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.
Fernandina Beach, FL, January 2023 - Attention all Nassau County Businesswomen, the Eight Flags Charter Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) invites you to join them Tuesday, January 10, at 5:30 pm for a presentation sharing habits you might not even realize you are doing that derail connection in leadership and what you can do instead!
Starting at 5:30 pm at Fernandina Beach Golf Club on Bill Melton Road in Fernandina Beach, the
chapter will host Erin O'Malley, Leadership Consultant. Through workshops, keynote speaking, and coaching, Erin helps build cultures of connection, trust, and loyalty. Her work with industries from automotive to airlines, pharmaceuticals to non-profits, hospitality to international development focuses on empathetic communication, adopting a curious mindset, and controlling how we show up and engage.
Erin O’Malley helps people thrive through the power of human connection. She works with leaders and organizations, from the frontline to the C-Suite, teaching them to redefine perceived problems with leadership, engagement, and loyalty, and focus on the real issue: connection.
“We look forward to having Erin shine light on ways to build deeper connections within our work, our membership and our everyday lives.,” says Lillie Rogers, program chair.
The local ABWA chapter has been helping women succeed in business in Nassau County for 53 years.
Each monthly meeting provides Professional Development speakers who impart the motivation and skills
needed to create success in today’s business world. In addition, there is ample time for networking with women from various businesses, skill sets, and experiences. The organization meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 5:30 pm, beginning with networking, a light meal, a speaker, and networking time after the speaker.
Please visit www.abwaeightflags.org to learn more and to register for the meeting. The cost is $20 for
members and $25 for non-members.
The mission of the American Businesswomen’s Association is to bring together businesswomen of
diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking support, and national recognition.
The Nassau County Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce new programs and events for 2023! We are dedicated to providing programming and resources that will help members grow their businesses, and new programs are just the latest in the Chamber’s ongoing efforts to actively listen to the needs of the business community and provide innovative solutions.
Here’s what you need to know about the refreshed, reimagined, and reenergized Chamber programming for 2023:
With the goal of strengthening county-wide connections, Westside LunchMob will offer members a chance for short introductions and networking over lunch while showing support for our area restaurants. Monthly Coffee & Connections and Business After Hours events promise the perfect setting for engaging opportunities like speed networking, business showcases, and prompted icebreakers, with door-prizes up for grabs, too. Monthly Geographic Council Meetings are back and will feature top-notch speakers who will discuss various topics such as growth, infrastructure, and the business development in specific geographic areas of Nassau County.
For those looking for more specialized events tailored towards their professional or business needs, the Chamber offers curated events, including a Health and Wellness Collaborative, which brings practitioners together, and seeks to grow awareness and wellness between health-related businesses in Nassau County. The Nonprofit Roundtable is a unique opportunity for Chamber of Commerce members to collaborate with their peers while finding resources that can help sustain their organizations. Female business owners have the chance to join Girl Boss, a group dedicated to enriching female leadership in our community and providing a safe space for female business owners to seek support from one another on the challenges and successes of entrepreneurship. EmpowHER! Luncheons, created for professional women in any industry, will be hosted quarterly with a focus on providing enriching discussions about growth and leadership. Finally, Work Labs will be offered monthly with varying certified professionals available for one-on-one assistance with topics like social media, Canva, QuickBooks, SEO, and more.
The Nassau County Chamber of Commerce is committed to helping its members succeed by providing educational opportunities and access to valuable resources. If you are a business owner or professional looking for ways to get more connected within your community, we encourage you to attend one (or all) of these valuable networking opportunities. To register and learn more about upcoming programs and events, please visit the Chamber event calendar or email us at info@NassauCountyFLChamber.com.
The Nassau County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Steve Wylie, Associate Vice President of Planning & Business Development for UF Health, will be the Chairman of the Nassau County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for 2023.
Steve Wylie received his Bachelor of Science & Finance from the University of South Carolina and has been with UF Health since 2017. He has over 30 years’ experience in healthcare management, including executive positions with 21st Century Oncology, Regional Care Hospital Partners, and Health Management Associates. Steve is passionate about furthering the interests of businesses in Nassau County and looks forward to working with fellow Board members to bring lasting and meaningful change to our business community.
“I am incredibly proud to be the incoming Chairman of the Nassau County Chamber of Commerce and look forward to working alongside regional leaders to carefully craft the future of our county,” said Wylie. “I look forward to addressing critical issues, including workforce development, mobility, affordability, and infrastructure. I am committed to working alongside the Chamber’s member businesses through thoughtful collaboration and will continue to provide our membership with unsurpassed value as the premier advocate and resource for businesses throughout Nassau County.”
In addition, the Chamber has announced the Chairman-Elect for 2024 will be Apollo Wright, Publisher of Amelia/Yulee Neighbors. Apollo received a master’s degree in Elementary Education and Teaching from Wagner College and went on to coach college football at various institutions including Florida International University and The University of New Mexico. He is currently the head football coach for Fernandina Beach High School. Apollo is looking forward to bringing the Nassau County business community together and continuing his community service efforts.
The Chamber will also welcome Kimberly Branham-Nelson, CEO of Nelson and Associates Insurance, and Joseph Zimmerman, Owner of The Zimmerman Group, to the Board of Directors. To view the current Nassau County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, CLICK HERE.
The Nassau County Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards process is an opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding businesses and entrepreneurs throughout Nassau County and we want to congratulate every business, organization and business leader that received a nomination this year.
Award winners will be announced at the Annual Awards Dinner & Gala on Thursday, February 2, 2023. For questions or more information about the nomination process, please contact the Chamber at info@NassauCountyFLChamber.com or (904) 261-3248.
To purchase tickets to the Annual Awards Dinner & Gala, CLICK HERE.
And the nominees are...
LARGE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
First Federal Bank
First Port City Bank
Summer House Realty
MEDIUM BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Franklin Equipment Sales
Nelson and Associates Insurance
Story & Song Bookstore Bistro
Wallace Pierson Travel
SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
A Passion 4 Pooches Pet Spa
Amelia Island Kayak Excursions
Barefoot Amelia Beach Rentals
BizBolster Web Solutions LLC
Destination Amelia Vacation Rentals
Disco Witch Brewing
Dorco Enterprises CPA Firm
Eagleye Printing, Framing & More
Follow That Dream Sailing
Knowell's Lock and Safe Inc.
Luxe Picnics by Les LLC
Mead's Framery and Trophy Store
Pam Bell Photography
Perfect Wick Candle Makery & Bar
Pet Wants Amelia Island
Redbones Dog Bakery and Boutique
The Resale Project
BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR
Kellie Boston | Boston Photography
Bud Braiser | Follow That Dream Sailing
Greg Cook | The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
Ryan Deems | Destination Amelia Vacation Rentals
Shelly Denis | Disco Witch Brewing
Leslie Diaz | Luxe Picnics by Les LLC
Bob Hartman | Residence Inn by Marriott Amelia Island
Ed Hubel | Baptist Medical Center Nassau
Stephanie Newberry | AquaGym Fitness
Lori Osborne | BizBolster Web Solutions LLC
Jennifer Panke | Blue Ocean Title
James & Jenny Schaffer | Summer House Realty
Nathalie Wu | Wicked BAO
YOUNG BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR
Bradley Bean | RYAM
Heather Bennett | Paisley Grace Makery
Katie Connors | Nelson and Associates Insurance
Chason Forehand | Pineland Bank
Marty Greye | Culver's
Carl Lindsey | Perfect Wick Candle Makery & Bar/Select Tronix
Justin Taylor | Residence Inn by Marriott Amelia Island
Stephanie Triola | New York Life
Chelsea Waldron | Amelia Island Vacations
CUSTOMER SERVICE PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR
Kellie Boston | Boston Photography
Carol "Celeste" Christian | Hampton Inn & Suites Historic Harborfront Hotel
Stephanie Dinius | Amelia Art Studio
Ann Dorsey | Dorco Enterprises CPA Firm
Jan Lacovelli | L. Moore Aesthetics
Bob & Carmen Lyon | Island Promos
Michael Mayhan | Outer Banks Boil Company
Stacy Millett | Wicked BAO
Lana Miltenberger | Launch Printing & Promotions
Leah Parker | Paisley Grace Makery
Lisa Sanborn | First Federal Bank
Madison Tipton | Amelia Island Kayak Excursions
Robin Turner | Nelson and Associates Insurance
Savanna Varney | Nelson and Associates Insurance
NONPROFIT OF THE YEAR
$1,000 Start-Ups Consortium
Barnabas Center, Inc.
Care Centers of Nassau
Fernandina Beach Main Street
Fernandina Beach Pride, Inc.
Northeast Florida Fair Association
Rotary Club of Fernandina Beach
Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare
The Arc Nassau
FERNANDINA BEACH, FL (December 16, 2022) – The Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County Foundation presents the premier event of the year, its annual Benefit Gala on February 18, 2023. The 16th Gala, featuring dinner, entertainment, and auction, is once again hosted at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island – a trusted friend of the Boys & Girls Clubs for many years.
The Gala supports the work of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County in providing the youth of our community a safe space to work on academics, engage with positive role models, and develop into confident leaders.
As always, this premier event features a cocktail hour, dinner, and auction. This year, we are proud to showcase entertainment by William Joseph, a nationally-known pianist, recording artist, and Boys & Girls Clubs alumnus.
As a child prodigy, Joseph began writing music for solo piano at the age of five. Soon, his remarkable, early talent was recognized throughout Phoenix, Arizona where he grew up. After earning a prestigious national music scholarship through the Boys & Girls Club of America, he began studying with Russian master pianist Stella Saperstein, of the famed Leningrad Conservatory in Russia.
In addition to this wonderful musical entertainment, the Benefit Gala auction includes everything from fine jewelry from Robison Jewelry to artwork, hotel stays, cruises, and memorabilia. If you aren’t able to attend the auction, you can participate by bidding online as well!
Individual reservations for the Gala are $250 and table sponsorships start at $2,000. For more information on the Gala and to buy tickets or sponsorships please visit https://bgcnassau.org/gala16 or call (904) 261-8666.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau depend on these annual fundraising events to support after school and summer programs at their three clubs. 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.
12/15/22 @ 2:30 p.m. - Last weekend, the Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau hosted the 8th Annual Dickens on Centre Event on behalf of the Amelia Island Tourist Development Council. This event transforms downtown Fernandina Beach into Victorian-era London and features live entertainment, vendors, holiday movies, giant snow globes, costumed characters, pictures with Santa and an area complete with old fashioned games for the children to enjoy. This year's event also featured a Christmas themed aerial light show with drones that was unlike anything Nassau County had ever seen before.
Did you know that this event, in addition to all the beautiful holiday lighting downtown, is funded 100% by Tourist Development Tax (TDT) funds collected by lodging establishments from our out-of-towns guests? The event also has a great economic impact on our County as these visitors spend money in our stores and restaurants.
A survey following the 2021 Dickens on Centre event concluded that the economic impact to Amelia Island from off-island visitors was $4.7 million, and this year's event is expected to exceed that. With 80% of our residents working in the hospitality and service industries, many of our residents rely heavily on tourism to maintain their employment and quality of life. Even better is that Nassau County residents were able to enjoy the event and get into the holiday spirit, and at no-cost to the local taxpayers!
Below are photos from the event for your enjoyment.
To learn more about the Amelia Island Tourist Development Council, please click here.
Public Information Officer
Amelia Island, Florida– Osprey Village senior living is proud to be Certified by Great Place to Work® for the third year in a row. This certification is based entirely on what current employees share about their experience working at Osprey Village.
Osprey Village, a Amelia Island leader in senior living, knows engaged employees are crucial for delivering a premier senior living lifestyle. Whether it's a national award-winning wellness program or person-centered care, each team member at Osprey Village is pivotal to a culture that puts "People First, Always." This certification is a reflection of those efforts. “We are grateful for our team’s overall positive response to the survey,” said Osprey Village’s Executive Director, Allison Bean. “Knowing that an overwhelming majority of our team members enjoy and look forward to coming to work here confirms we are living our purpose as a community, adding value, and improving the lives of not only the members we serve but our team members as well.”
Two programs at Osprey Village have been instrumental in establishing a culture of growth, trust, and support for team members. Evolve, a mentorship program partnering team members with Executive Directors to teach effective management processes, and Rise, which promotes the acquisition of new skills, certifications, and degrees through tuition assistance. If you’re looking to join the team at Osprey Village, visit the careers page: Osprey-Village.com/Careers.
About Great Place to Work
Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture, employee experience and leadership behaviors proven to deliver market-leading revenue, employee retention, and increased innovation. Their organization believes trust is the main ingredient in building a great workplace. Organizations can invest in themselves and their team members by instituting a solid foundation of trust in the workplace culture.
About Osprey Village
Osprey Village is an all-inclusive 55+ luxury retirement community with Active Adult, Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Rehab services. Osprey Village delivers a lifestyle where members live longer, healthier, happier lives. For more information about Osprey Village, visit Osprey-Village.com.
This December, Amelia Community Theatre returns full of good cheer to Pemberley, the Darcy estate created by Jane Austen in “Pride and Prejudice,” with the holiday production of “The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley.”
This energetic romantic comedy by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon, set in 1815, is an exuberant companion play to last season’s holiday show about the Bennet sisters reuniting at Pemberley.
This Christmas, the story takes us downstairs to the servants’ hall and introduces the staff who must make sure the festivities go off without a hitch. Besides their regular duties of serving the upstairs guests, it is up to them to deal with the unwelcome visitor who shows up, namely George Wickham, a rogue who has been banned from Pemberley by Mr. Darcy, even though Wickham is married to Darcy’s sister-in-law.
No matter the century, holiday gatherings evoke memories of family and food, and often provoke much drama. Such is the case for those at Pemberley, both upstairs and downstairs, who share their hopes and dreams and their love of orange biscuits, and who must look to their hearts for forgiveness for one another.
Director Lisa Howard-Welch who also directed last season’s Pemberley show, says, “These delightful stories are such a delectable treat. There is something festive and wonderful about a show that includes any of Jane Austen’s characters. It is exciting to bring Christmas 1815 in Derbyshire, England back to the ACT stage.”
The cast features Mokena Lipinski, Steven Marshek, Sebastian Miller, Clarisse Phillips, Trey Stafford, Jessica Tita, and Sue Weiner. Ensemble players include Juliet Howard-Welch, Elliot Miller, Sharon Parker, Marybeth Tita, and Lila Zacarro.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on December 2-3, 8-10, 15-17 and at 2 p.m. on December 4 and 11 at 207 Cedar Street. On opening night December 2, there will be complimentary Victorian desserts for ticket holders from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
The show is rated PG. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students through college, available by calling the box office at (904) 261-6749 and online at www.AmeliaCommunityTheatre.org. The box office is open from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and is open 90 minutes before curtain on show dates.
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