Chamber announces 2018 officers and Board Reply


The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce has announced its new 2018 Board of Directors and officers. The new Board assumes their duties on October 1st, the beginning of the Chamber’s new fiscal year.

Robert Paugh, Bill Bryant & Associates will serve as Chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. Mr. Paugh remarked that “The Chamber is the ‘go to’ resource for our business community and has a long legacy of accomplishments. Over many decades, our Chamber partnerships, volunteers and staff have formed a respected and collaborative business organization. I am proud to be able to serve in the coming year as its Chairman.”

Ross Cotherman, Rehmann will serve as Vice Chairman and Michael Kissner, an attorney with Collins, Brown, Barkett, Garavaglia & Lawn Chartered will serve as the Chamber Treasurer. Jason Odom, Gould Cooksey Fennell, P.A. will serve as the Chamber’s General Counsel. More…

Moody’s economist speaks to Chamber’s Economic Leadership Alliance Reply


Dr. Mark Zandi, Bill Penney, and Helene Caseltine at Quail Valley on August 10, 201

On Thursday, August 10, the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce Economic Leadership Alliance welcomed Moody Analytics’ Chief Economist, Dr. Mark Zandi to speak to a small group at the Quail Valley River Club. Taking topic suggestions from the crowd, Dr. Zandi spoke brilliantly about subject matter most relevant to our local business owners and residents with regard to the U.S. and Florida economy. His overall outlook was positive.

Dr. Zandi directs economic research for Moody Analytics, a subsidiary of Moody’s Corp, which is a leading provider of economic research, data, and analytical tools. He regularly conducts briefings on the economy for corporate boards, trade associations, and policy makers, and has testified before Congress on topics including economic outlook, the nation’s fiscal challenges, the merits of fiscal stimulus, and financial regulatory reform. Having owned a home in Vero Beach since 2007, Dr. Zandi answered questions from the group spanning topics including unemployment, labor force, economic prospects, future recessions, real estate, the federal reserve balance sheet, and interest rates. More…

Marine Bank announces record earnings for first half of 2017 Reply


Marine Bancorp of Florida, Inc., parent company of Marine Bank & Trust Company, has just announced record earnings and asset growth for the first six months of 2017.  




1st quarter earnings



2nd quarter earnings



First 6 months earnings



The Bank has experienced asset growth year over year with $219 million in total assets as of June 30, 2017, compared to $207 million as of June 30, 2016, equating to a 6% growth rate.  Net income is up year over year due to growth in the loan portfolio and customer deposit accounts.  Loans outstanding as of June 30, 2017, were $165.9 million as compared to $164.3 million on June 30, 2016, an increase of $1.6 million. Total deposits as of June 30, 2017, were $194.1 million as compared to $187.5 million on June 30, 2016, a $6.6 million increase.  Deposits in Marine Bank’s new Sebastian Banking Center have grown 38% since the Bank purchased the location in October 2016. More…

Marine Bank & Trust CEO Bill Penny receives FBA award Reply


Bill Penney

Marine Bank & Trust President and CEO Bill Penney was presented with the 2017 Chairman’s Award by the Florida Bankers Association (FBA) at the association’s annual June meeting in Naples.

This annual award is presented to a recipient selected by the FBA Chairman in order to honor someone who has gone above and beyond to support the FBA during his or her term. Penney was selected because of his continuous support of the association, his leadership on FBA committees, and his commitment to the success of the banking industry. Continue reading…


Business: Hala Laviolette joins Center State Bank Reply


Chris Bieber, Community President and Senior Vice President for CenterState Bank in Vero Beach, announces the appointment of Hala Laviolette to the Vero Beach team. Ms. Laviolette, with over 25 years of banking experience, is the Vice President, Commercial Relationship Manager for the Vero Beach Banking Center. She is working directly with Bieber in commercial lending and with Assistant Branch Manager Vanessa Hughes in business development. Continue reading…


Marine Bank & Trust adds new senior vice president Reply


Bill Koehne

Vero Beach, Fla. Marine Bank and Trust has announced that Bill Koehne has joined the 20-year-old bank as senior vice president, commercial lending manager. Koehne will manage Marine Bank’s team of commercial loan officers while raising awareness of the Bank’s commercial lending capabilities in Indian River and Brevard counties.

“As an independent community bank, Marine Bank is committed to being a resource for the small business owners of Indian River and Brevard counties,” said Bill Penney, president and CEO of Marine Bank. “Bill’s 40 years of experience as a commercial lender combined with his contacts in the Melbourne area will be an asset to Marine Bank’s market expansion plans.”

About Marine Bank & Trust:  Marine Bank, was chartered in 1997 and has $216 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

Marine Bank & Trust supporting minority scholarship program Reply


2017 Leadership Indian River County minority scholarship recipient David Myers of D Myers & Associates Mortgage Consulting with Marine Bank President and CEO Bill Penney.

Marine Bank & Trust will support Leadership Indian River County by providing a minority scholarship for the fifth consecutive year.  Marine Bank’s continued support ensures that a deserving individual can experience and benefit from the Indian River Chamber of Commerce program. This year’s recipient is David Myers of D Myers & Associates Mortgage Consulting.

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. 

“Our community is fortunate to have a leadership program of this caliber in our community,” said Bill Penney, president and CEO of Marine Bank & Trust. “Marine Bank is proud to provide a future leader with the benefits of this experience.  The Leadership Class of 2017 will one day influence the future growth and prosperity of our economy and we congratulate Mr. Myers on receiving this scholarship.”

Timothy Girard named 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year Reply


Timothy Girard

Timothy Girard

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. More…

Grall joins Marine Bank and Trust board Reply


Rep. Erin Grall

Rep. Erin Grall

Marine Bank & Trust is proud to announce that Vero Beach native and newly elected Florida legislator, Erin Grall, has been appointed to its board of directors. Ms. Grall is the managing partner for the Grall Law Group and represents Florida District 54 in the Florida House of Representatives.

In addition to the practice of law, Ms. Grall is committed to community service and is and has been active in many aspects of Indian River County, including local non-profits and county committees. She currently serves as Chair-Elect for the United Way of Indian River County and as Immediate Past President of the Indian River County Bar Association. She was a member of the Grants Committee of the county’s Children’s Services Advisory Committee for approximately nine years. She is a past president of the Exchange Club of the Treasure Coast and in 2008 was elected to the State Board, where she served as District Director. Ms. Grall is also the past president of Childcare Resources of Indian River. More…

County Planning & Zoning hears proposed regulations on short term rentals Reply


In a Planning & Zoning Commission meeting Thursday evening that lasted more than four hours, the South Beach Property Owners Association (SBPOA) finally achieved their “day in court” regarding the growing issue of short term vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods.  After Community Development Director, Stan Boling, presented recommendations of the County Commission-appointed Short Term Vacation Rental Advisory Committee (SRVRAC), SBPOA president, Dr. Miles Conway, presented a rebuke of those recommendations and unveiled alternate suggestions based on extensive research conducted by his organization.

In a presentation that lasted about two hours, Dr. Conway reviewed state requirements, examples of how other Florida counties are handling short term rentals, even other states, as well as how Airbnb, the leading agency handling these rentals, has extolled the virtues of this business with little regard to the impact they have on neighborhoods. Dr. Conway called up several residential homeowners who have had run-ins with renters. Two women who rent out homes to short term customers defended their rights to do so. STVRAC Chairman Glenn Powell defended his Committee’s findings and legitimacy. Vice Chairman Joe Paladin clarified some of the decision making.


IRSC’s manufacturing program gains national attention 1

Harry Brubaker, Production Trainer, Piper Aircraft, provides direction to Antonio Rivera, during IRSC’s Fast Track to Manufacturing Program.

Harry Brubaker, Production Trainer, Piper Aircraft, provides direction to Antonio Rivera, during IRSC’s Fast Track to Manufacturing Program.


The Fast Track to Manufacturing Program at Indian River State College earned national attention for outstanding workforce preparation and economic development by the League for Innovation in the Community College. The IRSC program is featured in the April Member Spotlight of the international non-profit organization as a proven training ground for manufacturing companies and individuals gearing up for employment on the Treasure Coast More…

 Marine Bank & Trust hires Daniel Fourmont as commercial loan officer Reply


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 Reply


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%. Continue reading…

Aquaculture firm locating to Indian River County Reply

Parabel to construct $10-million production facility in Fellsmere


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.

Continue reading…

Business and community leaders recognized at Chamber’s annual meeting Reply



The annual meeting of the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce was held January 27, 2016 at the Vero Beach Country Club. The program was led by 2016 Chairman of the Board Jeff Schlitt, Schlitt Services and Chamber President Penny Chandler.

During the meeting, 2015 highlights of the Chamber’s 2015 annual report were presented including the continued work in bringing factual information to the Chamber members and public about proposed high speed passenger rail crossing Indian river County. Chamber President Penny Chandler noted that “Ninety-nine years ago, the Chamber registered a complaint with the state railroad commission about freight trains blocking City of Vero Beach street crossings.” She added “Just last month, the Chamber reminded the Federal Railroad Commission, Army Corps of Engineers, the St Johns River Water Management District and others of our continued concerns about the All Aboard Florida Project.” More…

Main Street announces new Executive Director Reply


Main Street Vero Beach announces that Elaine Jones is the new executive director starting Jan 4th, 2016. Elaine has worked part time since June 2014 and has been a tremendous asset to the Main Street program.

Elaine is a BellSouth retiree of 32 years and a Vero Beach resident since 1979. She helped form the new Vero Beach Oceanside Rotary Club in 2009. She organizes big fundraising projects such as the famous Wild Game Feast, Community Service Projects including Veterans Socials and of course club parties. She is a member of The Republican Women of Indian River County, the Republican Executive Committee, and Elks Lodge of Vero Beach.

She is not a stranger with volunteering for other non-profits and organizations around the Community including United Way, Treasure Coast Healthy Start, Harbor Branch Oceanographic, Plumbago, IRNB,  The Cultural Council, Treasure Coast Community Health, Sunset Saturday.

Elaine has been employed by several non-profits including Alzheimer/Parkinson’s Association as Program Director; The SunUp Center as an Administrative Assistant organizing big fundraisers such as The Road Rally and Casino Night for several years. When SunUp merged with ARC she became an Events Coordinator; In 2014 she began volunteering at Main Street Vero Beach where she became employed as an Office Manager.

​You can reach Elaine Monday through Friday 10-4pm 772-643-6782. Main Street is located at 2036 14th Ave. Vero Beach, FL.

Do private property rights trump the right of privacy? 2


short term rental committee

Short-Term Rental Committee

In this classic showdown between the desire of real estate investors to maximize profit versus those who want to live in the traditional peace and quiet of suburban neighborhoods, the Indian River Board of County Commissioners must decide if one side deserves preference over the other or whether there is room for compromise.

The Republican-controlled state legislature has already voted on this issue in 2011 and has effectively come down on the side of private property owners, allowing them to operate short-term, vacation rentals, if local governments do not already have an ordinance on the books.


Egan is promoted and Bruckner joins United Way of Indian River County Reply


Meredith Egan

Meredith Egan

Nate Bruckner

Nate Bruckner

United Way of Indian River County has named Meredith Egan as its first Chief Operating Officer (COO). Egan joined the local organization in 2014 to establish a Community Impact business model, shifting the organization from meeting unmet community needs to addressing the underlying causes of those needs, placing greater emphasis on designing, implementing, and measuring solutions to tough community problems.

Before joining United Way of Indian River County, Egan worked with the Success By 6 and Safe and Stable Families programs for United Way of Lake County, IL, and Director of Community Initiatives at United Way of Atlantic County, NJ. Meredith has a BA in Sociology/Anthropology and Women’s Studies from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, an MA in International Service from Roehampton University, UK, and an Executive Certificate for Transformational Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Notre Dame.


Historic Dodgertown recognized by Chamber as Large Company of the Year Reply


In the baseball world, Historic Dodgertown is sacred ground. Jackie Robinson and many of professional baseball’s biggest names over the decades made their way to Vero Beach to play spring training games in Holman Stadium.

In the baseball world, Historic Dodgertown is sacred ground. Jackie Robinson and many
of professional baseball’s biggest names over the decades made their way to Vero Beach to play spring training games in Holman Stadium.

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce celebrated the achievements of local companies at its18th Annual Industry Appreciation Awards luncheon at the Indian River State College Richardson Center. Among the recognized recipients, Historic Dodgertown proudly received the Large Company of the Year.

Historic Dodgertown has hosted an ever-growing calendar of events that has impacted all facets of Indian River County businesses. Peaking each spring with an employment volume of over 120 staff members, the facility generates $1.4 million in payroll taxes. Over $70,000 is provided annually through donation and in-kind efforts from a number of charitable events including the Jackie Robinson Celebration Game, American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk and music concerts, among others.

“Historic Dodgertown is honored to receive this year’s recognition of Large Company of the Year,” said Vice President, Craig Callan, “We are proud of our hard working staff and our partnership with Indian River County government to both maintain and enhance the iconic facility that allows us to make such an impact to the local economy. We would also like to thank all the area businesses that welcome our tens of thousands of Historic Dodgertown participants as they contribute to the overall experience that athletes, coaches and families have during their stay. More…

County’s Chambers partner for Peru & Machu Picchu adventure Reply

IRCOUNTY CHAMBER LOGOSEBASTIAN CHAMBER LOGOThe 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. More…

Indian River Chamber honors local companies Reply


IRCOUNTY CHAMBER LOGOThe Indian River County Chamber of Commerce celebrated the achievements of local companies at its18th Annual Industry Appreciation Awards luncheon on September 17, at the Indian River State College Richardson Center. Dental Partners of Vero Beach was named Small Company of the year, while SpringHill Suites by Marriott and Historic Dodgertown were honored as the Chamber’s 2015 Medium and Large Company of the Year, respectively, based on employment levels.

Earlier in the week, the Indian River County Board of County Commissioners presented a Proclamation designating September 14-18, 2015 as Industry Appreciation Week in Indian River County. More…

Morgan joins Marine Bank & Trust Reply


Earl Morgan

Earl Morgan

Marine Bank & Trust has announced that Earl Morgan has joined the 18-year-old institution as vice president and manager of business banking. A 20-year veteran of the banking community in Vero Beach, Morgan has held positions at The Northern Trust Company and TD Wealth Management.

As vice president and manager of business banking, Morgan will manage the Bank’s delivery of commercial banking services efforts while leading the commercial lending team. Marine Bank provides commercial and commercial real estate loans to businesses, non-profit organizations, and professional practices. With Series 7 and 66 FINRA licensing, he can also assist clients with investment management and other related services. More…

Slight Uptick in County’s Cost of Living Reply


It costs slightly more to live in Indian River County in 2014 than it did in 2013, according to the latest Cost of Living figures released by The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER).

Among the 281 urban areas participating in the 2014 Cost of Living Index survey, the standard of living cost for a professional ranged from more than twice the national average in Manhattan, NY to almost 19 percent below the national average in Harlingen, TX.  The Cost of Living Index is published quarterly by C2ER – The Council for Community and Economic Research. The data represents average prices submitted by participating local organizations for the first three quarters of 2014.


Indian River Chamber seeking award nominations Reply


IRCOUNTY CHAMBER LOGOThe 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, 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. Continue reading…

Caseltine earns re-certification as economic development practitioner Reply


CASTELTINEHelene Caseltine, Economic Development Director with the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce, earned her re-certification as a CEcD – Certified Economic Developer from the International Economic Development Council. She earned her original certification in 2000, and is one of approximately 60 professionals in Florida who has earned this designation. Re-certification is required every three years.

The designation denotes a mastery of principal skills in economic development and a commitment to personal and professional growth. It is the highest form of credibility and competency in the economic development profession. Certified Economic Developers work with public officials, business leaders and community members to create and retain high-quality jobs while maintaining and diversifying their economic base. More…

Jobs Grant program has positive impact on local economy Reply


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. Continue reading…

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

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. Continue reading…

Business: Marine Bank & Trust announces record earnings Reply


Bill Penney

Bill Penney

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. Continue reading…

Historic Dodgertown’s revival featured in Sunday New York Times Reply


Historic Dodgertown CEO, and former Dodger owner, Peter O'Malley

Historic Dodgertown CEO, and former Dodger owner, Peter O’Malley

The continuous activity at Historic Dodgertown reached its greatest audience to date with a feature story in the Sunday, April 19th national edition of the New York Times. The story was written by David Waldstein, who toured the campus and took in the professional football and baseball events taking place during his two-day stay. The feature focused on the facility’s continued growth in a diverse portfolio of sports with much attention given to the Montreal Alouettes Canadian Football League mini-camp and the Jackie Robinson Celebration Game.

Both events were happening simultaneously across campus from one another. Having covered many Spring Training games in the past, Waldstein also depicted the historic atmosphere that still immerses the facility. The online title was “A New Spring for Old Dodgertown” while the print version simply stated, “Dodgertown 1, Ghost Town 0.” A link to the story can be found here, A New Spring for Old Dodgertown. More…