropic spirit in the company. The 100 Club (First Responders), Humane Society, HANDS Clinic, Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, Treasure Coast Food Bank, and Boys and Girls Clubs of Martin and St. Lucie counties, are among the numerous organizations they support.

Art and Sandee reside in Port St. Lucie. They have five children, Stacey, Rae, John, Amber, and Aaron, and five grandchildren.

Marine Bank & Trust is the Networking Reception Sponsor for the Entrepreneur of the Year gala honoring Art Allen. Strategic Alliance Table Sponsors are: George E. Warren LLC, Paul Jacquin & Sons, Proctor Construction Company, and Bob and Carmen Stork. Innovation Partners are: Bob and Sandy Brackett; Mike and Mimi Brown; Tim Girard, Girard Equipment; Hometown Media Group, Brenda and Vernon Smith; Dr. Richard and Mrs. Pam Houghten; John N. and Marilyn P. McConnell Charitable Foundation; Erik and Julia Melville; J. Hal Roberts; and Linda T. Syfrett.

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award program recognizes the entrepreneurial spirit, business excellence, and community involvement—central elements of the Dan K. Richardson Entrepreneurship Program established by IRSC Foundation and 13 other founding members to promote awareness and appreciation of the free enterprise system.

For more information, contact Indian River State College Foundation at 772-462-4786.

Oct. 17, 2021|

1,717 Acres sold for Industrial Development in Martin County

1,717 Acres sold for industrial

development in Martin County



As the “new frontier” of industrial development continues to push north and take root in Florida’s Treasure Coast, approximately 1,717 acres of developable land located along a 3-mile stretch of I-95 at 11335 SW Martin Highway in Martin County has sold to Sunrise Business Park, LLC for $25,000,000. Colliers Florida Vice Chairman Ken Krasnow, Executive Managing Director Michael Falk, Senior Director Mike Millard and Associate Sean Old represented both the buyer and the seller, Turner Groves Limited Partnership, in the transaction.

“The site is extremely well-located, with excellent exposure along I-95 in Martin County.” Krasnow said. “This area has seen explosive growth recently, which makes this purchase an ideal long-term value play for the booming industrial sector on the Treasure Coast.”

The long-held site has undergone years of planning and positioning for approvals with Martin County, which allows for over 5,000,000 SF of Industrial, 1,000,000 SF of office, 250,000 SF of retail and over 500 hotel rooms. The project is expected to be completed in phases and ready for development within the next 12-24 months.

“This purchase recognizes the current trend to develop large industrial tracks within the South Florida market,” Falk said. “Its proximity to major interstates provides accessibility to an abundant labor force and affordable housing in this market.”

The Treasure Coast’s newest employment centers range from Cleveland Clinic, Cheney Brothers, FedEx and numerous Amazon distribution centers. Substantial population growth along the Treasure Coast has been a critical factor in attracting companies to expand into the area. Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the population among the three Treasure Coast counties (Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River) increased by 17 percent since 2010. In just Martin and St Lucie counties, the total population for 2021 is 489,538, with a 24.1% projected population by 2026. Household income averages at $81,720, median at $59,735 and per capita at $32,866. According to the Neustar’s demographic forecast for the next five years, household growth is estimated at 18% and population growth at 19%, computing to almost 25,000 new households with an increase in population of 68,000. In Martin County, the unemployment rate is currently at 4% and the county employs more than 74,002 team members as of August 2021 – as listed on the county website.

Oct. 17, 2021|

Treasure Coast Hospice’s We Honor Veterans Program earns highest distinction

Treasure Coast Hospice’s We Honor Veterans Program earns highest distinction

Treasure Coast Hospice announced that it has earned the highest distinction as a Level 5 We Honor Veterans partner. The local program placed among the top 5% of more than 3,300 We Honor Veterans programs across the nation. In Florida, Treasure Coast Hospice is one of only 13 hospice organizations to achieve Level 5 status.

We Honor Veterans is a collaborative program between the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  The goal of the program is to ensure veterans receive the compassionate care they need at the end of life and provide support and guidance for their families. During the past year, Treasure Coast Hospice cared for 550 veterans residing in Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties.

“Achieving the Level 5 distinction demonstrates Treasure Coast Hospice’s deep commitment to understanding and addressing the unique needs of veterans as they age and providing them with the compassionate care and support that they deserve,” said CEO Jackie Kendrick, CHPCA. “We are proud to be recognized at this elite level and honored that our team will now share their expertise as a regional mentor to others in order to further increase access and services to veterans in our community.”

To earn the Level 5 We Honor Veterans distinction, Treasure Coast Hospice expanded its outreach to veterans by fostering a high level of collaboration among veteran organizations, healthcare partners and other community groups in order to provide veterans with increased services and improved access to care. Level 5 also places greater emphasis on staff education, specifically how to support Vietnam-era veterans and those dealing with isolation or symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

A vital component to the We Honor Veterans program is the role of Veteran Volunteers. Treasure Coast Hospice veteran volunteers are paired with patients who have served in the military, giving them an opportunity to connect with one another and create an environment where life reflection and healing may occur. Veteran volunteers provide companionship and support, grateful recognition, and a comforting presence to fellow veterans and their families at the end of life.

“Veteran volunteers are helping us reach more veterans, especially those who live in assisted living residences or senior communities,” said Volunteer Manager Tolliver Darville. “Thanks to the support of our veteran volunteers, Treasure Coast Hospice has been able to expand important Level 5 initiatives such as pinning ceremonies and Veteran Cafés or Coffee with a Veteran gatherings.”




Oct. 10, 2021|

FPRA Treasure Coast installs new president

FPRA Treasure Coast installs new president

Sue-Ellen Sanders, WPSL Radio Talk Show Host and community editor/activist and writer, was installed as President of the Treasure Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA)  last month. At the meeting Sue-Ellen was also honored as FPRA Member of the Year, an award presented to a member who has consistently gone above and beyond in service to the organization.

Founded in 1938, FPRA is the oldest public relations organization in the United States, with more than 1,200 public relations professionals state-wide as members and 50 local members. The award was presented by outgoing chapter president Sarah Prohaska, at the Treasure Coast membership meeting and installation of officers held at IRSC Knight Center on September 23, 2021. Also recognized was Stephanie Nelson, as winner of the President’s Award and Kyrianna Hoffses as winner of the Rising Star award.

Additional officers installed at the September meeting by FPRA State President Devon Chestnut include Jennifer Trefelner, as President Elect, Wendy Conrad as Secretary and Cindi Green as Treasurer. Other Board Members installed for the 2021/2022 year include: Sarah Prohaska, Jenny Tomes, Jennifer Wiggins, Jennifer Harris, Kyrianna Hoffses, Melissa Yunas, Dana Trabulsy, Stephanie Nelson and Nancy McCarthy.

Sanders has over 35 years of public relations experience managing communications for non-profit associations and businesses, as a newspaper columnist and radio talk show host.  She has received numerous community and leadership awards, including state and national writing and magazine design awards, the 2021 Florida Public Relations Association Communicator of the Year Award for Mentoring, 2020 Treasure Coast Business Summit Trailblazer Award, Iconic Trailblazer and as Two-time winner of Price Waterhouse/South Florida Business Journal Up & Comers Award in Social Services.

Oct. 10, 2021|

Martin County Office of Tourism & Marketing wins shining example award for marketing efforts

Martin County Office of Tourism & Marketing
wins Shining Example Award for marketing efforts



The Martin County Office of Tourism & Marketing has received the coveted “Best Marketing” Shining Example Award (Category 3) at the Southeast Tourism Society’s annual Connections conference, held last week in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The team won the top prize for their “Missed Milestones” campaign, which tapped into the concept that everyone experienced some sort of missed celebration over the past year and a half—from postponed weddings and honeymoons to canceled birthday trips, derailed graduation ceremonies, and more.

Through the Missed Milestones program, travelers who booked a two-night stay at participating properties in Martin County by December 31, 2020 received a complimentary night stay to redeem at any point in 2021, once they felt comfortable traveling again.

“This innovative program invited potential visitors to celebrate in Martin County with an extra free night when the time was right, all while supporting the local hospitality industry and keeping the destination top-of-mind,” says Ian Centrone, Tourism Public Relations and Community Liaison for Martin County.

The recognition was one of 16 Shining Example Awards presented last week during the annual conference. Headquartered in Roswell, Georgia, the Southeast Tourism Society (STS) is an association that works to unite all segments of the travel and tourism industry through its four pillars of education, advocacy, recognition, and networking. Established in 1983, STS is an engaged network of members from 13 states and the District of Columbia including Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

“We were absolutely elated to accept the prestigious Shining Example Award for our ongoing marketing efforts,” says Nerissa Okiye, Tourism Director of Martin County. “It is truly an honor to see Martin County celebrated alongside such esteemed destinations throughout the Southeast, and we are deeply appreciative for the recognition and ongoing support.”

Oct. 10, 2021|

Cleveland Clinic Martin Health Foundation receives gift to continue glioblastoma research 

Cleveland Clinic Martin Health Foundation receives gift to continue glioblastoma research 



Family and friends of Lenny Schelin, Jr. recently presented Cleveland Clinic Martin Health with a gift in the amount of $50,000. The funds will continue to help support research into glioblastoma, an aggressive form of malignant brain tumor.

Schelin Jr. passed away in 2018 at the age of 33 from glioblastoma. An avid fisherman, The Lenny Schelin Jr. Memorial Tournament helps keep his legacy alive.

“Lenny always wanted to be remembered and I can't think of a better way than to provide relief and hope for the ones that are afflicted with this horrible disease,” said his mother, Debbie Johnston.

Following a check presentation at Cleveland Clinic Tradition Hospital, neurosurgeon Oszkar Szentirmai, MD, provided an update on the glioblastoma research taking place,, including new cellular research.

“This is a big stride in treatment and finding opportunities to lengthen the life of so many,” Johnston said. “Hopefully this will lead to a cure. We couldn't be more happy that this is part of Lenny's legacy.”

Dr. Szentirmai is grateful for the trust they have placed in the research at Cleveland Clinic Martin Health. “Without their support, we could not have made the progress we have in learning more about this disease.”

The Lenny Schelin Jr. Memorial Tournament is an annual fundraising effort in its second year. Martin Health Executive Director of Philanthropy Delesa Morris is thankful for their continued support.

“This event is helping to provide hope for the future by funding research into this deadly disease,” she said.

Oct. 10, 2021|

Florida SBDC IRSC Hosts First Annual Capital Access Regional Summit

Florida SBDC IRSC Hosts First Annual
Capital Access Regional Summit

The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Indian River State College (IRSC) in collaboration with the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council and the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County have collaborated to bring the Treasure Coast region it’s first ever Access to Capital Regional Summit.  The event will take place on the IRSC Massey Campus Kight Center For Emerging Technologies in Fort Pierce on Thursday, October 7, 2021 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Capital is critical for entrepreneurs as they launch and grow their businesses. A regionally healthy small business community is essential for sustainable economic development and neighborhood revitalization. Entrepreneurs need access to capital, networks and guidance as they grow.

Access to capital supports the region’s recruitment of new business ventures, while also providing existing operators the environment to expand operations, which create new employment opportunities. Frequently, worthwhile projects with great economic potential never move beyond the planning stage due to the inability to access needed capital. Impacts to businesses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted and exposed capital access gaps within the region.

To address this issue, the Florida Small Business Development Center at IRSC, the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, and the Economic Development Center of St. Lucie County plan to conduct a public conversation regarding the creation of public-private partnerships to build permanent capital access tools in our communities and are inviting local lenders, and financial institutions to join in on the conversation.

The goals of the Access to Capital Regional Summit are to:

  1. Understand and fill gaps in access to capital for Treasure Coast businesses
  2. Attract and develop funds to fill existing gaps in access to capital
  3. Broadly distribute knowledge of capital access opportunities by networking bankers, attorneys, CPAs and other business professionals

The day opens with a welcome from Indian River State College President, Dr. Tim Moore. Other speakers and summit events include a State of the Local Economy address from Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist at the Florida Chamber Foundation and a panel discussion with the region’s Economic Development Directors who will provide an economic overview of their respective communities.

Oct. 3, 2021|

Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s 2021 40 Under 40 List  recognizes CFRE

Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s 2021
40 Under 40 List recognizes CFRE



The Treasure Coast Hospice Foundation today announced that Annual Giving Officer Ashley Haughton, CFRE, has been named to the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s (AHP) 2021 40 Under 40 list.

The 40 Under 40 recognition program celebrates future leaders within the healthcare philanthropy community. AHP honors these young professionals because they are shaping the future of the healthcare development industry. Collectively, they are changing the world—one campaign at a time.

“These honorees are part of a select group who have demonstrated impressive career achievements, deep community involvement, and outstanding leadership in all they do,” said Alice Ayres, AHP President & CEO.

Haughton joined the Treasure Coast Hospice Foundation in 2014 and has held the positon of Annual Giving Officer for the past three years. Haughton is responsible for developing and managing the organization’s annual giving strategies and strengthening relationships with donors. She initiated the first Employee Giving Campaign in more than a decade this summer, which resulted in doubling the organization’s monthly sustaining donors.

Haughton first experienced the power of generosity after a 10-day stay at a hospitality house when her newborn niece was a patient in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Today, she is inspired to work closely with donors to help them meet their philanthropic goals because she understands and believes in the healing power of generosity.

A Florida native, Haughton holds a BBA from Florida Atlantic University. Earlier this year, she earned the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation by CFRE International, an organization dedicated to setting global standards in philanthropy. She also holds a professional certification in Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge fundraising software. Haughton is currently a board member of the Martin County Estate Planning Council and is a member of both the Association of Fundraising Professionals - Treasure Coast and Charitable Gift Planners of America.

 “Our entire team is extraordinarily proud of Ashley and the passion and innovation that she brings to her work,” said VP of Philanthropy and Administrative Operations Murray Fournie, MEd, CFRE, FAHP.  “This prestigious accolade reflects Ashley’s professionalism and her commitment to philanthropy’s role in supporting exceptional, quality hospice care and grief support services in our community.”

To learn more about the 40 Under 40 program and each of this year’s recipients, visit

Oct. 3, 2021|