Awards

St. Lucie EDC wins 3 international awards

St. Lucie EDC wins 3 international awards

 

The Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County (EDC) on Sept. 20 received international recognition for the organization’s efforts, including special recognition as an Economic Development Organization of the Year.

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) awarded its prestigious Economic Development Organization of the Year bronze award in the 200,000-500,000 population category to the EDC. The award recognizes a non-profit, public agency with a primary mission of economic development that has demonstrated long-term strategic planning, organizational development, and significant community impact and/or innovation. A recent study found that the EDC’s work in attracting new businesses and assisting existing businesses to expand is projected to grow the county’s economy by $1.8 billion.

The redevelopment of the iconic Indian River Packers facility on Midway Road in Fort Pierce earned the EDC and Contender Boats an excellence in economic development gold award, recognizing this innovative real estate reuse project for job creation and enhancement of the tax base.  Serving as a catalyst for economic development, Contender’s reuse of a fruit-packing facility to craft premium sportfishing boats adds 200 jobs and represents the growth of the Treasure Coast’s “blue” marine economy.

The EDC’s 2021 annual report also received a bronze award from the IEDC. This award recognizes excellence in reporting on an economic development organization’s annual activities and highlights.

“Communities need our profession now more than ever. This year's awardees exemplify the ingenuity, leadership, and determination needed to meet the challenges of today and the future. The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the best of economic development and demonstrate the level of leadership that our profession strives for every day,” said IEDC President and CEO Nathan Ohle. 

“The EDC staff and directors are honored and humbled to have our efforts recognized internationally,” said EDC President Pete Tesch. “While the work we do to enhance the quality of life in St. Lucie County is something we are passionate about, and our successes have been the true reward, it’s extremely gratifying to have an organization like the IEDC acknowledge those efforts.”

Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers from around the world. IEDC received over 500 submissions from the United States and four additional countries around the world. 

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 www.youredc.com.

About the International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,800 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities by creating, retaining, and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions. Learn more at www.iedconline.org.

 

 

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Sep. 27, 2022|

Those who work for the cause, not for applause, honored at House of Hope’s 2022 awards

Those who work for the cause, not for applause, honored at House of Hope’s 2022 awards

 

Fellow House of Hope volunteers and the organization's CEO celebrate Walt Keller, a 2022 Hope Award Honoree. Pictured left to right: Sally Brooks (another 2022 Hope Award Honoree), Pat Bartlett, Diane Harman, Walt Keller, Colette Klisky, and Robert Ranieri (CEO of House of Hope)

House of Hope supporters truly “work for the cause, not for applause,” and they never expect any recognition for their efforts. Once a year, however, House of Hope honors the people, businesses, partner agencies, faith-based organizations and neighborhoods that perform extraordinary work hand-in-hand with House of Hope to empower Martin County residents to overcome hunger and hardship.

This year’s annual Hope Awards Recognition Breakfast was held on Sept. 14 at Monarch Country Club in Palm City, with HBKS Wealth Advisors as the Presenting Sponsor and Stuart Main Street as the Silver Sponsor.

“Our award recipients this year – and every year – have a significant, positive impact on our community. They contribute their passion, expertise, creativity and resources to help us carry out our mission,” said Rob Ranieri, CEO of House of Hope.

A special moment in the ceremony was the awarding of the Barbara Trimble Legacy Award, named after a long-standing philanthropist of House of Hope and other community nonprofits. For his contributions of time, talent, and treasure to House of Hope over many years of service, the Barbara Trimble Legacy Award was presented to Stephen Schramm, of HBKS in Stuart.

Another heartwarming recognition was in honor of Walt Keller. At 96 years young, Walt was celebrating his nine-year anniversary as a House of Hope volunteer, donating 4,000 hours of his time working in the Stuart Pantry and Thrift Store. Beyond his volunteer time, Walt is especially beloved by House of Hope for bringing delicious, homemade baked goods for staff and volunteers to enjoy - even through COVID and for his heartfelt handmade cards for special occasions.

The Hope Award recipients for 2022 are:

  • Walt Keller
  • Dr. Erin and Bryan Arruda
  • Cleveland Clinic Martin Health
  • Colab Farms
  • Copper Key Scholarship Promise – recognizing the team efforts of Nina Haven Scholarships, The Community Foundation Martin St Lucie, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County
  • David Hafner
  • EKO North America
  • Treasure Coast Wings
  • John Van Cora
  • Katie Makemson
  • Keith Cutshall
  • Kelly Hawkins of Less is More! Treasure Coast
  • Monarch Women’s Golf Association & Monarch Women’s 9 Hole Golf Association
  • Premier Realty Group
  • Sally Brooks
  • Shoes from Susan through The Community Foundation Martin St Lucie
  • St. Joseph Catholic Church
  • UNEW, Inc.
  • Stephen Schramm – Barbara Trimble Legacy Award

“These award winners have given hope to every client who has benefited from House of Hope programs. From our food and nutrition services to financial assistance, clothes closet, case management, and information and referral, House of Hope keeps our neighbors safe, housed, healthy and secure,” added Ranieri. “We were also very pleased that over 100 guests who were in attendance at this year’s event left with a deeper understanding of the scope and scale of what we do every day at House of Hope.”

 

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 Enrichment Centers in Golden Gate (in Stuart) and Jensen Beach offer 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 hohmartin.org 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 tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Sep. 27, 2022|

The impact of a scholarship award

The impact of a scholarship award

Port St. Lucie Business Women member Pam Houghton, guest speaker Jessica Hooper, Esq., President Jessica Parrish, Scholarship Committee Chair Carol Wyatt

 

One of the Port St. Lucie Business Women’s champion causes has been to support women seeking to advance their education and ultimately, their careers at Indian River State College. Throughout the years, more than 70 women have benefitted from scholarship awards presented by the Port St. Lucie Business Women. One recipient, local lawyer Jessica Hooper of Michelle Goff Law Group (michellegofflaw.com), was one such winner who talked about what the scholarship meant to her at the Business Women’s August 18 meeting held at Tutto Fresco in St. Lucie West.

The Port St. Lucie Business Women’s scholarship, which Hooper received in 2009, along with other scholarships she was awarded, allowed her to graduate from college debt-free. This was a major feat, for attending law school often leaves one in debt of more than $100,000.

After graduating from Indian River State College with an Associate of Arts degree, where for the past four years she has been an adjunct professor in the Criminal Justice Department, Hooper received a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Florida State University. In 2018, she graduated from Florida A&M University College of Law and was admitted to the bar in September 2019.

Hooper shared that she originally thought she would be a prosecutor. However, the loss of her father revealed the need for estate planning. “Not having your affairs in order can cause all sorts of problems,” said Hooper, “destroying families over squabbles about property distribution, or making tough medical decisions for a loved one.” Having an estate plan is necessary to avoid these pitfalls, and that is where she focuses her energy. “I know I can help people,” she says, guiding clients to have tough conversations. “It’s difficult to think about death, but having all your affairs in order is part of the legacy you leave.” She calls upon her skill as a college instructor when explaining issues to clients and answering their questions in a clear, detailed and compassionate manner.

Hooper’s legal practice areas include estate planning, probate and business law matters. She also is a licensed realtor within the State of Florida. She worked as an Attorney Advisor for the United States Business Administration and was a Supreme Court of Florida county court mediator. Contact her at [email protected] or by phone at 772-410-8683.

Every year the Port St. Lucie Business Women awards scholarships from money raised in the organization's spring Fashion Show. Plans are underway for the Business Women's next Fashion Show to be held on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at the Harbour Ridge Yacht & Country Club in Palm City. For 31 years, this event has been the organization's major fundraiser supporting its Community Action Grants & Awards to local non-profit agencies that work with women and children in our community and providing scholarships for women attending Indian River State College.

PSLBW Graphic

 

The Port St. Lucie Business Women is a 42-year-old, 501 (c) (6) non-profit professional organization dedicated to promoting the interests of businesswomen and serving our community effectively. For more information, visit PSLBW.com. Follow their Facebook page for updates about events, programs and community involvement.

 

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Aug. 22, 2022|

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 https://weventure.fit.edu/events/women-who-rock-awards/

 

About weVENTURE WBC

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 https://weventure.fit.edu/ 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 floridatech.edu

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 www.FloridaSBDC.org.

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 www.pnc.com.

 

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

 

Aug. 12, 2022|

The Grove, Cucina & Wine earns Wine Spectator restaurant award in 2022, third year in a row

The Grove, Cucina & Wine earns Wine Spectator restaurant award in 2022, third year in a row 

The Grove, Cucina & Wine Bar among 3,776 winners; awards program for World’s Best Wine Lists pays tribute to resilience of restaurant industry amid global pandemic

 

 

The Grove Pizza Cucina & Wine Bar was honored for the third year in a row for its outstanding wine program in Wine Spectator’s 2022 Restaurant Awards, which celebrate the world’s best restaurants for wine.

“I want to congratulate all 3,169 restaurants that earned one of Wine Spectator’s three awards for their devotion to all things wine,” said Marvin R. Shanken, Editor and Publisher, Wine Spectator. “These awards not only guide our readers to dining establishments with impressive wine lists and outstanding service but also serve to honor restaurants for their achievements and commitment to maintaining pristine cellars. We are thrilled to reveal our 2022 Dining Guide, which points to places where wine drinkers are warmly welcomed.”

“Luis and I are thrilled to be recognized by the Wine Spectator for our dedication to excellence with our Award of Excellence again in 2022. As long-time Martin County residents, it’s an honor to bring light to our work and dedication to elevating the dining scene and level of hospitality here in Martin County.” -Jen Reyneri, Sommelier and Co-Owner “We recently returned from our Southern Italian culinary research trip to this awesome news, and are excited to share our love for food and wine with our community, guests, and wine club members.” States Co-Owner Luis Reyneri, Advanced Sommelier and Certified Wine Educator.


About The Grove, Pizza Cucina & Wine Bar

Excerpt, Wine Spectator, 8 Piping-Hot Pizza Places with Terrific Wine Lists “Jen and Luis Reyneri, the wife-and-husband owners of the Grove Pizza Cucina & Wine Bar, met 20 years ago in Orlando, Fla. Driven by a passion for wine, the couple spent time living abroad in Europe, visiting a variety of winegrowing regions including Italy, France, Spain and Germany. With some global perspective under their belt, the Reyneris returned to Florida to open their restaurant in 2019, and the Grove earned its first Award of Excellence one year later. Luis oversees the frequently evolving wine list. Chef Ian McCue crafts seasonal Italian dishes plus specialty pizzas with options like chicken pesto and burrata flatbread, using fresh produce brought in daily and sauces made in-house.”

The Grove was established in 2019, but the journey to its inception spans over 20 years and two continents. Husband & wife sommelier team/owner-operators are on mission to carefully curate cuisine &  culture by providing world-class hospitality experiences in their small, sleepy beach town. Frequently, guests comment since The Grove came to town, they have escalated the culture through culinary and hospitality as forerunners in this up and coming community. The dynamic duo of Jen and Luis Reyneri met over 20 years ago in Orlando, Florida. Since then, the hospitality industry has taken the Reyneri family, including their two sons, all over the world including a year abroad in Europe studying food and wine. With international experience under their belts, they returned to Las Vegas and later back to their roots and family in South Florida to open The Grove in 2019, going on to win Wine Spectator Award of Excellences in 2020 , 2021 & 2022 and won Diner’s Choice for Best Food through Open Table two years in a row. The Reyneri’s not only pride themselves with excellence in service to their guests with a talented certified culinary team, but in building a strong, family-like team culture where Cuban coffee is served at pre-shift every day. Many employees have celebrated  3 year work anniversaries at The Grove and have been promoted from within.  Most recently, the Reyneri’s are expanding their philanthropic outreach with the creation of the Treasure Coast Charity Wine Auction, a newly incorporated 501-C3 with its first events to follow this fall. Follow the Grove online at TheGroveHobeSound.com and on Facebook or Instagram @TheGroveHobeSound 

The Grove, Pizza Cucina & Wine has won the AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: The Award of Excellence recognizes restaurants whose wine lists feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style.

Follow the Restaurant Awards on Twitter and Instagram, with hashtag #WSRestaurantAward, and The Grove on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Winners are also profiled in the free Restaurant Awards app, available for iPhone and iPad users. Wine Spectator’s special Restaurant Awards issue became available to readers July 12.

About Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator is the world’s leading authority on wine. Anchored by Wine Spectator magazine, a print publication that reaches around 3 million readers worldwide, the brand also encompasses the Web’s most comprehensive wine site (WineSpectator.com), mobile platforms and a series of signature events. Wine Spectator examines the world of wine from the vineyard to the table, exploring wine’s role in contemporary culture and delivering expert reviews of more than 15,000 wines each year. Parent company M. Shanken Communications, Inc., also publishes Cigar AficionadoWhisky Advocate, Market WatchShanken News Daily and Shanken’s Impact Newsletter.

Wine Spectator began its program to recognize the world’s best wine lists in 1981. There are three levels: the Award of Excellence, the Best of Award of Excellence and the Grand Award—with 1,782; 1,290; and 97 winners this year in each respective category.

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Aug. 2, 2022|

FSBDC Admin and IRSC graduate wins statewide award

FSBDC Admin and IRSC graduate wins statewide award

 

Katie Muldoon

Katie Muldoon serves the community and Indian River State College as the Marketing Specialist for the Florida SBDC at IRSC.

Katie Muldoon, who serves as the Administrative & Outreach Specialist for the Florida SBDC at Indian River State College (SBDC), has been named the Florida SBDC Network 2022 Rising Star. This annual statewide SBDC award recognizes a young professional in the network for their outstanding talent, exceptional achievement, and the marked difference they have made to their center, the network and community during the year.

“From her first day as the Marketing Specialist with the Florida SBDC at IRSC TEAM, Katie has accepted and taken on every task and responsibility included in the job description with a high level of professionalism and enthusiasm,” said Tom Kindred, Regional Director Florida SBDC at IRSC. “Beyond her proficiency in conducting the day-to-day work of marketing specialist Katie has also accepted additional responsibilities, including taking on a lead role with the center’s support of the 2020 COVID-19 Emergency Bridge Loan program (EBL).”

Muldoon is a graduate of the Indian River State College School of Business, earning her degree in Organizational Management. She has been employed at IRSC since 2017. Muldoon was recognized and accepted her award at the recent inaugural Florida SBDC Network’s Small Business Success Summit in Tampa Bay, Florida. The award was presented by Greg Britton, Florida SBDC Network State Director during an awards celebration, attended by over 150 conference participants and network professionals.

“I am completely humbled and overwhelmed by this recognition, thank you to my team for the nomination and recognition,” said Muldoon. “I look forward to continuing my education and a career in the small business sector.”

Muldoon’s work during the COVID-19 pandemic required her to spend countless hours managing the application process and moving EBL applications from submission to final approval. Her work was instrumental in assisting over 95 applicants receiving over $3 million in emergency funding. Following her work on the EBL program she accepted the leadership role in supporting and facilitating the center’s partnership and collaboration with local municipalities in support of their small business grant programs.

During the center’s small business pandemic support programs, she also assumed responsibility as TEAM Leader for a group of IRSC students who served as grant processors for St. Lucie County. Katie’s efforts helped hundreds of Treasure Coast businesses gain access to over $7 million in pandemic-related grants. While executing her job responsibilities for the SBDC at IRSC, Katie maintained her volunteer leadership role with Indian River State College’s DECA program.

“Going beyond the call of duty is standard operating procedure for Katie,” said Kindred.  “Each day she demonstrates a willingness to learn, serve and support the Florida SBDC Network and the regional center as we carry out the mission of providing credentialed consulting to help businesses, start, grow and succeed.”

For more information regarding the FSBDC at IRSC, please contact your local center at (772) 336-6285 or [email protected]

 

Florida's Small Business Development Center

 

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 www.FloridaSBDC.org.

 

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

 

 

Jul. 11, 2022|

Florida SBDC IRSC nominates professor for statewide award

Florida SBDC IRSC nominates professor for statewide award

 

From left to right: IRSC School of Business Dean, Dr. Prashanth Pilly, FSBDC at IRSC Regional Director, Tom Kindred, FSBDC Network Volunteer of the Year Dr. Herb Ricardo, FSBDC at IRSC Business Consultant Mike Bernard and IRSC President Dr. Tim Moore

The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Indian River State College (IRSC) announced the nomination of Dr. Herb Ricardo of the IRSC School of Business for the Florida SBDC Network Volunteer of the Year award. Ricardo accepted the regional award at a meeting with IRSC president, Dr. Tim Moore, in early June. The regional award automatically entered Ricardo in for the statewide award, in which he took home the title for on Monday, June 27, 2022 where FSBDC at IRSC Regional Director, Tom Kindred, accepted the statewide award on Ricardo’s behalf at the FSBDC Network annual conference in Tampa Bay, Florida. 

Volunteers provide opportunities to expand and enhance service capacity and capability to meet the diverse and complex needs of SBDC clients. This award recognizes one volunteer from each SBDC region that has provided significant, direct contributions with respect to advocacy, consulting, training, program development or special projects during calendar year 2021.

Dependable and efficient, Dr. Ricardo is always willing to lend his time and talents to assist the Florida SBDC at IRSC. Dr. Ricardo has served Indian River State College for over 22 years as a Professor at the IRSC School of Business. It was through Dr. Ricardo’s initial collaboration efforts that the Florida SBDC at IRSC has developed a long-term and valuable relationship with the school of business. Because of Dr. Ricardo’s outreach and partnership commitment to the center, SBDC clients have the ability to leverage and utilize the talents, intelligence, enthusiasm and business acumen of IRSC senior level business students. The students engage center clients through multiple programs and classes, including the capstone course, internships and focus groups. At the beginning of each semester Dr. Ricardo invites an SBDC center representative to present information regarding the center and its business assistance and resource programs to capstone participants. In creating the list of regional businesses for capstone classes Dr. Ricardo always prioritizes center clients. 

Beyond connecting center clients to students, Dr. Ricardo also lends and provides his time, expertise and business acumen for use by the center. He often serves as guest host for both radio and podcast segments of Small Biz Florida. He is also a frequent contributor to Treasure Coast Business Magazine providing best practice articles. Over the past four years Dr. Ricardo has also served as a member of the center’s banking committee for the purpose of reviewing emergency bridge loan applications. His leadership on this committee has provided for the distribution of over $5.8 million in emergency funding to regional small businesses. He also leads strategic planning sessions and training programs for center partners and stakeholders. Center consultants appreciate collaborating on projects with Dr. Ricardo because of his entrepreneurial and innovative thinking, his attention to detail and a willingness to take on the difficult projects. Despite an overwhelming amount of work and responsibilities associated with his primary role of professor, Dr. Ricardo consistently finds ways to assist the SBDC at IRSC, its stakeholders and clients. His willingness to assist others and commitment to promoting all of the resources available to the Treasure Coast business community has provided valuable and credible exposure for the center. More than a volunteer, Dr. Ricardo is truly part of the SBDC TEAM. It is the center’s honor to add Dr. Ricardo’s name next to any recognition for his many contributions to the Florida SBDC at IRSC.

For more information regarding the FSBDC at IRSC, please contact our center at (772) 336-6285 or [email protected] 

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 www.FloridaSBDC.org.

 

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Jul. 4, 2022|

A-1 Industries of Florida, Inc. Wins 2022 Manufacturer-of-the-Year Award  

A-1 Industries of Florida, Inc. Wins 2022 Manufacturer-of-the-Year Award  

 

A-1 Industries of Florida, Inc. (“A-1”), a leading manufacturer of pre-engineered wood trusses,  is excited to announce that it has received the prestigious 2022 Manufacturer-of-the-Year Award for manufacturing companies with over 150 employees. The criteria for the award are based on a juried assessment under the Baldridge Performance Excellence Program.  

Each year the South Florida Manufacturers Association (“SFMA”) recognizes manufacturing companies that demonstrate best in class in all facets of their business in the areas of leadership, strategy, customers,  workforce, operations, and knowledge management. On June 16th, at the 43rd Recognition of Excellence  Awards Ceremony in Davie, Florida, A-1 was recognized as the 2022 Manufacturer-of-the-Year, with several companies participating representing a wide range of industries, and A-1 being one of only two companies nominated on the Treasure Coast.  

“We are extremely honored to receive this recognition, in addition to winning Best Places to Work™ in St. Lucie  County in 2021,” said John Herring, President and CEO. “It takes an entire team, and this award validates the  flexibility, adaptability, and resiliency of our employees and their continued focus on meeting the needs of our  customers; a team that our peers recognize as one of the best in the industry.”  

About A-1 

A-1 Industries of Florida, Inc. founded in 1977, is headquartered in Fort Pierce, Florida, with over 300 employees and is a leading manufacturer of pre-engineered wood trusses and EZWALL® wall panels. As a well-known innovator with progressive leadership in the industry, its services include design, manufacture, inventory management, and supply for the construction industry in the Southeast United States and the Caribbean.  Additionally, A-1 continues to be at the forefront of an assortment of new and improved services for the construction industry. A-1 Industries of Georgia, LLC, a sister company, is located on 80 acres in Bainbridge,  Georgia. This innovative new facility is involved in multiple manufacturing processes, using the latest cutting-edge computer technologies. It operates in a totally computerized manufacturing environment, utilizing CNC  machines, real-time scheduling programs, and floor management systems creating efficiencies unmatched in the United States.  

A-1 has multiple employment opportunities in Florida and Georgia for candidates looking to be part of A-1’s continued growth and who share in A-1’s Core Values – Own it, Passionate, Honesty, and Respect.

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Jun. 20, 2022|

Rodger Pridgeon receives 2022 South Florida district SBA Small Business Person of the Year

Rodger Pridgeon receives 2022 South Florida district  SBA Small Business Person of the Year

 

Rodger Pridgeon accepts the award for 2022 South Florida District SBA Small Business Person of the Year from Lonnie Koyama of the U.S. Small Business Administration during a ceremony held on May 10.
Photo credit: Scott Finney

Rodger Pridgeon has been named the 2022 South Florida District SBA Small Business Person of the Year. The award was announced in April by U.S. Small Business Administration South Florida District Director J. Malcolm Richards, and Pridgeon accepted his award on May 10 in Melbourne during the 2022 National Small Business Week Summit.

Pridgeon is the owner and president of Corporate Air, Inc., a Fixed Base Operator (FBO) that provides fuel, aircraft maintenance, hangar space, and charter jet services at the Vero Beach Regional Airport.

According to Richards, the National Small Business Week Awards celebrate the sacrifices and achievements of small business owners and their significant contributions to our economy and our communities.

“America’s entrepreneurs are doing their part to power our nation’s historic economic comeback,” said Richards.  “Many small businesses were able to successfully pivot and with tenacity and resilience have not only survived the pandemic but have thrived. Corporate Air, under the leadership of Rodger Pridgeon, is a perfect example of such resiliency. These awards honor those in our community who have excelled in business ownership, demonstrating these virtues that are among the hallmarks of successful entrepreneurship.”

Judging criteria included staying power, demonstrated by sustained growth and expansion in services or square footage occupied, as well as growth in number of employees; increase in sales, net worth and net profit from 2017 to 2019; response to adversity, be it financial, physical, legal or other crisis; and contributions to community-oriented projects, such as the contribution of time, money and resources to charitable causes, as well as membership and personal involvement in local organizations that serve the community.

Debbie Petrell, Senior Vice President & Sales and Marketing Manager, Florida First Capital Finance Corporation, nominated Pridgeon for the award.

“As one of many in our portfolio of exceptional small business owners, Rodger Pridgeon of Corporate Air soars as a trendsetting entrepreneur and community advocate,” said Petrell. “His leadership, innovation and commitment to the local community, both in the business and nonprofit sectors, is exemplary, and we are delighted he is this year’s award recipient.”

An Aircraft Maintenance Technician by trade, Rodger Pridgeon grew up in Western New York State and moved to Vero Beach in 1980, working for Chautauqua Airlines as Director of Maintenance. Anticipating the airline’s withdrawal from the community, Pridgeon started an aircraft maintenance business on the side, transitioning into working full time for himself when Chautauqua Airlines officially closed their Vero Beach office in 1987. What began as a oneman show has grown to an award-winning, thriving business with 15 employees.  

Running a successful and growing business wasn’t the only criteria considered for the award, however. Being an active contributor to the community was also a factor. Just as Pridgeon is passionate about his business, he is equally as passionate about his community. He served on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Home Society of the Treasure Coast for 10 years, including as Board Chair for two years. He regularly provides hangar space to local nonprofits in need of a large venue to host fundraising events, at no cost to the organization. American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Clubs, Children’s Home Society, Jake Owens Foundation, and Women’s Refuge and are some of the charities served in this way.

He is also a strong supporter of veterans. In fact, the last two times the Vero Beach Air Show was in town, the Pridgeon family hosted a hangar party for friends and clients to watch the show up close, asking for donations to benefit the Veteran’s Council of Indian River County. Upwards of $20,000 has been raised for veterans as a result.

“Of course I’m honored to be recognized as the 2022 South Florida District SBA Small Business Person of the Year, but whether I am recognized or not, I will always continue doing what I love to do: invest in my business, including the people who help make it happen, and in my community, which I love,” said Pridgeon.  

 

 

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Jun. 11, 2022|

Martin County Boys & Girls Clubs board member celebrated at national conference with Lifetime Achievement award

Martin County Boys & Girls Clubs board member celebrated at national conference with Lifetime Achievement award

 

Appearing in the attached photo: (L-R) James L. Newland, Val McNeely, Jim Clark President & CEO Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and Lorraine Orr Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Office BGCA.

 

It’s the highest acclaim the Boys & Girls Clubs movement can bestow to celebrate outstanding service from a volunteer leader. Earlier in May at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America national conference in Chicago, this tribute was granted to longtime board member Val McNeely. 

McNeely received the James L. Newland Lifetime Achievement Award in Board Leadership for demonstrating “extraordinary service and devotion to the mission of Boys & Girls Clubs, both locally and nationally,” says Keith “Fletch” Fletcher, President, and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County.

Fletcher cited McNeely’s commitment to ensuring the highest possible safety standards for young people attending BGCMC Clubs, as well as establishing a fund to improve Club infrastructure, enhance security measures, and support programs dedicated to the members’ emotional growth and well-being. 

“No one person has been there for our organization more frequently than Val McNeely,” says Fletcher. “Whether it was a safety concern or an opportunity for growth, Val wasted no time in finding or creating solutions. Her nimble, innovative style is an excellent example of leadership in action. And she deserves a great deal of credit for forging the foundation of our incoming flagship Club in Stuart and the state-of-the-art workforce collaborations it will offer our members.”

“It's impossible to overstate the value of the positive environments in our Clubs. They exude an intentional balance of safety, security, warmth, and welcoming,” says Kathy Parsons, BGCMC Board Chair. “Which is more important than ever when so many of our Club members live in challenging environments exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic.” 

Looking ahead to the opportunity to serve even more children and families in Martin County, BGCMC is planning for a new state-of-the-art Club in the heart of Stuart, on property leased from the Martin County School District. In addition to offering a gym, classrooms, creative space, and all the features associated with a traditional Club environment, the incoming facility will feature workforce laboratories equipped with the technologies and tools needed to prepare members for a variety of trades, vocations, and specialties. Through partnerships with local employers, members will not only gain new skills and in some cases, certifications, but also build relationships essential to employment opportunities in the local workforce. 

 

 

About the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County 

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 as well as remain attuned to the challenges and opportunities they face on a day-to-day basis. The clubs offer opportunities for fun, fitness, and S.T.E.A.M. activities, and certified teachers collaborate with club members on everything from tutoring and homework help to specialized courses that prepare them for careers in a variety of trades. 

 

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
May. 26, 2022|