City of Fort Pierce honored with two Home Rule Hero Awards in 2023

City of Fort Pierce honored with two Home Rule Hero Awards in 2023

The Florida League of Cities(FLC), the united voice for Florida’s municipal governments, recently honored Mayor Linda Hudson and Commissioner Curtis Johnson, Jr. with a 2023 Home Rule Hero Award for their hard work and advocacy efforts during the 2023 Legislative Session. Mayor Hudson and Commissioner Johnson worked tirelessly throughout the session to promote local voices making local choices, protect the Home Rule powers of Florida’s municipalities and advance the League’s legislative agenda.

“The League and its legislative team appreciate the individual advocacy efforts undertaken by municipal officials throughout the state,” said FLC Chief of Legislative Affairs Casey Cook. “Home Rule Heroes are some of our biggest advocates for protecting local decision-making. They are League members who stand out for their high level of participation, knowledge, and effectiveness. This year’s Home Rule Heroes continuously advocated for their communities throughout the 2023 Legislative Session.”

Home Rule is the ability for a city to address local problems with local solutions with minimal state interference. Home Rule Hero Award recipients are local government officials, both elected and nonelected, who consistently responded to the League’s request to reach out to members of the Legislature and help give a local perspective on an issue.

Founded in 1922, the Florida League of Cities is the united voice for Florida’s municipal governments. Its goals are to promote local self-government and serve the needs of Florida’s cities, which are formed and governed by their citizens. The League believes in “Local Voices Making Local Choices,” which focuses on the impact citizens and city leaders have in improving Florida’s communities. 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 [email protected]

Jun. 1, 2023|

Russ Blackburn honored with Pete Hegener Leadership Award

Russ Blackburn honored with Pete Hegener Leadership Award

Russ Blackburn, Port St. Lucie’s recently retired city manager, was presented with the prestigious Pete Hegener Leadership Award by the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County (EDC) at its ninth annual leadership dinner on May 18.

The award is presented annually to a dedicated business leader who has made significant contributions to St. Lucie County’s economy and quality of life.  The annual dinner and celebration, held at the Harbour Ridge Yacht & Country Club and attended by approximately 200, was sponsored by Bank of America.

EDC’s eighth annual Pete Hegener Leadership Award winner Rob Lord presented the award to Blackburn, who was nominated by multiple community members.

Blackburn’s career in public service has spanned almost five decades. Starting out as a planning and community development staffer, he served in deputy administrator roles in South Carolina; Lee County, Florida; and Virginia prior to his appointment as Martin County Administrator in 1997. During his eight-year tenure in Martin County, he increased citizen satisfaction levels by 43%, received the 2003 International City/County Management Association (ICMA) award for intergovernmental cooperation, and led the post Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne recovery efforts.

Blackburn left Martin County in 2005 to become Gainesville’s city manager where he assisted the city in gaining recognition as one of the top municipalities in the nation. During his 10 years with the city, he developed innovative leadership and emerging leaders programs.

In 2016, as the city of Port St. Lucie reached the 200,000-population mark and struggled with significant financial challenges such as a dormant 1,200-acre jobs corridor, a vacant research facility for which the city had guaranteed the debt, and a city center mired in legal problems, Blackburn was hired as city manager.  Utilizing a team approach and strong organizational development skills, Blackburn’s leadership was a major factor in the city’s recovery and economic progress.

At the time Blackburn retired earlier this year, only approximately 250 acres of developable land remained unspoken for in the jobs corridor in Southern Grove, with millions of dollars in property values already created and thousands of jobs anticipated. The research centers are thriving under the direction of Cleveland Clinic and the Florida Institute of Technology with more than 140 scientists and staff engaged in high-level bio-science studies. And, after successful negotiations with multiple tax certificate holders led by Blackburn, Port St. Lucie was able to acquire city center from a federal receiver and begin planning for its future development.

“He left a legacy of taking challenges, turning them into opportunities, and ultimately success stories,” read one nomination. “Throughout his six-year tenure in Port St. Lucie, he continued to support and inspire the next generation of public servants and built an award-winning city team.”

Another nomination focused on the long-awaited creation of a jobs corridor: Russ’s leadership “accelerated the development of Tradition, brought in taxes much earlier and gave the residents of the city of Port St. Lucie and county opportunities to work closer to home so much earlier than expected.”

The dozen members of the EDC leadership selection committee chose Blackburn as the person who best embodies the leadership and vision of the award’s namesake, Pete Hegener, from a field of 11 nominees, including four other semi-finalists:  Charlotte Bireley, St. Lucie County tourism and marketing director; Philip Busch, Southern Eagle Distributing president; Larry Lee Jr., State Farm agent; and the late Anthony F. Sansone Sr., Sansone Group founder.

Recent Hegener Award recipients include Michael Minton, shareholder at Dean, Mead, Minton & Moore; the late Bud Adams of Adams Ranch; Ken Pruitt, former Florida Senate president and former St. Lucie County property appraiser; and Tammy Roncaglione, CenterState Bank community president.

In addition to Bank of America’s presenting sponsorship, other leadership dinner award sponsors were Ashley Capital; Dean, Mead, Minton & Moore; PGA Golf Club; Apfelbaum Law; Broward, Palm Beaches and St. Lucie REALTORS®; Carr, Riggs & Ingram; Culpepper & Terpening Inc.; Florida Power & Light Company; GL Homes; Hi-Tide Boat Lifts; OCULUS Surgical; Seacoast Bank; UES; BBL Medical Facilities®; Comcast Business and the Tambone Companies.

About the award

The recipient of the Pete Hegener Leadership Award exemplifies the qualities of a visionary, a trusted role model and leader whose inspiration and achievements impact the quality of job creation, economic vitality and business growth.

Pete Hegener, the man whose actions inspired this award, was a founding member and integral partner of the EDC, served on the Board of Directors, and was an Executive Committee member.  Pete was a pillar of the St. Lucie County community, having played a key role in the development of western St. Lucie County and Tradition.  Friends and colleagues described him as “honest, visionary, and caring.”  He passed away in March 2012, but his legacy is recognized through this award.

About the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County 

The Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County (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, [email protected] or



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. 25, 2023|

VNA receives five-star rating in patient satisfactio

VNA receives five-star rating in patient satisfaction

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) just announced their April-June 2023 Home Health Compare Survey Results, and the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) achieved the highest rating in patient satisfaction. The non-profit home health agency achieved 5 stars in patient satisfaction, giving VNA the highest overall rating of all home healthcare agencies in Indian River County.

“I love seeing the patient recognition for our team of dedicated and passionate clinicians. We strive every day to earn the trust and privilege to serve this community with the highest levels of care,” says VNA President & CEO, Lundy Fields, MBA, CNA.

The 5-star rating system allows patients and caregivers to easily compare home health agencies in their area. According to CMS, it is the first national standard for collecting information on patient experiences that enable valid comparisons among all home health agencies. Star ratings range from 1 to 5 and demonstrate how a home health agency stands up to other home health agencies.

Patient satisfaction ratings are based on patient experience scoring: overall care, communication between provider and patient, provider professionalism, medication education and future recommendations.

Home Health Compare (HHC) data is available online at There, information about the quality of care provided by "Medicare-certified" home health agencies throughout the nation, is available to the public. “Medicare-certified” means the home health agency is approved by Medicare and meets certain federal health and safety requirements.

VNA offers Medicare-reimbursed home healthcare and is the only non-profit home care agency in Indian River County. Individuals who are discharged from the hospital after a surgery or have been diagnosed with a chronic illness benefit from the skilled nursing and rehabilitation services the VNA offers. To learn more about how the VNA cares for Indian River County, please visit or call 772-567-5551.

About the VNA
The VNA of the Treasure Coast provides home healthcare services—including Medicare-reimbursed and private-duty nursing; home health aides; physical, speech, and occupational therapy; in-home companions; and personal transportation—throughout Indian River County. The agency is also the only licensed hospice provider in Indian River County, offering end-of-life care in patients’ homes, local hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and the VNA Hospice House. The non-profit organization also provides community health services such as flu vaccinations, no-cost blood pressure/blood glucose screenings, and education on health-related topics in various settings. 


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. 4, 2023|

Council on Aging announces honorees of the 7th annual Sage Awards

Council on Aging announces honorees of the 7th annual Sage Awards

Presenting the 2023 Sage Award Honorees. From left: Ret. Lieutenant General Frank Libutti, Francis J. Kleeman, MD, Judie Price, Dr. Douglas P. Jewett, Alfred Miller Not Pictured: Alice Luckhardt and Jo Covelli. Photo courtesy of MaryAnn Ketcham

The Council on Aging of Martin County at the Kane Center is proud to announce the honorees for the seventh annual Sage Awards, a singular event on the Treasure Coast that honors the vast contributions seniors make every day in their communities. With honorary chair Ann Day, the Council on Aging will recognize these outstanding individuals at the 2023 awards ceremony.

  • Douglas P. Jewett will be honored in the Arts and Culture category.
  • Francis J. Kleeman, MD will be honored in the Health Science & Medicine category.
  • Lieutenant General Frank Libutti will be honored in the Military & Veterans Support category.
  • The late, beloved Alice Luckhardt will be honored posthumously in the Education category.
  • Alfred Miller will be honored in the Community Service category.

This year’s Charlie Kane Award honoree is the Albert M. Covelli Foundation. Judie Price will be honored with the Chairman’s Award.

The awards ceremony and dinner will be held on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, at Piper’s Landing Yacht and Country Club in Palm City. Cocktails begin at 5:30 followed by the awards ceremony and dinner. Tickets are $125 and can be purchased online at or by calling the Kane Center at 772-223-7803. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

“Our goal each year with the Sage Awards is to shine a spotlight on the great contributions made by people ages 60 and better,” said Karen Ripper, President and CEO of the Council on Aging. “We want to showcase how seniors are using this stage of their lives as an opportunity to use the wisdom, talents, or treasure they’ve cultivated over a lifetime to enrich the world around them.”

All proceeds from the Sage Awards support comprehensive support and programs for seniors provided by the Council on Aging of Martin County. These safety-net services include Meals on Wheels, Adult Day Club, comprehensive case management, crisis support, caregiver counseling and education, memory enhancement, and more.


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]


Mar. 2, 2023|

Dyer Difference Award honors compassion and service

Dyer Difference Award honors compassion and service

CEO Joe Rathnam, COO Jenna Radtke, Dyer sales manager Shannon Kinnett, and sales manager Dallas Steiger.

“Providing for our protectors” is the mission of K9 Strong, a Port St. Lucie nonprofit organization which helps to supply safety and training equipment to law enforcement K9 teams, locally and nationally. K9 Strong was founded in 2019 after the tragic line-of-duty death of Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office K9 Cigo, shot and killed during a Christmas Eve 2018 criminal apprehension at Wellington Green Mall. K9 Strong, Inc. has assisted nearly 175 K9 teams nationwide, and approximately 25 K9 teams in South Florida and the Treasure Coast. The organization provides a variety of aid items, including everything from ballistic vests and first aid kits to specialized odor detection training equipment and infrared beacons, building a relationship with K9 handlers and helping to tailor donations to suit the K9 and handlers’ specific needs.

For example, in 2022, K9 Strong, Inc. received an emergency call regarding K9 Bandit of the Belmont (NC) Police Department, who had suddenly fallen ill with a heat-related injury. As veterinary costs mounted, K9 strong garnered $13,000 in community support to cover Bandit’s veterinary costs. Bandit has since made a full recovery, is back working the road, and has made several high profile criminal apprehensions and narcotics busts. Inspired by this experience, K9 strong established “The Bandit Fund,” earmarked specifically for emergency use. Bandit Fund”. This will open up an additional avenue of preparedness for K9 Strong, Inc. to “Provide for Protectors” in their most dire hours of need.

When we’re not feeling well, we can’t possibly do our best at work or in school. And while most of us don’t think twice about scheduling a doctor’s appointment or making a stop at an urgent care facility for proper diagnosis and treatment to help put us on the path to recovery and a return to productivity, it’s not that simple for those who have no insurance. For them, visiting a doctor or scheduling a preventive diagnostic test often means the difference between making the rent payment or feeding the family. In Vero Beach, the We Care program coordinates diagnostics, medical care, and treatment for hundreds of qualified patients who are uninsured.  We Care coordinates volunteers to provide diagnostic testing and/or specialty medical treatment, including cardiology, dermatology, neurology, general surgery, oncology, and more. More than 300 individuals have received assistance through this program and its generous volunteer donors and providers. During the month known for love and caring, the Dyer Difference Award Committee has chosen to recognize the compassionate care being offered in Indian River County.

The Dyer Difference Award is all about celebrating the beauty and kindness in our midst. For the Dyer family and the members of the Dyer staff, the award and the $6,000 in donations made monthly between the St. Lucie and Indian River Counties are all about helping to make a positive difference in the community. For the recipients, it’s an acknowledgement of their tireless efforts to do the same and a much-needed financial boost to help further their missions. If you’d like to nominate a non-profit organization for the Dyer Difference Award, please visit or find Dyer Difference on 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 [email protected]

Mar. 2, 2023|

IRSC’s Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex Named Best in Florida

IRSC’s Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex
Named Best in Florida

IRSC President Timothy Moore, IRSC Fire Academy Director Mike Kemp, and Dean of Public Service Education Dr. Ray Socorro.

The Indian River State College (IRSC) Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex was distinguished as the Best in Florida during the 2022 Fire Service Awards, held in the Senate Chamber at the Florida Capitol. The award program recognized Florida’s firefighting community for its outstanding accomplishments in the fire service industry

“Our Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex was selected from more than 40 centers around the state as an exemplary site for the quality of its training and its exquisite learning environments,” said IRSC President Dr. Timothy Moore. “We are grateful to Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis for recognizing our outstanding facility and its critical role in ensuring that our first responders are well-prepared to protect our citizens and each other.”

The 50-acre Complex provides immersive experiences for students in IRSC Public Safety Education programs and certified first responders who seek advanced training opportunities and continuing education in a highly versatile environment. Facilities include a 10,000-square-foot fire station; a six-story fire training tower; a Class-A burn building and a burn field (LP and natural gas) for outdoor fire suppression scenarios utilizing props such as fuel tankers, automobiles, barbeque grills and broken gas lines; and a tactical training village with traffic intersection, buildings, and collapse structure within a road system.

The facility is erecting an additional permanent four-story tower to accommodate the growing enrollment in its A.S. in Fire Science Technology and Basic Recruit Fire Academy and to serve as training grounds for firefighters preparing for the World Fire Fighter Challenge games. IRSC sponsors the reigning World Champions—the St. Lucie County Fire District Combat Challenge Team.

IRSC Public Service students perform a firefighting demonstration.

“This accolade is a testament to our dedicated IRSC faculty, staff and students and a reflection of the strength of our partnerships with regional fire service agencies,” adds Dr. Raimundo Socorro, IRSC Dean of Public Safety Education. “We are honored to share this designation with them.”

In addition to serving the training needs of Florida’s firefighting community, the IRSC Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex offers a wide range of educational and professional development opportunities in criminal justice—including the Florida Law Enforcement Academy—and degree and certificate programs in emergency management, homeland security, paralegal and human services. The comprehensive facility features a virtual reality use-of-force training simulator, an Emergency Operations Center, a three-story tactical shoot house, an indoor tactical firearms range, a dive training lake, a mock courtroom, booking and jail cells, a computer crime investigations lab, tactical vehicle training range, human services suite, classrooms and a 450-seat auditorium.

To learn more, 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]


Feb. 2, 2023|

Arbor Day Foundation names  Fort Pierce  2022 Tree City USA

Arbor Day Foundation names Fort Pierce  

2022 Tree City USA

Fort Pierce was named a 2022 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor its commitment to effective urban forest management. Fort Pierce achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program's four requirements: maintaining a tree board or department, having a tree care ordinance, dedicating an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and hosting an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.  The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.

"Tree City USA communities see the positive effects of an urban forest firsthand," said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "The trees being planted and cared for by Fort Pierce are ensuring that generations to come will enjoy a better quality of Iife. Additionally, participation in this program brings residents together and creates a sense of civic pride, whether it's through volunteer engagement or public education."

If ever there was a time for trees, now is that time. Communities worldwide are facing issues with air quality, water resources, personal health and well-being, energy use, and extreme heat and flooding. Fort Pierce is doing its part to address these challenges for residents both now and in the future. More information on the program is available at  

About the Arbor Day Foundation
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters, and valued partners. Since 1972, almost 500 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods communities, cities, and forests throughout the world.

Our vision is to lead toward a world where trees are used to solve issues critical to survival. As one of the world's largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners, and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing, and celebrating trees. More information is available 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 [email protected]

Jan. 26, 2023|

AT&T Full STEAM Ahead grant awarded to Bessey Creek Elementary School

AT&T Full STEAM Ahead grant awarded to Bessey Creek Elementary School

Kate Cotner, EFMC President; Stacy Schmit, Principal, Bessey Creek Elementary School; Kendra Remian, Science Lab Teacher, Bessey Creek Elementary School and Ian Cotner, Regional Director of External & Legislative Affairs at AT&T and EFMC Board Member. Photo provided by Education Foundation of Martin

Holiday magic came early to Bessey Creek Elementary School in Palm City when principal Stacy Schmidt and science lab teacher Kendra Remian received some great news. The school was awarded an AT&T Full STEAM Ahead Grant which will be used to provide hands-on science lab experiments for all third, fourth and fifth grade standards.  The Education Foundation of Martin County (EFMC) presented the grant on a surprise visit to the school.

Schmidt was delighted with the news. “Being awarded the AT&T Full STEAM Ahead grant means we will be able to connect our students’ concepts of science to hands-on learning.  This will make a lasting impression for all our fifth-grade students and afford them a learning opportunity to build a solid science foundation to keep them learning and growing for years to come,” she said.

Lisa Rhodes, Executive Director of EFMC, reached out to all Martin County public schools when she learned about the one-time grant and immediately heard back from Schmidt. Said Rhodes, “Ms. Schmit had a plan to re-engage students in science who may have fallen behind during the COVID-19 pandemic, but just needed the funds to make it happen.” Rhodes applied on behalf of Bessey Creek and the school was awarded $5,000, part of a $100,000 statewide grant offered by AT&T.

Bessey Creek Elementary students will now have an opportunity to experiment in real-time with a scientist, at their own lab station while using all the materials the scientist is using. The goal is to foster a love of science and boost science scores on the fifth grade Florida Standards Science Assessment. “We can't wait to see the end results of this generous award from our longtime partner, AT&T," said Rhodes.

To learn more about the Education Foundation of Martin County, 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]


Jan. 13, 2023|

Rob Lord Receives Tom Warner Advocacy Award

Rob Lord Receives Tom Warner Advocacy Award

Suzy Hutcheson, Bethany & Rob Lord, Alexandra Lord and Jenny Yingling. Photo provided by Helping People Succeed

Tom Warner was a dedicated and fierce champion of all people with disabilities, working to ensure that they had the opportunity to be a part of - not a part from - the community. He advocated tirelessly on their behalf during his career as a prominent Martin County attorney and during his term on the Florida Legislature.

From 1970 until 2019, he was a stalwart supporter of Helping People Succeed, serving not only as a board member but also as a friend.

Upon his passing, his colleagues at the 501(c)(3) could think of no better way to honor Warner than by creating an award in his name to be presented each year at the Helping People Succeed Annual Meeting. The recipient would embody the same love of family, God and community that Warner did.

The 2022 Tom Warner Advocacy Award was presented to Rob Lord, retired President/CEO of Cleveland Clinic/Martin Health Systems.

A lifelong resident of Martin County, Lord has been active in community organizations including the Roundtable of St. Lucie County, Friends of the Blake Library, St. Lucie County Community Board, Martin County Community Board, Hibiscus Children's Center, United Way of Martin County and the chambers of commerce for both St. Lucie and Martin counties.

Upon presenting Lord with the prestigious award, Suzy Hutcheson, President/CEO of Helping People Succeed, said “Rob Lord’s impact on the community has been incredible: his leadership with Martin Health Systems, (now Cleveland Clinic), the many nonprofit boards to which he has gifted his time, knowledge and efforts, his support of Helping People Succeed’s Project Search (a collaborative internship program for students with various disabilities) and his ongoing championing of our many programs and services. We were proud to present the Tom Warner Advocacy Award to Rob!”

Serving the Treasure Coast for over 58 years, Helping People Succeed helps develop healthy families in Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee and Indian River counties by providing numerous parenting, mental health and behavioral support programs. Helping People Succeed also provides support services designed to enable adults with special needs to fully participate in volunteer and employment roles in our community.

For information, visit or call Glenna Parris at 772-320-0778.


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].


Jan. 13, 2023|

Inaugural Treasure Coast Women Who Rock Awards to be held March 28th in celebration of National Women’s History Month

Inaugural Treasure Coast Women Who Rock Awards to be held March 28th in celebration of National Women’s History 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 March 28th in honor of National Woman’s History 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.

“As presenting sponsor, PNC Bank is thrilled to join forces with these important institutions to recognize dynamic women in this community,” said Tracy Sorzano, senior vice president and wealth strategy regional manager, centralized planning for PNC Private Bank. “This event is closely aligned with PNC’s commitment to supporting women business owners and further empowering women in business. The awards are designed to achieve exactly that, and my PNC colleagues and I look forward to celebrating the Women Who Rock.”

Nominees will be recognized Tuesday, March 28th, at the Indian River State College Chastain Campus, 2400 S.E. Salerno Road, Stuart, FL 34997.  The event takes place from 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 2023 Women Who Rock Awards categories are:

  • Small Business Owner of the Year, Presented by PNC Bank

  • Executive of the Year

  • Excellence in Mentorship, Presented by SBDC at IRSC

  • Women Trending in Tech, Presented by weVENTURE WBC

  • Excellence in Caregiving

The IRSC SBDC team of business advisors will select recipients for this inaugural Treasure Coast event.  Award recipients will be announced in February and honored at the luncheon.  For more information call (321) 674-7007 or email [email protected]

Sponsorships are available and include tickets to the event.  General Admission tickets to attend the luncheon are $50 and are available for purchase online.  All proceeds benefit community programs to support entrepreneurs via weVENTURE WBC and the SBDC at IRSC. 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


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


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]

Dec. 29, 2022|