JAXUSA Partnership forum on Friday
The next Regional Economic Development Forum of the JAXUSA Partnership will be 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Friday at the University of North Florida Herbert University Center. The forum will present a report featuring initiatives making it easier to grow and develop in Florida, featuring speakers Jesse Panuccio, state Department of Economic Opportunity director, and Herschel Vinyard, state Department of Environmental Protection secretary. It will include an overview of the 2014 JAXUSA regional public policy agenda and a panel on the upcoming legislative session. That discussion will be moderated by John Delaney, incoming chair and UNF president.
UNF wins state engagement award
The University of North Florida was awarded the 2013 Engaged Campus of the Year award by Campus Compact. The award recognizes one Florida college or university that has advanced the public purposes of higher education, improved community life and educated students for civic and social responsibilities. The award is UNF's third national or regional award in the past three years for efforts to enhance student community engagement through service, learning and research.
New program aims to end poverty one family at a time
Daniel Davis, president and CEO of the JAX Chamber, helped present the findings of a pilot study Tuesday for the "1,000 in 1,000" initiative to move 1,000 people in Jacksonville out of poverty every 1,000 days. "We, as a community, have to represent those who are less fortunate," Davis said. Led by Family Foundations with the financial support of the Jessie Ball duPont fund and the City of Jacksonville, 100 families were involved in the study. Dawn Lockhart, president and CEO of Family Foundations, said the participants in the pilot program were counseled on how to make the most of their financial, social and human assets and the elements of financial management and budgeting. She said local community service organizations are being asked to recruit candidates to participate in the initiative. To qualify to participate in the program, a high school diploma or GED and a job or bank account for at least six months are required. "We don't anticipate a shortage of families," Lockhart said.
Jacksonville Transportation Authority re-launches OTTO
With the Mathews Bridge back open, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority on Monday reintroduced its On-Time Transit Operations, also known as OTTO, campaign designed to improve on-time performance and enhance customer service. The campaign will focus on six of the more heavily traveled routes that represent 50 percent of the authority's daily riders. Enhancements will include improving schedules for each of the routes, and adding a bus, extending peak hours and increasing the frequency of service of some of those routes. It was scheduled to start Oct. 7, but was delayed when the Mathews Bridge was hit by a cargo ship. "Our customers make 42,000 trips a day on JTA buses. They depend on us to get to work, school and medical appointments — so it's important to be on time," said Nathaniel Ford, JTA CEO. "Through the OTTO campaign, we will analyze each route — starting with those most impacted by delays and develop solutions for our customers." In addition, the authority will soon test a NextBus system to allow riders to use the Internet, a phone app or make a phone call, to find out when the next bus is due at their stop.
Downtown review board set for December
The Downtown Development Review Board will have its next meeting at 2 p.m. Dec. 19 in the training room of the first floor of the Ed Ball Building. The public is invited to attend. For questions or more information, call Jim Klement at (904) 630-2689.
Insurance, financial services group names leadership
The Women in Insurance and Financial Services group announced Cheryl Canzanella as chairwoman of the board, and Tara Showalter as president. The professional organization for women in financial services is dedicated to helping members develop their talents for advancement in the industry. The local chapter was started three years ago. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scott gives Shine awards to three area educators, former military
Gov. Rick Scott recognized three area educators and former military personnel Tuesday with Governor's Shine Awards for their service to the country and students. Kenneth McAllister, U.S. Air Force and Clay High School; David Silverman, U.S. Marine Corps and Center for Adult & Community Education; and Jacqueline Williams, U.S. Navy and A. Philip Randolph Academies of Technology, received the honor.
Four from Northeast Florida named to area Family Care Council
Gov. Rick Scott on Monday appointed seven people and reappointed four to Family Care Councils across the state, with four coming from the area. They are: Alphonso "Al" Carter, a retired mathematics instructor, for a term that ends July 2, 2015; Laura Edmunds, a job developer with Duval County Public Schools, appointed for a term that ends April 5, 2015; Mary Smith, owner of PCA Plus Inc., reappointed for a term that ends Aug. 6, 2016; and Melinda Morrison, a nurse care coordinator with Children's Medical Services, for a term that ends Aug. 20. Each term began Monday. The mission of the state's councils is to advocate, educate and empower individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The Northeast Region, Area 4, comprises Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties.
Sulzbacher Center fundraiser honors namesake
The Sulzbacher Center is launching a new fundraiser to honor the person who helped found the organization more than 18 years ago. The center received its name from civic leader I.M. Sulzbacher, who spearheaded the Downtown campus for homeless individuals. For years the center's kitchen has made the founder's favorite cookie, a white chocolate macadamia nut, and the organization will sell them to raise holiday funds. The baked goods come in two forms: a cookie box for $20 and a holiday tin for $30, and the center's Career and Education Program will supervise production. The cookies can be purchased through the center's website, sulzbacher.org.