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23 Sept 18 Water Management 1
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Hibiscus Children’s Center Announces 2023-24 Board of Directors

Scott A. Roads.Hibiscus Chair a

In Photo: Hibiscus Board Chair Scott Roads


Photo by: Merry Time Photography

Treasure Coast – Hibiscus Children’s Center (HCC), a non-profit that provides life-saving services to children and youth from across the State of Florida, announces its 2023-24 Board of Directors, led by Chair Scott A. Roads.

For over 38 years, Hibiscus has never wavered from its mission to provide safe haven, mental health, preventative care and life skills for at-risk children and families.
Hibiscus serves close to 140 children annually in our residential programs and 1,700 children and families through our community outreach programs.

For the past three years, Scott Roads has been a valued member of the HCC Board of Directors, lending his expertise and leadership in support of the organization’s mission. Scott Roads is Founder of Spectra Investment Management and is serving his third term as Board Chair.

Prior to joining the HCC Board, Roads served as Board Chair for Treasure Coast Hospice and Palliative Services, Inc. and served as a Trustee for Treasure Coast Hospice Foundation.

“For over 20 years, I have watched the tremendous impact HCC has on children and families in need on the Treasure Coast” said Roads. “I am honored to serve as Board Chair and look forward to supporting the HCC mission and staff with this essential community service to children with great needs.”

HCC welcomes John Corbett and Joseph Trapani to the Board of Directors. John Corbett is President and CEO of The Partnership, Inc., a non-profit charitable organization that owns and manages apartments in Florida and Georgia, and is President Emeritus of Community Partners of South Florida. He has served as a Commissioner on the Florida Commission on Human Relations and former Chair of the Economic Council of Palm Beach County. Joseph Trapani was Executive Vice-President of Hartmarxx Corporation, one of the largest manufacturers of men’s suits in the world. Prior to that, he was President of Woods and Gray. He has served on the JPS 911 Memorial Foundation, Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation and Oldfield Club Board of Directors.

Board officers include: Matt Markley, CEO of HCC, Michael LaPorta – Vice Chair, Tracey Dexter – Treasurer, Mike Harrell – Secretary, and Frank Noonan - Past Chair.

Hibiscus recognizes returning members: Dan Braden, Nicholas Ferraro, Beckett Horner, Esq., Deborah Kessler, Dr. Fernando Petry, Travis Walker, Esq., and Dave Wilson. The Board of Directors is comprised of individuals from the medical, business, and volunteer communities. The Board oversees the operations, overall management, and fiscal responsibilities of Hibiscus Children’s Center.

Harry & The Natives Hosts Hobe Sound September Breakfast

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In Photo: Dewey Vinaya - President of the Air Show and Mr. Brett Rhodes with staff.

Article & Photos by: Robin Hall - Out2News.com
Hobe Sound - On September 14, 2023 The Hobe Sound Chamber of Commerce had their monthly breakfast at a special location. Harry & The Natives was the scene for the breakfast. With over 100 people attending it was a nice atmosphere for the chamber members. Breakfast was served by the staff. Harry & The Natives is located at 11910 SE Federal Highway in Hobe Sound.

The breakfast was sponsored by The Stuart Air Show. Mr. Dewey Vinaya - President of the Air Show and Mr. Brett Rhodes spoke about was going to come to the airshow this year. The Stuart Air Show is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization. For more than 30 years, it has been dedicated to honoring the history of American aviation and veterans. The airshow is located at Witham Field 1895 Flying Fortress Lane in Stuart.

The speaker for the breakfast was Sheriff William Snyder who spoke about the conditions of the jail and the many people who get arrested and the struggles that are happening there. Chief John Budensiek, Major John Cummings, Captain Jennifer Perkins also spoke about mental illness and the impact it is having in the jail and our community. The Martin County Jail is located at 800 SE Monterey Road in Stuart.

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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Photo by: Courtesy of Robin Hall - Out2News.com
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23 Sept 23 Export University 101
23 July Voters

Businessowners Eager to Access Foreign Markets Can Attain Expert’s Edge When Export University 101 Makes Treasure Coast Debut in Martin County

Business Deve Board

Stuart - It takes a lot of business to succeed in business, as any entrepreneur will attest. Doing so often means tapping new markets—even ones around the world. But how to do so and effectively navigate the logistics, language barriers and labyrinthine of legalities?

Those answers and more are coming—for the first time—to the Treasure Coast through the acclaimed Export University 101. Widely recognized as the premier resource for informing and equipping business owners on effectively accessing foreign markets, the event is taking place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 28 at Indian River State College’s Chastain Campus in Stuart.
Export University 101 will feature leading local, regional, state, and federal experts for in-depth discussion on topics as essential as promotions, compliance, trade grants, risk management, pricing, payment, shipping and more. The event culminates with the issuance of a certificate to participants.

“We at the U.S. Commercial Service are very proud to be part of such a great initiative organized by the South Florida District Export Council in collaboration with the Business Development Board of Martin County,” says Eduardo Torres, director for South Florida U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce. “Companies looking to export their products and services will have the opportunity to learn all aspects of the export process. Remember that exporting is not an event, it’s a process.”
Organized by U.S. Commercial Service, South Florida District Export Council and the Business Development Board of Martin County, Export University 101 will give local business owners invaluable insights into accessing international marketplaces to expand the impact and influence of their companies.
“We’re incredibly proud to participate in bringing this unparalleled resource to businesses in Martin County and across the Treasure Coast,” says Joan Goodrich, executive director of the BDB. “While we have a robust service sector, Martin County is also home to some remarkable manufacturing companies whose innovations deserve even greater exposure. Export University 101 is uniquely designed to empower them with the knowledge to integrate internationally and we’re so excited to see these principles put into practice in our community.”

Speakers and Topics
Eduardo Torres, director at the U.S. Department of Commerce, will kick things off with the “Basics of Exporting and Products and Services of the U.S. Commercial Service.” He’ll teach attendees, among others, key dynamics to anticipate when entering a wider pool of competitors as well as the importance of creating an export strategy and marketing plan, contemplating logistics and complying with regulations.
Peter Quinter, who specializes in international law for Gunster law firm, will provide a deeper overview of U.S. regulations governing exports.
Emily McHugh, an international trade consultant for Florida Small Business Development Center at IRSC Entrepreneurship Development Institute, will better inform small business owners on how to effectively create, maintain and grow their companies to complement serving larger markets.
John Diep, director of international trade and development at Select Florida, will give insights on international sales and how best to access both risks and opportunities before making costly commitments.
Ed Ciampi, chair of the Martin County Commission as well as vice president of sales and international development for Chicago Stainless based in Palm City, will speak on establishing an overseas infrastructure to grow business internationally. Ciampi will discuss, among other topics, determining the viability to potential markets, building a service network dedicated to after-sales relationships and managing and motivating channels of distribution in overseas markets.
Elena Mendez, eastern regional director of small businesses for the Export-Import Bank, will share more about federal programs that support financing of international sales.
Hernan M. Mayol, export finance manager in the Office of International trade for the U.S. Small Business Administration, will discuss financing programs for small businesses seeking to provide exports overseas.
Tyler Myer, senior director of securities for Bank of America, and Brandon Haase, B2B sales and partnerships for Flywire, will speak on managing international sales orders. They’ll delve into pricing, quotes, and terms, how to factor shipping costs, payment mechanisms, credit insurance and financing export transactions.
Kathy Carlton, managing director at KCarlton International, will cover international logistics.
Afterwards, attendees can address their questions to a panel featuring Torres, Goodrich, Ralph MacNamara, South Florida District Export Council and Pierre Taschereau, business development executive for the BDB.

About the Business Development Board of Martin County
Strengthening and championing Martin County’s economy is the Business Development Board’s primary mission. Organized as a 501(c)6 not-for-profit public-private partnership, the BDB provides confidential, complimentary, professional services to job creators, investors, and their representatives with designs to launch and grow in Martin County. Touting Martin County’s friendly business climate, fostering leading industries and good jobs; growing our own businesses, entrepreneurs, and talent; and promoting strategic economic development areas comprise the regular activities BDBMC is engaged in alongside the support of our executive leaders, investors and partners.

What: Export University 101, premier event on accessing foreign markets featuring local, state, regional and federal experts in international trade.
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 28
Where: IRSC Chastain Campus, 2400 S.E. Salerno Road, Stuart.
Cost: $75
Media contact: Ike Crumpler (772) 201-9996
To learn more, call 772.221.1380, visit bdbmc.org or follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

4th Annual Lincoln Park Business Expo Scheduled

23 Sept 29 Lincoln Park Bus Expo

The City of Fort Pierce will host the 4th Annual Lincoln Park Business Expo, Co-Sponsored by Florida SBDC at Indian River State College on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, from 11 AM - 6 PM at the Percy S. Peek Gymnasium and Indian River State College’s Blackburn Education Center, located at 2902 Avenue D, Fort Pierce.

The Expo is FREE and open to everyone.

The Expo’s agenda is packed with presentations and educational workshops focusing on all things business. Workshops topics include ‘City of Fort Pierce Tips and Tricks: Permits, Zoning, and Business Tax Licenses;’ ‘Marketing Your Small Business;’ ‘Financial Management for Small Businesses;’ ‘Maximizing Marketing and Public Relations;’ Team Building’; ‘Non-Profit / Government Contracting’ and ‘Entrepreneurial Mindset.’ Expo attendees will receive gift bags and raffle tickets for prizes that will be given throughout the event.

A ‘Community Pop-Up Shop’ for small local businesses to showcase their products and services will be open to the public from 4 PM to 6 PM in the Percy Peek Gymnasium. Business owners are encouraged to participate in the Community Pop-Up Shop.

The Expo is FREE and open to everyone; however, registration is recommended. Small businesses wishing to reserve a FREE space to showcase their business in the Community Pop-Up Shop must pre-register to participate.

The Expo will also have small business grant application assistance available. Eligible Applicants include small businesses (with 5 or fewer employees – including part-time) located in target areas within the City limits of Fort Pierce. Applicants can apply for ONE grant per funding cycle. Open Grant Opportunities include Small Business Technical Assistance and Startup Technical Assistance.

To register yourself or your business, please visit the city’s website at Lincoln Park Business Expo | Fort Pierce, FL - Official Website (cityoffortpierce.com)

For more information, please contact Kimberlee Henton at khenton@cityoffortpierce.com or by calling 772-742-9833.

MAK'S Minute: What is a Consent Agenda Item?

Hobe Sound Early Learning Center Hosts August Hobe Sound Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours

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In Photo: Ashley Azzi - Head of School

Hobe Sound – On Wednesday, August 30, 2023, the Hobe Sound Chamber of Commerce had their Business After Hours at the Hobe Sound Early Learning Center located at 11580 SE. Gomez Avenue, Hobe Sound.
The Hobe Sound Early Learning Center provides families, regardless of income, an affordable early education program nurturing, education and recreation to stimulate their children’s healthy emotional and social development and help the to excel in school and life. Ashley Azzi, Head of School spoke about the school and what they love to do. For more information call them at: 772.546.5462.

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.

Out2News.com LLC. is your Treasure Coast online newspaper, “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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Copyright © 2023 Out2News.com LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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In Photo: Candace Keen & Patty Dooley  Tradewinds At Hobe Sound

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In Photo: Erin Smith - Hobe Sound Chamber and Courtney Nagy - Card My Yard

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Monarch Golf & Country Club Host August Palm City Chamber of Commerce Breakfast

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In Photo: Staff with Carr, Riggs & Ingram CPAs and Advisors

Article & Photos by: Robin Hall - Out2News.com
Palm City - On August 30, 2023, the Palm City Chamber of Commerce had their August breakfast at the Monarch Golf & Country Club. Monarch Golf & Country Club did an outstanding job catering for the members, serving a nice breakfast. They are located at: 1801 SW. Monarch Club Drive, Palm City. Monarch Golf & Country Club is in Palm City with the great tradition of Southern golf courses, Arnold Palmer was given free reign to create the ideal course. Enhancing the natural beauty of Monarch with its ideal location, exceptional amenities, and gracious service.

The Sponsor for the breakfast was Carr Riggs & Ingram CPAs and Advisors. CRI was founded in 1997, stretching from New Mexico to North Carolina. They are a top nationally ranked full-service accounting and advisory firm offering innovative tax, accounting, audit, consulting, and advisory services to more than 100,000 clients in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and overseas military installations. They are located in Stuart at 33 SW Flagler Avenue. Or call them for more information at: 772.283.2356.

The Speaker for the breakfast was Josh Jenkins with the Martin County Fire Rescue. Mr. Jenkins told the membership about a program which would be very helpful to the community. It is called Martin County Community Connect. This program is Residents in the community as well as businesses. This program helps the Fire Rescue keep updated to assist them more effectively in case of an emergency. Seconds can definately count so we always should be prepared.
Go to https://www.communityconnect.io/info/fl-martincounty.

The mission of the Palm City Chamber of Commerce is to serve as the principal advocate of the community and its businesses, acting as the catalyst in promoting the economic development of the Palm City area, stimulating jobs and improving the quality of life.

Out2News.com LLC. is your Treasure Coast online newspaper, “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!

Email your story or request to: rshall@out2news.com

Out2News adheres to full compliance with C.O.P.P.A. (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998)

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In Photo: Josh Jenkins - Martin County Fire Rescue

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In Photo: Meet the new staff member and new intern for the Palm City Chamber of Commerce

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In Photo: Don Pipes - President of the Palm City Chamber and Executive Director Miss Campbell

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In Photo: Evie Klaassen - Ambassador Chairman and Daniel Wade - Ambassador of the Month

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In Photo: Executive Director Missi Campbell and Board Member of the Month Meghan Shirey - Director of Marketing and External Affairs

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In Photo: Commissioner Ed Campi

Better Together Launches in Treasure Coast with $400,000 Donation from Southern Eagle Distributing

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In Photo: Southern Eagle Dist. President Philip Busch, Michael Trabulsy (in back) Better Together CEO Megan Rose, Kayla Palacios and Paul Trabulsy

Article by: Emily Golden / Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham
Fort Pierce – Better Together, a nonprofit dedicated to families and children, has expanded to the Treasure and Space Coasts. To support the nonprofit’s programs in the Treasure Coast region, local distributor Southern Eagle Distributing has donated $400,000 to Better Together.

The donation was announced during the nonprofit’s launch celebration, held Aug. 23 at Southern Eagle’s location in Fort Pierce. The event brought together local leaders and community supporters for celebratory activities and a ribbon cutting ceremony, providing a chance for the community to learn more about the organization and how to get involved.

“The opportunity to bring Better Together’s programs into the Treasure Coast is made possible through the support of community, business and church partnerships, and we are so grateful for Southern Eagle Distributing’s generosity and belief in our mission,” said Megan Rose, CEO of Better Together. “These dollars will help us change lives in this region as we come alongside parents to provide a network of support and resources that aim to strengthen families and communities.”

Better Together is a nonprofit that helps parents who are going through a challenging time to keep their kids out of foster care, find work and address the root causes of their struggle so that they can reunite as a family with the tools and support system to thrive. Established in Southwest Florida just over five years ago, the nonprofit’s programming has rapidly expanded to reach families in 21 counties across the state. To date, the program has served over 5,900 children and kept 98% of families together, while helping nearly 39,000 job seekers across 22 states find employment.

“We are deeply inspired by Better Together’s mission to strengthen families, and we are proud to pledge our continued support to helping bring these valuable programs to our community,” said Philip A. Busch, president of Southern Eagle Distributing. “Better Together has a real, relational approach to meeting the needs of local families, and we look forward to seeing the impactful work their team carries out within the Treasure Coast region.”

The organization will begin serving families this month in the Central East Florida area, which spans the Treasure and Space Coasts, specifically those in Brevard, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties. In any given month, based on state data from the past year, these counties have more than 1,200 children in out-of-home care, a designation that largely includes foster care and group homes.

With the help of hundreds of volunteers and church communities, Better Together builds lasting support systems that help families cope with hardships – such as job loss, substance abuse, homelessness and jail time – and ensures that children are cared for in a safe home until the family can be reunited.

To learn more about Better Together, its programs and how to get involved, visit BetterTogetherUS.org. Churches interested in becoming a Better Together partner are encouraged to email Isis@BetterTogetherUS.org for more information.

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In Photo: Kelly Harrington

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In Photo: Cutting of the Ribbon

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In Photo: Kayla Palacios, Will Armstead, Philip Busch, Megan Rose and Isis LaRose

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In Photo: SLC Clerk of Court Michelle Miller and Rich Ziarkowski

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In Photo: Nikita Lloyd, Shannon Glendinning and Veronica Kolibab

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In Photo: Terissa Aronson and Candy Marlow

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In Photo: Isis LaRose, Better Together

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In Photo: Megan Rose, Paul Trabulsy, Lindsey Taylor and Philip Busch

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In Photo: Megan Rose, Yuleth Ortiz, Rich Ziarkowski, Tonya Woodworth, Ron Wentz and Steven Graziano

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In Photo; Josie Kirchner, Isis LaRose and Sean Boyle

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In Photo: Paul Trabulsy, Nikita Lloyd, Larry Leet and Philip Busch

Meeting Notice

20 Sept SFWMD Logo

Focus Not Blame: Solving Florida’s Water Woes

23 June One Florida New Logo

Florida’s complex water issues are at the center of heated debate this summer. But let's face it, this isn't new; every summer, we witness this green menace resurfacing in our waterways. The blame game will not fix anything; it's high time we shift our focus toward real solutions.

For years, Lake Okeechobee releases were blamed for the blooms that scientists say can have public health impacts and negative effects on marine life and seagrass growth. Even though there haven’t been any major discharges from the lake this summer, the algae are spreading into the canals, which lead to estuaries on Florida’s East and West Coasts.

We all know hurricanes play a role in exacerbating the problem, stirring up sediments and flooding waterways with sewage and stormwater runoff. The heat of the summer brings massive blooms. It is basic science: sun, warmth, and nutrients create a perfect breeding ground.

What we are also seeing is a glimpse of what the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) operation system is going to look like. We know under LOSOM that the lake will be too high, too often. When the lake is too high the result is an algae-filled lake. That’s exactly what’s happening.

Environmentalists point fingers at the usual suspects—the Army Corps of Engineers, South Florida Water Management District, and Lake Okeechobee. They claim that LOSOM could have prevented this. But Floridians need to know the state’s water system is complex.

It involves a combination of natural and engineered components, as well as the coordination of various stakeholders and agencies. The infrastructure includes canals, levees, and water control structures, which are designed to regulate water levels in the lake and prevent flooding in our communities.

Every drop of water that falls on Florida is managed through careful planning, monitoring, and decision-making by multiple entities making it a challenging and complex task. It’s a balancing act.

So, it is dishonest that some environmental groups are complaining that not enough water was sent south during the dry season, and it's disingenuous for those same groups to complain about water releases when lake management capabilities were evident from the start. The governing board deserves credit for doing what it could under the limitations of the programs in place.

There is no one perfect solution. But we don’t need hypocrisy and lies to muddy the waters. Let’s work together to keep improving on this fluid situation.

-Nyla Pipes/Executive Director of One Florida Foundation, a non-profit that provides education and proposes solutions regarding Florida’s water resources

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.

23 Aug 24 FEMA
23 August 17 Financila

What To Do When Your Employee Sues You

23 July Law suit

Dealing with an employee lawsuit can be challenging and stressful situation for any employer. It’s essential to handle such situations carefully and in compliance with the law. Here are some key steps to sonsider if you find yourself facing an employee lawsuit.

Consult with an employment attorney: As soon as you become aware that an employee is suing you or your company, seeking legal advice from an experienced employment attorney is crucial. An attorney specializing in employment law can provide valuable guidance, assess the merits of the claim, and help you navigate the legal process.

Review and preserve relevant documents: Collect and review all relevant documents related to the employee’s employment history, including contracts, performance evaluations, disciplinary records, and any other relevant communications. Preserve these documents to ensure they are readily available for your attorney and any legal proceedings.

Notify your insurance carrier: If you have employment practices liability insurance (EPLI), it’s essential to notify your insurance carrier promptly. EPLI can provide coverage for legal expenses and potential damages associated with employee claims. Informing your insurance carrier ensures that you comply with any requirements and allows them to guide you through the claims process.

Maintain open communication with your employee: It is generally advisable to maintain open lines of communication with the employee who filed the lawsuit. However, consult with your attorney to determine the appropriate level and manner of communication to avoid any potential legal pitfalls. Avoid making any statements that could be interpreted as an admission of guilt or liability.

Conduct an internal investigation: In some cases, conducting an internal investigation may be necessary to gather facts and assess the validity of the employee’s claims. This investigation should be handled carefully and impartially. Consider involving a neutral third party, such as an HR consultant or investigator, to ensure objectivity and fairness.

Develop a legal strategy: Work closely with your employment attorney to develop a sound legal strategy based on the specific circumstances of the case. Your attorney will guide you through the legal process, advise you on potential defenses, and help you determine the most appropriate course of action, such as settlement negotiations or litigation.

Document all interactions and decisions: Throughout the lawsuit process, it’s crucial to keep detailed records of all interactions, decisions, and steps taken. This documentation can serve as evidence and support your position if the case progresses to court. It can also help demonstrate that you have followed proper procedures and acted in good faith.

Consider settlement options: Settlement negotiations can be a viable option to resolve the lawsuit without going through protracted litigation. Your attorney can help assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case and negotiate a fair settlement that protects your interests. Weigh the potential costs, time, and reputational impact of a trial against the benefits of reaching a settlement.

Prepare for litigation, if necessary: If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, be prepared for the possibility of litigation. Your attorney will guide you through the litigation process, including gathering evidence, preparing witnesses, and presenting your case in court. Be diligent in complying with all court deadlines and requirements.

Focus on preventive measures: While dealing with an employee lawsuit, it’s crucial to evaluate your internal policies, procedures, and employee management practices. Identify any areas of weakness or potential liability and take proactive steps to prevent future claims. Regularly review and update your employee handbook, provide training on employment laws, and maintain open lines of communication with your employees.

Remember, each employee lawsuit is unique, and the steps outlined here are general guidelines. Consulting with an experienced employment attorney who can provide tailored advice based on your specific circumstances is essential. By taking prompt and appropriate action, you can navigate the legal process more effectively and protect your rights and interests as an employer.

As always, if you have any questions about buying or selling a business, or business law generally, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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23 July Voters

Fort Pierce Named 2023 Municipal Youth Council Community Service Contest Winner

23 Jan Fort Pierce Logo

Tallahasee - The Florida League of Cities (FLC), the united voice for Florida’s municipal governments, announced the City of Fort Pierce Youth Council as one of three winners of the 2023 Municipal Youth Council Community Service Contest. The annual competition showcases community service projects performed by municipal youth councils that successfully address specific needs in their local communities.

Municipal youth councils are special councils that typically serve as advisory boards to local governments. They are composed of high school students within the city and are sometimes referred to as youth corps, teen advisory boards or mayor’s youth councils.

“It is inspiring to see our future leaders taking action and making a positive impact in their communities,” said FLC President Jolien Caraballo, Vice Mayor for the City of Port St. Lucie. “The Florida League of Cities is proud of the work these students are doing to support and improve their cities. On behalf of the League, congratulations to this year’s contest winners!”

The Fort Pierce Youth Council planned, coordinated and hosted the EMPOWER YOUTH! community event in partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County, Indian River State College and the Children’s Services Council. The event aimed to empower and educate local youth about financial literacy, mental health, career development and future planning in a conference-like setting. It addressed issues and concerns encountered by their peers. Youth Council members worked diligently to promote the event, secure sponsorships, garner community support and engage youth from diverse backgrounds. Their efforts resulted in the event surpassing their goal of 100 attendees. The event provided an environment where youth were equipped with skills to help them advance. Parents/guardians were provided tools to help youth achieve their goals by introducing them to the wealth of resources available in the community.

The City of Alachua Youth Advisory Council and the City of West Park Youth Council were also named winners in the statewide competition. Contest winners will receive a trophy and be featured by the League’s award-winning magazine, Quality Cities (QC), as well as on the League’s website and social media outlets.
For more information on the winning projects, visit Municipal Youth Councils (floridaleagueofcities.com)

Click photo above for St. Lucie County Chamber of Commerce Business Directory

Rotary Club of Port St. Lucie, Installation & Awards Celebration

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In Photo: Installation of new Club Officers by Assistant District Governor Hap Mills

Photos & Article by: MaryAnn Ketcham
Friends and family members recently joined members of the Rotary Club of Port St. Lucie for a festive celebration of gratitude, fellowship, and newly appointed Club officers at the Santa Lucia Club at Ballantrae in Port St. Lucie. With the picturesque backdrop of the St. Lucie River, attendees enjoyed a delicious dinner, danced to the delightfully festive music of The Rockin’ Rx Band, and applauded the well-deserved recognition afforded to members of the Club for living Rotarian motto, “service above self.”

Honorary member and emcee Rene’ Arteaga noted that in the 42 years of service, the Port St. Lucie Rotary Club donated over a million dollars in sweat equity and financial contribution to the local community and towards humanitarian projects.

This club holds an annual golf tournament and other fundraising activities to support their many charitable programs. Locally, they donate dictionaries to every 3rd grader in Port St Lucie Schools; host a Christmas party for over 150 kids; teach water safety with the Josh the Otter program (having served 1,000 kids to date), and provide scholarships to deserving graduating area high school seniors.

Many Rotarians received awards for outstanding service and longevity within the organization. Incoming President Paula Andreozzi was recognized as Rotarian of the Year for her dedication. Rotarians Port St. Lucie City Councilman Anthony Bonna and Vernon Francis were honored with the Paul Harris Fellow Award for their donations to the Rotary Foundation.

Although not a Rotarian, Roxy Brown, Executive Director of the nonprofit Carebag, also received a Paul Harris Fellow Award for her notable contributions to the community. Carebag works diligently to provide access to proper hygiene to those in need.

Before dancing the night away, attendees stood witness as Rotary Assistant District Governor Hap Mills installed the following new Club officers:

President- Paula Andreozzi
President Elect- Darlyn Fried
Immediate Past President- Susan Olivos
Secretary- Sandra Lee
Treasurer- Don Wisehart
Sergeant-At-Arms- Mark Valinote
Club Service- Susan Olivos
Community Service- Gary Smith
International Service- Willam Olivos
Youth Service- Betty Thorne Shearer
The Port St. Lucie Rotary Club meets on Tuesdays at 12:15 pm at the Buffalo Chophouse at 918 SW Gatlin Blvd. in Port St. Lucie.

For more information, please visit PSLRotary.org

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In Photo: Dr. William Olivos, Rene' & Lorraine Arteaga, Susan Olivos

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In Photo: Kay & Gary Smith

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In Photo: Darlyn & Lyle Fried

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In Photo: Serge & Maude Galette

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In Photo: Roxy Brown and Susan Olivos

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In Photo: Newly installed president/Rotarian of the Year Paula Andreozzi and Assistant District Governor Hap Mills

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In Photo: Sandra Bailey, Susan Olivos and Betty Thorne Shearer

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In Photo: Bob Hall and Catherine Griffin

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In Photo: Tony & Noreen Molinari and Cathy Valinote

Tortious Inteference In Florida, A/K/A “Mind Your Own Business" Law

23 June Mind your Business

Tortious interference is a legal concept that refers to a situation where one party intentionally and unjustifiably interferes with another party’s contractual or business relationships, causing economic harm. Tortious interference is a common legal issue in Florida, and our state has specific laws and legal precedents that govern this type of behavior. In this article, we will provide an overview of tortious interference in Florida, including its legal definition, elements, and potential remedies.

Legal Definition of Tortious Interference in Florida:

Under Florida law, tortious interference is defined as “intentional and unjustifiable interference with the performance of a contract by a third party, where the interference causes economic harm to the party seeking to perform under the contract.” The key elements of this definition are:

Intentional interference: The interfering party must have acted with the intention of causing harm or disrupting the contractual relationship.
Unjustifiable interference: The interference must not be legally justified or protected by law.
Contractual relationship: The interference must have occurred in the context of an existing contractual or business relationship between two or more parties.
Economic harm: The interference must have caused economic harm, such as loss of profits, business opportunities, or contractual benefits.
Examples of Tortious Interference in Florida:

Tortious interference can take many forms, and it can occur in various contexts, such as employment, real estate, intellectual property, and commercial transactions. Some examples of tortious interference in Florida include:

A former employee of a company starts a competing business and solicits the company’s clients and employees in violation of a non-compete agreement.
A landlord falsely tells a tenant’s customers that the tenant has gone out of business, causing a loss of business and profits for the tenant.
A company intentionally spreads false information about a competitor’s product, causing customers to switch to the company’s product and resulting in economic harm for the competitor.
Proving Tortious Interference in Florida:

To establish a claim for tortious interference in Florida, the plaintiff must prove the following elements:

The existence of a valid contractual or business relationship between the plaintiff and a third party.
The defendant’s knowledge of the relationship.
The defendant’s intentional and unjustifiable interference with the relationship.
The resulting breach or termination of the relationship.
The plaintiff’s resulting economic harm.
Remedies for Tortious Interference in Florida:

If a plaintiff successfully proves a claim for tortious interference in Florida, they may be entitled to various remedies, including:

Monetary damages: The plaintiff may recover damages for the economic harm caused by the interference, such as lost profits, business opportunities, and contractual benefits.
Injunctive relief: The plaintiff may seek a court order to stop the defendant from further interfering with the contractual or business relationship.
Punitive damages: In some cases, the plaintiff may be awarded punitive damages to punish the defendant for their intentional and unjustifiable conduct.
Attorneys’ fees and costs: The plaintiff may recover their attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in bringing the claim.

Tortious interference is a serious legal issue that can have significant economic consequences for the parties involved. If you believe that you have been a victim of tortious interference in Florida, it is essential to seek the advice of an experienced business law attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options. The attorneys at Woodward, Kelley, Fulton & Kaplan may be able to assist you in proving your case and recovering the damages and remedies to which you may be entitled.

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Limited Liability Company (LLC) vs. Limited Liability Partnership (LLP): Which One is Right For Your Business?

23 May LLC LLP

The legal structures that you choose for your business have a significant impact on its organization, taxation, and overall legal protection. Two commonly used legal structures for Florida businesses are the Limited Liability Company (LLC) and the Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). In this article, we will discuss the differences between LLCs and LLPs to help you decide which one is right for your business.

Florida LLCs and Florida LLPs are quite similar in many ways, as they both offer limited liability protection for their owners, which means that the personal assets of the owners are protected from any business-related legal issues. LLCs are often used by small business owners, while LLPs are usually used by professional service firms like law firms, accounting firms, or architecture firms.

The key difference between LLCs and LLPs is in how they are managed. LLCs are owned by members who can manage the company themselves, or hire outside managers to run the business. On the other hand, LLPs are typically owned by partners who all participate in managing the company and share equal responsibility.

In an LLC, profits and losses are typically passed through to the company’s members. These members are then responsible for paying taxes on their share of the profits or losses, depending on their ownership percentage. LLCs have greater flexibility regarding tax classification as they can choose to be taxed as a sole proprietorship, partnership, S corporation, or C corporation.

In an LLP, partners are generally taxed individually on their share of the profits or losses. LLPs are not taxed as separate entities, but instead, the profits and losses are passed through to the partners. In addition, LLPs often require partners to hold professional licenses and malpractice insurance.

Another important difference between LLCs and LLPs is the level of protection they offer for their owners. In an LLC, the members are protected from any business-related legal issues, including lawsuits, but they may still be held personally liable for their own negligence or wrongdoing. In contrast, in an LLP, partners are protected from the actions of the other partners, but may still be held personally liable for their own negligence or wrongdoing.

The process of forming an LLC or LLP is also different. In Florida, forming an LLC requires filing Articles of Organization with the Florida Secretary of State, Department of Corporations, and paying a fee. In contrast, forming an LLP generally requires filing a Certificate of Limited Liability Partnership with the Florida Secretary of State, Department of Corporations, and possibly providing proof of professional licenses and malpractice insurance.

In summary, both LLCs and LLPs offer limited liability protection for their owners and provide flexibility when it comes to taxation. LLCs offer more flexibility when it comes to management and taxation, while LLPs require all partners to participate in managing the company and often require professional licenses and malpractice insurance. Before deciding on which legal structure to choose for your business, it is recommended to consult with an attorney or accountant to fully understand the pros and cons of each option.

As always, if you have any questions about buying or selling a business, or business law generally, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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What Is An “Earnout” in a Business Sale?

23 Feb Upgrades a

When it comes to buying or selling a business, there are a variety of different ways to structure the transaction. One potential option is to use an “earnout” which is a side agreement (separate from the purchase agreement) that allows the seller to receive additional compensation in the future based on the post-closing performance of the business.

An earnout typically works by setting a target for the business’s future performance, such as a certain level of sales revenue or profit. If the business meets or exceeds this target, the seller then receive additional compensation on top of the initial purchase price. However, if the business falls short of the target, the seller may not receive this additional compensation.

There are a few potential benefits to using an earnout in a business purchase. First and foremost, it can help to bridge any gaps in valuation between the buyer and seller. If the buyer is hesitant to pay the full asking price for the business, an earnout can provide a way to make up the difference by tying additional compensation to the business’s future success.

Additionally, an earnout can provide an added incentive for the seller to work with the buyer to ensure the business’s continued success. If the seller has a stake in the business’s future performance, they may be more likely to stay involved and help the buyer navigate any challenges that arise.

That said, there are also potential downsides to using an earnout. For one, it can be difficult to accurately predict future business performance, which means there is some risk that the seller may not receive any additional compensation despite their efforts to ensure the business’s success. Additionally, strictly defining the earnout amount (and its later calculation) can add additional complexity to the negotiation and drafting of the transaction, which may make it more difficult to negotiate and finalize the deal.

Despite these potential downsides, however, earnouts are still useful tools in certain business purchase transactions. They can help to align the interests of the buyer and seller, provide a way to bridge valuation gaps, and incentivize ongoing collaboration and support. As with any business transaction, it is important to work with your legal and accounting professionals to carefully consider the potential risks and benefits before deciding whether or not to include an earnout in your purchase agreement.

As always, if you have any questions about buying or selling a business, or business law generally, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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