Fort Pierce

Treasure Coast extension makes space for food system connections Oct. 11

Treasure Coast extension makes space for food system connections Oct. 11


The Good Food Connections virtual meet up is back. Do you grow a food product you aren’t sure how to market or distribute?  Are you a chef looking to add unique local items to your menu?  Join us starting Tuesday, Oct.  11 from 5 – 6 p.m. via Zoom.

Good Food Connections meetings are free virtual networking events designed to give all participants of the food system, such as growers, distributors, retailers, food pantries, chefs, school food service and more, the opportunity to make connections that will strengthen our food system. Maybe someone needs your old equipment. Perhaps you can make a great food special with the last of someone’s harvest. Because we are virtual, the opportunity to connect regionally is better.

Each meeting will include a presentation from someone who is part of the food system. It is a chance to learn about their efforts and needs. Past meetings have led to less local food waste, increased food supplies for food banks and even the establishment of a food policy council in a nearby county.

Let the St. Lucie UF/IFAS Extension staff know if you’d like to present during a session about your operation. In the past, we’ve learned about the resources provided by the Treasure Coast Food Bank and House of Hope. We took a virtual tour of Colab Farms in Martin County. We would love to feature a local restaurant or food truck.

Please register in advance to receive the zoom link; there is no fee to participate.  All UF/IFAS Extension programs are open to all and the University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Organization.  For more information about this event, contact Carol Roberts via email at [email protected] or call 772-462-1895 or co-organizer Yvette Goodiel at [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 [email protected]
Sep. 27, 2022|

City of Fort Pierce receives $2.7 million state infrastructure grant

City of Fort Pierce receives $2.7 million state infrastructure grant

From left – Shyanne Harnage, City of Fort Pierce; Port St. Lucie Vice Mayor Jolien Caraballo; Sen. Gayle Harrell; Rep. Toby Overdorf; Rep. Dana Trabulsy; Port St. Lucie Council Member Stephanie Morgan; Fort Pierce Mayor Linda Hudson; Rep. Erin Grall; Port St. Lucie Council Member Anthony Bonna; St. Lucie County Commissioner Cathy Townsend; St. Lucie County Commissioner Linda Bartz; St. Lucie County Commission Vice Chair Frannie Hutchinson; Pete Tesch, Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County. Photo credit: Marisol’s Photography


Governor Ron DeSantis presented the City of Fort Pierce with a $2.7 million Florida Job Growth Grant on Aug. 30. The grant will help fund infrastructure improvements in the city’s historic downtown.

The improvements to critical infrastructure include water, wastewater, electric, fiber, natural gas, roadway and sidewalk improvements. The infrastructure upgrades will stimulate more than $72.7 million of private investment on 10 brownfield acres along Indian River Drive, where the city’s power plant was once sited.

“We’re very bullish on St. Lucie County as a whole. We think Fort Pierce really is a great spot and think this is really going to help the area continue to blossom,” said DeSantis during a press conference and check presentation in Fort Pierce.

“It has been an absolute honor to work with the Governor’s Office, the DEO (Department of Economic Opportunity), the City of Fort Pierce and the EDC to help secure this transformative grant to help revitalize our historic downtown corridor,” said State Rep. Dana Trabulsy. “This funding assistance is going to provide a much-needed boost to help spur economic growth, small business, entrepreneurship and tourism in our waterfront community.”

The grant will be matched with an additional $2 million from the City of Fort Pierce. The $4,746,000 investment will fund replacement of 80-year-old water mains, relocation of an electrical transformer, pedestrian safety enhancements on A.E. Backus Avenue, improvements to Indian River Drive between Seaway Drive and Marina Way, and preliminary work on replacement of the Moore’s Creek Bridge.

“We know we’re a beautiful city. With these improvements, everyone is going to know we are a beautiful city,” said Fort Pierce Mayor Linda Hudson.

Communities receiving Job Growth Grants must demonstrate how the funding will help create private sector jobs.  According to an economic impact report by Downs & St. Germain Research, just the hotel alone in the King’s Landing mixed-use development on the downtown site will create 221 jobs, generate more than $2 million a year in state and local tax revenues and $6-7 million annually in wages. Also planned at King’s Landing are restaurants, retail shops, offices, condominiums, townhomes and a parking garage.

“The state’s job growth grants are awarded after a very competitive process. We had a great team working together to bring this grant home to Fort Pierce,” said Pete Tesch, president of the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County (EDC).  “I’d especially like to thank Representative Trabulsy for her tireless efforts in support of economic opportunities for the citizens of Fort Pierce, as well as the DEO for ably guiding us through the grant process.”

The City of Port St. Lucie received two Job Growth Grants in recent years to fund infrastructure improvements in Southern Grove, the city’s jobs corridor along I-95.

Fort Pierce Mayor Linda Hudson. Photo credit: Marisol’s Photography

About the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund

The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund is an economic development program designed to promote public infrastructure and workforce training across the state. Proposals are reviewed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) and chosen by the governor to meet the demand for workforce or infrastructure needs in the community they are awarded to.


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


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]

Rendering of King’s Landing.

Sep. 2, 2022|

Former fortune 500 executive returns to Fort Pierce to inspire students and community

Former fortune 500 executive returns to Fort Pierce to inspire students and community

IRSC to host ‘Soaring: Turning Challenges into Success’ with Lee Rhyant on Sept. 22


The public is invited to join Lee E. Rhyant, former executive vice president and general manager for Lockheed-Martin Marietta and Fort Pierce native son, on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, at 5:30 p.m. for a community conversation in support of his new book, Soaring Eleven Guiding Principles on the Path from Segregation to Success, co-authored with Dr. Catherine Lewis.

The program will take place at the Kight Center for Emerging Technologies, Room V-110, on the Indian River State College Massey Campus, 3209 Virginia Ave. in Fort Pierce. The talk will be followed by a meet and greet and book signing with the authors. The event is free and open to the public.

A powerful underdog story, Soaring delivers practical leadership advice, business lessons, and tips for career and personal success mined from Rhyant’s 40 years as a corporate leader. Born into poverty in the postwar South, Rhyant was the fourth of eight children raised by a family of sharecroppers struggling to survive the last decades of segregation.

As a child, Lee’s family moved to Fort Pierce, and with help from his family, teachers, clergy, and local community, reached the executive ranks at General Motors, Rolls-Royce Aeronautics, and Lockheed-Martin. During “Soaring: Turning Challenges into Success,” Rhyant and co-author Dr. Catherine Lewis will share his guiding principles and tips for success to demonstrate the transformative power of perseverance.

“I’m cannot think of a better place to launch the publication of this book than in my hometown,” shares Lee Rhyant. “Fort Pierce shaped me into the person I am today, and my family and I owe so much to this community. Indian River State College helped change the trajectory of my life, and I hope that by sharing my story, I can inspire and motivate a new generation to strive for success.”

The event at IRSC marks the launch of the book Soaring Eleven Guiding Principles on the Path from Segregation to Success (UGA Press, 2022).


More about Lee Rhyant

From 2000 to 2011, Rhyant served as Executive Vice President and General Manager for Lockheed-Martin Marietta. Since leaving the aerospace industry, Lee has been highly sought after as an executive coach and confidant to Fortune 500 executives across the industrial spectrum. He is the President and CEO of LER Solutions, an executive coaching firm in Atlanta, and a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

About Dr. Catherine Lewis

Dr. Catherine Lewis is assistant vice president for Museums, Archives & Rare Books and professor of history at Kennesaw State University. She has curated more than 40 exhibitions around the nation and is the author, co-author, or co-editor of fifteen books.


Media interested in covering the event or seeking an advance interview with Lee Rhyant should contact Suzanne Seldes at [email protected] or 772-462-7265.


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. 29, 2022|

Fort Pierce Gold Hammer Awards Nominations Now Open

Fort Pierce Gold Hammer Awards Nominations Now Open 


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

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

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


2021 Gold Hammer Award


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


Mar. 21, 2022|

FPL In Support of Diversity in STEM

FPL In Support of Diversity in STEM

New Scholarship to Remove Financial Barriers for Black Students Seeking Associate Degrees 


FPL STEM Scholars


Indian River State College (IRSC) has received an $800,000 award from Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) to support diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers. The funds will establish the Florida Power & Light Company Endowed Scholarship for Black students seeking Associate in Science degrees at IRSC in the areas of Electrical Power Technology (ICE specialization), Computer Information Technology and Electronics Engineering Technology (such as robotics-manufacturing and laser-photonics specializations).  
FPL will fund the endowed scholarship over four years; $200,000 is available for the 2022–2023 academic year. Scholarship funds may cover tuition, books, and supplies or be used to enroll in courses that provide additional certifications such as OSHA or CPR while attending IRSC. New and returning IRSC students may begin applying for the awards now by logging into their MyPioneerPortal account. 
“IRSC’s longstanding partnership with Florida Power & Light centers around making a positive impact on people’s lives,” says Michael Hageloh, IRSC interim vice president for institutional advancement. “Over the years, we have collaborated on programs that build essential workforce skills and put students into great paying jobs. FPL’s most recent commitment moves us closer to achieving another mutual goal—addressing racial opportunity gaps in STEM fields—and for that, we are immensely grateful.” 
According to an April 2021 report from the Pew Research Center, Black workers comprise 11% of all employed adults but account for only 9% of adults employed in STEM occupations. Their share is lower in some STEM job clusters, including just 5% in engineering jobs. Further, Pew states that there has been no change in the share of Black workers in STEM jobs since 2016.  
FPL’s commitment to IRSC will help remove financial barriers that may prevent Black students from entering these fields. 
“We are focused on breaking down barriers to opportunity by investing in STEM programs that empower our next generation of leaders. We are proud to energize IRSC’s dynamic STEM initiatives and provide support for students with this grant,” said Pamela Rauch, vice president of external affairs and economic development for FPL. “The Florida Power & Light Company Endowed Scholarship for Black students will help inspire these innovators to obtain an Associate of Science degree—a strong foundation for landing a high-paying job in the technology field.”  
The Florida Power & Light Company Endowed Scholarship is the most recent example of IRSC’s steadfastness to finding ways to remove barriers and support student diversity in STEM subjects. In September, the College announced a $4.9 million Hispanic-Serving Institutions STEM and Articulation Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education to increase the number of Hispanic and low-income students in STEM disciplines. These opportunities, combined with integrated academic and student support strategies and activities that promote retention and graduation, will help the IRSC increase the number of undergraduates from underrepresented groups who successfully complete STEM studies. 
To learn more about Florida Power & Light Company Endowed Scholarship and other student funding opportunities available through the IRSC Foundation, visit
About Florida Power & Light Company  
Florida Power & Light Company is the largest energy company in the U.S. as measured by retail electricity produced and sold. The company serves more than 5.6 million customer accounts supporting more than 11 million residents across Florida with clean, reliable and affordable electricity. FPL operates one of the cleanest power generation fleets in the U.S and in 2021 won the ReliabilityOne® National Reliability Excellence Award for the sixth time in the last seven years. The company was recognized in 2020 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Escalent for the seventh consecutive year. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, ethics and diversity, and has been ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune’s 2020 list of “World’s Most Admired Companies.” NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun and a world leader in battery storage. For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites:
About Indian River State College 
A leader in education and innovation, Indian River State College transforms lives by offering high-quality, affordable, and accessible education to the residents of Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie counties through traditional and online delivery. The College—ranked second-most-affordable in the nation—serves 26,000 students annually and offers more than 100 programs leading to Bachelor's degrees, Associate degrees, technical certificates, and applied technology diplomas. It is a recipient of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation's signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America's community colleges. Learn more at   
Dec. 20, 2021|

Like Human Societies, Whales Value Culture and Family Ties

FORT PIERCE — It might seem like a “whale of tale,” but groundbreaking research from Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute is the first to demonstrate that just like human societies, beluga whales appear to value culture as well as their ancestral roots and family ties.

Through […]

Apr. 5, 2018|