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LAKEB US I N E SSMAGAZ I N E

The 2015 list of young men and women making a name for themselves in business

THIRTY U N D E R

PLU S

NEXT GEN

My TEK brings high-tech child’s play

MADE IN LAKE Local companies with national reach


TODAY’S PASSWORD: SERVICE What differentiates one high-tech security system from its identical twin will always be the service after the sale. For over 30 years Premier Alarm Systems Solutions (PASS) has built a reputation for quality sales, installation—and service that is second to none. From the ways our system designers consult with our clients to create an exact-fit security and fire detection solution. To the pains our installers take to be sure they never interfere with a client’s business during installation. Even to the housekeeping we do afterwards to leave a location cleaner than before we came. The common thread that connects all of our satisfied clients is the quality of service they received with their system.

FIRE PROTECTION Fire Alarm // Fire Extinguishers // Kitchen Hood Systems Service, Inspection, Installation, Monitoring SECURITY SYSTEMS Intrusion Detection // Access Control // CCTV Service, Inspection, Installation, Monitoring LOW VOLTAGE SYSTEMS Home Automation // System Integration // CAT 5E, CAT 6 and CAT 6A // Fiber Optics // Coax HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS Nurse Call // Wandering Systems Service, Inspection, Installation

FOR THE LATEST HOME OR BUSINESS SOLUTIONS, CONTACT PREMIER ALARM SYSTEMS SOLUTIONS AT 888-965-PASS OR PASS-FL.COM EF0000152


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352.243.2292 352.391.1334 4355 S Highway 27 3509 Wedgewood Ln. Delivery not available in all areas. EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® & Design and all other marks noted are trademarks of Edible Arrangements, LLC. ©2015 Edible Arrangements, LLC. All rights reserved.

Career and Technical Education For additional information about CTE in Lake County, visit the Career-Technical, School Choice and Community Education Department’s link on the Lake County Schools website at www.lake.k12.fl.us or call (352) 253-6780.

71 CTE Academies offer industry certifications and college credit.

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C O N T E N T S LAKE B US I N E SS MAGAZ I N E

/// 2 0 1 5 T H I R D Q U A R T E R

F E AT U R I N G ‹‹‹

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30 UNDER 30 It is no surprise that local young professionals are not waiting for a stroke of luck to advance in their careeres.

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MADE IN LAKE

‹‹‹

This Company Sucks: Vac-Tron Equipment is there when the dust settles.

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KID TEK Students at My Tek Lab in Clermont are ‹‹‹ getting a hands-on jump start in real-world information technology applications — and they’re having fun, too!

D E PA R T M E N T S 7 9 12

FROM THE CEO THE BUZZ ADVISORY BOARD

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TECHNOLOGY FIGHT THE URGE TO SURGE /// FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE UPGRADING TO WINDOWS 10

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LEADERSHIP ENHANCE COMMUNICATION WITH YOUR TEAM /// TRUE LEADERS WIN MULTIPLE CHAMPIONSHIPS

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SALES & MARKETING INCREASE VISIBILITY WITH SIMPLE VIDEO /// WHY EVERY BUSINESS SHOULD BE DOING CONTENT MARKETING

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FINANCE GO FUND YOURSELF, CROWDFUNDING /// MAKING THE CUT; EDC ADJUSTS TO BUDGET CHANGES

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HUMAN RESOURCES WELLNESS STARTS AT THE OFFICE /// HOW DOES A PAYROLL DEBIT CARD WORK

ON THE C OV ER BENJAMIN HOMAN, OWNER OF SKILLFUL ANTICS. PHOTO: FRED LOPEZ


LAKE BUSINES S MAGAZ I N E

AT YOUR SERVICE

F E AT U R I N G

BARBA BA RBA R A

COR COR AN

THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING EXCITING HAPPENING AT AKERS MEDIA

THE SHARK TANK STAR DISCUSSES INCREDIBLE CLIMB FROM WAITRESS TO MILLIONAIRE PLUS

“LE E D”I N G TH E WAY

BANK PRESIDENT KEN LAROE DREAMS OF GREENER LAKE COUNTY

PUBLISHING The magazines of Akers Publishing – Healthy Living, Lake & Sumter Style, Style/The Villages Edition and Lake Business Magazine – set the standard by focusing on the communities in which they serve. Each magazine provides up-to-date, entertaining and thought-provoking content that thoroughly represents the people and places that make these communities special.

CREATIVE In 2012, Akers launched a full-service advertising agency which has already been recognized nationally by the American Advertising Federation (AdFed) with multiple Addy awards. Our strategy is simple: provide big market agency quality with local convenience and attitude.

OF STYLE WOMEN BUSINESS to get the job done right These ladies work hard May 2014

What’s in a name?

• Branding • Advertising • Graphic Design

For nearly 40 years, Lake ENT & FPS has been setting the standard for compassion, technology and artistry in patient care for ear, nose, throat and facial plastic surgery. LEARN MORE ABOUT THEIR “GALLERY” OF SERVICES INSIDE.

MAKING WAVES

yoga? What’s SUP with paddleboard

Etations CAARRirirrita SOS SKIN CARE irritations

in skin mer ski Fight back against summer

IF THE T E SH SHOE HOE OE FITS F S

ND MONEY AAND KIDS Allowance and other helpful tips

Putting best Putti Pu est st foot ffooot forward fo d too help hhel elp

needy edy dy

MENTAL GAR GARDENING GA R

Dig up the root roo oooot ot cause caus cca aause uusssee of your anxiety use

TIGHTEN THE SKIN YOU’RE IN

RISKY BUSINESS

No away around it, investing entails

risk

ME, MOM & DEMENTIA

IIs your skin skin sagging sag sa agging andd losing ng elasticity? el ela city? elasti elas

A mother and daughter bond in the face of Alzheimer’s disease.

IN THE

Whoo needs theme parks whenn Lake County has the greatt outdoors? So, unplug the SUV pa upp the children, pack the children, local y own local your di disc andd discover sunsational sunsaational adventure.

Plus P lus

TTHINGS HINGS YOU YOU SHOULD YO SHOULD KNOW KNOW

Bargains, BBarg arggains, freebies freebbies right right ooutside utside yo your our ddoor oor

SSTILL TILL BBEAUTIFUL EAUTIFUL EA

… after after all all these these ttears ears

HHAVE AVE YOU YOU TIPPED TIPPED A TIRE TIRE TODAY? TODAY?

RRope ope cclimbing, limbing, trac tractor ctor ttire ire ttipping ippping aand nd cchin-ups, hin-ups, oh my my! y!

• Broadcast media • Interactive media • PR and Promotions

• Media placement • Custom Publishing

STUDIO The old adage holds that a picture is worth 1,000 words. Our philosophy is 1,000 words is merely a good starting point. At Akers Studio, we produce priceless images that inspire words like magnificent, stunning, breathtaking and perfect. And we do so for every client, whether they need a quick passport photo or a 60-minute documentary. • Portraits • Events

• Architectural • Videography • Commercial

• In-studio • On-location

AKERS APPS! S H OW YOU R LOVE

Visit the Apple or Android app store today and download the Lake & Sumter Style or Healthy Living online magazine app for your mobile device. For the best in enhanced magazine entertainment, join us online for the media experience of a lifetime.

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Become a fan of Lake Business Magazine, Lake & Sumter Style or Healthy Living by friending us on our Facebook page, following us on Twitter or visiting our YouTube channel. You can sign up for our email list at www.lakebusinessmagazine.com

Creativity at its peak.


F R O M

T H E

P R E S I D E N T

A SWIFT KICK IN THE … f you are an entrepreneur, then you will understand what I am about to say. Sometimes, I just need a swift kick in the …! There are times in running my business where I feel completely beat down, discouraged and ready to just sell or even throw in the towel. There are so many decisions that need to be made—business-changing decisions and life-altering decisions—and they all rest on my shoulders. I have employee issues to deal with and personality dynamics like you wouldn’t believe. Have you ever tried to mix sales people with creative people and put them in one building? It’s like putting a cat and Tasmanian devil in a paper sack and shaking it up. There are client relationship issues to deal with, and quite frankly, some people just can’t be satisfied no matter what you do for them. At times, all the things I mentioned seem to hit me all at once and take me to the brink of a breakdown. But, just about the time something happens, I get a swift kick that reminds me why I do what I do. I get a swift kick that reminds me several short years ago, we started this company with an idea and a media kit. We started at a time when other companies were cutting back, struggling and even failing. We started this business by getting loans, maxing out credit cards, draining our savings account and robbing Peter to pay Paul. Today, just six and a half years later, we are a multimillion-dollar company, we have achieved more than 100 awards of excellence, recognized as one of the “fastest-growing media companies” by Inc. 5000 and have grown from four employees to nearly 30. Excuse me while I pat myself on the back, but I have done a damn good job. Well, I say, “I” have done a great job, but I certainly didn’t do it alone. But “I” did choose my team, which means I can take a little credit, right? Why not? If you are a business owner then you know exactly why sometimes it takes a swift kick. As one of my husband’s idols (Dave Ramsey) once said, “Only a business owner has experienced the fact that you can go from sheer excitement to sheer terror in a matter of 24 hours.” It is the business owner who holds the weight of the world, and not just his world, but also the worlds of all of his employees and clients on his shoulders. It is the business owner who wakes up at 4 a.m. in cold sweats wondering if there will be enough cash flow to make ends meet. It is the business owner who is tasked with creating new ways to stay relevant and not become obsolete. I could go on like this for hours, but you get the point. It’s all up to you, the business owner, to make things happen. So why put yourself in this situation? Bottom line is it is because you are just like me—you LOVE it. You love what you do because you are good at it. You love what you do because in the midst of all, you are making a difference. So, when you feel yourself getting kicked in the teeth, take time to reflect. Remember why you started, what your goals are and stay focused. Also, remember success is not looking at where you are today. Success is looking at where you started, compared to where you are at this moment. I am certain by that standard, you can consider yourself and your business a success.

I

KENDRA AKERS, CEO kendra@akersmediagroup.com 7 2015 TH I R D QUARTE R


OUTSTANDING QUALITY CUSTOMER SERVICE PUBLISHER | KENDRA AKERS kendra@akersmediagroup.com VICE PRESIDENT | DOUG AKERS doug@akersmediagroup.com CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER | JAMIE EZRA MARK jamie@akersmediagroup.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER | SABRINA CICERI sabrina@akersmediagroup.com

EDITORIAL

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS JAMES COMBS | TONY ELAM | DR. MAEN HUSSEIN KATIE LEWIS | BOB PERRY | TIM PICCIRILLO DAVE RAMSEY | ALEXANDER SOTOMAYOR JOHN SOTOMAYOR

DESIGN

CREATIVE DIRECTOR | STEVEN J CODRARO steve@akersmediagroup.com ART DIRECTOR | JOE DELEON joe@akersmediagroup.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER | JOSH CLARK josh@akersmediagroup.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER | RHEYA TANNER rheya@akerscreative.com PRODUCTION DIRECTOR | MICHAEL GAULIN michael@akersmediagroup.com

PHOTOGRAPHY FRED LOPEZ

SALES

VP OF SALES AND MARKETING | TIM MCRAE tim@akersmediagroup.com SR ACCOUNT REP | MIKE STEGALL mike@akersmediagroup.com ACCOUNT REP | HEIDI RESSLER heidi@akersmediagroup.com ACCOUNT REP | DAVID COTÉ david@akersmediagroup.com

AKERS MEDIA IS A PROUD MEMBER OF

Specializing in Corporate Recognition, Custom Engraving, Plaques, Trophies and Name Badges.

FLORIDA MAGAZINE ASSOCIATION

LEESBURG PARTNERSHIP

LAKE EUSTIS AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

WINNER OF

LEESBURG CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

TAVARES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

SUMTER COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

SOUTH LAKE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

AMERICAN ADVERTISING ASSOCIATION

74 AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE

Lake Business Magazine, Third Quarter 2015. Published by Akers Media, 108 5th Street, Leesburg, FL 34748.

352.343.8886 moore-awards.com moreawds@aol.com 11433 US HWY 441 SUITE 9, TAVARES

All editorial contents copyright 2015 by Akers Media. All rights reserved. Lake Business Magazine is a registered trademark of Akers Media. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. For information, call 352.787.4112. Return postage must accompany all unsolicited manuscripts and artwork if they are to be returned. Manuscripts are welcomed, but no responsibility can be assumed for unsolicited materials. “Special Advertising Feature” denotes a paid advertising feature. Publisher is not responsible for claims or contents of advertisements. The ideas and opinions contained in this publication do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of Akers Media.

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T H E

/// N EW S A N D N OTE S FR OM AR OU N D TH E COU NTY

B U Z Z

ALLU R I N G N EW AR R IVAL

MOUNT DORA- PizzAmore has moved to a brand new location with the same cozy atmosphere its customers have grown to love. The restaurant is still within the city of Mount Dora, but has opened in uptown at 722 E. 5th Ave., on the corner of Clayton Street.

PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

D R A M A G O E S D I G I TA L CLERMONT- Clermont’s Performing Arts Center recently launched a new website, clermontperformingarts.com. The site is filled with information and images about the center’s black box theater programs, as well as the 13 shows, which take place in the main performance hall. Additionally, the website features two on-site festivals, which will be live-streamed internationally.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS

LADY LAKE- Ulta Beauty will be coming to the Lady Lake Crossing shopping plaza on U.S. Hwy. 27/441 in Lady Lake. The store is one of three tenants going into the new development, one of which is Stein Mart, expected to open this November.

CLERMONT- Linda and Steve Smith, founders of New Beginnings, recently opened the New Beginnings Thrift Store at 415 Citrus Tower Blvd. in Clermont. Homeless and hurting people within the community will benefit from the proceeds. For more information call 352-2418500, or visit their store website at www. facebook.com/NBThriftClermont.

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Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z S M ART M ON EY

H OLY S M OK E!

EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa. Equipped with computer chips, these cards are designed to help protect consumers and reduce the costs of fraud. The EMV liability shift goes into effect on Oct. 1, 2015, meaning the financial responsibility for counterfeit card fraud no longer rests solely with the card issuer. Unlike a traditional card, which uses a magnetic stripe transaction, EMV cardholders insert the card into an EMV-enabled terminal. The card remains in the terminal throughout the transaction. Each time the card is used for payment, the chip creates a unique code that cannot be used again.

EUSTIS — Michael Swanson was named as new fire chief for the City of Eustis. He will oversee a staff of 24 firefighters. He brings more than 25 years of fire service and has also served as a fire ranger with the Division of Forestry. “I am honored to have been selected as the fire chief for a department that has so much tradition and heritage,” Swanson said. “But most importantly, I am looking forward to working alongside such an incredibly devoted group of professionals. I have been so impressed with the citizens of Eustis and their welcoming spirit and look forward to what the future holds for the City of Eustis and the fire department.” Swanson earned a fire science degree from Edison State College and is also a graduate of the National Fire Academy.

In 2012, counterfeit card fraud caused $1.9 billion in losses for businesses and $3.4 billion for cardholders.

PROMISED LAND CLERMONT- South Lake Hospital just purchased a 6.5-acre lot along State Road 50 for $1.5 million. Plans are still in the works for the land’s development, but resources say that the possibilities are endless.

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COLLISION OF COUNTIES APOPKA- The first 25-mile phase of the Wekiva Parkway toll road has begun in Apopka, where State Road 429 meets U.S. Hwy. 441. The road’s purpose is to ultimately connect Lake, Orange and Seminole counties. Phase one is expected to be completed in 2017, while the entire Wekiva Parkway project will not be finished until 2021. The Central Florida Expressway Authority is determined to have as little effects on traffic as possible during the construction process.

TA L K I N G S H O P WILDWOOD- O’Shea’s Sports Pub on State Road 44 will soon be demolished to make room for a new retail development across from Brownwood’s Paddock Square. The 17,350-squarefoot development will consist of four one-story buildings, but their tenants are yet to be determined.

LAKE B US I N E SS MAGAZ I N E.COM


G O O D N E W S T R AV E L S FA S T MOUNT DORA- The 23rd annual Good News Jail & Prison Ministry Fundraiser took place May 8 at St. Mary’s Missionary Baptist Church in Mount Dora. This year’s message was “Transforming Lives Here and Around the World.” About 280 people were in attendance, and $19,000 was raised toward Good News Ministry Programs. TB Financial Group INC was a major sponsor of the event, covering costs such as dinner and entertainment.

R OOM F OR A WALK GROVELAND- A plan is in the works to reroute traffic around downtown Groveland on a new section of State Road 50. The changes will be made as part of an attempt to decrease semi-trailer interference and increase foot traffic in the downtown area. Along with the project, Groveland Mayor Tim Loucks says the city can move forward with a number of economic redevelopment projects, including a new City Hall.

J O S H TA K E S O N :

I LLU S T RATOR JOS H CLAR K’S ADM IT TE DLY AS K EW P OI NT- O F-VI EW

K E E PI N G IT CLAS SY The following courses are being offered by Lake County’s Business Opportunity Centers throughout the months of July and August at Lake-Sumter State College. They are free or low cost as a courtesy of the Florida Small Business Development Center at UCF. Lake-Sumter State College’s North Lake campus in Leesburg: ››› July 9: “How to Start Your Business” ››› July 16: “Making Sense of the Numbers: Bookkeeping and Taxes” ››› July 23: “Insurance for Business” ››› August 13: “Business Plan Writing Made Easy” ››› August 20: “Financing Your Business in Today’s Economy” Lake-Sumter State College’s South Lake campus in Clermont: ››› July 16: “How to Start Your Business” ››› July 23: “Making Sense of the Numbers: Bookkeeping and Taxes.” ››› July 30: “Insurance for Business” ››› August 20: “Business Plan Writing Made Easy” ››› August 27: “Financing Your Business in Today’s Economy” For more information, call Theresa Davis at 352-315-1846 or Cesar Gomez at 352-429-2581.

PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

T Y P E S O F WO R K E R S I N L A K E C O U NT Y:

Private wage or salary 84%; Government 4%; Self-Employed, not incorporated 12%. SO U R C E : C IT Y-DATA . C O M

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A D V I S O R Y

B O A R D

TH E H EART OF OU R MAGAZ I N E

The heart of Lake Business Magazine is a group of astute, hard-working business leaders. The thoughts, ideals, philosophies and tried-and-true practices in this issue come from an incredibly talented group of business leaders who make up our advisory board. Our magazine staff is just the conduit to get business people talking, sharing ideas and helping each other grow and improve.

Jessica Flinn When it comes to success, Jessy Flinn has all the right ingredients. She serves as owner and executive chef of Gourmet Today, which opened in 2011. Gourmet Today is a full-service catering company that offers meal delivery, private chef services and cooking classes. Jessy’s passion in life is food, and she strives to uphold her company’s motto, “Rare service, Well done.”

Lou Buigas Lou Buigas is owner of B-Green Construction and Management, Hoity-Toity Mercantile and Green Art Gallery. She is also owner and managing partner of the Tavares WaterFront Entertainment District Group, a marketing company that formulates innovative ideas to reinvest funds back into the downtown waterfront.

Doug Childers, Jr. Doug Childers is president and chief executive officer of Lassiter Ware Insurance, a company that has been in Lake County for more than 100 years. The Sumter County native has been with the company for nearly 10 years, and he took over as CEO two years ago. Childers has a bachelor’s degree in risk management/ insurance from Florida State University.

Barbara Gaines Barbara Gaines, owner of Sense of Etiquette, holds certifications in corporate and children’s etiquette from the American School of Protocol in Atlanta. Sense of Etiquette assists individuals, groups, corporate, government and educational institutions to enhance the confidence of children, teens and adults to present a confident and courteous image.

Bryan Rudolph Bryan Rudolph has more than 25 years of broadcast television and video post-production experience. A graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Bryan has served as a videographer/producer/ director for several TV stations. He started his company, Video Doc Productions, in 1991. Today the company is a trusted audio-video and technology resource center.

Joe Shipes Mount Dora High School graduate Joe Shipes worked in retail management and sales marketing before earning his real estate broker’s license. In 1995, he became chief executive officer of The Leesburg Partnership, where he spearheads improvement projects and organizes events. Joe lives in Umatilla with his wife and two children.

Ally Liu Ally and her husband Harry opened Azure Water in 2013 in Leesburg. She attended Webster University. The Stewarts and their company are active in community affairs and recently made a donation to CannedWater4Kids, a program that provides clean water for children in Africa. Azure Water relocated to Leesburg from Hudson.

Carolyn Maimone Lake County native Carolyn Maimome is executive director of the Home Builders Association of Lake-Sumter. Carolyn studied business management and information technology at Lake Sumter State College. A turning point in her career occurred in 2006 when she was promoted to be project manager for a large distribution company.

Daniel D. Whitehouse Daniel D. Whitehouse entered the legal profession after years managing Information Technology (IT) infrastructures for large companies. Whitehouse holds degrees from Webster University and Stetson University College of Law. He is a member of The Florida Bar, the Orange County Bar Association and the Lake County Bar Association.

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Lanny Husebo Lanny Husebo is president of Husebo Marketing. Founded in 1962, the agency is celebrating its 53rd year specializing in medical, financial, and industrial business through traditional and social media. Company highlights include coordinating the opening of LRMC, designing the first Lake County tourism campaign and being part of the Vac-Tron team for over 20 years.

Michelle Harris Michelle Harris is the community service representative of the Florida Governmental Utility Authority (FGUA), a special purpose government that acquires, owns, improves and operates water and wastewater utilities. Michelle brings 20 years of experience to the eight counties she serves. She earned a BS degree in business management from Liberty University.

Miranda Burrowes Native Floridian Miranda Burrowes is public relations specialist for the City of Eustis. She earned her Public Relations degree at the University of South Florida and began her career at the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home. Next, she served as assistant director of development for the Foundation for Seminole State College.

Nan Cobb Classic Tents and Events owner and native Floridian Nan Cobb has lived in Lake County for more than 25 years. She is a member of multiple chambers of commerce and is second vice president of the Eustis Historical Museum. A florist by trade, her passion is turning an art into unique décor.

Nancy Muenzmay Nancy Muenzmay is the presidents and co-owner of Striking Effects Promotions, a 20-year-old company specializing in embroidery, engraving and promotional products. She also currently is the director of Lake Sumter State College’s Business Incubator Programs. Her work history includes roles such as elementary school teacher and senior financial analyst.

Ray San Fratello Ray San Fratello has been the South Lake Chamber of Commerce president for more than 11 years. The Clermont resident attended Erie County Technical Institute and Buffalo State University. Before coming to Florida, Ray served as president of the Genesee County (New York) Chamber of Commerce. He’s married with three children.

Robert L. Chandler IV As director of Lake County’s Economic Growth Department, Robert oversees Planning & Community Design, Building Services, Economic Development and Tourism. Robert has an undergraduate degree in psychology from Davidson College, and a Master of Business Administration Degree from the University of Florida. Robert and his wife have two daughters.

Susan Ellis Lake County native Susan Ellis founded Hound Dogg Entertainment, a company that provides event planning, stage and lighting for concerts and local and national musicians to local venues. Susan studied business marketing at Lake-Sumter State College. Hound Dogg has provided entertainment for street festivals, arts and crafts shows and holiday events.

Mary Rhodes Mary Rhodes has helped people achieve home ownership since 1984, including 20 years with The Mortgage Firm, Inc. She opened the company’s Lake County branch in 2011. Mary finds financing for homebuyers through the Federal Housing Association, Veterans Affairs, USDA and jumbo mortgages. She also does refinancing and reverse mortgages.

Kress Muenzmay Kress Muenzmay is vice president and co-owner of Striking Effects Promotions, a 20-year-old company specializing in embroidery, engraving and promotional products. His business career spans more than 45 years. He served as mayor and commissioner for the City of Eustis and currently serves on the Florida Hospital Waterman Foundation board of directors. 13

2015 TH I R D QUARTE R


U N D E R THIRTY illennials have been raised in a digital world and they’re equipped with high-tech tools that help them achieve immediate results. Therefore, it’s no surprise that local young professionals are not waiting for a stroke of luck to advance in their careers. Despite their

M

S TO RY J A M E S C O M B S

young ages, many have charged full-steam ahead and are already making marks on this world. Lake Business Magazine is excited to share their triumphs and successes in our inaugural 30 Under 30 list, which introduces readers to some of the most talented young professionals in our area.

/// P H O T O G R A P H Y

FR E D LOPE Z

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BENJAMIN HOMAN, 29

CURRENT TOWN: Clermont OCCUPATION: Owner of Skillful Antics DUTIES: I create awesome and affordable websites. GREATEST CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENT: We have clients in eight states, and we are opening our third location this year. BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY: Focus on building relationships first and businesses second. MY CELEBRITY SPOKESPERSON: Brad Pitt because he’s simply awesome. ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS: Don’t look at clients as a dollar sign. Talk to them and get to know who they truly are and establish a relationship first. GUILTY PLEASURE: I love looking at expensive tech gifts for men. I don’t buy them; I just enjoy looking at how creative inventors can be.

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SAMANTHA STEWART, 21

CURRENT TOWN: Mount Dora // OCCUPATION: Realtor/sales associate for Watson Realty Corp. IF I COULD HAVE A DRINK WITH ANYONE: I’d drink a mojito with Bill Gates and pick his brain on exactly how he got to where he is today. GREATEST PERSONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT: Going to Australia and competing in polocrosse as a member of the 18 and Under USA team. I was one of only seven youth players selected.

CHANTELBUCK, 29

CURRENT TOWN: Tavares OCCUPATION: President/ CEO of New Vision for Independence BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY: Do the right things the right way and everything else falls into place. INSPIRATIONAL LEADER: Sheryl Sandberg, who is chief operating officer of Facebook. As a high-ranking female leader in a predominantly male sector, she uses her influence to push for gender equality. GUILTY PLEASURE: Chocolate and Coke


ANTHONYBEALL, 29

CURRENT TOWN: Eustis OCCUPATION: Branch manager of Insight Credit Union BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY: If you want something, go get it. The key to success is failure. IN 10 YEARS: I will have mastered my profession with Insight Credit Union. FIRST JOB: Bus washer with the Lake County School Board. During summer, we washed, waxed and detailed every bus in the school system. HIDDEN TALENT: I love making people laugh. GUILTY PLEASURE: Chicken wings!

MIRANDABURROWES, 30

CURRENT TOWN: Eustis OCCUPATION: Public relations coordinator for the City of Eustis GREATEST CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENT: Having the City of Eustis, the Georgefest Parade, and Cameron Witsman featured on ABC World News. Cameron is a six-year-old-boy with a lifethreatening illness and was named as an honorary Eustis firefighter. PET PEEVE: I’m a grammar Nazi. I cringe when I drive by billboards that have typos. IF I COULD HAVE A DRINK WITH ANYONE: I’d have a Bud Light with Bethenny Frankel, who is founder of Skinnygirl Cocktails. She started with nothing and became rich with her drink line. Plus, I like the fact that she is tenacious.

CHASECHOWNING, 19 CURRENT TOWN: Fruitland Park OCCUPATION: I own Chowtime Apiary and also work at B&C Pest Solutions, which is owned by my family. SECRET TO SUCCESS: Don’t listen to negative things people have to say. As a young entrepreneur, I couldn’t tell you how many negative comments I received and how many people told me my business venture wouldn’t work. GUILTY PLEASURE: I don’t like eating anything healthy. It simply doesn’t taste good. BIGGEST INSPIRATION: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Donald Trump: Donald Trump because he’s a tougher, straight-to-the-point guy. The other two are nerdy. IF I COULD HAVE A DRINK WITH ANYONE: I’d drink rum with a famous pirate and find out where the hidden treasure is. HOBBIES: When I’m not working, I spend my time fishing and hunting.


TYLERSCOTT, 23

CURRENT TOWN: Tavares OCCUPATION: Supervisor of T. Scott Roofing, Inc. GREATEST CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENT: Being the third generation in a family business that was started by my grandfather in 1973. FIRST JOB: Winn Dixie when I was 16. I worked there for 18 months and realized I was better suited for an outdoor job. HIDDEN TALENT: Buying things and fixing them up to resell for profit. I’m a Craigslist junkie! BIGGEST INSPIRATION: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Donald Trump: Donald Trump. I like his straightforward, no-nonsense approach to business. PET PEEVE: Entitlement. Especially at my age, so many people are living an entitled life and don’t want to work hard for success. GUILTY PLEASURE: Fine cigars.

CAITLINJOSEPH, 24

CURRENT TOWN: Leesburg OCCUPATION: Owner of Pin Ups Salon and Spa GREATEST CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENT: Achieving my dreams by becoming a licensed cosmetologist and being able to operate my own business at 24. MY CELEBRITY SPOKESPERSON: Taylor Swift because she’s a great role model for the young crowd and promotes anti-bullying, which I strongly support. INSPIRATIONAL LEADER I ADMIRE: Jessica Alba. She started the Honest Company to provide healthy alternatives and natural products for her kids. HIDDEN TALENT: I can catch fish by throwing a cast net. I am a country girl at heart I guess you could say.

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ELIZABETH“LIZ”CORNELL, 28

CURRENT TOWN: Clermont OCCUPATION: CEO of TB Financial Group, Inc. LIFE PHILOSOPHY: Life is too short so make the most of each moment. I believe it’s our duty to leave the world a better place than when we got here.MY CELEBRITY SPOKESPERSON: Tony Robbins. His simple and proven path to success emphasizes the power of the mind. INSPIRATIONAL LEADER: Mark Cuban because he’s a bada**. I’d also choose Elizabeth Holmes, the youngest self-made billionaire. IF I COULD HAVE A DRINK WITH ANYONE: I’d have Dom Perignon with Jackie Kennedy. She was a classy lady and that was her drink of choice for White House functions.

SIERRAFORD, 24

CURRENT TOWN: Orlando OCCUPATION: Owner of Sierra Ford Photography BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY: My clients’ great-grandchildren will be looking at the pictures I take, so it is important to capture authentic emotion and personality. GUILTY PLEASURE: At 10 p.m. I drive to Jeremiah’s Italian Ice and order a strawberry-lemon gelato. IF I COULD HAVE A DRINK WITH ANYONE: I’d have a margarita with the Founding Fathers and talk about how they envisioned this world and how it is now. MY CELEBRITY SPOKESPERSON: Jack Johnson, a musician who raises environmental awareness through his band.

BOBBYSCHULTE, 27

CURRENT TOWN: Eustis OCCUPATION: Vice president of Triangle Lightning Protection BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY: Stay true to your core values. SECRET TO SUCCESS: Working hard and not taking myself too seriously. IN 10 YEARS: I’ll hopefully be in Lake County running our family business with my son, Chase. QUOTE TO LIVE BY: “Opportunity is missed by people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” MY CELEBRITY SPOKESPERSON: Ted Nugent. He stands up for the American Dream and the Constitution.


DRAKEPATTON, 19

CURRENT TOWN: Eustis OCCUPATION: Commercial Operations Support EMPLOYER: First National Bank of Mount Dora GREATEST PERSONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT: I was named as Employee of the Year at my bank. SECRET TO SUCCESS: I know there always is someone working harder than I. PET PEEVE: When people don’t put enough effort toward something, it grinds my gears. HIDDEN TALENTS: I play the guitar in my spare time. IF I COULD HAVE A DRINK WITH ANYONE: I would drink a Yuengling with my grandmother, who passed away when I was 4.

DAVID OLIVERWILLIS, 24

CURRENT TOWN: Mount Dora OCCUPATION: Owner of David Oliver Willis Music GREATEST PERSONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT: Finishing as a top 40 finalist on FOX’s “American Idol” SECRET TO SUCCESS: Showing up, moving forward and allowing every “no” to propel me further. INSPIRATIONAL LEADER I ADMIRE: Oprah Winfrey because she lives a life of authenticity while encouraging others to live life to their highest and best purpose.


CHELSEEHALEY, 25

CURRENT TOWN: Umatilla OCCUPATION: Office manager of Premier Alarm System Solutions SECRET TO SUCCESS: Hard work and personal relationships. ADVICE FOR ASPIRING BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS: Be friendly and outgoing. Networking is important. It really is all about who you know in business. IN 10 YEARS: I love my company and hope to stay for a while, but I would love and hope to own my own business someday. MY CELEBRITY SPOKESPERSON: Jennifer Lawrence. She’s fun, natural and easy to relate to. GUILTY PLEASURE: Binge-watching Netflix with a bottle of wine.

SEANPICKARD, 23

CURRENT TOWN: Umatilla OCCUPATION: Locomotive technician at Pensley Railroad GREATEST CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENT: I have progressed throughout my career from schooling, hands-on experience and hard work. I am a fully certified fire apparatus technician and have also earned other certifications in my field. BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY: Always give 110 percent in everything you do and you will go far. MY CELEBRITY SPOKESPERSON: Tim Tebow. He is one of the few male figures who through fame and fortune has kept his faith and made it known. GUILTY PLEASURE: I like to drive fast and get my relief at the drag track once a month.

KAYCEMcRAE, 29

CURRENT TOWN: Leesburg OCCUPATION: Manager of Internet sales at Central Industrial Sales, a machinery parts company that my grandfather opened 59 years ago SECRET TO SUCCESS: It takes passion and commitment to be successful. It doesn’t happen overnight. IN 10 YEARS: Well, in the near future I hope to become owner of Central Industrial Sales. My grandfather has owned it for 59 years and said he’ll retire once he’s had the company for 60 years. BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY: Just because you are struggling does not mean you are failing. MY CELEBRITY SPOKESPERSON: Reese Witherspoon because everyone says she’s my look-a-like HIDDEN TALENT: Ping-pong. Quite frankly, I never lose! PET PEEVE: Unsolicited advice.


JEFFBELL, 29

CURRENT TOWN: Fruitland Park OCCUPATION: Accredited disability representative EMPLOYER: Disability Consultants DUTIES: Represent and argue cases for our clients during disability hearings MY CELEBRITY SPOKESPERSON: Former college football coach Lou Holtz. Lou would keep things light; he has a great sense of humor and wit, and he also demands your respect when he speaks. HIDDEN TALENTS: I can juggle, draw a little bit and play three songs on the piano.

EMMASHOURDS, 21

CURRENT TOWN: Orlando OCCUPATION: Owner of Emma Shourds Photography BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY: My purpose for pursuing photography is to answer a calling to share God’s grace and beauty in timeless photographs, as well as encourage self-confidence and individual expression in clients. FAVORITE QUOTE: “Let go and let God.” I even have this tattooed on my foot. HIDDEN TALENT: I am really good at weird, cartoon-like voices. If I wasn’t pursuing photography, I would love to be a cartoon voiceover. It’s my alter-ego dream job! 22 LAKE B US I N E SS MAGAZ I N E.COM


BENJAMINCLARK, 27

CURRENT TOWN: Leesburg OCCUPATION: Vice president of David Clark Heating and Air Conditioning GREATEST CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENT: Becoming vice president of David Clark Heating and Air Conditioning. INSPIRATIONAL LEADER: My father, David Clark. He taught me the importance of honesty and hard work and how dedication is important to running a business. HOBBIES: Fishing, hunting and being outdoors.

BRITTANYBEALL, 29

CURRENT TOWN: Eustis OCCUPATION: Biology teacher at Eustis High School DUTIES: In addition to teaching, I am head coach of the school’s softball and weightlifting teams. I also serve as sponsor of the junior class and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. GREATEST CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENT: I was Rookie Teacher of the Year in 2012 and Eustis High School Coach of the Year in 2014. MY CELEBRITY SPOKESPERSON: Olivia Pope from the television show “Scandal.” I absolutely love how she’s a go-getter and backs down from nobody. PET PEEVE: Hearing people make excuses. GUILTY PLEASURE: McDonald’s french fries

MITCHELLRICE, 20

CURRENT TOWN: Eustis OCCUPATION: CEO/owner of Mitchell’s Moving BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY: Each job is the most important. GREATEST CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENT: Making my company a family business and being a dependable company. SECRET TO SUCCESS: Treating every customer with the same amount of respect and making sure everything I do is for them. IF I COULD HAVE A DRINK WITH ANYONE: I would have a beer with Mark Cuban because he is a great entrepreneur. PET PEEVE: When people look down on themselves and act like they aren’t capable of doing something. All they have to do is set their mind to it. GUILTY PLEASURE: Taking long weekends.

MEGHANISOM, 28

CURRENT TOWN: Oxford OCCUPATION: Owner of Just Jammin DUTIES: I make homemade jams for special events such as weddings, baby showers and fundraisers. BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY: Keep God first in all your endeavors and you will succeed. FIRST JOB: Working at my family’s business, where I’d do oil changes, jump start vehicles and wash the tow trucks. MY CELEBRITY SPOKESPERSON: Kenny Chesney. The words in his music speak to my soul. INSPIRATIONAL LEADER: Christian author and speaker Joyce Meyer. She is very charismatic and not afraid to speak her mind.


HALEYGERIG, 24

CURRENT TOWN: Tavares OCCUPATION: Owner of Haley’s Comet Clothing and Mobile Tuxedo Service DUTIES: I create custom-designed clothing, as well as tuxedos and suits. GREATEST CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENT: Co-founding Sweet Treats for the Arts, a fashion show fundraiser that has raised $36,000 LIFE PHILOSOPHY: Put your big girl panties on and deal with it! // Inspirational leader I admire: Coco Chanel because I design like her. No drawings… just a pattern in my head to go by. She also did not let anyone keep her from doing what she loved. IF I COULD HAVE A DRINK WITH ANYONE: I would dance (not drink) with Terry Crews because he is a riot and I love his moves! MY CELEBRITY SPOKESPERSON: Drew Barrymore. She has her own sense of style and doesn’t care what others think. She has also been through a lot and doesn’t give up.

MICHAELKNORR, 23

CURRENT TOWN: Leesburg OCCUPATION: Director of marketing and sales at THAT! Company. BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY: Live and do business in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you nobody would believe it. PET PEEVE: People who honk their horn after the light has been green for a moment. Patience, people! GUILTY PLEASURE: I enjoy sleeping in a bit too much. ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS: Pursue your passion, take calculated risks and make sure you’re making a difference. Pursuing money only to gain material wealth is meaningless.


LAURENFICKETT, 27

CURRENT TOWN: Eustis OCCUPATION: Realtor EMPLOYER: Morris Realty and Investments GREATEST LIFE ACCOMPLISHMENT: My wonderful husband and two beautiful girls. GUILTY PLEASURE: Cookies, cake, ice cream and chocolate. I have the world’s worst sweet tooth. MY CELEBRITY SPOKESPERSON: Barbara Corcoran. She started a real estate company with just $1,000 and turned it into a billiondollar business. IF I COULD HAVE A DRINK WITH ANYONE: I’d have a glass of pinot noir with my grandmother, who passed away six months before I was born. My dad said she and I would have been inseparable.

KELDASENIOR, 28

CURRENT TOWN: Mount Dora OCCUPATION: Public information officer for the City of Mount Dora BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY: “Let the public service be a proud and lively career.” GREATEST PERSONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT: Fulfilling my academic goals by earning a graduate degree. FIRST JOB: I worked two years at Old Navy. I learned essential life skills, including time management, teamwork and how to serve others. IF I COULD HAVE A DRINK WITH ANYONE: Nelson Mandela. I’d ask him to recommend a good wine from a South African vineyard. PET PEEVE: When social media is used for a diary.

MADISONHOLT, 18 CURRENT TOWN: Oxford OCCUPATION: Designer/ buyer for Monogrammit, Inc. GREATEST CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENT: Helping start a business at age 16. BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY: It’s all about being fair and ethical—not only to customers but also your employees. I think it is very important to be creative and original with your ideas. SECRET TO SUCCESS: I love being creative and making customers happy. ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS: Love what you do and do what you love.


KAYLEEPELTON, 24

CURRENT TOWN: Tavares OCCUPATION: Owner of CupKay’s Cakery, a cupcake food truck. DUTIES: I am the head pastry chef. BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY: I believe all gourmet products should be handcrafted from the finest ingredients and taste as great as they look. LIFE PHILOSOPHY: You must give everything to make your life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in your imagination. MY CELEBRITY SPOKESPERSON: Bobby Flay, an Iron Chef on the Food Network. He’s passionate about baking so he’d be passionate about my company.

DAVIDCOTÉ, 30

CURRENT TOWN: Leesburg OCCUPATION: Account Representative EMPLOYER: Akers Media LIFE PHILOSOPHY: God, family, work, fun. SECRET TO SUCCESS: Drive and integrity. Without either, you’ll never find success MY FIRST JOB: I was a waiter at Lake Port Square at 15. IN 10 YEARS: Right now, I’m thinking about today. All I know is, in the words of Zig Ziglar, “I’ll see you at the top.”

MICHAELFRYMIER, 21

CURRENT TOWN: Leesburg OCCUPATION: Owner of Computer Corner BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY: My slogan is, “Computer Repair with Care.” I strive to give each customer quality service at an affordable price. GREATEST CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENT: Running my own business at age 15 and incorporating the business at age 18. SECRET TO SUCCESS: Keeping the Lord first in everything I think, say and do. IF I COULD HAVE A DRINK WITH ANYONE: I’d drink with Steve Jobs so I could pick his brain about technology and how he came up with ideas on how to excel. GUILTY PLEASURE: Sour Patch Kids candy


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TH I S C M PA N Y SUCKS Vac-Tron Equipment is there when the dust settles. S TO RY J A M E S C O M B S

he 2010 BP oil spill was one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. History. Oil spewed from the ocean floor for 87 days, turning the Gulf of Mexico’s surface black and killing thousands of fish. Fortunately, a Lake County company played a role in the cleanup

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process. Vac-Tron Equipment, headquartered in Okahumpka, built 40 specialized vacuums that sucked oil from the water’s surface. The company also developed a vacuum designed to suck washed-up oil off beaches. “It made us feel great that we could do our part to help out,” said Don

Buckner, owner of the company. “But it’s not uncommon for the company to be involved in some type of emergency.” Vac-Tron’s services were requested in the massive cleanup because the company has established itself as the country’s largest producer of industrial vacuum equipment. Its vacu-

um products, which range in size from 150 to 4,000 gallons, can suction things like dirt, tar and sludge. They can also uncover pipelines, phone lines and fiber optics without damaging any expensive or hazardous lines. That’s very important since an accidental utility strike can result in project delays and

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Don Buckner and his son, Donnie, are cleaning up in the industrial vacuum industry. Their manufacturing company achieves global sales and international recognition. 31 2015 TH I R D QUARTE R


environmental contamination. The company’s vacuums are distributed throughout the U.S., as well as Australia, New Zealand, South America and The Philippines. Don started the company in 1997 with “himself, a cell phone, and an old pick-up truck.” It wasn’t long before Vac-Tron experienced unprecedented success. Within three years, Inc. Magazine named his company as the 13th-fastest growing company in the country. In 2000, the company achieved a record $22 million in sales, and Don was named as Florida’s Entrepreneur of the Year in a competition sponsored by Ernst and Young, NASDAQ, CNN Financial and USA Today. Today, Vac-Tron is housed in a 70,000 square-foot warehouse. The multi-million dollar company has created more

“We’ve never taken shortcuts to cheapen our products,” he said. “It’s a business model that’s worked well for us, and it’s one we’ll carry into the next 20 years.”

than 200 jobs, including both employees and subcontractors. Its products are distributed to 120 dealer outlets. “I attribute our success to God. We have been extremely blessed. Also, we’ve never taken shortcuts to cheapen our products,” he said. “It’s a business model that’s worked well for us, and it’s one we’ll carry into the next 20 years.” In 2014, the company received two Manufacturing Leadership Awards during Frost and Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership Council. The first category was in “Product Leadership” for its work on the 2010 BP oil spill cleanup. The second category was “Individual Project—Growth, Innovation and Leadership” in recognition of Don’s commitment to furthering the manufacturing industry. Despite his success, Don remains extremely hum-

ble. In fact, the lifelong Lake County resident has distributed more than $200 million to the community. He has helped launch several churches and generously donated to local food banks, as well as an orphanage in Honduras. He also mentors local business owners free of charge. And he only utilizes the services of local paint, steel and fabrication companies. “Part of my mission in life is to bring capital into the community and distribute it,” said Don, a 1980 graduate of Tavares High School. “I want to help enhance the community as much as possible.” His heart also bleeds red, white and blue. On July 4, 2013, Don launched MadeIntheUSA.com to provide consumers with a directory of American-made manufacturers. For more information, visit www.vactron.com.

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G R OW I N G , G R OW I N G , GON E! About 25 years ago, Enviromental Composites, Inc. was just your typical garage start-up. Now, Chet Simmons’ products cross international lines S TO R Y K AT I E L E W I S

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hen Chet Simmons decided to incorporate his business in 1989, Lake County seemed to be the ideal place to do so. “It was just your typical garage shop startup at the time,” said Simmons, chief executive officer of Environmental Composites, Inc.

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Now, 25 years later, Environmental Composites, Inc. spans the entire state, as well as reaching across the nation and even internationally. The company manufactures stormwater management solutions, including fiberglass skimmers, grating and marine dock parts. It designs, engineers and manufactures products from fiberglass-reinforced plastic, aluminum, steel and stainless steel for stormwater treatment, water and waste water treatment and corrosion-resistant applications. “We are a major supplier in the state, from Key West to Pensacola,” Simmons said. An aquarium in Chicago has benefited from the Lake County company’s services. The company even has reached as far as

“We started small and then grew from there. This year we would like to double the size of our company. We currently are at 14 employees.”

an offshore drilling site in Indonesia, as well. “We started small and then grew from there,” he said. “This year we would like to double the size of our company. We currently are at 14 employees.” Chet said he has been involved with plastics since the release of the 1967 film “The Graduate.” “Remember the scene where one of the family friends tells Dustin Hoffman he has ‘one word for him, plastics’? Well, that’s about the same time I got into composites.” Seeing the industry’s development over the years has been exciting, he said. “Going forward, we can see the businesses growing in Lake County,” says Simmons. We’re very supportive of growth in our county and the

surrounding areas. That’s what makes it ideal to be here. “Lake County also offers a great central location,” he continued. “That’s key by the nature of my business. We’re close to Orlando, only two hours from Jacksonville, close to both I-75 and I-95. There are a lot of pluses to being located in Lake County; everybody’s friendly and it’s a great business atmosphere. I’ve loved every day, week, month and year I’ve spent in Lake County.” For more information, visit www.environmentalcomposites.com.

MADE IN LAKE IS AN ON-GOING FEATURE. DON’T MISS OCTOBER’S BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT.

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Students at My TEK Lab in Clermont are getting a hands-on jump start in real-world information technology applications — and they’re having fun, too! S TO R Y K AT I E L E W I S

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acob Coonley gets the chance each week to build robots and control them using a computer smaller than a cell phone. He also programs computer games, builds web pages and uses a 3D printer to create just about anything he can imagine. But, this 10-year-old isn’t a computer programmer or software engineer — yet.

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Back (L–R): Robbie Coonley, Becky Demmler and Dennis Soto. Front (L–R): Stephen Souders, Jacob Coonley and Jacky Souders.


Instead, he is one of about 50 students per week who attend My TEK Lab in Clermont, a lab offering children and young adults access to cutting-edge technology with guided instruction in various areas of information technology. “We learned how to shut down each other’s computers,” Jacob said, as he smiled at his brother Robbie, 13. “Which was pretty cool.”

Run by Stephen and Jacky Souders, the technology lab has been open for about five months and is off to a great start, Stephen said. The lab serves as a “makerspace” for children, he said. There are three distinct, yet complementary, stations including “robotics,” “programming” and “create.” It allows kids to learn computer programming, create their own apps, video games

and more. Students have the opportunity to create, design and develop their own ideas using four 3D printers, too. “We had been thinking about doing this for the past 10 years, but we had to wait for the technology to become more accessible,” he said. “It’s a lot of real-world application condensed into a child-friendly package.” With the increased

Becky Demmler holds a Raspberry Pi. This low-cost, credit card-sized computer enables people of all ages to explore computing and is capable of everything a desktop computer can do. Source: raspberrypi.org

popular interest in technology and the affordable and robust equipment, the Souders finally knew the time was right earlier this year to implement their dream. Making their dream a reality involved merging the couple’s professional backgrounds and passions, which (according to Jacky) perfectly complemented each other to make the lab a success. Jacky has a background in teaching, with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Florida Southwestern State College and more than 10 years of experience teaching children of all ages. She has worked as an early childhood teacher and managed an after school program over the span of her career. “When the kids arrive for class, they don’t walk in — they run in,” Jacky said. “For me, that is the best.” Stephen has a background in information technology, with a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from Florida Gulf Coast University and a master’s degree in computer information systems from Kennesaw State University. Over the years, Stephen has worked in the web development field, managed


an IT department and taught classes at Georgia Highlands College for more than six years. “Teaching here has been the most rewarding work I have ever done,” Stephen said about his work at My TEK. “The kids can totally put themselves into the technology.” For the Souders, seeing their students manipulate technology, like when they control a robot by using a webpage to give the commands, is 100 percent pure satisfaction. Laura Coonley, mother of Jacob and Robbie Coonley, said she values the Souders’ apparent passion for teaching. “The teachers are so great,” she said. “Especially the one-on-one attention they give the kids. They’re just such a wealth of knowledge.” Becky Demmler, 15, has been interning at the lab since March and said the excitement hasn’t slowed a bit. “I am looking forward to pretty much everything,”

she said. “I’ve wanted to learn everything I can since I started getting into technology. When I get older, I think I would like

to go into research and development.”

ABO UT TH E L A B • About four students per session can attend lab, resulting in a low teacher-student ratio that allows for more one-on-one assistance. • Parents are welcome to stay and wait while kids are in the lab; the waiting area provides an educational play area for younger siblings. • Students range in age from 6 to 17; labs for adults are expected to become available soon. • Cost: Labs are $60 per month for one hour of access per week to the lab of choice or $275 for five months, in addition to an annual $35 registration fee. (The annual fee includes a My TEK Lab T-shirt).

“When the kids arrive for class, they don’t walk in — they run in. For me, that is the best.” —JACKY SOUDERS

For more information: 1795 E. State Road 50 Clermont 352.577.9242 myteklab.com 41

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TECHNOLOGY

TH E CU TTI N G E D G E OF D OI N G B U S I N E S S FAST FACT:


T E C H N O L O G Y

FIGHT THE URGE TO SURGE Who needs surge protection? Anyone who has something to lose due to an electrical surge. Surge protection is different from lightning protection. Surge protection is connected to the building’s electrical system to protect appliances and circuits. Lightning protection consists of the lightning rods placed on the roofs of buildings to protect the building from direct strikes. A surge is any excessive voltage on electrical wiring. Surges are caused by lightning, utility switching and large industrial equipment starting or stopping. Lightning creates a surge on the utility transmission lines in relatively close proximity to a lightning strike, and those lines connect to our homes and businesses. A momentary loss of electricity (or brownout), indicates a surge already has occurred. Utility companies cause surges when they switch transmission lines on and off or when they bring a generator online or take it offline. These are evident when the lights flicker. Unfortunately, surges can’t be stopped, only diminished. Surges are diminished via surge protectors and adequate grounding at the electric service.

Networking multiple surge arrestors greatly enhances the surge protection. An adequate grounding electrode system (ground rod and grounding conductor) is essential for good surge protection. Surge-protected plug strips are useful as component of a surge network. They must bear a UL, CTL, PAT or other in-service inspection and electrical testing provider’s label. The label must state, “Surge protector” or “Surge protection”. However, most grounding electrode systems are not effective. “I have seen a very sophisticated surge protection fail to provide protection because of an inadequate grounding electrode system,” said Bob Perry, of Denali Enterprise, Inc. in Clermont. A good grounding electrode system will include one 20-foot, copper-clad ground rod connected to the grounding system as a minimum, he said. All surge protection is sacrificial; it gives up its life to protect electrical appliances. With each surge that enters the building, the surge protector’s life diminishes. A good quality surge protector will have LED lights to indicate the status.

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S TO RY B O B P E R RY


FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE UPGRADING TO WINDOWS 10 Upgrading to a new version of Windows can be a long, painstaking process if you aren’t fully prepared.

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It’s important to know in advance how much the new operating system will cost, where to get it and most importantly, whether or not your device actually can run it. Here are the basic things you need to know to get your device ready for Windows 10:

WINDOWS 10 IS FREE for now. Free OS upgrades have been a staple of Apple products for quite some time. This year, Microsoft finally embraced the trend by allowing most PC users to upgrade to Windows 10 absolutely free. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s offering doesn’t come without limitations.

First, Windows 10 will only be free for one year. Microsoft will start charging for the upgrade after July 29, 2016. Additionally, to be eligible for the free upgrade, your PC must be running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or 8.1. Finally, even if your PC is eligible for a free upgrade, it still may not be able to run all of Windows 10’s features. Before you upgrade, check with your PC’s manufacturer to confirm your device’s compatibility. You also can find out if your device is compatible by using the ‘Get Windows 10’ app to reserve the new Windows.

THE GET WINDOWS 10 APP. You can use the Get Windows 10 app to upgrade your PC to Windows 10. Currently, the app will reserve your Windows 10 upgrade and test the compatibility of your PC. If your PC makes the grade, Microsoft will begin sending you periodic updates to prepare your computer for the new OS. These gradual updates are meant to make the final upgrading process quick and easy. Finding the Get Windows 10 app is simple. It will show up automatically on your Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 computer and resembles the classic Windows logo. It’s located in your 45

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system tray at the bottom, right-hand side of your screen, near the battery indicator. If you don’t see the app, try updating your PC.

RESERVATIONS ARE OPTIONAL. If you forget to reserve Windows 10 between now and July 29, don’t be alarmed because reservations are completely optional. The purpose of reserving Windows 10 is to make the upgrade a smoother process. As long as your device is eligible, free upgrades are unlimited. You don’t have to worry about securing yourself an early copy. You should also keep in mind that reservations aren’t set in stone, you can cancel at any time. UPGRADES AND EDITIONS. There are several editions of Windows 7 and 8.1. Therefore, the edition of Windows 10

that you’ll receive will be the closest match to the edition you’re already using. Specific edition upgrades include: Windows 7 Starter Edition, Home Basic and Home Premium are upgraded to Windows 10 Home Edition. Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate are upgraded to Windows 10 Pro. Windows 8.1 is upgraded to Windows 10 Home. Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows 8.1 Pro for Students are upgraded to Windows 10 Pro. Finally, Windows Phone 8.1 is upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile.

ELIGIBLE DEVICES. All PCs and tablets that are running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows 8.1 are eligible for a free upgrade, as long as the device is compatible. This is true even if you have multiple devices. Windows 8.1 phones also qualify for a free upgrade.

While most Windows users are eligible for a free upgrade, keep in mind that there are a few PC owners who will be left out in the cold. For example, if you are one of the unfortunate few who owns a Windows 8 device that wasn’t upgradable to Windows 8.1, then your device also will be ineligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10. Finally, always check with your device’s manufacturer before upgrading to a new OS. Manufacturers often have specific upgrade instructions and driver updates necessary to keep your computer running nice and smooth. Once you get your device prepped with all its needed updates and drivers, back-up your computer, reserve your upgrade and July 29, your PC will be Windows 10 ready.

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T E C H N O L O G Y


& INVESTMENTS

NO ONE KNOWS LAKE COUNTY LIKE WE DO. 352.435.HOME // 10135 U.S. Hwy. 441, Suite 3, Leesburg, FL 34788 352.530.2665 // 1217 W Miller St., Suite 6, Fruitland Park, FL 34731 MorrisRealtors.com


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— R O S A LY N N C A R T E R

1 49 2015 T FH I RI R ST D Q QU UA AR RTTEE RR

LEADERSHIP

W H E R E T H E Y D O N ’ T N E C E S S A R I LY W A N T T O G O , B U T O U G H T T O B E .

E M P OW E R M E N T F O R V I S I O N A R I E S

A L E A D E R TA K E S P E O P L E W H E R E T H E Y W A N T T O G O . A G R E A T L E A D E R TA K E S P E O P L E


L E A D E R S H I P

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ENHANCE COMMUNICATION WITH YOUR TEAM S TO RY D AV E R A M S E Y

“ WHAT WE’VE G OT H E R E I S FAI LU R E TO C O M M U N I CAT E .” — T H E CAPTAI N

ou might remember this quote from the movie Cool Hand Luke. While it’s one of the most popular and most quoted lines in movie history — and it might even make you smile — there’s nothing funny about a lack of communication within your organization. As a leader, it is your responsibility to intentionally and deliberately create a team culture where there is consistent communication at all times. Communication is the grease that keeps the gears of your company moving, and without it, team members feel detached and insecure. When they feel like they’re being left out, they can start to feel like they aren’t involved in a worthwhile venture. Just as bad, they begin to question

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their value to the company. With that in mind, here are five practical steps you can take to create a culture of good communication within your business:

AVOID “MUSHROOM COMMUNICATION” People want to know what is going on and why things are happening even when situations are going badly. Still, many leaders use what I call “mushroom communication.” This means they leave their team in the dark and feed them manure. Bad idea!

OVERCOMMUNICATE When in doubt, share more!

ESTABLISH PREDETERMINED GOALS Make sure your team understands goals and expectations laid out by

leadership. Accountability is a great motivator, so put things in writing and require regular reports of their progress. Remember, a culture of uncertainty creates fear, and fear develops quickly when good communication is missing.

FOSTER UNITY A team isn’t a team unless its members have shared goals and visions. Create a mission statement, and have everyone memorize it. Personal mission statements help ensure what you’re doing is consistent with your life and career goals.

own issues addressed. Otherwise, people will lose respect for you and question your integrity. The greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished. Communication should be attempted early, often and should be an everyday requirement on all levels in the workplace!

PRACTICE THOUGHTFULNESS Avoid knee-jerk reactions and never try to communicate with your team when you’re angry or upset. Also, communicate in ways that will ensure people are educated and enlightened, not harmed or embarrassed. Remember the Golden Rule? Handle issues the way you’d want your

Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on business and money. He has authored five New York Times best-selling books, including EntreLeadership. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 8.5 million listeners each week on more than 550 radio stations. Follow Dave on the web at entreleadership.com.

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L E A D E R S H I P

TRUE LEADERS WIN MULTIPLE CHAMPIONSHIPS S TO RY D R . M A E N H U S S E I N

hen I was a resident heading a team of two interns and one medical student responsible for all the patients in the hospital, there were days when things went crazy. When that happens, you have to prioritize. At the same time, you have to deal with recently graduated medical students who do not have as much self-esteem as doctors. Days like that were when my leadership skills really shined.

an exhausted, frustrated team that definitely was not looking forward to the next call. With a few periods of relaxation, my team felt that I cared about their well-being and that their leader was there for them. In turn, they reward-

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When things really got bad and the team felt overwhelmed, I asked them to meet. I then started the meeting by doing nothing related to medicine for three to five minutes, just relaxing and reassembling. During that time, I would talk about a new movie or TV show. I would even crack a joke and asked them to do the same. Sometimes we would even listen to a song. Then I would discuss the plan to effectively finish the night. I could have had them just do the work, and it would have been done. But, then I would have

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ed me by providing great care with a smile. I wanted them to feel comfortable working, and they made me look good as a team leader. A few years ago, we hired a woman to take care of scheduling follow-up

appointments and procedures for patients. But she did much, much more. She always came up with ideas to make procedures better and smoother; she always made the patient feel they were the center of her work. So we promoted her to an office manager, and she did even better. She could have run the office

and we would have been satisfied, but she did more. She identified potential in our employees and gave them tasks to prove it, and if they were up to it, they

would get promoted. She would recognize the weak and make them stronger, and if not, try to find their niche. Now she runs a region that covers more than 10 offices, but it is as though she still is running one office, nobody is left behind. She was an example of a true leader. A leader is not just a manager. A leader is a friend of his team members; a leader is someone who makes you feel that you’re an important part of the team, that you matter and that your problems are important. You are here to

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L E A D E R S H I P

do a job, but your well-being and improvement as an employee are as important as performing the job. When you do well, you are rewarded; when you don’t, you are taught so you can do better next time. When you have a problem, you feel confident that the leader has your back. A leader may not be the smartest or most qualified, but he or she is the one who can provoke hard work from people while still making them feel they can give more and that the glory is theirs. While a manager can direct you to what is needed, a leader inspires you to do

A leader does not only improve on his tasks but also improves his team members by challenging them

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more. A leader does not only improve on his tasks but also improves his team members by challenging them and helping them get the necessary training and education. A leader can change his team members’ lives and can turn them into leaders, too. In short, a manager helps you win one Super Bowl, a leader helps you win four. 54 LAKE B US I N E SS MAGAZ I N E.COM


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S A L E S // M A R K E T I N G

G ET T I N G T H E WO R D O U T, G ET T I N G T H E D O L L A R S I N

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CAN CON N E CT D OUR UNIVERSE. WE S O C I A L M E D I A E X PA N SMART PHONES AND AN EVER. A S I E R A N D FA S T E R T H L E C T I N F O R M AT I O N E WITH OTH E R S OR COL — DAN I E L GOLE MAN


S A L E S // M A R K E T I N G

I N C R E AS E VI S I B I L IT Y WI T H S I M P LE VI D E O You know what they say a picture is worth. Imagine the value of moving pictures! S TO RY T O N Y E L A M

ou probably believe that Facebook has all the traffic, and you should market your business there. Maybe you even paid someone a lot of money to build up your business page only to find out that Facebook has made another change making it more difficult for people who “like your page” to see your posts. If you are discouraged by yet another social media algorithm change, please allow me to encourage you. Facebook is still a very powerful and affordable marketing tool for your business. By simply resetting your mind about what Facebook once was and what it is now, you’ll once again be able to recognize the opportunity. How? Because Facebook is still the world’s most popular hangout. With the right combination

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of strategies and tactics, you can stay in the know and drive qualified people into your sales pipeline. Already have page likes? Consistent posting? Do you already have a developed brand and a strategy in place? Good, then let’s talk about Facebook video as a tactic for getting more views for your business. Facebook is currently encouraging users to upload video to their personal page. In fact, they are giving more visibility to videos directly uploaded to your page (as opposed to videos uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo). You can share your video’s link from and even embed them into blog posts or websites just the same as other videos. The main benefit is your customers on Facebook will see your videos if you post them there.

MANY COMPANIES ARE EFFECTIVELY USING FACEBOOK VIDEOS • CHIPOTLE not only made a video, but gave away their guacamole recipe for free! They even made it a featured page. They know I may not make the guac, but I’ll still eat there! • LOWE’S HOME IMPROVEMENT makes you feel like you can do your own improvements. • NIKE takes the inspirational approach. These are tough to do but can be very effective. Don’t have a budget or staff like those companies? That’s okay. The key to effective video is to keep it simple and consistent.

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• Take advantage of these changes while they last on Facebook. • Keep it simple. Use your smartphone with apps to make great, easy videos. • Make sure your video leads back to a product, service or call to action (i.e. “Call today”). • Use videos to educate, entertain or inspire. TONY ELAM is a digital marketer with Fit Digital Marketing in Clermont. 56 LAKE B US I N E SS MAGAZ I N E.COM


W H Y EVE RY BUSINESS S H O U LD B E D OI N G C O N T E NT M AR K E TI N G S TO RY T I M P I C C I R I L L O

“CONTENT MARKETING IS ALL THE MARKETING LEFT.” — SETH GODIN, AUTHOR

f you recently read this quote from Seth Godin, it may have hit you right between the eyes like it did me. The funny thing about this? He made this quote in 2008! When you think about it, there is a lot of truth in it. First, what is content marketing? Content marketing is any marketing technique involving the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers, according to the Content Marketing Institute. With social media having such a prominent place in the buying consciousness of the public, as well as most

I

industries capitalizing on the power of a free media presence, content marketing seems like a good idea. But, I want to delve in deeper and figure out the “why” of it. Why is it the only “marketing left?” What about traditional forms of advertising like creative headlines that draw people into your newspaper or magazine ads? Or funny radio and TV ads that catch people off-guard and drive home their point about why they are the only logical choice from which you should buy? Here are three reasons why content marketing is something EVERY business should be doing:

1. SEPARATE YOUR BUSINESS FROM THE PACK. Differentiation is everything today in a very crowded marketplace—no matter what business you’re in. You need a “hook” to stand out from the crowd. Some call this a “unique selling proposition” while others call it a “defining statement.” Regardless of what you call it, you need to educate your customer about your difference and why they should do business with you as opposed to every other similar business out there.

2. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IS STILL FREE! As sites such as Facebook and Twitter are starting to realize their worth as strong marketing vehicles for businesses, they are starting to limit the reach of people who post on business pages; instead, they’re charging for the ability to “boost” a post or run an ad—much like a payper-click search engine. But, if a business already has a loyal

following, it’s still a great way to promote to your current list of “friends” and customers. The key is to do it on a regular basis to keep top-of-mind consciousness with your buyers and supporters.

3. IT POSITIONS YOU AS THE EXPERT IN YOUR FIELD. People like to do business with “experts” or, at the very least, those who are perceived as being the most knowledgeable in their field. Producing content allows you to share your knowledge with the world so that they feel confident investing in your product and/or service. Professionals in ANY field can position themselves as “experts” by writing articles and blogs about what they do and sell. Regular contributors with quality content are usually the ones who are leading the field in their particular field or industry. What kind of content marketing can you do today?

TIM PICCIRILLO is a keynote speaker and marketing trainer/coach who lives in Mount Dora, FL. His blog on business-building and personal development can be found at www.corporatespeakerforyou.com/blog. 57 2015 TH I R D QUARTE R


ITION

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LAKE

BUSI

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MAGA

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Your customers. Our audience. F E AT U R I N G

BAR BAR

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THE SHARK TANK CLIMB STAR DISCUS FROM WAITRE SES INCRED SS TO MILLIO IBLE NAIRE

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BANK PRESID ENT DREAM S OF GREENKEN LAROE ER LAKE COUNTY

Digital. Social Media. Website. Print. Our titles are the best way to reach your customers. Period.

For more information: 352.787.7178 or kendra@akersmediagroup.com Statistics for STYLE and Healthy Living only. Lake Business Magazine and Welcome to Lake County calculated seperately.


T H E AV E R AG E S U C C E S S F U L C R OW D F U N D I N G CA M PA I G N R A I S E S A B O U T $ 7, 0 0 0 ?

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SOU RCE: FU N DAB LE.COM

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FINANCE

MAK I N G D OLLAR S AN D S E N S E

D I D YO U K N O W


F I N A N C E

GO FUND YOURSELF

Equity intrastate crowdfunding is now legal in Florida, however, it is not advisable for everyone. Before you go fund yourself, find out if crowdfunding is right for you.

hanks to a tenacious few, equity intrastate crowdfunding is now legal in Florida. An attempt to regulate the popular concept in Florida for raising money to fund a project or business venture hit a wall last year when the Office of Financial Regulation raised concerns about consumer protection. This year, the group worked out the kinks by requiring more financial disclosure about the investment, particularly the risk involved; and thus, House Bill 275 proposed by State Rep. David Santiago, R-Deltona, was passed. The Senate also passed the bill and Governor Rick Scott, signed it into effect October 1. “I’m excited about the intrastate bill getting passed as it allows entrepreneurs to raise money from their most likely source—their customers and neighbors—instead of having to chase a small handful of professional investors,” said Sally Outlaw, President of the Florida Crowdfunding Association. “At the same time it opens up local investment opportunities for community members to own a piece of businesses with which they are familiar.” While there are undeniable benefits generated by this new way to conduct business, particularly for those who could not access the h net worth investors, traditional high some experts caution there also is olved, so it may not be some risk involved, advisable for everyone.

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EQUITY CROWDFUNDING EXPLAINED

EFFECT ON LAKE

Daniel Whitehouse, an information technology attorney with Whitehouse & Cooper, PLLC, explains crowdfunding as a way to raise money for a project or company from a larger number of people, typically through Internet platforms called intermediaries. Not all crowdfunding intermediaries are equity based— only those for investments. The new law only applies to those. The Florida Intrastate Crowdfunding Law expands capital opportunities for small businesses and allows Florida residents the opportunity to invest in emerging companies within the state, according to Whitehouse. “This legislation fosters entrepreneurial innovation in our state,” he said. The process is simple, according to Mathew Armstrong, a capital markets attorney with Broad and Cassel. “Put together a short form description of your offering, your business, what you want to do with investor money,” Armstrong said. “File it with the state; then register your offering with an online portal or intermediary.” Prospective investors can log onto these websites, view the company and all its disclosure documents and then decide whether they want to invest.

According to Whitehouse, companies with an attractive business model will excel and bring capital from around the state to Lake County. Businesses will have a means to reach interested investors statewide, a task that historically has been impractical (if not impossible). Whitehouse advised that current business owners should consider whether bringing on investors is the right approach for the business and whether it’s at the right stage to support investors. “Adding investors adds more than just capital to the business—it adds work for the current owners, as well as potential legal ramifications,” Whitehouse warned. There are other risks to consider, such as damage to reputation if the campaign fails to reach the stated objectives, donor exhaustion and the public’s fear of a scam. According to Armstrong, the law does provide a fair amount of protection by requiring disclosure of the business plan and how the funds will be used. Whitehouse contends that owners need to understand the fiduciary duties and obligations owed to the new investors and shareholders. To investors, the most important obligation is for the business to maximize profit and provide a return on their investment. “I fear that some owners may view crowdfunding as a way to pay their salaries,” he said. “When in fact, the crowdinvest funding investment is intended to grow the business’ ab ability to generate revenue.” Whitehouse encourages potential sp investors to speak with their legal counsel about the pros and cons of crowdfunding before jumping in.

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S T O R Y J O H N S O T O M AY O R


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MAKING THE CUT Despite massive state budget cuts, Gov. Rick Scott’s line-item vetoes did not detrimentally impact economic development in Lake County. S T O R Y A L E X A N D E R S O T O M AY O R

fter collectively holding their breath awaiting news of the final statewide budget, local legislators and business leaders in Lake County can let out a sigh of relief, as the bulk of their economic development initiatives remains intact. Many wondered how the disagreement between the House and the Senate over health care funding that resulted in a special legislative session would affect Gov. Rick Scott’s approval ratings. He answered their concern June 22 by signing the Keep Florida Working 2015 appropriations bill, whereby he slashed a whopping $461.4 million from the budget using line-item vetoes. Although statewide many were left angry that Scott slashed millions from various projects affecting mainly the struggling and disenfranchised, Lake County economic development projects survived the cut.

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appropriations bill for 20152016, the Lake County Board of Commissioners prepared a Legislative Positions 2015 document that listed and discussed projects in need of appropriation funds. Among Lake County’s projects detailed in the document, four would directly benefit economic development initiatives. They were: • Lake-Sumter State College Science Lab facility at the South Lake Campus, Clermont: Request for $6 million • C.R. 466-A Phase 3: The project would support employment centers in The Villages of Fruitland Park, the City of Fruitland Park, Lady Lake and Sumter County. Request for $5 million.

WHAT THE COUNTY ASKED FOR

• Citrus Grove Road from U.S. 27 to the Florida Turnpike: There currently is no other alternative for the east-west traffic from U.S. 27 to the soon-to-be-constructed Turnpike Minneola Interchange. It is considered to be a vital Economic Development project to support South Lake County. Request for $1 million.

The Keep Florida Working 2015 appropriations bill has been touted as a job creation bill and as business-friendly legislation. In the timeline leading up to Florida State

• Lake Technical Center for Advanced Manufacturing: Request $2.8 million to fund the project on the Eustis campus location.

WHAT THE COUNTY RECEIVED Of the four line items above, three were approved in the 2015-16 appropriations bill. • The Lake-Sumter State College Science Lab facility in Clermont will receive $6 million in appropriations. The lab will provide support for medical training programs to expand Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) capabilities (Section 2, line item 20). • The C.R. 466 Phase 3 right of way project will receive $2.5 million in appropriation funds (Section 5, line item 1927). • The Citrus Grove Rd – U.S. 27 to Turnpike project will receive $1 million in appropriation funds (Section 5, line item 1927).

OTHER ECONOMIC BENEFITS Lake County businesses indirectly will benefit from the Keep Florida Working 2015 bill. According to the Keep Florida Working 2015 Highlights, the bill also permanently eliminates sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment, cuts the business tax and funds higher education and workforce development. Prior to the 2015-2016 appropriations bill, the manufacturing equipment and machinery sales tax had been suspended until April 30, 2017,

according to Politifact. Now, as a result of the bill, that tax cut will be permanent. This has a potential significant impact on small manufacturing businesses. Manufacturing is Lake County’s second-largest industry sector employing 6 percent of the workforce, according to the Lake County’s Legislative Positions 2015 document. Another way to decrease expenses for small businesses in Lake County is through the reduction of the business tax. The corporate income tax exemption will increase from $50,000 to $75,000, according to the county document. More small businesses will be able to save on their tax expenses and reinvest that money into income producing activities. The bill provides significant investment in education and workforce development: • Lake-Sumter State College has been approved for $2,894,601 from Florida College Systems Program Fund (Section 1:11) • Beacon College gained tuition assistance of $250,000 from Special Categories Grants and Aides (Section 2:63A). • Lake County workforce development gained $4,368,423 (Section 2:118), which may benefit local programs such as Careersource Central Florida.

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A COMMON VISION. THE AB I LITY TO D I R E CT I N D IVI D UAL ACCOM PLI S H M E NTS TOWAR D O R G A N I Z AT I O N A L O B J E C T I V E S . I T I S T H E F U E L T H AT A L L O W S C O M M O N P E O P L E T O A T TA I N U N C O M M O N R E S U LT S .”

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— AN D R EW CAR N E G I E

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HUMANRESOURCES

PE OPLE MAK E TH E D I F F E R E N CE “TEAMWOR K I S TH E AB I LITY TO WOR K TOG ETH E R TOWAR D


H U M A N R E S O U R C E S

to ensure success, senior management’s support is crucial. This ensures that the program will become part of the organization’s culture. CREATE A WELLNESS COMMITTEE: Employ-

ees will take part in the program if they have representation and have an interest in the program’s activities. ASSESS THE NEEDS OF YOUR GROUP: Conduct

WELLNESS STARTS AT THE OFFICE he need for wellness programs is becoming more important than ever for today’s employers. With continued health care costs on the rise, companies—both big and small—often face the difficult decision to cut valuable programs or pass along the cost to their employees. According to the Wellness Councils of

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America, businesses save about $3 in health care expenses for every $1 spent on wellness programs. A wellness program becomes a great solution in controlling costs and maintaining happy, healthy employees. Starting a wellness program can seem a little overwhelming at first, but a few key elements can make the process a little easier.

surveys and health risk assessments. Surveys can help employers understand what their employees are looking for in a wellness program and what activities they would actually participate in. Health risk assessments allow organizations to tailor their program to specific disease management that applies to their group. Hiring a third party to gather individual health information is recommended in order to avoid any potential HIPAA and GINA issues. CREATE A WELLNESS PROGRAM PLAN (VISION, MISSION, ACTION, INCENTIVES, AND REWARDS):

Like any other corporate program, it’s important to have a vision, mission and action plans in order to ensure and evaluate

success. Incentives and rewards can motivate employees to maintain their goals and participate in the program. Make sure incentives are accessible to all employees. COMMUNICATE THE PROGRAM TO EMPLOYEES: It’s

important to communicate all activities to employees on a frequent basis. EVALUATE AND MODIFY PROGRAM PERIODICALLY:

Evaluate the success of the plan by surveying the employees. Find out which activities were received positively and which ones weren’t. Make adjustments and ask for feedback—it’s the best way to know what employees ultimately want in the program. Once your wellness program is set in place, make use of local resources. This is a great way to get some ideas for program activities that cater to local employees. INOVA and Health Fair DC are two sites that offer organizations some great resources. INOVA offers assistance in constructing a corporate wellness program, as well as nutrition seminars and health fairs to share with employees. Health Fair DC offers employers a complete list of local health organizations that offer free health information and activities.

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GET SENIOR MANAGEMENT SUPPORT: In order


HOW DOES A PAYROLL DEBIT CARD WORK? Payroll debit cards are prepaid cards used specifically for the payment of wages. mployees with or without bank accounts qualify for payroll debit cards, and employees without bank accounts do not have to pay any additional fees to access funds. In addition, companies save money on paper, printer and computer costs when using payroll cards instead of paper paychecks. Any size or type of company can use payroll debit cards to pay wages, incentive payments or bonuses. Payroll debit cards are similar to traditional debit cards that are linked to

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bank accounts. The cards differ in that wages are the only money that may be stored on a payroll debit card. Payroll cards also are not linked to any bank account, and every payday, the wages owed to the employee is added to the card and immediately available to the employee. Employees are able to use the payroll debit card for online purchases, in-store purchases and can withdraw cash from an ATM. With a payroll card, employees are able to withdraw all the available funds once every pay

period without having to pay any additional fees. Added benefits include the flexibility, security and convenience that these cards offer. It is important to note that a payroll debit card is not a general-purpose loadable card, and that there are specific regulations governing payroll debit cards. Employees are protected against unauthorized charges when using payroll debit cards, and payroll card issuers are required to disclose their dispute resolution process and the how their fees are structured. Furthermore,

payroll card issuers have to comply with a 21-day notice period when changing the terms of the agreement. Prepaid cards are used in some states for the payment of unemployment or other benefits. The use of payroll debit cards in the private sector is increasing, and companies are moving away from the use of costly and time-consuming paper paychecks. Employees benefit from wages that are immediately available every pay period, the added security and the convenience of payroll debit cards. 65

2015 TH I R D QUARTE R


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