Check out these recent posts from the Orlando News Room BLOG - Paula Wyatt reporting on interesting people and exciting places in Central Florida. 

 

 

There are 328 million Americans, living on the same 3.8 million square miles (continental United States) that we started with (in 1776). As a society, we are called to increasingly higher levels of accountability toward stewardship of our environment. At the foundation of this commitment, the commercial construction industry continually renews sustainability practices and guidelines. In the construction industry sustainability standards are maintained by external third-party industry-run organizations such as: the LEED Certification which is administered through The US Green Building Council and the National Green Building Standard GREEN Certification program administered by Home Innovation Research Labs. The process to submit a project for a green certification program ranges from $5,000 to $100,000 per project and requires the developer, general contractor, and all of the specialty contractors to work in conjunction on standards and requirements that inform the construction process from start to finish. High Growth Markets In high growth markets such as Central Florida, these types of investments are even more important. As one of the largest construction companies in Central Florida, Winter Park Construction has been keeping it green for over 45 years. WPC President, Jeff Forrest, “Winter Park Construction (WPC) believes that sustainability is about meeting present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Environmental stewardship entails not only adhering to standards but also includes creative thinking with energy efficiency, development of smarter practices and embracing innovative materials” Green Building Standards At least 14 WPC team members have achieved a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the US Green Building Council, this makes nearly one-third of all of WPC Project Managers and Superintendents. ​ WPC Sustainability Commitment. In the News Home Innovation Labs certifies single and multifamily construction to the rigorous requirements of the National Green Building Standard™ (NGBS) – the first residential green building rating system approved by ANSI as an American National Standard. The NGBS provides practices for the design and construction of all types of green residential buildings, renovations, and land developments. In April 2020, Home Innovation Research Labs recognized 5th Avenue Apartments in St. Petersburg, Florida as a NGBS Green Certified Project. WPC provided general contractor services for 5th Ave Residences, for The Richman Group, working with Architect/Engineer: Slocum Platts Architects. The 2.2-acre project includes a 5-story building with 132 units and a 6,351 sq. ft. clubhouse. Keeping it Green Before construction ever begins, WPC performs a detailed building life cycle analysis on every jobsite. During construction, our solid waste management programs go into action, recycling construction debris. We participate in many sustainable purchasing programs.  WPC President, Jeff Forrest, “At WPC Our Safety and Sustainability Manager leads efforts to keep us not only in compliance with environmental regulations but to ensure we are at the forefront of new green building practices.” Since 1974, WPC has provided general contractor, pre-construction, construction management and renovation services to Central Florida and the southeast United States. With over $200M in projects set from completion in 2020, WPC provides employment for 140+ full-time employees and thousands of subcontractor positions. With a portfolio rich in many sectors, in 2020 WPC is focusing on construction projects in the hospitality sector and in the senior housing market as well as on major renovation projects.
01.07.2020
Paula Wyatt
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The Orlando Sports Foundation is excited to announce it's first Holiday Card Competition! Every year, they send an annual Holiday Card to their donors, sponsors, and supporters. This year, they are calling upon the talent of their youngest supporters!The competition is open to all students going into Kindergarten through 8th grade for the Fall 2020 semester. Submissions are open from July 1st – July 22nd at 11:59 pm. Original designs are to be submitted via the online process. The winner will be announced on July 25th. The winner will receive 4 sideline tickets to the 2020 Cure Bowl and have the opportunity to take a special, on-field photo with CB (the Cure Bowl Mascot). Entries are based upon imagination, originality, and creativity. So, the most skilled artist won’t necessarily be the winner! It's open to all ages and skill levels. Learn More and Register
 Having opened in 1912 Tampa Union Station was added to the US National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and received local landmark status from the City of Tampa in 1988.  The station was closed in 1984 due to deteriorating conditions but was refurbished and reopened in 1998.  Today the station operates as an Amtrak station for the Silver Star line, connecting passenger trains to Miami and New York.  The Collage Companies (Collage) is providing general contracting services for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK) to lead ADA renovations to the Historic Tampa Union Station (601 North Nebraska Avenue). This project is part of Amtrak's ADA Station Program, which is a massive nationwide undertaking to bring all Amtrak stations across the country up to standard with the American's with Disabilities Act (ADA).  On June 19, 2020, an event was held to celebrate the ongoing safe construction and milestone progress on the station’s Amtrak ADA upgrades.  Collage is building a new elevated precast platform that will improve passenger accessibility to trains, enabling boarding of trains without the need for wheelchair lifts.  The structure is nearly 1,000 feet long and includes a canopy system.  The platform is secured by a foundation undergirded by hundreds of helical piles, which were installed in very close proximity to existing active tracks without disrupting ongoing rail operations.  The station has remained active throughout the life of the project, with multiple trains arriving daily within feet of construction.  The construction team has worked closely with Amtrak and the station to ensure safety for passengers and workers alike.    Rob Maphis is Vice President of Operations and COO at The Collage Companies, and says of the significance of the project:  “Rail travel has been an important part of this nation’s past, and the Tampa Union Station has a 100-year history of serving train passengers along Florida’s gulf coast.  Our work at this station will allow this tradition to continue, providing for upgraded accessibility and an improved passenger experience when boarding Amtrak’s trains.  We are truly honored to be one of only eight builders nationally working as part of Amtrak’s ADA stations program to help serve America’s railway passengers.” About Collage The Collage Companies is an established integrated services firm with expertise in Design Build, Construction Management and General Contracting  Collage has served the southeast since 1982 from their headquarters in Lake Mary, Florida, pursuing community–centric projects with an emphasis in the hospitality, religious, transportation, and park sectors. The Collage Companies was honored as one of the 2018 Florida Companies to Watch as announced by GrowFL for developing valuable products and services, creating quality jobs, enriching communities, and broadening new industries throughout Florida.
Check out Big Fin Seafood on WKMG Channel Six News - May 29, 2020 Big Fin Seafood Kitchen faced the same news as the other restaurant row brands when they were forced to close their dining area by state mandates in March. And, like everyone else steadied to find a stable ground from which to operate. BIG FIN, along with many of the other non-chain national brands, had to temporarily release most of their team. In fact, of their 50 person staff-family they struggled to even maintain their six-person full time management team. During the following 41 days, this core team was responsible for cooking, cleaning, management, delivering food and more. After, 10+ years in the same Dellagio location, BIG FIN has a loyal following of fantastic locals - who tipped generously over the slow period. In total, they collected over $5,000 in tips. The management team will proudly present the entire tip jar to the staff as they return back to work. Big Fin Seafood Kitchen - New Industry-Leading Ownership Means A Fresh Look at a Restaurant Row Favorite - Big Fin Seafood Kitchen recently celebrated 10 years at Dellagio by renewing for another 10 years. This restaurant-row hot spot was consistently voted Best Seafood In Orlando and Best Happy Hour (Orlando Sentinel’s Best Bets since 2015). As of January, Big Fin has new owners, Philippe Villain and Kevin O’Donnell, who are the energy behind several other Central Florida Hot Spots. Philippe says of the power of their new Sand Lake Road investment, “We always admired Big Fin, a hot spot for locals and a favorite for special events. And there is no place like restaurant row in all of Central Florida, in terms of capturing the diversity and dynamics of the Orlando culinary scene - its where you want to be – at Big Fin we are dedicated and immersed in genuine Hospitality” With new ownership will come enhancements to the current menu, ocean’s freshest seafood flown in daily, interactive cooking classes and an enhanced special events menu. Dellagio - The Heart of Sand Lake - is in the Dr. Phillips area of Orlando just minutes from Central Florida’s world-class theme parks and the Orange County Convention Center. Dellagio is home to some of Orlando’s favorite award-winning restaurants, a full line up of wellness and beauty destinations and a host of professional service companies. Over 30 brands make up the Dellagio family. www.dellagioorlando.com
Fox 35 Orlando's David Martin and his crew stopped by Dellagio (May 29, 2020) to film a spot for Good Day Orlando, sharing the exciting new EMS training available at PhysioFix Fitness.  Check out this informative segment on EMS Training at PhysioFix Orlando. https://www.fox35orlando.com/video/689190 Orlando’s first PhysioFix opened on February 14th at Dellagio Town Center. PhysioFix offers EMS training which stands for “electric muscle stimulation.” EMS is a high intense full-body work out that uses low-frequency electric impulses to stimulate muscles. EMS has been widely used in physiotherapy for decades. Its rapidly expanding use as a whole-body training method provides a combination of a highly effective strength and cardio training. PhysioFix uses the most advanced EMS devices in the fitness industry. Approved by the FDA in 2019, EMS training has been popular across the globe in sixty countries among professional soccer players and tennis players who are averse to work out injuries.  To schedule your FREE DEMO, contact PhysioFix at ( 407) 701-6145 or Ask@PhysioFixFitness.com
Orlando, FL May 16, 2020 - KC Malhan invites you to vote daily for their design, since being selected as a finalist by Handbag Designer 101, in the Fourteenth Annual “Independent Handbag Awards,” to be live streamed June 10th, for the category of Most Socially Responsible Handbag.  Vote here:https://bellamag.co/contestants/kc-malhan/ for KC Malhan. And You're being encouraged to vote daily.  For KC Malhan, to meet and exceed the ethical and moral principles of the Most Socially Responsible Handbag category, they have embraced the standards where a “portion of the proceeds are given back to that country of manufacturing and bags must be made by country that employs local communities to create jobs and work in third world countries or poverty-stricken regions.” As the winner, KC Malhan will partner with Global Goods Partners and one of their artisan communities to fabricate an exclusive handbag design. The GGP handbag will then be available on the GGP website and promoted through GGP's social media and other outlets.  The sponsor, Global Goods Partners, is a fair trade non-profit social enterprise partnering with artisan women around the world to provide them with reliable fair wage incomes, design assistance, business management support, and access to a worldwide market.”
According to Adam H Putnam, Commissioner of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, game promotion is defined as a contest, game of chance, sweepstakes, or gift enterprise, conducted by an operator within or throughout the state and other states in connection with and incidental to the sale of consumer products or services, and in which the elements of chance and prize are present. Game promotions offering prizes totaling more than $5,000 must file with the department seven days prior to commencement. Even game promotions based in other states must be filed if they are conducted in Florida and/or are open to Florida residents and have prizes valued at more than $5,000. If you determine that your "promotion" is required to be registered in the State of Florida, you can now file your Gaming and Promotion Application online with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. It's important to note that a surety bond or statement of trust is required from the operator unless they have conducted game promotions in Florida for at least five consecutive years and they have had no civil, criminal or administrative actions instituted against them for a violation of section 849.049, Florida Statutes, during that five year period. For more information on the State of Florida Gaming and Promotion laws visit their website, I find it very easy to navigate and you can download all the necessary forms. For more background on the legality of gaming and promotion laws and for information on how to manage all aspects of your small business I am fond of Legal Zoom. Resources: Rules for Raffles and Drawings - State of Florida  Visit Posh Abilities - FREE Nonprofit Resource Center
According to the current statues posted by the official website for the Florida Legislature: a "drawing by chance,” “drawing,” or “raffle” means an enterprise in which, from the entries submitted by the public to the organization conducting the drawing, one or more entries are selected by chance to win a prize. An organization that is exempt from federal income taxation may conduct a drawing of chance, pursuant to the authority granted by this section if the organization complies with a list of items.Don't let the potentially confusing information about raffle tickets and drawings of chance stop your Central Florida nonprofit organization from using this valuable tool to make money for your cause. Your organization will need to develop, publish and share rules on your promotion and if you are not using a professional event planner, you will want to read the statues COMPLETELY to ensure you are in compliance. There are swift penalties if you do not. But here are the primary points that Posh Able Events use when creating and running Raffles in the State of Florida. Create the rules document based on the FULL criteria in the statue Publish a PDF version on your website and have copies on-site in printed format All brochures, advertisements, notices, tickets disclose this website. The rules governing the conduct and operation of the drawing, name of the organization, and its principal place of business. The date, hour, and place where the winner will be chosen and the prizes will be awarded, unless the brochures, advertisements, notices, tickets, or entry blanks are not offered to the public more than 3 days prior to the drawing. State that no purchase or contribution is necessary. The winner may not be predetermined by means of matching, instant win, or preselected sweepstakes Statues say we can NOT require an entry fee or donation rather we should suggest a minimum donation Do NOT arbitrarily remove or disqualify any entry or discriminate in any manner Award Prizes and Post Winners on Your Web Page and Social Media Resources: Read and Understand Statute Before Publishing Your Rules Visit Posh Abilities - FREE Nonprofit Resource Center Visit Posh University  - Sharing Innovative Ideas and Helpful Hints on Event Planning, Image Building, and Philanthropy
MAITLAND, Fla. (May 15, 2020) – The American Fundraising Foundation (AmFund) has announced an expansion of its support to qualified nonprofit organizations throughout the nation beginning immediately. A simple application form is available online at www.AmFund.org/Giving for organizations wishing to be considered for these expanded funding opportunities. “Each year, AmFund partners with 400 nonprofit organizations. In response to the unprecedented need, we are expanding our support to 650 nonprofits in 2020 and 800 in 2021. We will also accelerate and expand our year-end financial grant program through a simplified application process for awards in July and December this year”, said Deborah Marshall, Chief Operating Officer of the American Fundraising Foundation. AmFund’s President and Co-Founder, Wade West expressed concern for the services provided by nonprofits. “We all realize this pandemic created incredible challenges for nonprofits. Not only are donations down, but people, animals, the arts and many worthy causes need support now more than ever.” The American Fundraising Foundation, a GuideStar Platinum rated 501©3 nonprofit, has distributed over 36 million dollars to other service-providing nonprofits over the course of the past 20 years. “Our mission is to empower worthy nonprofits by providing much needed unrestricted funds,” Marshall said. “We are taking action through this additional funding to ensure the continuation of services for those in need.” “We anticipate that the response to this offering will be significant and are asking interested nonprofits to complete the online application as a first step toward consideration.” Marshall explained. “AmFund has been and will continue to be a trusted advisor to nonprofits as we provide educational seminars, media training, a speaker’s bureau and much needed unrestricted funds for all the exceptional work being done by nonprofits that are devoted to saving and enhancing lives and communities every day”. To apply for AmFund’s special programs, visit www.AmFund.org/Giving Media Contact: Deborah Marshall Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer dmarshall@amfund.org (407) 895-8000 About the American Fundraising Foundation Each year, the American Fundraising Foundation (AmFund) carefully chooses organizations to support through sponsorship of events, year-end grant distribution of financial support, virtual silent auctions, and other programs to raise much-needed unrestricted funds for the important mission of those organizations. AmFund is recognized with the GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency and since 1999 has raised more than $36 million for worthy causes. Its signature silent auctions featuring once-in-a-lifetime experiences are presented at organizations’ special events, drawing admiration, praise and excitement as the entire process elevates the event in the eyes of patrons, board members and the community. Leveraging more than two decades of fundraising experience, AmFund also provides expert training on a wide variety of topics and offers subject matter expertise through its Speaker’s Bureau for groups ranging in size from 12 to 500. Additionally, AmFund annually distributes unrestricted grants to select organizations. For more information, visit www.amfund.org or call (407) 895-8000. Read AmFund’s blog at www.amfund.org/blog and connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. ###
13.05.2020
Paula Wyatt
No comments
GROWING A HEALTHY AND HAPPY TEAM  (Winter Park, Florida) - Winter Park Construction (WPC) believes that the foundation of a strong and healthy organization is built by healthy and happy employees - and their families. For over 45 years, WPC has taken a holistic approach to employee happiness, ensuring not only that their 140+ full-time employees enjoy the highest level of safety on the job - but by designing an environment in which healthy habits are nurtured and rewarded. WPC President, Jeff Forrest knows of the importance of growing a healthy and happy workplace, he comments: “As a community and as an industry, we’ve been compelled to establish new operational and communication procedures as we define our new-norm in a post-covid world. As the world is opening back up, safely and slowly, at WPC we are reinforcing our commitment to what we’ve always believed - that healthy employees make a happy workplace” Every year in May, Global Employee Health and Fitness Month aims to improve the health of the global workforce. Through initiatives and helpful programs, the campaign encourages employers to engage their employees in healthful activities. #EmployeeHealthAndFitnessMonth WPC is participating in the national 2020 Healthiest Employers Awards Program. Awarded locally by the Orlando Business as Central Florida’s Healthiest Employer Award, finalists announced this fall. WPC Health and Wellness Programs for Employees The WPC Run Walk Club gives employees and their families an opportunity to participate in year-long events across Central Florida ranging from family walks to competitive marathons. WPC funds the activities, with all ages and levels being represented, nearly 30% of the WPC team in the club. Plus, participants earn points per kilometer walked. WPC pays employees to STOP SMOKING. Employees sign up to kick the habit and check-in at regular intervals with the program administrator. The Company starts participants off by reimbursing up to $500 for smoking cessation aids. At the 180-day milestone, employees receive a $500 reward. After another six months, they receive another $500 reward. The program began in 2013 and so far, 18 employees have kicked the habit. WPC Weight Loss - WPC employees can earn between $3 and $15 per pound lost on the program. The program offers information, support and accountability. WPC Gym Membership Program - WPC contributes up to $1,000 a year for employees to join a local fitness facility, plus pays up to $500 for their family members. To encourage results, employees report attendance, which equates to how much they will get paid.  Wellness Program - WPC offers a full menu of health insurance options, in which employees can earn discounts by participating in the WPC Wellness Program. WPC partners with Nurtur to provide employees with a comprehensive internet-based health management program that offers healthcare information, assessments and customized programs. Plus, by participating in the Wellness Program, employees can earn discounts on their healthcare plans - for things as easy as getting their annual physical. WPC President, Jeff Forrest, “Safety is a top priority in the construction industry and having employees that are in good shape and feeling great, absolutely makes for a safer, more efficient and healthier environment.” Since 1974, WPC has provided general contractor, pre-construction, construction management and renovation services to Central Florida and the southeast United States. With over $200M in projects set from completion in 2020, WPC provides employment for 140+ full-time employees and thousands of subcontractor positions. With a portfolio rich in many sectors, in 2020 WPC is focusing on construction projects in the hospitality sector and in the senior housing market as well as on major renovation projects.
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