1/25/23 @ 4:40 p.m. - The Board of County Commissioners has received an Award of Excellence for Culture and Historic Preservation for the American Beach Community Master Plan. Since 2018, the County has worked hard to design a plan to enhance the community while maintaining its unique history and culture. The scope of work included extensive community engagement including public meetings with property owners, public workshops, and interviews with stakeholders. The needs and priorities identified through the outreach efforts were then used to develop the final master plan which includes protection of the beach and dunes, as well as the history of the community. The plan also includes enhancements for the community such as water/sewer lines, street lighting, paved streets and sidewalks, and preservation of historic structures such as the Evans Rendezvous.
Seeing all the efforts put forth, the Northeast Florida Regional Council selected the County for this prestigious award. The Board was then recognized at their Awards Luncheon held on January 5, 2023. The Northeast Florida Regional Council’s Chief Executive Officer, Beth Payne, stated, “The Northeast Florida Regional Council is happy to recognize Nassau County’s outstanding efforts to preserve a piece of Northeast Florida history. American Beach is one of our area’s hidden gems and it is the Council’s pleasure to recognize the work done by the County, it’s staff and volunteers to continually engage the residents of American Beach and work together to safeguard the cultural history, as well as the future of the American Beach community."
Interim Planning Director/Economic Resources Coordinator, Holly Coyle, stated, “The American Beach Master Plan captures the essence of American Beach by protecting the sense of place, honoring the rich cultural heritage of the community, and authentically telling the story of American Beach through the built and natural environment. Through an extensive public engagement process, the community identified its needs and priorities and created a list of recommendations to achieve their final vision. Among those recommendations were the installation of public water and sanitary sewer; the paving and resurfacing of roadways; re-evaluation of The Crossroads; and the expansion of the A. L. Lewis Museum. We are honored to have been selected for this award and look forward to bringing this initiative to fruition.”
To view the Northeast Florida Regional Council's Press Release regarding the 2023 Awards, please click here.
If you have any questions related to the American Beach Community Master Plan, please visit https://www.nassaucountyfl.com/990/American-Beach-Neighborhood-Planning or contact the Planning Department at (904) 530-6300.
Public Information Office
North Florida Land Trust has named Allison DeFoor as its new president. DeFoor had been serving as interim president since August of 2022 after the former president stepped down from the position.
“We are delighted to see Allison take over as NFLT president,” said Matt Rapp, NFLT board chair. “In his brief but extremely active tenure as interim President, he has more than earned the Board’s full trust and proven to be the perfect person for this role at this critical inflection point for NFLT which is poised for unprecedented growth.”
DeFoor joined the board of directors of NFLT in 2018 and was asked by his fellow board members to serve as interim president when Jim McCarthy stepped down from the role. In the last six months, DeFoor has had some big achievements. Under his leadership, the nonprofit land conservation organization has been able to exceed its year-end fundraising goals. He has built the team by hiring a top-notch CFO and COO while lowering the nonprofit’s internal costs. DeFoor also helped to pass a referendum in Nassau County with 68 percent of the vote to provide up to $30 million in general obligation bonds to help fund land conservation.
“For 23 years those who proceeded in this work, culminating in the current chair and board, have built a grand enterprise,” said DeFoor. “We are making sure our grandchildren will be able to see what the real Florida looked like. It is an honor to follow Jim and to be the next person at bat, and I will do my very best.”
DeFoor is a seventh-generation Floridian and an Episcopal priest who served for the last seven years as the Canon to the Ordinary in the Episcopal Diocese of Florida. He holds degrees in theology, law and criminology and served as both a county and circuit judge. He has also been active in conservation throughout Florida for most of his career. In 2014, he chaired the passage of the Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, also known as Amendment 1, which was designed to fund the state’s conservation programs. He served as Everglades Czar to Gov. Jeb Bush and was a trustee of the Florida Audubon Society, Florida Land Trust Association and 1000 Friends of Florida. He was also on the boards of Florida TaxWatch, Associated Industries and the Florida Chamber Foundation.
DeFoor added, “I have always believed that the environment and economy are not at odds in Florida, but rather are partners for all our way of life and our true economic engine.”
January 23, 2023 (Jacksonville, Fla.) – The Community Hospice & Palliative Care Foundation of Caring welcomes Annie Tuttle as its new Executive Director. Annie, a graduate of the University of North Florida, has been a resident of North Florida for over 35 years. Annie was named Executive Director by Susan Ponder-Stansel, President & CEO of Alivia Care and President of the Community Hospice Foundation. Annie will provide leadership to the Foundation, establish, and maintain relationships with donors, and work closely with the Board of Trustees to support their work on behalf of the Foundation.
“It is such an honor to be serving in this role for an organization that has meant so much to me personally. My mother passed away while in Community Hospice care, and I was so impressed with the amazing nurses and staff that I wanted to give back somehow,” said Annie. “After learning about the Community PedsCare program, the pediatric palliative and hospice program of Community Hospice, I volunteered as a committee member for Halloween Doors & More fundraiser, the Holiday Toy Drive, and helped develop several fundraising and awareness opportunities for the Community PedsCare Teen Advisory Board. Now having the opportunity to work for the Foundation for Caring, brings me full circle with this organization and I am excited for the opportunity.”
Annie joins the team with a wealth of knowledge having supported various local non-profit organizations including Champions for Hope, The Donna Foundation, Wolfson Children's Hospital, Hugs Across the County, and The Kate Amato Foundation.
“I am pleased to welcome Annie as our new leader in the Foundation,” said Susan Ponder-Stansel, President and CEO of Alivia Care, Inc. “Her energy, vision, and deep understanding of our mission will help her guide us in our work to support the care and services provided to our community-by-Community Hospice and Palliative Care and our Community PedsCare Program."
Community Hospice & Palliative Care Foundation is dedicated to advancing philanthropy to enable Community Hospice & Palliative Care to fulfill its mission and vision. Funds raised through the Foundation enhance the quality of life for patients and families and support unfunded and under-funded patient care, outreach programs, and services for those facing advanced illness and grief. Our donors enable us to continue to provide community programs and compassionate care to all who need it, regardless of the ability to pay.
FERNANDINA BEACH, FL (January 16, 2023) – The Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County Foundation would like to thank the staff who attended the NexStar conference at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island for building 32 bikes and donating them along with helmets to our members.
The event was hosted by The Leaders Institute which offers experiential-learning based team-building events. These events are designed to improve communication skills, build stronger bonds and team spirit. Each event us customized to the specific needs of each group. The goal is to have the entire group experience a fun activity, like bike building, while encouraging the realization that we’re all stronger as a whole.
Our members love their new bikes and look forward to zipping around their neighborhoods!
To learn more please visit bgcnassau.org or call 904-261-8666.
The City of Fernandina Beach has received its 21st year of national recognition as a Tree City USA community by the Arbor Day Foundation. This represents the City’s continued commitment to honoring community forestry. Communities achieve Tree City USA status by meeting four core standards of sound urban forestry management: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry, and celebrating Arbor Day.
In celebration of Florida’s Arbor Day, on Friday, January 20, 2023, members of the City’s Planning & Conservation staff, the Nassau County staff of the Florida Forest Service, the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, and Southern Tree will hold a small tree planting event at Sunrise Park located at 1900 Sunrise Dr. The Florida Forest Service donated funding to help pay for the trees. For additional information or questions regarding trees within the City, please contact the City’s Planning & Conservation Deputy Director, Kelly N. Gibson, AICP at 904-310-3480 or by email at email@example.com.
January 16, 2023 (Fernandina Beach, Fla.) – Ana Amelia Sanchez, MD, HMDC, FAAHPM, Chief Medical Officer of Community Hospice & Palliative Care, has been awarded one of the nation’s highest medical honors. Dr. Sanchez and only 66 other physicians in the United States are now Fellows of the Academy of Hospice & Palliative Care Medicine (FAAHPM). The Academy’s fellowship process began over a year ago and required a substantial time commitment from applicants to cover the highly comprehensive milestone-based educational curriculum.
Dr. Sanchez’s career at Community Hospice & Palliative Care spans almost 12 years. She began as a Chief Medical Director and was promoted to Chief Medical Officer in 2021. A patient advocate, Dr. Sanchez, has always poured herself into her profession to support patients in need of palliative care for advanced illnesses (cancer, COPD, congestive heart failure, etc.) and compassionate hospice care for individuals with a limited life expectancy.
The Fellowship program of the Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine was created to address the demand for palliative care resources to support the aging population of the United States. Fellows are given the tools they need to mentor and teach the next generation of physicians in the core precepts of palliative medicine to yield better outcomes for patients and their families.
Ana Amelia Sanchez, MD, HMDC, FAAHPM, has educated countless physicians and advanced practice registered nurses on the palliative care discipline throughout her career. Now, those under her tutelage will receive the highest level of training from a Fellow of the Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care.
About Community Hospice & Palliative Care
Established in 1979, Community Hospice & Palliative Care is an innovative national leader in palliative and hospice care, as well as providing programs and services to meet the diverse needs of the communities it serves. During its 42-year history, through the support of more than 1,000 employees and 1,000 volunteers, the organization helps approximately 1,600 patients per day to live better with advanced illness – at home, in long-term care and assisted living facilities, in hospitals and at its 10 inpatient care centers. No one is ever denied care due to an inability to pay. To learn more about the support and services of Community Hospice & Palliative Care, visit CommunityHospice.com.
FERNANDINA BEACH, FL (December 16, 2022) – The Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County Foundation would like to thank the staff at Atlantic Hair Studio for their support during their recent Cut-A-Thon fundraiser to benefit our Clubs.
The event had face painting, games, and haircuts for kids all while raising over $1,500 to help ensure Boys & Girls Club members have access to safe and educational afterschool and summer programs.
At the Roberts Learning and Achievement Center, the Miller Freedom Center, and the newest Club in Hilliard, hundreds of local youth ages 6 to 18 are mentored by our professional staff and volunteers to develop skills in character, health, fitness, technology, the arts, and sports.
To learn more please visit bgcnassau.org or call 904-261-8666.
The $1,000 Start-Ups Consortium is happy to start out 2023 with announcement of our first Small Business Fair of the year!
Jump Start 4 January will be held on Saturday, January 21 from 10am to 2pm at the Peck Center Gymnasium in Fernandina Beach.
Our small business community invites you to start the year off discovering their latest offerings. Visit our website at www.1000dollarstartups.org for the growing list of participating vendors.
Also, please join our Facebook event and share with friends and neighbors.
We look forward to Jump Starting 2023 with you!
All Best Wishes,
Leah and the $1,000 Start-Ups Team
Vendor space is still available! If you are a vendor interested in participating, you can learn more and register below:
The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office has just launched our new Autism Decal Program. Sheriff Bill Leeper said the decals are a way to let first responders better assist those with autism. When a deputy pulls over a vehicle and/or has to respond to a residence and they see the sticker either on the back window of the vehicle or near the front door of the home it will alert law enforcement that there is potentially an occupant with autism inside. Our deputies receive specialized training related to the unique characteristics, behaviors, and needs of people with autism, who sometimes have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication and social interaction or may wander off. With this knowledge, deputies will be better able to communicate and interact with our citizens and calm them in stressful situations. These decals are also free to our community members who have someone in their family with autism. The Nassau County Sheriff’s also offers scent kits which can help our bloodhounds track down an autistic person who may go missing. It stores that person’s scent so they can quickly be found. You can pick up your decal and fill out the registration form at the Nassau County Sheriff's Office.
“As sheriff, I am excited about this decal program and I am proud of the continued efforts of the men and women of the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office to meet the needs of our entire community,” Sheriff Bill Leeper said.
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