On Tuesday, January 21, 2020, over 450 local business owners and community leaders came together to celebrate the best of the Nassau County business community at the Chamber's Annual Awards Dinner & Gala. The purpose of this event is to highlight the talented men and women who work so tirelessly to provide a service for members of our community. On behalf of the entire Nassau County Chamber of Commerce, we thank every business that worked so hard to make 2019 such an incredible year. We would also like to thank all of the sponsors of this year's event; without their support, the Annual Awards Gala would not be possible.
And the winners are...
LARGE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
The Lakeside at Amelia Island
MEDIUM BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Traders Hill Farm
SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Atlantic Hair Studio
GREEN BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR
Octavio Martinez | Hot Paws Pet Grooming, Hotel & Spa
YOUNG BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR
Jackson Selvidge | Brightway, The Coastal Agency
CUSTOMER SERVICE PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR
Rachel Clark | Traders Hill Farm
NONPROFIT BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
ISLAND COUNCIL MEMBER OF THE YEAR
Melanie Brubaker | Amelia River Cruises
YULEE COUNCIL MEMBER OF THE YEAR
Stuart Davis | River Capital Advisors
WESTSIDE COUNCIL MEMBER OF THE YEAR
Lisa Rozier | Family Support Services of North Florida
CHAMBER AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR
Ashley Powell | Building It Green, LLC
2019 CHAIRMAN'S AWARD
Sean McGill | Taylor Morrison
DR. HARRY HALLEY BOWTIE AWARD
FOR VOLUNTEER EXCELLENCE
Kimberly Schwerdtfeger | Amelia River Cruises
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
St. Clare, a new Catholic early learning center in Nassau County, will open in time for the new school year this fall. The school is located in Wildlight, a master-planned community by Raydient Places + Properties in Nassau County near I-95 and A1A.
The early learning center will serve children as young as 6 weeks to 4 year olds. Construction began last fall on the 19,810 square-foot building. The $6.2 million school will have space for 177 students.
“We are so excited to bring a Catholic early learning center to Nassau county, especially to the new Wildlight community, as our first step. St. Clare will be our ninth early learning center and will serve students from six weeks old to pre-kindergarten and in a family-centered environment. As families entrust their children to us, as our mission statement says, ‘[w]e believe in providing programs that truly enhance the emotional, social, physical, spiritual and intellectual growth of young children.’ The center will open in the fall of 2020 and we will begin a search for highly competent and qualified staff to serve the community. We are looking forward to continued expansion on this piece of property with a Catholic church, school and parish hall.”
“We are thrilled to welcome the St. Clare Early Learning Center to Wildlight as the community’s first religion-centered educational system,” said Chris Corr, president of Raydient Places + Properties. “Our community prides itself on providing top-rate, high-quality facilities that foster learning, education and growth among our students. The Catholic school community of the Diocese of St. Augustine will continue to expand our educational environment by providing a rich culture where students can learn in their faith, values and academics.”
Catholic school officials expect to draw families from Yulee, Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, and even Southern Georgia including Kings Bay Navy Base, which is part of the Diocese of Savannah.
If you would like to register a child starting as early as May, call the Catholic Schools Office at (904) 262-0668. To learn more about St. Clare Early Learning Center, visit www.stclareelc.org.
As 2020 dawns, many great things are happening in our city. New wayfinding signage downtown points our residents and visitors to the stores and shops that profit from their business and keep our downtown thriving. Events like the History Happens Here tours and speaker panels at the Courthouse have re-energized our appreciation of the historic district and recognized the people whose hard work and vision in the 1970s preserved our architectural legacy. A new book Saving Fernandina, telling the full story of our 70s efforts to revitalize downtown, is now in local bookstores. And the Historic Preservation Tour and Awards reinforced and demonstrated that preservation and economic vitality are solid partners.
What’s coming in 2020?
We’re assessing current lighting fixtures and sidewalks downtown to create a replacement plan for both safety and consistency, including funding source, by the end of the 2nd quarter.
Working with expert arborists we’ll examine the condition of our all-important trees and the shade they provide downtown. We’ll create a plan for replacement where necessary, along with funding sources.
We’ll replace landscaping in permanent beds in the 2nd quarter.
The new wayfinding, with standardized directional and parking signs, will be completed by end of 2nd quarter, depending on funding.
All of these things happen in great measure because of the Fernandina Beach Main Street program – one of 1600 organizations across the nation that are part of the National Trust – along with the support of the city and partners including the History Museum, the Restoration Foundation, the Historic Fernandina Business Association, Chamber of Commerce, Amelia Island Tourist Development Council and the dozens of volunteers who help us deliver on the Main Street promise: Nationally recognized. Locally powered.
Ricky Robbins, President and local business person
Terri Tennille, Vice President and local business person
Jose Miranda, Secretary, Restoration Foundation, and local architect
Dawn Tiura, Treasurer and local business person
Sal Cumella, City of Fernandina Beach Preservation Planner
Gil Langley, Convention Visitors’ Bureau
Lindy Kavanaugh, local business person
Buddy Jacobs, local Preservation Award winner and attorney
Bobby Ferreira, past president and local business person
From Business After Hours to ribbon cutting ceremonies, the Chamber offers members plenty of opportunities to network with other business professionals in the area. One of our favorites is our monthly NetPerks morning networking event, which we are excited to start up again in the new year!
NetPerks is meant for smaller businesses that might not be able to handle the amount of people who attend Business After Hours, but still want to show off their business to members of the community. NetPerks events take place in the morning on the last Friday of each month. There is no cost to host, but businesses are asked to provide light refreshments for all attendees, such as breakfast treats and coffee, and two door prizes for a raffle drawing.
Interested? Download the NetPerks Agreement form below or contact the Nassau County Chamber of Commerce at (904) 261-3248 or info@NassauCountyFLChamber.com.
Home2 Suites by Hilton, part of Hilton’s (NYSE: HLT) All Suites portfolio, announced today its newest property, Home2 Suites by Hilton Fernandina Beach Amelia Island. Designed for travelers who want to enjoy the Suite Life, the hotel features 103 suites and a range of value, tech-focused and eco-conscious amenities. Home2 Suites by Hilton Fernandina Beach Amelia Island is located on the northern most point of Florida’s Atlantic Coast and complements the city’s flourishing tourism industry, which hosted a record 690,100 overnight visitors last year.
“As a brand, we’re committed to delivering the modern and flexible accommodations our guests demand in a growing number of coastal destinations that they love to visit,” said Adrian Kurre, global head, Home2 Suites by Hilton. “Fernandina Beach’s picturesque beaches, pristine golf courses and rich history make it a paradise for both vacationers and business travelers extending their stays for some well-earned leisure time.”
OUTDOOR SPACE AVAILABLE FOR GUESTS.
Owned and managed by Fernandina Investments, Home2 Suites by Hilton Fernandina Beach Amelia Island offers all-suite accommodations with fully-accessorized kitchens and modular furniture, providing guests the flexibility to customize their suite to their style and preference. The hotel also features complimentary Internet, inviting communal spaces and trademark Home2 Suites by Hilton amenities such as Spin2 Cycle, a combined laundry and fitness area, Home2 MKT for grab-and-go items and the Inspired Table, a complimentary daily breakfast that includes more than 400 potential combinations. Guests can also enjoy an outdoor saline pool, fire pit and grill area. Home2 Suites by Hilton Fernandina Beach Amelia Island is also pet-friendly.
Located at 2246 Sadler Road, Home2 Suites by Hilton Fernandina Beach Amelia Island offers guests convenient access to local restaurants and close proximity to historic downtown Amelia Beach and the Beach. Guests can commute to Jacksonville International Airport in just 35 minutes.
Home2 Suites by Hilton Fernandina Beach Amelia Island is part of Hilton Honors®, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 17 distinct hotel brands. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else and free standard Wi-Fi. Members also enjoy popular digital tools available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors mobile app, where Hilton Honors members can check-in, choose their room and access their room using a Digital Key.
Read more about Home2 Suites by Hilton at www.home2suites.com and newsroom.hilton.com/home2suites.
Keep Nassau Beautiful introduced its newest program, Planting Nassau’s Future by committing to a project which will plant 300 trees in Nassau County by April 30, 2020. The project kicked-off with the planting of a donated tree at Central Park, Fernandina Beach.
The tree was donated by a local couple who are committed to protecting habitat and contributing to the community. They gifted the tree to Fernandina Beach in the hope that their gift may encourage others who can, to do the same. Through this project Keep Nassau Beautiful plans to distribute trees through public and organization specific educational events, and by coordinating spaces throughout Nassau County that may receive the gift of a larger, donated, legacy tree.
During the planting ceremony, participants were advised of the many ways to get involved in Planting Nassau’s Future, Adopt-A-Tree project. The project seeks individuals who have interest in planting trees on private property, and businesses and organizations who have interest in planting multiple trees on business-owned or public property. Educational support will be provided so adopted trees may be given the best possible support for on-going good health. For individuals and organizations who would like to donate a legacy tree, Keep Nassau Beautiful will coordinate a tree planting on public property or your private property location. The donor may select the location and the tree species based on the right tree for the location.
“Keep Nassau Beautiful thanks the organizations and individuals who have helped make this project possible,” said Lynda Bell, Executive Director, “we are looking forward to working with the individuals, volunteers and donors who are committed as we are to beautifying Nassau County.”
For more information on Planting Nassau’s Future and Adopt-A-Tree or to donate a legacy tree, https://www.keepnassaubeautiful.org/news-and-events/ or 904-261-0165.
Keep Nassau Beautiful, Inc. is working to inspire, educate, and equip individuals, groups, businesses and governments to take action to make Nassau County a place where residents, visitors and wildlife can thrive and experience the beauty of Nassau County. www.keepnassaubeautiful.org
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