Monthly Archives: March 2022

Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County Recognizes Fredd Galvez as its Top Teen at Annual Event

Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County Recognizes Fredd Galvez as its Top Teen at Annual Event 


Fredd Galvez (middle) is Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County 2022 Youth of the Year

Amid all the typical fanfare befitting the most prestigious award ceremonies and shows, Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County awarded Fredd Galvez as Martin County's Youth of the Year 2022. Selected from three outstanding Youth representing three Martin County Clubs, Galvez, an immigrant from Peru, will represent Martin County at the state competition later in April.

"The Youth of the Year program illustrates perfectly the incredible impact of the Boys & Girls Clubs mission: inspiring and enabling young people," says Youth of the Year Judge Sue Kinane, CEO Kinane Commercial Printing, and Children's Services Council of Martin County board member. "I am extremely proud of Fredd and know that he will represent his family, fellow Club members, and our organization extremely well in the future."

Each finalist goes through a comprehensive selection process where participants work closely with Club staff and mentors to complete applications, develop speeches, and prepare for interviews for a panel of judges. Since 1947 this signature Boys & Girls Clubs of America program has successfully developed young minds and provided them with a platform to grow and share their own powerful stories and voices.

"Fredd is an exceptional young man who has added a lot to our Club, and over the years, we have seen him mature and grow into a strong young man- a leader. He is one of those teens who has immersed himself in the club experience, taking on various leadership roles. He's been a member for several years now and is a valuable part of our teen programming", said Brooke Petersen, Cole-Clark Hobe Sound Club Director.

Held in Historic Downtown Stuart, just steps from the new Stuart Club, the event was very well attended by family members, proud Club staff, and community leaders from across the Treasure Coast. Youth of the Year is an opportunity for the finalists to express what the Clubs means to them and their families by sharing their personal stories.

Galvez's story caught the attention of businessman and architect Raul Ocampo from ADC Architects. "When Fredd spoke about his difficult journey to America, and what the Clubs mean to him and his family, I was touched. And then, when he shared that he wanted to pursue a degree in architecture, I had to step up and help this young man with his dream." Following the event, Ocampo reached out to Galvez and Keith Fletcher, BGCMC President, and CEO, to arrange mentoring and internship opportunities at his award-wining architecture firm this summer.

Galvez will have the opportunity to share his story highlight his talents and achievements again as he prepares for the State Youth of the Year in April.

The annual Youth of the Year is one of BGCMC's signature programs recognizing members who exemplify the Boys & GirlsClub's mission. A celebration of the extraordinary achievements of Club teens, those who earn the Youth of the Year title embody core club values of good character and citizenship, academic excellence, and healthy lifestyles.

BGCMC Class of 2022, each one exceptional, included:

  • Nereida A., representing the Bill & Barbara Whitman Club, Indiantown
  • Javien E., representing the John & Marge Bolton Club, Port Salerno Club
  • Fredd G., representing the Cole-Clark Club, Hobe Sound


Nereida, a junior at Southfork High School, has served as a KeystoneClub advisor, JuniorStaff, soccer aide, and community volunteer. Nereida credits the Club for believing in her and as a result, helping her blossom into a strong young woman and emerging leader. "My Club has taught me the importance of giving back," she says. "I lead my peers in keeping our neighborhood clean, helping with the soccer program, and helping with the arts program."

Javien has served as vice president of SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco), Torch Club member, and Honor Roll student. "The Club has helped me mature from being closed-off," he said. "It has allowed me to open up and grow as a person. I want to help younger members and my siblings. I am passionate about being involved in the Boys & Girls Club because I know it helped me grow up into the leader I am today."

Fredd is president of the Torch Club and SWAT, Team Captain, Culinary Assistant, and poet. He is an immigrant from Peru and understands the importance of perseverance while having an open mind and a kind heart. Fredd feels that great leaders influence others to be better and that his Club leaders always remind him to be a positive influence wherever he goes. "I am lucky to be a part of Boys & Girls Clubs," says Fredd. "I always look forward to coming to the Club, and they always make me feel better. The Club has given me the greatest council and support I would ever need."

Youth of the Year would not be possible without the community-minded and generous support of sponsors. Presenting & Blue Carpet Sponsor is The Arati Hammond Team at Keller Williams Real Estate. Thrive sponsors include Cleveland Clinic Martin Health, PNC Bank, Publix Super Markets Charities, Casco Tools, Carol Webb, and Kevin Madden from Group One Safety and Security.

The Children's Services Council of Martin County, the Hobe Sound Community Chest, the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin County, and the Mariner Sands Foundation provide generous funding toward BGCMC post-secondary and teen programming.

Photos: 2022 Youth of the Year photo gallery link.

About BGCMC 

For more than 30 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County has provided award-winning programs designed to guide and inspire young people ages 6-18 to learn, grow and mature in route to becoming successful adults. Each of the four clubs enjoys strong partnerships with local schools and communities. Such cohesion ensures that Boys & Girls Clubs' programs complement and enrich the curriculum our members learn in class and remain attuned to the challenges and opportunities they face on a day-to-day basis. The clubs offer opportunities for fun, fitness, STEAM activities, and certified teachers work with club members on everything from tutoring and homework help to specialized courses that prepare them for careers in various trades.


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


Mar. 28, 2022|

St. Lucie County’s Citizens’ Academy Returns April 14

St. Lucie County’s Citizens’ Academy Returns April 14


April is National County Government Month. To celebrate, St. Lucie County is hosting another session of its Citizens’ Academy starting Thursday, April 14 at 6 p.m. This interactive civic and public information program is a free, six-week course aimed at giving residents an opportunity to learn more about their county government.

The program focuses on how county government works, promotes open communication and offers a clearer understanding of how the Board of County Commissioners’ employees are working to serve the public.

Department directors and county staff will lead unique and informative sessions designed to give residents a first-hand look at county government operations. The Citizens’ Academy sessions will be held on Thursday evenings from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at various locations throughout the county as well as an optional half day tour on a Saturday, May 21.

Participants will:

  • Tour county facilities;
  • Meet County Commissioners, department heads and other staff;
  • Enjoy comprehensive overviews of departments, programs and services;
  • Discover the current status and future plans for St. Lucie County development, projects and other topics;
  • Learn how decisions are made and departments operate;
  • Participate in lively discussions and fun interactive activities;
  • Become an informed, involved resident.

Refreshments will be served at the beginning of each session. Registration is open to anyone age 18 or older who lives, works, attends school or owns property in St. Lucie County.

Enrollment is limited to 25 participants. Previous sessions have filled up fast, so apply early. Applications are available at St. Lucie County Administration (2300 Virginia Ave., Fort Pierce, FL 34982) or online at

For more information, please contact Kelly Lang at 772-462-1156 or via e-mail at


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

Mar. 28, 2022|

Bank of America offers digital resources to help Entrepreneurs start and grow their Businesses

Bank of America offers digital resources to help Entrepreneurs start and grow their Businesses

New secured credit options, including a credit card and credit line, and the Start a Business Center digital experience demonstrate ongoing commitment to helping small businesses succeed

BOA Logo



Bank of America announced the launch of the Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured credit card, Business Advantage Secured Credit Line and the Start a Business Center – its latest products and resources for entrepreneurs looking to start a small business or build their business’ credit history.

“Bank of America is committed to providing small business owners with innovative solutions and advice that can help them grow their business and establish long term financial wellness,” said Sharon Miller, president of Small Business and head of Specialty Banking and Lending at Bank of America. “These latest offerings are designed to empower entrepreneurs by providing them with access to resources that will help them to start or strengthen their businesses.”

Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured credit card

As small business owners continue to navigate a challenging business environment, the Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured credit card provides a new tool to help them establish, strengthen or rebuild their business credit – all while providing cardholders with the benefits that matter most to their business.

The new credit card is available now and has no annual fee. Benefits include:

  • Client-determined credit line from $1,000 to $10,000
  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no annual rewards earn cap
  • Preferred Rewards for Business eligibility, providing access to a wide range of valuable rewards, benefits and savings – all with no fee to join or participate

Secured Business Advantage Credit Line

Additionally, Bank of America will offer a Secured Business Advantage Credit Line for small business owners, scheduled to launch later in 2022.

The credit line includes:

  • Client-determined credit line from $1,000 to $50,000
  • Convenient access to funds via online banking, convenience checks and linked Visa card
  • Annual renewal fee of $150

“Straightforward and convenient access to capital is crucial to ensuring small business owners have the resources they need to succeed,” said Chris Wong, Small Business Products executive at Bank of America. “With the launch of the new Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card and Secured Business Advantage Credit Line, Bank of America remains committed to helping our 11 million business owner clients build and strengthen their business credit.”

Start a Business Center Digital Experience

Bank of America has also introduced a new resource to assist clients with starting a new small business. The Start a Business Center digital experience guides existing small business clients and aspiring business owners on exactly how to start and run their new business. It also offers an exclusive discount on business formation for Bank of America clients through Incfile.1

The digital experience offers resources such as business plan templates, partners for critical services and access to Bank of America Small Business specialists. Clients can utilize tips and considerations on topics such as writing a business plan, business legal structures, marketing strategy and business financing options.

To view our small business resources, download the Bank of America app or visit

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 67 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 4,200 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs, and award-winning digital banking with more than 54 million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and approximately 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.



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


Mar. 28, 2022|

Florida SBDC IRSC teaches Financial Literacy to IRC Business Owners & Operators

Florida SBDC IRSC teaches Financial Literacy to IRC Business Owners & Operators


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 Mueller Campus in Vero Beach starting Wednesday, April 6, 2022 from 8 to 11 a.m.

This program runs six weeks and is offered to the public at no cost. Bank of America has 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 executives, 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.


The Indian River County program runs the following dates and times:
- Wednesday, April 6, 2022 | 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
- Wednesday, April 13, 2022 |8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
- Wednesday, April 20, 2022 | 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
- Wednesday, April 27, 2022 | 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
- Wednesday, May 4, 2022 | 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
- Wednesday, May 11, 2022 | 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Interested individuals may register themselves or their designees on the FSBDC at IRSC website or contact | (772) 336-6285

Once registered, participants are required to attend 5 out of 6 trainings in order to graduate from the program.

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 Vero Beach are facilitated by FSBDC at IRSC business analyst, Frank Fink. Frank began his 48- year career in finance and operations management serving with the United States Air Force as an auditor. Following his military service, Frank began his corporate work with Florida Power & Light in their nuclear power division. After 24 years with FP&L, Frank went on to serve with other energy companies, in their nuclear divisions, including the Tennessee Valley Authority, Commonwealth Edison, and Exelon Energy. Throughout his career, Frank served in numerous financial and operations management positions, where his responsibilities included: business planning, accounting, and financial control functions, business operations, strategic planning, supply chain management, information systems management, project management, estimating, and scheduling. Frank holds degrees and certifications from Indian River Community College, Barry, and Villanova

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 or call (772) 336-6285.


About the Florida SBDC Network:

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat.288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.  In 2019, Florida SBDCs provided 114,064 hours of professional business consulting to 12,535 client businesses, resulting in 37,966 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $496.5 million in government contracts acquired; and $255.3 million in capital accessed; and 453 new businesses started. With over 40 offices statewide, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the
University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory
basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please 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
Mar. 28, 2022|

Fort Pierce Gold Hammer Awards Nominations Now Open

Fort Pierce Gold Hammer Awards Nominations Now Open 


Mayor Linda Hudson is now accepting nominations for Gold Hammer Awards. The award recognizes the efforts of residents and business owners in the Fort Pierce community that have significantly improved their homes or businesses through new construction or rehabilitation efforts.

The Gold Hammer Awards will be announced at the Coffee with the Mayor on April 15, 2022, at 8:00 AM at the Fort Pierce Yacht Club. Forms are available in the Mayor’s Office at City Hall or online at For more information, call 467-3065.

The deadline for nominations is March 25, 2022, and should be submitted to the Office of the City Clerk, 100 N US Highway 1, Fort Pierce, FL 34954 or via email to    The form can be found at:


2021 Gold Hammer Award


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


Mar. 21, 2022|

City of Port St. Lucie acquires City Center property

City of Port St. Lucie acquires City Center property


In a monumental development for one of the City’s most long-awaited projects, the City of Port St. Lucie has officially purchased 22 City Center parcels to carry out a new vision for the eastern part of Port St. Lucie.

“This is a huge leap forward for City Center, residents will finally see new momentum now that the City has possession of this property,” said City Manager Russ Blackburn. “City Center has been at the heart of Port St. Lucie’s vision for the redevelopment of its eastern side for nearly two decades.”

Aft­er a thorough analysis and years of legal issues, the City Manager and City Council determined in late 2020 that the City of Port St. Lucie was the entity best suited to redevelop City Center. Staff has been working diligently for the past year to acquire the parcels.

“This is a significant milestone for the City of Port St. Lucie, and especially our eastern side,” said Mayor Shannon Martin. “With our residents’ input and engagement, this acquisition gives the City an opportunity to create a new plan to carry out our community’s vision for this very important property.”

The City Center property has a long and complicated history, and the City Council voted to authorize a purchase and sale agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Receiver for the purchase of 22 City Center parcels.

The City was able to close on the parcels after settling outstanding taxes with several taxing authorities and negotiating all certificates associated with the property representing a multi-agency, coordinated and unified approach to the City of Port St. Lucie’s acquisition.

City leaders believe the acquisition is a turning point for the City Center project. The timing is right for the City to step in and bring positive change and needed stability for this project and subsequently revitalize the entire eastern side of Port St. Lucie.

Taking ownership of the parcels gives the City control over the development of these parcels and will allow it to come together according to the community’s vision. Because City Center is in a designated redevelopment area, it is appropriate for the City to become the master developer and bring the stability needed to make this project successful.

With the acquisition now finalized, the City will partner with Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council to initiate a master planning process that will help determine the best uses and how to place the parcels on the market for individual sales.  This planning process will include significant input from residents and community members. We encourage those interested to sign up for email notifications about this project at That website also has a detailed FAQ section that can answer more detailed questions about this project’s history and events that lead to the City’s acquisition of this property.


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


Mar. 21, 2022|


Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital Receives $10 Million Gift

Transformational Gift from Rosner Family Will Expand Services


Ron and Nancy Rosner, longtime supporters of Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital, have made a $10 million multi-year pledge to the hospital that will expand services for the community. The donation has been earmarked for Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital’s Strategic Priorities fund, which will accelerate the expansion of services and improve patient care.

The Rosner’s gift will fund several initiatives, including educating physicians, increasing healthcare access for residents in the community, and providing caregivers with resources to enhance patient care for decades to come. The gift will also support education as Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital expands medical education to be inclusive and extensive. Another important initiative will be the addition of outpatient behavioral health services for children, teens, adults, and seniors, including funding for education programs focused on drug use among teens, and young adults.

In recognition of this transformational gift, the Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital Health and Wellness Center will be renamed the Rosner Family Health and Wellness Center. The Health and Wellness Center currently houses the offices of more than 50 hospital physicians, including experts in such specialties as cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, neurology, infectious disease, orthopedics, urology, rheumatology, pulmonary medicine, primary care, and endocrinology.

“We are deeply humbled by Ron and Nancy Rosner’s generosity and commitment to this community,” said Gregory Rosencrance, MD, President of Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital.  “This gift will have a tremendous impact and improve the quality of life for residents of Indian River and St. Lucie counties. “We look forward to our partnership with the Rosners as we bring our shared vision to reality.”

Ronald Rosner, Founder, and Chairman of Rosner Automotive Group is passionate about automobiles and has dedicated 49 years of his life to pursuing and helping others in the automotive world. He is well known in the Vero Beach community and he and his wife have supported a number of charitable causes over the years.

About Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital

Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital is a 322 bed hospital and part of the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit, multispecialty, academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. One of Cleveland Clinic’s five hospitals in Florida, Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital provides services to the Treasure Coast community and is dedicated to achieving excellent outcomes. Guided by a Patients First philosophy, healthcare professionals represent specialties including orthopaedics, vascular medicine, neurosurgery, stroke, wound care, bariatrics and labor and delivery. Cleveland Clinic’s Florida region also includes Cleveland Clinic Weston and Cleveland Clinic Martin Health and has hospitals and outpatient centers in Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties. The Florida region is an integral part of Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, where providing outstanding patient care is based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Physicians at Cleveland Clinic are experts in the treatment of complex conditions that are difficult to diagnose. For more information about Cleveland Clinic Florida, visit Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


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


Mar. 21, 2022|

Turn your Side Hustle into your Main Gig with the Martin County BDB

Turn your Side Hustle into your Main Gig with the Martin County BDB


Side Hustle to Main Gig’s Inaugural Class Spring 2021

Ever feel like you’re doing what you have to do but all-the-while dreaming of doing what you really want to do? Fortunately, Side Hustle to Main Gig can provide the road map you need to turn your daydream into your day job.

The Business Development Board of Martin County (BDBMC) unveiled this groundbreaking new series last year as part of our commitment to cultivate our rich entrepreneurial potential.

“We have some tremendously successful entrepreneurs in Martin County,” says Joan K. Goodrich, executive director of the BDBMC. “When you get a chance to hear their story, you find out that there’s always a key mentor who played a pivotal role in where they are today. So, this program aims to share valuable knowledge but also enable the relationships that could make all the difference in inspiring tomorrow’s next great Martin County entrepreneur.”

Created in conjunction with Martin County, City of Stuart, NAACP of Martin County, Indian River State College and the Small Business Development Center, Side Hustle to Main Gig starts in March. Here’s something for everyone—novice to seasoned professional.

“For someone who really had no idea about how to start a business or even if your business is a good idea, this course explained things in a way that even those without business experience could follow the flow,” says Maygan Milton, a 24-year-old graduate of the inaugural class. “Side Hustle also gave me the confidence in thinking outside my comfort zone when it comes to potentially starting my own company in the future.”

This time, the six-week course—which features speakers from diverse industries sharing insights and principles vital to successfully launching a business—takes place in Indiantown, thanks to our partnership with the village.

Attendees will enjoy such subjects as:

  • 6 Steps to Success
  • Lean Biz Planning
  • Magnetic Marketing
  • Side Hustle Financial Basics

They’ll also pitch their business idea to a panel of local experts, with one winner receiving a $5,000 grant to benefit their new enterprise.

Even without attaining the grand prize, the lessons imparted carry invaluable weight, says Jorge Wander Santana Urena, 32.

“I liked the way that everyone was sharing the knowledge and expertise about what they did,” he says. “There were some exercises where we could practice what we learned. And I left more confident to talk with other business owners—and got better opportunities—because I learned how to express myself through the information that I learned in these scenarios.”

Even established business owners found the program beneficial, or—as in Steve Ottley’s case—inspirational.

“I have an existing business and I wanted to make sure I was doing everything correctly—so I went there for inspiration,” says Steve, in his mid-40s. “It was a younger crowd—which was perfect—and I wish I could have done something like that when I was their age. Here, there were all the resources to steer you in the right direction.”

For Maygan, that direction is still something of a mystery. The Stuart native is currently earning a master’s in Research Administration at University of Central Florida after gaining a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and Clinical Psychology. She hopes to one day start a research company to help people with autism, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome in Martin County.

“Now,” she says, “I kind of have a better understanding about what I need to do to get to that point in the future.”




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

Mar. 14, 2022|

Wednesday is National Small Business Development Center Day

Wednesday is National Small Business Development Center Day


On Wednesday, March 16, 2022, the Florida SBDC Network will celebrate the sixth annual, national SBDC Day, and you’re invited to join in the celebration.

What is SBDC Day?

SBDC Day is a national, collective proclamation of the success and impact that America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) foster each year. Established by Congress in 1980, SBDCs provide consulting, training, and resources to aspiring and existing small businesses. Whether you have an idea and are just starting out, or you’re an existing business looking to grow, SBDCs have the right tools and specialized expertise to help you achieve success.

SBDC Day will unite the nearly 1,000 SBDC centers across the country and the hundreds of thousands of clients they serve each year by sharing, in real-time, the success stories and notable impacts SBDCs collectively have on the small business community at large. This special day will be celebrated virtually this year through social media and other digital channels.

What is the Florida SBDC Network?

The Florida SBDC Network serves as the state’s principal provider of small business assistance. Headquartered at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, the Florida SBDC Network has more than 40 offices from Pensacola to Key West to serve the needs of Florida’s small businesses. The network offers no-cost, personalized consulting in areas including access to capital, disaster resiliency, strategic planning, international trade, government contracting, and more. As part of its service offering, the Florida SBDC Network also offers hundreds of workshops each year ranging from the basics to advanced business management. Learn more about the Florida SBDC Network and our impact here.

How Do I Join the Celebration?

We’re calling all of our clients and partners to help us celebrate! Participating is easy:

  • Comment and share our “Share Your Story” post on social media. Share how the Florida SBDC has made a difference in your life.
  • Share how the Florida SBDC Network has made a difference for your business and in your community by tagging us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram and using the #SBDCDay hashtag.
  •  Write a letter to your local representative sharing how the Florida SBDC Network has made a difference in your life.
  •  Interested in becoming a client or haven’t seen us in a while? Contact your local Florida SBDC and schedule a no-cost consulting appointment with us!
  • Tell your friends about us! SBDCs are known as “the best-kept secret.”



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 
Mar. 14, 2022|

House of Hope welcomes Mike Meier as Growing Hope Farm Manager

House of Hope Welcomes Mike Meier as Growing Hope Farm Manager



Mike Meier, an active proponent of sustainable urban farming and an advocate for community service, joins House of Hope this month as Farm Manager at Growing Hope Farm.

Growing Hope Farm in Palm City is House of Hope’s innovative answer to providing fresh fruits and vegetables to individuals and families in need throughout Martin County. The farm features nearly 65,000 cubic feet of hydroponic greenhouse operations and raised beds for vegetables. The farm will soon add a small grove of fruit trees and berry bushes along with a packing house.

“Our Growing Hope Farm is key to our mission to provide a complete spectrum of food and nutritional support to our clients,” said House of Hope CEO Rob Ranieri. “It’s become a big business, with more than 6,000 packages of produce distributed each month. It’s also an essential business as we work to improve the nutritional value of the food available to our neighbors who are trying to overcome hunger and hardship.”

Meier is currently a City Commissioner in Stuart, elected in 2018. He served as Mayor in 2020. A third-generation Stuart resident, he was formerly a tech company analytics director but returned to Stuart to pursue his dream of sustainable urban farming. With two partners he founded Ground Floor Farm, an urban farming operation in Stuart which specialized in growing fresh market crops. He has been the Director of Operations for CoLab Farms, based in Indiantown.

“Mike is the ideal person for this position,” Ranieri said. “He has a head for the work and a heart for our mission. With Mike as manager, we expect to boost our productivity and connect with other growers in the region as our new packing house comes on line.”

For Meier, this new role fits perfectly with his philosophy for the future of farming. “I'm a firm believer in the importance of sustainable food systems and helping communities bridge the gap between farm and plate,” Meier said. “Growing Hope Farm is making a tremendous impact on the amount and quality of food available locally, and I’m proud to become a part of the effort.”


About House of Hope

Founded in 1984, House of Hope is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers Martin County residents to overcome hunger and hardship. House of Hope touches the lives of more than 7,000 people each month helping with basic needs such as food, clothing, furniture, financial assistance, as well as longer-term case management services that help build life skills for a more self-sufficient future.

The organization has service centers and thrift stores in Stuart, Hobe Sound, Indiantown, and Jensen Beach. House of Hope’s Golden Gate Center for Enrichment in Stuart offers free programs, technology, and workshops designed to enhance life skills, earning potential, health, and overall well-being.

House of Hope also operates the Growing Hope Farm in Palm City and several nutrition gardens that provide sustainable sources of fresh produce for clients as well as nutrition education and vocational opportunities to the community. For more information, visit or call 772-286-4673. Updates and announcements can also be found on Facebook, Instagram Instagram, and Twitter.



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

Mar. 14, 2022|