Chamber Chatter
A Publication of the Belle Glade Chamber of Commerce
The Leadership Glades Program will return for the 2022-2023 year. Applications are now being accepted.

For those that are not familiar with the program;

Leadership Glades is an exciting program designed to prepare potential leaders to meet the challenges facing the Glades area.

Participants explore critical issues through a series of seminars and related activities. Interaction with key decision-makers, experts, community leaders, and representatives of local government assist participants in better understanding the forces that impact their business, community, and daily lives.

Leadership Glades believes the cooperative effort of well-informed citizens is the key to preserving and enhancing the quality of life that Glades residents enjoy.

Leadership Glades gives the participant opportunities to:
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Learn about critical issues of the Glades
  • Discuss concerns with key decision makers
  • Establish new contacts
  • Contribute to the future of the Glades

If you are interested in serving the community, committed to professional growth, and dedicated to the future of the Glades, then you are a candidate for Leadership Glades.

Refuse to Sink
An Interview with Marci VanD'Huynslager, Vice President of Refuse to Sink
Tell us about Refuse to Sink:
Refuse to Sink is a nonprofit organization founded in 2020. The concept for Refuse to Sink (RTS) was realized in the sorrow of a mother’s heart after the traumatic loss of her son J.D. Moss to suicide on February 23rd, 2018. After J.D.’s death, his mother, Abby was moved to work towards initiating changes to the perceptions of suicide stigma and stigma related to mental health conditions in order to prevent more suffering.

On January 26th, 2019, Sgt. Max Vandhuynslager of the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office took his life on duty in his assigned jurisdiction. As is most often the case in law enforcement suicide, Max showed no outward signs of suicidal crisis in the days preceding his death, highlighting a rarely discussed epidemic among 1st responder professions.

Surviving loved ones of both J.D. and Max became impassioned to raise awareness of mental health conditions, proactive treatment and suicide prevention by hosting educational awareness opportunities and providing free crisis services to individuals in rural heartland areas of Florida.

Does Refuse to Sink have a Mission/Vision?
We are called to a mission to create change by providing resources and education and by reducing the stigma of sufferers so that more might seek help before reaching the crisis point of no return. We base this understanding on a founding principal, that purpose for every life is revealed according to God’s plan and all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Tell us about your management team:
Suicide Loss Survivor and President Abby Moya Garcia is a native of Clewiston, Florida. Abby is a Registered Nurse and currently works as a Clinical Nurse Educator at Good Shephard hospice care. Abby is married to Alex Garcia and the couple reside in Lake placid. Abby has three children, J.D. Moss, Jude Moss, and Jaxon Moss and one granddaughter, who is 4yrs old. Abby attends Grace Bible Church where she is currently cofacilitating a support group for parents who have lost children.

Suicide Loss Survivor and Vice President Marci VanD’Huynslager, LMHC is a native of Clewiston, Florida and an FSU graduate with a BS in Criminology and a MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Marci has been a sworn law enforcement officer in Florida and Georgia for 20 years, most recently serving as the Assistant Chief of Police for the City of Clewiston. Marci is now retired from law enforcement and works in mental health as a licensed provider. Marci is the widow of Sgt. Max Vandhuynslager and the couple share an 11-year-old daughter, Maci.

Secretary/Treasurer Traci Owens – Treasurer Traci Owens is from Belle Glade, Florida. She has worked in home health care field for eighteen years and has been employed with Empath Home Health for the past seven years. Traci is married to Mike her husband of 33 years, has two children and resides in Clewiston, Florida.

Administrative Support and Suicide Loss survivor – Marion Sullivan Primmer. Marion was born in Pahokee and grew up in South Bay, she graduated from Belle Glade High School. Marion graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. She worked at South Bay Growers for 17 years and later was hired by Buddy Sizemore where she has been employed for 27 years as teacher and Technology Director.

We are also proud and honored to be joined by our Social Media specialist Brianne Davis. Brianne is a lifelong resident of Belle Glade. Brianne is the daughter of Jeff and Susie McMillian and is married to Cody Davis. The couple recently celebrated the birth of their son, Laken.

Why did you decide to join the Chamber?
Refuse to Sink has a goal of engaging with our heartland and lakeside communities to provide resources for services, education on mental health and wellness, and suicide prevention. We love our lakeside and heartland communities as they are home to each of us having provided many collective years of investments in our lives and families. Both J.D. and Max loved these communities too. Collectively we can’t think of a better way to honor their memories than by giving to others in such an important way with the same spirit of generosity and love for others that they each had.

Is there something special you would like to share about Refuse to Sink?
On September 11th, 2021, during National Suicide Prevention Week, Refuse to Sink held an inaugural memorial bass fishing tournament, hosted at Roland and Maryann’s Marina on Lake Okeechobee. The tournament was a success, and many volunteers and participants. We were touched and blessed by the showing, community support, and most of all God’s ability to work all things for His cause as we have witnessed at so many points in our journey’s. We learned that several volunteers who reached out to our organization did so with personal stories of suicide survivorship.

Name a “fun fact” about the business:
Refuse to Sink has reserved September 10, 2022 for this year’s bass fishing memorial tournament. We are excited to get back out on our lake and enjoy fellowship and community with our friends and family and supporters for this important cause!

Marci and Abby have been lifelong friends since the earliest days of childhood and in fact their parents all shared similar long histories of friendships extending back to their own childhoods. Marci and Abby estimate their families’ histories of friendship reach back through multiple generations.

Points to note:
Refuse to Sink endorses the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 that is available 24hrs a day if you or someone you know are struggling. Starting July 16th, 2022 dialing 988 will connect you nationwide to counselors with the lifeline ready to help.

Currently suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death of young people in America and the 10th leading cause of death for all persons in the US. Suicide is a 1st leading cause of death for 1st responders, second only to Covid in 2021.

Currently both firefighters and law enforcement officer suicide deaths outpace line of duty deaths annually since 2016.
Refuse to Sink, Inc.
1504 Marianela Manor
Sebring, FL 33852
Hours: By appointment M-Sun

(under construction - anticipating online July 1st.)
2620 Orange Ave Cir
Belle Glade, FL 33430
Hours: Daily 8am-5pm
An Interview with Kiley Damone, Culture & Community Specialist

Tell us about FINFROCK: FINFROCK is an independently owned design-builder with headquarters in Central Florida and an additional precast concrete manufacturing facility in Belle Glade, Florida. As a fully integrated design-build firm, FINFROCK has in-house architects, engineers, precast designers, cost estimators, quality control personnel, and construction managers who specialize in design and construction. Our portfolio of work includes award-winning apartments, hotels, student housing, office buildings and structured parking. For over 75 years, FINFROCK has served clients throughout Florida and nationally and is the recipient of multiple awards for design excellence. 

Does FINFROCK have a Mission/Vision?
Yes, our purpose is to experience the challenge, pride, and rewards of design, manufacturing, and construction. Our vision is to experience a new way to build, and our mission is less risk, less cost, and faster building delivery for owners.

Tell us about your management team:
Our Chairman of the Board is Robert D. Finfrock, PE. Mr. Finfrock has served as the Chairman of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute and is a Fellow of both the American Concrete Institute and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute which named him as a “Titan” of their industry in 2004 as one of their 50 most influential people of the past 50 years.
Allen R. Finfrock, PE is our Chief Executive Officer. Allen was named CEO of the Year by the Orlando Business Journal in 2018, is a past member of the Board of Directors for PCI, a graduate of the Leadership Orlando Class 86 in 2013, and has been a member of CEO Nexus since 2013.
And, our President is William A. Finfrock, PE. Bill served as Chairman the Board of Habitat for Humanity/Seminole County & Greater Apopka, Inc and Chairman of the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute Board. In 2009, he was an Orlando Business Journal Honoree for the 40 Under 40. He is also a graduate of Leadership Orlando.
FINFROCK is a family owned and operated organization founded in 1945 by Robert JD. Finfrock.

Why did you decide to join the Chamber?
At FINFROCK, our work is driven by practicing integrity in all that we do, demonstrating a constant commitment to excellence, treating all individuals with respect, and expanding our knowledge for the future. This also means being the best community partner in the areas that we serve. We hope to continue our efforts here in South Florida and make a positive impact on those that work alongside us and for us. 

Is there something special you would like to share about FINFROCK?
We believe in the investment of training our people and making them feel empowered to make decisions and push forward, continuously improving our company and our projects. We offer extensive training, great benefits including an industry-leading 401k program with match, the opportunity to build wealth, and a tight-knit culture and community. We also host quarterly employee appreciation events to show our gratitude for all our team members do!

Name a “fun fact” about the business: 
We recently poured our longest piece of precast concrete ever at our Belle Glade facility, weighing in at 79 kips (equivalent to 79,000 lbs)! The piece also measures 118 ft and 2.5 in long.
Stayed tuned next month when we spotlight our newest members- HCA Florida Palms West Hospital
American Cancer Society
Renewing Members
Abraham & Associates
American Insurance Brokers
Bechert & Associates
Belle Glade Church of God
Belle Glade Rotary
Big Lake Snacks
Casteland Real Estate Corp
City of South Bay
CL Brumback-HDPBC
Eddie Rhodes
Eden Construction
Glades Media Company
Glades Roofing
Great Florida Insurance
JMA Electric
Joanne Jordan - State Farm
Nutrien AG
Student ACES
Belle Glade City Events
MCA Expo/ Father & Son Seminar
May 14 & 15
Habitat for Humanity News
West TEC News
Member News/Offerings
First One Bank in Clewiston to host a Seminar on retirement planning!
Everglades Trading and Office Supply Flash Sale!
Interested In More Events?
We have more events going on this month! Check out our updated events calendar by clicking here.
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561-996-2745 or

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How about an announcement that you would like make, then let us know! 

Just contact us by the 20th of the month and we will place it in the newsletter for the following month.

Contact Lamar Weathers at the Chamber.

561-996-2745 or

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