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Chamber of Commerce Industry Appreciation Awards nominations due by July 28

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for the 2017 Industry Appreciation Awards program.  Nomination forms and the awards criteria are available on the Chamber’s economic development website www.indianrivered.com, at the Chamber building, and from members of the Awards Committee. Nominations are due in to the Chamber office by 5pm Friday, July 28. Award recipients are recognized at the Chamber’s annual Industry Appreciation Awards luncheon in September and are provided the opportunity for local media spotlights.

“It is important to recognize the achievements of our local businesses and all they add to the quality of life we relish in Indian River County” explains Helene Caseltine, Economic Development Director for the Chamber. The Awards program is part of the Chamber’s overall economic development strategy for business retention and expansion.

Categories include awards for new commercial, industrial, and residential construction; commercial redevelopment projects and building renovations, including historic renovations; and “green” construction for those incorporating the use of recycled materials or producing an eco-friendly style.  Construction projects are recognized for their architectural aesthetics as well as ease of access and the benefit to the immediate area.  Commercial and industrial projects must be substantially completed between 8/1/16 and 7/28/17.

The Chamber will also honor Entrepreneur of the Year, Manufacturer of the Year, Minority Business of the Year, and Company of the Year. For the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year, the Awards Committee will consider ingenuity, initiative and risk taken by local entrepreneurs and their contribution to the local economy. Considerations for Manufacturer of the Year include the company’s role as a “contributory” business, meaning the company sells or distributes the majority of its products outside the local market.  Additional criteria include:  higher than average wages for their employees; an increase in productivity within the industry; and the company’s economic impact.

Company of the Year awards have similar criteria with a stronger emphasis on the company’s work environment, its economic impact on the community, and the company’s civic involvement.

New this year is the Minority Business of the Year award, recognizing a local business that is 51% owned by persons who are members of a particular racial, ethnic, or gender makeup or national origin, as defined by Florida Statute.  This award replaces the Latin Business of the Year award, expanding opportunities to a more diverse business population.

For more information on the 2017 Industry Appreciation Awards nominations, call Helene Caseltine, Economic Development Director with the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce, at 772-567-3491, extension 121.  All the nomination forms are available on the Chamber’s economic development website, www.indianrivered.com, on the “Business Assistance” home page.

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is a county-wide organization representing the business community by providing services, benefits and leadership for positive growth and change.

 

Local Firm Expanding in Indian River County

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Office announced that Blue Dog Business Services, a locally headquartered firm that provides merchant services, is adding 15 new jobs to its existing local workforce of 27. The Indian River County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved the company’s Local Jobs Grant application at their April 12 meeting. The company had initially considered relocating its headquarters to Palm Beach County.

Based on the company’s anticipated job creation numbers and proposed wages for the new hires, Blue Dog Business Services is eligible for up to $49,000 in Jobs Grant incentives.  The company anticipates creating 15 new jobs by third quarter of this year, with average annual wages ranging from $30,000 to $60,000.  The Jobs Grant is a performance-based program, meaning that it is paid out over a three-year period after the jobs are in place.

Blue Dog Business Services plans to keep and expand its headquarters operations in Vero Beach.  The company provides services to businesses nationwide, including credit card processing, business loans, consumer financing, and promotional products.

County Commissioner Peter O’Bryan, who serves as economic development liaison to the Board, stated “I’m very excited and proud that Blue Dog Business Services has decided to not only keep their Corporate Headquarters here in Indian River County, but they are expanding their workforce.  This workforce expansion in the Merchant Services and Payment Processing field will provide clean, well-paying jobs for our residents.  I look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with Blue Dog here in Indian River County.”

Ron Dichter, CEO of Blue Dog Business Services, shares in the Commission’s enthusiasm, adding “I am excited about the opportunity to grow Blue Dog in Indian River County.  After 3 ½ years of operating in the area, I was concerned that expanding could be limited by staffing, but after working with the County and the Indian River Chamber, we feel that Indian River County is a great place to work and grow that offers a quality lifestyle to our employees and their families.”

The Chamber’s Economic Development Office worked with county staff and company executives to discuss plans and facilitate their Jobs Grant application.  “We are excited to add yet another innovative corporate headquarters to our business community” notes Helene Caseltine, the Chamber’s Economic Development Director. ”This is a perfect fit for Indian River County as part of our overall strategy for economic diversification.”

For more information on locating or expanding a business in Indian River County, call Helene Caseltine at the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce, 772-567-3491 or visit www.indianrivered.com.

SCORE Workshops

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with SCORE, will sponsor a free workshop to discuss the “Identity Theft Prevention” on Wednesday, March 8th from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and “ Show me the money – Financing Options for your Business” from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the IRC Chamber of Commerce. The IRC Chamber is located at 1216 21st Street in historic downtown Vero Beach.

The Identity Theft Prevention seminar was described as:

What are you doing to protect your identity and that of your business?  How are you protecting your information files-an asset of your business? This workshop examines the tools available to you to protect your most valuable asset-information!

Show me the money – Financing Options for your business discusses the multiple sources of capital for starting and growing a small business. The pros and cons of the funding sources are also reviewed. Topics to be discussed include familiar options such as self-financing, funding from friends & family, and partnerships. Other sources are reviewed such as Small Business Loans, SBA Loan Guarnty Program, and Microloans. Some less conventional financing sources along with their pros and cons are also discussed, including selling equity (shares), venture capital, angel investors, and crowd funding.

While there is no fee to participate in the workshop, due to limited seating, reservations are required. Register at treasurecoast.score.org or call the IRC Chamber at 772-567-3491 for additional information.

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce serves Vero Beach and surrounding Indian River County representing the business community for nearly 100-years by providing services, benefits and leadership for positive growth and change.

 

Marine Bank & Trust announces 9 percent asset growth for 2016

Bill Penney

Bill Penney

Marine Bank & Trust Company has just announced strong earnings and asset growth for 2016 with $211 million in total assets as of September 30, 2016 compared to $193 million as of December 31, 2015. As a result of its solid performance, Marine Bank maintained its 5-Star Superior rating from Bauer Financial, the nation’s premier bank rating firm. Marine Bank’s strong capital position enabled the Bank to focus on growth, invest in technology upgrades and expand into a new geographic market. The Bank has reported a net profit of $900,000 for 2016. 

Earnings were impacted from increased expenses due to a one-time expenditure for a major technology upgrade in the first half of 2016 and the purchase of the Sebastian Banking Center in the fourth quarter. Topline revenue is up 11% year over year due to growth in the loan portfolio and customer deposit accounts.  The technology upgrade has enabled the bank to offer new services including mobile banking, mobile check deposit, e-statements, electronic signatures, and enhanced online capability and security.  The Bank is now realizing the benefits of this new technology platform with better access to customer information resulting in better service for its customers.

The Bank’s positive operating performance continues to be driven by new residential mortgages, small business loan growth, an increase in deposit accounts and new customer relationships. With the growth in Indian River County housing and a specialty in residential lending, Marine is moving toward its goal of being the market’s leading mortgage lender. In 2016, the Bank put 109 families in new homes and originated 170 residential loans for $48 million. Marine Bank has also provided 51 companies with the opportunity to expand their businesses with $17 million in business loans closed during the same period. 

In October, the Bank finalized the purchase of the Valley National Bank banking center located at 1020 US Highway 1 in Sebastian, adding 565 new customers, $13 million in customer deposits and three new employees. The Sebastian customers officially became customers of Marine Bank on Saturday, October 22nd and the rebranded banking center opened on Monday, October 24th.

“As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, our belief that investing in quality talent generates outstanding results remains unwavering,” said Bill Penney, President and CEO of Marine Bank.  “Our team of banking professionals is committed to providing an exceptional experience at every opportunity.”

 

About Marine Bank & Trust

Marine Bank, was chartered in 1997 and has $211 million is assets with three full-service branches in Vero Beach and Sebastian.  It is the only community bank headquartered in Vero Beach, Florida.  The Bank was named one of Indian River County’s Best Places to Work in 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2016. The Bank is an active community supporter providing over $200,000 to more than 125 local non-profit organizations in the market over the last five years.  For more information, visit the website at www.marinebankandtrust.com.

Timothy Girard Named 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year

Exemplifying the innovation, drive and persistence of a successful entrepreneur, Timothy Girard of Vero Beach and Girard Equipment will be recognized with the Dan K. Richardson Entrepreneurship Program’s 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Announcement of the award will be the highlight of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award dinner held on Thursday, March 2 at the Indian River State College Richardson Center at the Mueller Campus in Vero Beach. The award, which recognizes the entrepreneurial spirit, business excellence, and community involvement, is a central element of the Dan K. Richardson Entrepreneurship Program established by the IRSC Foundation and 13 other founding members to promote awareness and appreciation of the free enterprise system.

“It is vitally important to recognize entrepreneurship because of its essential role in developing communities and fostering economic prosperity.  Tim Girard exemplifies the characteristics of the successful entrepreneur and we are honored to present him with the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year Award,” said Dr. Edwin R. Massey, IRSC President. “Tim Girard has consistently demonstrated leadership and vision, growing Girard Equipment into America’s leading manufacturer of pressure controlling devices for road tankers, intermediate bulk containers, tank containers, rail cars and offshore containers.  He established a global network of manufacturing facilities, while also expanding manufacturing and job opportunities here on the Treasure Coast.  Our local community is very important to him and he is sincerely committed to community service, volunteerism and youth development in Vero Beach.”

As President and CEO of Girard Equipment, Timothy Girard guided the company to continued growth, reaching 95% of the national market in pressure controlling devices, with manufacturing and sales facilities in Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, and Wisconsin and international locations in the Netherlands, China and United Kingdom.

In 2006, he moved Girard Equipment’s corporate headquarters to Vero Beach, and subsequently quadrupled the firm’s number of skilled local employees.  He is also the holder of numerous patents for pressure relief vents and valves.  His business acumen, commitment to workforce and economic development, and community service have been recognized with local, state and national honors and awards.

For more information about the Dan K. Richardson Entrepreneurship Program, call the IRSC Foundation at 772-462-4786 or visit http://www.irscfoundation.org.

 

Indian River Chamber Partners with FL Virtual Entrepreneur Center

As an entrepreneur, one of the most common challenges is finding the right resources to start, grow or relocate a business. Though it can be difficult to apply for licenses, secure financing, connect with other entrepreneurs or gain publicity, those challenges are now easier, thanks to the Florida High Tech Corridor Council’s Florida Virtual Entrepreneur Center at www.flvec.com.

The FLVEC website offers business owners in Indian River County access to a curated database of local and statewide resources, including help with licenses, business mentoring and coaching, networking, workshops, venture capital and much more.

Another benefit of the site is the ability for entrepreneurs to gain publicity for their businesses and to learn about and connect with other local entrepreneurs – a true B2B connection. FLVEC promotes area entrepreneurs by publishing profile articles about them online complete with photos and links back to their website and social media accounts. To start, entrepreneurs can simply create a free profile on FLVEC.com. They will then be contacted to complete the profile process.

Many entrepreneurs value the visibility that their profile on the FLVEC website provides. In addition to raising entrepreneurs’ visibility, FLVEC profiles connect entrepreneurs with each other leading to new business and mentoring opportunities.

“FLVEC is a unique organization that does a great job connecting business owners, entrepreneurs and other business minded people in one cohesive environment,” said Ron Dichter of Blue Dog Business Services in Indian River County. “I look forward to seeing their network continue to expand throughout the coming years.”

“FLVEC has been focused on entrepreneurs since day one,” said Michael Zaharios, FLVEC Director and himself an entrepreneur. “We take a laser-focused approach on what entrepreneurs need and want and I’m proud to partner with the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce Economic Development office and to connect people throughout the state and promote Florida entrepreneurs.”

Serving all 67 counties in Florida, FLVEC is made possible by the Florida High Tech Corridor Council and sponsors across the state, including Indian River County Chamber of Commerce Economic Development office.

“In Indian River County, well over 90% of our businesses are considered small – they are the backbone of our local economy. We encourage our small-business owners and entrepreneurs to take advantage of the wealth of resources and support available to them,” said Helene Caseltine, Economic Development Director with the Chamber.  “The Chamber’s Economic Development office partners with FLVEC to help make that connection. I’m excited that several of our local entrepreneurs are already featured on the site!  We want to ensure that all entrepreneurs and start-up businesses know that Indian River County is a great place grow their business – and we can help them do it.”

To view the website and explore the resources available to Indian River County business owners, visit www.FLVEC.com and www.FLVEC.com/indianriver, or click on the “Virtual Entrepreneur” icon on the home page of Chamber’s economic development website, www.indianrivered.com.

About the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce

The Indian River Chamber  is the County’s designated agency for economic development. The Chamber supports all economic development efforts providing additional private sector funds and resources, as well as overhead for programs and services. For more information about locating or expanding your business in Indian River County, call Helene Caseltine at 772-567-3491 or email her: directored@indianriverchamber.com.

 About The Florida High Tech Corridor Council

The Corridor Council is an economic development initiative of the University of Central Florida (UCF), the University of South Florida (USF) and the University of Florida (UF).  The mission of The Corridor is to grow high tech industry and innovation through partnerships that support research, marketing, workforce and entrepreneurship.

A partnership involving more than 25 local and regional economic development organizations (EDOs), 14 state/community colleges and 12 CareerSource boards, The Corridor is co-chaired by the presidents of UCF, USF and UF.  The Corridor includes the presidents of two state colleges, the president of the Florida Institute of Technology and representatives of high tech industry.

The unique partnership has resulted in a strategic approach to high tech economic development that supports matching funds research, marketing, workforce development and entrepreneurship leveraging governmental, EDO and corporate budgets on a regional rather than local basis.

For more information, visit www.floridahightech.com.

Chamber Business at Breakfast

IRCOUNTY CHAMBER LOGOThe Indian River County Chamber of Commerce will hold its monthly Business at Breakfast on Wednesday, February 15th, at the Heritage Center, 2140 14th Ave, Vero Beach. A presentation will be given by WSI Web Sales Now.

The monthly breakfast provides an opportunity to meet others in the business community as well as introduce yourself and your business. The Networking Breakfast is held from 7:45 – 9:00 a.m. Cost for Chamber members is $16.00 with reservations. Non-chamber members are also welcome: cost is $20 each. Advance reservations are required, so please call 567-3491 by February 13th.

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is a county-wide organization representing the business community by providing services, benefits and leadership for positive growth and change.

Chamber Business After Hours

IRCOUNTY CHAMBER LOGOThe Indian River County Chamber of Commerce will hold its monthly Business After Hours on Thursday, January 26, 2017 at Waldo’s. The host for this event is Save the Chimps.

The Business After Hours function is held from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. and includes refreshments as well as networking opportunities. These monthly functions provide an opportunity to meet others in the business community as well as introduce yourself and your business. The cost is $8.00 for members or $10.00 for members without a reservation and prospective non-members. Please call the Chamber at 567-3491 to make a reservation by Tuesday, January 24th.

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is a county-wide organization representing the business community by providing services, benefits and leadership for positive growth and change.

New sports bar opens on South US One

Larry Fiorella and Darrell Peterson snipped the red ribbon to their new sports bar Blue 42 at 710 S. US one (South East corner of US1 and Oslo Road)

Larry Fiorella and Darrell Peterson snipped the red ribbon to their new sports bar Blue 42 at 710 S. US one (South East corner of US1 and Oslo Road)

“Blue 42 Sports Bar & Grill is the Premier Sport viewing venue in Vero Beach, Florida. With over 30 TV sets and plans great specials for the remaining football season.” Fiorella said “ If you missed the grand opening. You missed a lot! But don’t worry…the specials and great bands keep coming. ”For more information and menu reviews check of blue42 on Facebook.

Three County Legislative Conference Scheduled

For over 30 years, the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce, St. Lucie County Chamber of Commerce and the Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce have planned and facilitated a legislative conference in Tallahassee. The conference takes place during the early weeks of Florida’s legislative session. The three county conference is scheduled for Tuesday, March 21st through Thursday, March 23rd, 2017.

About 50 or more regional government and business leaders will convene in Florida’s Capitol to meet with State officials and legislators about issues of importance in our three county region.

Among the top legislative priorities for all three counties is the health of the Indian River Lagoon, education, tourism and economic development. The group will discuss what may be anticipated during the State’s 2017 legislative session that will aide in lagoon restoration, and any pertinent funding requests or legislation being proposed this session that are focused on the restoration and health of this important estuary.

The Indian River County Chamber, Stuart/Martin County Chamber and St. Lucie County Chambers are proud to work with one another on this legislative conference.  Administration and conference planning rotate among the three chambers. “Our chamber coalition brings together the region’s business community, and provides an opportunity for our business and government leaders to get to know one another regardless of county boundaries. We believe coming together on issues of importance in our communities will help our region grow and thrive” stated Penny Chandler, 2017 conference coordinator.

Conference headquarters are the Aloft Hotel in downtown Tallahassee.  The Aloft is within walking distance of the State Capitol. A conference registration fee of $175 per participant. Includes all conference materials, two receptions, and two breakfasts.  Accommodations at the hotel and travel to Tallahassee are on your own.

Questions regarding the conference are welcome. Contact Penny Chandler, Indian River County Chamber of Commerce 772-567-3491 for additional information.

 

Marine Bank & Trust announced third quarter earnings

NEWS RELEASE
Marine Bank & Trust Company has just announced earnings of $717,000 for the first three quarters of 2016 along with strong asset growth.

The Bank has experienced asset growth year over year with $203 million in total assets as of September 30, 2016 compared to $184 million as of September 30, 2015. As a result of our performance, Marine Bank maintained its 5-Star Superior rating from Bauer Financial, the nation’s premier bank rating firm.

Topline revenue is up year over year due to growth in the loan portfolio and customer deposit accounts. Earnings were impacted from increased expenses due to a one-time expenditure for a major technology upgrade in the first half of 2016 which has enabled the bank to offer new services including mobile banking, mobile check deposit, e-statements, electronic signatures, enhanced online capability and security.

In October, the Bank finalized the purchase of the Valley National Bank banking center located at 1020 US Highway 1 in Sebastian, adding 565 new customers, $13 million in customer deposits and three new employees. The Sebastian customers officially became customers of Marine Bank on Saturday, October 22nd and the rebranded banking center opened on Monday, October 24th.

In the first three quarters of 2016, the Bank put 83 families in new homes and originated 125 residential loans for $38 million. Marine Bank has also provided 34 companies with the opportunity to expand their businesses with $11 million in business loans closed during the same period.

“Our belief that investing in quality talent generates outstanding results remains unwavering,” said Bill Penney, President and CEO of Marine Bank. “Our team of banking professionals is committed to providing an exceptional experience at every opportunity.”

About Marine Bank & Trust
Marine Bank, was chartered in 1997 and has $203 million is assets with three full-service branches in Vero Beach and Sebastian. It is the only community bank headquartered in Vero Beach, Florida. The Bank was named one of Indian River County’s Best Places to Work in 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2016. The Bank is an active community supporter providing over $200,000 to more than 125 local non-profit organizations in the market over the last five years. For more information, visit the website at http://www.marinebankandtrust.com.

 

Developing an excellent business plan 

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with SCORE, will sponsor a free workshop to discuss “An Excellent Business Plan” on Wednesday, November 16th from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the IRC Chamber of Commerce. The IRC Chamber is located at 1216 21st Street in historic downtown Vero Beach.

Attendees will be provided with information expressing their business idea as a written plan that outlines every critical aspect of its operations. The plan is important to help make major business decisions or demonstrate the health of the business to lenders of investors.

While there is no fee to participate in the workshop, reservations are required due to limited seating. Register at treasurecoast.score.org or call the IRC Chamber at 772-567-3491 for additional information. 

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce serves Vero Beach and surrounding Indian River County representing the business community for nearly 100-years by providing services, benefits and leadership for positive growth and change.

Chamber receives communication award  for tourism marketing material

The Florida Association of Chamber Professionals (FACPP) has recognized the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce tourism division for excellence in tourism communications/marketing materials for the publication of their 5th Annual “Come Discover Love” wedding guide. The award was received during a recent FACP annual conference in Orlando.

The Chamber’s Tourism Director Allison McNeal stated “Destination weddings are big business for Indian River County! Locally, in Vero Beach and Indian River County, hotel bookings have increased year over year and are in the thousands of room nights annually.”

On a national basis, the average cost of a wedding is at an all-time high of $32,641. In southern Florida, the average cost of a wedding is $38,187.  McNeal said “Couples are looking to make the ultimate personal statement for their wedding day. Statistics tell us that 1 out of every 4 weddings is a destination wedding and we want to make sure Indian River County gets a share of this huge business.”

The average price paid per wedding guest is $237.  Florida is in the top three destination wedding locations in the United States with weather is the number one factor in a location choice. (Wedding statistics from: GroupTravel, and The Knot, Real Weddings Study)

Chamber President Penny Chandler noted that “Today the average destination wedding means wedding guests and family spend an average of 3-days at the location of the wedding. Weddings generate a lot of income for our local economy.  Business such as our local photographers, retail stores, restaurants, caterers, rentals, venues, florists and others see the benefits of our local wedding business. Weddings help create and sustain jobs.”

Ms. McNeal further explained that “Many brides have lifelong wishes and dreams of a beautiful beach wedding day. Our community provides that venue and has all the amenities and services to make their dream come true.” She added “Our publication, the “Come Discover Love” wedding guide is one of our primary marketing tools targeted to a bride and those helping the bride plan a spectacular event in our County.”

The “Come Discover Love” wedding guide is provided to destination wedding planners as a tool to bring awareness to those planners about the ease of creating a wedding event in our county.

This comprehensive wedding guide markets a variety of local businesses who are identified with wedding services such as limo companies, bakeries for that fantastic one of a kind wedding cake, formal wear, entertainment, and makeup artists.

 The Chamber’s tourism division uses the guide as a marketing piece for this specific tourism niche market and last year distributed 4,000 wedding guides at regional and local wedding trade shows, to wedding planners, and to brides and their mothers.

“While all vendors in our local market do not track and share wedding and honeymoon statistics, of those who did in 2015, we know that there was $15 million in wedding related local gross revenues” said Ms. McNeal.

The Come Discover Love guide is published for the Chamber by Treasure Coast Almanac. The guide has previously won: Platinum 2015 Hermes Award and a Silver 2015 Communicator Award. In 2015 the guide won a Bronze Summit International Award selected from more than 5,000 entrees in 23 categories from 23 countries

Chamber Hosting Tour of CVS Distribution Center

The economic development office of the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is coordinating a free tour of the CVS distribution facility on Thursday, October 27, 2016.  Participants will meet at 9:00AM at the CVS facility, located at 2575 98th Avenue, a half-mile west of I-95, on the north side of State Road 60.  Closed-toed flat shoes are required – no sandals, flip-flops or high-heels; comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

Call the Chamber at 772-567-3491 to make your reservation; reservation deadline is October 25.  The tour is limited to 15 participants. The free tours are organized to familiarize local residents with the county’s industrial base and the positive impact these companies have on our local economy.

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is a county-wide organization representing the business community by providing services, benefits and leadership for positive economic growth and change. The Chamber serves as the primary economic development organization to promote the entire county for new and expanded business opportunities on behalf of the Board of County Commissioners.

Cobalt offers new menu, new chef

Chef Daniel Traimas is the Executive Chef at Cobalt Restaurant at Vero Beach Hotel & Spa. An Illinois native, Traimas was exposed to the restaurant world at a tender age by working in the kitchens of his family’s various restaurants. At seven years old, Traimas was a master at rolling a traditional spring roll, and by age eighteen he had a steady gig cooking at his parents’ Thai Addison restaurant in Addison, a village west Chicago. Driven by his passion for food, Traimas went on to receive his culinary arts degree from the prestigious Kendall College in Chicago, specializing in French technique. Upon graduation, he accepted a position at Arun’s Restaurant in Chicago whose namesake and James Award-winning chef Arun Sampanthavivat taught him the discipline required to work in fine-dining. After a stint as Executive Chef of EUREST Catering and consulting for friends, he was lured by the famed North River restaurant Sable Kitchen and Bar where he honed in his skills as Sous Chef. On January 2016, Traimas joined the team at Cobalt Restaurant at the beautiful beachfront resort, Vero Beach Hotel & Spa in Florida. Traimas incorporates the melting pot of his Midwest cooking style, classic American cuisine with hints of his Southeast Asian roots into Cobalt’s menu, elevating the restaurant’s  comfortably elegant American seafood approach. Cobalt’s menu showcases his love for fresh local ingredients letting his creativity shine with dishes such as Grilled Jumbo Prawns with torched Sriracha aioli and faro and the Broiled Red Snapper with sweet chili lime and jasmine rice, baby bok choy and fried basil. Whether catering to celebrities or locals, chef Traimas does it all with passion and a smile.

Chamber Offers Leadership Program

Leadership Indian River County is a community leadership program offered by the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce starting in January 2017. The 7-session training program will bring together a cross-section of the community, representing our social, economic and geographic diverse population for a hands-on, multi-disciplinary study of our community. Participants will gain an introduction to the infrastructure, natural resources and current political issues of Indian River County and an understanding of what constitutes leadership.

The program is based on a model that incorporates nourishing and developing community leaders: building community knowledge, developing leadership skills, and gaining an understanding of community stewardship. The program will prepare participants for more active involvement in public and private sectors and civic responsibility creating a better informed and vigorous leadership with a greater understanding of county needs- now and in the future.

Participants will be selected on the basis of demonstrated leadership ability as well as evidence of community interest and commitment. A class of 20 will be selected. Tuition for the program is $975 per person, a variety of scholarships are available by Marine

 

Bank & Trust, United Way, New Vision Eye Center, Trusted Insurance Professionals, TC Palm/ Press Journal and Leadership Alumni 100. Program participants will have numerous opportunities to interact opportunity and dialogue with established community leadership.

For additional information and application contact Emma White, Indian River County Chamber of Commerce leadership@indianriverchamber.com.

Jay Hart recognized for service

Following many years of volunteer service, Jay Hart was recognized as an outgoing Director at the September meeting of the Indian River County Chamber Board of Directors.

From 1998 through 2016, Mr. Hart served in a variety of volunteer capacities with the Chamber.  He was elected three times to serve on the board and during his years of service to the Chamber he served in every leadership capacity and volunteered for countless task forces and committees.  Hart was elected by his peers as Chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors in both 2002 and 2003.

Current Chairman of the Board Jeff Schlitt, Schlitt Services recognized Hart and stated that “Our Board of Directors thanks Jay Hart for his capable leadership and countless hours of volunteer service to the Chamber.”

Hart volunteered in every facet of the Chamber’s efforts.  Among his first volunteer experiences was on a 1998 team that raised over $50,000 in private sector funds for economic development.  Hart was a regular attendee of the annual Florida’s Research Coast Legislative Conference in Tallahassee and served on the Chamber’s Government Issues Committee several times. He served as chairman, or as a committee member, on the Chamber’s Industrial Parks Committee, a variety of fundraising committees and most recently was chairman of the Chamber’s annual golf classic and served as chairman of the Economic Leadership Alliance. His leadership involvement also included nominating and executive committees, strategic planning, and facility task forces.

In 2007, Hart was named co-chairman of a capital campaign that raised over 1.5 million dollars to construct a new Indian River County Chamber of Commerce building on 21st Street in downtown Vero Beach.  That building opened in 2009.

Hart reflected on his involvement with Indian River County Chamber and said “I have always believed in what the Chamber stood for and the good work the organization does on behalf of hundreds of Vero Beach and Indian River County businesses. I wanted to be part of that progress and have enjoyed every area of involvement with the Chamber during the last 18 years.”

 The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is a county-wide organization representing the Vero Beach and Indian River County business community by providing services, benefits and leadership for positive growth and change.

 

Indian River Chamber Honors Local Companies

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce celebrated the achievements of local companies at its19th Annual Industry Appreciation Awards luncheon on September 15, at the Indian River State College Richardson Center. MBV Engineering was named Small Company of the year, while Oculina Bank and Piper Aircraft were honored as the Chamber’s 2016 Medium and Large Company of the Year, respectively, based on employment levels. Florida Power & Light was a sponsor for the event.

Earlier in the week, the Indian River County Board of County Commissioners presented a Proclamation designating September 12-16, 2016 as Industry Appreciation Week in Indian River County.

Jay Hart with Alex MacWilliam Real Estate and Chairman the Chamber’s Economic Leadership Alliance served as Master of Ceremonies for the event.  Helene Caseltine, the Chamber’s Economic Development Director, explained that “the awards event is an important component of the Chamber’s overall business retention program and our goal of job creation.  We show our appreciation to local businesses that have made a positive impact in our community during the past year, either through architectural enhancements or by way of community involvement and economic impact.” David Hooper with Oculina Bank is Chairman of the Industry Appreciation Awards Committee and shared the podium by handing out the Architectural Recognition awards.

The Chamber’s Company of the Year award recognizes local businesses that stimulate the Indian River County economy, make contributions back to the community, provide quality year-round employment, and have an overall positive impact on our county.

Piper Aircraft was recognized as Company of the Year for a business with more than 75 employees. Piper was established in Vero Beach 1957, offering a complete line of general aviation aircraft, from trainers to business and personal use.  Over the past 3 years, the company has invested over $3-million in new equipment, machinery, lighting and other facility enhancements.  With 728 full-time employees, Piper is the county’s largest private employer, generating over $13-million in annual payroll taxes and property taxes. Communication is a key element of the relationship between the management team and crafts-people. The CEO holds quarterly “All Hands” meetings with all the employees plus a “Breakfast with Simon” for employees to share their thoughts, ideas and views with the CEO.

Oculina Bank was recognized as the Chamber’s Medium-sized Business of the Year.  Oculina is a community bank that first opened its doors in Indian River County in 2006.  They now have 5 branch locations in the county and 35 employees, generating over $465,000 in annual payroll and property taxes.  Employees enjoy a full set of medical benefits, plus continuing education and employee recognition events. The bank and its employees support numerous local non-profit groups, including the Sebastian Clambake, the Fellsmere Frogleg Festival, and LaPorte Farms.

MBV Engineering was named the Chamber’s Small Company of the year.  The firm opened in 1983 and currently has 15 employees.  Its economic impact from payroll and property taxes is nearly $70,000 per year.  MBV has experienced a 23% increase sales in the past 12 months, along with a 15% increase in market share.  The firm and its employees are active in over a dozen local, state and national trade organizations, and numerous local non-profits.  They’ve donated an estimated $15,000 in cash or in-kind goods and services over the past year.

The Chamber’s Latin Business of the Year was awarded to Taco Mobil.  The restaurant opened in 2004, and has locations in Fellsmere, Sebastian, and Vero Beach.  As a small employer, the company generates nearly $185,000 in annual taxes.  The restaurant’s sales have increased 25% in the past year, and market share has increased 30%.  Taco Mobil offers their employees a wide range of benefits, including family leave, continuing education, and has an employee recognition program. The company is actively involved with local non-profits, especially those involving children.

The Entrepreneur of the Year award recognizes firms less than five years old that show increased growth and a true entrepreneurial spirit, while overcoming challenges and becoming a good corporate citizen.

Michael Reed, owner of Mr. Restore Services, was recognized as the Chamber’s 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year.  Mr. Restore provides property restoration services, including mold remediation, smoke and fire demolition, and property clean-up and re-building. The business opened in Vero Beach in 2015, and had an estimated gross revenue of over $84,000 in the company’s first year of operation. Reed’s philosophy is to focus on community involvement, education and leadership.  The company is actively involved in several local and national organizations, and sponsor numerous local events throughout the year.

The Chamber’s Manufacturer of the Year award considers growth of the company, quality of the jobs, its economic impact, and sales that are primarily outside our region or state, making them a contributory company.  There were two local manufactures recognized:  small and medium, based on employment.

The 2016 mid-sized Manufacturer of the Year was presented to GEI Works, formerly known as Granite Environmental, Inc. With 36 employees, the company produces erosion and pollution prevention products designed for stormwater management plans. The majority of their products are sold outside of Florida, with 20% exported out of the US.  Sales have increased 22% in the past year. GEI Works is active in several local, state and national industry organizations, and is referenced in university textbooks.

The Chamber’s small Manufacturer of the Year is Minuteman Press, which specializes in off-set printing. With twelve employees, the company has seen a 30% increase in sales and a 10% increase in market share over the past year. Minuteman was recognized by its corporate parent for Top Quality, Top Achievement and the prestigious Million Dollar President’s Club.

Architectural Recognition awards were also presented.  Award criteria includes:  impact on immediate area; building’s unique features; and the building or project being “user friendly”.  The following architectural projects were recognized:

New Single-Family Residential

Old Oak Lane on Club Drive in Old Riomar

GREEN award

Indian River Estates Campus-Wide landscape Master Plan

Re-Use of a Property

Walking Tree Brewery, 3209 Dodger Road

Project Renovation

Spinnaker 12th Street LLC (Minuteman Press), 983-985 12th Street

Government Building Renovation

Vero Beach High School Citrus Bowl, 1707 16th Street

Mid-Size Building Renovation – Non-Profit

Childcare Resources School, 2300 5th Avenue, Suite 149 (Omni Financial building)

Small Building Renovation – Non-Profit

Sebastian River Area Chamber of Commerce – Pelican Porch Visitor Center, 700 Main Street

Small Commercial Building Renovation

Orchid Gourmet, 1766 14th Avenue

New Building Construction – Government

Inter-Generational Recreation Center, 1590 9th Street SW

New Large Building Construction – Non-Profit

Scully-Welsh Cancer Center, 1000 36th Street

New Small Building Construction – Non-Profit

Boys & Girls Club Gymnasium, 1729 17th Avenue

New Commercial Building

Large – Pelican Landing Assisted Living, 13085 U.S. Highway 1

Small – Audrey’s Feed Store, 870 66th Avenue

Marine Bank & Trust to acquire Valley National Bank’s Sebastian office

Marine Bank & Trust, a $206 million asset community bank based in Vero Beach, Fla, has entered into a definitive purchase and assumption agreement to purchase one office from Valley National Bank.  Terms of the agreement provide for Marine Bank to acquire all the real property, equipment, and other selected assets associated with Valley National Bank’s Sebastian banking center. Marine Bank will assume the majority of customer deposits from Valley National Bank Sebastian, located at 1020 US Highway 1 in Sebastian, Florida.

The Valley National Bank banking center in Sebastian will officially become Marine Bank at the close of business on Friday, October 21, 2016.  Valley National Bank customers will receive detailed information regarding any changes to their accounts before the transition is complete.

Marine Bank’s board of directors unanimously approved the transaction following a comprehensive review of the transaction and strategic and financial alternatives. The Bank has already received regulatory approvals from the FDIC and Florida Office of Financial Regulation. Marine Bank has been operating a loan production office in Sebastian at 990 US Highway 1 since August of 2015.

Chamber Launches New Economic Development Website

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce has launched www.indianrivered.com to promote Indian River County for business relocation and expansion. The site provides access to pertinent information needed by corporate site selectors and business owners to make their investment decisions.

Most business owners and site consultants use the Internet as a search tool to help them make location decisions, especially small business owners who often conduct their due diligence after business hours and on weekends. The website provides access to a wealth of information: property location and business data intelligence, target industry profiles, state and local incentive programs, infrastructure, education and training, plus resources for start-up businesses – all in a user-friendly format.  Users also have the option to add any page to a customized report.

“Our priority is to attract and retain full-time high-wage jobs in Indian River County while diversifying our tax base”, states Helene Caseltine, Economic Development Director at the Chamber. “Economic development is a highly competitive process. This new site gives us a competitive advantage by providing business owners the tools they need when making decisions about where to locate or expand.” Visit the website at www.indianrivered.com.

The  Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is a county-wide organization located in Vero Beach representing the business community by providing services, benefits and leadership for positive growth and change. The Chamber serves as the primary economic development office on behalf of the Board of County Commissioners. For more information, call the Chamber at 772-567-3491.

Ruth Ruiz named director of marketing and communications at Historic Dodgertown

Ruth Ruiz has been named to the newly-created position of Director, Marketing and Communications at Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida, it was announced today by Historic Dodgertown Chairman Peter O’Malley.

Ruiz has a longtime connection with the Los Angeles Dodgers, as she worked as a team publicist from 1986-2001, including three years when she assisted former Dodger President O’Malley (1993-96) on administrative matters and worldwide events. Ruiz also coordinated the daily schedule and public relations for Tommy Lasorda, the Hall of Fame Dodger manager.

“Ruth Ruiz has a passion for Historic Dodgertown and Vero Beach, so this is a perfect match,” said O’Malley. “We are happy that she is returning to her Dodger roots and with her knowledge and countless contacts, she will make an immediate impact in our efforts to gain more recognition for our year-round, multi-sports training and conference center. Ruth is congenial and is a unifier.”

With the Dodger publicity department, Ruiz coordinated community events, media inquiries on and off the field, wrote feature articles and press releases and was at Historic Dodgertown handling public relations during Spring Trainings, as well as for numerous Dodger Adult Baseball Camps in Vero Beach. She worked closely with Dodger players, executives, alumni and staff.

Ruiz said, “This is a dream come true. I am so excited to be moving to Vero Beach and happy to be back at Historic Dodgertown to help the O’Malley family continue the further development and enhancement of the training and conference center. Although my roots are in Dodger baseball, it is wonderful to see that Historic Dodgertown now fully embraces all sports and we welcome athletes of all ages to our campus. I look forward to working with Vice Presidents Craig Callan, Jeff Biddle and Steve Snure as we prepare for the future and many exciting projects.”

After her career with the Dodgers, Ruiz handled marketing for Biola University’s Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MOL) program from 2001-2005. She also was Director of Communications for Special Olympics of Southern California (2005-2008).

For the past eight years, she has been City of Anaheim’s Public Information Officer and spokesperson, working in cooperation with the Mayor, City Council and City’s executive team. Her expertise includes marketing, media and player relations, writing, event planning, community and industry collaboration and relationship building.

Ruiz graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in communications, with an emphasis in sports information and she also earned a Master of Arts degree in organizational leadership from Biola University.

For more information on upcoming Historic Dodgertown events, please contact 772-569-4900 or visit http://www.historicdodgerown.com.

Marine Bank & Trust recognizes June as American Housing Month

 In recognition of American Housing Month, Marine Bank & Trust is providing consumers with valuable housing information throughout the month of June. Tips for both renters and home owners will include choosing the right housing option, getting a loan, improving your credit score, going green and saving for a down payment.

“As the housing market rebounds, the Bank is prepared to assist our customers in finding the best housing option for their current lifestyle and financial situation,” said Bill Penney, President and CEO.  “With the growing demand for new housing and our experienced team of lenders, we are well positioned to help the people of our community achieve the American dream of home ownership and are on our way to becoming Vero’s leading mortgage lender.”

Throughout June, Marine Bank will have a variety of online resources available at www.marinebankandtrust.com/housing-month to help educate consumers on the issues and options of housing including choosing your first home, improving your credit score, saving for a down payment, understanding basic housing terminology, and helping seniors live at home longer.

Marine Bank & Trust hires Daniel Fourmont as commercial loan officer

Marine Bank - FourmontMarine Bank & Trust has announced that it has hired Daniel Fourmont as a Commercial Loan Officer for the locally headquartered bank.  In his role, Fourmont is responsible for generating and managing commercial lending relationships by providing loan packages and a full array of business services to meet the needs of any business.

“Daniel brings decades of valuable banking and community experience to the Marine,” said Bill Penney, President and CEO of Marine Bank.  “His knowledge of commercial lending and his connection to our community will enable him to effectively meet the needs of local businesses with working capital.”

Fourmont resides in Vero Beach and is currently the Treasurer and board member of Main Street Vero Beach and board member and past president of the Rotary Club of Vero Beach .

Marine Bank reports record earnings

Bill Penney

Bill Penney

Marine Bank experienced 18% asset growth year-over-year with $193 million in total assets as of December 31, 2015 compared to $163 million as of December 31, 2014.

The Bank’s current capital ratios exceed the regulatory requirements. Marine continues to be “Well Capitalized” per the regulatory guidelines; the tier 1 capital ratio as of December 31, 2015 was 9.27% and total risk-based capital ratio was 14.73%.

Local business activity has increased, resulting in a higher demand for commercial loans. Also, the housing market’s escalation led to an increase in home mortgages, moving Marine Bank closer to its goal to be Vero’s leading mortgage lender. The Bank also focused on acquiring new customer relationships and grew core deposits 15% year-over- year.

“We know that customer relationships are dependent upon quality people and that’s exactly what we have – exceptional employees serving coveted customers,” said Bill Penney, President and CEO of Marine Bank & Trust. “We will continue this trend and expect even greater growth in 2016.”

Marine Bank, was chartered in 1997 and has $193 million is assets with two full-service branches in Vero Beach and a loan production office in Sebastian. It is the only community bank headquartered in Indian River County. The Bank is an active community supporter providing over $200,000 to more than 125 local non-profit organizations in the market over the last five years. For more information, visit the website at http://www.marinebankandtrust.com.

Aquaculture firm locating to Indian River County

Parabel to construct $10-million production facility in Fellsmere

NEWS RELEASE

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Office announced that Parabel, a producer of plant-based protein, is constructing a $10-million production facility in Fellsmere in northwest Indian River County. The Indian River County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved the company’s Local Jobs Grant application at their March 1 meeting.

The company has signed a lease for 450 acres of land in Fellsmere, where it plans to build a facility to produce water-lentil-based proteins. Based on the company’s anticipated job creation numbers and proposed wages for the new hires, Parabel is eligible for up to $177,000 in Jobs Grant incentives. Parabel anticipates creating 43 new jobs by 3rd quarter of 2016, their first phase of operation. The majority of the new positions will pay an average wage of about $40,000 per year, greater than the county’s average annual wage of $37,882. The Jobs Grant is a performance-based program, meaning that it is paid out over a three-year period after the jobs are in place.

Parabel manufactures Lentein, a sustainable plant-based non-GMO protein used in the health-food industry. The company is based in Melbourne, FL with operations in Central and South America, Southeast Asia and in Africa. Company executives anticipate hiring a total of about 170 employees once they are fully operational.

County Commissioner Peter O’Bryan, who serves as economic development liaison to the Board, expressed how impressed he is with the company’s commitment to the environment as it relates to processing locally harvested duckweed. “Not only will we see new good-paying jobs for our local residents, but their process is very eco-friendly. All the water used is completely recycled back into the production system.”

David Schechtmann, Business Development and Community Outreach Director with Parabel, states “Parabel is overly thrilled to have received this generous grant that will only enhance our company’s presence and positive impact in the Fellsmere area. The relationship between the community and our company is vital to our success, and today was an important step in forging a fruitful relationship that will only continue to grow. We would like to specifically thank the City of Fellsmere and County Commission for their vision and support in approving this grant and look forward to continued collaboration in the future as we continue to develop our facility.”

Jason Nunemaker, Fellsmere City Manager, agrees with Mr. Schechtmann, adding, “The City of Fellsmere is deeply appreciative of the Economic Development partnership we have with Indian River County. The Jobs grant awarded to Parabel is illustrative of this partnership and demonstrates our shared commitment to creating a sustainable future for agriculture in our community.”

The Chamber’s Economic Development Office worked with Fellsmere city officials and company executives to discuss plans and facilitate their Jobs Grant application. “We are excited to add yet another innovative ag-based firm to our business community. Fellsmere is the perfect location, based on its rich agricultural history as well as from a distribution aspect,” notes Helene Caseltine, the Chamber’s Economic Development Director. Representatives from CareerSource Research Coast and Indian River State College were also brought in to assist Parabel with their employee recruiting and hiring needs.

 

VNA Nightingale Private Care receives ‘Provider of Choice” award for 6th consecutive year

NEWS RELEASE

VNA Nightingale Private Care today announced that it has received the Best of Home Care Provider of Choice Award from Home Care Pulse. This is the sixth year in a row VNA’s private care service line has received this honor. Awarded to only the top ranking home care providers, based on client satisfaction scores gathered by Home Care Pulse, VNA Nightingale Private Care is now ranked among a select few home care providers across the country who have proven their ability to provide outstanding care.

“We want to congratulate VNA Nightingale Private Care on receiving the Best of Home Care Provider of Choice Award,” says Aaron Marcum, CEO and founder of Home Care Pulse. “Since this award is based on client feedback, it demonstrates their dedication to providing the highest quality of care with a focus on client satisfaction. We are pleased to recognize VNA Nightingale’s dedication to quality, professionalism and expertise in home care.”

“We are so proud of our associates for consistently providing excellent care for our clients, and we will strive to continue to set the standard for our future clients,” said Donna Sorge, RN, program director of VNA Nightingale Private Care.

Best of Home Care Provider of Choice award-winning providers have contracted with Home Care Pulse to gather feedback from their clients by conducting live phone interviews with their clients each month. Because Home Care Pulse is an independent third-party company, they are able to collect honest and unbiased feedback. These award-winning providers have received the highest satisfaction scores from their clients in areas such as professionalism, services provided, compassion of caregivers and overall quality of care.

“I am very proud to be part of a company that holds itself to a high standard,” said Mary Linn Hamilton, president & CEO of VNA Home Health & Hospice of the Treasure Coast. “This honor demonstrates our continued commitment to residents of Indian River County that they are, and will continue to receive the very best care.”

“Our goal at Home Care Pulse is to empower home care businesses to deliver the best home care possible,” says Aaron Marcum, CEO and founder of Home Care Pulse. “We are happy to recognize VNA Nightingale Private Care as a Best of Home Care Provider of Choice and celebrate their accomplishments as a trusted home care provider.”

To learn more about VNA Nightingale’s Private Care services, please visit vnatc.com/privatecare. To find out more about the “Best of Home Care” award or Home Care Pulse, please visit http://www.bestofhomecare.com.

Abraham joins Chamber staff

Abraham - Image 2-11-16 at 7.18 AMThe Indian River County Chamber of Commerce has hired Toni L. Abraham as their Membership Director.

Abraham was previously account executive for a local magazine where she was responsible for maintaining and cultivating long-term advertising client relationships. “We are excited to have Toni on our staff. Her attention to our members and membership relations will enhance our goals of providing for the needs of members” state Penny Chandler, Chamber executive. “Toni will be an asset to our professional Chamber team.”

Abraham may be reached at the Chamber 772-567-3491. The Chamber is a county-wide organization serving Vero Beach and all of Indian river County. We represent the business community by providing services, benefits and leadership for positive growth and change.

 

Chamber Leadership participants announced

Leadership Indian River County is a community leadership program offered by the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce. The 7-session training program will bring together a cross-section of the community, representing our social, economic and geographic diverse population for a hands-on, multi-disciplinary study of our community. Participants will gain an introduction to the infrastructure, natural resources and current political issues of Indian River County and an understanding of what constitutes leadership.

The program is based on a model that incorporates nourishing and developing community leaders: building community knowledge, developing leadership skills, and gaining an understanding of community stewardship. The program will prepare participants for more active involvement in public and private sectors and civic responsibility creating a better informed and vigorous leadership with a greater understanding of county needs- now and in the future.

Participants for the 2016 class are: Diana Dwarika,  Harbor Community Bank; Jacquie Thatcher, Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown; James Cooke, James Cooke Coaching; Jess Rose McDowell, The Alexis Agency; Josiah Moorhouse, Schlitt Insurance Services; Kelly Holm, Indian River County Chamber of Commerce; Margaret Mitchell, Florida House of Representatives Office of Debbie Mayfield; Michael Arnett, School District of Indian River County; Michele Lee, Childcare Resources of Indian River; Michelle Griffin, National Commerce Bank; Monica Bintz, Kilwin’s; Paul Lytle, EmbroidMe; Sarah Ruwe, American Red Cross; Barbara G. Pearce, Gifford Youth Achievement Center; Bill Cluck, Piper Aircraft, Inc.; Todd Howder, MBV Engineering, Inc. ; Patrick McGillicuddy, Seacoast Bank; Lisa Gonzalez, Indian River State College; and Shelly Thomas of Wells Fargo.

The chamber will start accepting applications for the 2017 class this summer. For additional information contact Emma White, Indian River County Chamber of Commerce 772-567-3491.

 

Marine Bank offers ‘shop local’ directory

Just in time for the holidays, Marine Bank & Trust is encouraging shoppers to support small business owners by patronizing its locally-owned business customers listed in its online Buy Local Business Directory.

“When our small businesses thrive, the whole community succeeds,” said Bill Penney, president and CEO of the Bank. “Indian River County-based businesses offer virtually every service or product you might need. By doing business with small business owners, you are creating jobs, building a stronger tax base which improves our community. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

The US Small Business Association reports that small businesses generate 64% of new jobs and pay 44% of total US payroll. According the American Independent Business Alliance, buying local also reduces the environment impact since small businesses carry more locally-made products and create less traffic and air pollution. Additional benefits may also include greater personal service, a more unique selection and increased support for local non-profit groups .

Research Coast reps promote region for business

Economic development partners from Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Okeechobee counties recently met with national site location firms in Dallas to introduce and reinforce Florida’s Research Coast region as a viable business location.

The group had meetings with six firms, providing each consultant an overview of the region’s business amenities, access to workforce and training programs, and availability of local incentives in each of the four counties. Collateral material was shared depicting our region’s location, proximity to markets and targeted industries. Florida’s Research Coast encompasses Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Okeechobee counties.

Several consultants were familiar with our region and expressed a willingness to include our area for future projects, depending on client needs.  Site location consultants represent C-level executives who are considering a relocation or expansion of their business in the U.S. or internationally.  “Site consultants are the gate keepers, representing those firms we would like to locate to our area”, explains Helene Caseltine, Economic Development Director with the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce, “getting and staying on their radar is crucial to our job creation efforts.”  She noted that many of the Dallas consultants tend to focus on distribution center clients and call center operations.

Florida’s Research Coast Economic Development Coalition comprises professionals from the primary economic development organizations in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Okeechobee counties plus the President/CEO of CareerSource Research Coast.  The organization’s goal is to collaborate, rather than compete, in promoting the region for business development and job creation. The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is a founding partner of the organization which began in 1998.

County’s Chambers partner for Peru & Macchu Picchu adventureSEBASTIAN CHAMBER LOGOIRCOUNTY CHAMBER LOGO

The Indian River County and Sebastian River Area Chambers of Commerce are in their fourth year of a series of travel opportunities to their members and area residents. The first 2016 trip is Peru & Machu Picchu scheduled for April.

The nine day trip travel price of $4,295 per person (double occupancy) includes roundtrip airfare from Miami to Lima, Peru. In addition to accommodations, the trip includes 16 meals, 2 inner country flights, expert guides, a professional tour director, and all other transit, sightseeing and attractions admission costs per the itinerary.

Chamber Explorations, a group travel provider specializing in working with Chamber’s of Commerce throughout the United States, will oversee the planning and arrangements for this unique trip. Among places visited will be the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites Machu Picchu, Cuzco and Lima.

The trip includes visits to The Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo Fortress, Pisac, Qenqo, and the Sacsayhuaman Ruins. You will enjoy local village markets known for the sweaters and ponchos and a visit to Awanakancha Breeding Center where Llamas, Alpacas, Guanacos and Vicuns are bred.

For more information about this unique travel opportunity contact the Indian River County Chamber at 772-567-3491 or the Sebastian River Area Chamber of Commerce at 772-589-5969. Or, visit www.indianriverchamber.com or www.sebastianchamber.com for details along with a schedule of activities and additional highlights of the trip.

Katie Kowanic achieves recognition as Certified Fund Raising ExecutiveKatieKownic2

Katie Kowanic, Community Relations Specialist for CASTLE, has been recognized as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) by the accrediting body, CFRE International. Kowanic joins over 5,300 professionals around the world who hold the CFRE designation.

Individuals granted the CFRE credential have met a series of standards set by CFRE International which include tenure in the profession, education, demonstrated fundraising achievement and a commitment to service to not-for-profit organizations. They have also passed a rigorous written examination testing the knowledge, skills and abilities required of a fundraising executive, and have agreed to uphold Accountability Standards and the Donor Bill of Rights.

“The CFRE credential recognizes much more than professional knowledge. It also demonstrates a commitment to the highest ethical and effective standards of fund development principles,” said Steve Higgins, CFRE, President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Indian River chapter. “Katie’s willingness to pursue CFRE is a testimony to her respect for the community’s donors, her organization and the overall profession.”

CFRE recipients are required to re-certify every three years with CFRE International to prove on-going fundraising employment, fundraising results and professional development.

As Community Relations Specialist for CASTLE, Kowanic is responsible for building relationships with individuals, businesses and organizations that will further the mission of the organization, which is to prevent child abuse and neglect through education and awareness.

“Katie is just one of several local fundraisers who are recognized as a Certified Fund Raising Executive,” Higgins said. “We are proud of the level of professionalism we have among our 84-member chapter and look forward to celebrating even more CFRE’s in the future.”

For more information on AFP Indian River, please visit www.afpindianriver.org. To learn more about the work of CASTLE throughout the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee go to www.castletc.org.

Chamber partners with Enterprise Florida location event

IRCOUNTY CHAMBER LOGO

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce was one of a handful of local economic development offices participating in a recent Enterprise Florida site location event in Chicago.  Enterprise Florida, Inc. is the state’s public-private organization promoting Florida domestically and internationally for targeted business recruitment and expansion.

Helene Caseltine, Economic Development Director with the Chamber, joined her colleagues from around the state to meet with Chicago-based site location consultants. “Site consultants are the ‘gate keepers’, representing companies that are considering sites to relocate or expand – and we want to be sureThe Indian River County Chamber of Commerce was one of a handful of local economic development offices participating in a recent Enterprise Florida site location event in Chicago. Enterprise Florida, Inc. is the state’s public-private organization promoting Florida domestically and internationally for targeted business recruitment and expansion.

Helene Caseltine, Economic Development Director with the Chamber, joined her colleagues from around the state to meet with Chicago-based site location consultants. “Site consultants are the ‘gate keepers’, representing companies that are considering sites to relocate or expand – and we want to be sure Indian River County is on their radar,” explains Caseltine. She adds, “Enterprise FL provides these types of opportunities for local economic development partners to help us build and strengthen the relationships with site consultants.” Enterprise FL recognizes the Chamber as a primary partner and stakeholder in the state’s business recruitment and expansion efforts.

The meeting format includes small-group meetings with select firms scheduled by Enterprise FL, with each economic developer providing a brief overview of their respective county’s business environment and location assets. Consultants provide feedback on the top concerns voiced by their clients – workforce availability and training are often at or near the top of the list.

Caseltine further explains that building solid relationships with site consultants and making sure they are aware of our business climate and industry advantages are important. It gives consultants a higher level of trust and confidence in the local economic development office, increasing the likelihood of landing that next job-creation project.
Partners in Florida’s Research Coast Economic Development Coalition are preparing for a similar trip to Dallas next month, meeting with consultants in that area and promoting the region for new business. The Chamber is a founding partner in Florida’s Research Coast EDC. The coalition also includes the primary economic development offices in Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties as well as the President of CareerSource Research Coast.
The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is the County’s designated agency for economic development. The Chamber supports all economic development efforts providing additional private sector funds and resources, as well as overhead for programs and services. For more information about locating or expanding your business in Indian River County, call Helene Caseltine at 772-567-3491 or email her: directored@indianriverchamber.com.
their radar,” explains Caseltine.  She adds, “Enterprise FL provides these types of opportunities for local economic development partners to help us build and strengthen the relationships with site consultants.” Enterprise Florida recognizes the Chamber as a primary partner and stakeholder in the state’s business recruitment and expansion efforts.

The meeting format includes small-group meetings with select firms scheduled by Enterprise FL, with each economic developer providing a brief overview of their respective county’s business environment and location assets. Consultants provide feedback on the top concerns voiced by their clients – workforce availability and training are often at or near the top of the list.  Caseltine further explains that building solid relationships with site consultants and making sure they are aware of our business climate and industry advantages are important. It gives consultants a higher level of trust and confidence in the local economic development office, increasing the likelihood of landing that next job-creation project.

Partners in Florida’s Research Coast Economic Development Coalition are preparing for a similar trip to Dallas next month, meeting with consultants in that area and promoting the region for new business.  The Chamber is a founding partner in Florida’s Research Coast EDC.  The coalition also includes the primary economic development offices in Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties as well as the President of CareerSource Research Coast.

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is the County’s designated agency for economic development. The Chamber supports all economic development efforts providing additional private sector funds and resources, as well as overhead for programs and services. For more information about locating or expanding your business in Indian River County, call Helene Caseltine at 772-567-3491 or email her: directored@indianriverchamber.com.

Chamber announces customer service workshop with national speakerIRCOUNTY CHAMBER LOGO

In a 2011survey by American Express it was learned that 3 in 5 Americans (59%) would try a new brand or company for a better service experience.

A customer service experience can make or break future relationships with your clients and customers.

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring Tony Rubleski, President of Mind Capture Group, for a presentation on “Exceptional Mind Capture Customer Service.”  Rubleski helps businesses, sales professionals and entrepreneurs move beyond ordinary marketing, to a higher level of bonding with clients. He has over 10 years’ experience in the direct selling and advertising fields. His book “Mind Capture: How to Generate New & Repeat Business in the Age of Advertising Overload” has been featured in The Detroit Free Press and the FOX Television news network.

This two hour workshop will focus on:

  • The Key Characteristics of today’s customer
  • 5 simple, yet highly effective, ways to improve your own customer service
  • Good and bad customer service examples and the powerful lessons they leave
  • Proven and effective ways to stay in touch with your best clients
  • Why it takes years to earn trust and business and only seconds to lose it
  • The #1 sin you must avoid in your marketing that directly impacts the customer experience

The workshop is scheduled for Thursday, October 15, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and will be held at the Courthouse Executive Office Center located at 2145 14th Avenue in Vero Beach.

Cost of this workshop is $35 per person and a reservation is required.  Call the Chamber office at 772-567-3491 to guarantee your place.

The  Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is a county-wide organization representing nearly 900 Vero Beach and Indian River County businesses and proud to provide top level training as a value-added benefit for our members.  Located in downtown Vero Beach, the Chamber represents the business community by providing services, benefits and leadership for positive growth and change. For more information on the benefits of being a Chamber Member, visit our website at www.indianriverchamber.com or call 772-567-3491.

CenterState Bank announces new area executive for Indian River CountyChris Bieber Headshot-newest

CenterState Bank announces the promotion of Chris Bieber to the leadership position of Area Executive for Indian River County.

Bieber began his banking career at Indian River National Bank/RBC and was instrumental in helping to form the CenterState Bank office in Vero Beach, where he has served as the VP and Commercial Lender since 2009.

“The performance of this banking center is a reflection of the hard work several team members have put forth during the last five years of its existence and Chris Bieber’s leadership role has been significant in the growth the bank has experienced,” said Mark Thompson, EVP for CenterState Bank. “With 15 years of banking experience, we are very proud to have Chris Bieber leading our team in the Indian River County market.”

Bieber recently graduated from the Stonier Graduate Banking Program as well as the Wharton Leadership program. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Education Foundation of Indian River and serves on the Dancing with Vero’s Stars committee for the annual signature event for the Indian River County Healthy Start Coalition. He is a member of the Florida Bar Judicial Grievance Committee for the 19th Circuit and has also helped CenterState Bank on several due diligence teams for many of the regional bank acquisitions.

CenterState Bank, located at 855 21st Street (corner of 9th Avenue) in Vero Beach, is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. For more information, call (772) 299-6860.  Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender

About CenterState Bank

CenterState Bank is a Florida based community bank and one of Florida’s largest publicly traded banks providing online banking, commercial lending, residential mortgages and investment services from 57 branches and four loan production offices throughout the state. For more information, please visit: www.CenterStateBank.com.

Chamber offers leadership programIRCOUNTY CHAMBER LOGO

Leadership Indian River County is a community leadership program offered by the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce. Entering its eleventh year the 7-session training program will bring together a cross-section of the community, representing our social, economic and geographic diverse population for a hands-on, multi-disciplinary study of our community. Participants will gain an introduction to the infrastructure, natural resources and current political issues of Indian River County and an understanding of what constitutes leadership.

The program is based on a model that incorporates nourishing and developing community leaders: building community knowledge, developing leadership skills, and gaining an understanding of community stewardship. The program will prepare participants for more active involvement in public and private sectors and civic responsibility creating a better informed and vigorous leadership with a greater understanding of county needs- now and in the future.

Participants will be selected on the basis of demonstrated leadership ability as well as evidence of community interest and commitment. Nominations may be submitted by individuals, area businesses and community organizations. A class of 20 will be selected for the program which begins in January 2016. Tuition for the program is $975 per person, a variety of scholarships are available by Marine Bank & Trust, United Way, New Vision Eye Center, HR Dynamics, Trusted Insurance Professionals, and Leadership Alumni 100. Program participants will have numerous opportunities to interact opportunity and dialogue with established community leadership. For additional information contact Emma White, Indian River County Chamber of Commerce leadership@indianriverchamber.com.

 
PHOTOGRAPHY CLASSES 
Beginning Photography 

This course is the first in a continuing series of studies in photography. The intent is to learn about the camera, how it works, and how it can work for you to take better pictures faster and more creatively. Studies include, Depth of Field, shutter speeds, apertures, ISO, correct exposures, basic composition, lenses, metering,  along with basic flash.

REQUIREMENTS:  A fully manual FILM or DIGITAL camera with Manual Exposure Mode; a camera with complete control over the shutter speed, aperture and ISO.  Film Cameras are available on loan from the instructors at a first come first serve basis.

For questions specific to this program, please call the Instructor at 772-340-4443 or email drussell@irsc.edu.

Date:  Monday, September 14, 2015 @ IRSC Main Campus -600PM – 8:00PM 

Date:  Thursday, September 17, 2015 @ IRSC Stuart Campus -6:00PM – 8:00PM
Cost:  $229  
Intermediate Photography
*Prerequisite(s): Beginning Photography

Discussions will include: The Principles and Elements of Good Composition —Studying the Masters—Critique—Find your own style; Color temperatures, Zone System, Studio Set ups, Flash, Black and white; How to show mood in your photos using light, color and special techniques; How to add interest with special effect filters and screens, compositional framing, and unusual angles; How to make your scenes look 3 dimensional; How to show action using still or moving subjects; How to work in low light conditions; How to arrange a portrait or still life; Build a working portfolio of diversified subjects which showcase techniques and creativity.

Equipment: Fully manual, 35mm, medium or large format film or digital camera.

For questions specific to this program, please call the Instructor at 772-340-4443 or email drussell@irsc.edu.

Date: Monday, September 14, 2015 @ IRSC Main Campus -8:00PM – 10:00PM 

Date: Thursday, September 17, 2015 @ IRSC Stuart Campus -8:00PM-10:00PM
                                                                                 Cost:  $229
Advanced Photography

*Prerequisite(s): Beginning & Intermediate Photography     

This class provides an updated source of information about the ever changing field of photography.  Classes are designed for serious amateurs and professionals.  They involve in-depth studies into the applications of various techniques using film and/or digital, equipment, and camera formats; with emphasis on improving technical proficiency through “hands-on” experiences and critique.  This is a continuous program of 6 week classes. Students can attend year round or just 6 weeks a year.

For questions specific to this program, please call the Instructor at 772-340-4443 or email drussell@irsc.edu   Date: Tuesday, September 22, 2015 @ IRSC Stuart Campus                                                                               Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 @ IRSC Stuart Campus

6:00PM – 8:00PM   

 Cost:  $125

Patio Seafood Tavern ribbon cutting

Cloudy skies didn’t dampen the spirits of the team of the Patio Seafood Tavern, headed by entrepreneur Bill Brown, as the Indian River Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting August 28th.

The Sexton family who owns the historic building also was included in the celebration.  “We are so happy to see this wonderful place full of smiling faces.” Chris Sexton said.

The Patio Seafood Tavern has a wide variety of fare from fresh seafood, steaks, burgers and a large assortment of appetizers, with great quality food, entertainment and atmosphere.

patio ribbon

Pictured Left to right: Chamber Ambassadors Janean Barrows, Steve Schwartz, owner Bill Brown, Ambassador Dick Cantor (back) Chris Sexton, Ambassadors Melody Ipolito, Cindy Hejlik, Anna Valencia Tillery and Nicky Maslin

CCTI logo
Basic Microsoft Office 
This class gives students an overview of the basic features found in the Microsoft Office Suite of programs. Students will obtain an understanding of all the programs in Office Suite through hands on experience using MSWord, MSExcel and MSPowerPoint.
Date: Tuesdays & Thursdays, September 8, 10, 15 & 17, 2015
Main Campus | 6PM – 9PM | Y208
Investment: $129

Fraser Allport opens new office

Known as “The Total Advisor” to his clients nationwide, Fraser Allport specializes in Retirement Planning, Income Tax Reduction, Estate and Divorce Planning, Business Planning, and Asset Protection. Born in Connecticut in 1959, Fraser graduated in 1982 from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C., where he studied Business, Finance, History, and Economics.

Allport, self-employed for 33 Years in Financial Services, has expanded to a new office, located at Suite 202 in the modern Vero Commercial Center West at 1880 82nd  Avenue, Vero Beach, FL. 32966. New office phone number 772 – 925 – 1601.

The new office allows additional staff to serve clients better, providing a variety of services, including Retirement Planning, Income Tax Reduction and Asset Protection, Estate and Divorce Planning, and Business Planning for Individuals and Corporations.

The office has a large conference room, and will offer big-screen televisions, tracking the Global Financial Markets. making the new offices a learning environment that is also fun and dynamic.

Idea Garden wins awards for publication excellence

Once again, Idea Garden Advertising has been awarded with the honor of an industry coveted 2015 Apex Award for a One-Of-A-Kind Print Publication, for its Who’s Who in Indian River County Chamber of Commerce Directory. The Apex awards are based on excellence on graphic design, editorial content and the ability to achieve overall communications excellence.

   “We are proud of our Who’s Who in Indian River County Business publication,” stated Penny Chandler, Chamber President. “Our staff continues to collaborate to make the publication’s editorial content both engaging and informative.  Our local publisher, Idea Garden, is truly deserving of this special recognition.  They continue to grow both the publication and its impact within our community. This year, we enhanced the directory with a tourism section that is a great informational tool for tourists and residents alike.”  The tourism section of the guide was designed to also be a stand-alone publication for distribution at travel shows throughout the country.

This is the third publication award Idea Garden has won for the Who’s Who in Indian River County Chamber Directory. The agency, headed by Donna Roberts Mitchell and Sally Dillon, was the 2014 recipient of a Hermes Creative Award, Gold Level, as well as also formerly receiving and Apex award in 2014.

 IRSC Microsoft Office summer courses through CCTI                                                                         CCTI logoBasic Microsoft Office 

This class gives students an overview of the basic features found in the Microsoft Office Suite of programs. Students will obtain an understanding of all the programs in Office Suite through hands on experience using MSWord, MSExcel and MSPowerPoint. 
Date: Tuesdays & Thursdays, July 7, 9, 14, 16, 2015
Main Campus | 6PM – 9PM | Y208
Investment: $129

Intermediate Excel 2010

This hands on instruction class introduces numerous Excel worksheet functions.
  • Sorting
  • filters and freeze panes
  • handling and printing large worksheets
  • custom formatting of cells
  • data validation
  • conditional formatting
  • worksheet functions
    • SUM, MIN, MAX COUNTA, AVERAGE and IF
  • How to data mine worksheet text using functions like
    • LEFT, RIGHT, MID, SEARCH, LEN, REPLACE, AND TRIM
  • Tips, tricks and short cuts
Date: Tuesdays & Thursdays, July 28, 30, Aug 4, 2015
        Main Campus | 6PM – 9PM | Y208
Investment: $109

 Indian RIRCOUNTY CHAMBER LOGOiver Chamber seeking award nominations

The deadline is approaching for local businesses to submit their nominations for the Indian River Chamber’s 2015 Industry Appreciation Awards program.  Nominations are due in to the Chamber office by 5pm Friday, July 31.  Nomination forms and the awards criteria are available on the Economic Development page of the Chamber’s website www.indianriverchamber.com, at the Chamber building or from members of the Awards Committee.  Award recipients will be recognized at the Chamber’s annual Industry Appreciation Awards luncheon on September 17.

“It is important to recognize the achievements of our local businesses and all they add to the quality of life we enjoy in Indian River County” explains Helene Caseltine, Economic Development Director for the Chamber. The Awards program is part of the Chamber’s overall economic development strategy as it relates to business retention and expansion.

Categories include awards for new commercial and industrial construction, plus new residential developments. Projects that involve commercial redevelopment and building renovations, including historic renovations, are also included. Construction projects are recognized for their architectural aesthetics as well as the benefit to the immediate area.  Construction must be substantially completed with a Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Completion issued between 8/1/14 and 7/31/15.

The Chamber will also honor Entrepreneur of the Year, Manufacturer of the Year, Latin Business of the Year, and Company of the Year.  Business owners or their employees can submit nominations for their own company.

For the 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year, the Awards Committee will consider ingenuity, initiative, company growth, and risk taken by local entrepreneurs and their contribution to the local economy.  To qualify, the nominated entrepreneur must have established a new company in Indian River County no more than five years ago.

Considerations for Manufacturer of the Year include the company’s role as a “contributory” business, meaning the company sells or distributes the majority of its products outside the local market.  Additional criteria include:  higher than average wages for their employees; an increase in productivity within the industry; and the company’s economic impact.

Company of the Year and Latin Business of the Year nominees have similar criteria with a stronger emphasis on the company’s work environment, its economic impact on the community, and the company’s civic involvement.

For more information on the 2015 Industry Appreciation Awards nominations, call or email Helene Caseltine, Economic Development Director with the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce, at 772-567-3491 or directored@indianriverchamber.com.

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is a county-wide organization representing the business community by providing services, benefits and leadership for positive growth and change.

Jobs Grant program has positive impact on local economy

NEWS RELEASE

A recent analysis of the county’s Local Jobs Grant program demonstrates that this incentive to grow jobs in Indian River County has proven successful. The county’s Local Jobs Grant program was created to provide financial incentives for targeted industries to locate or expand within Indian River County.

Bill Schutt, Senior Economic Development Planner with the Indian River County Community Development Department, reported to members of the county’s Economic Development Council that 171 new “wage-eligible” jobs were created thus far through the Local Jobs Grant program, generating $11,770,000 in new wages circulating throughout our local economy. Grant payments of over $779,000 have been made to date, based on new jobs created. The program began in 1996, with major revisions adopted in 2009.

The return on investment is impressive. For every dollar awarded, $22.26 in new income was generated locally through the new jobs created plus indirect and induced job creation. According to the applications filed by eligible firms, a total of 314 new jobs are anticipated over the next several years. Members of the County’s Economic Development Council pointed out that the County also receives an additional positive financial impact through property taxes and optional sales taxes received annually.

Initially adopted in 1996, the Local Jobs Grant program was not actively utilized by new or local firms. In early 2009, in response to recommendations made by the Indian River Chamber of Commerce Community Leaders Summit, the county made significant changes to the program. Commissioner Peter O’Bryan, economic development liaison to the Board of County Commissioners, spearheaded the effort to streamline the process, making it more effective and “business friendly.”

“History shows that not all new businesses succeed. And when companies fail, it can lead to plenty of negative comments on job incentive programs”, notes Commissioner O’Bryan. “However,” he continues, “Indian River County’s Local Jobs Grant Program is performance based. So it provides a meaningful incentive to help a new business start, or an existing business grow, while protecting the taxpayers’ dollars. This makes the County’s Jobs Grant Program a great investment for our community.”

The Local Jobs Grant funds are paid out after the new jobs are created and filled for a year. Companies must create a minimum of five new full-time permanent jobs paying at least 75% of the county’s average annual wage, excluding benefits. The funds are paid through phases over a 5-year period. Specifically:

  • $3,000 for each new job created that pays 75% to 99.9% of the average annual county wage ($27,144.75 to $36,192.99),
  • $5,000 for each new position created that pays from 100% to 149.99% of the County’s average annual wage ($36,193 to $54,289.49), and
  • $7,000 for each new position created that pays 150% or more of the County’s average annual wage ($54,289.50).

The Chamber’s Economic Development office facilitates the company’s Jobs Grant application and conducts its due diligence on the applicant as does the county attorney’s office. The application is then processed by County staff, reviewed by the Economic Development Council, then sent to the Board of County Commissioners for final consideration.

Helene Caseltine, the Chamber’s Economic Development Director, noted that “Our Commissioners like the fact that the program is performance based. If the jobs are not created, and the company falls short of its anticipated goals, no funds are paid out. Plus, companies like it because the application process is pretty straight forward and very user-friendly.”

Schutt reported that while the program focuses on stimulating new hires, each wage qualifying job created by a company receiving a Local Jobs Grant results in an estimated 1.076 additional spinoff jobs created by other companies. For the 171 jobs created by companies receiving a Local Jobs Grant, approximately 184 spinoff jobs are created, for a combined 355 total jobs.

Based on the latest quarterly reports submitted to the County by companies that have received jobs grants, the 171 jobs created by those companies produce $11,773,031 in annual wages. Considering a wage multiplier of 89% (.89583) to account for wages paid to the additional 166 indirect and induced spinoff jobs, the total payroll for the combined 320 jobs jumps to over $22 million in new wages.

The Indian River County Economic Development Council meets monthly and is an advisory arm to the Indian River County Board of County Commissioners. The Indian River County Chamber of Commerceserves as the county’s designated economic development agency. The Chamber represents the business community by providing services, benefits and leadership for positive growth and change.

For more information on the county’s Local Jobs Grant program, and on establishing a business in Indian River County, contact Helene Caseltine at 772-567-3491 or directored@indianriverchamber.com.

Best selling author and social media expert to be guest speaker at June 12 tourism luncheon

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce Tourism Division will feature Brian Carter, best-selling author and social media expert, as guest speaker at the 2015 Annual Tourism Luncheon. “Brian was selected as this year’s guest speaker because of the significant role social media plays in the marketing of our area as a tourism destination,” explained Allison McNeal, Indian River County Director of Tourism.

The luncheon is slated for Friday, June 12, from 12-1:30 p.m. at the Vero Beach Museum of Art followed by a Facebook Marketing Workshop from 2 -3 p.m. at Riverside Theatre. Cost to attend the luncheon and workshop is $40 and $25 for workshop only. Call Indian River County Chamber of Commerce at 772-567-3491 for reservations, which are required by June 10.

“Facebook ads are the biggest marketing opportunity in history. There’s no other way to reach TV and radio-sized audiences with this kind of targeting and this affordably,” explained Carter.

Carter is the International bestselling author: “The Like Economy,” “LinkedIn for Business”, and “Facebook Marketing.” He is a regular contributor on Bloomberg TV, ABC News and the Wall Street Journal. Working within a variety of industries with companies of all sizes, his clients include many renowned organizations such as Microsoft, NBC/Universal, The U.S. Army, The World Health Organization, Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.

Indian River County Chamber of Commerce Tourism Division is the Designated Marketing Organization for tourism promotion in Indian River County. The Chamber promotes our area as an ideal vacation destination within domestic and international markets focusing on leisure travel, destination weddings, small market meetings, group travel, cultural arts, heritage and eco-tourism. As the largest industry within the county, tourism has a tremendous impact on the local economy. Per the latest figures from Research Data Services, the total annual economic impact of tourism to our County was $281.5 million in 2014.

Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company introduces fresh strawberry lemonade

Strawberry_Lemonade_16ozBottle[1][3][1]Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company introduces their squeezed fresh, Florida Strawberry Lemonade to all Publix locations in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee. Natalie’s 16oz. Strawberry Lemonade will be available on store shelves in the produce section starting May 23rd.

Natalie’s Strawberry Lemonade is squeezed to order using Florida strawberries and fresh lemons. Made from only 4 ingredients: water, lemons, strawberry purée and pure cane sugar, Natalie’s Strawberry Lemonade is a clean ingredient juice with no preservatives, no additives and no concentrates. Natalie’s juices are also NON-GMO, soy free, gluten free and kosher certified.

Natalie’s Strawberry Lemonade is made in small batches to ensure consistency and quality. Unlike other lemonades, Natalie’s Strawberry Lemonade contains 20% juice, which is significantly higher than other lemonades.

Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company is women owned and family operated, and proudly produces the highest quality Florida juices possible. “We are a family feeding families,” said Natalie Sexton, Director of Marketing, and namesake of Natalie’s. “ We value the importance of providing authentic nutrition to our consumers, which is why our juices are made with clean ingredients – nothing artificial and never over processed.”

Natalie’s is committed to sourcing Florida citrus and American produce. To learn more about Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company’s national awards for quality, taste and nutrition, go to www.OIJC.com

Chamber tour to CVS Distribution Center big success

CVS-IRC Chamber tour participants

CVS-IRC Chamber tour participants

The economic development office of the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce facilitated a tour of the CVS Distribution Center. Fourteen participants were provided a personal tour by Ron Richmond, Distribution Center Manager, and two of members of his executive team, Todd Janson and Joe Pecoraro.

Richmond explained the equipment used, developed and installed by Witron, a German-based firm that specializes in material-handling equipment and warehouse software. As the group walked through the facility, participants saw thousands of products sorted and packed, getting ready for distribution to stores throughout South Florida.

The Chamber recruited CVS to Indian River County in 2004; it opened its doors in 2006. The company employs over 200 people in their 413,000 square foot state of the art distribution facility, representing a $60 million capital investment.  The distribution center is located west of I-95 in the Indian River Industrial Park.

The next industry tour will be held in October, in recognition of National Manufacturing month.

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is a county-wide organization representing the business community by providing services, benefits and leadership for positive economic growth and change. The Chamber can be contacted at 772-567-3491 or visit the website, http://www.indianriverchamber.com.

EVENT POSTPONED

Florida City Gas (FCG) will postpone the community celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was scheduled to take place in Sebastian, Fla., on May 12. Florida City Gas officials are responding to an emergency natural gas outage in Port St. Lucie, which affects 6,000 customers. Information will be provided once the event is rescheduled.

For information about the natural gas outage in Port St. Lucie, please visit www.floridacitygas.com  and follow us on Twitter @floridacitygas.

Florida City Gas to celebrate Indian River natural gas expansion projectsfcgLogo-295x89

Florida City Gas (FCG) will commemorate the completion of several natural gas expansion projects for Indian River County and surrounding communities. To celebrate some of the most significant energy infrastructure investments in more than a decade, officials will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Sebastian, Fla. on May 12. The ceremony will be held at Sebastian River Middle School located at 9400 CR 512 at 4 p.m., and a community celebration will follow immediately at the City of Sebastian Council Chambers located at 1225 Main St.

Florida City Gas’ Indian River Expansion Project introduces new gas distribution systems in the cities of Fellsmere and Sebastian. The expansion, which connects to the interstate transmission line west of I-95, included the construction of approximately 13 miles of high-pressure pipeline.

The pipeline safely delivers natural gas to pressure regulating stations in Fellsmere, which is near the city of Sebastian and adjacent to the intersection of State Road 512 and County Road 510 in the Winter Beach area at 77th St. and Old Dixie Highway. The project provides the capacity needed to better serve residential, commercial and industrial customers in central and southern sections of the county. Additionally, it allows for future expansion to the barrier island communities.

For information about natural gas as an energy source, please visit http://www.floridacitygas.com.

Marine Bank & Trust announces record earnings

NEWS RELEASE

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B

Marine Bank & Trust Company has just announced strong positive results in earnings and asset growth and nine consecutive quarters of profitability.

The bank has experienced asset growth year over year with $168 million in total assets as of March 31, 2015 compared to $152 million as of March 31, 2014.

“Our 2015 first quarter earnings results are a continuation of the success we experienced in 2014,” said William Penney, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our solid operating performance is being driven by new residential mortgages, small business loan growth, an increase in deposit accounts and new customer relationships.”

“The economic improvement in our community is being fueled by an increased demand for residential housing,” said Penney. “With the strong housing market, we are increasing the number of home loans we make to people in our community and are on our way to becoming Vero’s leading mortgage lender.”
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Marine Bank was chartered in 1997 and has $168 million in assets with two locations in Vero Beach, Florida. It is the only bank headquartered in Indian River County. The Bank is an active community supporter providing over $200,000 to more than 125 local non-profit organizations in the market over the last five years. For more information, visit the website at http://www.marinebankandtrust.com.

IRCOUNTY CHAMBER LOGOMaking the Case for Mobile Marketing

“Small businesses and nonprofits who start embracing mobile now will be the ones best able to compete” said social media specialist Cheri Martin.  The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce will feature Cheri and Richard Martin as instructors in a four-part local seminar series “Grow Your Business with Power Marketing Strategies.”  This new seminar series is focused on helping small businesses and nonprofits maximize their marketing success.

The first class in this four-part series is “Making the Case for Mobile Marketing” will be held Wednesday, April 22 from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. at the Chamber. There is no cost to attend but a reservation is required. To register contact the Indian River County Chamber, 772-567-3491.

Richard and Cheri Martin, WCN Interactive, Inc., are Authorized Local Experts of Constant Contact, Inc. In this series of four workshops they will provide information and tools to help small businesses and nonprofits understand how online marketing tools and strategies can help drive success.

WCN Interactive, a web consulting network, link creativity with technology in delivering compelling and effective Internet marketing solutions designed to help attract more visibility, generate quality leads and increase revenue.

The remaining three workshops and dates are:

  • May 20th – Grow Your Marketing List
  • June 23rd – Campaigns That Drive Action: Facebook Marketing Promotions
  • July 14th – Online Surveys that Work to Grow Your Business

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is a county-wide organization representing the business community by providing services, benefits and leadership for positive growth and change. To register for any Chamber event call 772-567-3491.

Caseltine to serve as economic development mentor 

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce announced that Helene Caseltine, Economic Development Director, will mentor aIRCOUNTY CHAMBER LOGO Florida colleague for the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) exam. The exam is coordinated through the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) based in Washington, D.C., and tests a practitioner’s broad-based knowledge in the economic development field. Only about 20% of CEcD candidates pass this rigorous exam on their first attempt. The certification denotes a mastery of principal skills in all aspects of economic development and reflects a commitment to personal and professional growth.

As an economic development professional for the last 28 years, Caseltine earned her certification in 2000. She is one of approximately 50 professionals in Florida who has earned this designation.  Caseltine began her career with the Florida Department of Commerce, now Enterprise Florida.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month-Looking for Businesses to Partner

As part of a national drive in April, which recognizes National Child Abuse Awareness Month, the Indian River County’s Giving Kidz a Chance and the Indian River County Healthy Start Coalition, along with ten other local non-profits are planning to place hundreds of blue and silver pinwheels in the ground in front of local businesses and residents in Indian River County.  This campaign is a reminder of the happy childhoods and bright futures that all children deserve, as well as the important role we each play in ensuring every child has an equal opportunity for healthy growth and development. 

Over thirty locations are already signed on to participate. Any business or resident eager to place pinwheels in front of their location should contact the Healthy Start offices of Giving Kidz a Chance and ask for Beth at 778-1323.

IRCOUNTY CHAMBER LOGOIndian River Chamber Property Search Webinar scheduled

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is offering a free webinar on Friday, March 20, from 10a-10:30a, to highlight the new features of our property search website, www.indianriversites.com.   The webinar will offer a brief refresher on the website’s property search capabilities and property upload opportunities, plus go over the upgraded features and tools available on the site. Participants will see how these new tools work in the scope of business intelligence gathering, how to use them in client reports or other research.  GIS-Planning, the firm that maintains the website, is conducting the webinar.

Realtors, company executives, researchers and anyone needing site location information, or detailed statistics on demographics, labor force, consumer spending and types of businesses in Indian River County are encouraged to visit the website and participate in the webinar.

The website was initially launched in late 2013 and currently has nearly 200 active properties listed.  It now features heat maps, useful in finding that perfect location in the county to serve a particular demographic group.  Another new tool is the ability to compare cities in Indian River County, or the county itself, to other jurisdictions throughout the U.S.  The site and the upgraded features are used by companies, and site consultants, as they conduct their due diligence in the site location process.

Anyone with non-residential property for sale or lease in Indian River County is encouraged to upload their property information to this website at no charge.  Call Helene Caseltine, the Chamber’s Economic Development Director, for webinar registration information and for more details about the website: 772-567-3491.

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is a county-wide organization representing the business community by providing services, benefits and leadership for positive growth and change.

Keep Indian River Beautiful awards White Glove Moving and Storage for commitment to re-use and recycling

Keep Indian River Beautiful proudly awarded White Glove Moving and Storage with their 1st Annual Large Company of the Year Environmental Award for their ongoing efforts in waste reduction and philosophy of re-use and recycling.

In 2014, White Glove Moving helped keep over 2,000 pounds of food out of the landfill while also ensuring the proper disposal of boxes and materials by re-use as well as debris pick-ups. The company has been a supporter of KIRB for the past three years understanding the more people that enjoy how beautiful Indian River County truly is the more likely they are to move here and stay here. All nominees for the various Environmental Awards were nominated and voted on by the public. “This is quite an honor and we are proud of the quality of life Indian River County provides; we are happy to help.” commented President, Phil DeLange at the Feb. 26th award luncheon held at Oak Harbor.

IRCOUNTY CHAMBER LOGOBusiness After Hours Thursday from 5-7

The Indian River Chamber of Commerce will hold it February Business After Hours Thursday, Feb. 26 at Regus, located at 601 21st Street, Suite 300. To RSVP, call 567-3491.

Procurement workshop scheduled

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is offering a FREE Procurement Workshop, scheduled for Thursday, March 5, at 6:30 p.m. at the Gifford Community Center – 4855 43rd Avenue, Vero Beach.  Purchasing representatives from Indian River County government and the School District of Indian River County will provide information on doing business with their respective agencies.

The Chamber has partnered with the Progressive Civic League of Gifford to give local businesses an opportunity to learn what is needed to become vendors for local governmental agencies. Ms. Jennifer Hyde, Purchasing Manager with the County, and Mr. Rick Chuma, Director of Purchasing and Warehouse for the School District, will provide detailed information on what it takes to become a vendor.  Topics covered will include bid lists, Requests for Proposals, proper documentation and online assistance.

The workshop is free and open to all businesses in Indian River County.  The Gifford Community Center is located at 4855 43rd Avenue, Vero Beach.  For reservations and workshop information, please call Helene Caseltine, Economic Development Director with the Chamber, at 567-3491.

The Progressive Civic League of Gifford is an active civic and community organization working in the best interest of all of the residents of Gifford. Over the past 40+ years, the organization has brought about tremendous change and noticeable improvements to the Gifford community.  The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is a county-wide organization representing the business community by providing services, benefits and leadership for positive growth and change.

Marine Bank & Trust supporting minority scholarships for Leadership Indian River County

Marine Bank & Trust has announced its continuing commitment to Leadership Indian River County, sponsored by the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce.  For the past three years, the Bank has provided a minority scholarship for Leadership Indian River County.

Leadership Indian River County is a community leadership program that includes a seven-session training program providing a hands-on, multi-disciplinary study of Indian River County’s current infrastructure, resources and issues in order to expose potential leaders to the challenges and opportunities of the area.  This year’s class will benefit from a series of leadership experiences developed for the group by the best-selling author of FISH!, Stephen C. Lundin, Ph.D.  This year’s recipient is Ms. Zamaria Spann of Waddell & Williams Insurance Group.

“We are proud to provide a scholarship to a deserving future leader,” said Bill Penney, Chairman and CEO of Marine Bank & Trust. “Our community is fortunate to have a program that is committed to developing leaders who will one day impact the growth and prosperity of our local economy. The entire Marine Bank team congratulates Ms. Spann on receiving this award.”

Marine Bank, was chartered in 1997 and has $163 million in assets with two branches in Vero Beach.  It is the only community bank headquartered in Indian River County.  The Bank is an active community supporter providing over $200,000 to more than 125 local non-profit organizations in the market over the last five years.  For more information, visit the website at www.marinebankandtrust.com.

2015 Who’s Who in Indian River County

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce has released their 2015 Who’s Who in Indian River County Business Guide. Over 1,000 copies were distributed immediately by mail to Chamber member businesses and advertisers. Thousands more are distributed to area newcomers, hotels, government offices, walk-in visitors, and the guides are available through the Indian River County Chamber offices.

The Who’s Whoin Indian River County Business is published by local company Idea Garden Advertising. In 2014 the publication was the recipient of an international Hermes Creative Award, Gold Level, for outstanding performance in the layout, design and content of the Who’s Who in Indian River County Business. Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional materials and programs, and emerging technologies.  Last year the publication also won the 2014 Apex award for excellence in one of a kind publications.

The 2015 edition of the Who’s Who in Indian River County Business includes an all new layout and design of a comprehensive visitors guide. “This new visitors guide has also been reprinted as a stand-alone publication that will be distributed in our marketing of Vero Beach, Fellsmere and Sebastian at travel shows and conferences, to tour operators and travel writers, through VISIT Florida, and to thousands of people visiting our community” stated Penny Chandler, Chamber President.

The publication carries the names and contact information for the businesses and the type of services of every member of the Chamber.  It includes information about the communities located within Indian River County, as well as local economic, health care and education information, and a variety of newcomer information for those recently moving to the area.

As the official visitors center, thousands of newcomers and tourists will obtain a copy of the 2015 guide at the Chamber offices which are located at 1216 21st Street in downtown Vero Beach.

“We take great pride in our annual Who’s Who in Indian River County Business publication” stated Penny Chandler, Chamber President.  “We know a healthy local economy is critical to our county’s success and ask everyone to remember the importance of doing business locally.  We invite people to pick up their copy of the Who’s Who in Indian River County Business at the Chamber office.”

The  Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is a county-wide organization located in Vero Beach representing the business community by providing services, benefits and leadership for positive growth and change.

Oculina Bank welcomes Lisa Jensen as new regional retail sales manager

Lisa Jensen

Lisa Jensen

Oculina Bank welcomed Lisa Jensen as its new Regional Retail Sales Manager, a position in which she oversees all aspects of the retail banking division. In her new role, Jensen is responsible for training and developing the retail team, ensuring service levels are consistent across all eight branches and developing new business opportunities in the Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties.

Jensen joins Oculina Bank with over 20 years experience in the banking industry. Her most recent role was as Director of Marketing at Dominion Investment Group where she oversaw all internal and external marketing communications. Prior, she was the Vice President, Field Marketing Manager, at TD Bank where she managed all marketing initiatives in a seven county area.

Jensen first gained experience in the banking industry with Riverside National Bank of Florida where over 16 years, she worked in nearly every department, first starting as the Microsoft Instructor, then joining the human resources team, and eventually filling several different roles on the executive administration team, including Vice President of Public Relations & Communications.

Not only is Jensen a dynamic and talented professional, she also enjoys giving back to her community. Jensen has lived in St. Lucie County for over 20 years. She is a Board Associate for the Ocean Research & Conservation Association (ORCA), and she is a recent graduate of St. Lucie Leadership 32, a St. Lucie County Chamber of Commerce leadership program where she continued growing her excellent leadership skills and was voted class valedictorian by her peers.

The Patio Hires executive chef Don Benson

The greatly anticipated return of the Patio Restaurant will boast the culinary skills of a well-heeled and well-known chef.   Don Benson has a local fan base from his early days at Dodgertown, to his recent stint as Executive Chef at the Dockside Grille. He was born in Connecticut and attended Johnson & Whales Culinary University in Providence Rhode Island, where he graduated in 1983. After graduation, Don moved to Indian River County where he joined the Los Angeles Dodgers and began his culinary career. During Don’s time here, he held various positions at some of the area’s finest country clubs. Don loves Vero Beach. He is enthusiastic about showcasing his talents and passion for amazing food, while bringing life back to the illustrious Patio Restaurant, which will now be known as The Patio Seafood Tavern.

In addition to hiring Don, The Patio is pleased to announce a new phone number 772-774-8232. Shortly, a temporary website offering basic info will launch, until the full website is completed.   www.ThePatioSeafoodTavern.com will offer information on employment, grand opening details and future reservations for group dining and events. Once again, memorable affairs will be held in this beautiful and historic venue and will feature the savvy catering skills of our locally entrenched Executive Chef, Don Benson. Additional inquiries may be made at info@thepatioseafoodtavern.com while we are readying the space to return to its former glory.

Bob Morgan joins Marine Bank & Trust as Asst. Vice President for residential and commercial lending

Bob Morcan

Bob Morgan

Marine Bank & Trust has announced that Bob Morgan has been hired as Assistant Vice President, Residential/Commercial Lending. Mr. Morgan will serve all of Indian River County in addition to southern Brevard County with focus on Sebastian. He brings more than 20 years of lending experience to the Bank. Most recently, he was a commercial lender for Oculina Bank in Vero Beach.

“Marine Bank has set a goal to be the premier mortgage lender in Vero Beach and our surrounding communities,” said Bill Penney, Chairman and CEO of Marine Bank & Trust. “Recruiting experts in the field that share Marine’s commitment to service is a giant step toward that goal. Bob Morgan will play a critical role in expanding our reach into Sebastian and Brevard County.”

Mr. Morgan began his banking career in 1994 as a branch manager at First Union. In 1999, he joined Advantage Home Mortgage Corporation as co-owner with Clay Collins, now Vice President, Residential Lending at Marine Bank & Trust. He received his B.A. in Finance from Florida Atlantic University and has lived in Vero Beach since 1985.

CenterState Bank Helps to Raise Money for the Harvest Outreach Radiothon

As title sponsor of the 6th annual Harvest Outreach Radiothon, presented by Treasure & Space Coast Radio, CenterState Bank helped to provide over 65,000 meals for families on the Treasure Coast a holiday dinner this season.  This is the annual appeal for the Harvest Food & Outreach Center who provides food and hope on the Treasure Coast.

“This is the second year CenterState Bank has been involved in this outstanding fundraiser,” commented Chris Bieber, Vice President Commercial Lender for the community bank.  “I personally spend time on the telephone talking to the supporters and helping to raise money.  This is important for all of us to help our neighbors have a happy holiday season.  We are pleased to be a part of this.”

CenterState Bank specializes in small business services as well as checking and savings accounts, consumer loans, commercial and residential lending, financial services and internet banking. CenterState Bank is located at 855 21st Street in Vero Beach.  Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. For more information, call (772) 299-6860.

Local company honored as 2014 Florida Company To Watch

Fourth Annual Event Celebrates Entrepreneurship
Derek Dorado (St Edward's Graduate and Stetson University Graduate), employed by AZZLY; Coletta Dorado, AZZLY CEO; Dr. Tom O’Neal, Executive Director of the UCF Business Incubation Program and GrowFL, the Florida Economic Gardening Institute at UCF

Derek Dorado (St Edward’s Graduate and Stetson University Graduate), employed by AZZLY; Coletta Dorado, AZZLY CEO; Dr. Tom O’Neal, Executive Director of the UCF Business Incubation Program and GrowFL, the Florida Economic Gardening Institute at UCF

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that AZZLY was recognized as one of 50 “Florida Companies to Watch” for 2014. Based in Vero Beach, the company designed and developed an innovative cloud-based healthcare platform for the electronic medical records and practice management industry. AZZLY was started in 2009 by its President and CEO, Coletta Dorado.

The 50 honorees, selected from an initial group of 500, were celebrated at an awards ceremony on October 23 at the Hard Rock Live at CityWalk, Orlando with about 300 in attendance. In its fourth year of celebrating entrepreneurship, the annual “Florida Companies to Watch” awards program is presented by GrowFL, a program of the Florida Economic Gardening Institute at the University of Central Florida in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation.

As a partner organization of GrowFL, the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Division is proud to support this program and nominate companies from throughout the county as part of its business retention and expansion activites. AZZLY was selected from a pool of more than 150 second-stage growth companies. eMindful, a Vero Beach company providing online interactive mind-body wellness programs, was recognized in 2012.

“AZZLY represents the type of industry ideally suited for Indian River County – clean industry paying above average wages with strong growth potential”, stated Helene Caseltine, the Chamber’s Economic Development Director. “We are so proud to see AZZLY selected as one of the Class of 2014 honorees. Coletta Dorado and her team deserve to be recognized for all their hard work.” She added, “The excitement in the room during the awards ceremony was electrifying!”

“We are honored to be recognized. Grow Florida and the Economic Gardening Institute have done an excellent job promoting Florida as the perfect place to grow a high technology company. Having our local Chamber of Commerce support these programs and recognize the value of keeping top talent from our great academic centers within the state encourages us to grow our company here and message to others to come.”

“Florida Companies to Watch” was developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation. It is a distinctive awards program specifically designed to seek out second-stage businesses from a wide range of industries representing all areas of the state, not just those in major metropolitan areas. In addition to an evaluation on past growth and projected success, applicants are judged according to their special strengths and impact in their markets, communities and within the state – deeming them “worth watching.” For more information on the program or GrowFL, visit www.flctw.growfl.com or call 407-823-6384.

For information on locating or expanding your business to Indian River County, call Helene Caseltine, the Chamber’s Economic Development Director, at 772-567-3491 or email her at directored@indianriverchamber.com.

Research Coast EDC promotes region at NBBA convention 

World’s Largest Business Aviation Event at Orange County Convention Center
Pete Tesch, Executive Director, Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County, Tim Dougher, Executive Director, Business Development Board of Martin County, Helene Caseltine, Economic Development Director, Indian River County Chamber of Commerce

Pete Tesch, Executive Director, Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County, Tim Dougher, Executive Director, Business Development Board of Martin County, Helene Caseltine, Economic Development Director, Indian River County Chamber of Commerce

Partners of Florida’s Research Coast Economic Development Coalition exhibited at the 2014 National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) Annual Meeting & Convention recently in Orlando. NBAA is the world’s largest business aviation trade show – the Orlando event hosted 26,000 attendees and 1100 exhibitors. Economic development practitioners from the region, along with local elected officials and airport managers, promoted the four-county region as a potential business location.

Florida’s Research Coast EDC is comprised of the primary economic development organizations in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Okeechobee counties plus the President of CareerSource Research Coast. The aviation industry is one of the region’s targeted industries for expansion and recruitment.

NBAA2014, which took place from Oct. 21 to 23, featured over 1,100 exhibitors in the Orange County Convention Center. Additionally, more than 100 aircraft were displayed in several locations – at a sold-out static display at Orlando Executive Airport where Piper Aircraft featured several of its fleet of aircraft, at a display inside the convention center and at various exhibitor booths on the show floor. More than 26,000 people attended the show, which included representatives from 49 U.S. states and 95 countries around the world.

“The exposure was tremendous!” exclaims Helene Caseltine, Economic Development Director with the Indian River COunty Chamber of Commerce. “Anytime you have a ‘captured audience’ of that magnitude in one location provides an incredible opportunity to market our region for new business development. Of course, the next step is following-up on all those leads.”

Caseltine explained that the goal for this year’s show was to secure enough floor space for a Florida Row, encouraging representatives from Florida’s many general aviation airports and economic development organizations as well as local aviation-related businesses to have displays within the same area. “Our booth was right next to LoPresti Aviation, which is based at the Sebastian Airport,” Caseltine noted, “FDOT and several smaller airports were directly across from us.” She is working with the Florida Department of Transportation and her economic development colleagues throughout Florida to plan for the 2016 show, when it returns to the Orange County Convention Center.

For information on locating or expanding your business within Florida’s Research Coast region, contact the following economic development offices:

  • Indian River County – Helene Caseltine, Indian River Chamber of Commerce, 772-567-3491, directored@indianriverchamber.com
  • St. Lucie County – Pete Tesch, St. Lucie EDC, 772-336-6250 x1, ptesch@youredc.com
  • Martin County – Tim Dougher, Martin County Business Development Board, 772-221-1380, tim@bdbmc.org
  • Okeechobee County – Terry Burroughs, Okeechobee Chamber of Commerce, 863-467-6246, twbfla@gmail.com.

Roth Interiors: Reflecting each homeowner’s unique personality

The Roth Interior Team

The Roth Interior Team

STEPHANIE HERZOG

In any home, true beauty is achieved when the design reflects the owner’s unique personality. From conceptualization to actualization, interior design is one of the most complex yet rewarding ways to express your individual style.

Although there are countless ways to illustrate creativity in your home, one of the most crucial aspects of any space is its windows- the figurative eyes of every room. With the right window treatments to suit your needs and desires, form and function blend seamlessly so that any room comes alive with your own personal touch and becomes a window to your soul.

Roth Interiors has proudly served Vero Beach for the past thirty five years offering top quality curtains, drapery, shades, shutters and upholstery with small town customer care. Owner Bob Roth and his knowledgeable staff draw on their considerable experience to cut through all the confusion and meet each customer’s specific lighting, functional and stylistic needs. With complimentary design service available, any and every client can find the right window fashions for their home.

As the largest Hunter Douglass gallery and showroom in Vero Beach, Roth Interiors sets the standard in both style and service. Owner Bob has learned in his many years of experience that “you’ve got to win your customers every day,” and his method for this is tried and true – he offers the designer experience without the designer price. Offering free home estimates and design service, top of the line product selection, as well as professional and affordable measuring and installation, Roth Interiors has perfected the window treatment experience for its clients.

With the holidays soon upon us, the home decor season is starting, and since custom window treatments are made to order, the time to order is now. Keeping this in mind, Roth Interiors is currently offering a Season of Style Event through December 16th. During the promotion, numerous Hunter Douglass custom window options – such as consumer favorites like Duette Honeycomb shades and Solera Soft Shades – are available with $100 rebates and additional rebates based on quantity purchased. Roth Interiors also offers in-house discounts on countless varieties of its other quality products every day of the year.

By offering every conceivable amenity for its customers while maintaining competitive and fair pricing, Roth Interiors and staff have made many loyal friends out of their customers. They are not simply “order takers.” The skilled and experienced staff is able to pinpoint each client’s needs, point out possible concerns, suggest effective solutions and polish rough concepts into finished designs to exceed each homeowner’s expectations.

Florida Veterinary League introducing after-hours vaccination program

At the Florida Veterinary League a team of veterinarians is ready to help you return your pet's love with the best of care.

At the Florida Veterinary League a team of veterinarians is ready to help you return your pet’s love with the best of care.

STEPHANIE HERZOG

No matter how hectic everyday life gets, our pets are always there at the end of the day to offer us their love and devotion. But as every pet owner knows, returning that love can often times translate into an endless procession of responsibilities and requirements. Even with a single pet that is the picture of health, the upkeep of yearly vaccines, check ups, prescriptions and preventatives can be truly daunting.

There are several organizations that offer pet services at promotional rates in our area. Vaccine drives are offered only on particular dates at a specific place and time. These discounted rates attract many pet owners who stand in line for their animal to receive a cursory examination and a preselected “vaccine package.” Once the pet is treated, the owner receives a proof of vaccination, but is sublimely unaware of the complications they may face down the road.

The primary issue is that in a mass treatment setting, each pet does not receive the in-depth analysis they would with their regular veterinary professional, who has the benefit of the animal’s medical history. Instead of checking a box to select a “vaccine package” – multiple tests and shots grouped together based on the average pet – your vet will be able to precisely administer only the vaccines which are necessary and will be aware of any potential reactions/intolerances.

The other significant benefit of using your regular vet is just as much practical as it is cautionary. If you ever require a prescription for heartworm or flea medication, which most pet owners do, your vet is legally required to have examined the dog within the last year and, in the case of any heartworm treatment, a very recent heartworm test. This leaves innumerable animal lovers in a bind, paying for additional exams and testing despite having their pets seen recently by a vet, simply to get a prescription.

With this in mind, the Florida Veterinary League has enacted several new solutions for clients and their four legged friends to keep costs down and hassle at a minimum. By implementing a new after-hours vaccination program weekly with reduced rates, the Vet League is able to offer the same economical options as their competitors while retaining all the benefits of a full service veterinary clinic. This exciting new program is done after regular hours from 6 to 8pm on Tuesday evenings, and no appointment is needed.

As well as their new vaccination program, the Veterinary League now offers a Pet Wellness Rewards Program which rewards their clients’ loyalty with 5% back for future use. The Florida Vet League is excellent at maintaining fair and competitive pricing on all of their services, and through the new rewards program, which costs a reasonable $60, is able to treat their clients to money back, two free exams and a free toe nail trim in addition to a flat 5% back.

In these days of flash sales and Internet specials, it’s a great comfort to find our friends at the Veterinary League constantly evolving to maintain an excellent value for all their services, without ever sacrificing their signature personal care.

Drone technology comes to Vero Beach

Sept. drone 3

MILT THOMAS

Dave Talbot of Treasure Coast Aerials taking the cover picture of Crestlawn Cemetery.

Dave Talbot of Treasure Coast Aerials taking the cover picture of Crestlawn Cemetery.

With all the press recently about military drones and espionage drones, these little electronic wizards have found their way into the private sector, around the U.S. and right here in Vero Beach. The cover photo on this month’s issue of InsideVero is an example of how drone photos can have a dramatic impact.

Dave Talbot of Treasure Coast Aerials, LLC, uses GPS-enabled Unmanned Aerial Systems with image stabilizing equipment and cameras, the proper name for drones, to shoot both photos and videos that can take your breath away. “They are great for real estate agents looking for that unique angle,” says Talbot, “or a property developer looking to show the complete size of a proposed site, progression photos as the site develops, tourism promotion, government zoning visuals, party planners or people who just want a fun photo for a special event.”

The drone itself is lightweight, highly maneuverable, and takes high definition quality images (1080p video and 14 megapixel photos for those who like the details) from near ground level up to more than 2000 line of sight. It is fully controlled by the operator with a control panel that directs the drone’s speed from hovering to rapid movement, ascent and descent, while shooting images all the way. “If for some reason the drone goes beyond its communication limits, it is programmed to automatically return to point of origin and land.”

Vero Beach's municipal cemetery, Crestlawn Cemetery. Aerial photo by David Talbot.

Vero Beach’s municipal cemetery, Crestlawn Cemetery. Aerial photo by David Talbot.

Before now, you would have to rent a helicopter, small plane or snorkel truck to get these types of shots, and at much greater expense, but now Talbot will meet you at your desired location, unpack his gear and send his drone into the air for 20-25 minutes at a time.

This invites comparison to radio controlled model airplanes, but with its four-point shape and rotors, HD-quality photography, models were never this versatile. There are rules and regulations concerning use of drones as you might imagine, but Dave Talbot is an expert. His other line of work is institutional technology. No surprise there.

If it sounds like something out of science fiction…well, let’s put it this way – anyone from five to 30 years old considers it perfectly normal in today’s technological world.  You can probably think of at least half a dozen uses for a Treasure Coast Aerials drone and Dave Talbot knows how to make them happen.

For more information, contact Dave Talbot at 772-519-0904 or visit Treasure Coast Aerials online at www.tcaerials.com.

One comment

  1. The old diesel power plant building grabs my attention.The old large red brick building,with so many windows and so much space gets my mind reeling about possibilities. Artists , students of dance,or maybe a place for several people to go to work every day .Sewing machines creating fresh new looks on the fashion scene,punky haute couture. You know a fashion school or maybe a place to go to listen to loud new music or soothing rhythm and blues. All of the above. Is it big enough? Do people pay for ideas? Noise is a factor I have heard, so maybe a machine shop or antigue car painting and restoration shop ,a machine shop where welding and sculpture is created…..

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