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JAX Chamber returns to Nashville for Leadership Trip

by Karen Brune Mathis

The JAX Chamber returns to Nashville Sept. 30-Oct. 2 for its 34th annual Leadership Trip, 13 years after the series of trips last visited the Music City.

It's also the ninth time the chamber has returned to a city previously visited.

"Nashville was a very nice place in 2001, but it's really a great city now," said chamber Chair-elect John Delaney, president of the University of North Florida, in a news release.

"The progress they've made there is remarkable, and we can learn from the investment and commitment Nashville officials made to get where they are today," he said.

Delaney was mayor of Jacksonville during the 2001 Nashville trip, soon after voters approved the Better Jacksonville Plan. Voters approved the Better Jacksonville Plan on Sept. 5, 2000. It is a $2.25 billion plan funded through a half-penny sales tax to provide road and infrastructure improvements, environmental preservation, targeted economic development, and new and improved public facilities, including the Main Library.

The chamber said the design and idea to incorporate meeting and event space to make the Main Library a Downtown gathering space was one example of a project inspired by the Nashville trip.

The chamber said this year's trip will focus on:

• Revitalizing Downtown as a destination to live, work and play

• Enhancing the education system through policy and advocacy

• Expanding the city's startup and entrepreneurial culture and making sure businesses have the support and talented workforce needed to thrive

• Attracting, expanding and marketing sports and entertainment events

• Examining how best to brand Jacksonville, what the city is and what it wants to become

Nashville is the capital of Tennessee and its 13-county metropolitan area is the largest in the state. It's located on the Cumberland River and is a center for music, health care, publishing, banking and transportation. It has a consolidated city-county government similar to Jacksonville's.

The chamber said previous Leadership Trips inspired development or redevelopment of Jacksonville projects, including the Florida Theatre (Minneapolis, 1980), the Southbank Riverwalk (San Antonio, 1981) and the Prime Osborn Convention Center (Pittsburgh, 1982).

The cost for the 2014 trip is not available yet.

For more information about the trip follow it on Twitter #JAXinNash, at myjaxchamber.com or contact Kelly Pourciau at (904) 366-6646 or Kelly.Pourciau@myjaxchamber.com.

David Shields named president of Copytronics

David Shields has been named president of Jacksonville-based Copytronics following the death in February of his father, Robert "Bob" Shields, 59, who was president for 14 years.

David Shields has been managing director of corporate development for Jacksonville-based BCR Environmental Corp. the past two years. Before that, he was an investment banker with Wells Fargo Securities, UBS Securities and Morgan Keegan and Co., where he provided strategic financial advice and transaction execution expertise to companies.

Shields is a graduate of The Bolles School and holds an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Mississippi.

Copytronics was founded more than 40 years ago by Paul Shields, David's grandfather. Copytronics says it is Florida's largest independent office-technology provider offering copiers, printers, multifunction systems and managed print services to more than 10,000 customers. The company has six offices throughout North and Central Florida.

In a 2012 interview with the Daily Record, Bob Shields said he joined Copytronics after graduating with a business degree from the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse, four years after his father started the company in 1972.

He had worked at the business during the summers during college selling supplies and after graduation worked his way up from sales representative to sales manager to general sales manager and then president in 1998.

The company's headquarters and warehouse are in Southside at 2461 Rolac Road. The product showroom is nearby at 3728 Philips Highway, near Emerson Street.

The family was living in Chicago when Paul Shields decided to establish the business in Jacksonville because of the buzz over the Offshore Power Systems plans to build floating nuclear power plants at Blount Island. OPS didn't survive, but Copytronics has been operating for 42 years.

Gantt to headline NAIOP/AIA event

Former two-term Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt is scheduled to speak about "Creating a Great Downtown" at a joint NAIOP and AIA event April 15.

Gantt will talk about the "key ingredients for development and implementation of strategic economic programs, designed to re-energize/revitalize a successful downtown – stressing the important role of 'citizen architects' interacting with the community and business leaders," according to the event notice.

The event begins with registration at 11:30 a.m., followed by the program and lunch at noon at the Omni Jacksonville Hotel Downtown.

Cost is $30 for members of the NAIOP North Florida Chapter and AIA Jacksonville and $50 for non-members and guests. Corporate tables of eight are $500.

For information, email naiopnefl@comcast.net or call (904) 730-8075.

NAIOP is the commercial real estate development association and AIA Jacksonville is a chapter of The American Institute of Architects.

Downtown Basilica renovations OK'd

The city approved basement renovations at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception at 121 E. Duval St. Downtown.

Auld & White Constructors LLC will remodel 9,332 square feet of the basement area at a project cost of $349,900.

As the Daily Record reported Feb. 18, plans show renovations of the social hall, bookstore, resource area, warming kitchen, chapel and meeting rooms.

The parish was founded in 1854. Immaculate Conception Catholic Church was designated a minor basilica last year by the Vatican.

2 RaceTracs on the way

Two more RaceTrac stores were approved for construction, and both appear to be the company's new prototype.

The city OK'd development of RaceTracs at 6913 103rd St. and 8108 Blanding Blvd. Auld & White Constructors LLC is the contractor for stores at project cost of $1.25 million each,

The 5,928-square-foot service-station buildings also feature a canopy and fuel pumps.

As the Daily Record reported in January, the RaceTrac opening at Beach and Forest boulevards is the first of its 6,000-square-foot prototypes in the area that will feature not only gas pumps and typical convenience fare, but also outdoor seating, Wi-Fi, an extended coffee bar, the "Swirl World" frozen yogurt area, hot meals and soon, made-to-order food, and more amenities. Also, four of six smaller RaceTrac stores in the area will be remodeled to include some of those features.

Speaking of RaceTrac, Fifth Third Bank and RaceTrac Petroleum recently completed the installation of 228 ATMs – 74 in Georgia and 154 in Florida – in RaceTrac convenience stores in the two states.

According to a news release, there are 12 RaceTrac locations in the Jacksonville area where the ATMs will provide current and future Fifth Third Bank and RaceTrac guests with an extended network of accessibility.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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