January 15, 2019
2019 Annual Meeting tickets on sale NOW!
Thursday, January 31, 6pm
Hilton University of Florida Conference Center
1714 SW 34th St, Gainesville

The Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce is excited to be hosting our 95th Annual Meeting on January 31. 

Join us as we share the stories of progress and prosperity from our members and our community. We’ll hear from partners of the talent, tech, economic development, arts, and education sectors. 

Cocktail attire is appropriate and dancing is expected as we welcome our special guests  The Savants of Soul  to close out the evening. 
Click here to buy tickets.

For event questions please contact  tiffany@gainesvillechamber.com . For sponsorship opportunities please contact Steve Cannon at steve@gainesvillechamber.com .
Join Us As We Celebrate the new addition to PACE Center for Girls
Tuesday, January 22, 12:30 - 2pm
PACE Center for Girls
1010 SE 4th Ave, Gainesville

PACE Center for Girls has been providing girls and young women in our region an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and support for 20 years. We are proud to support such a great organization and look forward to celebrating their growth! There will be drinks, snacks, tours and more.

Ribbon cutting ceremony will commence at 12:45pm

Click Here for more information.
Ribbon Cutting Celebration:
Direct Auto Insurance opens third location in Gainesville
Tuesday, January 22, 4:30 - 6:30pm
Direct Auto Insurance
3315 SW Archer Road, Gainesville

Join us to celebrate and welcome the third Gainesville location for Direct Auto & Life Insurance with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. 

Direct Auto & Life Insurance specializes in auto, life, and commercial (small business vehicle) insurance and prides itself in their involvement in the communities they secure. 

The event will include speeches, Hors d'oeuvres and Giveaways.

The official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will commence at 5:30pm.

Click Here for more information.
Kick off 2019 with Chamber Business After Hours hosted by Hotel Indigo
Thursday, January 24, 5:30pm
Hotel Indigo at Celebration Pointe
5020 SW 30th Lane, Gainesville

Join us Thursday, January 24th at 5:30pm at Hotel Indigo for the first Business After Hours of 2019.

This event is sponsored by Florida Credit Union.  Enjoy food, drinks, door prizes and great company while expanding your business network.

Door prizes will include signed Gator Memorabilia as well as Free 1-Night Stays at Hotel Indigo.

Admission is Free for Greater Gainesville Chamber Members 

Admission for Non-Members is $25.00

We hope to see you there!

Click Here for more information.
2019 Sponsorship & Partnership Guide Now Available

The 2019 Sponsorship and Partnership Opportunities Guide is now available. The guide provides details on our annual marketing program the Circle of Champions as well as all Chamber events for 2019.  There are a variety of sponsor levels and benefits designed to fit your marketing and budget needs. Now is the time to plan your company's marketing efforts through Chamber sponsorship by choosing the events which best align with your target audience and corporate mission.

Contact Steve Cannon, Sr. Director of Membership at stevec@gainesvillechamber.com to schedule a meeting and secure your 2019 sponsorships before they are sold out.

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 above:
  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”
Join us on February 11 for our Distinguished Speaker Luncheon featuring GRU General Manager Ed Bielarski

We are delighted to welcome to the Chamber GRU General Manager Ed Bielarski as our Distinguished Speaker on Monday, February 11, from 11:30am to 1:15pm. Ed will discuss plans and priorities for the utility and a Q&A will follow his remarks. This member-exclusive event includes a buffet lunch. These popular luncheons fill up quickly - register here !

About Ed Bielarski

Edward Bielarski Jr. was appointed Gainesville Regional Utilities’ general manager effective June 22, 2015. As a Charter Officer of the City of Gainesville, he directs all GRU activities and advises the City Commission with respect to all matters concerning GRU. 

Formerly the chief operating and financial officer of the Lehigh County Authority in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Bielarski has more than 20 years of utility industry experience, including serving as general manager and chief financial officer of Pennsylvania-based independent power facility Panther Creek Partners from 1992-2012. 

As general manager of Panther Creek Partners, Bielarski led a successful $165 million investment grade, tax-exempt bond financing, which resulted in more than $30 million in interest savings. He has also spearheaded multiple modifications to power purchase agreements. As CEO of the Lehigh County Authority, he was the architect of a historic 50-year Concession Agreement with the City of Allentown for its water and wastewater assets. 

Bielarski is married with two sons. Outside the office he enjoys pick-up basketball and antiquing. Originally from Baltimore, during the NFL season he can be found rooting for the Ravens. A self-described “foodie,” some of his first Gainesville outings were to local restaurants. Steamed Chesapeake Bay crabs are among his food favorites. 
Bielarski holds a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in strategic management.
New direct flight allows 90 new destinations from GNV
The new service, effective March 3, 2019, adds another international hub, creates synergies and dramatically expands travel options for passengers of the growing North Central Florida airport

GAINESVILLE, Fla., Oct. 2, 2018 -- Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV) is part of American Airlines’ new domestic and international route expansion, announced today in a news release. Daily nonstop, year-round service between Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and GNV begins March 3, 2019, with reservations for the new route available for sale beginning Oct. 8.

The new service provides GNV passengers with access to over 90 new routes that weren’t previously served by existing American Airlines hubs of Charlotte (CLT) and Miami (MIA). The flights will be operated twice daily on a 50-passenger Embraer ERJ 145 (E145).

“We want the best for customers and that means having an expansive network out of DFW,” said Cedric Rockamore, Vice President of DFW Hub Operations for American, in today’s news release. “These new routes are going to provide so many more unique travel opportunities, domestically and internationally, connecting customers from all over the world.”

“This is wonderful and welcome news for our airport and our passengers,” said Allan Penksa, CEO, Gainesville Alachua County Regional Airport Authority (GACRAA). “The expanded service between GNV and DFW creates new synergies with the Dallas area, provides convenient connections out west and beyond, and adds further options for travelers to connect both inbound and outbound on American. GNV is proud to be selected as one of the American’s new seven domestic routes, a testament to the dynamic growth that is taking place in our region.”

For more information on American’s route expansion, please  click here . For a list of all new destinations from GNV through DFW, click here . For reservations and flight information, please visit www.aa.com or call (800) 433-7300.
San Felasco Tech City making steady progress
Gainesville Sun

The San Felasco Tech City, the brainchild of Glaeser and Rich Blaser, CEO of Infinite Energy, is under construction. The development will be something of a live-work-play concept, where seasoned companies, like Fracture, that have grown and need more space, can expand. It will also serve as a place for startups to accelerate growth, Glaeser said.

The wheels have been turning behind the scenes of the San Felasco Tech City for months.

Thursday, at its site off U.S. 441 in Alachua, wheels turning on a tractor were kicking up dirt as its machinery worked to move and level earth.
A steel frame had been raised as a skeleton to one of the tech development’s 30,000-square-foot tech buildings. Concrete slabs had been poured to mark square footage already leased by tech companies that have signed on to be a part of the tech city, that should really be called a tech community, said Mitch Glaeser, CEO of the Emory Group of Companies.

“It’s remarkable,” Glaeser said. “It’s very exciting to see the activity that’s going on with the project.”

Read full article here .
Eastside High hosts statewide math tournament
Saturday, January 12, 9am - Noon, Awards Ceremony 3pm
Eastside High School
1201 SE 43 Street, Gainesville

Eastside High School will welcome about 1000 top young mathematicians from across the state as it hosts the 2019 Florida Mu Alpha Theta completion. About fifty schools will be represented in the competition, including Eastside, Gainesville and Buchholz high schools and Lincoln, Bishop and Kanapaha middle schools. Students will be competing for individual and team honors as well as the right to represent the state in the national Mu Alpha Theta completion, which will be held in Las Vegas in mid-July. Buchholz High School has won 12 of the last 14 state championships and is the current national champion.
Parents can apply for controlled school choice through February 28

The Alachua County School Board is currently accepting applications for school choice/controlled open enrollment for the 2019-20 academic year. The window to apply for controlled school choice ends February 28.

Parents can apply online on the district’s Office of Student Assignment/Zoning website  here.

That website also includes a list of available schools and other information about the process. There are separate online applications for elementary, middle and high school level requests. Parents can also download a hard copy of the form and submit it by following the directions on the form. 

If the application is approved, the student will be assigned to the approved school until completing the final grade at that school. Transportation to and from school is not provided by the district and students may be removed from the school for tardiness or disciplinary issues.

If there are more applications for a particular school than there are spaces available, admission to the school will be granted on a lottery basisfollowing the guidelines in School Board policy.

Parents will be notified by letter by the end of March if their application has been approved or denied or if their child has been placed on a waiting list.

Families with additional questions can contact the Office of Student Assignment/Zoning at (352) 955-7700, (352) 955-7629 or email zoning@gm.sbac.edu .
Bulla Cubana! returns to Gainesville in March 2019
New events reprise 2017 celebration of Cuban arts and culture across area institutions

Gainesville, FL (January 8, 2019) – Bulla Cubana (pronounced  “boo-YA coo-BAH-na” ), an award-winning events festival focused on Cuban arts and culture, will return to Gainesville in March 2019, following its massively popular 2017 debut, bringing together artists, institutions and celebrations.

Bulla Cubana 2019 will begin March 9 and will feature a dynamic line-up of cultural events hosted byGainesville’s premier arts and cultural institutions including the Cade Museum, the Harn Museum, theHippodrome Theater, Oak Hall School and the Historic Thomas Center. Throughout March, Bulla Cubana will feature Cuban artists in exciting exchanges of ideas and inspiration at these venues.

The 2019 festival will open on March 9, with the  Fiesta Luminosa  fundraising event at the Cade Museum. This event showcases  Cuban Ingenuity , a custom installation of creative inventions made by Cubans and utilized in their daily lives. The exhibit is supported by documentary video providing colorful and informative context to the display of inventions and objects.

Fiesta Luminosa  will feature Cuban food, drink and music, as well as the preview of the exhibit, which opens to the public on March 10. Tickets for the  Fiesta Luminosa  fundraiser can be purchased at the Bulla Cubana website,  www.bullacubana.org .
Community Meet & Greet on Thursday for "Play Tennis Gainesville" New Facilities, Head Pro
Thursday, January 17, noon - 1:30pm & 6 - 7:30pm
Albert Ray Massey (Westside) Recreation Center,
1001 NW 34th St., Gainesville

All residents are welcome to attend to enjoy refreshments and learn more about USTA Florida's plans for the area tennis facilities, meet the new head pro over the facilities, hear from City of Gainesville representatives and engage in a Q&A, and meet with USTA Florida executives and staff who will be supporting the facility and the community.

The events are coordinated by USTA Florida in conjunction with the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs Department. With a strong history of community involvement and USTA Florida partnership, the Gainesville tennis community is also supported by the Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association (GACTA) which runs a number of after-school tennis programs, and the powerhouse USTA "Tennis on Campus" University of Florida student club tennis team and their community outreach.

The City of Gainesville's public tennis facilities have also received an entirely new digital presence, including a new web site,  www.playtennisgainesville.com , where residents can book courts, sign up for programs, and register for special events. Social media channels will enable players of all ages to connect with each other and share their experiences both on and off the courts.

The agreement between the City of Gainesville and USTA Florida provides the not-for-profit with the opportunity to run tennis operations for the next five years, with the option for an additional five year period.
New Members

Envoy Mortgage

Gaines Plastic Surgery

Leny's Cleaning Services, LLC

Lite Swap

Parsley Home Inspections

Renewing Members

Allstate Insurance Company - Judy Locascio Agency

Ameris Bank

Argos USA

Carpet Systems Plus

Carpets Plus Color Tile

Celebrations Catering

CHW Professional Consultants

Colony Reef Club

Columbia Bank Gainesville

Community Foundation of North Central Florida

Concept Companies

ConnectSmart Systems

Exactech, Inc.

Florida Virtual School

Gainesville Regional Airport

Honda of Gainesville

Koss Olinger

NAI Heritage

NexTower LLC

North Central Florida Planning Council

Purvis Gray & Co, CPA's

Quality Design Works, Inc.

Rosselle Consulting, Inc.

Solar Impact, Inc.

University of Florida

Walker Furniture
SCORE to hold free OSHA webinar for entrepreneurs
Saturday, January 17, 1 - 2pm

SCORE , a nonprofit association that helps thousands of entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, is hosting a  free webinar  on January 17 at 1:00pm (EST) on helping small businesses comply with OSHA requirements. This webinar, presented by Tim Irving from OSHA’s Boston Regional Office, will provide an overview of OSHA, key OSHA requirements for small business and other employers, and OSHA resources that small businesses can use to comply with OSHA standards and keep their workers safe.
Oak Hall Early Childhood Learning Center Stay & Play
March 8, 9:30am - 10:30am
Oak Hall School
1700 SW 75th St, Gainesville

Come take a peek! Oak Hall School invites families with children ages 2,3 & 4 to visit our Early Childhood Learning Center and see what we do as we "March into Spring" with STREAM centers! (STREAM=STEM+Reading+Arts) centers are designed for parent/child interaction through hands-on learning. Please reserve your spot as spaces are limited. We look forward to welcoming you to our campus.

Visit www.oakhall.org/ to register.
NHRA Legends set to compete at the 50th #GatorNats
March 14 - 17
Gainesville Raceway
11211 N County Road 225 Gainesville

Eight of the most beloved figures in the sport of NHRA drag racisng will come together to compete in NHRA's "Unfinished Business" event during the 50th annual AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.

Each of the eight NHRA Legends competing in the event will be revealed via social media in the weeks leading up to the Gatornationals. A new driver will be released twice a week, starting with today's first driver announcement: Big Daddy Don Garlits! When the drivers are revealed, you'll also get a sneak peak at each driver's custom Toyota Camry which will be distinctly wrapped to emulate looks inspired by some of the drivers' favorite rides. Fans will have the opportunity to vote for the first-round pairs they would like to see compete.

Tickets for the 50th annual AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals are on sale now and to purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or visit www.NHRA.com/tickets. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult.
Gator Fly-In and Armed Services Appreciation Day at the University Air Center at GNV
Saturday, March 23, 8am - 2pm
University Air Center at GNV
4701 NE 40 Terrace, Gainesville

This year's Gator Fly-In and Armed Services Appreciation Day will start 9 am on Saturday, March 23 at the Gainesville Regional Airport. Breakfast will be provided by Maple Street Biscuit Company. Guest speakers will speak starting 11am.

Confirmed Distinguished visitors to include:
  • Col. Joe Kittinger
  • Patty Wagstaff
  • Mark Baker (AOPA)
  • John Lites Leenhouts (Sun n Fun)

Possible attendees include RADM William Greene (Director Maintenance Pacific Fleet) and Marine Cpl Bob Gasche (Iwo Jima).

This is not an airshow, static display only

This event will feature food trucks, live music, judged aircraft show of civilian aircraft, and classic cars! All branches of military aviation will be represented.

In addition, there will be Swamp Tours (flyovers of the UF Stadium) available in a variety of aircraft, including Robinson Helicopter, Cessna 185, and possibly Huey Helicopters!

Present will be vendors and exhibitors in our Mustang hangar. Veterans groups are invited to attend!

Admission is free to the public. Distinguished visitors will be judges of the categories of best civilian aircraft that attend the Fly-In.