Monthly Archives: January 2022

GreenPointe Developers Commemorate Groundbreaking at Wylder

GreenPointe Developers Commemorate Groundbreaking at Wylder


GreenPointe Developers and the development team of H&J Contracting, Firethorn Underground, Kimley-Horn Engineering, and Lucido & Associates Design recently celebrated the start of construction at Wylder.


GreenPointe Developers, LLC announced construction is underway at Wylder, a new one-of-a-kind community in Port St. Lucie. GreenPointe and the development team of H&J Contracting, Firethorn Underground, Kimley-Horn Engineering, and Lucido & Associates Design recently celebrated the milestone with a commemorative groundbreaking.  

“GreenPointe Developers is pleased to bring new energy to the area with the introduction of Wylder, our newest master-planned community,” said GreenPointe Developers President Grady Miars. “This one-of-a-kind community will fully embrace its beautiful natural surroundings and offer an exceptional lifestyle for families of all ages.”

GreenPointe is creating a mixed-use community spanning 1,970 acres that will include 3,400 home sites and 600 multi-family units in residential neighborhoods offering an array of resort-style amenities and trail systems to connect families with nature. The community’s premier builder team will be announced soon. Homebuilding is anticipated to begin in Fall 2022 with new homes at Wylder starting in the upper $200s.

The first phase of construction includes a clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis and pickle ball courts, sports field, dog park, playground and event lawn. Wylder’s design incorporates community amenities surrounding a large lakefront recreation area for outdoor adventure. A greenway is planned through the community to provide neighborhood connectivity and access to biking, walking, jogging and other outdoor activities. Future plans for Wylder include a 113-acre public park, commercial and office space, and a St. Lucie County public high school. 

“With its high quality of life, a flourishing employment market, top-ranked schools and its prime location, Wylder will be a wonderful place live, work and raise a family,” said Austin Burr, South Florida Regional Manager, GreenPointe Developers. “We anticipate tremendous demand for this new community.” 

Located in Port St. Lucie between Midway and Glades-Cutoff roads, Wylder offers convenient access to I-95 and the Florida Turnpike and a wide array of nearby services including Cleveland Clinic Health Centers, top schools and universities, sports and recreation, business centers, and endless shopping and dining. 

For more information, visit


About GreenPointe Developers, LLC

GreenPointe Developers is the community and urban development division of GreenPointe Holdings with extensive real estate market data and analytical systems to rapidly assess real estate values and challenges.

The GreenPointe team has more than 140 years of collective experience in developing some of the most sought-after master-planned and condominium communities in the Southeast. The team creates and transforms residential and mixed-use communities into neighborhoods for today’s homebuyer while providing lasting, sustainable value.

Having the utmost respect for the land, the GreenPointe team works diligently to protect and enhance nature’s best assets. This thoughtful practice allows GreenPointe Developers to create and reenergize communities that provide for an enduring lifestyle where people want to live, work and enjoy recreation. More information is available at or (904) 996-2485. 

GreenPointe is proud to support the Monique Burr Foundation for Children and its mission to protect children by providing comprehensive, evidence-based personal safety programs. For more information, visit


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter, and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email mailto:[email protected]com [email protected] 
Jan. 17, 2022|

Trend to Watch: New Businesses Created

Trend to Watch: Amid Pandemic, New Businesses are Being Created at Fastest Pace on Record

Tom Kindred

Tom Kindred, FSBDC at IRSC Regional Director

While there is not much positive to say about the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic locally and nationally, there is at least one silver lining. And with what we have gone through, we’ll take it.

According to new economic data, new businesses are being formed at the highest pace in years, and if history is any guide, a substantial number of these new small businesses will grow and create jobs, helping to power the economic recovery that is so desperately needed.

On the east coast of Florida, the Miami metro area has one of the nation’s highest levels of new business formation, so this trend could have a larger impact on our region’s economy.

“Startups represent the future of our region’s marketplace,” said Tom Kindred, Regional Director for the Florida SBDC at Indian River State College. “Small at inception, a number of these startup businesses will eventually grow providing employment opportunities, new services and innovative products, while driving economic expansion for the Treasure Coast.” 

Business formation nationally reached record highs in the first nine months of 2021, despite the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant. The surge in new business formation began to take off in the middle of 2020, hitting record levels last year. Add to that the fact that monthly filings this year have remained well above historical norms, an indication of the trend’s staying power, according to New Economic Innovation Group’s Q3 analysis of Census Bureau data on new business applications.

Here are some of the findings:
New business applications among likely employers through Sept. 2021 were the highest of any year on record. The nearly 1.4 million applications filed to form new businesses likely to hire employees so far in 2021 represent 409,000 more filings than at the same point in 2019, or 255,000 more than at this point in 2020.

Business formation appears to be on a record-setting pace in 2021. The rate of filings in the first nine months of 2021 was 41% more than at this point in 2019 and 22% above the exceptional volume filed through September of 2020. The current year now claims six of the top 10 months for likely employer business filings on record.

Industries highly affected by the pandemic showed the largest gains. Applications were up across all major industry categories except agriculture and mining relative to 2019, and nearly three-quarters of the gains over 2019 levels appear in just four sectors: accommodation and food services; retail trade; health care and social assistance; and transportation and warehousing.

The lack of strong new business formation in the wake of the Great Recession hindered the US and Florida’s economic recovery for years, but the economic resurgence from the pandemic is shaping up quite differently. However, it is important to note that while the surge in new business applications is certainly promising, it will be some time before the extent of business closures due to the pandemic can be tallied and we have a full picture of the net effect of the pandemic on the country’s business and entrepreneurial landscape, the report said.

Still, ensuring that many of these new business applications turn into successful businesses will be crucial for putting the U.S. and local economy on a durable path to post-pandemic recovery and helping eliminate the startup deficit that built up in recent years.  

“The dream of owning and operating one’s own business does not come without risk, launching a new venture should only be done after considerable research and business planning has been completed,” said Kindred. “However, with the availability of inexpensive capital, multiple new business models, gig opportunities and a strong state and regional economy now is a good time to be entrepreneurial.”

As our region’s economic recovery begins to show signs of life, keep turning to Treasure Coast Business Magazine and the Small Biz Florida radio show for advice and resources for growing your new or existing business.

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


Jan. 17, 2022|

FSBDC at IRSC Profit Mastery Program

FSBDC at IRSC Profit Mastery Program


The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Indian River State College (IRSC) will hold another round of Financial Training, formally known as Profit Mastery, on the IRSC Blackburn Campus in Fort Pierce starting Tuesday, January 11, 2022, at 6:00 P.M. EST.

This is an eight-week program offered to the public at no cost to participants. Local lenders have graciously partnered with the Florida SBDC Network to scholarship financial training and management across the Treasure Coast region. Valued at $499, the Florida SBDC at IRSC is encouraging business owners to register not only themselves but their bookkeepers, payroll execs, and others who may benefit from strengthening their budgetary knowledge.

Business owners, key managers, entrepreneurs, business advisors and others whose decisions have an impact on a company’s financial performance should consider participating. The Profit Mastery program is designed to enhance the financial management skills of all business managers.

To register please email [email protected] or call (772) 336-6285

Steve LeFever, Founder, and Chairman of Profit Mastery is a national leader in the development of practical financial programs and training for the independent business community. His dual role as a successful entrepreneur and as a commercial banker gives him a unique perspective on financial analysis, business management, and practical business decisions.

Sessions held in Fort Pierce by the FSBDC at IRSC are facilitated by business analyst, Clifton Vaughn. Vaughn is a Graduate of Miami-Dade College, Florida International University, and the St. Thomas University has over 40 years of business experience working in South Florida as an auditor, financial controller, financial planner, and small business owner and operator. During his years as a business professional he spent time in the airline industry, construction, consulting with small business owners, and teaching business and accounting courses at Johnson & Wales and St. Thomas Universities. Clifton has served on the Boards of Directors of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce and the Miami-Dade Partnership for the Homeless.

To learn more about the program itself please visit To register or inquire about future sessions in other counties, contact your Florida SBDC at IRSC at [email protected] or call (772) 336-6285.



Profit Mastery Training Program

Jan. 10, 2022|

GEICO Opens New Vero Location

GEICO Opens New Vero Location


Maggie Deng

Maggie Deng, head of GEICO’s local office in Vero Beach.

GEICO has opened a new local office at 921 15th Place in Vero Beach to serve customers living in Vero Beach, Sebastian, Fort Pierce, Indian River, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties. Maggie Deng leads the new office.
Deng started her insurance career in 2009, specializing in property and casualty. She expanded into the individual and group health markets and later served as a Florida insurance agency director. Deng holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida with a minor in entrepreneurship.
Deng and her staff members— Courtney Jones, LaTressa Rankin and Sean Caligiuri—can help customers purchase car insurance and coverage for umbrella, identity protection, jewelry, commercial auto insurance and more.
For those who enjoy spending time on the water, the Vero Beach office team can also help with insurance for boats of all sizes and personal watercraft.
“We’re more than just auto,” says Deng. “We can help with renters, condos, RV, motorcycle, and boat–which is a Floridian’s favorite pastime!”
“Vero Beach is a great city and a growing community for residents of all ages,” Deng explains. “Our primary goal is to provide all of the insurance needs of the customers in these communities and give back to the areas in which we serve.”

GEICO agents in the Vero Beach local office also look to bring savings to policyholders through multi-policy andspecial association and alumni discounts. For example, alumni from the University of Florida, University of Central Florida, University of South Florida and Palm Beach State College may qualify for additional savings.


GEICO's Vero Beach local office is open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To get a quote or learn more about GEICO's Vero Beach local office, visit or call (772) 400-6680.

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company), the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S., was founded in 1936 and insures more than 28 million vehicles in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. A member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies, GEICO employs more than 43,000 associates countrywide. GEICO constantly strives to make lives better by protecting people against unexpected events while saving them money and providing an outstanding customer experience. Along with personal auto insurance, commercial auto and personal umbrella coverages are also available. Homeownersrenterscondofloodidentity theftterm life, and morecoverages are written through non-affiliated insurance companies and are secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. Visit for a quote or to learn more.
Jan. 10, 2022|

Tips for Managing Cash Flow

Tips for Managing Cash Flow


Michael Bernard

What’s the No. 1 reason small businesses fail? Cash flow, not lack of profits.
About 80% of small business failures happen because of poor cash-flow

Mike Bernard, a consultant at the Florida SBDC at Indian River State College and a financial specialist, says he hears it all the time from his clients: “My business made a profit last year, but I don’t have any money to pay my bills.” Bernard notes that many of his clients have sizable sums of their operating cash tied up in Accounts Receivable or Inventory.


Remember, cash flow is not the same as Profit. Are you profitable but still struggling month to month in managing cash flow? You are not alone. Managing when money enters and exits a company is crucial to
business survival and growth.

Bernard, a Financial Analyst, stated, “A lot of businesses can sell their products, but they don’t understand their working capital cycle. A company, as we teach in our Profit Mastery seminars, can sell itself right out of business.” As businesses continue to grow, they must control their cash flow. For example, business owners get excited when they get a government contract. However, they need to understand the specific terms attached, like not being paid for 60 to 90 days. Meanwhile, you have to buy inventory and pay your fixed overhead
expenses. Can you sustain that?  If you cannot and do not get additional capital, sometimes it is better not to pursue the contract. What else can you do so your business does not become a statistic? The first and perhaps most important is to set aside time in your week to think about your strategy and try to understand your financial information. Small businesses are so much into day-to-day operations that they do not think enough about the cash flow cycle. You have to be constantly vigilant about looking
for ways to improve your cash flow. It is the lifeblood of your business.

“A business owner needs to regularly review and analyze the business’ financial statements and working capital cycle,” said Bernard. “Is this the best you can do, or are there additional strategies and tactics to generate and improve cash flow?” Bernard also notes, a thorough review of the business’ payables and receivables can uncover opportunities to shorten the operating cycle.

A Few More Ideas:
- Every industry has its own set of Metrics. The FSBDC at IRSC has a database of
these metrics to help you analyze how you are doing compared to your industry.

- Make it a daily routine to review the business’ actual daily cash balance.

- As you recognize potential cash flow problems, create strategies that correct the

- Accounts Receivable: Consider granting discounts for prompt payment. Such as 2 – 10 Net
30 (2% discount if paid in 10 days, or full payment in 30 days). Also, ensure that your terms are not too long and that your receivables are quality accounts to keep delinquencies down.

- Accounts Payable: Be careful on the payables side, also. Buying inventory that does not move becomes stale and then obsolete.  In addition, this time, you want terms on your side – as long as possible to pay and negotiate
volume discounts.

- Inventory: Compare inventory turn rate to the industry average (Metrics) to see how you compare. Remember, inventory that does not turn fast enough is money left on the shelf that could be in your pocket. Have a sale for slow-moving inventories or donate it to a non-profit for a tax write-off, and negotiate just-in-time contracts so that you can
keep as little inventory on hand as possible.

- To increase cash flow from sales growth, open newer, less costly distribution
channels, increase prices where you can and introduce new technology to help
reduce sales costs.

- Spend and collect with care.  Watch overhead costs, always negotiate on price.
Give credit very carefully but collect very aggressively.

This article is provided by the Florida SBDC at IRSC, the small business development Center within Indian River State College’s School of Business. The center’s team of business experts works one-on-one with hundreds of entrepreneurs and business owners each year by providing confidential, no-cost consulting. The center’s mission is to help treasure Coast businesses grow and succeed.

Jan. 10, 2022|

Treasure Coast Business Newsletter 1.4.22

Jan. 4, 2022|

The Gift One Year Later

The Gift One Year Later


2021 Fall Commencement Ceremony

Graduation ceremony photographed on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, at Lawnwood Stadium in Fort Pierce.


New Opportunities, Greater Access for Indian River State College Students and Community

One year ago, author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott pledged $45 million to Indian River State College (IRSC), the largest individual donation in the College’s 60-year history. The gift came without prescription—Scott writes on her blog “we believe that teams with experience on the front lines of challenges will know best how to put the money to good use, we encouraged them to spend it however they choose”—but with great responsibility.

The gift was made as part of the Giving Pledge, Scott’s commitment to give the majority of her wealth to address some of society’s most pressing problems. In 2020, IRSC was among 384 organizations that Scott made large gifts to after her team of advisors considered some 6,500 organizations along with data analysis on community needs, program outcomes, and each non-profit’s capacity to absorb and make effective use of funding. Donations were focused on those “operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital” and given “with full trust and no strings attached.”

IRSC announced news of the gift at its Fall Commencement ceremony on December 16, 2020, reaffirming the College’s critical mission and the commitment of its newly appointed President to redefine and reframe the narrative on how American community colleges can better serve its constituencies. On December 17, the College began its next chapter—to profoundly bolster its efforts to change lives.

“Our mission is to take students from any part of society and find ways to help them achieve their full potential,” said IRSC President Dr. Timothy Moore. “Ms. Scott has provided IRSC with a uniquely transformative opportunity to accelerate our ability to make post-secondary education attainable for citizens of our region, regardless of their circumstance or

background. She has changed the trajectory for IRSC, and we in turn will change the trajectory for our students and our community.”

True North—Mission, Students and Community IRSC is the only open-access, public institution of higher education in the four-county (Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, St. Lucie) service district. Its student body is more diverse than America, with the majority, 53.5%, comprised of minority students. Thirty-seven percent (37%) of IRSC students are first-generation students, and 40.1% of students receive a Pell grant. Most of IRSC’s students (71.8%) are enrolled part-time and female students make up the majority (61.4%) of enrollment.

It is IRSC’s mission to transform lives by offering high-quality, affordable and accessible education.

Guided by its True North— Mission, Students and Community—the College has embarked on the first of a series of strategic initiatives aimed to provide economic uplift to historically underrepresented populations; meet the increasing demand for trained, diverse workforces; advance student success and well-being; invest in future generations; and develop critical partnerships that bring new opportunities and ideas to our students, region and nation.

In pursuit of those goals, the College is deploying $24 million dollars of the donation, which is about 53% of the total gift.

Building a workforce for the future On December 14, 2021, exactly one year after receiving Scott’s gift, IRSC, along with area hospital leaders, announced that the College would double the size of its Nursing program to address the critical need for more nurses in Florida. Funds will be used to transform 50,521 sq. ft. at IRSC’s Pruitt Campus in Port St. Lucie into state-of-the-art nursing classrooms and simulated clinical settings. It would also create new pathways for students who earned Certified Nursing Assistant (C.N.A.), Emergency Medical Technician (E.M.T.) or other allied health certificates, offering them credit for prior learning when entering the Associate Degree in Nursing (R.N.) program. This exclusive pathway program reduces students’ time to degree completion and costs, while adding diversity to the nursing class by prioritizing field experience and prior learning in the application process. Roughly $13.5 million will support this largest program expansion in IRSC history.

Economic uplift IRSC is moving with great velocity to support initiatives that support access and outreach to low-income, first-generation and historically underrepresented populations. To that end, a portion of the funds from the Scott gift will be used to create an endowment that builds on the success of the Lincoln Park Career Pathways Initiative (LPCPI). The program, centered at the Blackburn Educational Building in Fort Pierce’s majority Black, economically challenged Lincoln Park community, provides funding for tuition, transportation, and other support service for students receiving college credit or non-credit coursework that leads to an industry certification and ultimately to a good-paying job. To date, 71% of program completers have received credentials and are now working in industry-related jobs. The new endowment will fund tuition and provide emergency support for transportation, child care or other financial needs to dramatically expand access to this life-changing program. One million dollars is committed to this endeavor.

Advancing student success and well-being During the pandemic, IRSC learned a great deal about new challenges students face. Students reported that they often do not have quiet places to study or reliable internet connections. They have missed the opportunity to study and interact with peers and classmates. As a result, IRSC is re-imagining student learning and social spaces, tools, academic support and more to advance student success, well-being and sense of belonging, which are essential elements of student retention.

IRSC is deploying $1 million dollars to develop a welcoming Student Learning Commons on its main campus in Fort Pierce. Located in the library, the Student Learning Commons will be a supportive and nurturing place for students to meet, study, and relax. Study skills are the most difficult to develop, and peer-to-peer tutors—prominent in the Learning Commons—are the most efficient way to assist students with learning. IRSC intends to duplicate a Student Learning Commons at each branch campus, furthering the reach of study services to all students.

Investing in future generations IRSC understands that high-quality pre-school is the essential difference maker in the success of a child. The College intends to allocate $2.5 million in its Child Development Center. The Child Development Center provides quality, low-cost education and care for the children of our students, community members and faculty. It also provides hands-on learning experiences for students enrolled in IRSC Early Childhood Education programs.

Developing critical partnerships An indirect effect of the gift includes increased passion, energy, and visibility of IRSC and its mission. Such attention has enabled IRSC to develop unique, groundbreaking partnerships with Adobe, Bloomberg, and Wolfram Researchto name a few. These partnerships have resulted in student, faculty and staff access to best-in-class research and technical software tools at no cost to them. No other community college in America offers these elite tools for free. As a result of these partnerships, IRSC students are uniquely poised for success in the classroom and gain a competitive edge for the modern workplace.

The multiplier effect Scott writes in her blog: “We chose to make relatively large gifts to the organizations…both to enable their work, and as a signal of trust and encouragement, to them and to others.” IRSC has seen and will continue to see the direct effect of this generosity.

Recently, the College received two large restricted gifts. The first is a $2 million naming gift for the Eastman Advanced Workforce Training Complex, a purpose-built facility that will link advanced technology and leading-edge industry training in specialized technical career fields. The Complex, set to open in 2023, is cited as critical for closing the regional skills gap and preparing residents for high-wage, in-demand careers. The next is a $10 million restricted gift to develop and build a first-of-its-kind vocational charter high school in Indiantown, Florida, a rural majority Hispanic community. The new high school will be home to more than 400 students. Details about that project are forthcoming.

Changing lives “IRSC exists to change the lives of those we are here to serve,” concludes President Moore. “We are grateful to Ms. Scott for the generosity and the trust she has placed in IRSC. We will continue to invest wisely to increase our capacity to educate and support more students, endow scholarships and instructors to propagate our mission in perpetuity, and expand programs of distinction which highlight IRSC as the education partner of choice for our community.”

Jan. 3, 2022|

FSBDC at IRSC Highlights Client Success

FSBDC at IRSC Highlights Client Success


Staff Photo - DragonFly Graphics

Staff with Al Coffey, Owner of DragonFly Graphics. (Michael Spooneybarger/ Florida SBDC Network Headquarters)

What started as a family business twenty years ago has grown to a recognizable and respected brand across the Treasure Coast. DragonFly Graphics, located off Bayshore in Port St. Lucie, Florida, understands the importance of building your professional image through good branding and a memorable image amongst the public. As a trusted provider of branded material like company shirts and logo creation, President/CEO Al Coffey states the foundation of this successful enterprise started as a family business, inspired by brothers with a background in screen printing. To date, DragonFly has expanded its team past the ranks of just family, employing over twenty individuals whose skills range in graphic design, printing, and more. You can spot DragonFly Graphic’s expertise on a number of local Pop Warner Football jerseys.

Al Coffey started as an attendee of an FSBDC at IRSC Financial Literacy session, the now fifteen-year relationship has made DragonFly Graphics a high-value client for this region. While this organization’s journey started long before a connection with the FSBDC at IRSC, Al Coffey contacted the local center in 2009 while searching for access to capital for growth. Coffey worked alongside the late Fort Pierce consultant, Duke Evans, for a number of years working towards putting DragonFly’ success into a business plan to ensure they are ready for future expansion or capital. Through a relationship with the FSBDC at IRSC the organization received research via IBIS World reporting on the surrounding market. This data was used exponentially over the course of fifteen years, strengthening DragonFly’s following among local organizations.

DragonFly continued their relationship with the FSBDC at IRSC, resulting in being one of the first organizations within the region to secure an Emergency Bridge Loan at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through contact with consultant Spike Schultheis, DragonFly was able to plan for use of funding from the EBL and apply for a local Small Business Recovery Grant facilitated through the FSBDC at IRSC. Obtaining both sources of funding allowed the organization to keep a full staff and continue production throughout the economic disaster. Consulting provided by the FSBDC instilled the importance of a growth plan, a goal Al Coffey has since set to achieve with the Florida SBDC at IRSC stating, “trial and error can be costly and unnecessary” in regards to having Spike in his corner, “having someone with more knowledge than me over my shoulder to point out opportunities is very valuable”.

Listing community as a core value of the organization, DragonFly Graphics is a valuable asset to the Treasure Coast. You can learn more about their organization and gain personalized branding material by visiting their website or calling (772) 879-9800

Learn about DragonFly’s path to success by viewing their Client Success Story with the Florida Small Business Development Center, here:

Ready to get started on your path to success? Contact your local FSBDC at Indian River State College!

[email protected] | (772) 336-6285

Jan. 3, 2022|

Marine Bank & Trust Expands Lending Team

Marine Bank & Trust Expands Lending Team


Kristy Contreras, Marine Bank & Trust

Marine Bank & Trust has announced that Kristy Contreras has joined its residential lending team serving Martin and St. Lucie counties.   She will be based in the Bank’s commercial and residential lending office at 240 NW Peacock Boulevard, Suite 302 in St. Lucie West.

“Today’s competitive home buying market is like nothing we’ve seen before,” said Bill Penney, President, and CEO of Marine Bank. “Marine Bank is helping to alleviate homebuyers’ anxiety by increasing our team of responsive customer-focused and service-driven professionals.  Our goal is to simplify the dream of homeownership.”

Contreras brings more than a decade of customer service, sales, and branch management experience to the Bank.

To meet 2021’s growing housing demand, the Bank has more than doubled its number of residential lenders.  In 2020, Marine Bank closed 221 residential loans totaling $61 million enabling its customers to buy homes or lower their existing loan rate.

Jan. 3, 2022|