Barberitos, a fast-casual burrito restaurant with 50 locations across the Southeast, named Kate and Bobby Wilder as its 2020 Franchisees of the Year Award recipients.
The award was presented at the chain’s annual National Franchisee Convention held virtually Jan. 27.
The Franchisee of the Year Award recognizes a franchisee for overall sales, active participation in its community, creating a positive work team environment, encouraging team members, utilizing the Barberitos App, involvement in Barberitos corporate initiatives, attending Barberitos webinars and meetings, and embodying the Barberitos’ brand.
These characteristics support Barberitos’ mission statement to serve others with a focus on food, community and people. The Wilders’ own four Barberitos’ locations that include the restaurants at 1519 Sadler Road in Fernandina Beach and 463867 State Road 200 in Yulee. They also own restaurants in Jacksonville and St. Marys, Ga.
“To win this award is a tremendous honor, and we are so thankful for our incredible teams at each location that played such an integral role in us receiving this recognition,” Bobby Wilder said. “Even more so during this difficult year, it has become our passion to make a difference in the community serving our fresh, healthy food and providing firstclass customer service.”
Barberitos is a Southwestern Grille dedicated to serving farmfresh, high-quality food in a fastcasual restaurant environment. Many of the restaurants’ menu items are prepared or cooked in-house daily, including handsmashed guacamole, homemade salsas, fresh-cut vegetables as well as chicken, steak, turkey, pork, tofu, rice and beans.
“Kate and Bobby always believe in the brand and embody everything we value in a franchisee,” Barberitos founder and CEO Downing Barber said. “During 2021, we hope all of our operators can make as big an impact in the community as the Wilders have done.”
For more information about Barberitos, visit www.barberitos.com.
Fernandina Beach Police Department
James Hurley, Chief
February 18, 2021
After a delay of nearly a year due to the global pandemic, members of the Fernandina Beach Police Department were rewarded by the Florida Commission for Law Enforcement Accreditation with our agency’s 5th Re-Accreditation Certificate. The latest assessment of our agency took place in December and the full commission met today via Zoom with Chief Jim Hurley, Deputy Chief Mark Foxworth, and Captain Jim Norman for a final presentation and vote, and our acceptance of our most recent certification, which will next expire in 2023. The police department was first accredited in 2005.
Being accredited means that in the delivery of police services, the members of the FBPD practice the elements of 195 standards which are considered as best practices for law enforcement agencies. These standards are set by the commission, which is comprised of police chiefs, sheriffs and criminal court judges as well as city and county managers from throughout Florida. Our own Sheriff Bill Leeper is currently serving on the commission.
Barnabas Center Nassau
Submitted by Alexandra Winsor
February 18, 2020
The Nassau County Chamber of Commerce awarded Barnabas Center the Nonprofit Business of the Year. Wanda Lanier, President and CEO of Barnabas accepted the award on behalf of Barnabas Center.
The purpose of the chamber awards is to highlight individuals and businesses who work hard to provide important services to the Nassau County community. Barnabas extends its appreciation to those who continue to support its mission to provide help and hope to the many people in need in our community, especially throughout the coronavirus crisis.
Maureen Paschke, Barnabas board member, nominated Barnabas Center for the Nonprofit of the Year Award. “Barnabas has been and continues to be a lifeline for vulnerable Nassau residents.” Said Paschke. “As people struggle to maintain their quality of life during this unanticipated and extraordinary national crisis, Barnabas is keeping them afloat as they navigate income loss, health concerns, food insecurity and economic strife.
Barnabas Center is Nassau County’s only comprehensive service organization that addresses critical issues of access to affordable health care, hunger and homeless prevention for individuals and families with incomes at 200 percent or below the Federal Poverty Level. Its programs collectively address the short- and long-term needs of individuals and families in crisis so they can become healthy, productive citizens, thereby strengthening the entire community.
For more information about Barnabas’ programs, please visit our website at www.BarnabasNassau.org.
2/17/21 @ 4:45 p.m.- Nassau County recently won Awards of Excellence from the Northeast Florida Regional Council for two planning related projects. The first project, the Western Nassau Heritage Preservation Vision Book, was selected in the Planning & Growth Management category. The Nassau County Conservation Land Acquisition and Management Program was selected in the Environmental Stewardship Category.
Beth Payne, Chief Executive Director for the Northeast Florida Regional Council, attended today's Board of County Commissioner's meeting and presented the County with two plaques. Planning & Zoning Board member, Linda Morris, was invited to accept the award for the Western Nassau Heritage Preservation Book. Ms. Morris served on the Western Nassau Heritage Preservation Committee and has been credited with keeping the Committee on task and ensuring they succeeded in their goal of adopting a vision book that will guide the future of western Nassau. Staff members from the Department of Planning & Economic Opportunity were in attendance to accept the award for the Conservation Land Acquisition and Management Program.
Ms. Payne stated, "These awards are showcasing the work that you (the county) are doing now. These innovative, forward thinking, public engagement related activities are valued. Surrounding counties value it as well and it will be immolated across the region".
Thank you Ms. Payne for visiting with us today! And a big thank you to Ms. Morris for all her contributions, as well as to the Planning Department staff, for overseeing the process of these two very large projects.
Public Information Officer
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 15, 2021) – GreenPointe Communities, LLC was honored by the Northeast Florida Builders Association Sales and Marketing Council with seven Laurel Awards. Marketing Director Gaynelle James was named Marketing Professional of the Year and the company received several awards for its community of TrailMark including Best Consumer Promotional event award for Groove in the Grove.
“Gaynelle continues to take our company’s marketing excellence to new heights and her contributions have made a significant impact to multiple operating divisions within our organization,” said GreenPointe Regional President Mike Taylor. “Gaynelle is an accomplished marketing executive and recognized by her peers and colleagues for her creativity and spontaneity. I am thrilled for her to receive this honor for her dedication and commitment to GreenPointe.”
James is responsible for creating the marketing vision, producing strategies and executing tactics that consistently communicate the company’s brand message for GreenPointe’s three operating divisions, corporate headquarters and communities throughout Florida. Among her achievements during the past year, she developed and managed the marketing and promotion for the launch and opening of Tributary, a new master-planned community in Northeast Florida, and held a high-profile groundbreaking for Tributary Regional Park, a public and private partnership between GreenPointe and Nassau County. James developed and managed marketing campaigns for on-site promotional events for three different GreenPointe communities. When the pandemic brought on-site tours by prospective buyers to a halt, James responded by creating virtual tours for five communities throughout Florida. Her efforts and success enhance GreenPointe’s reputation for innovation and results.
With more new communities than ever attracting buyers to Florida, the best way to demonstrate what sets it apart is to showcase the lifestyle through a community event open to all. With expansive outdoor common areas, TrailMark provided the perfect location for a free, live music festival, Groove in the Grove. From midday to sunset, a trio of regional bands entertained approximately 2,000 people next to TrailMark’s Lakeside Camp House. Attendees enjoyed popular local bands and a Family Fun Zone with inflatables, face painting, a mechanical bull, 15 vendors and food trucks, and more. The event resulted in community goodwill, increased awareness and generated hundreds of leads for TrailMark builders while providing a day of music, fun and entertainment for residents and area music-lovers. The extensive and targeted promotion for Groove in the Grove across multiple platforms earned Laurel Awards for Best Overall Advertising Campaign and Best Digital Campaign.
TrailMark received the Laurel Award for Best Facebook page. During 2020, GreenPointe shifted its social media strategy to provide rich content since more people are spending time on social media in lieu of in-person socializing. The Facebook page includes TrailMark announcements, builder news, event promotions, lifestyle tips and provides opportunities to virtually “visit” model homes and the community. With a focus on TrailMark's nature-first and active living features, the Facebook page showcases the community’s amenities, including biking and walking trails, sports courts, a Camp House amenity center, indoor fitness center and the resort-style pool. Posts include resident- and realtor-shared content. The platform continues to attract followers and helps users make a connection to TrailMark Living.
GreenPointe’s new community of Tributary was honored with Best Print Ad and Best Logo awards. The new community is located along the banks of the Nassau River in the rapidly expanding area of Nassau County, FL. The “Prepare to Blow Your River Lovin’ Mind” ad creates the expectation of a truly life-changing community where families can connect with nature and enjoy special moments through adventure in the neighborhood they call home. Tributary’s pure natural setting served as the vision for developing the logo and brand. The logo is inspired by the natural waterways throughout the area and conveys a true sense of what life has to offer at Tributary.
“GreenPointe shares these Laurel Award honors with our creative partners, Ruckus Advertising and Cotton & Company, and we thank them for bringing our vision to life,” said GreenPointe Marketing Director Gaynelle James. “I am grateful to work with such talented partners and truly appreciate their many contributions to our success.”
GreenPointe is developing communities throughout Florida. For more information, visit www.GreenPointeLLC.com.
For the 7th year in a row, Charity Navigator has recognized the Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County Foundation with its Four-Star Award.
Charity Navigator, launched in 2001, is a charity assessment organization that evaluates charitable organizations in the United States. Its stated goal is “to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace in which givers and the charities they support work in tandem to overcome the nation’s and the world’s most persistent challenges.”
In addition to the top four-star rating, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County Foundation is among the select few organizations to receive a “perfect” or 100-percent rating for transparency and accountability.
Charity Navigator bases its ratings on analysis of a charity’s financial accountability, transparency and how the funds it receives are used. Our administrative and fundraising costs are lean, which means almost all donations to the Foundation, the fundraising arm of the two local Clubs, directly support the outstanding programs offered to Nassau County Club members.
For more information about what the Nassau County Clubs have to offer local youth and to help with the Boys & Girls Clubs mission, visit us at www.bgcnassau.org or call 904-261-8666.
The nominations are officially in! The Nassau County Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards process is an opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding businesses and entrepreneurs throughout Nassau County. Winners will be announced and contacted during the week of February 8th.
For questions or more information, please email info@NassauCountyFLChamber.com or call (904) 261-3248.
And the nominees are...
LARGE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Amelia Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine
Baptist Medical Center Nassau
First Port City Bank
Hot Paws Pet Grooming, Hotel & Spa
Liberty Landscape Supply
Millennium Physician Group
Orange Park Mall
Summer House Realty
MEDIUM BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Amelia Express Care
Joe's 2nd Street Bistro
Palm III Realty
The Hurst Company, CPAs, P.A.
SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Amelia Island Adventures
Amelia Island Kayak Excursions
FASTSIGNS of Fernandina Beach
Paisley Grace Makery
SJ Brewing Company
Surcheros Fresh Grill
Villa Villekulla Toy Store
BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR
Randy Bowman | Orange Park Mall
Michael Brooks | First Port City Bank
Mark Bullington | Amelia Island Kayak Excursions
Durand Childers | First Port City Bank
Neal & Marty Cochrane | Cochrane's Collision Center
Kerri Foster | Amelia Island Adventures
Jodi Henson | Small Business Development Center at UNF
Gil Langley | Amelia Island TDC and CVB
Octavio Martinez | Hot Paws Pet Grooming, Hotel & Spa
Kelley McCarter | Keep Nassau Beautiful
Tracy Nazzaro | Traders Hill Farm
Tim Poynter | Café Karibo
Jaret P. Rice | The Hurst Company, CPAs
James Schaffer | Summer House Realty
Jenny Schaffer | Summer House Realty
Don Shaw | Cambridge South
JoAnn Stewart | SJ Brewing Company
YOUNG BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR
Dr. James Antun | 8 Flags Chiropractic
Bradley Bean | Rayonier Advanced Materials
Heather Bennett | Paisley Grace Makery
Aaron Bullington | Amelia Island Kayak Excursions
Theresa Duncan | Villa Villekulla Toy Store
Darrin Eakins | Nassau Pride
Greg Franklin | Franklin Equipment Sales
Martinique Lemke | Redbones Dog Bakery & Boutique
Jacob Logsdon | Amelia Express Care
Antoinette Richter | First Port City Bank
Ricky Rochester | Meridian Waste
CUSTOMER SERVICE PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR
Andrea Aroyo | Amelia Express Care
Pam Austin | First Federal Bank
Kathryn Bell | Millennium Physician Group
Kellie Boston | Boston Photography
Nik Bremer | Amelia Island Bait & Tackle
Aaron Bullington | Amelia Island Kayak Excursions
Amber Bullington | Amelia Island Kayak Excursions
Rachel Clark | Traders Hill Farm
Linda Crow | Crow Jewelers
Kim Ferman and Kelly Redlinski | Advanced Muscle Therapy
Dearsha Johnson | Story & Song Bookstore Bistro
Michelle Myers | Mint Magazine
Noelle Najimy | Hartke & Najimy Accounting Services
Olivia Harris | Whataburger
Amy Petroy | The Patio Place
Ricky Robbins | Amelia Island Coffee
Emiko Rocha | First Federal Bank
Jenny Schaffer | Summer House Realty
Tambre Webb | FASTSIGNS of Fernandina Beach
Nathalie Wu | Wicked BAO
NONPROFIT OF THE YEAR
Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County
Fernandina Beach Main Street
Fernandina Beach Pride
Keep Nassau Beautiful
Nassau County School System
Nassau Humane Society
Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare
Take Stock in Children of Nassau County
Trinity Love Hoblit Foundation
For the sixth time in a row, the Leapfrog Group recognizes Baptist Nassau for top performance in health care safety.
Baptist Medical Center Nassau earned an ‘A’ rating in the fall 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, joining the top third of more than 2,600 evaluated health care systems selected to receive the highest achievement possible for protecting patient safety. This is the sixth consecutive time Baptist Nassau has received an ‘A’ safety rating.
“Protecting the health, safety and well-being of our patients and the community is our No. 1 priority,” said Ed Hubel, FACHE, hospital president of Baptist Nassau. “This recognition shows how dedicated our team members and physicians are to meeting the highest safety standards possible. Our patients depend on us to follow and exceed these standards every day.”
Developed under the guidance of a national panel of experts, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses up to 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign an ‘A - F’ letter grade to acute-care hospitals across the United States. The grade incorporates metrics such as infection, error and accident rates to assess health systems for patient safety, helping consumers and their families make the safest choice for care possible.
Baptist Beaches, Baptist Jacksonville and Baptist South also received ‘A’ ratings, making Baptist Health a ‘straight A’ system for the second consecutive time.
“As we faced unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19, our system remained committed to maintaining the highest level of patient safety,” said David Rice, MD, senior vice president, chief medical officer and chief quality officer for Baptist Health. “Our dedication to providing consistent, cutting-edge care using all available protective measures will continue to reassure patients that their safety comes before all else.”
The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality and safety of American health care. The Hospital Safety Grade’s methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, and the results are free to the public.
LAKE CITY, Fla., October 20, 2020 – First Federal Bank was recently named on Newsweek’s America’s Best Banks 2021 as the Best Small Bank in Florida. This distinction is the result of Newsweek’s assessment of 2,500 FDIC-insured banks, measuring 55 different factors ranging from banking accounts and customer service, to financial reports from the FDIC.
“We are honored by this recognition, which emphasizes First Federal’s commitment to being a financially sound, community bank,” says FFB President and CEO John Medina. “Because we are a mutual savings bank, Newsweek acknowledged our ability to be more responsive to local customer needs. This accolade demonstrates that even through challenging times we remain committed to our purpose of providing stability to our employees, customers, and communities.”
Recognizing the pandemic has altered the way individuals function on a daily basis, including the way Americans bank, Newsweek compiled a list of the best-in-class banking institutions. Newsweek partnered with Lending Tree to rank 2,500 FDIC-insured financial institutions based on a wide variety of fees, interest rates, account terms and conditions, digital services, customer service features, and bank profile. To read the complete article, go to www.newsweek.com/americas-best-banks-2021/best-small-banks-state.
About First Federal Bank
First Federal Bank is a community-based mutual savings bank offering consumer and commercial banking solutions, services, and loans through banking offices in Florida’s Panhandle, North Central and East Florida, and coastal South Carolina. Mortgage, SBA and USDA customers are served through lending offices across the Southeast and Midwest. First Federal is headquartered in Lake City, Florida with assets totaling over $3 billion. First Federal has received a “5-Star, Superior” financial rating from BauerFinancial, Inc., of Coral Gables, Fla. for more than two decades. For more information, visit www.ffbf.com.
Fernandina Beach High School Senior, Reggina Alexander, has been awarded the Tipping the Scale Scholarship by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County Foundation. This award is in recognition of her hard work and successful completion of her internship with Baptist Nassau.
A Boys & Girls Club member since she was 6 years old, Reggina has enjoyed coming to Boys & Girls Clubs for over 12 years and considers the other Club members and staff her “second family” she visits after school. She was involved with a lot of other offerings including flag football and dance groups, but when she became a teenager, she joined the Tipping the Scale program. This internship program, in conjunction with Baptist Health, offers teens a mentor in the hospital and a stipend for their work. Upon completion of the program, students are then able to apply for the scholarship in their senior year.
“The advice I would give to other teens considering this program is don’t miss out! This was a very big life-changing decision where I got advice as well as new ideas on life, had fun, and got to be involved with my mentors at the hospital.”
In addition to her hard work which earned her this award, Reggina is the current Fernandina Beach High School record holder in the 100-meter dash, and was involved in the AVID (advancement via individual determination) program. Reggina is headed to Tallahassee Community College where she will major in Psychology in Science. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County wish Reggina the best and know she encourage and inspire other young members to join the Tipping the Scale program.
For more information on Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County please visit bgcnassau.org.
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