A 5-Star Accredited Chamber of Commerce
February 16, 2020
CHAMBER NEWS
Michelle Plitnikas Joins Membership Team  
Please join us in welcoming Michelle Plitnikas as your new Member Engagement Manager. Michelle is proud to call Gainesville her home of ten years. She grew up in the Fort Lauderdale area and relocated to Gainesville to study journalism at the University of Florida in 2011. Michelle has extensive experience in customer service and marketing, and she managed the remote rebrand of a South Florida chamber last year. She is excited to bring her exceptional interpersonal skills and her creative vision to members of the Greater Gainesville Chamber in order to help them reach their business goals within our community.

For questions about your membership benefits or simply to welcome Michelle to the Chamber team, you may reach her at michelle@gainesvillechamber.com.
UPCOMING EVENT
Jumpstart Your Membership
Tuesday, February 23, 9 - 10 a.m.
 
Join us for a virtual presentation on your chamber membership! 

Whether you are a new member or looking to get re-engaged, we are here to share some information & help you get more out of your chamber membership. We will also show how to navigate our online portal for your membership.

Learn more about your membership and meet other Greater Gainesville Chamber members. Thank you to BBVA for sponsoring the JumpStart Your Membership Event!
Sponsored by
SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITY
2021 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.

Click here to view the full overview of sponsorship and partnership opportunities available for 2021.

For 2021 marketing and exposure opportunities, contact Steve Cannon, VP Member Development, at SteveC@gainesvillechamber.com or call 352-334-7127.
UPCOMING EVENT
What is Fair Chance Employment? Learn How Second Chances Pay Off for Businesses and People
Wednesday, February 17, Noon - 1 p.m.

You may be aware of the benefits to the community when people with criminal records are able to get jobs. But you may not be aware of the ways that giving a returning citizen a second chance can pay off for your business. Join us to learn more about opportunities to access financial incentives and financial protection, and gain a dedicated team member when you hire a returning citizen. Wednesday, Feb. 17th, noon - 1 p.m. Free. Registration required.
REGISTRATION DEADLINE
DEADLINE TODAY: Register to Vote for Gainesville City Election
The deadline to register is Today, February 16
 
As you know, one key step to ensuring the business voice is heard is to become informed on the issues that matter to our community and to vote. The City of Gainesville Regular Election will be Tuesday, March 16 and the deadline to register to vote in this election is Tuesday, February 16.
 
City Commission seats for District 1 and At Large will be on the ballot. To register to vote in this election, visit the Supervisor of Elections website, www.votealachua.com.
 
We encourage our members to register and be informed. Watch for Candidate Interviews for this election—coming soon!
UPCOMING EVENT
GNV Commercial Advisory Team at Colliers Transacts 21.14 Acre Multifamily Site Novo Markets West

The GNV Commercial Advisory Team at Colliers successfully facilitated on behalf of the Seller (Tanglewood Properties of Gainesville, LLC) and the Buyer (Shelton McNally Real Estate Partners, LLC) the closing of 21.14 Acres located at the 7300 Block of SW 13th Road and Tower Road in Gainesville.

The sale closed on February 10th, 2021 and will become Novo Markets West, a Class A 300-unit market rate multifamily community. Various challenges were overcome during this process mainly navigating the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This location is in the heart of SW Gainesville and considered the gateway to local points of interest to the west such as Haile Plantation and Tioga Town Center, to the north such as North Florida Regional Medical Center, and to the east such as The University of Florida, Butler Plaza and Celebration Pointe. It is also located contiguous to the new Grand Oaks subdivision (309 single family homes) which is one of Gainesville’s hottest, yet affordable, single-family communities and is among the best school districts in the county. In addition, to the south is Markets West, a 16.5-acre mixed-use development, that is home to Sherwin Williams, O2B Kids, Tower Hill Insurance, and North Florida Family Physicians among others.
UPCOMING DEADLINE
Education Foundation scholarship deadline TODAY
Deadline to apply: TODAY, February 16

The Senior Scholarships program is open to high school seniors in the Alachua County Public Schools system. Students must complete one application to be considered for the more than 50 scholarships which they may be eligible.

Scholarships range from $1,000 to $60,000 for eligible seniors who meet the scholarships’ criteria, and last year, The Education Foundation awarded about $750,000 in scholarships including Senior and Take Stock in Children scholarships. 

The deadline to apply for Senior Scholarships is TODAY, February 16. For a full list of scholarships and to apply, visit https://edfoundationac.org/scholarships/#seniorscholarship.
UPCOMING DEADLINE
Apply now to Lockheed Martin scholarship programs
Deadlines to apply: March 11 and April 1

The Lockheed Martin STEM Scholarship Program is open to students pursuing bachelor's degrees in engineering, computer science or physics who demonstrate need and come from underrepresented or underserved communities. Up to 200 renewable scholarships of $10,000 each are offered for full-time study at a U.S. accredited four-year institution. The deadline to apply is April 1, 2021.

The Lockheed Martin Vocational Scholarship Program is open to students pursuing associate degrees, credit-bearing certificates or industry-recognized credentials in technology and advanced manufacturing disciplines. Up to 150 scholarships of $6,600 each are offered for study at a U.S. accredited vocational-technical school, trade school, two-year community college or state college. The deadline to apply is March 11, 2021.
UPCOMING EVENT
EHS drama students and professional musical theater composer team up for online show on COVID
Fri-Sat, February 19 & 20, 7 p.m.; Sun, February 21, 4 p.m.

Typically the Eastside High School Drama Department would be preparing for its next performance on the school’s stage and in front of a live audience. COVID, of course, has changed all that.

But as the arts world has adapted to the reality of the pandemic, so too have the EHS drama students and their teacher, Tammy Meyers. In fact, they’ve taken their COVID-related experiences and turned them into an original musical that will be airing later this month.

The show, ‘Ages Ago and Yesterday: A New Musical,’ will run February 19 and 20 at 7 p.m., and on February 21 at 4 p.m. Tickets run $15 PER DEVICE--a nod to the new way the show is being presented in the age of COVID. Tickets can be purchased online at: our.show/eastsideagesago

When it became obvious that a standard, in-person production was not going to be possible, Meyers asked her students to write monologues about the impact of COVID on their lives. She recruited her friend and New York City musical theater writer, composer and performer Jacob Fjeldheim to turn her students’ words into music. The students then headed to a local studio for professional recording and mixing. The result is a show featuring 24 students performing 12 monologues and six songs.
EDUCATION NEWS
Lincoln Middle School student wins Alachua County Spelling Bee

Lincoln Middle School 6th-grader Neha Gupte has won the 2021 Alachua District Spelling Bee by correctly spelling the name of a legendary Scottish paradise that never changes—‘Brigadoon.’

“I didn’t know the story of Brigadoon, but I was able to sound it out,” said Gupte after the competition. “My mom also used that word during one of our practices, so I’d already heard it.”

Gupte was one of 28 fifth- through eighth-graders from public, charter, private and homeschool settings who competed Wednesday afternoon for the title of the district’s top speller. Because of COVID, the competition was held through Zoom with a very limited audience.
MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENT
Gainesville named Best City for Singles in Florida

Gainesville has been named the Best City for Singles in Florida by Insurify!
 
Florida’s Top City was chosen based on the population of singlesaffordability of cost of living, rent, and restaurant meals, and interest in dating apps over the past five years.
 
For full information about this award, the scoring system, and the full list of winning communities, please click here.
MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENT
GNV K9 Team Beamer and Jason Berger participate in national calendar to help protect law enforcement dogs

Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV)’s K9 Team, Jason Berger and Beamer, have been selected to participate in the 2021 Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. nationwide fundraising calendar, and are featured in the month of March. Beamer is also featured on the calendar’s cover.

Each year, twelve Law Enforcement K9s who are recipients of vests provided by the nonprofit organization are highlighted in the publication, along with a memorial page paying tribute to the four-legged heroes who have passed.

Beamer, a yellow Labrador Retriever, who celebrated her fourth birthday Feb. 9, received her bullet- and stab-protective vest in 2019 from the national nonprofit, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENT
The Community Foundation announces Business Fundraisers for The Amazing Give Workday Edition
 
How can your business help our community? The Amazing Give Workday Edition will on April 22, 2021 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The support of local businesses and their employees and stakeholders are a BIG part of The Amazing Give. Not only does their participation help ensure a successful day of fundraising for 100 area nonprofits, but your dedication to their important work will be recognized.
 
As a Business Fundraiser, you will inspire and empower your employees, customers, and/or vendors to give back to causes that are meaningful to them; learn about new ones; and spark a little friendly competition that will benefit our entire community. 

We are hosting a Business Fundraiser Information Session in on March 1 at 1 p.m. to share more about this opportunity and you will have the chance to hear from fellow business leaders. Check out theamazinggive.org and email office@cfncf.org to register for the information session.
MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENT
New Website Offers Local Deals & Coupons to Gainesville Residents

Gator Deal Finder, LLC has launched a new website, GatorDealFinder.com to help consumers find local coupons and deals from businesses in Gainesville, FL.

The new website aims to serve both businesses and consumers providing a valuable resource for the Gainesville, FL community. Now local consumers can easily search and find local deals and business information, while providing local merchants an affordable way to advertise and promote their coupons and deals online.

The timing couldn’t be better for a site like GatorDealFinder.com as more and more customers are starting their search online for local products and services, and online coupons are becoming increasingly popular. “People love saving money. But finding local coupons and deals isn’t always easy - especially all in one place. Our mobile-friendly website makes it easy to search and find local businesses and discover amazing offers, not only from your computer, but on the go with any smartphone. Plus it allows local merchants to take control of their marketing and promote themselves online for a fraction of the cost of traditional print advertising”, said Vicki Sherman who owns and operates the local website along with her husband David Sherman.

Small businesses sometimes struggle with online marketing. But Vicki Sherman hopes to solve that with affordable and simple advertising opportunities on GatorDealFinder.com. Merchants pay a small monthly fee to have their business featured on the site. They can then post photos, videos, menus, and of course coupons and deals with an easy-to-use interface. Sign up is easy and requires no technical experience. “This is exactly what Gainesville merchants need; simple, affordable and effective local advertising”, adds Sherman.

ABOUT Gator Deal Finder
Gator Deal Finder is a new online resource for Gainesville, FL featuring local coupons, deals and business listings. It is owned and operated by Vicki and David Sherman who have lived in Gainesville for nearly 30 years. Both Vicki and David are University of Florida graduates. Vicki has over 25 years of experience helping businesses advertise. To learn more about Gator Deal Finder or if you are a local business interested in advertising, please visit www.GatorDealFinder.com, call 352-514-2002 or email vicki@gatordealfinder.com.
MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENT
Mindful Meditation for Beginners
Saturdays, 9:30 - 10 a.m.

Mindfulness has the ability to help us deal with our everyday stress as well as difficult situations and emotions better. Simply by bringing awareness into our lives and allowing for what is, we find the ability to deal with what life has to throw at us with a bit more ease. A regular meditation practice has the benefits of relaxation and calm, better focus, less self-judgement, and decreased stress. This course will help you build the basics for a meditation practice you'll love! Start your mindfulness meditation journey here. Join us bi weekly for our Mindful Meditation class for Beginners Saturdays at 9:30am- 10:00am. registration at heateducation.org. As we keep you healthier at home!
MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENT
Science communicator and YouTube star Emily Graslie to speak Feb. 19
Friday, February 19, 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Online

The Florida Museum of Natural History and Alachua County Library District will host “NEA Big Read Keynote: Emily Graslie” Feb. 19 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Hear from the award-winning science communicator and YouTube star of The BrainScoop in this FREE virtual event followed by Q&A! The event is part of the NEA Big Read, a series of events building community while lifting the voices of women in science. This keynote won’t be recorded so make sure to sign up for this special one-time opportunity! To register, visit www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/event/nea-emily-graslie.