February 12, 2019
Recap: GRU GM Ed Bielarski discusses path to future success

The Chamber was delighted to host Ed Bielarski as our first Distinguished Speaker of 2019 on Monday, February 11. Ed gave the packed house insight into our utility’s history, and how community decisions from the past, while well-meaning, have resulted in its current challenges.

GRU’s mission is to provide safe, reliable and competitively priced service in an environmentally safe manner, in accordance to our community values. Utility customers need to be able to flip their switches and have power and turn on their faucets and have water at the appropriate pressure, and most are not concerned with what happens behind the scenes to make that happen all day, every day. From 2006 to 2013, GRU lost 25 percent of its energy load—its revenue source—mainly due to the recession and a series of conservation products, such as the solar-feed-in tariff and energy saving rebates. The Power Purchase Agreement for the biomass plant was an additional misstep. Ed discussed how these past decisions have resulted in   current challenges, which he asserts are in fact shared challenges if the community wants to ensure GRU’s future success. “The utility has been more idealistic than business pragmatic in the past,” Ed said, and the mission forward is to make the tough business decisions necessary to reduce the utility’s debt while continuing to provide competitively priced, safe and reliable service.

A Q&A from the attentive audience followed Ed’s presentation, with questions about the University of Florida’s utility agreements, competitive wage levels, electric vehicles, investments in new technology and energy deregulation.

The Greater Gainesville Chamber’s Distinguished Speaker Luncheons bring prominent leaders to engage with Chamber members in a small, informal setting. These distinguished leaders–which have included policymakers and leaders at the local, state and national level—provide Chamber members perspectives on a wide range of topics of interest to our community. 

Visit Events at  www.gainesvillechamber.com to see all of our upcoming events and to register for Distinguished Speaker lunches.
Event sponsored by
Join us for Business Before Hours This Morning!
TODAY, February 12, 8:30 - 10am
Ronald McDonald House Charities
1600 SW 14th Street, Gainesville

Join us for Business Before Hours Tuesday, February 12 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at  Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida.   Admission is free with your Chamber membership, registration is required.
Business Before Hours is a structured yet relaxed environment for making effective connections within the Chamber business community.
You may find a strong referral source, a new vendor, the perfect client or simply get a foot in the door for connecting at larger events. Come build lasting business and personal relationships at Business Before Hours. We hope to see you there!

Click Here for more information and to register.
Join Us As We Celebrate Luke Avizini’s new Edward Jones office in Greater Gainesville with a Ribbon Cutting Celebration!
Tuesday, February 19, 4:30 - 6pm
Edward Jones Investments
3302 W University Ave, Gainesville

Edward Jones is a financial firm that has been serving the country since 1922. Currently, they serve nearly 7 million individuals across more offices in America than any other investment firm. By working closely with their clients and understanding what's important to them, Edward Jones works through an established process in order to help clients reach their goals. Luke Avizinis and his office look forward to serving many more in the Greater Gainesville region!

There will be food, giveaways, speeches and more!

The Ribbon cutting ceremony will commence at 4:50pm.

Click Here for more information.
Business After Hours at Comprehensive Women's Health
Thursday, February 21, 5:30 - 7pm
Comprehensive Women's Health
724 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville

Join us next Thursday at 5:30PM at Comprehensive Women’s Health to celebrate the opening of their brand new health campus with a Business After Hours.

Expand your business network and unwind after work by connecting with other busy professionals in a relaxed environment. Business After Hours are held at Gainesville Area Chamber member business locations and feature networking, refreshments, giveaways and the opportunity to discover unique local businesses.  Attendees build valuable new contacts and make new friends, so be sure to bring plenty of business cards and come ready to have fun!

The Chamber’s staff and its enthusiastic Diplomats are available to make introductions to business decision-makers. 

Admission is Free for Greater Gainesville Chamber Members and their employees.

Admission for Non-Members is $20.00

We hope to see you there!

Click Here for more information.
Clay Connect – Tech Con 2019
Tuesday, February 19, 8am - 3pm
Thrasher-Horne Center
283 College Dr, Orange Park

The Clay County Chamber of Commerce is offering complimentary tickets to members of the Greater Gainesville Chamber to attend their February 19 th    Clay Connect - Tech Con 2019 .

The event, scheduled for Tuesday, February 19, from 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Thrasher-Horne Center, Orange Park, will be the inaugural conference for the yearly affair.

Designed to add focus and enthusiasm to the technology conversation in the region, Clay Connect - Tech Con will host lead presenter and Title sponsor,  Oracle NetSuite ; the Oracle brand designed for small to medium businesses. Oracle NetSuite is a global leader that provides software services in support of business finances, operations, and customer relations.  Stemming from the significant medical footprint in the county, Tech Con 2019 will also focus on Bio-technology as it showcases a series of high-powered Tech Talks during the afternoon sessions.   
Highlights of the day will include presentations by  Myers-Holum, Inc ., a leaderin high-performance data integration solutions. Lastly,  RF-SMART , will close the morning with a presentation on RFID and Warehouse Intelligence technologies.  Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) CEO, Nathaniel Ford, will speak at the conference and will showcase the transportation agency’s newest autonomous bus. Attending guest will be able to explore and hear all about the vehicle of the future.  Free boutique sessions for non-profits and service delivery small businesses will be sponsored by Oracle NetSuite throughout the day.   
The afternoon line-up will wow not only technology enthusiast, but also the medical community with its impressive speakers.  Leading the pack will be  Dr. Joy Wolfram Ph.D ., Mayo Clinic, Lead Researcher on nanomedicine for the treatment of diseases.   Dr. Jeffrey Tate , Director, COO and Chief Scientific Officer atCTD-Holdings will speak on behalf of  Bio-Florida , a statewide association that showcases and connects emerging and established life science companies, universities, investors and service providers to name a few. Last, but certainly not least, Jacksonville based  NLP Logix , a leader in advanced analytics and machine learning data services will talk on Artificial Intelligence in the medical community.
To receive your complimentary ticket, go to  https://clayconnecttechcon.eventbrite.com and enter code: GainesvilleTech2019
US Census Bureau Recruitment event
Wednesday and Thursday, Feb 13 - 14, 10am - 1pm
CareerSource NCFL Starke Career Center
819 S Walnut Street, Starke

To apply:
  1. Go to www.employflorida.com
  2. Log in and register as new job seeker
  3. Search for job order # and complete referral process and company online application
  4. Attend event at CareerSource NCFL in Starke.
Save the Date: Stay in the Swamp Career Fair
Friday, April 12, 10am - 1pm
Hough Hall, UF

Are you looking for an undergraduate or graduate University of Florida student who is interested in staying in the Swamp? Local organizations are invited to come and recruit UF students across all majors at the Stay in the Swamp career fair. This annual event connects local employers and students in an effort to keep talent in the region. Students not only want to learn about your company's open positions, but also why your company and employees thrive in Greater Gainesville.

Companies are invited to market its openings and culture at optional information sessions the evening before the career fair. For more information, contact  Craig Petrus  or  Stephanie Fajre .
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 towww.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”
Wal-Staf Top Candidates List

This is only a sample of some of the outstanding employees Wal-Staf Personnel Services has recently brought on board, screened and ready to go to work at your location!

#60050D Administrative Assistant in Lake City with experience in management, budgeting, accounting, marketing and sales. She has excellent computer skills and types 47 WPM with a 10 key score of 12,240 KPH.
#70620S Administrative Assistant in Gainesville with background including Office Manager, Customer Service Representative, billing and coding, experienced with Excel, Power Point and QuickBooks.
#220C     Recent Retiree wanting part time hours in Gainesville very experienced with customer service, accounts payables, accounts receivables and all office duties.
#70652D Energetic eager employee ready to work in Lake City with experience in shop maintenance, lawn care and cleaning.
#70666S Administrative Assistant in Gainesville who worked for HOA Community Management Company, added incident reports, handled complaints and resolutions, has also worked with special needs children as a Therapy Assistant, proficient with Excel, Outlook, Quick Books and Word. 
#55707D Administrative Assistant available in Lake City with experience in customer service, accounts payables, accounts receivables and inventory.
#56588D Hard working employee in Lake City with experience as cashier, cook and assistant food service manager. Fast learner eager to work!
#44284S Office Manager/Certified Monitor Technician in Gainesville experienced monitoring heart and seizure patients, managing vaccine clinics across Florida and working in admissions.
#70658C Legal Clerk/Typist new to Gainesville computer literate and types 74 WPM.
#70656S Insurance & Mortgage Claims Representative in Gainesville experienced with handling owner claims, issuing funds to customers, dealing with customer repair issues, customer service, A/P & A/R, collections, payroll, Excel, Power Point, Windows & Word.
#58201D Administrative Assistant in Lake City, good computer, clerical , customer service and communication skills, strong attention to detail, data entry, and organization abilities.
#70665C Operations Associate in Gainesville responsible for staffing, scheduling, collections, and reconciliations, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a minor in Finance.
#70657D Detail Oriented Strong Communicator in Lake City with experience as Marketing Director, Service Coordinator, and Estimator, has worked in planning, production, logistics and emergency response.
“What’s it cost you and your company not to have the people you need?” Send an email to  bob@wal-staf.com  and we’ll send you a free copy of “How to Attract and Retain the People you need.”
Join us March 4 for our Distinguished Speaker Luncheon featuring Congressman Ted Yoho
Monday, March 4, 11:30 - 1:15pm
Greater Gainesville Chamber
300 E University Ave, Suite 100, Gainesville

We are delighted to welcome to the Chamber Congressman Ted Yoho as our Distinguished Speaker on Monday, March 4 th , from 11:30 am to 1:15 pm. Congressman Yoho will provide a legislative update and a Q&A will follow his remarks. This member-exclusive event includes a buffet lunch. These popular luncheons fill up quickly, register today!

About Congressman Ted Yoho

Congressman Ted S. Yoho represents North Central Florida's 3rd Congressional district. He was elected to the 113th Congress in November 2012 and is serving his fourth term in the people's house. In the 115th Congress, Ted became the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific and serves on the Committee on Agriculture and the Republican Study Committee.

Prior to serving in congress, Ted was a small business owner who operated several large animal veterinary practices for 30 years. During his successful career, he stablished a reputation of accountability and service.

When he is not in Washington representing his constituents and serving the country he loves, he is home spending time with his wife, Carolyn, their three kids, Katie, Lauren and Tyler, and cheering on the Gators and, when time permits, fishing. 

Sponsored by:
Maple Street Biscuit Company Tioga to Host Coffee with a Cop Event
Tuesday, February 12, 7 - 9am
Maple Street Biscuit Company - Tioga
140 SW 128th St building 5 Suite D, Newberry

Maple Street Biscuit Company in Tioga Town Center will be offering you a chance to ask a cop any burning questions that you might have, in person. They will be hosting “Coffee with a Cop” along with the Gainesville Police Department on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 from 7:00 am - 9:00 am. Stop by for FREE cup of coffee and spend time with our local law-enforcement as they address any and all outstanding issues facing our community. You can also enjoy a $5 Five sandwich (Maple Street's most popular biscuit sandwich, regularly $9.)

"There are a lot of hot topics facing our community that involved are law enforcement that our community would love to get answers to," states Edwina Hurst - Community Leader for Maple Street Biscuit Company.

"We believe that a direct dialogue and conversation with GPD will help people gain understanding that will help our community and relationship with law enforcement to be nurtured for growth," she continues. Maple Street Biscuit Company's mission is to "help people, serve others and be a part of the community" which is unique for the restaurant industry.
Casino Night with GHDMC to benefit Special Needs Housing
February 28, 5:45pm
Warehouse Restaurant
502 S Main Street, Gainesville

February 28, the Gainesville Housing Development Management Corporation is hosting a Casino Night at the Warehouse Restaurant and Lounge in Downtown Gainesville.

Join the fun with dancing, hors d'oeuvres, cash bar and much more! All proceeds will benefit special needs housing for Gainesville citizens.

Games included in this casino experien ce are Black Jack, roulette, dice tables, Texas Hold ’em, three-card poker, and other games.

Tickets are $60 before February 14 and $75 afterward. This year's goal is $25,000.
New Members

African American Entrepreneurs Association

Elder Options

McDavid, Jones & Company, CPAs

Super Optical Express
Renewing Members

Aramark Uniform Services

C Bar Ranch and Organics

Campbell Spellicy Engineering (CSEI)

Crane & Hyatt Insurance

Donnelly & Gross, P.A.

Edible Arrangements #846

Hampton Inn & Suites (Downtown)

Hilton University of Florida Conference Center Gainesville

K9s for Warriors

Matchmaker Realty

Newmans Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

Signarama GNV

SiVance LLC

Skobel Homes

Special Olympics Florida - Alachua County

St. Francis House, Inc.

Student Maid, Inc.
Dance Alive National Ballet commemorates the 150 th Anniversary of Gainesville’s incorporation with  Land of La Chua…Our Town Through The Ages.
Thursday, March 1, 7:30pm
Curtis M. Phillips Center for Performing Arts
3201 Hull Rd, Gainesville

In the planning stages for over a year, DANB choreographers  Kim Tuttle and Judy Skinner have brought together the talents of their exceptional company of dancers and the resources of an extraordinary community to create a walk through time with a focus on the people, nature and culture of this amazing community.

Artist Margaret Tolbert and  composer Stella Sung explores the beauty and magic of our springs while  poet Lola Haskins , along with images from the  Matheson History Museum take us to another time and place in and around Payne's Prairie.  Interwoven are the stories, poems and songs of  Florida's 'Black Hat Troubadour' Will McLean . Special guests include  UF's Schoolof Music Dr. Anthony Offerle backed by images of early UF leading the alma mater,  Dr. Elizabeth Graham singing 'Amazing Grace' while we are transfixed by a list of over 1,500 Gainesville veterans who fought in campaigns from the Spanish American War through Vietnam.  Weaver Gaines will speak of his ancestor  General Edmund P. Gaines who fought in the War of 1812, the Seminole Wars and the Mexican-American War.   Videography by Houston Wells and images by  David Johnston provide the visual background for this amazing project.

Will the work touch on every element important to the growth of the community?  No.  The choreographers have chosen to follow their interests and passions in our history – while insuring that the talents of collaborators and friends are made a meaningful part of the project.   The work itself will last approximately an hour and will be followed by a number of activities that audience members can participate in … or not!

  • A talk-back with artists and contributors will follow the performance.
  • Displays, memorabilia, music, film, a time-line provided by the Matheson History Museum as well as experts in a variety of subjects key to our history will be made available for audience members in both Fackler Foyers at the Phillips Center. 
  • In the upper lobby … a huge birthday cake while we toast our anniversary!
Oak Hall School accepting applications for sixth grade students
Deadline: Thursday, March 15
Oak Hall School
1700 SW 75th Street, Gainesville

Oak Hall School is offering an honor scholarship to an incoming 6th grade student. Please apply by visiting www.oakhall.org/admissions/scholarship.

Contact to schedule a tour by reaching out to Director of Enrollment Management Nancy Coleman at ncoleman@oakhall.org or by phone at 352-332-3609 x 112.

In last Tuesday's eJournal, we incorrectly listed Dr. Claudio Spiguel's name as a speaker in the 2019 Annual Meeting. Dr. Spiguel is a member of the Engineering Leadership Institute and an instructor of Engineering Professionalism and Ethics in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering at the University of Florida.

Dr. Spiguel presented the Rotary Ethics in Business Award to Davis Rembert in our 95th Annual Meeting on January 31.