Around the region

Inaugural Treasure Coast Women Who Rock awards

Inaugural Treasure Coast Women Who Rock awards

To be held Oct. 11th & 13th  in celebration of National Women’s Small Business Month



The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Indian River State College (IRSC) has partnered with weVENTURE Women’s Business Center (WBC) at Florida Tech’s Bisk College of Business and presenting sponsor PNC Bank to host the Inaugural Women Who Rock Awards of the Treasure Coast on Oct. 11th and 13th in honor of National Woman’s Small Business Month. 

“The Florida SBDC at Indian River State College is excited to partner with weVENTURE Women’s Business Center to elevate the profile of successful women in business and recognize the economic impact they have on our community,” said Katherine Culhane Associate Director of the SBDC at IRSC. 

The community is encouraged to nominate women who live or work in Indian River, St. Lucie or Martin CountiesNominees who reside in Indian River and St. Lucie Counties will be celebrated Tuesday, Oct. 11th, 2022, at the Indian River State College, Mueller Campus, 6155 College Lane, Vero Beach, FL  32966.  Nominees from Martin County will be recognized Thursday, Oct. 13th, 2022, at the Indian River State College Chastain Campus, 2400 S.E. Salerno Road, Stuart, FL 34997.  Both events are luncheons, taking place 11:00am-1:00pm.  

Kathryn Rudloff, Executive Director of weVENTURE WBC notes that her organization has hosted the Women Who Rock Awards in Brevard County for the last 14 years. “We are so excited to partner with the SBDC and PNC Bank to bring this popular event to the Treasure Coast,“ Rudloff stated.  

The 2022 Women Who Rock Awards categories are:

  • Small Business Owner of the Year, Presented by PNC Bank
  • Executive of the Year, Presented by Bank of America
  • Excellence in Mentorship, Presented by SBDC at IRSC
  • Women Trending in Tech, Presented by weVENTURE WBC
  • Excellence in Caregiving

The nomination period will be open until September 9th.  After evaluating nominations to ensure they meet the award criteria, finalists from each category will be announced and celebrated in promotions during the weeks leading up to the event. One outstanding nominee from each category will be recognized as a 2022 recipient of the Women Who Rock Awards.  For more information call (321) 674-7007 or to submit your nomination, send correspondence to [email protected]

Sponsorships are available for both events and include tickets to the event.  Tickets to attend either luncheon are $50 and are available for purchase online.  All proceeds benefit weVENTURE WBC and SBDC community programing. Please visit



weVENTURE Women’s Business Center (WBC) was launched in 2007 at Florida Tech, accelerates growth for entrepreneurs by providing customized coaching, business education, mentorship and networking programs. weVENTURE WBC also strives to be the leading voice and resource for professional women across all industries, providing leadership development and purposeful networking events for women on the Space and Treasure Coasts. weVENTURE WBC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information, or to register for weVENTURE WBC courses and mentorship programs, visit or call 321-674-7007.

About Florida Institute of Technology

Florida Tech was founded in 1958 at the dawn of the Space Race that would soon define the Atlantic coast of Florida and captivate the nation. Now the premier private technological university in the Southeast, Florida Tech is a Tier 1 Best National University in U.S. News & World Report and one of just nine schools in Florida lauded by the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Florida Tech is ranked among the top 5 percent of 20,000 degree-granting institutions worldwide in the 2020-21 World University Rankings and has been named a Top College and Best Value University for 2019 by Forbes. Florida Tech offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in aeronautics and aviation, engineering, computing and cybersecurity, business, science and mathematics, psychology, education and communication. Learn more about our relentless pursuit of greatness at

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

About PNC Bank

PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, 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 [email protected]


Aug. 12, 2022|

United Way invests over $3 Million into Indian River County

United Way invests over $3 Million into Indian River County

United Way of Indian River distributes more than $1,739,299 to nonprofits throughout the county


The United Way of Indian River County (UWIRC) announced $1,739,299 in funding for local programs and initiatives. Thirty-six agencies will use the funds awarded to implement programs in the Health, Education, and Financial Stability impact areas. The awards run from July 2022 through June 2024 in a two-year cycle.

“Our organization and these local programs and initiatives we help depend on the support of our philanthropic community,” said Deana Shatley, Director of Community Impact. “We are proud to stand united and partner with these organizations to ensure local residents have the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

United Way collaborates with local businesses, government, and nonprofits to meet the most pressing social service issues in Indian River County, large and small. From working to solve over-arching needs such as an aging population to keeping children involved in positive, structured youth activities, United Way has a finger on the pulse of our community. In addition to running a community-wide campaign to raise money for critical human services, the United Way of Indian River County organizes a unique Community Investment Process where over 80 volunteers make decisions on grant applications.

Funds for community partners are raised during United Way of Indian River County’s annual campaign to support three impact areas and generate improved quality of life for our neighbors. Each grant is awarded based on the yearly campaign total, the community goals of UWIRC, and the community’s identified needs.

UWIRC’s 2022-2024 community goals include:

Three Impact Goal Areas have been identified and prioritized by United Way:

  1. Education – Helping children and youth achieve their potential through:


  • Early Learning - All children are nurtured by caregivers who promote early learning and development to prepare them for kindergarten.
  • School and Academic Success - All children succeed and achieve in school, and students will continue to stay on track for High School Readiness.
  • Graduate for Success - Students graduate high school on time, prepared for continuing education, work, and life.
  1. Financial Stability – Promoting financial stability and independence through:


  • Basic Needs - All people have access to an adequate supply of nutritious food. In addition, all people have access to safe, sustainable housing.
  • Family Sustaining Employment & Workforce Skill Development - All people who want to work have the skills and resources they need to seek, gain, and maintain employment. Lower-income working families and individuals achieve and retain life-sustaining employment.
  • Stabilization/ Manageable Expenses - Individuals have the financial resources and assets to avoid a financial crisis.


  1. Health – Improving people’s health and well-being by:


  • Addressing Healthy Weight, Major Depressive Episodes, Ability to Live Independently, Children's Oral Health, Child Abuse, Prenatal Care, Children's Mental Health, Maternal Health, and Childhood Obesity.

To be considered for funding, community partners must submit an application, report measurable outcomes biweekly, and focus on particular communities or neighborhoods with the most need.

All agencies made presentations during the Citizens Review Process, where volunteer funding panels make recommendations to the UWIRC Board of Directors based on how well the agencies addressed United Way’s funding priorities.

“As our community continues to grow, so do the needs. The programs are working,” said Meredith Egan, Chief Executive Officer. “I greatly appreciate our board and committee members who are dedicated to upholding our mission and making these strategic investments possible.”

The United Way of Indian River County Community Investment for 2022-2023 includes support of programs and initiatives in the following categories.

  • Education: $756,921
  • Health: $569,862
  • Financial Stability: $412,516

Volunteers make all funding decisions in the community and dedicate their time to ensure our donor’s dollars are spent with its citizens in mind, that the community’s main priorities and interests are represented, and that United Way is partnering with effective and goal-driven organizations in building a stronger community.

Funded Partner Agencies

211 Palm Beach and Treasure Coast
American Red Cross, South Florida Region
Big Brothers, Big Sisters of St. Lucie, Indian River & Okeechobee Counties, Inc.

Boys & Girls Club of Indian River County

Camp Haven, Inc.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Samaritan Center
Childcare Resources of Indian River
Children's Home Society of Florida, Treasure Coast Region
Crossover Mission
Drug Abuse Treatment Association, Inc.
Early Learning Coalition of Indian River, Martin, and Okeechobee Counties, Inc.
Economic Opportunities Council of Indian River County, Inc.
Education Foundation of Indian River County, Inc.
Environmental Learning Center, Inc.
Gifford Youth Achievement Center, Inc.
Hibiscus Children's Center, Inc.
Hope for Families Center, Inc.
Indian River County Healthy Start Coalition, Inc.
Literacy Services of Indian River County, Inc.
Mental Health Association in Indian River County
Mental Health Collaborative of Indian River County, Inc.
Redlands Christian Migrant Association, Inc.
SafeSpace, Inc.
Senior Resource Association, Inc.

Senior Collaborative of Indian River County, Inc.

Substance Awareness Center of Indian River County, Inc.
Suncoast Mental Health Center

The Arc of Indian River County, Inc.

The Learning Alliance, Inc.
Treasure Coast Community Health, Inc.
Treasure Coast Food Bank, Inc.
Treasure Coast Homeless Services Council, Inc.
United Against Poverty, Inc.
Veterans Council of Indian River County, Inc.
Visiting Nurse Association of the Treasure Coast
Youth Guidance Mentoring Program


Additionally, through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, United Way of Indian River County was able to provide an additional $1,971,145 in support to the community through cost savings and federal tax refunds:


Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

  • Refunded Amount- $1,733,145
  • Tax Preparation Cost Savings- $238,000



For more information on our community impact work and funded partners, please visit our website at If you would like to learn more about being a funded partner or joining our Citizens Review Panel, please contact Deana Shatley at [email protected] or (772) 567-8900, ext. 114.

These grants are made possible by the funds raised during the annual campaign by thousands of community investors and corporate partners. United Way is committed to serving as a strategic steward of these community dollars.


United Way

About United Way of Indian River County

United Way of Indian River County (UWIRC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every community member. United Way works with local programs to provide resources to individuals and families in crisis today while working year-round to improve community conditions and create lasting solutions. We are effectively building a strong foundation and improving lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community. For more information about your local United Way, please call (772) 567-8900 or visit our website,



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 [email protected]
Jul. 18, 2022|

CarMax Foundation provides sensory kits to Helping People Succeed

CarMax Foundation provides sensory kits to Helping People Succeed


Agueda Mejia, Carolyn Moses, Jessica Alkire, Stacy Cook, Reshna Lee, Mercedes Perez and Janet Cooper.

Some unexpected love came to Helping People Succeed, thanks to employees of the CarMax located in Jensen Beach. They recently assembled 25 sensory kits for the nonprofit, something that was greatly needed, according to Glenna Parris, Gift Planning Officer. A sensory kit is a collection of items that may help calm overstimulating situations. They can aid in the development of language, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving skills, and social interaction.

Additionally, they can aid the child's development in physical skills that require many different muscles to work together at once, such as shaping, splashing, scooping, or molding. Since every child has different needs, there are many different types of sensory kits unique ones can be assembled.

One thing is certain though: the youngsters served by Helping People Succeed are the perfect recipients of sensory kits.

The CarMax Foundation promotes the causes their associates care about to impact the communities where they live and work through their Volunteer Team-Builder program. When five or more associates volunteer together with a qualifying nonprofit, the organization may also be eligible to receive a donation from The CarMax Foundation.

Helping People Succeed also received a $1,000 grant from the Foundation. To learn more about programs and services it offers, 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 [email protected]


Jul. 7, 2022|

Mattamy Homes named Master Developer of Newfield in Martin County

Mattamy Homes named Master Developer of Newfield in Martin County


Traditional Neighborhood Development will include 4,000+ homes, town center, and more than 2,300 acres of open space with trails, parks and a working farm


Mattamy Homes, the largest privately owned homebuilder in North America, has announced it will serve as master developer of Newfield, the innovative new town in Martin County conceived over the past five years by financial journalist Knight Kiplinger.

“This has been a labor of love – one that has brought me great joy,” Kiplinger said.  “I am convinced that Mattamy, with its great track record around America, including being selected to build the last section of the town of Celebration, an acclaimed model of TND development, is the right developer to bring Newfield to fruition.”

Located in western Palm City, FL between the Turnpike and I-95, the large expanse of land, previously known as Shadow Lake Groves, has been owned by the Kiplinger family for more than four decades.

“Newfield will introduce a new standard for TND and open-space preservation on the Treasure Coast,” said Dan Grosswald, Mattamy’s Southeast Florida Division President. “Newfield will be a multigenerational pedestrian-friendly community that will appeal to a wide variety of current and future Martin County residents. We are honored and privileged to have been selected to develop this amazing unique property and look forward to bringing the Kiplinger vision to life.”

Newfield will embody the characteristics of a TND (Traditional Neighborhood Development) with an array of villages comprising homes in various sizes, styles and prices—mixed in a natural way with civic spaces such as parks, community gardens and schools, along with small-scale retail and office space. To promote walkability and community connection, Newfield neighborhoods will include rear-access garages and driveways in alleys behind homes, enabling residents to greet neighbors from the front porch and watch children play safely in the front yards.

More than 70 percent of the total Newfield acreage – 2,300-plus acres – will remain open with a 70-acre working farm with livestock, a mix of wooded hiking, biking and equestrian trails, pasture, wetlands, lakes and the natural new Kiplinger Conservancy.

Knight Kiplinger worked closely with Martin County residents to obtain commission approval in 2020, including proposing a whole new zoning category for the project. Newfield’s phase 1 encompasses 139 acres of which the first village will serve as the town center and include approximately 1,250 residential units, along with retail, restaurants, small-scale offices, recreational amenities, ten miles of trails and the county’s first gopher tortoise preserve.

Groundbreaking is expected later this year with sales to begin in fall 2023. The first homes are slated for early 2024 delivery. Kiplinger and members of his original planning team will work closely with Mattamy Homes in an advisory capacity.


About Mattamy Homes

Mattamy Homes is the largest privately owned homebuilder in North America, with 40-plus years of history across the United States and Canada. Every year, Mattamy helps more than 8,000 families realize their dream of homeownership. In the United States, the company is represented in 11 markets — Dallas, Charlotte, Raleigh, Phoenix, Tucson, Jacksonville, Orlando (where its U.S. head office is located), Tampa, Sarasota, Naples and Southeast Florida. In Canada, Mattamy Homes' communities stretch across the Greater Toronto Area as well as Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton. Visit for more information.




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 [email protected]
Jun. 11, 2022|

Stonemont Financial Group breaks ground for St. Lucie County’s largest building

Stonemont Financial Group breaks ground for St. Lucie County’s largest building


St. Lucie County officials and Stonemont Financial Group representatives broke ground for the South Florida Logistics Center 95 May 25.
Photo by Flynn Fidgeon, St. Lucie County

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on May 25 for what will be, at 1.1. million square feet, the largest building in unincorporated St. Lucie County.

Stonemont Financial Group, a private real estate investment firm specializing in industrial development and net lease assets, is constructing the South Florida Logistics Center 95, a two-building, Class-A, 1.3-million-square-foot speculative industrial development on Orange Avenue at South Kings Highway.  In addition to the 1.1.-million-square-foot cross-dock building, the company is also constructing a 245,300-square-foot rear-load facility in the park. 

The site and buildings are being developed with functional, state-of-the-art features tailored for e-commerce and third-party logistics users and is anticipated to be ready for occupancy in early 2023. The project marks Stonemont’s initial venture in the South Florida region, with the firm already active in Jacksonville, Orlando, Lakeland and Tampa.

“The location of this development provides an immediate competitive advantage for e-commerce providers and other logistics operators who have to meet growing consumer demand for rapid delivery,” said Zack Markwell, managing principal and CEO at Stonemont Financial Group. “Our team is already fielding a number of inquiries from prospective users who not only need to be within close range of South Florida’s booming population but can also have better proximity further north to the ports in Jacksonville and Savannah. The business-friendly environment and cost-of-living advantages offered by St. Lucie County are an additional bonus, and we thank the EDC for their partnership in transforming our vision into reality.”

“With 62% of our workforce commuting outside the county each day for work, Stonemont Financial Group’s investment in St. Lucie County will not only help make hundreds of jobs available for our residents, having these jobs close to home will deliver the biggest benefit of all – time. Time for parents to be active in their children’s schools, time for family dinners, time to enjoy all the leisure activities our county has to offer, time for working men and women to be active in their communities,” said St. Lucie County Commission Chairman Sean Mitchell. “It’s also exciting to be breaking ground today for what will be the largest building in the unincorporated county.”

“The location of this Class-A facility is ideal not only for the ultimate end-users but also for residents of Fort Pierce and northern St. Lucie County who are seeking career opportunities with good pay and benefits,” said Pete Tesch, president of the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County (EDC). “It is gratifying to see that top-tier companies like Stonemont have discovered our county’s ready workforce, great location and outstanding quality of life.”

JLL is overseeing leasing for the project with space from 50,000 to 1.1 million square feet available for lease. JLL is a global professional services firm specializing in real estate and investment management. 

Evans General Contractors is managing construction operations. Evans is a leading design-build, general contracting, and construction management firm headquartered in Atlanta.  Engineering Design & Construction, Inc. of Port St. Lucie is the project’s civil engineer. 

Stonemont’s ability to source and capitalize on premium speculative development opportunities in markets with high barriers to entry have enabled the firm to grow its industrial portfolio exponentially over the last 24 months, with 15 million square feet of Class-A product currently under construction. The firm currently has nearly 4 million square feet of new industrial space under construction across the state of Florida.


About Stonemont Financial Group

Stonemont is an Atlanta-based private real estate investment and development firm that acquires, develops and operates primarily industrial real estate across select markets in the United States. Stonemont owns and manages a portfolio with a market value in excess of $4.5 billion. For more information, visit


About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. JLL shapes the future of real estate for a better world by using the most advanced technology to create rewarding opportunities, amazing spaces and sustainable real estate. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.6 billion in 2020, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 91,000. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit


About the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County

The EDC is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting economic vitality in St. Lucie County through the attraction, retention and expansion of businesses in the community. The EDC works in partnership with local governments and the private sector to advance its goals of creating more and better-paying jobs for residents, broadening the tax base and improving St. Lucie County’s economic quality of life. Contact the EDC at 772.336.6250 or


Photo ID: (L to R) Michelle Miller, St. Lucie County Clerk of Court & Comptroller; Pete Tesch, Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County; St. Lucie County Commissioner Cathy Townsend; St. Lucie County Commission Chair Sean Mitchell; Avery Dorr, Stonemont Financial Group; Neal Moskowitz, Stonemont Financial Group; Bryan Blasingame, Stonemont Financial Group; Zack Markwell, Stonemont Financial Group; Evan Christiansen, JLL; Fort Pierce Commissioner Curtis Johnson; St. Lucie County Commissioner Linda Bartz; St. Lucie County Commissioner Chris Dzadovsky; LaToya Young, St. Lucie County Fire District.



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 [email protected]
May. 26, 2022|

St. Lucie County Tourism to Host National Travel Media Journalists

St. Lucie County Tourism to Host National Travel Media Journalists


The St. Lucie County Tourism Office is gearing up to host a group of four travel media journalists on a familiarization tour beginning Friday, Feb. 18 through Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022. Familiarization tours, also known as “FAM” tours, are a common industry practice conducted by destination marketing organizations to provide travel media, travel agents and other influential travel professionals the opportunity to experience a destination’s tourist activities and attractions first hand. The media tour, strategically scheduled during February’s Black History Month, will focus on the rich and colorful African American cultural heritage assets that exist in the historic City of Fort Pierce, specifically the Zora Neale Hurston Dust Tracks Heritage Trail and the Florida Highwaymen Trail. The journalists participating in the tour include representatives from the TheGrioBleu Magazine, and African American Golfers Digest.

Highlights of the tour include a private tour of the special exhibition “The Highwaymen: Art / History” followed by a reception at the A.E. Backus Museum, private guided tours of the Highwaymen Trail and Zora Neale Hurston Heritage Dust Tracks Trail, a “Meet & Greet” with members of the original Highwaymen, opportunities to meet local community members who knew or study Zora Neale Hurston, and more.

“The purpose of the event is to not only show these writers the impressive African American history, art and culture that we have in Fort Pierce, but to also introduce them to local residents who are associated with Zora and the Highwaymen – it’s important to engage these journalists with the locals because they are large part of our cultural appeal,” said Charlotte Bireley, St. Lucie County’s Director of Tourism & Marketing.

The St. Lucie County Tourism Office, also known as Visit St. Lucie, serves as the county’s official destination marketing organization and is responsible for marketing St. Lucie County and its cities to generate new and repeat visitors, thereby creating a positive economic impact for St. Lucie County.


About Visit St. Lucie:

St. Lucie – home to the historic city of Fort Pierce, the vibrant city of Port St. Lucie & beautiful beaches of Hutchinson Island is located on the Atlantic Ocean along the east coast of Florida, 120 miles southeast of Orlando and 115 miles north of Miami with direct access from Florida’s Turnpike, Interstate 95 and State Road 70. The area offers an array of visitor activities including beautiful beaches, championship golf, excellent outdoor and nature adventures, a thriving arts and cultural scene, world class fishing and dozens of unique attractions. A variety of affordable accommodations such as hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, vacation condos/homes and an all-inclusive resort are available. For a full listing of places to stay in St. Lucie, go to Nearby commercial airports include Palm Beach International (PBI), Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (FLL) and Miami International Airport (MIA). For more details visit; Twitter: @VisitStLucie and Instagram: @VisitStLucie.


For more information call Charlotte Bireley, at 772-332-2105 or email [email protected].


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]

Feb. 14, 2022|

Martin County Business Accelerator Program Returns

Martin County Business Accelerator Program Returns


BAP Logo


The Business ACCELERATOR Program (BAP) provides business counseling, technical assistance and training for small business owners, and the opportunity to attain an allocation of grant funding for small business growth.  The purpose of the BAP is to enhance entrepreneurial skills and activities, create jobs and assist in the expansion and growth of our existing business community.

Applications must be received by February 4 for 50% savings on Program Fee.

How to apply?

  • The business must be in Martin County and hold a current Martin County Business Tax Receipt
  • Complete the Business Accelerator Program online application found below. (no fee to apply)
  • Upon your acceptance, Pay the $250 Program Fee.
    For Early Registration: $125 Program Fee (Early Registration Fee Ends February 4)
  • Applicants will be notified of acceptance into the program via email from Program Coordinator.

What if I am accepted into the program?

  • If accepted into the program, participants will be required to attend ALL the ACCELERATOR business training program classes, except for emergencies or previous communication with the organizers.
  • The program consists of one (1) weeknight class for 3 hours for a duration of 10 weeks.
  • The first 9 classes will be held at Comfort Suites in the Sailfish Meeting Room.
  • The last class (week 10), is the Grant Presentations and will be held at Indian River state College at the Chastain Campus in Stuart.
  • Applicant who are accepted into the program will be notified via email along with the REGISTRATION form for Program Fee.
    • The Program Fee for EARLY Registration is $125 – Deadline for Early Registration Fee is February 4.
    • Regular Program Fee is $250 – Last day to Register is February 11.
  • The New Cohort for Spring 2022 BAP will be announced February 14.
  • Participants who successfully complete the program will be eligible to apply for a MICRO GRANT through the ACCELERATOR program.

Questions? Contact Jaymie Sardo, Program Coordinator at 772.221.1380 or [email protected]

Learn more and submit your application by visiting the Martin County Business Development Board website.


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. 25, 2022|


Megan Smith

Megan Smith

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

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

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

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

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

About the Economic Development Corporation


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

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

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

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

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

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

Jul. 16, 2019|