Barnes & Noble Bookfair supporting Episcopal Children's Services

Posted on: November 22, 2017

Get Your Paws on a New Career

Posted on: November 22, 2017

City of Ocala Begins Upgrades at Water Reclamation Facility #3

Posted on: November 21, 2017

Monday, Nov. 20 the City of Ocala began construction to upgrade the air system at Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) #3 located at 3100 SW 67th Ave. This project is expected to be completed by early April 2018.

“This project will upgrade the aeration equipment at WRF #3,” said Robyn Preston, Plant Supervisor, WRF #3. “This upgrade will allow for a better waste water treatment and nutrient reduction and will also ensure optimum treatment for current and future flows.”

During construction, residents may experience strong odors, noise, dust and heavy equipment around the project area. Construction will be limited to weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and will not occur during any City-recognized holidays.

For more information, please contact the City Engineer’s Office, Capital Projects Division at 352-629-8419.


Posted on: November 21, 2017

City of Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn has proclaimed Saturday, November 25, 2017 to be Small Business Saturday.  This is in conjunction with the nationwide yearly tradition founded by American Express known as Shop Small. 

Who: Ocala Main Street

What: Small Business Saturday

Where: Downtown Ocala

When: November 25, 2017 from 10 am to 4 pm.

Why: This is an effort to build the local economy by supporting the smaller businesses in our community. This is a great way to celebrate entrepreneurship.

Shoppers are encouraged to register in advance so they are eligible for giveaways. Prizes include Downtown dollars that can be used the day of the event. Buyers will receive campaign swag like a tote bag and a “Downtown Passport.” Get your passport stamped for a chance to win additional prizes. 

The Ocala Main Street was created to create a thriving, unique, and livable Downtown Ocala through events, culture, and economic revitalization.
For more information, visit: www.OcalaMainStreet

HDG Hotels acquires a Best Western and begins construction on SpringHill Suites by Marriott

Posted on: November 20, 2017

HDG Hotels has added the 137 room Best Western – Ocala (3701 38th Avenue) to its portfolio. The newly acquired property is located just off College Road/SR 200, where HDG will also soon begin construction of a SpringHill Suites by Marriott.

“HDG is headquartered in Ocala, so adding these two properties helps us grow the positive impact we can make in our own backyard and that’s our vision - to positively impact the people and the world around us,” says HDG Hotels CEO and President Navroz Saju. “We are proud to be a part of this community and to be investing in it once again.”

The addition of these two properties represents an additional $21 million invested in the Ocala market by the growing company and will bring the number of hotel rooms in Marion County owned and operated by HDG Hotels to nearly 600.

About HDG Hotels
Founded in 2005, HDG Hotels is a hotel development and management company headquartered in Ocala/Marion County, Florida. In 2018, HDG anticipates growing its portfolio to 15 hotels and 1,387 rooms reaching coast to coast across Central Florida.

YMCA 22nd Annual Turkey Trot 5k & 10k

Posted on: November 13, 2017

 Register here!

Business, Engineering, & Logistics Leadership Career Fair

Posted on: November 09, 2017

Cyber Security - What's Your Risk

Posted on: November 09, 2017 Partner With Funeral Directors to Make Roberts Funeral and Cremations Locally Owned

Posted on: November 09, 2017

Roberts of Ocala is once again family owned and operated.

Ocala businessman Chester Weber of Live Oak International and Jason Schappert of have partnered with longtime funeral directors Bill Johnson, Terry Roberts, and Josh Leverette to bring Roberts Funerals and Cremations back to being locally owned and family operated.

“Our family serving yours. It’s not only our new motto but a philosophy we live by here at the new Roberts of Ocala.” Says Bill Johnson who’s been serving Central Florida families for the past 20 years as a funeral director.
Roberts of Ocala is operating out of their historic downtown facility located at 606 SW 2nd Ave, Ocala, FL 34471.

“We’ve been investing tens of thousands of dollars towards the renovations to make this facility the premier funeral home in the area. We invite the entire community to come visit and see the changes we’re making first hand. Of course we’re also using local Ocala businesses to make it happen.” says funeral director Josh Leverette.

Road Closures: Light Up Ocala- Saturday, Nov. 18

Posted on: November 08, 2017

The following is a list of road closures that will be in effect for Light Up Ocala, which will take place Saturday, Nov. 18 from 4 to 9 p.m. in downtown Ocala.

Road closures effective Saturday, Nov. 18 from 7 a.m. to midnight:
• NE/NW Second Street, from NE Watula Avenue to NW First Avenue
• NE/NW First Street, from NE Watula Avenue to NW First Avenue
• SE/SW Broadway Street, from SE Watula Avenue to SW First Avenue
• SE/SW Fort King Street, from SE Watula Avenue to SW First Avenue
• SW/SE Second Street, from SW First Avenue to SE Osceola Avenue
• N/S Magnolia Avenue, from NE/NW Third Street to SE/SW Third Street
• SE/NE First Avenue, from SE Third Street to NE Third Street
• NE/SE Osceola Avenue, from NE Third Street to SE Fort King Street

Road closures effective Saturday, Nov. 18 from noon to midnight:
• State Road 40, from NE Eighth Avenue to N Pine Avenue (US 441)

Detour routes:
• SR 40: N Pine Avenue to NW/NE 14th Street (SR 492) to NE Eighth Avenue, back to SR 40
• NE/NW Second Street: NE Watula Avenue to NE/NW Third Street and to NW First Avenue
• NE/NW First Street: NE Watula Avenue to NE/NW Third Street and to NW First Avenue
• SE/SW Broadway Street: SE/NE Watula Avenue to NE/NW Third Street to NW/SW First Avenue, back to SW Broadway Street
• SE/SW Fort King Street: SE/NE Watula Avenue to NE/NW Third Street to NW/SW First Avenue, back to SW Fort King Street
• SW/SE Second Street: SW First Avenue and to SW/SE Third Street
• N/S Magnolia Avenue (southbound): NW Third Street to NW/SW First Avenue to SW Third Street, back to S Magnolia Avenue
• SE/NE First Avenue (northbound): SE Third Street to SE/NE Watula Avenue to NE Third Street, back to NE First Avenue
• NE/SE Osceola Avenue: NE/NW Third Street to NW/SW First Avenue to SW/SE Third Street, back to SE Osceola Avenue

Applications Are Now Being Accepted For the City of Ocala's Housing Rehabilitation Program

Posted on: November 07, 2017

The City of Ocala is accepting applications for its Housing Rehabilitation Program. This program assists low to moderate income citizens with home repairs to eliminate life, safety and health hazards.

Eligible household repairs include roof leaks, inoperable heating and air, exterior window/door replacement, electrical repairs, water/sewer connections, plumbing repairs and ADA accessibility, such as bathrooms and ramps.

Both the applicant(s) and property must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible for this program. Applicant(s) must meet the eligible income limits (see below), the home must be located in the city limits, applicant(s) must reside in the home for two consecutive years prior to applying for this program and must have proof of homestead, and the mortgage, property taxes and homeowner’s insurance must be current.

For those interested in applying for the City’s Housing Rehabilitation Program, the eligible income limits are listed below. These are the maximum income limits per household.
• One-person household - $28,500
• Two-person household - $32,550
• Three-person household - $36,600
• Four-person household - $40,650
• Five-person household - $43,950
• Six-person household - $47,200
• Seven-person household - $50,450
• Eight-person household - $53,700

To apply for this program, please contact the City of Ocala Revitalization Strategies Department at 352-629-8231 to pre-qualify. Upon conditional pre-qualification, a home inspection will be scheduled. If the home inspection is approved, staff will contact the applicant(s) to schedule intake. Documentation and proof of income will be required at that time. The application verification and review process may take up to 30 days. If approved, it may take up to 120 days for construction to begin.

The following circumstances do not qualify for the Housing Rehabilitation Program: 
• Reverse mortgages, liens or judgements
• Repairs on mobile homes
• Applicants who own more than one property
• Routine home maintenance
• Homes determined to be unsuitable or economically infeasible for repair.

For more information, please contact the City of Ocala Revitalization Strategies Department at 352-629-8231.

Start Your Construction Career Off Right!

Posted on: November 07, 2017

Let's Skate Ocala' Ice Rink Opens Saturday Nov. 11

Posted on: November 07, 2017

The City of Ocala’s ‘Let’s Skate Ocala’ ice rink will open to the public Saturday, Nov. 11 in conjunction with the annual Harvest Fest Music and Food Truck Festival. The skating rink will be located at Tuscawilla Park, 500 NE Sanchez Ave.,

and will be open through Sunday, Dec. 31.

Admission is $5 per person for a 30-minute session. The rink will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m., Fridays from 5 to 10 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 6 p.m. The rink will be closed Mondays and Wednesdays for private rentals and parties. For more information about venue rentals, please contact Bridgett Griffin, Therapeutic Recreation Programs Supervisor, City of Ocala Recreation and Parks Department, at or 352-368-5517.

Theme nights will be held select Fridays from 5 to 10 p.m. throughout the holiday season. Details for these theme nights are still being finalized. For more information, please follow the City of Ocala Recreation and Parks Department on Facebook @OcalaRecPark.

• Friday, Nov. 24 – Family Game Night
• Friday, Dec. 8 – Paradise on Ice (Hawaiian theme)
• Friday, Dec. 15 – Santa’s Workshop with a special screening of the movie “Elf”
• Friday, Dec. 22 – Superheroes
• Friday, Dec. 29 – Disco Night

Effective Monday, Oct. 23, the basketball courts at Tuscawilla Park will be closed to allow for installation of the Let’s Skate Ocala ice rink. These courts are expected to re-open to the public by late January 2018.

For more information, please contact the City of Ocala Recreation and Parks Department at 352-368-5517.

Market Street At Heath Brook Welcomes Ocala Eye

Posted on: November 07, 2017

The MGHerring Group, Tricom Real Estate Group, & Boyd Real Estate Group announces Ocala Eye, the largest Medical Eye Group in North Central Florida, will relocate their current practice in Paddock Park to a new, state-of-the-art location in Market Street at Heath Brook, slated to open in spring 2018.

Ocala Eye will be taking 18,600-square-feet on the second level of the shopping center, located above BB&T Securities and Panera Bread.

With an estimated 150,000 patient exams performed yearly at the future Market Street at Heath Brook location, Ocala Eye’s goal is to deliver patients a more accommodating experience with a state-of-the-art facility and amenities, including a pager system so that customers can shop and eat while they wait.

“This is going to be a great partnership. The number of patients they bring in will be very beneficial to our stores and restaurants, while the amenities and shopping environment we offer at Market Street will enhance the overall patient experience and add convenience. It’s a win-win,” said Giancarlo “GC” Carriero, Vice President of Leasing, Tricom Real Estate Group.
Ocala Eye will offer medical and surgical eye care services, including comprehensive eye exams, aesthetics, eyeglasses, cataract and refractive surgery and hearing.

For more than 45 years Ocala Eye has been the premier eye care services provider in North Central Florida, offering comprehensive eye care in five offices in Marion County.

Ocala Eye designates themselves to be a patient-centered practice. “We chose to relocate to Market Street at Heath Brook because of its easy access for our patients,” said Zora Harrison, Ocala Eye Chief Operating Officer.

About Ocala Eye: Ocala Eye is the largest and most experienced Eye Care Center in North Central Florida. For over 40 years, our 13 Board Certified Surgeons have provided comprehensive medical and surgical eye care to the people of Ocala and the Villages. Services include ophthalmology, optometry, aesthetics, hearing and a complete Optical center for frames and lens prescriptions. Our expertise lies in leading edge diagnosis, treatments and surgeries, including cataract surgery, LASIK and more.

About Market Street at Heath Brook: Market Street at Heath Brook is a 515,000-square-foot lifestyle center owned and managed by The MGHerring Group and Tricom Real Estate Group and is anchored by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Dillard’s and includes tenants Barnes & Noble, Chico’s Outlet, HomeGoods, Talbots Company Store, Kirkland’s, Old Navy, DSW, Ulta Beauty, Webster University, and Panera Bread. For a full listing of retailers visit

About The MGHerring Group: The MGHerring Group is a developer of shopping centers and malls in the United States and Mexico. Over the past 35 years the company has developed more than 30 regional shopping centers, primarily regional enclosed malls, comprising more than 25 million square feet of retail space.

About Tricom Real Estate Group: Tricom Real Estate Group is a private retail investment and asset management firm focused on acquisition, development and third-party services.

About Boyd Real Estate Group: Boyd Real Estate Group is a Commercial Real Estate Company providing Development, Sales/Leasing and Property Management services in central and north central Florida.

Join MRMC for a Grand Re-Opening

Posted on: November 06, 2017

Blending Top Equestrian Sport and Country Club Living - World Equestrian Center Ocala Moves Forward

Posted on: October 31, 2017

The World Equestrian Center and Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club received unanimous approval from Marion County Commission for land-use changes in addition to ongoing construction of the exclusive World Equestrian Center, making this impressive project over 3,000-acres. Approval for Equestrian Estates, a residential community which will feature 300 farm estates on multi-acre lots is slated to set the standard for the equine industry.  With an outstanding equestrian facility already operating in Wilmington Ohio, The World Equestrian Center in Ocala Florida is poised to be an ultra-luxury and unique lifestyle destination.
The World Equestrian Center Ocala will feature:
• The Grand Outdoor Stadium, covering over 3 acres with the capacity to accommodate multiple types of events.
• 17 Outdoor Arenas with all-weather footing.
• 4 262’x550’ climate-controlled indoor arenas. 
• 1,500 spacious 14x12 permanent concrete stalls, along with ample space for temporary stalls.

• Schooling areas, and onsite riding trails spanning scenic areas throughout the development.

Additional plans include:
• Luxurious Hotel with stylishly appointed rooms and suites with 18,000 sq. ft. of retail space attached.
• 12,000 sq. ft., fine dining restaurant with a seating capacity of 500+ along with specialty pastry boutique by on-site chefs, with views overlooking the Grand Stadium.               
• 4 additional on-site dining options.
• On-site chapel.
• 200 spacious RV sites with full hookup and pet friendly environment.

The future development of Equestrian Estates will enjoy the same luxury and convenience as the residents of Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club such as security to assure peace and tranquility, golf cart access throughout the community, an on-site veterinary practice for large and small animals and laundry/dry cleaning services. Residential opportunities including condominiums are currently available in the already established community of Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club.
For more information about World Equestrian Center Ocala contact: 800-251-7674.


"Jammin' At Jumbolair Extravaganza"

Posted on: October 31, 2017

Introduction to the Humanism & the Humanists of North Central Florida

Posted on: October 31, 2017

Click here to reserve your spot today!

Cinderella & More Performed by Dance Alive National Ballet

Posted on: October 30, 2017

To purchase tickets call 352.351.1606 or click here 

SBA Marketing Wonderland Worshop

Posted on: October 25, 2017

6th Annual Trunk or Treat at Mojo Grill

Posted on: October 19, 2017

Marketing Wonderland

Posted on: October 18, 2017

Winco Mfg., LLC Achieves ISO 13485:2016 Certification

Posted on: October 17, 2017

Winco Mfg., LLC is pleased to announce that it has received ISO 13485:2016 Medical devices certification. According to BSI, the global standards company that certified Winco, ISO 13485:2016 expands greatly on ISO 9001 and is stricter in nature demanding a more thoroughly documented quality management system as required by medical device markets.  Randy Landry, Quality and Regulatory Manager at Winco commented that “Winco’s upgrade to this specific 2016 standard is directly in line with FDA Medical Device requirements”. 

According to the standard, ISO 13485:2016 was written to support medical device manufacturers in designing quality management systems that establish and maintain the effectiveness of their processes. It ensures the consistent design, development, production, installation, and delivery of medical devices that are applicable for their intended purpose.

As outlined, and as widely understood, there are multiple benefits of ISO 13485:2016 certification.  With it, an organization can increase access to more markets worldwide, improve processes across the organization, increase efficiency, cut costs and effectively monitor supply chain performance. Landry also noted that “Winco’s goal is to manufacture compliant and safe medical devices meeting regulatory requirements and exceeding customer expectations, achieving and maintaining this certification is our means to insure this goal is met.”
“We are delighted to position our company, our customers and our employees for solid future growth” says Tom Lorick, President of Winco. Tom adds that “this certification is only a part of that larger strategy to enhance our organization’s development and provide our customers with the ongoing level of excellence that they have come to know from Winco Medical Furnishings and TransMotion Medical branded products”, and that “the company is committed to raising the bar on the ever-increasing needs of the overall healthcare market”.
# # #

About Winco Mfg., LLC: Winco Mfg., LLC is an American company founded on an entrepreneurial spirit and is proud to design, engineer and manufacture medical furnishings in the USA for a global audience.  Winco is a trusted brand in the medical furnishings industry for over 75 years.

Putting Logistics on Display: Lake Weir High Showcase New Program

Posted on: October 12, 2017

Lake Weir High School students will demonstrate their latest logistics skills next Wednesday, October 11, at 10AM for media and select guests.
The Logistics Career Choice Academy opened in August, offering students the opportunity to learn one of Marion County’s fastest-growing careers – logistics – and how to manage lots of inventory with immediate delivery demand.
For the last few weeks, students have been accepting, sorting, counting, packing, and preparing classroom supplies for delivery to schools for the Tools 4 Teaching program.  This outreach of the Public Education Foundation of Marion County allows teachers to shop online for free supplies for their classrooms and students.

In addition to inventory management, Lake Weir students will also use a recently installed forklift simulator to enhance their logistics skills.
Thanks to industry leaders like Auto Zone,, and Federal Express – all familiar with the importance of logistics and successful delivery service – Marion County is quickly becoming a distribution hub for companies nationwide.
Lake Weir High is located at 10351 SE Maricamp Rd., Ocala, 34472.

Cheers to 30 Years! Roast of Mary Britt

Posted on: October 11, 2017

Register today!

Talbots Company Store to Open at Market Street at Heath Brook

Posted on: October 09, 2017

Talbots, the women’s retailer known for its timeless modern classic style, is opening a Talbots Company Store at Market Street at Heath Brook. The 5,058 square foot store will house Misses, Petite, Woman Plus and Accessories collections. The official store opening is on October 17, 2017 and the Grand Opening celebration will occur from October 17th to October 30th.

The celebration will offer storewide savings and a chance for guests to win a Girls’ Night Out. Classic Awards Members will earn 3x more points from October 17 thru October 30, 2017

Talbots Company store offers great values with a full range of sizes, new collections each month, plus unique pieces to surprise and delight. It is everything you love about Talbots Outlet style. All right here… where you live!

Talbots is a favorite amongst fashion bloggers and celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King, Kelly Ripa, Kathie Lee Gifford, Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Alba and Mila Kunis.

Established in 1947, Talbots is an omni-channel retailer of women’s apparel, shoes and accessories. Currently the Company operates over 500 Talbots stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its online shopping site is located at 

Who:   Talbots Company Store to open at Market Street at Heath Brook
When: Grand Opening: October 17, 2017
Where: Market Street at Heath Brook, 4414 SW College Road, Suite 330 Ocala, FL 34474
Store Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m-9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-6p.m.

Dining in the Dark

Posted on: October 06, 2017


Posted on: October 03, 2017

Due to construction for the City of Ocala’s Water Main Relocation project, the south side of the eastbound lane of State Road 200 will experience temporary lane closures between the on- and off-ramps of Interstate 75 beginning Monday, Oct. 16. This project is expected to be completed by Monday, Nov. 20.

“Due to the Florida Department of Transportation’s plans for expanding State Road 200, it’s necessary for the City to relocate this water main,” said Oscar Tovar, Transportation Engineering Division Head, City of Ocala.

Intermittent, temporary lane closures for this project will be in effect Mondays through Fridays from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily. Construction may occur at any time, however, it will not interfere with lane traffic outside of the noted hours. Construction and lane closures for this project will not take place on any City-recognized holidays and will be limited to weekdays only. All necessary devices will be in place to re-direct traffic. During construction, travelers may experience dust, noise and heavy equipment within the project area. 

For more information, please contact the City Engineer’s Office,

Capital Projects Division at 352-629-8419.

Shift career into high gear as ‘Zoner’ at new distribution center

Posted on: October 02, 2017

AutoZone is seeking “Zoners” with the drive for rewarding careers as warehouse workers at its new distribution center in Ocala.

CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion will hold a hiring event on Tuesday, Oct. 10 and Wednesday, Oct. 11 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the College of Central Florida’s Klein Conference Center in Ocala. The two-day hiring event was postponed last month due to Hurricane Irma.

Warehouse workers are responsible for stocking, pulling or picking orders for all merchandise via the company’s computer system for delivery to AutoZone stores.

The ideal candidate will exceed customers’ expectations by delivering what AutoZone refers to as “WOW! Customer Service.” Warehouse workers must be able to lift/move loads of up to 50 pounds and operate or learn to operate industrial equipment such as a forklift and pallet jack.

While walk-ins are welcome, interested applicants must register with (job order number 10542368).

For more information, call 800-434-5627, ext. 2203.


Posted on: October 02, 2017

From the City of Ocala

In preparation for the Osceola Trak project, NE Osceola Avenue, from NE Fifth Street to NE Third Street, will be permanently closed to vehicular traffic effective Friday, Oct. 6. However, bicycle and pedestrian traffic will still be permitted along this section.

All necessary devices and signage will be in place. Once this closure goes into effect, the City recommends the following alternatives for vehicular traffic:

• Westbound traffic should go south on N Magnolia Avenue
• Eastbound traffic should go south on NE Watula Avenue

Famous Horsey Yard Sale

Posted on: September 27, 2017

Tack Shack of Ocala’s Famous Horsey Yard Sale

Everything in the store is on sale 15% even on clearance items!

September 30 | 8:30 AM- 6 PM

October 1 | 10 AM- 5 PM


Tack Shack of Ocala | 481 SW 60th Ave, Ocala 34474 | 352. 873. 3599

YMCA Fall Festival

Posted on: September 27, 2017


Posted on: September 25, 2017


Marion County Public Schools is the first public school district in Florida to design and use its own textbook adoption process. 
This process requires participation from parents, teachers, and community members to review and approve instructional materials for 17 courses for the 2018-2019 school year.  Course-specific committees involve 15 voting members and one non-voting chair including the content area program specialist, eight teachers and two parents appointed by the superintendent, and five community members appointed by the Marion County School Board.
Committee members must commit to at least 10 hours of individual work time, per course, and mandatory overview and final vote meetings.  Participants must also attend an initial two-hour training on October 4 (2PM-4PM or 6PM-8PM), present a signed, notarized affidavit to the district (can be completed at the initial training), and adhere to all Florida Statutes related to the adoption process, including all work being public record.
Participants can review proposed instructional materials online or at the district’s Professional Library located at 392 SE 19 Ave., Ocala, 34471.  Preview hours are 8:30AM-4:30PM, Monday–Friday, Oct. 11–Nov. 17, 2017. 
The committee will accept public comment on potential instructional materials on Nov. 8, 5PM-8PM at MTI located at 1614 SE Ft. King St., Ocala, 34471. 
The final vote meeting is set for Nov. 27, 5PM-8PM at West Port High School (3733 SW 80 Ave., Ocala, 34481).
To be considered for the adoption committees, individuals should complete forms of interest available at and submit them electronically to  Deadline for submission is no later than 11:59PM on Sept. 30, 2017.
For more information, call 352.867.2121.

Data Entry Hiring

Posted on: September 22, 2017

AutoZone Distribution Center Hiring Event

Posted on: September 21, 2017

10th Annual Applaud the Arts

Posted on: September 18, 2017

Saint Leo Earns Best Regional University, Best Value Honors

Posted on: September 18, 2017

Saint Leo Earns Best Regional University, Best Value Honors

From 2018 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges

ST. LEO, FL - Saint Leo University was named as one of the best regional universities and best values in higher education in the 2018 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges, which was released last week.

Saint Leo ranked 61st among regional universities in the South, which marks an uptick from its previous ranking of 62nd. In addition, the university was named as one of the Best Value Regional Universities–South.

“We at Saint Leo are proud of our mission as a welcoming, inclusive, student-centered university. Everyone at the university is committed to helping our students succeed—both in the classroom and in the real world,” said Dr. William J. Lennox Jr., university president. “We are pleased to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report. These rankings speak to the high-quality, high-value education that students and parents have come to expect at Saint Leo.”

The U.S. News & World Report rankings methodology focuses on academic excellence, with schools evaluated on hundreds of data points and up to 15 measures of academic quality. 

Saint Leo prides itself on being selected as a best value school. These are schools that are above average academically and cost considerably less than many other schools when the financial aid that they dispense, in the form of need-based grants and scholarships, is taken into account, according to U.S. News.

Those schools included in the regional universities category offer a full range of undergraduate programs and offer graduate programs at the master’s level, according to U.S. News, although they offer few if any doctoral programs. Saint Leo offers a Doctor of Business Administration degree. Of the 659 regional universities ranked, 259 are public, 388 are private (including Saint Leo), and 12 are for-profit.

U.S. News uses several criteria to measure academic quality and rank universities. These include freshman retention and graduation of students; peer assessment; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; alumni giving; and graduation rate performance.

About Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University ( is a modern Catholic teaching university that is firmly grounded in the liberal arts tradition and the timeless Benedictine wisdom that seeks balanced growth of mind, body, and spirit. The Saint Leo University of today is a private, nonprofit institution that creates hospitable learning communities wherever students want to be or need to be, whether that is a campus classroom, a web-based environment, an employer’s worksite, a military base, or an office park. Saint Leo welcomes people of all faiths and of no religious affiliation, and encourages learners of all generations. The university is committed to providing educational opportunities to the nation’s armed forces, veterans, and their families. Saint Leo is regionally accredited to award degrees ranging from the associate to the doctorate, and the faculty and staff guide all students to develop their capacities for critical thinking, moral reflection, and lifelong learning and leadership.

The university remains the faithful steward of the beautiful lakeside University Campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, where its founding monks created the first Catholic college in the state in 1889. Serving nearly 15,000 students, Saint Leo has expanded to downtown Tampa, to other sites in Florida and beyond, and maintains a physical presence in seven states. The university provides highly respected online learning programs to students nationally and internationally. More than 85,000 alumni reside in all 50 states, in Washington, DC, in three U.S. territories, and in 76 countries.

Florida Feast Benefitting Interfaith Emergency Services

Posted on: August 21, 2017

Dimension Works Lunch and Learn

Posted on: July 21, 2017

CF to Offer Five-Day Warehouse Course

Posted on: July 14, 2017

–an equal opportunity college–

352-854-2322, EXT. 1855


OCALA, Fla. (July 13, 2017) — The College of Central Florida will offer a five-day Warehouse, Forklift and Occupational Safety and Health Administration training course beginning Sept. 15 at its Ocala Campus, 3001 S.W. College Road.

Students will learn about basic warehouse processes such as shipping and receiving, inventory control systems, basic forklift operations, and will receive OSHA 10-hour certification.

OSHA training with instructor Tony Vazquez will be held Sept.15 and 22, from 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Forklift training with instructor BJ Price will be held Sept. 16 and 23, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Students must wear long pants and closed-toe shoes for this hands-on instruction.

Warehouse process with instructor Mark Davis will be held Sept. 18, from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Students will receive a certificate of completion from CF, a forklift certification card, plus an OSHA 10-hour certification card. Cost is $340 per student. Tuition assistance may be available.

For more information or to register, contact Bonnie Hays at 352-854-2322, ext. 1855, or

Contact CF Marketing and Public Relations Director Lois Brauckmuller at 352-854-2322, ext. 1374, or Marketing and Public Relations Manager Staci Biondini at 352-854-2322, ext. 1565, The Ocala Campus is located at 3001 S.W. College Road, Ocala, Fla. 34474-4415, 352-873-5800. The Citrus Campus is located at 3800 S. Lecanto Highway, Lecanto, Fla. 34461-9026, 352-746-6721. The Levy Center is located at 114 Rodgers Blvd., Chiefland, Fla. 32626-1420, 352-493-9533. The Hampton Center is located at 1501 W. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, Fla. 34475-6456, 352-873-5881 and the Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida, is located at 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, Fla. 34470-5001, 352-291-4455. For additional information, visit College of Central Florida at


PEMCO Designated Certified Professional Employer Organization

Posted on: June 25, 2017

SARASOTA, Fla., June 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Internal Revenue Service* (IRS) named Progressive Employer Management Company (PEMCO) as one of the first Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) in the U.S. to receive a Certified Professional Employer Organization (CPEO) designation. The certification is effective January 1, 2017, and only a select group of PEOs met the requirements for this elite designation.

"The requirements to become and remain certified as a CPEO is quite demanding," said Clinton Burgess, CEO of PEMCO. "The CPEO designation shows our commitment to abide by a higher standard in the industry and gives our clients the necessary assurance that we offer an exceptional PEO service."

The CPEO certification is voluntary. In accordance with the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, the IRS established this voluntary certification program for PEOs. To be certified under the new program, CPEOs must have a history of federal, state, and local tax compliance, financial responsibility, as well as organizational integrity, among other things.

Benefits for companies working with a CPEO include:

  • Peace of mind. Clients of CPEOs can rest assured that employment-related taxes are being handled appropriately.
  • Limited payroll tax liability. The IRS cannot hold CPEO clients liable for unpaid taxes in the event that the PEO did not pay the required taxes. CPEOs take sole liability for federal employment related taxes of its clients.
  • Tax credit eligibility. CPEO clients are eligible for federal tax credits. CPEOs are obliged to calculate and report the eligible amounts to their CPEO clients.
  • No double taxation when switching or partnering with a CPEO mid-year. Working with a CPEO eliminates the wage base restart provision for businesses that partner with a PEO mid-year.

For CPEOs to remain compliant, the IRS requires annual verification, a continued bond (or bonds) from a qualified surety for the payment of federal employment taxes, annual audited financial statements, and quarterly assertions, attestations, and working capital statements. There are also reporting requirements as it relates to commencement and termination contracts between the CPEO and its clients, employment tax reporting, and any material changes that might affect the continuing accuracy of any agreement or information previously provided to the IRS.

PEMCO, headquartered in Sarasota, is locally and nationally recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in its industry, and has been servicing the professional, medical, contractor, hospitality, service, industrial and nonprofit sectors for more than 20 years.

For more information about PEMCO, visit

* The IRS does not endorse any particular certified professional employer organization. For more information on certified professional employer organizations go to

About Progressive Employer Management Company
Progressive Employer Management Company (PEMCO) is one of the fastest growing professional employer organizations (PEO) in the nation. PEMCO is a full-service provider of payroll administration, workers' compensation, employee benefits, and human resource management. Since 1999, PEMCO's philosophy for becoming one of the largest PEOs in the U.S. has been to "Focus on the Customer" while allowing uncompromising integrity and relentless attention to detail to drive growth. PEMCO is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, with additional offices in Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Ocala, Orlando, Pensacola, and Tampa, Florida; and Coppell, Texas. For more information, visit or call 888.925.2990.

Heather Ripley
Ripley PR

Volunteers Needed to Host Exchange Students

Posted on: May 24, 2017

Only 3& 1/2 Weeks, this summer!  Host An International Student & Change A Young Life Forever!

•EF Educational Homestay Programs (EHP) is bringing students from Spain and France, ages 14 to 17, to the community this summer to improve English skills and learn about American culture and American way of life by living with a volunteer host family.

•Students will attend bi-weekly activities planned and supervised by EF Program Staff.

•This is a unique and rewarding opportunity for you, your family, and your community to participate in international exchange, promote language learning, and cultivate life-long friendships with people from around the world.

•If you are able to provide a room (shared is ok with same gender and within three years of age), meals and most importantly – a loving and caring environment, then you have what it takes to share your life with an eager student from abroad! Students become fully integrated into your family’s daily lifestyle.    

Host family high school students can earn up to 45 hours
of community service, (depending on your school).

For more information, please contact:
Karen Wood at 352-239-0578

Visit us online at

EF/EHP is a 501c3 non-profit organization registered in the state of Florida. 

Wine & Tapas Event to benefit Open Arms Village on June 3rd

Posted on: May 18, 2017

Transitions Life Center to Host Barbecue on Saturday, June 3rd

Posted on: May 18, 2017

Mojo Blues Fest on June 2nd to Benefit Feed the Need

Posted on: May 18, 2017

Woodring named Florida’s top Workforce Development Professional

Posted on: May 10, 2017

Woodring, who has been with CareerSource CLM since 1997, was honored Monday night during the FEDC’s annual conference in Ft. Lauderdale. The award was presented by Lois Scott, retired bureau chief for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and last year’s recipient.

The FEDC is the statewide organization that educates, advocates for and connects Florida’s economic stakeholders. In addition to Woodring, the FEDC recognized Florida Gov. Rick Scott as the 2017 Business Ambassador and the Eunice Sullivan Economic Development Professional of the Year was awarded to Crystal Sircy, executive vice president of the Orlando Economic Partnership.

The workforce developer professional of the year award has been given annually since 2007 to recognize the achievements of an outstanding Florida workforce developer who has made a significant impact on workforce development. It is named in honor of its first recipient, former Florida Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings, in recognition of her exceptional leadership in building a strong workforce system to respond to critical workforce needs and advance local, regional and state economic development.

This marks the first time in the award’s 10-year history that two members of the same organization have been named the state’s top workforce development professional. Rusty Skinner, CEO of CareerSouce CLM, received the award in 2013.

Woodring, who directs workforce program implementation and programming for Citrus, Levy and Marion counties, has been instrumental in area YouthBuild projects and led the statewide planning effort for the annual Workforce Professional Development Summit for the last three consecutive years. The summit provides system-wide training for more than 800 professionals and is a collaboration of CareerSource Florida, Florida Workforce Development Association and DEO.

“I'm honored to be recognized for this award by the FEDC,” Woodring said. “As workforce professionals we work every day to keep our promises with our job seekers, business and our economic development partners.  Fulfilling the vision of the FWDA, CSF and DEO for a strong and fulfilling Summit make it possible for our network to keep this promise.”

She was nominated by Ed Peachey, president and chief executive officer of CareerSource Tampa Bay.

“Ms. Woodring has set a new standard for excellence in managing relationships with community organizations and partners,” Peachey said. “Thanks to her leadership, extraordinary attention to detail and devotion to educating our professionals to be the most innovative and effective in the nation, she has helped create a path to prosperity for thousands of at-risk Citrus, Levy and Marion county residents. Her impact on these communities will be felt for decades to come.”

Kathy Judkins, CareerSource CLM’s board chair, said, “I can’t think of a more deserving person to receive this prestigious award.”

“We appreciate Kathleen’s unfailing commitment to the workforce mission,” said Judkins, who was on hand during the awards ceremony. “Her unprecedented leadership and accomplishments as chair of the annual summit is a worthy acknowledgement.”

Woodring has been involved in workforce development for nearly three decades, serving as an equal opportunity officer for an employment and training consortium in Pennsylvania and as placement and support services coordinator for the former Withlacoochee Workforce Development Authority in Ocala. She joined CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion, then Workforce Connection, in 1997, in 2005 became chief operating officer and last year was named executive vice president, managing program implementation and programming for the three-county region. Prior to her career in workforce development, Woodring was a manager for the US Bureau of the Census and Disney World.

Woodring, who chairs the Florida Workforce Development Association’s Chief Operating Officer subgroup, also serves on numerous civic and community boards, including the Marion County Transportation Disadvantaged board, Early Learning Coalition of Marion County, United Way of Marion County Financial Stability Vision Council and the Marion County Homeless Coalition.

A native of Minnesota, she graduated from Bemidji State University and earned her Master’s in Management with honors from Webster University in 2006.

Woodring and her husband Mac have lived in Ocala since 1995 and have one son and three dogs.


CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities and in Spanish. All voice telephone numbers may be reached using TTY/TDD equipment via the Florida Relay Service at 711. For accommodations, call 800-434-5627, ext. 7878 or email A proud partner of the American Jobs Center network and member of CareerSource Florida.

Lassiter-Ware to Host Webinar Discussing Marijuana in the Workplace on May 17th

Posted on: May 01, 2017

Join us in May for a Webinar to learn about Marijuana in the Workplace.  Gain an education and understanding to ensure your company’s policies and procedures are in compliance.

Does marijuana remain an illegal drug?
How many states have legalized:
Medical marijuana?
Recreational marijuana?
Both medical and recreational marijuana and what is the difference between the two in the workplace?
What are the common features of the State Marijuana Statues?
Do employers in states that have legalized marijuana still permitted to conduct marijuana testing on employees?
If an employee fails a drug test for marijuana, however, has a medical prescription, can the employer terminate employee or would that be considered discrimination?
If a company has multi-state employees wherein some states have legalized medical and/or recreational use of marijuana and some do not, how does a company effectively manage this issue in the workplace and be in compliance?
What should be included in the employee handbook/workplace policy regarding the legalization of the drug?
Presenters: Jeff Branham, Esquire and Doug Noah, Esquire
Deans, Ringers, Morgan & Lawton

Sholom Park to Celebrate National Public Gardens Day on May 12

Posted on: April 25, 2017

This casual event will offer guests a chance to ask questions and learn from one of north central Florida’s most dedicated and distinguished apiarists.  To learn more about McChesney, visit

Time: 1-3 p.m.
Admission free, donations accepted
Location: Sholom Park Main Pavilion
7110 SW 80th Ave.
Ocala, FL 34481

Call for Volunteers – SHOLOM PARK’s Fun at the Park: Music & Art – May 21, 2017 Sholom Park seeks volunteers

Posted on: April 25, 2017

 Sholom Park is pleased to host its next Fun at the Park event that will include live chamber-style music and exhibits of original art for the public to enjoy. The late spring event will be held Sunday afternoon, May 21, 2017, in the Sholom Park Formal Garden area, from 4-7 p.m.
Organizers for the event are recruiting a select number of volunteers to assist with a variety of activities, such as: 
Assisting at visitor sign-in tables
Assisting designated artists at their individual booths
Interviewing attendees
Escorting designated visitors throughout exhibits
*Many other opportunities are available to serve.

Interested volunteers should email Summer Best: to confirm involvement and discuss more details. Please respond as soon as possible to be included in any volunteer meetings and updates.


Bank of America to Host Fraud Strategies Workshop on April 27th

Posted on: April 25, 2017

Leadercast Event to be held on Friday, May 5th

Posted on: April 17, 2017

AT&T Seeking Customer Service Representatives

Posted on: March 27, 2017

Group to Audit Career and Technical Ed

Posted on: March 05, 2017

Kevin Christian, APR, CPRC, Public Relations & Communications Officer
352.671.7555 | FAX: 352.671.7735 | CELL: 352.840.3265


MARION COUNTY – Marion County Public Schools will audit its own career and technical education programs as part of a larger plan to redesign and update programs.  The move has two goals in store -- bring greater relevancy to student learning and develop the community’s talent pipeline.

The Whetstone Group, a leading think-tank agency located in Jacksonville, will explain the auditing process in a meeting open to the public on March 8.  The meeting begins at 6PM at MTI located at 1614 E. Ft. King St. in Ocala. Doors open for a reception at 5:30PM, sponsored by Engage in Education, part of the Public Education Foundation of Marion County.

The Whetstone Group will train district administrators using its LEAD model (Linking Economic and Academic Development).  This model evaluates existing Career Technical and Education (CTE) programs for relevance and effectiveness, identifies needs for new programs, determines outdated programs no longer needed, is data driven providing objective results, and ensures all CTE programs meet Florida legislation, are connected to the area’s local economic needs, and provide students with marketable skills.

This audit follows an MCPS announcement last week regarding two new Logistics Career Choice Academies opening in August at Lake Weir and West Port High Schools. This audit will help determine additional academies opening in coming years.

Founded in 2004, The Whetstone Group is a leader in transforming community workforces by establishing career educational offerings connected to local, state and regional economic drivers. Whetstone helps businesses and communities establish a competitive edge through a well-defined and developed workforce.

For more information, contact my office directly or Mark Vianello, executive director of Career and Technical Education, at 352.671.6868 or


Posted on: February 28, 2017

Earth Fare is committed to improving lives through better food and healthier living. The Ocala Earth Fare joins the other thirty-nine full-service grocery stores throughout the Southeast, mid-Atlantic and Midwest. Earth Fare makes healthier food choices easy through the broadest assortment of organic, natural and fresh products, while also adhering to one of the strictest food standards in the industry.

Learn more about Earth Fare’s fresh approach to improving lives through a healthier lifestyle at

WHEN:  March 15th-17th from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. each day

WHERE: College of Central Florida
                Ewers Center
                Ocala, FL 34474

Founded in 1975 in Asheville, North Carolina, Earth Fare is one of the largest natural and organic food retailers in the country, with 39 locations across 9 states in the Southeast, mid-Atlantic and Midwest. Their full-service philosophy incorporates the highest food Quality Standards in the industry with compelling value, friendly and knowledgeable service, and superior shopping experience. It’s a philosophy that makes it easy to live a healthier lifestyle, every day.
Live Longer with Earth Fare.

Come experience the Frank Deluca YMCA!

Posted on: February 24, 2017

TypTap Insurance Hiring Call Center Supervisor

Posted on: February 13, 2017

Supervises and coordinates activities of employees providing telephone customer support services for TypTap’s flood insurance product.

• Monitors productivity of customer service representatives and generates reports
• Reviews data to monitor the customer experience and CSR statistics
• Monitors individual, team and call center results to identify and act on both positive and negative performance trends to ensure attainment of goals and performance targets
• Monitors service calls to observe employee demeanor, technical accuracy and conformity to company policies
• Answers questions and recommends corrective services to address customer complaints
• Provides communication and follow up to ensure representatives are fully informed of all new information related to products, procedures, customer needs and company related issues, changes or actions
• Determines work procedures, prepares work schedules and expedites workflow
• Studies and standardizes procedures to improve efficiency

• Supervisory and customer service experience required
• Clear, concise oral and written communication skills
• Must be detail-oriented
• Professional and courteous at all times
• Excellent problem-solving skills
• Hard-working and highly motivated to close sales
• Bilingual a plus

• Bachelor’s degree in Insurance, Risk Management, Business Administration or closely-related field preferred.  Insurance experience highly preferred.

• 5+ years’ experience supervising a call center or similar environment

• 2-20 Insurance License a plus

This is not a complete itemization of all facets of this position. This job description is not an employment agreement or contract. HCI has the exclusive right to alter this job description at any time without notice.

I have reviewed and acknowledge receipt of this job description.

__________________________________________                           ________________
Employee signature       Date

Mojo Grill to Host Fellowship Wednesdays on 2nd and 4th Wednesday of Every Month

Posted on: January 26, 2017


Posted on: January 23, 2017

Student and career services for individuals with disabilities will be discussed. Featured guest speakers will be from the Division of the Blind, the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities and Vocational Rehabilitation.

For more information contact Heather Gamble at or 352-840-5762.

To learn more about the College of Central Florida, visit

Three Central Florida Therapy Practice Owners Collaborate to Help Other Therapists

Posted on: January 03, 2017

The three private practice owners recently wrote, “Putting Your Dreams To Work: Keys To Setting Up Your Therapy Practice.” Despite their busy schedules, they enjoy meeting quarterly and encouraging each other.

“We are members of various networking groups in Central Florida that support each other. As Therapy Practice owners, it is important to have a good support system. The more we began to meet, the more we became aware of the benefits of staying motivated and sharing pertinent private practice information. This book embodies that spirit.”

The book launches January, 1, 2017 and will be available on Amazon and CreateSpace. The three busy private practice owners are holding book signings/meet and greet events across Florida to hopefully inspire future therapy practice owners. The first book signing/meet and greet will take place at Pom Pom’s Teahouse and Sandwicheria on Tues, January 10, 2017, 6-8p.m.

"We have taken our experiences, our triumphs, our mistakes, our ups, our downs of owning a private practice and put them in one easy-to-read book,” stated Adrienne Fuller, MS, CCC-SLP.

In addition to launching a book for therapy private practice owners, the three Speech Language Pathologists have created low cost webinars to teach various aspects of starting and growing a therapy private practice.The webinars contain specific content that will help individuals prepare, set up, and grow their practice.

"This is the information I wish I had when starting my practice. It is comprehensive and an honest look at the good and the bad in this process. Our book answers most questions a practitioner has when starting the
journey or even already on the journey,” explained Natasha Carby-Joseph, MA, CCC-SLP

The Therapists’ Corner, LLC
150 East 1st Street
Apopka, FL 32703
Phone: 407.703.2711
Fax: 321.284.8005

Two CF Health Programs ranked among top in nation

Posted on: December 08, 2016

Ranked third in the nation among four-year colleges, CF’s Physical Therapist Assistant program takes about two years to complete and currently boasts a 100 percent graduation rate and 100 percent employment rate.
CF’s Emergency Medical Services program, ranked fifth in the nation among four-year schools, takes 15 weeks to complete and leads to certification as an EMT. is an informative tool that ranks accredited colleges and universities throughout the nation on a variety of factors, including affordability, student services and the availability of online programs. The tool allows students to connect with schools based on the factors that are most important to them, including location, price, support services and more.

To learn more about CF, visit  

Contact CF Marketing and Public Relations Director Lois Brauckmuller at 352-854-2322, ext. 1374, or Marketing and Public Relations Manager Staci Biondini at 352-854-2322, ext. 1565, The Ocala Campus is located at 3001 S.W. College Road, Ocala, Fla. 34474-4415, 352-873-5800. The Citrus Campus is located at 3800 S. Lecanto Highway, Lecanto, Fla. 34461-9026, 352-746-6721. The Levy Center is located at 114 Rodgers Blvd., Chiefland, Fla. 32626-1420, 352-493-9533. The Hampton Center is located at 1501 W. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, Fla. 34475-6456, 352-873-5881 and the Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida, is located at 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, Fla. 34470-5001, 352-291-4455. For additional information, visit College of Central Florida at

AT&T Hiring Customer Service Representatives

Posted on: November 29, 2016

Edible Arrangements Adds Delicious New Ways to Celebrate the Holidays

Posted on: November 21, 2016

Edible Arrangements stores in Gainesville and Ocala are offering new products that are sure to add WOW to your holiday gift giving. New items include Custom Swizzle colors, Taste of Edible Gift Baskets and the Edible Signature Chocolate Box. These items and many more will be on display and available for sampling during the stores’ Holiday Open House:

Gainesville  Wednesday, Nov. 30, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m,
  Located in the Tower Square Shopping Center at 7050 SW Archer Road

Ocala   Friday, Dec. 2, 4:00 -7:00 p.m.
Located in the Shoppes at Paddock Park, 3101 SW 34th Avenue

Custom Swizzle® Colors give customers a fun new way to personalize any gift with 66 custom colors of chocolate swizzle. The new proprietary chocolate color matching system makes it possible for Edible Arrangements designers to match the colors of your company logo, your favorite sports team (Go Gators!), your wedding, baby’s room and more, in delicious chocolate. One color of chocolate swizzle is an additional $5 and two colors is $7.

Also new for fall is the “Taste of Edible®” Gift Baskets featuring many of your favorite Edible Arrangements bouquets and chocolate Dipped Fruit boxes, all beautifully presented with fresh whole fruit, an Edible Arrangements mug and an Edible to Go Gift Booklet valued at $29.95.  The Gift Baskets are hand-made fresh daily and available in three sizes starting at $99.

Lastly, Edible Arrangements has introduced a new line of boxed chocolate gifts – the Edible Signature Chocolate Box. Featuring recipes designed with master chef Jacques Torres, these melt-in-your-mouth chocolates are available in 6 flavors: hazelnut crunch, caramel, raspberry, orange, pineapple, and passion fruit.

HITS Advertising Opportunities

Posted on: November 08, 2016

The Champion’s Kit will be sent to the HITS e-mail list of more than 20,000 equine enthusiasts and posted on our website (1.3 Million visitors annually) and social media outlets (30,000 Facebook followers) providing a tremendous number of valuable impressions.
The Champion’s Kit can include coupons, offers and special information from its participants. Material can be uploaded into the HITS Champion’s Kit until January 3, 2017.
Please (check mark) to reserve space in the following event bag(s) -
___ HITS Champion’s Kit Ocala $390. Ad must be received by January 3, 2017
___ Non-Profit Organization $195. Must provide declaration documents with contract.
___ HITS Champion’s Kit Coachella $390. Ad must be received by January 3, 2017
___ Non-Profit Organization $195. Must provide declaration documents with contract.

Forward contract and/or questions to

Click here for the contract. 

Ocala Lions Club to Host Golf Tournament on December 3rd

Posted on: November 03, 2016

Help re-View Business Strategies Learn about Small Businesses

Posted on: November 03, 2016

HomeGoods to Open at Market Street at Heath Brook

Posted on: October 18, 2016

HomeGoods will open at Market Street at Heath Brook in Summer 2017, taking five contiguous existing retail spaces to create a 22,445 square foot space located at near The Commons and  Artsy Abode. 

Established in 1992, HomeGoods is an off-price retailer and currently operates over 500 stores across the United States. HomeGoods delivers great value on a selection of exciting top brands and home fashions from around the world.
Orangetheory Fitness is also scheduled to open in late Fall 2016 near Azulene Day Spa.  The physiology behind the Orangetheory Fitness workout involves heart-rate-monitored training designed to keep heart rates in a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. The result is the Orange Effect – more energy, visible toning and extra calorie burn for up to 36 hours post- workout.
“We are delighted to welcome HomeGoods and Orangetheory Fitness to Market Street at Heath Brook,” comments Norine Bowen, VP of Property Management at The MGHerring Group. “We are confident that our shoppers will enjoy both businesses and look forward to their openings.”

HomeGoods and Orangetheory Fitness join other new recent additions to Market Street at Heath Brook including Five Star Pizza, Envious Eyebrows and Las Margaritas. 


About HomeGoods

HomeGoods is a one-stop shopping destination that showcases an ever-changing assortment of high-quality, unique home fashions and some of the finest home basics from around the world. Shoppers can choose from brand and designer names, and distinctive pieces in an easy-to-shop environment.  HomeGoods offers exciting home décor options for every room in the home and for every sense of style - with new merchandise arriving several times per week, stores always look fresh and exciting.

About Orangetheory Fitness
Orangetheory Fitness ( is the energizing group personal training, interval fitness concept that is sweeping the nation. Backed by the science of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), Orangetheory Fitness is a 60-minute workout broken into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training. Participants burn from 500 to 1000 calories per 60-minute training session (individual results vary), using a variety of equipment including treadmills, rowing machines, TRX suspension trainingTM and free weights.

About Market Street at Heath Brook
Market Street at Heath Brook is a 685,000-square-foot lifestyle center in Ocala, Florida and is anchored by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Dillard’s.  The center includes tenants such as Barnes & Noble, Kirkland’s, Old Navy, DSW Designer Show Warehouse, Ulta Beauty, Jos. A. Bank, Webster University, and Panera Bread.

About The MGHerring Group
With a reputation for design, quality and integrity, Dallas-based The MGHerring Group has developed more than 30 major shopping centers and regional malls in the United States and Mexico, totaling more than 25 million square feet of retail space.  Current projects include The Village at Fairview, The Village at Allen, Golden Triangle Mall, Silver City Galleria and Market Street at Heath Brook. The MGHerring Group has been recognized with numerous industry awards and is considered by many to be among the top shopping center developers in the nation.
About Tricom Real Estate Group
Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Tricom Real Estate Group is a private retail investment and asset management firm focused on the acquisition and turnaround of underperforming regional mall and open air center assets in key markets across the nation.


Saint Leo University Moves to New Ocala Location

Posted on: October 11, 2016

Hallmarks of the Ocala Education Center are access and convenience. Classes are available when students, mainly adult learners, need them, said Rena Thomas, center director.

While the average Saint Leo Ocala student is in his or her 30s, the center now is offering associate of arts degrees, which will appeal to those who recently have graduated high school or earned an equivalency diploma. “Students can now start with us without having their AA or any college credits,” Thomas said.

Some of the most popular programs offered by the Saint Leo University Ocala Education Center are human services, elementary and middle grades education, and criminal justice.

Saint Leo University is a private, nonprofit university founded by Benedictine monks and sisters. The university honors its Benedictine roots by incorporating its core values in every class. One of the core values is “community,” and the Ocala Education Center works closely with the Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership. The university offers CEP members and their employees a 10 percent discount.

The Ocala Education Center also works closely with many human services-related agencies and the Marion County Public Schools, and many students are hired for full-time positions following completion of their field placement.

Registration is taking place for the Spring 1 Semester, which begins January 9, 2017. For information, call (352) 671-3391.

About Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University ( is a modern Catholic teaching university that is firmly grounded in the liberal arts tradition and the timeless Benedictine wisdom that seeks balanced growth of mind, body, and spirit. The Saint Leo University of today is a private, nonprofit institution that creates hospitable learning communities wherever our students want to be or need to be, whether that is a campus classroom, a web-based environment, an employer’s worksite, a military base, or an office park. We welcome people of all faiths and of no religious affiliation, and encourage learners of all generations. We are committed to providing educational opportunities to our nation’s armed forces, our veterans, and their families. We are regionally accredited to award degrees ranging from the associate to the doctorate, and we guide all our students to develop their capacities for critical thinking, moral reflection, and lifelong learning and leadership.

We remain the faithful stewards of the beautiful lakeside University Campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, where our founding monks created the first Catholic college in the state in 1889. Serving nearly 15,000 students, we have expanded to downtown Tampa, to other sites in Florida and beyond, and maintain a physical presence in seven states. We provide highly respected online learning programs to students nationally and internationally. More than 82,000 alumni reside in all 50 states, in Washington, DC, in three U.S. territories, and in 76 countries.

Media Contact: Mary McCoy, University Writer & Media Relations,, (352) 588-7118 or cell (813) 610-8416

Ford Commits to Continue American Production

Posted on: September 27, 2016

Marion Technical College to Host Quickbooks Foundation Classes

Posted on: September 02, 2016

EEI, Organizer of Rolex Kentucky, to Add Winter Competition in Ocala, Fla.

Posted on: September 01, 2016

“EEI’s mission is to promote the sport of Eventing and provide the U.S. Eventing Team opportunities to improve by supporting and/or creating competitions. This new event fits perfectly into that mission,” said Stewart Perry, president of EEI’s board of directors. “Plus the grounds and mild Florida winter climate are ideal for the three phases of Eventing.”

The new Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event, managed by well-known show organizer Equiventures, will be held at the Ocala Jockey Club for the first time November 24-27 of this year and will offer a CCI2/1 and CIC3-level competitions. EEI will take over management of the event for 2017 and beyond.

“We are delighted to be a driving force in the advancement of Eventing in Florida and look forward to working with EEI as we build on the advantages our area offers competitors from around the world. Our inaugural event this fall will surely be the right place at the right time and with the right team!” said Richard Trayford, CEO of Equiventures.

The 2017 Ocala event will be held November 16-20, some seven months after EEI’s flagship Kentucky Three-Day Event, which occurs the last weekend in April each year.

“The timing of the two shows will be perfect for our staff and for the Eventing competitors and wider community,” said Lee Carter, EEI executive director. “And from a venue standpoint, there are many similarities between the Kentucky Horse Park and the Ocala Jockey Club: the landscape is stunning and the footing in Ocala is superb. We think Eventing fans – and even newcomers to the sport – will be quick to adopt this new show as an annual event.”

With its unique winter climate and terrain, Ocala is fast becoming a global center of excellence for the sport of Eventing. With sunshine and average high temperatures of 79 degrees in November and hundreds of horse farms servicing diverse horse disciplines, Ocala has been growing as a major winter location for equestrians and is ripe for a prestigious destination equestrian competition. It is home to the Eventing coaches of several Olympic squads, including Team USA, Canada and Mexico, and many top international eventers have farms there including David and Karen O’Connor, Clayton Fredericks, Leslie Law, and Bruce Davidson – all Olympic medalists representing three continents. Recently competitors from Europe have also been spending the winters in Ocala, and Florida has a vibrant competition calendar with events from Wellington to Tallahassee.

The 950-acre Ocala Jockey Club was developed as a family-oriented Thoroughbred horse farm community located on the rich soil of Florida’s Marion County. The Clubhouse was the centerpiece: known for stunning sunsets, great food, ambience and tranquil views over the farm in all directions.  Today, owners Pavla and Erik Nygaard are building on the Thoroughbred tradition of the farm and creating a world-class Eventing center for international competitions, training and teaching.

“It’s important for top-level Thoroughbreds to continue to train at the Ocala Jockey Club, but we saw an opportunity for the farm’s size and rolling hills to be showcased with a Cross-Country experience to rival the best in the world,” said Pavla Nygaard, president of the Ocala Jockey Club. “As many Thoroughbreds retire from racing careers into the hands of eventers who prize the Thoroughbreds’ stamina and athleticism, a Three-Day Event at the Ocala Jockey Club and special prize fund for top-placing Thoroughbreds provides a great opportunity for the two disciplines to bridge together. EEI is well-known for producing a superb Three-Day Event at Rolex Kentucky, and we are excited and proud to be the host venue of their vision for a world-class show at our property.”

Equestrian Events, Inc. is a non-profit charitable Kentucky corporation that was established initially to produce the 1978 World Three-Day Event Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park. Following the success of those championships, EEI established an annual event that evolved into the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover.

The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is the nation’s premier Three-Day Event and one of the most prestigious equestrian competitions in the world.  The Fédération Equestre Internationale (International Equestrian Federation – FEI), the world's governing body of equestrian sports, has designated the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event as a ‘Four Star’ Eventing competition, the highest designation, which is given only to the Olympic Games, World Championships, and six annual events around the world.  Rolex Kentucky is the only Four Star event in the Western Hemisphere. The 2016 event hosted more than 84,000 attendees over the four days of competition with 34,000-plus cheering fans on Cross-Country day alone. Visit for more information on the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover.

For more information on the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event or to purchase tickets, visit
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Talent Center ‘keystone’ initiative paves way for new level of job placement services

Posted on: August 31, 2016

The Talent Center, a joint venture between CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion and CF, is designed to provide a new level of service for employers seeking professionals and highly-skilled technical talent recruitment services targeting recent college graduates. The open house begins at 8 a.m. for members of the business community and general public, with ribbon cutting set to take place at 8:30 a.m. 

Students are invited to stop by during their club rush activity hour. Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Talent Center is located at CF’s Enterprise Center, 3003 SW College Road, Suite 101, in Ocala. Its staff, resources and services are available at no charge to employers, professional-level job seekers and students regardless of where they live, work or attend school.

Dr. James Henningsen, CF’s president, said that partnership grew from a renewed drive by the college in recent years to focus on finding careers for students. He said that the Talent Center collaboration is the “keystone of a college-wide initiative to enhance student success (in that) they will find support from the time they begin their educational journey until they begin their career in a high-skill, high-wage career.”

Rusty Skinner, CareerSource CLM’s CEO, said the college’s desire to partner with CareerSource to provide comprehensive placement services for their graduates coincided with “our board’s call for special service assisting professional and skilled talent and our area’s businesses that need that talent.” “CF is a vital community source for talent and we are glad that our services over the past years have warranted their confidence in our assisting their graduates,” Skinner said. “Their programs and their graduates represent a skill base for employers and allow us to move forward with the type of skilled talent that our area employers are seeking.”

Talent Center staff will work one-on-one with employers to help them recruit, train and retain vetted professional and highly-skilled technical talent. Candidates receive individualized career counseling and coaching, job leads and referrals, resume assistance and interview preparation, invitations to job fairs and hiring events, skills and aptitude assessments, resources and other employability services.

For more information about the Talent Center and/or the open house, call 352-840-5762 or 844-364-9859.

Night of Praise presented by Mojo's Grill & Florida Cancer Specialists on August 20th

Posted on: August 13, 2016

J.D. Power Ranks SECO Energy Highest

Posted on: July 13, 2016

This is the second J.D. Power award earned by the cooperative.  In 2015, SECO Energy was ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Midsize Utilities in the South.”  The J.D. Power study measures customer satisfaction with electric utility companies by examining six factors: power quality and reliability; price; billing and payment; corporate citizenship; communications; and customer service.

SECO Energy CEO Jim Duncan stated “I am awed and inspired by the hard work and commitment to member satisfaction displayed by our Board, leadership team and employees.  Whether front line or behind-the-scenes, every SECO employee’s goal is to provide the best service possible to members.  From restoring power outages quickly and safely in triple-digit heat to personal interactions through our website, via social media, on the phone and in the field, SECO employees go the extra mile for our members.”

Board of Trustees President, Ray Vick is equally as proud.  “As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, SECO is here for you, the member. Our employees are empowered to put members’ needs first.  On behalf of the Board, I would like to congratulate the leaders and employees who touch members’ lives and make a difference in the communities we serve.”

Today, SECO Energy stands humbly as the electric cooperative with the highest customer satisfaction score in the nation.  This year’s score of 769 in the cooperative segment is a 20-point increase over 2015’s score in the south regional among midsize providers.  Electric cooperatives were placed in their own segment this year, and SECO is proud to be grouped with such tough competitors.

Learn more about SECO Energy by visiting, “like” us on Facebook and “follow” us on Twitter.

SECO Energy is a not-for-profit electric cooperative serving nearly 200,000 consumers across the Florida counties of Sumter, Citrus, Marion, Lake, Levy, Pasco and Hernando. SECO is the third largest electric co-op in Florida and the sixth largest in the nation. SECO's wholesale power provider is Seminole Electric, one of the largest generation and transmission cooperatives in the nation, serving 1.6 million consumers in Florida. Seminole is owned by nine electric distribution cooperatives, and SECO is one of those nine member-owners. In addition to ranking highest in customer satisfaction in the 2015 J.D. Power study, SECO’s 2015 ACSI score is 88.  This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


Posted on: July 05, 2016

TECO Energy is a perfect fit for Emera’s strategy due to its business and generation mix. It expands Emera’s platform into markets where there are significant growth opportunities, and is expected to increase the portion of Emera’s earnings from rate-regulated businesses to almost 85 percent of adjusted net income. With this acquisition, Emera becomes a top 20 North American regulated utility with added geographic, regulatory and business diversification.

The Acquisition is expected to be significantly accretive to Emera’s earnings per common share, with 5 percent accretion in the first full year of operations (2017) , growing to more than 10 percent by the third full year (2019)1.
“The acquisition of TECO Energy advances a number of important strategic objectives for Emera,” said Chris Huskilson, President and CEO of Emera Inc. “We expect it to be significantly accretive, increase our regulated earnings into the high end of our target range, provide additional diversification and growth opportunities, and expand Emera into the local gas distribution business.”
As part of Emera’s commitment to the customers and communities in which it operates, operating boards will be established in Florida and New Mexico, with local business and community leaders on both boards. Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas headquarters will remain in Tampa, Florida. New Mexico Gas Co. headquarters will remain in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 
“At Emera, our people are our greatest strength. Today, we welcome 3,700 new colleagues from across TECO into the Emera family. We are stronger together.” said Huskilson.
Tampa Electric serves nearly 725,000 customers in West Central Florida; Peoples Gas serves nearly 365,000 customers across Florida; and New Mexico Gas Co. serves more than 515,000 customers across New Mexico.
As a result of the closing of the Acquisition, trading of TECO Energy, Inc. common stock on the New York Stock Exchange will be suspended, and these shares will no longer be listed on The New York Stock Exchange.  TECO Energy, Inc. shareholders will receive US$27.55 per share.

About Emera Inc.
Emera Inc. is a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia with approximately $27.5 billion in assets and 2015 pro-forma revenues of $ 6.3 billion. The company invests in electricity generation, transmission and distribution, gas transmission and distribution, and utility energy services with a strategic focus on transformation from high carbon to low carbon energy sources. Emera has investments throughout North America, and in four Caribbean countries. Emera continues to target having 75-85% of its adjusted earnings come from rate-regulated businesses. Emera’s common and preferred shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade respectively under the symbol EMA, EMA.PR.A, EMA.PR.B, EMA.PR.C, EMA.PR.E, and EMA.PR.F and instalment receipts are listed and trade under the symbol EMA.IR. Depositary receipts representing common shares of Emera are listed on the Barbados Stock Exchange under the symbol EMABDR. Additional Information can be accessed at or at

Forward Looking Information
This news release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws with respect to the combined operations of Emera and TECO Energy post-Acquisition, including, among other things, statements relating to growth and diversification opportunities, increased earnings from rate-regulated businesses, earnings per share accretion and stakeholders commitments. By its nature, forward-looking information requires the use of assumptions and is subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. These statements reflect Emera’s current beliefs and are based on information currently available to it. There is risk that predictions, forecasts, conclusions and projections that constitute forward-looking information will not prove to be accurate, that the assumptions may not be correct and that actual results may differ materially from such forward-looking information. Additional detailed information about these assumptions, risks and uncertainties is included in (i) Emera’s securities regulatory filings, including under the heading “Business Risks and Risk Management” in Emera’s annual Management Discussion and Analysis, and under the heading “Principal Risks and Uncertainties” in the notes to Emera’s annual and interim financial statements which can be found on SEDAR at and (ii) under the heading “Risk Factors” in TECO Energy’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015, as updated in subsequent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required by law, Emera disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
For more information, please contact:


Investor Relations:
Scott LaFleur, 902-428-6375

Neera Ritcey, 902-222-2683

Heart of Florida Health Center Awarded Funding to Provide Adult Dental Services

Posted on: June 28, 2016

Heart of Florida Health Center (HFHC), the largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Marion County, has been providing general dentistry for county pediatric patients since 2011, having expanded those services within the last year.  Keeping with its mission to improve the overall health status of Marion County residents, adult dental services has always been on the radar and a top priority of the HFHC Board to obtaining funding to provide this much needed service.  “As identified in the 2015 Marion County Health Needs Assessment, access to dental care is lacking in our community for low income individuals,” said Thomas Buss, HFHC Board Chair. 
Rich Mutarelli, HFHC CEO, added, “These grant funds will enable Heart of Florida Health Center to expand oral health care services and allow for full-time onsite dental professionals to care for our adult patient population. Oral health is a key component of overall health.”
HFHC is one of twenty health centers in Florida (one of only three in Central Florida) awarded funding by Health and Human Services (HHS) and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). 
“The funding this grant so graciously provides, will do major justice to our underinsured and uninsured adult patients who so desperately seek better access to quality and affordable dental care,” said Ayana Williams DDS, HFHC Dental Director.

About Heart of Florida Health Center
Heart of Florida Health Center is a federally qualified nonprofit health center (FQHC) founded in 2009 as a successor to Community Health Services Inc. Its mission is to improve the overall health status of Marion County residents by providing quality primary medical, dental and mental health services.  HFHC has eight (8) sites:  Belleview, Central, Dunnellon, East, Reddick, SW-Marion Oaks, Ocala West, and Pediatric Dental location.
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.  For more information about Heart of Florida Health Center please visit

Heart of Florida Health Center
Administrative Office
203 E. Silver Springs Boulevard, Ste., #101
Ocala, FL 34470
Heart of Florida Health Center, recognized nationally for achieving highest Level III Patient Centered Medical Home Status and as a Quality Leader in the top 30% Clinical Outcomes, vision is to be the provider of the highest quality, affordable, patient-centered primary health care in Marion County.

Historic Ocala Preservation Society (HOPS) is a proud supporter of Fort King National Landmark

Posted on: June 27, 2016

Recently the Historic Ocala Preservation Society (HOPS) board of directors voted to approve a donation of $1,000.00 towards this endeavor.
According to HOPS board vice president Linda Anker, “The directors of HOPS are thrilled to support this very exciting project”. Fort King was built in 1827, and served as military headquarters for most of the Second Seminole War. The fort was instrumental in the formation of Ocala, and was named after Colonel William King. 

University of Central Florida Receives Major Power Award

Posted on: June 06, 2016

 As one of the country's largest producers of engineers, UCF has a foundation for electrical engineering and success on previous projects with the Department of Energy. The new award will allow researchers at UCF to upgrade the current grid with smart technology while training students to enter the workforce at a level beneficial to the industry.

AutoCustoms featured in Google Economic Impact Report

Posted on: June 01, 2016

The full Google article can be read here

Jenkins Auto Group Acquires Lake Nissan

Posted on: May 18, 2016

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Allison Campbell, APR, CPRC  Public Relations Director            
Phone: (352) 867-1800 ext. 3505  Cell: (352) 895-4693  Fax: (352)867-8002                  


Leesburg, FL. (May 17, 2016)--Jenkins Auto Group (JAG), based in Ocala, proudly announces the acquisition of Lake Nissan in Leesburg today. The newly named Jenkins Nissan of Leesburg store, located at 10234 US Hwy 441 Leesburg, joins a family of dealerships including Jenkins Honda of Leesburg, Jenkins Hyundai of Leesburg, Leesburg Volkswagen, and in Ocala, Jenkins Acura, Jenkins Kia of Ocala, Jenkins Mazda, and Jenkins Hyundai of Ocala, and in Georgia, Thornton Road Hyundai of Lithia Springs and Jenkins Nissan of Brunswick.

“The Jenkins Auto Group is growing, and this is a terrific day for our company,” said Tom Formanek, President and CEO of JAG, “We are extremely proud of the relationships we’ve built in Leesburg over the past decade and are very excited to welcome another Jenkins store into the area, our second in the past 13 months.  Having a Nissan store in our family of brands in Florida will be an asset to our customers as well.”

Chris Morano has been named General Manager for Jenkins Nissan of Leesburg. Morano has worked in the automobile industry for more than 22 years throughout central Florida and has been a part of JAG for three years.

“Chris is a proven leader in our industry and knows the Leesburg community well,” said Formanek. “I am proud of his success in our Group and am happy to honor him with this promotion.”

Jenkins Auto Group (JAG) specializes in sales and service for new and pre-owned vehicles in seven dealerships in Florida and Georgia.  Ocala stores include:  Jenkins Acura, Jenkins Hyundai of Ocala, Jenkins Kia of Ocala, and Jenkins Mazda.  Leesburg, Fla. stores are:  Jenkins Honda of Leesburg, Jenkins Hyundai of Leesburg, Jenkins Nissan of Leesburg and Leesburg Volkswagen. Georgia stores are: Jenkins Nissan is in Brunswick and Thornton Road Hyundai in Lithia Springs. JAG also owns and operates Jenkins Collision Center in Ocala and Wayne’s Paint and Body in Leesburg.

Front Street Named Finalist for National Real Estate Award

Posted on: May 16, 2016


May 16, 2016

National Real Estate Investor (NREI) & Information Management Network (IMN) announced Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group as finalists for the inaugural 2016 Commercial Real Estate Awards. The awards recognize firms exhibiting superior performance that have consistently led and exemplified the highest degree of business excellence and forward thinking in the commercial real estate industry.
The NREI/IMN 2016 Commercial Real Estate Awards celebrate excellence in various areas of innovation, disruption, social responsibility and social media that have contributed significantly to the commercial real estate industry over the past 12 months. Front Street was named a finalist in the social responsibility category, due to the firm’s INVESTED program and involvement with Florida A&M University to address the diversity gap in the commercial real estate industry. “Our INVESTED program, whereby we donate 10% of our brokerage revenue to local cause-related organizations, stems from our deepest roots as a company; to give back” said Front Street director Jason Hurst. He added, “It’s just one example of how we continually strive to make an impact on the communities in which we do business.”
The NREI/IMN awards dinner will take place in conjunction with IMN’s 17th Annual US Opportunity Funds Forum on Monday, June 13th, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. at the Grand Hyatt in New York. All awards are based on a system of nominations and peer selection. Winners of the awards will be selected by NREI’s esteemed panel of judges. By recognizing outstanding achievement in the industry, the Industry Awards hope to inspire innovation and leadership among participants, creating a meaningful annual benchmark that acknowledges and rewards excellence in the commercial real estate industry.
For more information, please contact Nick Banks at or 352.505.3884.

Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group is a leader in the Florida commercial real estate business.  The company’s mission is to impact its community, clients and industry by doing commercial real estate differently.  Front Street is committed to leadership in the commercial real estate business by offering superior brokerage, commercial mortgage banking and property management solutions to its commercial real estate clients.  For more information, please contact Nick Banks at or 352.505.3884, or visit the Front Street website at

MTI Business Seniors Bring Home the Gold

Posted on: April 28, 2016

On Wednesday, April 27, 2016 four seniors in the Marion Technical Institute Business and Finance Academy were awarded a gold medal for the 2016 State SkillsUSA Entrepreneur Competition in Lakeland, Florida.  Shamari Adams, Trista Cardenas, Shelby McCubbin and Tara Strickland earned first place for their Eventurous Planning Business Plan.  They have been invited to represent Florida at  the National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) in Louisville, KY from June 19 - June 25, 2016. 

The students first developed their business plan idea as part of the Marion County Youth Business Plan Competition sponsored by the CEP.  In November of 2015, the students presented their plan to a group of Marion County business leaders and earned a second place award and $1000.  With the guidance of local business leaders and the encouragement to move forward, Adams, Cardenas, McCubbin and Strickland made adjustments to their party planning LLC and entered the SkillsUSA Regional Competition in February. 

According to MTI Business and Finance Instructor Keri Bowman, “These girls are on fire! They are an inspiration.  They took a typical class assignment and turned it in a winning product.  At MTI our core values are D.R.I.V.E. (Dedication, Respect, Integrity, Vision and Endurance.)  This project has brought out the best in these girls and given them real-world relevance to these essential values.”

For more information on how to donate to the fund to send the Eventurous Planning team to the National SkillsUSA Competition, please contact Keri Bowman or John Conway at MTI at 671-4765.  Donations will help alleviate costs for transportation and hotel accommodations.  

FTBOA Business Leaders Bus Trip to the Races; VIP Trip to Tampa Bay Downs

Posted on: April 04, 2016

Former Game Show Host, Bob Barker, Helps Local Animal Sanctuary With $100,000

Posted on: March 15, 2016

The grant comes from Barker through the DJ&T
foundation. The DJ&T Foundation was named
after Barker’s late wife, Dorothy Jo, and her
mother, Tilly.
The building will cost approximately $250,000 and Barker’s grant will set the
project in motion.
The construction of this building will ensure that the high standards of veterinary
and nutritional care for the animals at the sanctuary continue.
Forest Animal Rescue is making substantial progress toward completion of a
state-of-the-art animal sanctuary in the Ocala National Forest. Now, in addition to
providing lifetime care for over 100 non-releasable wild animals, that would have
otherwise been euthanized, Forest Animal Rescue is also rehabilitating orphaned
black bear cubs for release into the wild.
Barker is helping to take Forest Animal Rescue’s newest program to the next
Forest Animal Rescue successfully launched their black bear cub rehabilitation
and release program in 2015. Working with wildlife officials in Louisiana and
Florida, they started the program to assist with the nurturing of orphaned black
bear cubs until they are ready to be released back into their native habitat.
However, while congratulations is in order, the $100,000 will only start the
project. Forest Animal Rescue is seeking community support to raise the balance
of the funding needed for the Animal Care Building.
If you would like to help with the remaining $150,000 required to complete the
project, tax-deductible donations can be mailed to Forest Animal Rescue, 640
NE 170th Court, Silver Springs, FL, 34488, or made online at
Guided tours are available for up to four people at a time, twice a month, and can
be reserved on the website. For more information, call 352-625-7377

Gateway Bank of Central Florida Announces Affiliation To Service Residential Loans

Posted on: March 08, 2016

A Prime Mortgage Group sales staff will provide Gateway Bank of Central Florida customers with residential loan services through the bank’s offices in Ocala and Gainesville.

“Being able to service residential mortgage accounts for customers in-house through our affiliated relationship is unique to the industry,” said Raymond Andrews, President of Prime Mortgage Group.

The partnership, according to Gateway Bank of Central Florida CEO Thomas Ingram, provides a “prime residential mortgage experience for Gateway customers looking to work with a locally-based, highly experienced, in-house team of professionals.” 

Prime Mortgage Group offers primary, secondary and investment financing solutions for single family residential homes, offering most conventional, government, Jumbo and construction to permanent mortgage products.

About Gateway Bank of Central Florida

Gateway Bank of Central Florida is an independent community bank serving business and personal banking customers in Alachua and Marion counties including the cities of Gainesville, Alachua and Ocala. 
As of 2/29/16, the bank held Total Assets of $278 million and Deposits of $236 million.  Also at 2/29/16 the bank posted a Tier One Capital Ratio of 11.14%. 
The shareholders and directors of Gateway Bank of Central Florida are primarily residents of the market area served by the bank.  The Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board of Directors, Bob Dale, retired CPA; Vice Chairman of the Board, Richard Andrews, retired Barnett Bank executive; Gateway Bank of Central Florida, Chief Executive Officer, Thomas D. Ingram; Gateway Bank of Central Florida, President, Rusty Branson; Gateway Bank of Central Florida, Alachua Market President, Danny Gilliland; Barry Bullard Homes, President, Barry Bullard; Gateway Bank of Florida, Chief Executive Officer and President, David K. Maholias; McBride Land & Development Company, President, Sandy McBride; First American Title Insurance Company, Area Manager, Kenneth MacKay; Roberts Real Estate, Inc., President, Carolyn K. Roberts, CEO; founding Principal of Causseaux, Hewett & Walpole, Inc. (CHW), Rory Causseaux and Contemporary Management Concepts, Chief Executive Officer, Debbie Berdy.  

Further information regarding Gateway Bank of Central Florida may be obtained by contacting Thomas D. Ingram, Chief Executive Officer at 352/236-6440 or by email at  MEMBER FDIC




Teresa Stephens Joins Columbia Bank

Posted on: March 08, 2016

She has over thirty years of experience in the
finance industry, and holds a master’s degree in business administration.
Her extensive banking experience ranges from Commercial Banking Manager, Lender, Branch Manager,
Customer Service Associate to Teller. In each of these roles, her goal was to establish, grow, and maintain
strong relationships with her clients; and, she welcomes the opportunity to do the same in her new role at
Columbia Bank.
Teresa is enthusiastic about building a retail and lending team that will deliver personalized service for
businesses and residents in the Ocala market. She is pleased to be a part of the local, decision making process;
since, it permits her to utilize her vast knowledge of the industry, insuring better service for her customers.
Teresa is the finance chair of the Board of the Centers; and, is a strong supporter of Junior Achievement, having
been a Board member for over fifteen years. Furthermore, she is a member of the Marion County Road
Builders Association, and has served in the past as Board Associate. She and her husband have been
Leadership givers for the United Way of Marion County for more than twenty-five years.
Teresa can be reached by calling (352) 207-5333 or emailing her at

Established in 1912, Columbia Bank is one of the oldest and strongest financial institutions in Florida. In
addition to four offices in Lake City, Columbia Bank has a loan production office in Gainesville, FL. Its next
endeavor is to open a branch in Ocala, Florida, in 2016. Property has been purchased on East Silver Springs
Boulevard for this purpose. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
For more information visit Columbia Bank…Community Banking at its Best!

CF to Offer Noncredit Classes for Business Owners in March

Posted on: February 26, 2016

Bookkeeping Boot Camp teaches accounting jargon, double-entry bookkeeping, debits and credits, bank reconciliation, balance sheets, profit and loss statements, fixed assets, depreciation and more. The class will meet Saturdays, March 5-April 16, 9 a.m.- noon. The class fee is $112.

Intermediate Excel 2013 involves learning about pivot tables, conditional formatting, commonly used functions, macros and more. The class will meet Wednesdays, March 2-16, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The class fee is $75.

QuickBooks Comprehensive is a hands-on course where students will learn how to set up and maintain company files using QuickBooks software. Learn about customer invoices, vendor bills, inventory, sales taxes, banking activity and reconciling, payroll, reports available on QuickBooks and more. The class will meet Tuesdays, March 15-May 3, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The class fee is $75.

For more information or to register for these courses, contact Bonnie Hays at 352-854-2322, ext. 1855, or

To learn more about CF visit

Contact CF Marketing and Public Relations Director Lois Brauckmuller at 352-854-2322, ext. 1374, or Marketing and Public Relations Manager Staci Biondini at 352-854-2322, ext. 1565, The Ocala Campus is located at 3001 S.W. College Road, Ocala, Fla. 34474-4415, 352-873-5800. The Citrus Campus is located at 3800 S. Lecanto Highway, Lecanto, Fla. 34461-9026, 352-746-6721. The Levy Center is located at 114 Rodgers Blvd., Chiefland, Fla. 32626-1420, 352-493-9533. The Hampton Center is located at 1501 W. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, Fla. 34475-6456, 352-873-5881 and the Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida, is located at 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, Fla. 34470-5001, 352-291-4455. For additional information, visit College of Central Florida at

Duke Energy named a Top 10 energy company on social media by

Posted on: February 23, 2016

Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram

Based in North Carolina, Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States, supplying and delivering energy to roughly 7.3 million customers. As the first utility company to make this list, the company has made a massive name for itself via social media. See for yourself--it has 94k likes on Facebook, 88k followers on LinkedIn and 51k on Twitter.

Saint Leo University Ocala Education Center Hosting Info Session on February 24th

Posted on: February 04, 2016

Taste of Ocala to be held on Saturday, March 5th from 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Posted on: February 02, 2016

This event will feature a social hour, restaurant tasting, and entertainment. Tickets are $100 or $150 per couple. Tickets can be purchased at

Save the Date: Engage in Education Discussion on February 17th at 5:30 p.m. at CF Klein Center

Posted on: January 27, 2016

Join Kids Central for Their Great Practices Showcase on February 4th at the Klein Center at CF

Posted on: January 25, 2016

Based on the National Malcolm Baldrige Award, the GSA promotes the development of a strategically aligned organization focused on performance improvement and the generation of measurable results. Moreover, the Sterling Criteria provides a framework to facilitate organizational maturity and develop the capacity to administer programs in a manner providing the greatest benefit to communities and individuals.

Saint Leo University presenting Education 3.0 Conference in Ocala

Posted on: January 12, 2016

This highly interactive session will “Do, Show, Tell, Review, and Ask.” Participants will engage in pattern recognition, craft problems prior to solving them, collaborate in real-time to promote social learning, and employ immediately usable techniques for the classroom.

The conference is free to all Saint Leo University education students, faculty, adjuncts, cooperating teachers, and school administrators. Elementary and middle school education majors receive professional development credit for graduation.

Borden’s presentation will focus on ways to create multi-nodal and multi-modal connections based on effective practices from education practitioners around the globe, which can be categorized as Education 3.0.

The conference will look at web assets and learning experiences that promote: social learning, transformative learning, game-based learning, and learning based on cognitive science. Multiple resources such as learning games, web tools, apps, and illustrations will be explored. Participants will be able to take this back to their classrooms and immediately use the information.

Saint Leo University’s Education Department recently was cited in U.S. News and World Report for being one of a handful of universities in the United State, which is preparing future teachers to use technology. The university’s technology-enhanced instructional practices were recognized in the National Education Technology Plan, a report published every five years by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology.

Admission to the conference is free, but “ticket purchase” is required. Go online to: to register by January 18.

The seminar will be at the Harvey R. Klein Conference Center at the College of Central Florida, 3001 S.W. College Road, Ocala, FL 34474. For information, email Dr. Joanne Roberts at
About Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University is a regionally accredited, liberal-arts-based institution known for an inclusive Catholic heritage, enduring values, and a capacity for innovation. The school was chartered in 1889 by Catholic Benedictine monks in rural Pasco County, FL, making Saint Leo the first Catholic college in the state. Saint Leo provides access to education to people of all faiths, emphasizing the Benedictine philosophy of balanced growth of mind, body, and spirit. 

The university welcomes learners from all generations and backgrounds, from civilian occupations and the armed forces, and from across the country and more than 60 nations around the world. Saint Leo’s nearly 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students may elect to study at the beautiful University Campus in Florida, at more than 40 teaching locations in seven states, or online from any location. The university’s degree programs range from the associate to the doctorate. Through these rich offerings, Saint Leo develops principled leaders for a challenging world.

Saint Leo University boasts nearly 80,000 alumni in all 50 states, Washington, DC, five U.S. territories, and 72 countries.

Media Contact: Mary McCoy, staff writer, or (352) 588-7118.

Special Notice Regarding SNAP Program Changes For 2016

Posted on: December 08, 2015

CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion (CLM) is mandated to provide these services.  Starting in December, the Department of Children and Families, DCF, will begin informing those persons initially identified as ABAWDs about the requirements and directing them on the steps that they must follow.
Beginning January 1, those ultimately deemed subject to the work requirements will have 30 days to visit a special website to connect to our services and visit our three career centers.  Those failing to take the required steps are subject to be sanctioned and their SNAP benefits suspended.
At this time we do not have firm numbers, but approximately 8,000 residents of our three-county area are on the initial list developed by DCF. The approximate numbers are:

Citrus  2,036
Levy  636
Marion 5,886

We are anticipating an increase in persons visiting and calling our career centers.  They may also reach out to you for computer access or other assistance.  Beginning February, 2016, we also expect those of you who provide feeding and food banks to experience an increase in demand.
We regret that we do not have more details. We have asked for them and will provide them as soon as we get them from DCF.  Once we have a list of names and contacts we will also be corresponding and advising them on steps that they can take to insure that their benefits are not disrupted.  First on that list is completing or updating their personal information on
You may receive information from DCF regarding the changes in SNAP.  We wanted to make sure that we alerted you of the impending issues and asked for your help in assisting those persons who may reach out to you and your organization.

Thomas E. Skinner, Jr., CEO


See more information here

Florida Credit Union Hosting Business Checking Special through 2016

Posted on: December 08, 2015

Florida Horse Park to Host Walk to End ALS on January 2nd

Posted on: December 07, 2015

Munroe to Host Free Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment

Posted on: December 02, 2015

Rasmussen College to Open State-of-the-Art School of Nursing Facility in Ocala in Summer 2016

Posted on: December 02, 2015

The new nursing campus, located at 1227 Southwest 17th Ave., in the former Ocala Entertainment Complex building, will include classrooms, computer labs, large student learning spaces and updated simulation equipment, such as real-life manikins and nursing beds. Construction on the multimillion dollar, 21,000-square-foot facility is expected to begin later this month.

“We are extremely excited to bring this state-of-the-art nursing education facility to Ocala and its surrounding communities – areas seeing an increased demand for quality nurses as the population ages and the healthcare industry continues to evolve,” said Dr. Joan Rich, vice president of the School of Nursing at Rasmussen College. “Rasmussen College is committed to providing an enhanced learning experience for our students – one that trains students for complex medical environments they will be called to work in. The new facility gives the College an opportunity to help more students realize their dream of becoming a nurse and fill the open positions in the region.”

Nurses in High Demand in Ocala and Surrounding Communities
According to labor analytics firm Burning Glass, there have been more than 1,400 job postings for registered nurses (RNs) over the past year in Ocala alone. That’s up 366 percent from roughly 300 job postings for RNs just five years ago. The Rasmussen College Ocala School of Nursing currently serves students from seven different counties in central Florida, including Marion, Alachua, Putnam, Lake, Sumter, Citrus and Levy. The new nursing campus will be twice as big as the current Ocala School of Nursing building.   

“Here in Ocala, we are ready to update our nursing learning environment with state-of-the-art technology as well as expanded classrooms, skill labs and simulation equipment,” said Dr. Karen Guty, dean of nursing at the Rasmussen College Ocala campus. “These new and expanded resources will enhance faculty and learning experiences as students develop nursing skills and critical-thinking skills that are essential requirements for today’s healthcare employers.”

About the Rasmussen College Ocala School of Nursing
The Rasmussen College Ocala School of Nursing campus is currently located at 2100 Southwest 22nd Place — about a mile from the site planned for the new facility. The campus will remain open until the new facility is ready to serve students. Rasmussen College also has a main campus located at 4755 Southwest 46th Court that serves students from the Schools of Business, Justice Studies, Technology, Design, Health Sciences and Education. The Ocala School of Nursing continues to enroll students for the following programs:

Practical Nursing Diploma
The Practical Nursing Diploma program at Rasmussen College is designed to help students launch a career as an LPN and can be completed in as few as 12 months.*

Professional Nursing Associate’s Degree
The Associate Degree in Nursing program in Ocala is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and is the path to a career as a registered nurse. It can be completed in as few as 18 months.*

Professional Nursing Associate’s Degree, Mobility Bridge Entrance Option
Developed for the current licensed practical nurse (LPN), the Professional Nursing Associate’s degree Mobility Bridge Entrance Option provides a pathway to obtaining an RN associate’s degree in as few as 12 to 18 months.*

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree, RN to BSN Entrance Option
Rasmussen College also offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program in a fully online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) Entrance Option. This option is designed for registered nurses who have obtained their RN degree through an associate’s degree program (or diploma and/or certificate) and are looking to advance their nursing careers through a BSN degree program that is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The Rasmussen College RN to BSN Entrance Option can be completed in as few as 12 months.* 

All School of Nursing courses are taught by an experienced faculty of nurses in small class sizes. Programs also offer built-in simulation experiences in nursing labs and a variety of clinical opportunities as well as a focus on preparing for the NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN exam. The Professional Nursing and Practical Nursing programs as well as the RN to BSN Entrance Option are also available with Flex Choice®. The learning option allows students to take some of their general education courses in a self-paced format and at no additional cost. Depending on which nursing program they enroll in and how many self-paced courses they choose to take, students could save anywhere from 19 to 29 percent on tuition costs compared to taking all faculty-led courses. 

To learn more about the Rasmussen College School of Nursing, please visit

*Completion time is dependent on transfer credits accepted and courses completed each term.

The Rasmussen College Associate’s degree in Nursing program in Ocala, Florida, is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.:
3343 Peachtree Road NE | Suite 850 | Atlanta, GA 30326
404-975-5000 |

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program at Rasmussen College is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE):
One Dupont Circle NW | Suite 530 | Washington, DC 20036
202-887-6791 |


Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college and Public Benefit Corporation that is dedicated to changing lives through high-demand educational programs and public service. Rasmussen College offers Certificate and Diploma programs through Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees online and across its 23 Midwest and Florida campuses in a supportive, student-centered and career-focused environment. Since 1900, Rasmussen College has been dedicated to being a primary contributor to the growth and development of the communities it serves. As a Public Benefit Corporation, Rasmussen College is committed to helping change lives through education and making a positive impact on society through public service and a variety of community-based initiatives. For more information about Rasmussen College, please visit

Kwikturn Media Presents: How Not to Get Scrooged by Your Supplier

Posted on: November 25, 2015

Contact: Ana Perez-Olave
Kwikturn Media Presents: How Not to Get Scrooged by Your Supplier
OCALA, Florida – Kwikturn Media announces the latest event in its Business Benefiting Business series exploring strategies to help your business compete and succeed in the 21st Century.
On Dec. 2, experts in the field of supply-chain management and logistics will explore how to maintain a healthy, vibrant supply chain. Keeping a supply chain flowing correctly is trickier than it looks. Identifying and fixing your weak links can help avert disaster.
Common sense approaches to everyday scenarios will be presented to help your business successfully manage your supply chain.
The Business Benefiting Business program helps you take your business to the next level, whether that requires grassroots marketing, taking your company global, utilizing paid and organic search strategies, saving money with third-party logistics, and so much more. Our events are free and include bagels and coffee so you can enjoy breakfast while you learn!
• What: Improving Efficiencies in Your Supply Chain
• When: Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015 at 7 a.m.
• Where: Kwikturn Media, 315 NE 14th St.

About Kwikturn Media
At Kwikturn Media, we excel at marketing and advertising strategies including Ecommerce, Social Media, Web Design and the full range of Classic Marketing.  
For information about the Business Benefiting Business series, visit

New Ford / Lincoln Dealership & Quicklane Tire and Brake Center

Posted on: November 24, 2015

The second phase of construction will begin immediately following the Quicklane facility completion and will showcase a 340 foot long  building including a state of the art  20,000 sq. ft. dual brand, customer friendly indoor/outdoor showroom providing both Ford and Lincoln generous space to showcase multiple vehicle models. Also Included in the immense facility is a welcoming fully digital vehicle diagnostic service center and complete parts and accessories department for the do-it-yourselfer. The estimated date of completion of the project is scheduled for late spring of 2016.

Marion County Sheriff's Office Offering B-SAFE Program for Businesses

Posted on: November 24, 2015 ← Back