November 19, 2019
 Greater Gainesville Chamber Awarded 5-Star Accreditation by US Chamber of Commerce

The United States Chamber of Commerce, at its board meeting this week, awarded the Greater Gainesville Chamber with 5-Star Accreditation for its sound policies, effective organizational procedures, and positive impact on the community.

“It is critical that business leaders have a voice in the debates that will shape the business climate in their communities.” said Raymond P. Towle, IOM, CAE, U.S. Chamber vice president of Federation Relations and Institute for Organization Management. “Accreditation recognizes a chamber’s work to foster a healthy business climate that enhances the quality of life for its members and its community.”

Accreditation is the only national program that recognizes chambers for their effective organizational procedures and community involvement. In order to receive Accreditation, a chamber must meet minimum standards in their operations and programs, including areas of governance, government affairs, and technology. This extensive self-review can take 6-9 months to complete. 

Local chambers are rated Accredited, 3-Stars, 4-Stars, or 5-Stars. State chambers are recognized as either Accredited State Chamber or Accredited State Chamber with Distinction. The final determination is made by the Accrediting Board, a committee of U.S. Chamber board members. 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.
 Tickets are now Available!!!
2019 Annual Business Awards!
Wednesday, December 4, 5:30 – 8:30pm
UF Hilton
1714 SW 34th Street, Gainesville

The Annual Business Awards will be hosted on Wednesday, December 4th — an evening dedicated to rewarding excellence in economic prosperity, community development, and leadership in Greater Gainesville. Join us for an evening of celebrating our local businesses.

5:30 – 6:45 PM           Cocktail Reception (Sponsored by UBS) 6:45 – 8:30 PM           Dinner and Awards Ceremony 

This year's event will be co-hosted by Collin Austin and Vicki Guy with musical backup provided by Elio Piedra. The Annual Business Awards will be hosted on Wednesday, December 4th — an evening dedicated to rewarding excellence in economic prosperity, community development, and leadership in Greater Gainesville. Join us for an evening of celebrating our local businesses.

For tickets and additional information, Click Here.
Sponsored by
Ribbon Cutting Celebration This Wednesday: Texas Roadhouse
Wednesday, November 20, 11am - Noon
Texas Roadhouse
Celebration Pointe Commons
SW Archer Rd & SW 43rd Street, Gainesville

Join us as we celebrate the grand opening of the new location for Texas Roadhouse.

After 26 years of serving our Gainesville community, Texas Roadhouse is proud to open its’ newly renovated restaurant located in the Celebration Pointe Commons, just west of I-75 on Archer Road.

Enjoy light refreshments, meet Andy Armadillo the Texas Roadhouse Mascot, and enter to win dinner for two.

The ribbon cutting ceremony will commence at 11:15 AM
 Maximize Your Membership!
Attend Chamber 101
Tuesday, November 26, 8:30 - 10am
2714 SW 34th Street, Gainesville

New and re-engaged Chamber members are invited for a casual networking breakfast to learn more about the services included in your Chamber Membership. Attendees will interact directly with Chamber Staff, Diplomats and other new Members. Whether you just joined or have been a member for years, this is a beneficial experience for all.  

Chamber 101 is held quarterly and is open to any member who may need a refresher on their Chamber member benefits. Longstanding members are encouraged to send new employees through the program so that each company representative can fully utilize the features of their membership. 

For more information or to register to attend;  Click Here.
Sponsored by
Lunch & Learn: Mapping Out Your Sales & Growth Plan for 2020
Wednesday, December 4, Noon - 1pm
Saint Leo University
4650 NW 39th Place, Suite B, Gainesville

Presented by : Brad Gamble
Co-founder / The Selling Factory

Brad has dedicated himself to sales, sales management, executive coaching and building companies.

Are you ready for 2020?

At this month's Lunch & Learn, Brad Gamble will share his business expertise on how to best prepare for a successful 2020.
Sponsored by
Join us for Business Before Hours Holiday Edition
Tuesday, December 6, 8:30 -10am
Aloft Hotel
3743 Hull Road, Gainesville

Join us Friday, December 6 for Business Before Hours from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at  Aloft Hotel.   Admission to this event is free to Chamber members and local nonprofit agencies.
Business Before Hours is a structured yet relaxed environment for making effective connections within the Chamber business community.
Presented by the Greater Gainesville Chamber and The Community Foundation of North Central Florida.
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!
Seating is limited to 100 people.  Register early to secure your seat.

Click Here for more information and to register.
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
  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”
 Career Discoveries Day Inspires Students

Despite chilly weather, the mall area of Buchholz High School was filled with voices of chatter and intrigue as more than 200 middle and high school students, their parents, and the local business community attended the 5th annual Career Discoveries Day this past Saturday morning.

The Greater Gainesville Chamber's Alachua County Education Compact and its partners Santa Fe College and the Alachua County Public Schools (ACPS), hosted Career Discoveries Day to offer students and their parents a sneak peek into local, emerging career opportunities in distribution and trade, business support services, agriculture science and technology, human life sciences, and digital technology. UF Online, Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU), and Campus USA Credit Union sponsored this year's Career Discoveries Day.

Attendees engaged with more than 30 exhibiting companies and nonprofit organizations and heard from well-versed and talented speakers. Maxwell L. Minch, a partner at GrayRobinson's Law Firm, served as the featured keynote speaker. He shared his story of how he rose to success by creating his own pathway. 

Additional speakers included: Karen Oakey with Fracture, who spoke on talent management; Kristin Schreiner with Junior Achievement, who presented on JAMyWay Career Pathway; and Tia Brock with The Education Foundation of Alachua County and Shareen Baptiste with Dream on Purpose, who co-presented on how to budget for college. Students were given a budgeting worksheet and traveled the four corners of the auditorium where they were challenged to make financial decisions regarding housing, food, transportation, and entertainment - as if they were first-time college students. Seniors and their parents then traveled to the media center to complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), while other attendees continued to visit and engage with exhibitors. William (Bill) Goodman, retired Supervisor of Counselors for the ACPS, led this workshop with the assistance of Jennifer Taylor, the current Supervisor of Counselors, and a team of University of Florida financial aid advisors. They assisted 15 families in completing their FAFSA. 

However, the event didn't end there; the festivities continued as the Rodney Mosley, DJ from Genius Entertainment played popular line dances, which brought the students to the center of the makeshift dance floor, while others continued to enjoy their pepperoni or cheese pizza from Leonardo's and visited the photo booth exhibit manned by Duncan Kabinu photography. 

The event came to a close with exuberant students racing to the DJ booth to receive their prizes and giveaways. Two $1,000 scholarships were raffled to two graduating seniors - one from Buchholz High School and the other from Santa Fe High School, and additional giveaways included a tablet, two bluetooth speakers, and three $100 Fracture gift cards. 

"It is a pleasure to host this event from year-to-year, seeing how the planning committee and I can grow it to attract more homegrown talent, engage local businesses and increase our capacities to assist and propel students toward the career pathway of their dreams," says Chamber Vice President of Education and Talent Alignment Ian Fletcher, who also spearheads the Alachua County Education Compact. "The Chamber believes in pairing the business community with the academia world to provide better and sustainable opportunities for our students, who are tomorrow's workforce."

This year's planning committee comprised of representatives from the ACPS, Santa Fe College, Junior Achievement, the Education Foundation, Fracture and Dream on Purpose. To serve as a planning committee member, exhibitor or sponsor of future Career Discoveries Days, email .
Recap: Distinguished Speaker Luncheon featuring NFRMC CEO Eric Lawson
Committed to Care and Community

The Chamber hosted North Florida Regional Medical Center CEO Eric Lawson as our November Distinguished Speaker on Monday the 18. Eric discussed NFRMC’s role in our community with our standing-room only audience. 

In his informative and sometimes poignant presentation, Eric related the benefits of being part of HCA Healthcare, not the least of which is its wide-ranging reach: five percent of all hospital services in the United States happen at an HCA facility. HCA was founded 45 years ago by Dr. Thomas Frist, Sr. and today ranks 63rd on the Fortune 500. HCA remains “committed to the care and improvement of human life” and here in Alachua County is our largest taxpayer.

Locally, NFRMC is very well known for its excellence in women and baby care, and Eric updated guests on the hospital’s commitment to becoming a Level 3 NICU, which will happen next year. With 2,747 employees and 469 physicians, other specialties at our community hospital include: cardiovascular care, orthopedics, neuroscience, emergency services, oncology and general surgery. Last year, NFRMC made a $25 million capital investment in our area, and had an economic impact of $316 million. Expansion plans continue, with additional floors being added to the South Tower, as well as additional parking. Eric closed his presentation with several personal stories from patients who have benefitted from the caring commitment of NFRMC doctors, staff and volunteers.

A Q&A followed Eric’s remarks, with the audience interested in expansion plans, infrastructure needs and community involvement.

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.
Distinguished Speaker Luncheons are sponsored by UF Health Doug Williams Executive Health.
 Gainesville Regional Airport to Host Groundbreaking Ceremony
Thursday, November 21, 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm
Gainesville Regional Airport
3880 NE 39th Ave., Gainesville

The ceremony will officially kick off the airport’s 15,200 square foot terminal expansion.

Who: Over 80 (final number TBD) invited“Friends of GNV” -- guests from the community, city and county government officials, tourism and hospitality leaders, the GACRAA Board, GNV staff, and media

What: Groundbreaking Ceremony at GNV

Why: To break ground on GNV’s 15,200- square foot terminal expansion that will add two new gates and a variety of amenities to the terminal

Ceremony will take place on the GNV ramp west of Gate 3 on grassy area outside Gate 42D (see image for location.). Signage will be
displayed and GNV employees will direct and escort guests to the location. Parking will be validated.

How: Dignitaries will make comments on why the expansion is important for GNV. Ground will be broken by
Gainesville Alachua County Regional Airport Authority board members.
2:45 pm Guests and media arrive; they will be escorted onto ramp area by GNV personnel and staff

2:45 pm – 2:59 pm: guests mix and mingle; media will set up their cameras for shots.

3 pm – 3:10 pm Welcome from GNV’s CEO Allan Penksa (introductory remarks, welcoming officials); comments from dignitaries

3:10 pm Board Members gather for the ceremonial groundbreaking and photo

3:11 pm-3:30 pm Photo Opps, Media Interviews

3:30 pm – 3:45 pm Mix and mingle, enjoy refreshments

3:45 pm Hard stop to event; GACRAA board members adjourn to board room for meeting
OPEN HOUSE: Maker Professional Apprenticeship Program
Wednesday, November 20, 9-11am
722 South Main Street, Gainesville

Please join the Tech Toybox on Wednesday, November 20th for an Open House to learn about the Maker Professional Apprenticeship Program. The Tech Toybox will be hosting an Open House for Employers and Students to learn about this local On-The-Job-Training Program. 

The Maker Professional Apprenticeship Program covers many topics, such as: Advanced Manufacturing, Designing, Prototyping, Safety, and much more. Come learn about the program and how it can benefit the local Manufacturing Community. 

Employers- 9am-10am
Students- 10am-11am

1) Wood Lathe
2) Pyro Area -(welding)
3) Screen Printing
4) CNC Router
5) Laser Cutter

There will be demonstrations held on the various pieces of equipment listed above. Each piece of equipment will allow Employers and Students to walk away knowing a little bit about the tool and a souvenir to remember the experience. 

For more information about the Open House or the Maker Professional Apprenticeship Program, please contact Jean Tokarz @
Building Collaboration in a Multi-Generational Workforce
Thursday, December 5, 1-4:30pm
TREEO Center
3900 SW 63 Blvd, Gainesville

In this highly interactive session, Jan Spence uses her vast knowledge helping organizations bolster their teamwork skills by providing actionable tools to increase collaboration and boost productivity.

For the first time ever, there are 5 different generations in the workforce. Each generation has their own style of communicating and varying expectations for workplace interactions. So how can those in leadership roles prevent communication issues that ultimately obstruct information, hinder collaboration, and cost time and money? In this highly interactive session, Jan Spence uses her vast knowledge helping organizations bolster their teamwork skills by providing actionable tools to increase collaboration and boost productivity. Participants will walk away with immediately applicable techniques they can use to build stronger teams and departments among a multi-generational workforce. 

Participants will:
1. Implement tools and techniques to create synergy amongst the different generations.
2. Create more productive interactions in the workforce.
3. Understand ways to be more succinct and minimize wasted time within the workplace.
New Members


Lacerta Therapeutics

Renewing Members

Douglas Williams Executive Health Program

Epic IT Solutions

Junior Achievement

Midgard Self Storage

ProActive Tax & Accounting, Inc.

Publix Super Markets, Inc. (Corporate)

Student Maid, Inc.
Peaceful Paths Holiday Giving Program

This year make the holiday season a little brighter for the survivors and children of domestic violence by participating in our Holiday Giving Program. This event aims to provide holiday gifts and basic needs to over 250 survivors and children! There are many ways in which your family or organization can help! Please visit us at  to get a full list of ways you can support us to include our Publix Wishlist program, general holiday donations to Peaceful Paths, volunteering to wrap presents, and our "Pay it Forward" Advent Calendar! If you have any additional questions, please contact our Director of Development, Stephanie Freas @ .
Toys for Tots at City College
Now - December 16, 9am - 5pm M-F
City College
7001 N.W. 4th Blvd, Gainesville

Once again, City College has partnered with the U.S. Marines and Bass Pro Shops to bring holiday joy and happiness to children throughout the Greater Alachua area.

Unwrapped Toys can be dropped off at our 7001 N.W. 4th Blvd. location from 9am until 8pm, Monday thru Thursday and from 9am until 5pm on Fridays. This year’s drive launched on Friday November 15 and end on Monday December 16.