A 5-Star Accredited Chamber of Commerce
December 17, 2019
This will be our last eJournal of 2019, as the Chamber will be closed from Monday, December 23 through Friday, December 27. We wish all of you a joyful holiday season.
In Memoriam: Abijah Bertrand

At the Greater Gainesville Chamber, we celebrate the best of our community and those who pave a better future for our region.

Few have embodied the spirit of Greater Gainesville as well as Abijah Bertrand, the 2019 recipient of the Spirit of Greater Gainesville Award. Unfortunately, Abijah passed away last week after a tragic accident.

In his years, he accomplished many things:

  • He was the founder and executive director of Life Transition Skills - a talented team of individuals dedicated to create programs that provide meaningful and purposeful services and activities for semi-independent adults with disabilities.
  • He was a double Gator, having earned his Masters and Bachelors of Education with a focus in Special Education, and later attended St. Leo University to earn a Masters in Educational Leadership. He also spent 13 years teaching in the Alachua County Public Schools.
  • He was an active member at Bethel Seventh Day Adventist Church, where he played multiple instruments for the worship team. He was named Teacher of the Year as a special education teacher for Alachua County Public Schools and mentored youth through athletics at the YMCA.

Most importantly, Abijah was a devoted husband to his wife, Staci, for 15 years, as well as a father of four sons - Alijah, Ethan, Aaron and Evan.

Many of you have inquired about how to help the Bertrand family through this time. We have included two ways to help below, followed by details of the funeral arrangements.

  • Take them a Meal - Staci's friends and church family have created an online sign-up page where you can select the date you would like to provide the meal, and choose whether you want to prepare it or have it delivered.
  • GoFundMe - Abijah's untimely passing leaves a void in the hearts of those who knew and loved him. His death also impacts the family financially. Friends have created this page to help the Bertrand family with expenses.

Funeral services will be held on Sunday, December 22 at:

Mt. Carmel Baptist Church
2505 NE 8th Ave.,
Gainesville, FL, 32641.

The viewing will be held at 2 p.m., followed by a celebration of Abijah's life at 3 p.m. A repast will be immediately following the celebration service. In honor of Abijah, please feel free to wear shades of blue. Interment Monday morning, Dec. 23, 2019.
Join Us for a Ribbon Cutting Celebration this Wednesday at Walker Architects
Wednesday, December 18, 5-7pm
Walker Architects
2035 N.W. 13th Street, Gainesville

Join us in celebrating the new office of Walker Architects! Walker Architects has been a strong part of our Greater Gainesville region for the past 10 years and we are excited to celebrate their new space with them. Walker Architects designs buildings not for themselves or awards but for people and places with complex needs. They run their team with integrity, quality, empathy, passion, collaboration, wonder and agility always at the top of mind. 

Join us from 5-7 PM for drinks, hors d'oeuvres, music, virtual reality walk throughs, a photo booth and more! 
The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will commence at 5:30pm. 


 Thank you to our 2019 Circle of Champion Sponsors

Our Circle of Champions sponsors are not only leaders in the Chamber, but they represent the leaders of our business community. By being part of the Circle of Champions, your business will announce its support of the growth of the business community and represent yourself at the top of your industry.

Become a 2020 Circle of Champions sponsor today. For information on becoming a 2020 Circle of Champion Sponsor, contact Steve Cannon, VP Member Development, at  stevec@gainesvillechamber.com .
2020 Sponsorships & Advertising Options Available! Announce Your Support for the Gainesville Business Community

Sponsorship and partnership opportunities with the Greater Gainesville Chamber are some of the best ways for your business to gain exposure in the Gainesville region. By aligning your business with a 5-star chamber of commerce with sponsorship or advertising, you help immediately grow your company’s prestige, reputation, exposure and bottom line.

The Chamber is proud to present the 2020 Circle of Champions, where business leaders receive premier marketing and advertising support to help grow their market share and support key initiatives at the Chamber. Through the Circle of Champions, businesses gain exceptional exposure throughout the year with a variety of benefits and price points to fit any budget.

Fantastic 2020 marketing and exposure opportunities, contact Steve Cannon, VP Member Development, at  SteveC@gainesvillechamber.com or call 352.334-7127.
Thank you to our 2019 Media Partners
 CareerSource North Central Florida
Recruitment events for Gate Petroleum
Wednesday, December 18 , 10am - 1pm
Gainesville Career Center
10 NW 6th Street, Gainesville

The CareerSource NCFL Gainesville career center will host recruitment events for Gate Petroleum on Wednesday, December 11 and Wednesday, December 18 from 10AM - 1PM.

Positions are being recruited for:

Sales Associate (Job #11078451)
Manager in Training (Job #11080966)
Food Service Coordinator (Job #11078056)
Assistant Manager in Training (Job #11078401)

To Apply:

  1. Go to www.employflorida.com
  2. Log in or register as a new job seeker.
  3. Search for the desired job number and complete the online application.
  4. Attend the event at CareerSource NCFL in Gainesville

Recruitment Event at CareerSource NCFL Gainesville Career Center
10 NW 6th Street, Gainesville FL 32601

Need help registering or preparing for the event?
Contact us at 352.955.2245 before the event and we can help.
 National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program
Application deadline: February 15, 2020

The National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program (VEP) provides a rigorous entrepreneurial learning and development opportunity for veterans with service-connected disabilities and those who have uniquely distinguished themselves in the military. VEP is designed for veterans interested in starting a new venture as a means to financial independence and for veterans who have an existing business for which they would like to increase profits.
Hot Jobs through CareerSource NCFL

Each week, CareerSource North Central Florida staff members identify current Hot Jobs that employers are eager to fill.

If you’d like a vacant position to be included on this list, please call (352) 244-5112.   ...See this week's Hot Jobs
To apply for jobs listed:
  1. log on to www.employflorida.com
  2. Click on “Job Search” under “Quick Menu” on the left side of the page
  3. Select “Job Number Search” from the menu across the top of the page
  4. Enter the job number from the list above in the “job number” box
  5. Click on “search”
A Message from UF Health Douglas Williams Executive Health Program
Destiny Knopf, Executive Health Nurse

The UF Health Douglas Williams Executive Health Program would like to thank all those who attended the Distinguished Speaker Luncheons throughout the year. We are happy to announce that we will be continuing our sponsorship for the year 2020 and we look forward to seeing you next year!

For Christmas, Hanukkah, or any time of the year, your health is the best gift you can give yourself and the others around you. Our Executive Health Program is focused on ONE day entirely devoted to the rest of your life.

Visit www.exechealth.ufl.edu for more information.
2020 Rosewood Day
January 1, 2020
14738 SW 159th Avenue, Archer

Congressman Ted Yoho and Representative Clovis Watson Jr have been invited to present the Rosewood Proclamations they wrote for this occasion, proclaiming January 1, 2020 Rosewood Day.

Food will be served. All are invited to attend.

A Rosewood Candlelight ceremony will take place and balloons will be dispensed in remembrance of the five Rosewood residents murdered. However, we are asking participants to bring their own candle. Those memorialized will include:

Lexie Gordon
Sarah Carrier
James Carrier
Same Carter
Mingo Williams

The Real Rosewood Foundation was created in 2003 to develop a timeline, expand the search, find lost survivors, locate descendants (black and white), and invite cultural participation to preserve an important history. Their mission is to create a legacy for humanity using the journey of Rosewood. Their vision is to facilitate programs that raise awareness about diverse citizenship, encourage appreciation, and develop future leaders.
Adding Experiences to Your Event
A'vie Events

A great way to mix up the redundancy of an event is by adding experiences to your event! Experiences can be pretty much anything that makes your guests have a great time. Here are 5 ideas for some fun experiences to add to any event to make them an event to remember!

Live Painting
A live painter can add a lovely touch of elegance to any event. Live painters come to an event and paint whatever your heart desires. From lovely abstracts to actual pictures of the party, this is a unique addition to any event!

Adult Snow Cones with Alcohol
This is a great adult twist on a fun childhood classic! Make any flavor snow cone you’d like. Then, add a dash of vodka to make it a fun, boozy treat. You can hire a snow cone vendor to come out and serve your guests. They’ll leave out the alcohol for any younger guests, making this a treat for adults and children!

Want a different twist on this? There are companies that will rent slushie machines! Alcoholic slushies, anyone? Sounds like a fun time to us!

DIY Cocktail Bar
A DIY cocktail bar is a blast. Layout some fun and essential cocktail ingredients and have your guests make their own cocktails! Don’t forget the garnishes and glassware, and extra shakers are a must! We recommend pour spouts for portion control, too. Let all of your guests get creative, or see who among your guests emerges as the secret bartender among the rest.

Reenactments from the movie “Cocktail” should probably be reserved for professionals only!

Wine Tasting Station
Who doesn’t love a good wine tasting? Next time, instead of going out to a wine tasting event, switch it up! A wine tasting station adds a touch of class and fun to an event. Wine is not only delicious but also a great way to bring people together to have some fun.

Minute to Win It Games
Minute-to-Win-It games are a great way to incorporate icebreakers into any event. Every person will have fun trying to beat each other and the 60 seconds on the clock! From “Junk in the Trunk” to “Suck it Up,” there are so many options for kids and adults.

These are only 5 examples of ways you can kick up the fun at your next event by adding experiences to your event.
Annual National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day is Saturday, December 21

GAINESVILLE, FL (Dec. 16, 2019)  — Saturday, December 21 is National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day. The National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) has sponsored this day of remembrance since 1990. According to their website, the goal is to “bring attention to the tragedy of homelessness and to remember those who have died while living without a permanent home.”

From the 2019 study by the Florida Council on Homelessness, there were 28,591 people statewide living on the streets, in the woods or in emergency shelters at the time of their count, down by nearly 4 percent from 2018. In North Central Florida, the most recent annual Point-In-Time count in January found 804 homeless individuals. This year, five local homeless individuals passed away.

“This memorial day gives us an opportunity to remember those in our community who were not able to secure permanent housing.” said Mona Gil de Gibaja, UWNCFL president & CEO. “Raising awareness is just one aspect of our commitment to help permanently house homeless men, women, children and families in North Central Florida.

Since 2018, United Way of North Central Florida (UWNCFL) has been the lead agency for the North Central Florida Alliance for the Homeless and Hungry (Alliance), the local Continuum of Care (CoC). The Alliance is one of United Way’s partnership initiatives to help create additional lasting change in our community.

As lead agency we work with our partners to coordinate the annual Point-In-Time (PIT) count. The data collected during the PIT count is used to determine the number of literally homeless we have in our community and the needs they have. This information will also be incorporated into the 2020 Census counts and help us determine where we need additional resources to expand the permanent housing options in our community, explained Gil de Gibaja.

The next Point-In-Time count will take place in Alachua County on January 29, 2020. The Alliance is seeking donations for goodie bags for homeless individuals who complete the survey. For a complete list of requested donation items, please visit www.ncfalliance.org/pit-donate

If you are interested in volunteering for the annual Point-In-Time count, please contact Brenda Chamberlain at  bchamberlain@unitedwayncfl.org .