2nd Annual VIP Love Notes and Roses

21 Jan Love Notes VIP Am Multi

VIP America Home Health Referrals is Hobe Sounds hometown Nurse Registry providing referrals to carefully screened and licensed home health care professionals throughout the Treasure Coast, Southwest and Central Florida.

The Second Annual VIP Love Notes and Roses campaign is a community campaign designed to provide seniors, vulnerable veterans and their caregivers a caring love note, Valentine’s Card or non-perishable rose on Valentine’s Day 2021. We want to bring a smile and brighten the day of those who otherwise may be forgotten and alone on a day when everyone else is celebrating the love of their lives.

VIP America would like to show support for our local merchants while helping our seniors and vulnerable veterans overcome isolation and loneliness created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are seeking Hobe Sound Businesses who wish to become VIP Love Notes and Roses drop off locations starting in late January.

The participating merchants would only be responsible for providing a container/box for love notes or Valentines Cards to be deposited. A VIP representative will collect the love notes and cards the week of Valentine’s Day so they may be delivered with love to seniors and veterans.

VIP America will promote the participating merchants on our website and in Media coverage to encourage residents and visitors to shop Downtown Stuart merchants in the weeks after the traditional holiday shopping ends.

We are planning a special Thank You event after the 2nd Annual VIP Love Notes and Roses campaign wraps up and love notes, cards and roses are delivered.

Please contact Sam Yates, Yates & Associates Public Relations & Marketing at (772) 528-5185 or Brian Langworthy/VIP America 561-951-0983 for more information or to confirm your participation.

20 Dec Sept 11 Lunch and Learn IFAS Extension

NEW! Digital Marketing- February 2, 2021

21 Jan ZOOM Webinars Score

If you are thinking of starting a new business or want to grow the business you have, this workshop is for you. It is designed to give you a better understanding and working knowledge of Digital Marketing, in today’s highly competitive digital marketplace.

The Internet has changed the game for how consumers receive information in recent years, so it’s important to take full advantage with techniques to help you meet your goals. However, there are some marketing principles that are timeless and need to be understood as you invest time and money to achieve success.

Topics include:
Creating a user friendly and responsive website
Improving visibility through search engine platforms
Success with video and YouTube
Honing your “unique value proposition”
Online advertising platforms
Testing and tracking for better results
The importance of online reviews
Timeless marketing principles

Register Now!

Space is Limited

Registration Fee: $15.00 for online registration.

Refunds available if clients notify SCORE in writing 24 hours or more in advance of the workshop. Email to score308@bellsouth.net.

Hobe Sound Chamber of Commerce January Breakfast Sponsored by Avalon Air Conditioning

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Hobe Sound – On Thursday, January 14, 2021 The Hobe Sound Chamber of Commerce had their November Breakfast at Miles Grant Golf & Country Club. The event was well attended with approximately 70 attendees. Attendees all wore masks and socially distance throughout the event. Breakfast was served by staff of the country club. Miles Grant is located at: 5101 SE Miles Grant Road in Stuart. For more information contact them at:772.286.2220.

The Sponsor for the breakfast was Avalon Air. Robert McLean spoke about the different services that he has to offer the community. Avalon Air, In. was started in 2006, Robert and his team believe that integrity and faith are as important to the business as promptness, care and service.The are located at 10812 SE Dixie Highway, in Hobe Sound, or call them at: 772.323.6393.

There was no guest speaker so President Bob Thorton ask the member to tell a little bit about themselves.

The Hobe Sound Chamber of Commerce plays a significant role in the Martin County and northern Palm Beach County business community. The Chamber is a business organization financed entirely by membership investments. It provides opportunities for members to stay connected, network, advertise, receive continuing education, business support and always gives back to their community. They are located at: 8958 SE Bridge Rd, Hobe Sound. Contact them at: 772-546-4724

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Stuart Martin County January Breakfast Sponsored by Concierge Insurance Solution

21 Jan SMC Break 1

In Photo: Chamber Chairman - Jeff Sabin - Waste Management, Chamber Trustee & Sponsor - Lisa Sliney, President/CEO Joe Catrambone.

On Tuesday, January 12, 2021 The Stuart Martin County Chamber of Commerce had their first breakfast for the new year! Lisa Sliney with Concierge Insurance Solutions was the sponsor for the breakfast.

Concierge Insurance Solutions is a boutique brokerage which structures and negotiates personal coverage with major insurers such as CHUBB, AIG, PURE and VAULT. What distinguishes them in the Property and Casualty insurance business is their exclusive focus on personal lines for the High Net Worth client.

Most brokerage firms are focused on commercial as opposed to personal lines. From their experience, this “benign neglect” has resulted in 90% of personal portfolios with annual premiums greater than $30,000 being considered as “fair to utterly defective” from a risk management perspective.

They also have created CIS-Analytics to provide a comprehensive Coverage Analysis and Vulnerability Assessment on a fee basis, with no obligation to place the coverage through Concierge Insurance Solutions. Call them at:561-706-1951 for more information.

Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce plays a significant role in the growth, business climate and economy of our area. Martin is one of the most respected counties in the state. The programs and activities of the Chamber are vital to our lifestyle. The Chamber is proud of the benefits and services we provide to Martin County and our 1,400 plus members. The Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce is a member of the countywide Council of Chambers, an organization consisting of the five county Chambers of Commerce, formed to discuss common issues, provide unified effort in speaking out to represent business interests of the area. They are in Stuart at 1650 S. Kanner Highway. For more information contact them at: 772-287-1088.

Photos by Sue Hedgepath – Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce

Out2News.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered. Do it here!

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21 Jan SMC Break 2

In Photo: Christy Romano - AApex Electric, Inc.,Chamber Trustee Kim Melzer - Colonial Life and Trustee/Past Chair Janice Norman - Water Pointe Realty Group HI

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In Photo: Trustee Chris Smith - Photographics ,Chamber Director & Trustee Jeff Gustafson - Coquina Cove at Martin Downs, Chamber Director &Trustee Candace Lopes - Skin Serenity Spa

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In Photo: Chamber Trustee Gary Owen - Owen Insurance Group Colonial Life - Tammy Parduba, Trustee Kim Melzer and Amber Strand

Florida Assisted Living Association TC Chapter Award Luncheon

21 Jan FALA 1

In Photo: Standing- Bob Anthes, Najam Syed, Terry Fessler, Allison Walters, Marianne Hall, Jackie Kendrick and Miriam Farquharson Seated- Annmarie Coleman, Chan Gobin, Angella Williams, Roshini Lakram and Lorna Campbell

Article by: Roshini Lakram
Photos by: Maryann Ketcham

FALA (Florida Assisted Living Association) has been providing advocacy, education, and regulatory support for its members for over 25 years. It is the largest state association representing more than 650 assisted living facilities and adult family care homes and nearly 300 associate members who provide products and services to assisted living.

On January 12, 2021, FALA Treasure Coast Chapter held a heart touching lunch award ceremony to recognize its local fellow healthcare organizations who went above and beyond supporting local ALFs (Assisted Living Facilities) during the most challenging time facing the COVID pandemic. Angella Williams, HR Vice President and Jackie Kendrick, CEO from Treasure Coast Hospice, Nestor Plana, founder, Chairman, and CEO of Independent Living Systems (ILS), Matt Harper, Manager Provider Relations, and Marianne Hall, Regional Account Executive from Florida Community Care, Najam Syed, Owner and President from DME of America, and Allison Walters, Marketing Director from Butterfields were all recognized for their service and support to the local ALF communities by Roshini Lakram, FALA Treasure Coast Chair, along with her Chair leaders, Marcia Styles, Marketing Chair, Lorna Campbell, Treasurer, Bob Antes, Marketing Chair, Annmarie Coleman Public Relations Chair, and Miriam Farquharson.

Services, such as thousands of produce boxes given out to ALFs, lunches provided to ALF residents and staff, and hard-to-find PPEs provided to ALFs, were among some of the great deeds mentioned at the ceremony.

Special thanks to Jim Scarafia, Manager at Stuart Boat House, who provided the upstairs area exclusively, with open windows and enough seating for social distancing to promote a safe environment for all participants.

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In Photo: Jackie Kendrick and Angella Williams of Treasure Coast Hospice

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In Photo: Marianne Hall and Roshini Lakram

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In Photo: Allison Walters and Roshini Lakram

United Way of Martin County Foundation Announces New Board Member and Slate of Officers

Mar United Way of MC Logo

Stuart – United Way of Martin County Foundation has announced a new board member and the election of its slate of officers for the coming year.

Carol Webb has joined the United Way of Martin County Foundation Board of Directors. Webb, a former executive with Johnson & Johnson, is a resident of Sailfish Point. She is a member of United Way of Martin County’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society and a member of the Tocqueville Legacy Circle. In addition to her loyal involvement with United Way, she is a member of the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County and was a past president of the Sailfish Point Property Owners Association.

Stephen A. Pinnacoli, Esq., LLM, Keane Thomas & Pinnacoli, has been named Chairman; retired executive Dennis Longstreet has been named Vice Chair; Thomas H. Thurlow III, Thurlow & Thurlow, P.A., has been named Immediate Past Chair; Gregory R. Nuttall, HBK CPAs & Consultants has been named Treasurer and Carol G. Houwaart-Diez, United Way of Martin County, has been named Secretary.

These additions to the United Way of Martin County Foundation Board join current members: Thomas Campenni, United Way Board Representative; Randy Pennington, CenterState; and honorary board member Robert Weissman, Retired Executive.

“In addition to their incredible commitment to our community, our Foundation board members bring knowledge, experience, and diverse perspectives that are a great benefit to our organization,” said United Way of Martin County Director of Philanthropy Elisabeth Glynn, CFRE.

The United Way Foundation is solely focused on building a permanent endowment to support the work of our local United Way here in Martin County for generations to come. For more information, visit www.UnitedWayMartin.org/Foundation.

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Carol Webb has joined the United Way of Martin County Foundation Board of Directors.

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Stephen A. Pinnacoli, Esq., LLM, Keane Thomas & Pinnacoli, has been named Chairman of the United Way of Martin County Foundation.

Library Celebrates the Harvest of the Mind, Body, and Spirit with a Virtual Chautauqua South Series

19 Aug MC Library Small Final

Martin County- From January through April, the Martin County Library System (MCLS) will present an arts and education series called Chautauqua South - an eclectic array of artists, authors, storytellers, dramatists, historians, educators, musicians, and entertainers.

Tracing its roots to open-air classrooms on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in New York State in 1874, the Chautauqua movement grew rapidly. In 1992, MCLS created its own Chautauqua experience in Florida, taking inspiration from the renowned Chautauqua Institution. What began as one month of events has evolved into a four-month explosion of programs highlighting the original theme of Chautauqua, defined by Merriam-Webster as "popular education combined with entertainment."

Chautauqua South represents a culturally rich landscape of offerings designed to appeal to a wide range of tastes. MCLS invites everyone to join in these free cultural events. The 2021 Chautauqua South celebration is sponsored by the Friends of the Martin County Library System, Inc.

This season's series will be presented virtually via Zoom and through the Library's YouTube channel. While all events are free, please note that many of them require pre-registration due to the electronic nature of their delivery. Additionally, the Library encourages patrons to interact on its social media platforms for chances to win free passes to The Elliott Museum!

For a complete schedule of events and registration links, view the Chautauqua South Event Listing available on the library's website. Visit www.library.martin.fl.us or call 772-288-5702 for more information about these and other library events.

21 Jan Project lift

Martin County Tourism and Marketing Director Brings Creativity, Expertise to Southeast Tourism Society Board

21 Jan Nerissa Okiye

Stuart - Nerissa Okiye, Martin County Tourism and Marketing Director, has been elected to a two-year term on the board of the Southeast Tourism Society (STS), a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of tourism throughout the Southeast United States. Okiye, who has been with Martin County since November 2014, will serve through 2022. "I'm honored to serve with my colleagues on the board of the Southeast Tourism Society and work together to promote safe travel throughout the region," said Ms. Okiye.

The STS focuses on education, advocacy, recognition and networking. Advocacy is an important component of the Southeast Tourism Society and the agency develops an annual legislative agenda, creates informational guides, monitors federal legislation and keeps members informed about policy issues impacting tourism.

Ms. Okiye has a long history of launching successful advocacy campaigns to support local businesses in response to events that negatively impact travel and tourism. "Tourism is a vital component of the Martin County economy and can be a catalyst to help with our economic recovery," said Ms. Okiye. "We're proud to leverage funds, work with industry partners, travel news and industry sites, trade publications and influencers to help local businesses rebound," she continued.

Under the direction of Ms. Okiye, the office was named Tourism Office of the Year in 2016, by the STS. And in subsequent years, several advocacy campaigns were recognized by the STS with Best Marketing Shining Example Awards, a Bronze Flagler Award and a coveted Best of Show Flagler Trophy, showing strong dedication to local businesses and an excellence in Florida tourism marketing.

Out2News.com LLC. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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Four Tips to Help Avoid Burnout While Working from Home

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The coronavirus pandemic has completely changed the corporate landscape. Many companies have transitioned to having a majority of their employees work from home. As a result, long commutes, office lunches, and face-to-face meetings could be a thing of the past.

Even when the pandemic eventually subsides, working remotely may be here to stay. According to a recent survey, three-quarters of adults who are able to work remotely would like to continue doing so at least one day a week after the pandemic is under control.1

While working from home has its advantages (e.g., no commuting costs, more flexibility), it also comes with certain challenges (e.g., lack of home office space, dealing with distractions at home). Often these challenges can make it difficult to have a healthy work/life balance. That's why it's important to take steps to help avoid burnout while working at home.

Here are some tips to help you stay on track.

1. Carve out a dedicated workspace. Ideally, your work-from-home setup should be located where you can avoid interruptions or distractions. If you don't have a spare room to use for your workspace, try carving out an area for your "office" wherever you can — even a dining room table or a desk in the corner of your bedroom can work.

2. Stick to a routine. Just because you aren't going into an actual office each day doesn't mean you should change your normal workday routine. Keeping a set schedule can help you stay focused and allow you to disconnect and wind down once the workday has come to an end.

It can take time to adjust to working from home, but you will eventually fall into a routine that works best for you and allows you to maintain a healthy work/life balance.

3. Break up the day. It's easy to forget to take breaks when your workspace is in your home. Going for a short walk, running a quick errand during lunch, and standing up to stretch once in a while will help you recharge and decompress throughout the day.

4. Stay connected. Working from home means you have less opportunity to interact regularly with your co-workers, which can feel isolating. That's why it is important to stay connected by using the technological resources that are available to you (e.g., video conferencing, instant messaging).

Out2News.com LLC. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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Master Site Plan For Newfield Phase 1 Approved By Martin County Commissioners

20 Dec Newfield 1

Undeveloped and developed: 70% - 30%

Martin County’s Board of County Commissioners voted 4-1 today to approve the Master Site Plan for Phase 1 of the innovative Newfield mixed-use community, which will set a new standard for traditional neighborhood design and open-space preservation on the Treasure Coast.

At the same time, it approved the creation of a Community Development District (CDD) encompassing 2,212 of the project’s 3,411 acres, to facilitate funding the infrastructure and amenities that Newfield will need over its estimated 20 years of development.

The 1,199 acres of pristine natural lands not placed in the CDD will be protected forever under two or more county-sponsored PAMPs—"Preserve Area Management Plans”—that are a centerpiece of Newfield.

These lands—added to another 1,100 acres of open space like playing fields, farms and groves, school grounds, recreational parks and small squares and greens within the new town—will bring the combined open space at Newfield to an unprecedented 70% of the total acreage. Open space at Newfield–open to the enjoyment of all county residents, without gates—will be several times the size of the county’s current largest park, Halpatiokee.

The natural areas in the PAMPs will become the Kiplinger Conservancy, crisscrossed by trails for hikers, mountain bikers and horses, skirting beautiful wetlands, pastures and upland hammocks. Agriculture—the biggest legacy industry of Martin County—will live on in more than 100 acres of farms and groves in Newfield. The Conservancy will also include the county’s first relocation space for gopher tortoises threatened by loss of habitat elsewhere in the county.

The BOCC also approved the developer agreement under which Newfield will either contribute impact fees to the county or build public facilities, covering the cost of the county’s providing basic services to Newfield’s new residents in the years to come. This agreement—plus the new CDD, plus the regular county taxes that residents will pay—all assure that “development will pay for itself,” a long tradition in Martin County.

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Several commissioners praised the Newfield concept—and especially the amendment to the county’s Comprehensive Plan and form-based zoning code, proposed by Newfield in 2018 and approved by the BOCC—which make this new kind of community possible.

Doug Smith, vice chair of the county commission and a longtime advocate of this kind of town planning, called Newfield “a gift to our community—a world-class opportunity to create someplace special. If Knight Kiplinger had done what he could have done by right (under the existing zoning), it could have gone in a different direction… just another South Florida suburban neighborhood.”

Commissioner Ed Ciampi, whose Palm City district includes Newfield, said the Newfield design “is the most detailed plan ever submitted to the county.” He praised Mr. Kiplinger’s “vision” and said Newfield will be “a legacy of the Kiplinger family.”

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The Master Site Plan for Phase 1 encompasses the 139 acres at the midway point of Citrus Boulevard between Boat Ramp Avenue and the C-23 Canal. As it will be the Newfield town center, it will have greater density than later neighborhoods of Newfield radiating outward.

It is zoned for 1,251 residential units of varying types, sizes and prices, including single-family detached dwellings, town houses, and condominiums and rental apartments. Mixed with the housing will be space for local retail stores, recreational amenities, restaurants and small offices.

Work on the horizontal infrastructure of Newfield—such as grading, storm water management features, sewer, water, electricity and telecommunications cables—will likely begin later this winter or early spring. Interior roads and streets will follow, enabling homebuilding to begin by the end of 2021 or early 2022. The total buildout of the community, eventually totaling 4,250 residential units, could take 20 or more years.

Newfield will adjoin, on its east, Martin Enterprise Park, some 300 acres of prime, fully zoned light-industrial, R&D, manufacturing, warehouse and corporate office space, lying in a triangle between the Florida Turnpike, Citrus Boulevard and Boat Ramp Avenue. It is the county’s largest, best-located employment space, ready for expanding local business or attracting new ones.

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In Photo: Skylar Gorman -Stuart Air Show, Chamber Trustee Kameliya Sapundzhieva - Coral Shores Behavioral Health

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Five Tips to Regain Your Retirement Savings Focus in 2021

20 Dec Five Tips

In early 2020, 61% of U.S. workers surveyed said that retirement planning makes them feel stressed.1 Investor confidence was continually tested as the year wore on, and it's likely that this percentage rose — perhaps even substantially. If you find yourself among those feeling stressed heading into the new year, these tips may help you focus and enhance your retirement savings strategy in 2021.

1. Consider increasing your savings by just 1%. If you participate in a retirement savings plan at work, try to increase your contribution rate by just 1% now, and then again whenever possible until you reach the maximum amount allowed. The accompanying chart illustrates the powerful difference contributing just 1% more each year can make over time.

2. Review your tax situation. It makes sense to review your retirement savings strategy periodically in light of your current tax situation. That's because retirement savings plans and IRAs not only help you accumulate savings for the future, they can help lower your income taxes now.

Every dollar you contribute to a traditional (non-Roth) retirement savings plan at work reduces the amount of your current taxable income. If neither you nor your spouse is covered by a work-based plan, contributions to a traditional IRA are fully deductible up to annual limits. If you, your spouse, or both of you participate in a work-based plan, your IRA contributions may still be deductible unless your income exceeds certain limits.

Note that you will have to pay taxes on contributions and earnings when you withdraw the money. In addition, withdrawals prior to age 59½ may be subject to a 10% penalty tax unless an exception applies.

3. Rebalance, if necessary. Market turbulence throughout the past year may have caused your target asset allocation to shift toward a more aggressive or conservative profile than is appropriate for your circumstances. If your portfolio is not rebalanced automatically, now might be a good time to see if adjustments need to be made.

Typically, there are two ways to rebalance: (1) you can do so quickly by selling securities or shares in the overweighted asset class(es) and shifting the proceeds to the underweighted one(s), or (2) you can rebalance gradually by directing new investments into the underweighted class(es) until the target allocation is reached. Keep in mind that selling investments in a taxable account could result in a tax liability. Asset allocation is a method used to help manage investment risk; it does not guarantee a profit or protect against investment loss.

4. Revisit your savings goal. When you first started saving in your retirement plan or IRA, you may have estimated how much you might need to accumulate to retire comfortably. If you experienced any major life changes during the past year — for example, a change in job or marital status, an inheritance, or a new family member — you may want to take a fresh look at your overall savings goal as well as the assumptions used to generate it. As circumstances in your life change, your savings strategy will likely evolve as well.

20 Dec Power of 1%

5. Understand all your plan's features. Work-based retirement savings plans can vary from employer to employer. How familiar are you with your plan's specific features? Does your employer offer a matching and/or profit-sharing contribution? Do you know how it works? Are company contributions and earnings subject to a vesting schedule (i.e., a waiting period before they become fully yours) and, if so, do you understand the parameters? Does your plan offer loans or hardship withdrawals? Under what circumstances might you access the money? Can you make Roth or after-tax contributions, which can provide a source of tax-free income in retirement? Review your plan's Summary Plan Description to ensure you take maximum advantage of all your plan has to offer.

20 Dec Landwersiek

Helping People Succeed’s 2021 Art for Living Calendars Available for sSale and Online Virtual Gallery Launched!

20 Nov 2021 Helping Calendar

It’s that time of year when Helping People Succeed distributes its popular Art for Living Calendars, available for residents and guests at local business outlets, including Barnes & Noble Book Store in Jensen Beach. Looking for that perfect gift? Helping People Succeed's 2021 Art for Living Calendar reflects the beauty we have right here on the Treasure Coast! Each month is represented by one of our talented local artists. The calendars sell for only $20.00 each.

Our featured artists this year include: Pam Patterson, Susan Roberts, Mary Neal, Marian Vitale, Diane Raymond, Dan Mackin, Chris Kling, Pat Hoshino, Stacy Ranieri, Julia Kelly, Sue Ann Saleeby-Mosley, Arundathi Wijetilleke and Amber Moran. We are also thankful for our underwriters: Water Pointe Realty, Stuart Business Systems, Green Design, Sandhill Cove, All Creatures Animal Hospital, NisAir Air Conditioning & Heating, Mark Brechbill, PLLC, Dave’s Plumbing, EW Consultants, Ross Mixing, Mary Kay Buckridge, Arlington Electric and VITAS Healthcare.

The calendars are available for sale at the Helping People Succeed office, 1601 NE Braille Place, off Savanna Road in Jensen Beach as well as throughout the Treasure Coast. For a complete listing of outlets where you can purchase a calendar – visit our website at hpsfl.org.

Something special we are doing this year is showcasing the artists’ artwork through our online Art for Living Gallery. Not only can you view (and/or purchase) the artwork that is featured in our 2021 Art for Living Calendar – you can also see additional works of art displayed by the artists. Their artwork is also for sale with a portion of the proceeds benefitting Helping People Succeed. The gallery can be found on our website at hpsfl.org. This state-of-the-art exhibit will be available for viewing from now through November of 2021.

Serving our community for over 56 years, Helping People Succeed helps develop healthy families in Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee and Indian River counties by providing numerous parenting, mental health and behavioral support programs. Helping People Succeed also provides support services designed to enable adults with special needs to fully participate in volunteer and employment roles in our community.

For more information, visit our website at hpsfl.org or contact Glenna Parris at 772.320.0778.

Out2News.com LLC. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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When The Signer Doesn’t Match Their ID

20 Nov Notary Tip

Article by: Gail R. Delaney

Imagine you are sitting across from a signer with shocking pink hair. The person seated across from you looks nothing like the photo of the middle- aged, silver haired woman on her ID. Just a style change? Or is it fraud?

Or, what about an individual who has just undergone significant weight loss surgery, grown a full beard that obscures his face or removed that beard?

The most important duty of a Notary is to verify the identity of the signer. And the fact that your signer does not resemble their ID photo certainly raises a red flag. But it doesn’t mean that the signer is an imposter.

While a visual match between the ID photo and the person present is preferable, the challenge arises when the match is not obvious. A lack of absolute visual match is not necessarily a reason to reject the ID. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when faced with this challenge:

Don’t Rely Solely On Variable Physical Traits
A person’s appearance changes over time, and sometimes frequently. Features such as hair style or color, weight, facial hair, and whether a person wears contacts or eyeglasses are all subject to change. In states with varying driver’s license terms and renewal policies, the ID photo may be 10, 15 or 20+ years old.

For instance, Arizona only requires a new photo every 12 years, one of the longest terms in the nation. Even when someone renews their driver’s license, many states do not require them to get a new photo.

So when examining the ID, consider the following:

Look at the birthdate to see if the signer appears to be the appropriate age.
Look at fixed traits such as ear shape and placement, jaw or chin shape, eye shape, or distance between facial features.
Look at the person’s general physical description (height, weight, color of eyes or hair, etc.).
If a single element is different but the other information on the ID (signature, height, etc.) is reasonably accurate, take that into account when deciding whether to accept the ID.

Look Beyond Physical Evidence Of Identity
As part of your process, ask the signer basic questions about the information on the ID.

What is their zip code?
What is their birthdate or astrological sign?
What is the number of their street address?
You should also observe their behavior. Are they trying to rush you or spontaneously provide justification as to why their signature or appearance doesn’t match?

Ask For Another ID
If concerned, you can ask the signer for another ID. Several states’ laws, including Pennsylvania, allow a Notary to do this. What is acceptable as a second form of ID will vary from state to state, so be sure to know your state’s requirements. For instance, California has a very specific list of acceptable forms of identification. It should also be noted that in California a Notary cannot “mix and match” IDs, using the photo from one ID and the physical description from another. A single ID must meet the requirements. However, some states, such as Texas, do not allow the use of secondary IDs. Any ID used in Texas must be a current identification card or other document issued by the federal government or any state government that contains the photograph and signature of the acknowledging person.

Some states allow for the use of credible identifying witnesses. However, in states such as California and Florida credible witnesses aren’t an option when a person’s ID doesn’t check out because the witness must swear that the signer does not have an ID listed in statute.

Ultimately, you are expected to make a reasonable judgment. If in your review of a signer’s ID you reasonably conclude that the signer is not an imposter, then you can proceed with the notarization. However, if you are not convinced the signer is who they say they are, you can and should refuse to go forward.

Project LIFT and Martin County Police Athletic League Partner to Fight for Mental Health

20 Nov Project Lift & PAL Multi
PL PAL Collaboration

Stuart - In a warehouse space in Stuart, youth step into a ring each week and learn the fundamentals of boxing. Across town in Palm City, in another warehouse, teens are learning welding, auto repair and HVAC. While the boxing skills and the hands-on vocational training are important, what the youth in both of these programs are really learning is anger management, positive coping skills, work ethic, and the power of mentorship.

And now, these two powerhouse non-profit organizations are collaborating to bring the best of each other’s programming to more local youth. The partnership will allow youth at Project LIFT to participate in Boxing programming and a Leadership curriculum facilitated by Martin County Police Athletic League (PAL) staff, while PAL members will have access to Project LIFT’s innovative combination of mental health counseling and skilled trades training on industry standard equipment.

Both programs share a passion for helping at-risk youth, and a hands-on approach that recognizes that getting kids moving and working with their hands is often the conduit to helping them overcome challenges like depression, anxiety, bullying, or lack of a positive role model.

“During this time of incredible uncertainty, one thing remains strong, the collaborative impact of Martin County non-profits. PAL is no exception, with high quality interventions through Boxing and a very strong volunteer base, it just made sense to develop a partnership using our innovative approaches to mental health, and partnering to offer PAL teens access to Project LIFT's 11 different vocational skills training programs!” said Project LIFT CEO Bob Zaccheo.

For more information about the Martin County Police Athletic League, visit martincountypal.org, and for more information about Project LIFT, visit projectliftmc.com

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St. Lucie Habitat for Humanity Partners with Bank of America to Build Affordable Homes

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Bank funding will support the construction of homes for families in need

Port St. Lucie – St. Lucie Habitat for Humanity has partnered with Bank of America to build affordable homes for local working families. For more than 30 years, Bank of America has given back to the community and engaged its employees in service by working alongside Habitat homeowners to build, improve, or repair homes throughout the world.

This year, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation presented St. Lucie Habitat for Humanity with $22,500 in funding. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, St. Lucie Habitat is still building and repairing homes, with four currently under construction and a limited number of volunteers allowed on the job site.

“Support from Bank of America helps us continue with our work and helps our Habitat homeowners become empowered to build better lives for themselves and their families,” said Melissa Winstead, Development Director, St. Lucie Habitat for Humanity.

At a time when construction costs are increasing, and Habitat’s ReStore donations and sales are down from last year, support from community partners, like Bank of America, is more impactful than ever.

“Access to affordable housing is fundamental for families and individuals to achieve financial stability,” said Doug Sherman, Treasure Coast market president for Bank of America. “Our long-term partnership with St. Lucie Habitat supports our shared goal of providing families in need with a place to call home and the ability to pursue economic prosperity and growth.”

How Does LLC Ownership Work?

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20 Sept LLC Woodward

The limited liability company (LLC) is a popular business structure for new businesses, but what does it really mean to own an LLC? LLCs provide unique opportunities to customize business ownership to fit the particular needs and circumstances of the owners. Here is what you should know about LLC ownership.

The Basics

The owners of LLCs are often called members. If a single person or a single business entity owns an LLC, it is called a single-member LLC. If multiple people or entities own an LLC, it is called a multimember LLC. LLCs can have an unlimited number of members. When ownership is established, the membership interests are usually expressed in one of two ways:

by membership units similar to corporate shares
by percentage
The terminology you choose to use for a membership interest should correspond to your vision for the company. For example, if the business is owned primarily by your family, identifying the membership interests by percentages may keep things clear and straightforward. However, if you intend to seek funding from individuals outside of the family, you may find that labeling the ownership interests as membership units facilitates the easy transfer of ownership rights.

Establishing Ownership Rights

To be an LLC member, some form of contribution is required; however, the contribution need not be cash, which is called a capital contribution. LLC members can also contribute property or services. Additionally, unlike contributions to a corporation, when an LLC member makes a capital contribution, the concomitant ownership rights and distributions can be customized. For example, if one member were to contribute 40 percent of the capital in an LLC, that member and the other LLC members may still choose to split profits fifty-fifty.

Generally, LLC members are entitled to share in the company’s profits and losses, vote regarding key LLC matters, inspect and review the books, and enjoy a host of other rights. These rights stem from default state laws; however, they may be customized through contractual agreements. The contractual agreement that typically governs LLC ownership rights is an operating agreement. Operating agreements may include the following common customizations:

Distributing profits and losses in a way that does not match the members’ capital contributions
Creating different classes of ownership to reflect passive investor rights
Mandating member meetings
Transferring Membership Interests

Death, incapacity, and sale are the primary events that trigger transfers of membership units. However, if you intend to transfer membership units to investors, be sure to evaluate whether your interest is a security under the federal securities law. If you offer your interest to less than thirty-five investors, your interest likely qualifies for an exemption that allows you to bypass the federal disclosure requirements and even some state securities law.

Management

LLC members can choose to be managed either by the LLC members (a member-managed LLC), or by nonowners or certain members designated as managers (a manager-managed LLC). When an LLC is managed, it is vital to identify and articulate the decisions for which the members bear responsibility and the decisions the managers must make. If the decision-making authority is not clear, the resulting uncertainty can hinder effective management of the LLC.

Payment

LLC members can pay themselves in several ways, such as

Receiving income in the form of distributions of profits at the end of the year,
Receiving draws, which are periodic payments based on the estimated profits for the year, or
Receiving periodic payments as employees of the business.
These three methods are not mutually exclusive—a member can take advantage of more than one option. However, members must remember that each option has unique tax consequences. LLC members should account for Social Security and Medicare taxes. When LLC members pay themselves as employees, the LLC is expected to withhold taxes as it would for any other employee. Conversely, when members pay themselves based on their profits, they must pay self-employment taxes. Either way, LLC members must be mindful of the tax consequences of the payment methods they choose.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Out2News. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion, and are not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

Key Considerations for Managing a Remote Workforce

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20 July Woodward Photo

The post-COVID-19 world will likely see a major shift toward companies maintaining remote workforces. Due to government-mandated business closures and stay-home orders, many owners and employees of small businesses have been forced to work virtually, and they have seen the benefits. Studies show that remote working increases productivity.Large technology companies like Facebook and Twitter have announced that they will be implementing remote working until at least September 2020. Some companies have even gone as far as to give employees the option of working from home permanently. The “new normal” that many predict involves more companies maintaining a remote workforce.

As a business owner, you may be exploring the idea of permanently utilizing a remote workforce; however, you may not be aware of all of the relevant factors to consider and preparations to implement. Be sure to take the following measures as you move toward permanent virtual employment.

1. Increase security measures for information stored in the cloud.

As your company begins functioning in a paperless world, you must take appropriate steps to ensure data shared over digital cloud networks are secure. One way to increase security is to provide the specific tools employees will use in completing their tasks. For example, establish a policy allowing only company-issued phones and laptops to be used when handling work business. In complying with these measures, keep your team accountable by restricting the reception and transmission of company emails; requiring the use of secure passwords—passwords comprised of many characters, including symbols and numerals;
providing guidelines regarding proper social media usage; and
providing access to encrypted wireless networks.
By taking these additional precautions, a company addresses confidentiality concerns and further protects itself and its customers or clients from potential data breaches.

2. Comply with federal and state wage laws.

For business owners, understanding labor rules and laws that apply to specific situations is key for the successful implementation and continuation of a remote workforce. It is important to keep in mind that federal legislation requires employers to pay nonexempt workers for any work over forty hours in a single workweek. This is especially challenging for individuals classified as part-time workers, because tracking their time at home could be difficult and could result in a nonexempt worker exceeding the forty-hour cap. As a result, when working with a remote workforce, it is critical to create systems and structures that enable employees to indicate and record their start and end times. Additionally, most states have minimum wage requirements, with some exceeding the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. If you have an employee who resides in a state whose minimum wage differs from the federal minimum wage, you are required to pay the higher of the two.

3. Pay applicable taxes.

For employers with remote employees in more than one state, payment of state taxes is a key requirement. Typically, if you and your employees are in one state, you are only responsible for paying taxes in that state. However, this rule changes if your business has a nexus to another state as determined by that state’s law. The presence of an employee in a state usually constitutes sufficient evidence of such a nexus. In these instances, you are required to pay taxes in that state.

4. If You Need Help….Ask Us. We Can Help!

We are dedicated to helping you adjust and thrive in the post-COVID-19 world. If you have any questions about developing your remote work employee policy, do not hesitate to call our office. A dedicated attorney will be available to guide you through the process. We are happy to meet with you by phone or video conference if you prefer.

Woodward,Kelley,Fulton & Kaplan
27 SE Ocean Blvd.
Stuart, FL 34994
(772) 497-6544

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