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- 2012 - August - 23rd -

Jacksonville Jaguars and JAX Chamber courting businesses at EverBank Field

by Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

The Jacksonville Jaguars are courting business owners and executives scouted by the JAX Chamber.

Members of the chamber’s Jaguars Advocacy Committee are rounding up teams of business associates, clients and friends for “Meet the Jaguars” events at EverBank Field.

Last week, Portofino Pools CEO Jack Manilla hosted about 15 business executives for a partial tour of EverBank Field, along with a look at a remodeled suite and lunch at the Jaguars “Training Table” cafeteria at the stadium.

“My goal is not to sell,” Chad Johnson, vice president of sales for the Jaguars, told the group. “It is to educate.”

It was Manilla’s second invitational. The committee is part of the sports and entertainment committee of the chamber’s board of governors. Other members are doing the same.

For example, chamber board member Kathryn Murphy, owner of Comfort Keepers, is putting together a group for a Sept. 6 “meet and greet” luncheon with the Jaguars.

“The Jaguars have done so much for our community and with new ownership and leadership, they want to do even more. As members of the business community, let’s do our part,” she said in her email inviting participants.

Manilla explains that earlier this year, the chamber board, trustees and officers met at the University of North Florida to re-evaluate 2011 key chamber initiatives and plan 2012 activities.

One of last year’s key initiatives was “Save the Jaguars.”

Since then, the team has a new owner, Shahid Khan; a new president, Mark Lamping; a new coach, Mike Mularkey; and other new players both on and off the field.

Manilla said the chamber identified continued Jaguars advocacy as vital to the community.

“Committee leadership then met with Jaguars management and identified a strategy to introduce new Jaguars leaders to the business community,” he said.

“The goal is to communicate the Jaguars’ new initiatives and the new owner’s major investments in facility upgrades, fan experiences, coaches and players. It was not about selling tickets to next week’s game,” Manilla said.

The strategy became the “Meet the Jaguars” program and Manilla said he coordinated, launched and modeled the first two events in August at EverBank Field.

At last Thursday’s event, Johnson summarized some of the fan-oriented improvements at the stadium, including an upgraded sound system, price cuts for children, permission for fans to bring in their own food and “The Prowl,” where players enter the field on game day through the fans.

“We’ve gone from a transactional business to a relationship business,” Johnson said.

Johnson also talked about the past. Before, the attitude was fans had an obligation to buy tickets, he said.

He said now, the team knows it has to earn that business.

Johnson offers to visit businesses and groups to talk about the Jaguars and how to work together.

He said his goal is make connections, tell the story and determine “how we can help each other out.”

Mike Hartley, president of The Hartley Press, is co-chair of the chamber sports and entertainment committee. He was enthusiastic about the Jaguars and business forging more relations.

“This is a different attitude,” he said.

Johnson invites people to contact him. If interested, he can be reached at 633-4664 or johnsonc@nfl.jaguars.com

New CEO at Paul Davis Restoration

Tim Robinson was named CEO at Paul Davis Restoration Inc., which provides cleanup services for water, fire and mold damage and restoration services for residential and commercial properties.

Robinson will be responsible for managing the Jacksonville-based company’s interests, including growing its franchise locations throughout the country and expanding existing territories, primarily through the recently launched Paul Davis Emergency Services franchise brand.

Paul Davis Restoration is an operating unit of FirstService Brands, a subsidiary of FirstService Corp., the company said.

Robinson has served as the company’s president, CFO, vice president of finance, treasurer and controller since 1993.

He replaces Scott Baker, who retired as part of the company’s executive transition plan.

Reflections sold

Suburban Owner LLC sold The Reflections property at 7775 Baymeadows Road on Friday to Reflections Building Owner LLC for $8.5 million.

Reflections Building Owner is based in Lake Worth. Suburban Owner LLC includes former Eola Capital principals as equity members in a joint venture partnership.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

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