13Mar/19

Two Men and a Truck collecting donations for “Movers for Moms”

Movers for Moms®
Program Overview

What is it?

? TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® locations across the country and internationally are collecting donations for local women’s and family shelters for delivery on Mother’s Day.
? The purpose of the program is to recognize those moms living in shelters this Mother’s Day by arranging delivery of small gifts for women who are victims of domestic abuse or homelessness.
? 2019 will mark the 12th year for the Movers for Moms® program and the seventh year it’s been a national program.
? The donations we encourage include any/all creature comforts items: nice soaps, hair styling products, shampoos and conditioners, pillows, blankets, slippers, robes, etc. In most cases, shelters’ will provide a list of specific needs.
When does it happen?
? Partnering organizations can begin collecting at any time, but the collection typically runs from late March through the Friday before Mother’s Day.
? TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® will pick up and deliver the collected items to partnering women’s shelters on or before Mother’s Day — Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12, 2019.
Why a collection for Moms?
? TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has women in key leadership across the company, and some of our most successful franchisees are women, so the idea for Movers for Moms® came to us naturally.
2018 Results
? Every TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise location participated in Movers for Moms®.
? Movers for Moms® collected more than 366,000 essential items which were distributed to hundreds of shelters for Mother’s Day.
? The 2019 national goal is to exceed 400,000 items for mothers in need!
Want More Information?
? Check us out on Facebook – www.facebook.com/moversformoms
? Follow us on Twitter @MoversForMoms

13Mar/19

A-C-T’s Chili Cook Off Shatters Records for United Way

BARTOW, FL (March 8, 2019)— Today, A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure’s ninth annual Chili Cook-off shattered previous years’ records.  The flavorful event raised $24,255 in 120 minutes – a 61.4 percent increase over last year! This brings the annual cook-off’s 9-year total to $72,840 – all for the United Way of Central Florida.

A-C-T’s Jennifer Kincart Jonsson, who also serves as the firm’s United Way Employee Coordinator, had a vision for making the Chili Cook Off a signature awareness event for the company’s annual fundraising campaign – one that would have broad appeal and grow to involve as many community members as possible.

Since 2010, this event has raised funds that directly benefits our local communities through programs supported by the United Way of Central Florida. This year, approximately 500 attendees tested their taste buds on a record 56 chili entries (all donated) in three categories – mild, imaginative and hot.

“People want to support our community,” Jonsson said. “We love that we have become an annual ‘must attend’ event because ever dollar goes back into our community through the United Way.”

Judges in the hot category were: Roger Todd (97.5 WPCV), Christina Criser Jackson (United Way of Central Florida) and Greg Littleton (Citizens Bank & Trust).

Mild category judges were: Rep. Melony Bell (Florida House, District 56), Ed Crenshaw (Publix Super Markets and United Way Campaign Chair) and Chef Marcos Fernandez (Nineteen61).

Judges in the imaginative category were: the Honorable Adam Putnam, Major Ian Floyd (Polk County Sheriff’s Office) and Seth McKeel (Southern Strategy Group).

Each judge made their way through the various chili entries, judging on five elements including aroma, color, consistency, taste and aftertaste.  Their combined average scores determined the 2019 winners.

A-C-T announced first, second and third place overall high scoring winners and presented trophies to the 2019 top chefs:

  • 1st Place Overall – Yadira Holmes for her “Mean Girl Chili” (hot category entry)
  • 2nd Place Overall – Sharon Casey with her “Spicy Chili Trinity” (hot category entry)
  • 3rd Place Overall – Pam Merashoff and her “Chili Chili Bang Bang” (hot category entry)

 

Specific category winners, each of whom received a certificate, were:

Mild Category:

  • 1st Place – Jamie Clark Southern Soul  Chili
  • 2nd Place – Michael LagroneKing Cobra Chili
  • 3rd Place – Rick Johnson  – Johnson’s Chow

Imaginative Category:

  • 1st Place – Jason HuffmanJack Creeks II
  • 2nd Place – Kara KatzarasIt’s In There
  • 3rd Place – Jeri CartwrightWinter Comfort

Hot Category:

  • 1st Place – Yadira HolmesMean Girl Chili
  • 2nd Place – Sharon Casey Spicy Chili Trinity
  • 3rd Place – Pam Merashoff  Chili Chili Bang Bang

For more information, contact A-C-T at 863-533-2000 or Chili2@A-C-T.com.

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About A-C-T:  A-C-T is an established multi-disciplined professional environmental, engineering and field services firm with expertise in a range of areas, including environmental sciences, engineering, industrial hygiene, industrial services, infrastructure, waste management and emergency response.  A-C-T employs nearly 100 full-time, part-time and contract professionals from its offices in Bartow, Gainesville, Orlando, Naples Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, and Sarasota. The firm has been recognized as one of Florida Trend’s Top 100 Companies to Work For and is also a Polk Works Employer of Distinction and Best Places to Work.  A-C-T is also Bartow’s Committee of 100’s 2012 Green Business of the Year.  For more information about A-C-T, visit www.A-C-T.com.

 

13Mar/19

Florida SBDC at USF to Celebrate National SBDC Day March 20

TAMPA, FL – The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at University of South Florida will celebrate the third annual SBDC Day Wednesday, March 20, 2019. SBDC Day is a national movement to help share the small business success stories and notable impact SBDCs have fostered in communities nationwide.

In celebration of National SBDC Day, the Florida SBDC at USF will host a Meet the Small Business Experts event at Representative Susan Valdes’ office, located at 2221 N. Himes Avenue, Suite B, in Tampa, from 5 to 8 p.m. on March 20. The event will be free and attendees will have the opportunity to speak with experts in the areas of capital access, business certification, international trade, and marketing. Registration is required at bit.ly/meet-the-experts-sbdcday. Attendees are invited to drop in for just a few minutes or stay for the evening.

“SBDC Day is an important time to reflect on all of the in-depth services that are provided to the small business community by our professionally credentialed consultants throughout our 10-county region,” Eileen Rodriguez, Regional Director of the Florida SBDC at USF said. “It gives us the opportunity to continue to connect with our strategic partners so that we can all service the small business community.”

With nearly 1,000 locations across the country, SBDCs provide local businesses and entrepreneurs with the resources needed to succeed. In 2017, America’s SBDC clients experienced annual sales growth of 18.1% almost 4.5 times more than the national average. SBDC assistance resulted in 93,471 jobs created; $7 billion in sales growth; $5.9 billion in capital investments; and 14,716 new businesses started.

“SBDC clients give their SBDCs 4.5 out of 5 stars and 92 percent of SBDC clients recommend their SBDCs to other small businesses. With nearly 40 years of expertise, proven ROI and stellar client ratings it’s clear that America’s SBDCs are the nation’s most trusted small business resource.” Charles “Tee” Rowe, President & CEO of America’s SBDC, said.

Hosted by the University of South Florida, Florida SBDC at USF provides aspiring and existing small businesses in Desoto, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota counties with no-cost consulting, low-cost training, and access to business data and research resources. In addition to its core service offering, the Florida SBDC at USF also offers specialized services to qualifying companies, including capital access, market growth, government contracting, international trade, business continuation, cybersecurity, disaster planning and recovery, and more.

To learn more about SBDC Day, please visit www.AmericasSBDC.org/SBDCDay.

 

About the Florida SBDC Network:

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

Since 2011, Florida SBDCs have provided 513,107 hours of professional business consulting to 74,669 client businesses, resulting in 252,955 jobs created, retained, or saved; $33.3 billion in sales growth; $2.6 billion in government contract awarded; $1.4 billion in capital investments acquired; and 4,159 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

 

About America’s SBDC: America’s SBDC (Small Business Development Center) Network is a partnership uniting private enterprise, government, higher education and local nonprofit economic development organizations. It is the Small Business Administration’s largest partnership program, providing management and technical assistance to help Americans start, run and grow their own businesses. Learn more at www.americassbdc.org.

 

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08Mar/19

Central Florida Architecture and Design Firms Announce Merger

Central Florida Architecture and Design Firms Announce Merger

The Lunz Group, Polk County’s largest architecture firm, joins forces with WMB-ROI

A collaborative project among two Central Florida architecture firms sparked an idea to create something greater. Today, The Lunz Group and WMB-ROI Inc. announced they are merging as part of a move that transforms the two largest Lakeland-based architecture and design companies into a regional firm spanning the I-4 corridor.

After working together last year on the design of Lakeland Economic Development’s Catapult 3.0, a 40,000 square-foot community co-working space and entrepreneurship center, the leaders of both firms saw an opportunity to combine their expertise and offer clients a broader range of services by partnering together.

“Both of our firms have been in the industry for more than 30 years and had a strong mutual respect for each other,” said Brad Lunz, president of The Lunz Group. “This merger brings more than added value to our clients through our services. It also allows us the opportunity to recruit and retain talent through leadership and mentorship opportunities. With our new size and capacity, our clients have a local option for any scale of project.”

The company will operate under the name The Lunz Group and will include five offices along the I-4 corridor from Dunedin to Melbourne, specializing in design-driven solutions through services such as visualization, master planning, virtual reality capabilities, program management and more.

“After working with Brad and his team at The Lunz Group on the Catapult project, we saw a glimpse of what we could accomplish when we work together and the added value we could bring to our clients,” said Steven Boyington, CEO of WMB-ROI. “Not only are the values and culture of our firms similar, but by combining our expertise, we introduce greater knowledge into our market sectors.”

The Lunz Group and WMB-ROI are known for their work in multiple sectors, including workplace, healthcare, higher education, municipal design, distribution, logistics and aviation. Their portfolios include projects such as the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center, LEGOLAND® Florida Beach Retreat, Saddle Creek Logistics, the new Lakeland Country Club, Watson Clinic Highlands Campus, BLUE ORIGIN and many more.

“These are exciting times for our firm,” Lunz said. “As we think about our future, this merger puts us in a strong position for sustainable growth, allowing us to foster leadership within our company while continuing to provide the professional, timely and personal service our clients expect.”

About The Lunz Group 

The Lunz Group is a full-service architectural and interior design firm providing thoughtful, well-designed built solutions throughout Central Florida and beyond. Headquartered in Lakeland, Fla., The Lunz Group provides a broad range of services for a variety of clients ranging from healthcare to logistics – both at a regional and national level. They use a value-based, client-centered design process that focuses on solutions backed by decades of design experience. Visit lunz.com for more information.

About WMB-ROI

WMB-ROI is a full-service architecture firm with expertise in master planning and architectural program management. This specialization in ROI-focused services ensures client’s business development goals remain the top priority from project conception through occupancy. Since 1980, WMB-ROI’s team of architects, engineers, program managers, interior designers and visualization artists have delivered ROI solutions across residential, commercial and industrial sectors.