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Bringing theArts to

Music • Dance • Broadway Musicals • Family Shows and more! Plus, free concerts, exhibits

and space for your event, too!

See our full schedule of performances here:

Box Office:

561-993-1160

1977 College Drive | Belle Glade campus

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Dr. Charles W. Bartels Board Certified Optometric Physician

(863) 763-3937 We Accept and Bill Most Major Insurance, Medicaid, Medicare & BlueCross Blue Shield Healthy Kids

606 North Parrott Ave Okeechobee   863-763-3937   Visit : www.biglakeeyecare.com


2017

Content

COMMUNITY GUIDE AND BUSINESS DIRECTORY

n Chamber

9 Welcome 10 Board of Directors 12 Chamber Benefits 14 Chamber Promotes Local Businesses and Economic Growth

33

n Community

16 Welcome to Okeechobee 18 Map 20 Okeechobee County 21 City of Okeechobee 22 Important Phone Numbers 24 Places of Worship 26 TDC, Economic Council, Chamber and Main Street

79

n History

29 The History of Okeechobee 33 County 100-Year Celebration

n Lifestyles

35 Okeechobee Real Estate

n Heathcare

53 Raulerson Hospital

35 n Events

74 Events and Festivals

n Recreation

n Education

n Dining

n Business Directory

63 Indian River State College 67 Chamber Restaurant Members

4 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide

79 Fishing on Lake Okeechobee 87 Nature and Sightseeing 93 Sports and Outdoors 99 Chamber Members


Community Guide & Business Directory

2017

The 2017 Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide has been published by Okeechobee The Magazine

55 S Parrott Avenue, Okeechobee, FL 34974 (863) 467-6246 • www.okeechobeebusiness.com

Publisher Susan E Giddings

Art Director Lorraine Vogel

MOTORCYCLE REPAIR & CUSTOMIZING

Graphic Designer

ARCHERY PRO SHOP

Valerie Wegener

Editor

Rachel Buxton

Professional Bow Service Photographers That Can’t Be Beat!

NEW Indoor 50 Yard Archery Range • Purchase NEW and USED Bows & Accessories Bow Shooting Lessons Thursday is Tournament Night Friday is Kids Night

• Complete Bow Service and Paper Tune • Shooting Lessons Available

Come in and see our New Bowtech line!

MMI Certified

Brandon Baughman Harley Davidson Technician Certified Technician, • Graduate Tire Purchase & Mounts MMI

Bow Service of ALL Makes and Models!

• Full Service Repairs Minor to Major

WE SERVICE ALL MAKES!

1505 C South Parrott Avenue

863-484-0032

Magi Cable Thomas Markham Blake Marsocci Lori Mixon

www.skullhillsteel.com

Advertising/Production Staff 1505 C S. Parrott Avenue • 863-763-6053

Just 1 mile South of the Hwy 70 & Hwy 441. Intersection on the East side of Hwy 441.

• Complete Site Preparation • Septic Tank Installations & Repairs • Land Clearing & Excavation • Demolition • Storm Drainage Installation

• Road Construction (Subbase, Base & Asphalt) • All types of Trucking & Hauling • Shell, Sand, Top Soil & Gravel

We work like bees to satisfy our customers!

MOTORCYCLE DIVISION

863-634-2855 AIRBOAT DIVISION

863-763-6053

1505 C South Parrott Avenue www.SkullHillSteel.com

Contributors

www.SkullHillSteel.com

Come by and check us out!

• Modifications and Repairs • Poylmer Sales and Installation • Repower and Customization • Custom Bow Fishing Platforms

u covered We’ve got yo l Steel! at Skull Hil

Rachel Buxton Raye Deusinger

We’ve got you covered at Skull Hill Steel!

AIRBOAT DIVISION

• Modifications and Repairs • Poylmer Sales and Installation • Repower and Customization • Custom Bow Fishing Platforms

Writers

MMI Certified Harley Davidson Technician

• Tire Purchase & Mounts • Full Service Repairs - Minor to Major • Customizing of Aftermarket Parts

863-634-2855

863-484-0032

Susie Hoover Joyce Klevin Sandra Pearce Dana Williams

1505-C S. Parrott Ave. • Okeechobee, FL • 863-763-6053 • bbsitedevelopmentinc.@gmail.com

6 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide

Patti Berglund Trish Grygo Jonathan Holt Shannon Houghlin

The 2017 Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Community Guide and Business Directory is published by OTM Publications, Inc. dba Okeechobee The Magazine located at 316 NW 5th Street, Okeechobee, FL 34972, (863) 467-0054 for the Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County. The publisher and the Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of Okeechobee The Magazine. © 2017 Okeechobee The Magazine


Stop By and See Mitch & Kodiak!

He’s a Sweetheart of a Guy and will work with you!

BUY HERE-PAY HERE

We have a vehicle for every budget!

Family Owned & Operated Since 2007 3565 HWY 441 N Okeechobee, FL 34972

863.763.0330

www.MandMAutoBrokersInc.com


For over 90 years, we have believed that business is more than the exchange of goods and services for money; it is about building and sustaining relationships. We are grateful for those relationships and look forward to the continued opportunity to provide reliable products and services.

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AGRICULTURAL

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COMMERCIAL

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MUNICIPAL

WWW.DOMERSINC.COM

‹

RESIDENTIAL 863-763-3417 INFO@DOMERSINC.COM


ChamberChamber Benefits

Welcome

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elcome to the 2017 Community Guide and Business Directory. The Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County is proud to provide community members and visitors with a first-rate business reference and relocation tool. This is just a small example of us continuing to live up to our mission statement — to engage business and community leaders to improve the business climate, economy and quality of life in Okeechobee. We encourage you to look inside the community guide and see what all Okeechobee has to offer. If you live in the area, just visiting or possibly even considering moving to our quaint town, this guide will provide you with all the necessary information you will need. With important phone numbers, a business directory, a restaurant guide and even a list of places to worship, the Community Guide has it all. We at the Chamber take a proactive role in the community by providing several programs and events that are geared to help local businesses and owners network and prosper. Creating and supporting a business-friendly environment is an important part of our mission, alongside advocating issues and concerns important to our businesses and community members. We encourage both members and non-members to take part in Chamber events, so they can see firsthand what we have to offer. If you are a business owner or are involved in the community, we strongly recommend becoming a Chamber member. As a Chamber member, you have access to numerous Chamber resources and tools that will help you and your business grow and succeed. We work tirelessly on your behalf, because if your business is successful, the community is successful and so is Okeechobee. It is a symbiotic relationship. The Chamber continues to be the premier organization where you can network and develop professional business relationships within our community. The Board of Directors looks forward to continuing to grow our membership in the coming year, as well as serving this community. We invite you to join us and assist in making Okeechobee a better place to raise a family and to live, work and play. n Thank you and God bless you!

2017 Board from left: Russ Brown, Christine Bishop, Bobby Keefe, Niki Salmon, Chamber Director Paulette Wise, Jeff Jones, Tabitha Trent, Brian Melear, Wayne Cunningham and Bill Dover. Not pictured Terry Burroughs and Susan Giddings.

Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Chamber BOARD Tabitha Trent, President

Tabitha a native of Okeechobee, attended the University of Central Florida, where she earned her bachelor of science in business management. She also attended University of Florida’s Florida School of Banking, and graduated with honors. She has been in banking for 30 years and is currently a retail bank manager and vice president for Centerstate Bank. Tabitha is very community minded and believes in giving back and paying it forward. She proudly supports several civic organizations, including the Okeechobee Educational Foundation, Pregnancy Center of Okeechobee, Rotary Club of Okeechobee and YOUNIFIED. Tabitha is also a children’s church teacher for More 2 Life Ministries. She is married to her husband, Jay, and they have a son, Chase.

Susan Giddings, Vice President

Susan is the publisher and owner of Okeechobee The Magazine. She holds degrees in business administration and accounting. She is very community minded and extremely involved locally in volunteering for various local, civic and charity organizations and currently sits on the board of Martha’s House as the treasurer. Susan is married to husband, Ray, and has two adult daughters.

Wayne Cunningham, Secretary

Wayne is the general manager of Glades Media Radio stations WOKC 1570AM and 100.9FM along with WAFC 106.1FM Radio Fiesta, both located in Okeechobee. His broadcast career has covered more than four decades in radio and television. Before returning home to Okeechobee in 2003, Wayne was group marketing manager for the Meredith Television Group in Des Moines, IA, and television research group manager for Sinclair Broadcasting. Wayne was the long-time promotions manager and research director at WPTV Channel 5, West Palm Beach. Locally, Wayne has served on the board of directors for the United Way, Ag-Venture and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Okeechobee. He has also served on the 2-1-1 Advisory Board. Wayne’s daughters and son have blessed him with eight grandchildren so far.

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Russ Brown, Treasurer

Russ proudly serves as Indian River State College’s Provost for the Dixon-Hendry campus in Okeechobee. He has spent over 20 years in the education arena, holding various positions. Russ is very involved within the community participating in many organizations, such as board member of the Okeechobee Education Foundation, United Way of Okeechobee, Advisory Board for the FloridaLearns STEM Scholars, Okeechobee County Community Health Advisory Team, spokesperson for the Okeechobee March of Dimes, Executive Roundtable for the Shared Services Network of Okeechobee, IRSC’s School of Education Collaboration Team and takes part in the Economic Development Council of Okeechobee. He was born in Miami and is a graduate of Okeechobee High School. He is the proud father of Alexis, Ashtyn and Boyd.

Dr. Christine Bishop

Dr. Bishop is a lifelong resident of Okeechobee. She attended Florida Southern College for her undergraduate education and received her Doctor of Optometry degree from Nova Southeastern University. In 2008 Dr. Bishop joined her father Dr. Pat Brennan at Brennan Eye Care. Dr. Bishop is currently president of the Treasure Coast Optometric Society, and has been for the past several years. Prior to that she was the vice president for four years. She was appointed by the Okeechobee County Board of County Commissioners to represent Okeechobee County on the Health Council of South East Florida, where she serves as secretary. Dr. Bishop is also on the board of the Okeechobee Education Foundation. She is married to her best friend, Hamilton Bishop, and they have three beautiful girls: Lila, Lexi and Lily.

Willard (Bill) Dover

Bill is a retired lawyer with decades of practice in Fort Lauderdale after graduating from the University of Minnesota law school. He and his wife, Diane, live in Indian Hammock. Bill was a founding member of the South Florida Manufacturers Association, and a former chairman of the Broward Workshop, Florida Council on Economic Education and Florida Council of 100. His primary interest in Okeechobee is economic development to promote capital investment and employment for our county.


ChamberChamber Benefits BOARD

Jeff Jones

Jeff is the Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Jones Supply A. I. Sales & Service, Inc., the number one dealer in the South East U.S. for ADM Alliance Nutrition. Prior to moving to Okeechobee in 2006, he was serving in the U.S Army. He retired after 23 years of service with tours in the U. S., Europe and Southwest Asia. He has served on the House Committee VFW Post 10935 and Board of Directors Okeechobee County Fair Association. Jeff earned his degree in business administration and marketing from Columbia Southern University. He has been married to his wife, Alicia, for 29 years, they have four children and eight grandchildren.

Robert (Bobby) Keefe

Bobby is a native of Okeechobee, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a logistics officer from 2001 to 2012. He and wife, Bianca, founded the wellness center, The Lounge at Sacred Sanctuary. Bobby is the founder of The Warrior Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the support and advocacy of our local Warriors — Veterans, Law Enforcement, Firefighters, and First Responders. As a wounded warrior himself, he is an advocate for Wounded Warriors of South Florida. He is also a Veteran-to-Veteran volunteer at Hospice of Okeechobee. Bobby is dedicated to giving back to the community and getting involved with its growth and prosperity. He earned his degree in psychology from the University of Maryland University College and his life coaching certification from Orange County Life Coaching Institute. Bobby is married to the former Bianca Padgett of Managua, Nicaragua. They have three children, Zane, Leah and Ricky.

Brian Melear

Brian was promoted to the position of Chief Executive Officer at Raulerson Hospital in July 2016 where he served prior as the Chief Nursing Officer since June 2005. Brian started his career with HCA in 1999 as a registered nurse and advanced to the position of Director of Surgical Services in 2002. He earned his associate degree in nursing at Indian River Community College and his Bachelor of Science in nursing at Florida Atlantic University. During his tenure as Chief Nursing Officer, Raulerson Hospital was recognized by The Joint Commission as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures for five years in a row. Brian has been married to his wife, Jenni, for 26 years, and they have one son, Sam, who is 12 years old. They enjoy golfing and fishing in Okeechobee, where they have resided for the past 34 years.

Nita (Niki)Salmon

Niki is a local minority business entrepreneur with strong community ties as a resident and multi business owner in Okeechobee since 1993. Niki is the owner of Remington Real Estate where she is a licensed broker and an active director on the Okeechobee Board of Realtors. She is also the owner of Rustic Style and Cabins, a unique retail store, as well as Complete Services of South Florida, a certified building and pollutant environmental contractor. She has been the contractor for the Kissimmee River and Lake Okeechobee Navigational Lock System since 1998. Her passions include serving her community as an advocate for local veterans and contributor to school functions. She is also a member of Okeechobee Main Street. She is active in the Church in the Woods, where she is a part-time Sunday school teacher.

Terry W. Burroughs, Past President

Terry is a retired telecommunications executive retiring with over 32 years in the industry. Upon retiring, he moved back to Okeechobee to manage the family business. Since his return he has been involved with different organizations in the community. He is currently District 4 County Commissioner. He is the past president of the Okeechobee Rotary Club and serves on various boards in the community, i.e., City Planning Board, Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers, Raulerson Hospital Board of Trustees and the Agri-Civic Center Advisory Group. He is currently the Chairman of Florida’s Research Coast Economic Development Coalition. He is married to his wife, Maureen, of 25 years and has three children and six grandchildren. Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Chamber BENEFITS

Our Values

Promoting economic growth, one local business at a time. The Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County serves the community and helps strengthen and build that rich history, while also helping to create business and career opportunities. Please read through this community guide and business directory to see what Okeechobee has to offer. Whether you are a resident, a business owner, thinking about relocating here or a visitor to Okeechobee, we are certain that Okeechobee has what you are looking for.

Benefits for Chamber Members Include: Value of Information

The Chamber brings you unique resources including immediate IRS Small Business Information and access to SCORE for free business counseling — all information that is timely and relevant to the success of your business operation. The Chamber also provides you with information through access to money-saving member-to-member discounts, informational seminars throughout the year, ribbon-cutting events and personal development programs such as Leadership Okeechobee.

Value of Influence

By advancing innovative solutions that create jobs, increase local investment and enhance our region, the Chamber is a catalyst for business prosperity. It fosters a vibrant and interconnected business community where collaboration increases capacity, education enhances ability and advocacy influences authority.

Value of Interaction

The Chamber provides opportunity. People want to do business with people they know, like and trust. Networking, member-to-member programs and part-

12 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide

nerships foster relationships that encourage leads, referrals and more business for our members.

Value of Impact

The Chamber represents hundreds of employees — the strength of our membership and the direct results of our initiatives affect outcomes that benefit our members.

Value of Innovation

We value both innovation and tradition. As a proactive and forward-thinking organization, we create meaningful programs that add value to meet the needs of an ever-changing world. We embrace the possibilities of the future while preserving our community’s rich history. n

Interested in becoming a member? Call us at 863-467-6246 or email

info@okeechobeebusiness.com


Chamber

T

Chamber Promotes Local Businesses and Economic Growth

he Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County had a very busy but very successful year helping local businesses and residents prosper, while promoting economic growth within Okeechobee. We welcomed 38 new members in the past year, giving us an overall membership of 250. Along with new Chamber members, there were a few new role additions at the Chamber, including the hire of new Executive Director Paulette Wise. Paulette comes to us with a lot of experience and business ties within the community and we are extremely excited to have her join our team. Another new role, which we are thrilled to announce, is the fulltime hire of our very own Director of Economic Development, John Gurney. John and the Chamber are dedicated to helping both new and existing businesses. This year alone, we assisted 86 different businesses that were either just starting out or expanding. Through our Business Assistance Program, these new or growing businesses were given guidance in areas including business plans, budgeting and taxes. Out of those 86 businesses, 49 were completed through fruition and 24 of them are still actively moving forward. And thanks to all the progress, 164 jobs were created. Along with our business networking efforts, we continue to work tirelessly to help boost our local economy. As a unified voice for our businesses, we represent their interests at all levels of government.

Promoting Okeechobee is vital to our local economy and the Chamber prepares marketing materials to give to site selectors throughout the country to help get Okeechobee noticed. In 2015 the Chamber implemented a five-week promotional marketing plan for Small Business Saturday that was available to all businesses. In 2016, we expanded our marketing efforts to promote participating businesses personally. In the weeks leading up to Small Business Saturday, the Chamber featured businesses on our social media outlets, while WOKC also helped to market businesses and the big day on the radio. It proved valuable, as more individuals came out to shop small. The third annual Business of the Year Awards was held this year, where four highly acclaimed businesses were awarded the honor of being named one of Okeechobee’s businesses of the year. The categories consisted of Gross Income of 1 Million or More, Gross Income 1 Million or Less, National Corporate Business and Non-Profit Business. The winners were Pritchards & Associates, Staffords Salon, Raulerson Hospital and Hospice of Okeechobee, all within their respective categories. 2017 once again looks to be the start of some great economic times, and as always, the Chamber will be right there to assist in anyway possible. The Chamber of Commerce is located at 55 S. Parrott Ave. in downtown Okeechobee, FL. For more information on how to become a member or for member offerings, please visit the website, www.okeechobeebusiness.com or call 863-467-6246. n

We recently helped Okeechobee receive the Governor’s designation as being part of the South Central Rural Area of Opportunity. This past year we also assisted in the creation of a new regional economic development organization, as well as a career academy focused on the development of technical skills for our community.

Business of the Year Winners 2016-2017.

14 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide


Community

Welcome to Okeechobee

A community that encourages growth, while maintaining its family values. As Okeechobee continues to grow, one thing continues to stay the same, its rich heritage and smalltown values. Okeechobee is a place people love to visit, but more so, a place they love to call home.

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elcome to Okeechobee, a growing community that prides itself on its rich past and history. This is a county that welcomes diversity but retains its small-town family atmosphere. Okeechobee offers year-round activities, quality education, cutting-edge medicine and open space for relaxation, all without the pressures of intense urban living. Located conveniently right in the middle of the state, Okeechobee has a moderate climate with summer temperatures averaging from 72 to 93 and mild winters from 49 to 73, making for comfortable days and cool evenings. With comfortable year-round temperatures and an average rainfall of only 53 inches, outdoor activities continue throughout the entire year. Okeechobee has the second largest freshwater lake in the United States. The lake itself is a nationally known tourist attraction that draws people from all over the country. The lake combines outdoor living with sports, culture and community activities. It covers approximately 730 square miles, with an average diameter of 45 miles and an average depth of 14 feet, with the deepest point being 22 feet. With an excellent road system encircling the lake, travelers have several scenic viewpoints to visit, including several campgrounds, RV parks, restaurants and recreational facilities located along

16 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide

the lake’s perimeter. C. Scott Driver Park, located on Hwy 78 W at the Kissimmee River, provides facilities for hikers, boaters and fishermen. With Okeechobee only 70 miles from West Palm Beach, 115 from Tampa, 105 from Orlando and 135 from Miami, the crossroads in the center of town offer a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of urban settings but also provides convenience to Florida attractions, beaches and amenities of larger cities within a short drive. The major interstates, railway, waterways, ports and airport provide unlimited access. Okeechobee life extends past county limits. On Hwy 78, immediately across the Kissimmee River, is Glades County that houses the community of Buckhead Ridge. Residents of Buckhead Ridge work, attend school and otherwise participate in the life of Okeechobee. If you continue south on Hwy 78 W you will arrive on the outskirts of the Brighton Seminole Indian Reservation. It encompasses 35,000 acres of rich land that is farmed, fished and hunted by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The reservation is a small community all in itself, boasting a state-of-the-art rodeo arena, a casino and modern centers for education and sports. The Brighton reservation even has their very own charter


Community

school, Pemayetv Emahakv, that was founded in 2007 and that expands the normal classroom curriculum with the teaching of the history and language of the Seminole Tribe. The reservation is open to the public with the Brighton community encouraging tourists to come learn about their culture and history. The Seminole Tribe of Florida and Okeechobee residents have a longstanding relationship. Brighton residents continue to play a very active role in Okeechobee’s community. Okeechobee is always looking for new ways to expand upon their culture and activities. A mural program depicting local historical times and events can be found on the side of what is now referred to as the Freshman Campus. The city’s active cultural environment includes an annual arts festival held in the center of town, a community theater program that has entertained residents for over 35 years, as well as drama and art activities for the youth. Okeechobee’s history is on display at the museum and library,

with downloadable material, Internet access and various cultural programs. Throughout the year there is never a lack of activities and events for residents to partake in. Many civic associations and service clubs help sponsor and put on events, such as the Adam Bryant Minimal Regatta, a community blood drive, a Labor Day parade, festivals in the park, year-round rodeos and an annual re-enactment of the battle of the second Seminole War called the Battle of Okeechobee. There are also monthly mixers that bring businesses and the community together. Okeechobee continues to grow and build on its rich history. With so much to offer in history and present day activities, Okeechobee is a perfect place to call home for many and a wonderful attraction for all. As you read through the Community Guide you will soon discover the many diverse offerings our community has to offer. n Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Community G a t e w a y To S o u t h F l o r i d a

Okeechobee County Driving Distances

to Major Cities from Okeechobee, Florida

Okeechobee Demographics

The year-round population of Okeechobee County is 39,996 according to the 2010 census. From November to May, there are an estimated 30,000 additional seasonal residents. The population of the market area (30 mile radius of downtown Okeechobee) is 174, 528. Approximately 6 million visitors per year come to enjoy activities around Lake Okeechobee, and about 75% of the state’s population lives within 2 hours of Okeechobee.

18 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide


Community

Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Community Welcome from the

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Okeechobee County Commissioners

n behalf of the Board of County Commissioners of Okeechobee County, welcome to Okeechobee. This is an exciting year for Okeechobee County, as the County is celebrating its Centennial! Okeechobee County was incorporated in 1917, and is located at the north end of Lake Okeechobee, which means “big water” in the language of the Seminole Indians. It is the second largest freshwater lake within the United States and covers over 730 square miles. It is connected to both of Florida’s coasts via the man-made Okeechobee Waterway. Our lake is known by bass fishermen throughout the United States. The lake has been ranked in the top 10 bass fishing lakes by Bass Master Magazine. Fishing and air boating are among the most popular activities on the lake. Largemouth bass, blue gill, Okeechobee catfish and black crappie are some of the species of fish that can be found in the lake. Birds, beautiful scenery and the water combine to make this a nature lover’s paradise. For those who enjoy shooting sports, our county has two highly acclaimed public venues that offer sporting clay, trap and skeet courses, as well as “Single Action Shooting Society” or ”Cowboy Action” shooting events. If quiet activities are more your preference, then the Kissimmee River State Park is the place for you, offering hiking, wildlife viewing, camping and the darkest night skies, which

make it one of the only places in Florida where one can enjoy the stars and planets without the intrusion of artificial light. The park is designated as an “International Dark Sky”, one of only 20 in the world. You may find the solitude and beauty of Lake Okeechobee through hiking or biking the 100+ mile scenic trail atop the dike, which surrounds the lake. However, if golf is where you find your solitude, you may also enjoy a round on one of several courses in Okeechobee. Additionally, the County has been selected by the Florida Humanities Council to host this year’s Smithsonian “Water/Ways” traveling exhibition from December 17, 2016 through January 28, 2017 to be held at the historic Courthouse, 304 NW 2nd Street, Okeechobee, FL. Only six locations in Florida have been chosen for the 20162017 “Water/Ways” exhibition. We are extremely excited and can’t think of a better way to start celebrating Okeechobee County’s Centennial but by promoting the importance of water with this amazing exhibition in our community. Join us in 2017 as we celebrate the history of our community’s heritage, its pioneer families and businesses, which are the foundation of Okeechobee County. We invite everyone to join us at the Centennial Kick Off event January 21, 2017, on the grounds of the historic Courthouse. n

Okeechobee Board of County Commissioners from left: Bryant Culpepper, David Hazellief, Terry Burroughs, Brad Goodbread and Kelly Owens.

20 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide


Community Welcome from the

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Okeechobee City Council

elcome to Okeechobee! We invite you to share in all that our friendly community has to offer. The City of Okeechobee is looking forward to our growth and bright future. Our community is known for its fishing, sunshine, hospitality and heritage. We invite you and your family to join ours. We look forward to you becoming part of our community. Okeechobee’s past has created a friendly atmosphere that is unique and diverse. We celebrate with numerous events and festivities, such as the Day of the Cowboy, Speckled Perch Festival and other family events. We are a seasonal community with our out-of-state family growing within the county during winter months. Our area is

proud of the downtown corridor, which combines parks, green space and local retail businesses and restaurants, which further promotes our family atmosphere. Okeechobee is also poised to be at the front of the sporting community with National Largemouth Bass tournaments and upcoming projects, such as the Guy Harvey Outpost. Okeechobee also has two industrial parks, which serve as a source of employment and potential growth opportunities. Thank you for your interest into our forward-thinking city. We look forward to your visit, be it for recreation, shopping or sampling our many eateries. Our residents also join me in welcoming you to our area. We would be happy to join you on your next travel experience. n Follow along with the City’s festivities and events at: www.cityofokeechobee.com.

Okeechobee City Council Members from left: Noel Chandler, Monica Clark, Dowling Watford, Mike O’Connor and Gary Ritter.

Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Chamber CommunityBenefits IMPORTANT NUMBERS Aid and Emergency Phone Numbers Okeechobee County Area Code, 863 ALL EMERGENCIES 911 Police, Fire and Rescue 911 Poison Control Center (800) 222-1222

FIRE Fire Emergency 911 City Fire – Business 467-1586 County Fire – Business 763-5544 Forest Fire Reporting 462-5160

POLICE Police Emergency 911 City Police – Business 763-5521 County Sheriff – Business 763-3117 TDD 763-0077 Project 1511 763-1511 Coast Guard Marine & Air Emergency Fort Pierce (772) 464-6100 FBI (772) 461-6142 FL Marine Patrol (561) 624-6935

HOSPITAL Raulerson Hospital 763-2151

CITIZEN SERVICES Abuse, Elder & Child Hotline (800) 962-2873 Al-Anon, Alateen, N.A., Adult Children of Alcoholics & AA 763-1006 Children’s Services Council 462-5000 ext. 255 Consumer Affairs Complaints (800) 435-7352 Florida Abuse Hotline (800) 962-2873 Hospice of Okeechobee 467-2321 Hope Connections (BHR) 763-2404 Hope Hospice (Glades Co.) 763-2404 or (800) 835-1673 Martha’s House Domestic Violence Shelter 763-0202 Mental Health Services New Horizons 462-0040 After hours (888) 468-5600 Missing Children Information FL 1-888-FL-MISSING (1-888-356-4774) Okeechobee Senior Services 462-5180 Physician’s Referral Service (24 hour) 763-9228

22 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide

Pregnancy Center 467-8748 Public Safety 763-3212 Senior Services 462-5180 Shared Services Network 462-5000 ext. 257 Veterans Service Office 763-8124

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY Animal Control 357-3225 Driver’s Licenses 462-5225 Emergency Management 763-3212 www.okeechobeeoc.com Tax Collector 763-3084

CITY, COUNTY AND STATE OFFICES Okeechobee County Area Code 863 Attorney General (FL) Office 866-966-7226 City Planning & Zoning 763-3372 ext. 218 City Hall 763-3372 City Street Dept. 763-3926 County Clerk, Courthouse 763-2131 County Commission Office 763-6441 County Finance Office 763-6553 County Judge’s Office 763-3193 County Planning and Development 763-5548 Dept. of Children & Families 462-5700 Division of Forestry 462-5160 Environmental Protection 462-5888 FL Fish & Wildlife Commission 462-5190 Health Department 462-5819 Insurance (Fla. Dept. of Financial Services) (800) 693-5236 | myfloridacfo.com Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (800) 829-1040 Okeechobee Landfill 357-0824 Okeechobee Sports Complex-Pool 467-7667 Okeechobee Utility Authority 763-9460 or 763-3793 After-hours emergency 357-0490 Parks & Recreation Dept. 763-6950 Post Office 763-3616 Property Appraiser 763-4422 Public Defender 763-7977 Public Library 763-3536 Rehabilitation Facility 763-6226 School Superintendent 462-5000 Social Security (800) 772-1213 TDD (800) 325-0778 Tourist Development Council 763-3959 State’s Attorney 763-5557 Supervisor of Elections 763-4014 Tax Collector 763-3084


Chamber Benefits Community UTILITIES

PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Florida Power & Light (800) 226-3545 CenturyLink (800) 201-4099 Comcast (800) 934-6489 Florida Public Utilities 763-2115 Okeechobee Utility Auth. (water) 763-9460

Central Elementary 610 SW 5th Ave. K-4 462-5077 Everglades Elementary 725 SE 8th St. K-5 462-5108 North Elementary 3000 NW 10th Terr. K-5 462-5100 Seminole Elementary 2690 NW 42nd Ave. K-5 462-5119 South Elementary 2468 SW 7th Ave. K-4 462-5087 Osceola Middle 825 SW 28th St. 5-8 462-5070 Yearling Middle 925 NW 23rd Ln. 6-8 462-5056 Okeechobee Freshman Campus 610 SW 2nd Ave. grade 9 462-5288 Okeechobee High School 2800 Hwy. 441 N. 10-12 462-5025 Okeechobee Achievement Academy 1000 NW 34th St. 462-5125

CIVIC CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS There are numerous clubs and organizations in Okeechobee that offer opportunities for locals and guests to receive help or become involved in community activities. All phone numbers are area code 863 unless otherwise noted. American Business Women’s Association 763-3131 American Legion #64 763-2950 American Legion Auxiliary 763-4953 American Red Cross 763-2488 Business Women’s Referral Network 610-2176 Chamber of Commerce (Okeechobee) 467-6246 East Coast Migrant Head Start 467-0702 Economic Council Okeechobee County 467-0200 Elks Lodge 467-0550 or 634-1605 Fraternal Order of Eagles #4137 763-2552 Fraternal Order of Eagles #4509 467-1154 Friends of the Okeechobee Library 763-3536 Girl Scouts 763-4631 or 763-5102 Guardian ad Litem 697-1717 Habitat for Humanity 763-13714 Kiwanis Club 634-1778 Loyal Order of the Moose #2417 763-2250 Masonic Lodge #237 357-0427 and 763-1610 Ministerial Association 697-1308 Moose Lodge 763-4954 Okeechobee Battlefield Friend 763-6246 Okeechobee County Board of Realtors 467-0004 Okeechobee Co. Education Association 467-1564 Okeechobee Historical Society & Museum 763-4344 Okeechobee Golf Association (Mens & Ladies) 763-6228 Okeechobee Main Street 357-MAIN (6246) Okeechobee Co. Recreational Association 763-6950 Overeaters Anonymous 763-7165 or 763-5324 Quilters Tantie 357-0868 Retired Senior Volunteer Program 450-9402 Retired Teachers Association 763-5755 Rotary Club 763-4224 Shrine Club 763-3378 VFW Post #4423 763-0818 VFW Post #10539 763-2308 VFW Post #9528 467-2882

PRIVATE SCHOOLS Okeechobee Adventist Christian School 412 NW 6th St. 763-0763 john.sufficool@floridaconference.com Okeechobee Christian Academy 701 S Parrott Ave. 763-3072 Grades K4 – 8 www.okeechobeechristianacademy.net Peace Lutheran School 750 NW 23rd Lane 763-7566 Lutheran VPK Program, 2 year to 5K ksmith-peaceokee@embarqmail.com Rock Solid Christian Academy 401 SW 4th St. 763-1847, Baptist rocksolidca@embarqmail.com

COLLEGES Indian River State College (Okeechobee campus) 824-6000 Indian River State College (Main Campus-Ft. Pierce) (866) 792-4772

Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Community Places of Worship in Okeechobee All area codes are 863 unless otherwise noted.

African Methodist Episcopal New St. Stephens AME 1050 NE 16th Ave. 763-5018

Assembly of God

Abiding Help Worship Center Assembly of God 4550 Hwy 441N 763-3736 Bethel Assembly of God 1109 SE 7th St. 467-0060

Baptist

Bethel Baptist Church 1258 NE 13th Ave. 763-6512 Brighton First Baptist Church Brighton Reservation 763-6626 Buckhead Ridge Baptist Church 1043 Cypress St. 763-7532 Cornerstone Baptist Church 18387 Hwy 441N 763-3338 Everglades Baptist Church at Everglades Elementary 261-2499 Faith Alive Fellowship 3075 SW 3 Terr. 623-4233 First Baptist Church of Okeechobee 401 SW 4th St. 763-2171 First Baptist Church of Basinger 19836 Hwy 98N 763-0437 First Missionary Baptist Church 906 NW 9th Ave. 763-0716 Mission Okeechobee 309 SW 14th St. 763-6573 New Testament Baptist Church 535 NE 28th Ave. 763-6682 Northside Baptist Church 51 NW 98th St 763-3584 Oakview Baptist Church 677 SW 32nd St. 763-1699 Okeechobee Missionary Baptist Church 4212 Hwy 441N 763-7743 Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana 5051 NW 30th St. 357-1300 Seminole Bible Baptist Church 200 SW CR721 824-6785 Treasure Island Baptist Church 4209 Hwy 441SE 763-0550 Trinity Freewill Baptist Church 1840 NE 39th Blvd. 763-4962 Victory Baptist Church 500 SW 9th St. 763-0669

Catholic

Sacred Heart Catholic Church 701 SW 6th St. 763-3727 St. Teresa of the Child Jesus 1027 Chobee Loop, BHR 824-8701

Christian

Okeechobee Christian Church 3055 SE 18th Terr. 467-7858 Westside Christian 8082 Hwy 70W 467-2278

Church of Christ

Big Lake Church of Christ 1115 SW 3rd Ave. 467-6758 Okeechobee Church of Christ 1401 S Parrott Ave. 763-4477

Church of God

Basinger Church of God 16050 Hwy 98N 467-5789 Church of God 301 NE 4 th Ave. 763-4127 Church of God of Prophecy 102 NW 10th St. 763-4059 North Okeechobee Church of God 15949 NW 30th Ter. 467-6066

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 310 SW 6th St. 467-2425

Church of the Nazarene Church of the Nazarene 425 SW 28th St. 763-3519

Episcopal

Church of Our Saviour 200 NW 3rd St. 763-4843

Jehovah’s Witnesses

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses 8250 Hwy 70W 763-9229

Lutheran

Peace Lutheran Church 750 NW 23rd Ln. 763-5042

Methodist

First United Methodist Church 200 NW 2nd St. 763-4021

Nondenominational Back Porch Church 3121 SE 32 Ct. 763-4843

24 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide

Believers Fellowship 300 SW 6th Ave. 763-6848 Calvary Chapel 1963 NW 38th Ave. 467-0863 Christ Fellowship 701 S Parrott Ave. 623-4784 Dunklin Memorial Church 3342 SW Hosanah Ln. 772-597-5060 Faith Alive Fellowship 3075 SW 3rd Terr. 623-4233 Faith Farm Ministries 7595 NE 128th Ave. 763-4224 Ft. Drum Community Church 32415 Hwy 441N 467-1733 Fountain of Life 1302 SW 32nd St. 763-8945 Freedom Ranch 11655 Hwy 441SE 763-9800 The Gathering 1735 SW 24th Ave. 357-4418 Gideon’s – Okeechobee PO Box 2205 610-6863 Haven of Rest 912 NW 2nd St. 357-3053 His Church 1167 Linda Rd., BHR 357-6500 Jesus Holy Ghost Crusade 1401 NE Park St. 357-3053 Life Community Church 701 S Parrott Ave. 763-3218 Living Word of Faith 697-8517 More 2 Life Ministries 605 SW Park St., Suite 214 467-0796 Resurrection Life Church 1803 SW 3rd Ave. 763-7770

Pentecostal

Bible Church of God 3666 Hwy 70E 357-2264 United Pentecostal Church 405 SW 10th Ave. 763-5300

Presbyterian

Okeechobee Presbyterian Church (USA) 312 N. Parrott Ave. 824-0013 okeechobeepresby.com Seventh Day Adventist Seventh Day Adventist Church 412 NW 6th St. 763-0655


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Community

Chamber of Commerce The Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County strives to make businesses stronger, as well as to make a stronger economic climate for those businesses to thrive. Classes, business networking programs and a website that allows each member to have its own marketing space, are all part of that focus. Classes cover a variety of topics — everything from business finances to concealed carry laws to the Affordable Care Act. The Chamber’s main focus is to create growth for the entire business community. Chamber members and staff work diligently alongside business owners to help make that happen.

Christian Bookstore & Vintage Home Accessories

One way the Chamber is helping create strong business leaders within the community is through its Leadership Okeechobee program. Leadership Okeechobee is comprised of seven monthly daylong sessions that expose participants to critical issues facing the Okeechobee area. The Chamber works passionately to help diversify the base of businesses in the community, while encouraging the creation of additional high-wage job opportunities.

217 S.W. Park Street • Okeechobee, FL 34974 • 863.357.3010 BIBLES • BOOKS • Journals • Children’s Books • Gifts • Jewelry • Antiques • FURNITURE

26 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide


Chamber Benefits Community Unifying the Okeechobee community through economic growth and success.

Tourist Development Council

Economic Council

Okeechobee’s Tourist Development Council stays on top of what all Okeechobee has to offer, from events to recreational activities to new and exciting businesses. The Council is always working hard and finding new ways to help promote Okeechobee as a desirable destination for tourists. To do this, the Council funds marketing campaigns and local events that enhance Okeechobee’s economy, while preserving natural resources and the quality of life.

For over 25 years the Economic Council of Okeechobee has served as a vital link between the business community and the area’s governments. Formed in 1990 by a group of concerned business leaders, the original organization began with roughly just 20 members. The Economic Council operates under the leadership of a 12-member volunteer board and an executive director.

The Council consists of nine members that serve staggered four-year terms; this includes one elected County Commissioner, along with two Okeechobee City Councilmen. The remaining six members must be individuals that are involved in the tourist industry. All members must be electors of the County. The Council serves as an advisory board to the Okeechobee County Tourist Development Coordinator. Together, Council members work together to invite tourists to escape the hustle and bustle and to enjoy the natural experiences found in the wonderful rural environment of Okeechobee County.

The executive director attends several governmental meetings each month, such as the Board of County Commissioners, City Commission, Planning and Zoning, Code Enforcement, Utilities and School Board. At the meetings the executive director gathers information to relay back to the members for discussion. From the information passed on, the Economic Council creates a voice for the residents of Okeechobee that is heard by all levels of government: local, county and state. And a voice that strives to make Okeechobee a better place to live, work and play.

Main Street Known for its annual festivals, Okeechobee Main Street has also become known as the backbone of Okeechobee’s historical preservation, working to promote culture through more long-lasting accomplishments. Main Street works to revitalize Okeechobee by preserving its history and unique heritage and by enhancing its overall physical appearance. The organization was set up under guidelines of the state Division of Historical Resources and accredited by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It is self-supporting. Main Street utilizes any and all resources to help preserve Okeechobee’s unique heritage. One way it accomplishes this is by preserving Okeechobee’s traditional area downtown and what few historic buildings remain. You don’t have to live in downtown Okeechobee to be a member. If you share in Main Street’s goal to improve all aspects of Okeechobee in order to make it more appealing to residents, visitors and guests, you are encouraged to apply for membership.


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Chamber Benefits Okeechobee HISTORY

The History of Okeechobee A humble beginning with a prosperous future.

With tragedy comes prosperity and growth, and that’s exactly what history has handed Okeechobee. Over the past centuries, various events, good and bad, have forced our many Okeechobee characters to stand strong and make Okeechobee what it is today.

O

keechobee means “big water” in the Seminole Indian language, an appropriate name being that Lake Okeechobee is the second largest fresh water lake in the United States, second in size only to Lake Michigan. Over the years, Lake Okeechobee has had many names, the earliest of which being Mayaimi (an early Indian Tribe). It has also gone by the names Laguna del Esperitu Santo, meaning Lake of the Holy Spirit, Lake Mayacco and Lake Mayoco before finally being named Lake Okeechobee. Until the late 1830s, the dense untamed landscape of Central Florida deterred exploration. Following efforts to relocate native tribes to the west, the Seminole Indians had only one avenue of escape, south. The U.S. Army pursued a band of Seminoles to the shoreline of Lake Okeechobee in an event that would later be referred to as “Col. Zachary Taylor’s Christmas Party.” On Dec. 25, 1837 the Battle of Okeechobee was fought between the Seminole Indians and Col. Zachary Taylor’s U.S. Army unit. What became the bloodiest battle of the Second Seminole War ended with many U.S. casualties and the Seminole Indians retreating deep into the swamp. Today, the 145-acre Okeechobee Battlefield State Park, commemorating the event, is located on U.S. Hwy 441 SE, just a few miles southeast of the city.

Following the Seminole’s escape, the marshy region on the lake’s northern coast remained unexplored until the 1880s when Hamilton Disston brought dredges. Disston began work on the Kissimmee River in an attempt to open the land for development. At that time only wild game, birds and Native Americans occupied the region. Disston began work on a route through land covered with water oak, cypress, rubber and palmetto trees, beginning in the City of Kissimmee and heading south to Lake Okeechobee. Soon after the excavation began people started to take notice of the beautiful land and lake. In October 1896, Peter and Louisiana (Chandler) Raulerson arrived at Taylor Creek, a few miles north of the lake. The Raulersons stretched 30 miles of fence from Taylor Creek to the Kissimmee River, enclosing the river’s bend. Shortly thereafter, other settlers began to arrive. W.A. “Buster” Ferrell built a home just west of Taylor Creek and Samuel L. Gray paddled his way down the Kissimmee River to Lake Okeechobee in 1899. A year earlier, the Raulerson family built the first schoolhouse at the river’s bend to provide an education for their children. At the time six children were required to start a school. To have ➢ Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Okeechobee HISTORY

enough children the Yates children were “borrowed” from Fort Drum, just to the north. Dr. George M. Hubbard, a Connecticut Yankee the children nicknamed “Mother Hubbard,” served as the first teacher. The U.S. government sent Henry Hudson Hancock and his brother James to survey an area of the lake. Henry decided to move his family to Taylor Creek and took over as the schoolteacher. Later, he became instrumental in establishing the area’s first voting precinct in 1903 with seven voters. As the population increased, Tantie Huckabee, a well-educated lady from South Carolina was brought down to teach. The community honored her energy and enthusiasm by naming the school after her. Her name was also given to the first post office, and the town began to be known as Tantie. A thriving economy drew even more settlers to Tantie. Numerous industries such as hunting, citrus and farming were already growing, but none as much as the catfish industry. In 1906 the steamer Success carried 6,000 pounds of fish from the lake on its first haul. In 1912 Robert Upthegrove established Upthegrove Beach, a tiny town on the north shore of Lake Okeechobee. In time, it became a large fishing site on what is now Hwy 441 SE. In 1911 the St. Lucie County Tribune announced that work would soon start on a branch line of the Florida East Coast Railway that would run from Maytown, north of Titusville on the east coast, to Tantie. Because of the new developments in and around the town, on Oct. 4, 1911 the name Tantie was deemed inappropriate and was changed to Okeechobee. Later that year, P.L. Jenkins enlisted a civil engineer to lay out and survey the new city.

30 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide

Many of the street names originated from the area’s Indian heritage: Okeechobee, Seminole, Osceola, Hicpochee, Miami, Kissimmee, Parrott, Tallahassee, Cherokee, Hiwasee, Micanopee, Meridith and Oklosnokee. Those names remained until the 1970s when streets and avenues were given new names and numbers.


Okeechobee HISTORY

its south. Locks located approximately every seven miles around the lake provide fishing and boating access. Today, Okeechobee is truly a crossroads linking the east and west coasts of Florida. The county comprises 771 square miles with a population of approximately 40,000, 5,500 of whom reside in the City of Okeechobee. It is known for dairy and beef cattle, fishing and tourism industries. The industrial park located next to the county airport is a growing area that provides several advantages to manufacturers.

After a visit to the region, South Florida Railroad Company owner Henry Morrison Flagler initiated a re-design of the city to include wide streets, a central park and many wooden buildings, some of which still exist today. He envisioned it becoming the “Chicago of the South.”

Okeechobee may be considered small in size but its history is long and rich. The small-town community is largely cultured and diverse having gone through many changes over the past several centuries. Different names, different people, different buildings. But all the changes, big and small, have made Okeechobee what it is today, a place many are proud to call home. n

Created from portions of Osceola, St. Lucie and Palm Beach counties, the boundaries of Okeechobee County and the incorporation of the city were formalized on June 4, 1915. Florida Gov. Park Trammell (1913 to 1917) appointed municipal officers that included Mayor Peter Raulerson, Clerk of Accessory Henry Chandler, and councilmen L.M. Raulerson, W.L. Coats, Dr. C.R. Darrow, S.J. Drawdy and C.L. Hatch. The first city council meeting was held on July 13, 1915. Okeechobee’s first Chief of Police or City Marshal was Benjamin F. Hall, who was appointed July 14, 1915 and served until September 1915. He was succeeded by J.W. Raulerson and William E. “Pogey Bill” Collins. Okeechobee was finally recognized as a county on May 8, 1917. In 1919 the name of the city was changed from Okeechobee City to the City of Okeechobee. Over the years Okeechobee has endured many devastating storms and hurricanes. Two of the most deadly occurred within two years of each other. In 1926 a storm came rolling through with 125 mph winds. Lake Okeechobee flooded killing hundreds and injuring thousands. But the real blow came in 1928 when a second and even worse storm struck. As it moved throughout South Florida the floodwaters of Lake Okeechobee rose as high as 12 feet. The death toll went into the thousands. To prevent such devastation in the future, the Hoover Dike was created in 1929. The dike protects areas around the lake from flood damage during hurricane season. Lake Okeechobee is the water lifeline for South Florida. It stores and supplies water to many cities and agricultural communities to Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Okeechobee HISTORY

Another 100-Year Celebration!

It’s time for another celebration!

The residents of Okeechobee are in store for yet another hundredth celebration, this time, marking the 100th anniversary of Okeechobee County. In 2015 Okeechobee celebrated the City’s centennial with lots of fun and excitement, and now this year, the party will continue for the County. “There is no denying that the City put on quite a celebration,” said County committee member Magi Cable, “and the County is working on coming up with new events that build a sense of community.” Cable said the County’s committee is very much experienced with many members having served on the City’s centennial committee. Their goal is to use the most popular pieces of the City’s 2015 events to plan another celebration worthy of a hundred years. The official Kick Off Celebration will be held on Jan. 21 in front of the historical Courthouse. The night will be filled with music and laughter as individuals compete in a lip synch battle. There will also be an opportunity for the attendees to view the Smithsonian Institute’s “Museum on Main Street” that focuses on waterways. “This exhibit is only being staged in six places in Florida and Okeechobee is proud to be one of them,” said Cable. The 100th-year celebration will once again include historical bus tours throughout the year, giving residents an up-close look into the history of Okeechobee County. The tours will include a short walking tour of the historic Courthouse, led by retired Judge William Hendry whose grandfather built the courthouse and who presided over the main courtroom during his long judicial career. New to this centennial bash is an ongoing “Speaker Series” where members of the community will speak on topics pertaining to the history of the County, such as agriculture and the

Livestock Market. The final speaker will be the most highly-anticipated one in which Rick Smith, son of author Patrick Smith, will be speaking on A Land Remembered, the very popular novel that gives readers a great insight into how it was to live in this area in the very early days. Another new and ongoing event will be “Amazing Okeechobee.” Amazing Okeechobee will consist of teams competing for a chance to win the gates to Okeechobee County and a cash prize. Teams will have to complete two quests and two questions per month during the Okeechobee County Centennial celebration. Questions will consist of current and historical events, while quests will be activities, such as catching a fish from Lake Okeechobee or taking a photo with the OHS mascot. All ages are encouraged to participate in Amazing Okeechobee. A birthday bash open to the public is scheduled, as well as an end-of-the-year ticketed event at the Okeechobee KOA. Sponsorships for the County Centennial are available, with three levels from which to choose: Silver, Gold and Legacy. Go to the County’s Centennial Facebook page, Okeechobee County Centennial, or contact Sharie Turgeon at Okeechobee County TDC, 863-763-3959 for more information on events or on how to become a sponsor. n

Events Scheduled

Centennial Kick Off Event, January 21, 2017 Historic County Courthouse, 304 NW 2nd St. Birthday Party, May 6, 2017, Agri-Civic Center, 4601 FL-710 Amazing Okeechobee Yearlong team participation throughout 2017 Okeechobee County Historic Bus Tours February 4, March 4, April 8, October 7 and November 4, 2017 Centennial Speaker Series February 2, April 6, June 7, September 7 and November 2, 2017 Historic County Courthouse, 304 NW 2nd St., 2nd Floor End-of-Year Event, December 2, 2017 KOA Convention Center, 4276 US-441 Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Chamber Benefits Lifestyles

Real Estate | Lifestyles A lifestyle for everyone’s taste.

I

Okeechobee real estate has a little something for everyone, from starter homes to acreage and summer cottages on the lake. If you want it, Okeechobee has it.

f you’re looking to plant roots in Okeechobee you won’t be disappointed. For several years the real estate market was on a downward slope, but now, and especially in Okeechobee, the market is hot! Houses are selling, making for not only happy sellers but happy buyers. And because of Okeechobee’s diverse demographic, there is property, whether it be a house or land to build, for any budget or lifestyle. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy Okeechobee’s breathtaking views.

Okeechobee may appear to be small in size but there is nothing small about it when it comes to real estate and the options Okeechobee has to offer. With a variety of interests, lifestyles and opportunities, this community-based town will allow you to live life just as you desire. If you want quaint but yet still welcome growth and development, Okeechobee is the place for you. A place where there is ➢ Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Lifestyles Benefits Chamber an endless variety of home styles to suit everyone and anyone’s needs. With families continuing to grow, Okeechobee continues to grow. And there is no better place to raise a family then in Okeechobee. This city has many family-friendly neighborhoods in and around its nine school zones. These areas include Conner’s Gables, Basswood, Okeechobee Estates and Buckhead Ridge just across the Kissimmee River on Hwy 78, an area with direct “lock” access to Lake Okeechobee. North Lake Estates and Lazy 7 Estates also offer family-friendly communities with homes on half-acre properties and located within seven minutes of the cen➢ ter of town.

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HARMONY 7270 Harmony Square Drive South, Suite 1, Harmony, FL 34773-6002 Direct: 407-973-7899

36 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide


Lifestyles Lifestyles If you find peace and tranquility on the water then why not consider living on the water?


Lifestyles Several of Okeechobee’s communities are known for their beautiful landscaping and oak hammocks. If that’s what you’re looking for you’ll enjoy the beauty of The Oaks of Blue Heron, Airi Acres, Edgewater Acres, Brentwood Estates, Eagle Point and the popular and beloved community of Oak Lake Estates. For those who want a lot of space — 10plus acres — they should consider Shermanwood Ranches, Bridlewood Ranches and Suncreek Ranches. All are newer, gated communities waiting for someone to build their ranchette dream home. If you need a smaller lot, 2+/- acres, to build your ranchette house, Ridgway Acres, located west on Hwy 70 is your place to call home. Ridgway Acres has a country setting that includes two lakes, and is spacious enough for horses, pets ➢ and most outdoor hobbies.

Title Insurance • Real Estate Closings

202Insurance NW 5th Street•• Real Okeechobee, 34972 Title EstateFLClosings Telephone: 863.824.6776 Fax: 863.824.6778

Telephone: 863.824.6776 Fax: 863.824.6778 titleandlegal@ymail.com 38 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide


Lifestyles


Vicki Anderson (863) 634-4106

(863) 634-4107

21442 E. SR 78 -Buckhead Ridge Okeechobee, FL 34974 Vic_Anderson@earthlink.net

Eric Anderson

Shelly Doyle Realtor

863-801-8463 shellydoyle@ymail.com

Anderson Realty Co.

is seasoned at aiding new and experienced buyers and sellers in all areas of real estate. Contact us if your needs include a real estate pro experienced at the business side of real estate.

For All Of Our Listings, Please Visit Our Website: www.AndersonRealtyCo.com


Chamber Benefits Lifestyles

If you find peace and tranquility on the water then why not consider living on the water? There is no better way to watch the sunrise then on the water enjoying a hot cup of coffee. In River Oak Acres you can do just that. A homes-only community, River Oak Acres lets you enjoy fishing and water sports right off your private dock in your backyard. The community also has its own airstrip for aviation ➢ enthusiasts.

There is no better way to watch the sunrise then on the water enjoying a hot cup of coffee.


Lifestyles There is much vacant land available waiting for you to build your dream home. Along with River Oak Acres, River Acres and Sunset Strip Airpark also offer private airstrips. Home parcels average one to five acres and are just a quick 15 minutes from the center of town. If waterfront and conveniently located close to town are what you are looking for, Palm Creek Estates might just be the place. Palm Creek Estates is a gated community with lake access from Taylor Creek. There is much vacant land available waiting for you to build your dream home. Flying G Estates and Lorodo Shores offer one-half to one-acre of land parcels ➢ for sale.


Lifestyles Elvie Posey 863.634.4309

Lori Berger 863.634.8437

Jeff Anderson 863.697.2424

Katherine Williams 863.634.1574

Phillip Berger 863.634.8439

Tim Davis 239.218.8158

Cristie Schmidt 863.634.3604

Kari Berger 863.227.0339

C A R PE N T E R I N S U R A N C E

Home For All Your Insurance Needs

Established 1935

• Home • Auto • Boat • Motorcycle • Motorhome • Workers Comp • Commercial • Health • Bonds • Life

Peggy Carpenter-Brady

VP & Commercial Account Specialist

3960 SE 18th Terrace, Taylor Creek Plaza • Okeechobee, FL 34974 • 863-824-0885

Celebrating 86 Years Serving the Glades

Make it Your Home! www.RoyalsInc.com

Family owned business since 1929

Five Convenient Showrooms: Okeechobee, Belle Glade, Clewiston, Immoklee and Sebring

(863) 763.6293

In Store Financing Available.

804 E. North Park Street, Okeechobee, FL 34972 44 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide

For the golfing enthusiasts or those who just prefer the ambiance of being on a golf course, there are three communities built around courses in Okeechobee. There’s Blue Heron near the center of the city and with lots located on Taylor Creek, Oak Leaf Golf Course north of the city and Blue Cypress southeast of the city near the lake. Many come to Okeechobee looking for land, and lots of it. With plenty of land on the outskirts of town, equestrian lovers will find a variety of areas that will allow them to raise their horses. There is R Bar Estates, a community very close to town, or if you prefer rural-acreage developments you should check out Lazy 7 Ranches or Country Hills. If acreage is essential, you’re in luck, as you will find land to choose from conveniently located on all sides of Okeechobee.


Lifestyles

Many come to Okeechobee looking for land, and lots of it.


Lifestyles Crooked Creek on the east side, Quail Acres on the north and Quail Woods on the southeast side of the city, all offer plenty of land and room to enjoy the outdoors. And if the outdoors appeals to you then you might also like the rural areas of Fort Drum and the Viking Properties, just north on 441 and which encompasses 25-square-miles of one-and-a-quarter acres or more home sites.

Precision Hair Cut Designs Balayaga Hand Painting Brazilian Blowout Waxing Manicures Nail Enhancements Spa Pedicures

(863) 763-3933 313 SW Park Street | Okeechobee

www.paulmitchell.com

Gift Certificates Available

Monday-Friday 9-5 | Saturday 9-3 AFTER HOURS APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE

Worry FREE $75 A/C Maintenance

PR

Family Owned and Operated Since 1975!

MATC H ICE

PR

CH

• • • • • • •

I C E M AT

863.763.6461

LIC #CAC053793 LIC #CFC022585

www.echolsplumbingandac.com 46 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide

If hunting and fishing are more your style, the upscale private community Pine Creek Sporting Club is definitely worth taking a look at. North of town, with multi-acre lots, Pine Creek has much to offer, including skeet shooting, hunting and even a helicopter pad. Also north of town is Indian Hammock, which is a gated community of 3,600 acres and only 299 home sites. Indian Hammock offers private skeet and trap ranges, a private airport, rifle and pistol range, a lodge with a restaurant, heated pool, fitness center, horse boarding facility, guest cabins and miles of trails. All amenities are available to residents.


Lifestyles Many people come to Okeechobee looking to retire. Okeechobee can accommodate someone looking to downsize or just prefer condo living. Okeechobee has several condominium communities to choose from, including Cottages at the Lake and Taylor Creek Condos, both of which sit right on the rim canal. A little closer to town is Oak Lake Villas, offering easy access to everything Okeechobee ➢ has to offer.

Auto Accidents • Truck Accidents Slip & Falls • Medical Malpractice • Wrongful Death

Your Hometown INJURY Attorney Phones Answered 24/7

Se Habla Espanõl

763.3333

Law Offices of Lefebvre & Dixon

1910 S. PARROTT AVE. | OKEECHOBEE, FLORIDA | ACCIDENTATTORNEYOFFICE.COM

LIC# CRC 1327160

SAND • FILL • SHELL • ROCK House Pads Debris Removal Land Clearing Demolition

Culverts Driveways

DUMP TRUCKS...SITE WORK...HEAVY EQUIPMENT JOSH: (863) 634-9486 OFFICE: (863) 623-5274 GLENN: (863) 634-1075

Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

47


Lifestyles SNEIDER LAW Glenn J. Sneider Attorney at Law

Helping good people facing tough problems. Divorce ■ Custody ■ Family Law ■ DUI ■ Criminal Law

200 SW 9th Street•Okeechobee, FL 34974

863-467-6570 www.SneiderLaw.com

Looking for a part-time or seasonal home? Okeechobee’s year-round “summer” weather tends to draw many looking to enjoy a pleasant and mild winter. Being centrally located, Okeechobee is the perfect choice. Okeechobee has several RV/MH/Park Model communities for seasonal or year-round residents. Among those are the Big O RV Park, Blue Cypress Golf and RV Resort, Silver Palms RV Village and Ancient Oaks RV Resort. If this is the type of community you’re looking for then you’ll also want to take a look at Seminole Cove and Palm Village Ranch. All of these communities offer heated pools, clubhouses and planned activities. With so many real estate options, Okeechobee can please any house or land hunter. We welcome you to visit our quaint community and view what Okeechobee has to offer. We can assure you that Okeechobee will be able to meet your every real estate need. n

We welcome you to visit our quaint community and view what Okeechobee has to offer.

Residential

Commercial

For More Information: www.mirarealtyllc.com

(863) 763-8020

Vacant Land

Joseph Stas, Licensed Real Estate Broker

BUYERS! GO TO:

SELLERS! GO TO:

www.movewithmira.com

www.sellwithmira.com

For Up to Date Listing Notifications

For a FREE Current Market Analysis

48 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide


ChamberLifestyles Benefits NEW Residence

DESIGN CONSTRUCTION CONSULTING

COMMERCIAL • RESIDENTIAL

Abney Building & Consulting, Inc. is Okeechobee’s hometown Design, Construction, & Consulting firm. We offer plan design to turn-key construction. With over 20+ years of experience, we can handle all your residential and commercial construction needs.

NEW Residence

Give us a call for a FREE Consultation Walpole Feed Store

A name you can trust. Anchor Dental

863.623.4459 www.AbneyBuild.com 210 NE 3rd Ave. Okeechobee, FL 34972 LIC #CBC058152

Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

49


Lifestyles 24 HOUR EMERGENCY SERVICE

0

% APR

RESIDENTIAL • COMMERCIAL Water Heater Replacement Lift Stations • Backflow Prevention

863.763.6461

OFFER THROUGH 01/31/17 AVAILABLE ONLY ON ALL NEW HTE EQUIPMENT MINIMUM FINANCE AMOUNT: $1,500

Raptor SD

2233 Highway 98 N. Okeechobee, FL LIC #CAC053793 LIC #CFC022585

315 S Parrott Ave Okeechobee, FL 34974

863.763.6434

www.echolsplumbingandac.com

St. Lic. #CMCO54668

Refrigeration ~ AC ~ Ice Machines Okeechobee 863-763-2114 804 N. Parrott Ave. Okeechobee, FL 34972 Clewiston 863-983-8111 311 E. Sugarland Hwy. Clewiston, FL 33440

LaBelle 866-942-7280 We also service LaBelle, FL

Serving the Glades since 1929 LIC. #CMCO54668

Carrier

50 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide


Chamber Benefits

Niki Salmon Lic. RE Broker 863.532.9096

niki@remingtonrealestate.us

Buying • Selling • Commercial • Residential Enjoy a career in Real Estate, come join the Remington Real Estate Team State Certified: Broker MLS BK3268539, Environmental Specialist PCC 056704 Contractor CBC1256085

Rustic Style and Cabins Home Decor, Gifts & Jewelry Adding a Little Charm to Okeechobee...

Director Okeechobee Board of Realtors Director Okeechobee Chamber of Commerce Serving Okeechobee and the East Coast

863.532.9096

505 NE Park Street • Okeechobee, FL www.uniquegifts4u.com • www.rusticnow.com nikirusticnow@gmail.com Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

51


At Okeechobee Health Care Facility

We LOVE to CARE... Family owned and operated, Okeechobee Health Care Facility began providing Long-term and Rehab care to the citizens of Okeechobee and the surrounding communities in December of 1984. Rehab Therapy, consisting of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Out-Patient Therapy, is available six days a week in a kind, caring environment. Long-term care is available for loved ones who can no longer be cared for safely at home, in addition to a secured Dementia/Alzheimer Memory-Care Unit. • Dietitian-Developed Nutritious Meals & Snacks • Stimulating & Fun Daily Activities • Pastoral Services • Home-Like Atmosphere • Sit-and-Visit Spots • Dedicated Nurses and CNAs Provide Personal Care 24 Hours Every Day • Loving End-of-Life Comfort Measures • 5-Star Federal and State Rated

“As a professional Critical Care Registered Nurse, I was concerned about finding assistance for my Mom, Audrey Ehrhardt, who needed special care. I cannot express the relief and peace of mind I experienced after observing the caring, considerate and compassionate care of the skilled staff at Okeechobee Health Care Facility. I know my Mom was safe and in an atmosphere of loving caregivers.” - Deborah Benitez, Daughter

★★★★★

★★★★★


Healthcare

Raulerson Hospital: Familiar faces providing quality care.

M

Raulerson Hospital, a top-rated healthcare facility that provides Okeechobee residents with cutting-edge technology and the safest and highest quality care with a personal touch.

eet some of the staff that provide Raulerson Hospital’s patients with personalized care.

A young boy, accustomed to working hard on his family’s dairy farm, is hospitalized with pneumonia. While there, he finds himself feeling very impressed with his doctors, nurses and the overall medical care he receives. That boy grows up to become the CEO of the same hospital and his goal is for the community to experience the same personalized, quality care that made such an impact on him, as a child. That boy was Brian Melear, and in July of 2016 he was named CEO of Raulerson Hospital in Okeechobee. “This is personal for me,” Melear explained. “I’m committed to this community. Our entire team is committed. I am fortunate to take this next step in my career and to continue to work with this team to further develop the hospital.”

Melear’s goals for the facility focus on the patient’s experience. He wants to empower and engage staff to connect with patients and improve their overall experience. He plans to continue the hospital’s tradition of offering new technology, while also actively seeking additional physicians and expanded service line opportunities so patients can receive even more of their healthcare services in the comfort of their own community. “Most of the time when people refer to Raulerson Hospital, they’re talking about us, the staff,” Melear explained. Echoing a phrase he admittedly ‘borrowed’ from other organizations, Melear often reminds the staff, “We are Raulerson!” Under a leadership style that focuses on ownership, staff members grow and develop not only their clinical skills, but a sense of patient-focused care that really enhances the patient experience. Raulerson Hospital has more than 500 employees, ➢ Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

53


Our Services Include:

Honored to Serve O ur Community

Family Dentistry’s compassionate staff share their dental expertise by first considering all aspects of your dental wellness experience; excellence, comfort, and efficiency are the foundation of our practice.

Preventative and Deep Cleaning Botox Fillings Implant Restoration Crowns Root Canals Bridge Work TMJ Appliances Sleep Appliances Custom Fitted Dentures Cosmetic Bonding

Dr. Laskey, D.M.D. Dr. Davis, D.D.S.

863.763.2765

Veneers Wisdom Teeth Extractions Implant Crowns In-House Lab Nitrous Oxide Sedation Available

202 NE 3rd Street | Okeechobee, FL 34972 | www.fdofokeechobee.com


Healthcare

and so many of them have become experts in their fields, while also making patient satisfaction a core value. The ER, which is often symbolically referred to as a hospital’s front door, often has more than 100 visitors each day. In 2015, there were nearly 30,000 ER visits to Raulerson Hospital. Many of those arriving via Okeechobee County’s Fire Rescue units. There is genuine partnership and cooperation among the EMTs and ER staff. Raulerson Hospital’s ER plays a vital role in the community as Okeechobee’s only true emergency department. Medical emergencies of all types are present in an ER. That is one of the things ER nurse Marcy Spelts loves about emergency nursing. “I enjoy working directly with the doctors in providing patient care and helping provide our patients with information about different disease processes and treatments,” said Spelts. “We all work well together as a team to provide the best outcome for our patients.” Spelts has been with Raulerson Hospital for 23 years. She began as a nursing assistant and received scholarships from Raulerson Hospital to help her achieve her current status as a registered nurse in the ER. She, like many other staff members, maintains various certifications, which add to the expertise she displays in her field, like Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Trauma Nursing Core Course. “I love our town,” she said. “We know how to pull together in someone’s time of need. Emergency nursing is not just a job or career, ➢ it’s part of who I am.” Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

55


Florida Community Health Centers, Inc. “Working Together for Healthier Communities” Since 1976 Florida Community Health Centers, Inc. “Working Together for Healthier Communities” Since 1976

Lakeshore Lakeshore Medical Medical Center Center 1100 N Parrott Avenue, Okeechobee, FL 34972 • 1 (863) 763-7481 1100 N Parrott Avenue, Okeechobee, FL 34972 • 1 (863) 763-7481

Lakeshore Medical Center offers primary adult medical and OB/GYN care. Lakeshore Medical Centerand offers primary adult medical OB/GYN care.scale. We accept Medicaid, Medicare private insurance as well and as offer a sliding We accept Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance as well as offer a sliding scale. Did you know we have a Patient Portal? Did you•know have a Patient Requestwe an appointment online Portal?

Request an appointment online and immunization information • View, or download your personal •health records, including medication • View, or download your personal health records, including medication andresults immunization information • Request prescription refills • Review your latest test • Request prescription lls • Review your latest test results • Obtainrefi education information • Obtain and education information • View statements pay online (COMING SOON) • View statements and pay online (COMING Ask our front desk staff for more information or toSOON) register. Ask our front desk staff for more information or to register. SERVICE HOURS: Monday SERVICE HOURS: 8:00am - 6:00pm Monday Se habla Tuesday - Thursday 8:00am 8:00am -- 6:00pm 5:00pm Se habla Tuesday Thursday 8:00am 5:00pm Español Friday 8:00am - 4:00pm Español Friday 8:00am - 4:00pm FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT www.fchcinc.org FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT www.fchcinc.org


Healthcare Robert Rodriguez, an ER nurse at Raulerson Hospital, also works for County Fire Rescue as a fire medic. Rodriguez said, “I’ve been here all my life. What’s unique about working at the hospital and for EMS is how I get to see both sides of the fence. As a medic, I’ve always wondered what happens to some of the patients we transport. Working in the ER, you see the diagnoses and outcomes for many of the patients. I like that.”

During most ER visits, physicians rely on some type of testing to help make an accurate diagnosis. During such testing, Raulerson Hospital patients may very likely come across Radiology employees like Melissa Mills, the Chief Technologist in Radiology. She has worked at Raulerson Hospital for 24 years and is a registered Radiology Technologist and Mammography Technologist. Mills explained that having many technologists cross-trained in multiple imaging modalities allows staff to more quickly and efficiently respond to and serve the needs of their patients requiring radiology services, which include inpatients, ER patients and outpatients. Raulerson Hospital’s Radiology Department, accredited by the American College of Radiology, provides modern and powerful imaging equipment, including Okeechobee’s only ➢ MRI. Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Healthcare

With chest pain and trouble breathing among the most common complaints in the ER and among inpatients, the Respiratory Department often performs various cardiopulmonary treatments on patients at Raulerson Hospital. Registered Respiratory Therapists like Deanna Barrett work at the patient’s bedside providing a range of services from simple breathing treatments to life saving intubations. Barrett is from Okeechobee and has worked at Raulerson Hospital for four years. She is in training to become a supervisor in the Respiratory Department. If someone needs to be admitted to Raulerson Hospital for inpatient care, the patient will be in capable hands day and night. The facility’s nursing unit has many experienced providers, such as night shift nurses, David Reynolds and Louise Davis. Reynolds has been a registered nurse for 34 years and Davis for 25 years. Davis has been part of Raulerson Hospital for 28 years. For the past 12 years she has worked as a nursing supervisor on the night shift, often managing the entire

58 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide


Healthcare Chamber Benefits

hospital during evening hours. Inpatients at Raulerson Hospital, like those cared for by Reynolds and Davis, enjoy rooms equipped with an advanced communication system to conveniently request assistance for specific needs, such as restroom, water or pain, with just a touch of a button on their remote control. Many of Raulerson Hospital’s nursing staff has been busy obtaining their board certification, including Estella Richards. She is a charge nurse for the inpatients on the Medical /Surgical Unit. She has been a nurse for 12 years and enjoys the patient contact and interaction. “I like the fact that as a nurse we get to meet a variety of people.” Richards and her husband Lance, who is Raulerson

Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Healthcare

Porcelain Esthetics

“Begin your journey to healthier beautiful skin.”

Chemical Peels Microdermabrasion Light therapies Therapeutic customized facials Acne treatment Resurfacing Featuring G.M. Collin and Skin Deep Pharmaceuticals Products

863.634.3615 221 NE Park St. Okeechobee, FL Cheryl Daniels License # FB9750329

60 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide

experts for your orthopedic needs. Hospital’s Patient Safety Director, are happy to raise their kids in a small town Receive comprehensive orthopedic care locally with like Okeechobee. Raulerson Hospital’s wide range of services, including:

Bradford Slutsky, M.D. • Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeons • Benjamin Epstein, D.O.

• Arthroscopic surgery

(minimally invasive surgery to diagnose and treat problems

Raulerson Hospital’s Outpatient De• Reduction of fractures partment is a•busy place where patients Total Joint Replacement - Hip can receive many services, such as colo- Knee - Custom Knee noscopies, wound care and IV therapy. - Shoulder Outpatient’s Charge Nurse, Chris Mills, • Pediatric Orthopedics Raulerson Hospital also offers happy inpatient andto outpatient loves when her patients feel rehabilitation. Our licensed physical therapists work with patients to help them return to their know some ofone-on-one the staff members personprior activity levels. of the knee and shoulder)

(repair of a broken bone)

(converts a CT scan of your knee into a model for your implant)

Call 763-9228 to find a physician or speak to a Registered Nurse.

BY RaulersonHospital.com THE NUMBERS • Opened in 1979 • 100 beds • Nearly 30,000 ER visits annually • 1 of 117 hospitals to be recognized by The Joint Commission as a Top Performer • Part of the 14 hospitals that comprise HCA (Hospital Corporation of America’s) East Florida Division.


Healthcare Chamber Benefits ally. She explained that “it really makes them feel so much more comfortable.� Chris has been part of the Raulerson Hospital family for 28 years. She first became interested in a career in healthcare as a high school student participating in her school’s health occupation program, which Raulerson Hospital and Okeechobee High School still offer today to help cultivate and educate students about potential careers in the medical field. Sometimes a patient’s diagnoses is one that requires surgical intervention. Raulerson Hospital has been recognized as a Top Performer by The Joint Commission on Key Quality Measures, including surgical care. The facility is among only 117 hospitals in the nation to receive this designation for five years in a row. Patients facing surgery, often choose Raulerson Hospital due to these quality rankings, as well as the convenience associated with having a procedure performed without leaving the community. Members of Raulerson Hospital’s Surgical Services team, like Surgical Technologist Jesus Flores, enjoy giving back to the community they grew up in. “I’m fascinated by surgery and knowing we make a difference in our patients’ lives for the better,� explained Flores. Gerry Soriano is a registered nurse with a Bachelor of Science in nursing who works in Raulerson Hospital’s Surgical Services Department. Gerry explained that the original plan when he and his wife Criselda, also a RN at Raulerson Hospital, moved here in 2000 from the Philippines was to join their family in California. “The warmth and welcome that the hospital employees and people of the community have shown us, changed our mind. We decided to stay permanently.� From emergencies to surgeries and everything in between, Raulerson Hospital really is your hospital. The skilled staff are your friends and neighbors and they display a commitment to providing quality healthcare in our community. n

Gulfstream Goodwill Industries provides more than two dozen health, human and social services programs to assist people with disabilities and RWKHUEDUULHUVWRHPSOR\PHQWWREHFRPHVHOIVXIÀFLHQWZRUNLQJPHPEHUV of our community. With 28 retail thrift stores and nearly 50 donation centers supporting our programs and services, we’re improving lives!

To learn how you can help improve lives, visit gulfstreamgoodwill.org.

Doctors Clinic Family Health Center, LLC 863.763.1107

Se habla espaùol • Wir sprechen deutsch • Nous parlons français

204 SE Park Street • Okeechobee

Armando A. Santelices, MD

Stanley H. Sweda, MD

Victoriano C. Gutierrez, MD

Most Insurances Accepted • DOT/CDL Physicals • Family Practice and Occupational Medicine • Lifestyle Weight & Wellness Accepting New Patients • Walk-ins & Appointments

We Specialize in You! Lake Okeechobee Digestive Disease Center 863.357.8222

Se habla espaĂąol

204 SE Park Street • Okeechobee www.DrAlbertBravo.com

Albert F. Bravo, MD Gastroenterology/Hepatology

Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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All Your Western Wear Needs Under One Roof!

HOURS OF OPERATION Mon-Sat, 9am – 6pm Sunday, 12pm – 5pm

WESTERN

WEAR

www.eliswesternwear.com

OKEECHOBEE 907 NW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 (863) 763-2984

ARCADIA 1011 East Oak Street Arcadia, FL 34266 (863) 494-6088

DUNDEE 27995 Hwy 27 Dundee, FL 33838 (863) 439-6655

TRAILER SALES

908 NW Park Street • Okeechobee, FL • 863-467-4620 Open Monday – Friday, 8am – 5 pm


Education

Indian River State College

B

A State college with one-on-one attention. Indian River State College continues to offer more and more quality and easily attainable degrees to anyone aspiring affordable, local higher education.

enefiting hundreds of Okeechobee residents each year, Indian River State College (IRSC) has earned a national reputation for quality and affordability at the same time. IRSC was named as a Top Ten Finalist for the Aspen Prize for Excellence in 2015 and for 2017, selected out of more than 1,000 colleges around the country. IRSC was commended for achievement in student learning, graduation rates, high rates of employment for graduates and access and success for minority and low-income students. The Education Affordability and Transparency Report from the U.S. Department of Education has ranked IRSC as the third most affordable college in the country. IRSC tuition is 40 percent less than tuition at state universities and about 90 percent less than private universities. Most IRSC students are able to take advantage of grants, scholarships and financial aid, with over 85 percent of IRSC students obtaining a great education without student loans. In addition, IRSC has maintained its tuition rate for five years.

degrees and 107 associate degrees available to Okeechobee students. Since IRSC changed from a community college to a state college in 2008, enrollment has grown to approximately 900 students per semester in Okeechobee. IRSC offers a range of programs that meet students’ needs from quick job training to two-year associate degrees to bachelor’s degrees. Those seeking job skills quickly can focus on training programs in the in-demand industrial certification fields. Hundreds of online courses are offered each semester through the virtual campus, offering flexibility in several online-degree ➢ programs.

Though the college is in its 56th year, IRSC didn’t establish an Okeechobee presence until 1975 in a downtown storefront. Later it opened its Dixon-Hendry Campus in 1986. From there, the campus has only continued to grow with 21 bachelor’s Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Education

IRSC is the first choice for college-bound graduating seniors from Okeechobee High School. About 75 percent of the seniors with college plans attend IRSC in the fall. IRSC’s Dual Enrollment (DE) allows students to earn high school and college credits simultaneously at no cost to the parents for books or tuition. “The courses are taught by college certified teachers, who must have a minimum of a master’s degree,” said IRSC Provost Russ Brown. “Some DE classes are held at the college where students get the opportunity to learn in a college atmosphere.” DE has grown so much from its beginning with just 40 Okeechobee students enrolled, opposed to the 232 local students who completed DE in the fall of 2015. New DE courses are made available each year which can be taken through regular, online or nighttime enrollment. “The beautiful Dixon-Hendry Campus is currently on 10 acres and as the needs of the community grow, so will the campus,” said Brown. “All of this campus’s buildings were built with local community monies met with matching dollars from the state. The goal for the Williamson Center was reached in just six weeks, which shows the tremendous support our community provides.” The Williamson Center seats 175 in the conference room and another 50 or more in a verandah that expands. The center can accommodate even more while still allowing others to participate through visual and audio contact via intra-building communication technology. Year-round many local businesses and organizations use the Williamson Center for training and informational events. From July 2015 through June 2016, there were 278 events held, serving more than 20,000 people. Such events help sustain the partnership between the college and the community.

64 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide

The Registered Nursing (RN) program continues to be popular among students. IRSC’s RN program stands out from other schools. One way is by the up-to-date virtual hospital room in the Williamson Center. Within the virtual hospital there is a human patient simulator that replicates different diseases and traumas. “He can go from healthy to heart attack in an instant,” said Brown. The RN program offers students real-world experience through clinical internships at Raulerson Hospital. In addition to training and certifying Fire/EMT students, IRSC works closely with many local agencies and businesses for job placement. “Our goal is to have job placement events here once a month,” Brown said. “A local career fair is held annually and calls from the community come in regularly to fill local openings.” Through all the changes over the years IRSC has maintained its commitment to workforce training. With a focus on job


Education training in the trades, the Dixon-Hendry Campus offers programs in air conditioning/refrigeration, automotive technology, diesel/heavy equipment mechanics, office administration and construction and building trades. IRSC ranked third in Florida colleges for trade certifications. Keeping up with the demand for trade certifications, IRSC opened a modern Multi-Functional Industrial Laboratory at the Dixon-Hendry Campus in the fall of 2014. There is now a 2,700 square-foot lab for training programs in the in-demand industrial certification fields. The new lab features flexible space that can be easily adapted for customized manufacturing training for new industries and other options to support workforce development in Okeechobee County. IRSC has maintained an average of 15 participants in each trade course offered. And because of the popularity of the courses, they have expanded the program from two nights per week of classes to four nights per week, thus allowing more students to participate and providing them the opportunity to move through the program faster. Vocational training also helps locals re-enter the work force through refresher courses and quick-job training. “It is flexible and adaptable and can start any time of the year,” Brown said. “For example, we offer open-entry administrative and computer skills training for office jobs, with students job-ready in as little as six to 12 weeks. “We want to make sure there are no local needs unmet. The mission statement here at the Dixon Hendry Campus emphasizes the personal touch. We know our students’ goals and make their success our top priority.” The campus is located at 2229 NW 9th Ave., 863-824-6000. n

OKEECHOBEE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY Pre-Kindergarten through 12th Grade FCCPSA

701 S. Parrott Ave. Okeechobee, FL 34974 (863) 763-3072 okeechobeechristianacademy.org Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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SAVE TIME. ORDER ONLINE. Order anywhere from your computer, phone or tablet and pick it up in-restaurant or at our Carside To Go®!

SCAN OUR QR CODE or visit: applebees.com

SUPPORTING OUR NEIGHBORHOOD Please submit your requests for Donations, Fundraising, Sponsorships, and Youth Connection by visiting “Community” at www.DohertyInc.com.

66 2017 |APPLEBEE’S® Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee 1210 County Guide 70 East • Okeechobee, FL 34972 • 863.357.0141 OKEECHOBEE Highway


Chamber Benefits Chamber Dining

Dining in Okeechobee

BENEFITS

With a wide variety of restaurants and cuisines Okeechobee is sure to satisfy your taste buds. Whether you want a fast, on-the-go meal or a sit-down, night out dinner, Okeechobee can provide.

©2015 Golden Corral Corporation

BEST BUFFET IN OKEECHOBEE, FL

sunrise breakfast b1amuffet Fri-Sun, 7:30-1

Enjoy Sirloin Steak Filets Daily after 4pm, Sun after 11am

700 S. PARROTT AVENUE, OKEECHOBEE, FL • (863) 763-0444 Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Dining Chamber Member Listing 2nd Street Pizza

202 NE 2nd Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 (863) 763-5000 Ralph Collins

Applebee’s

WE DELIVER 11a.m.-10p.m. CLOSED SUNDAY

1210 Hwy 70 E Okeechobee, FL 34974 applebeesokeechobee @dohertyinc.com www.applebees.com (863) 357-0141 Brittany Sweeney

763-9299

Beef O’ Brady’s

FAMOUS FOR...FINE FOOD FRIENDLY FOLKS...AND NO PARKING!

208 S. Parrott Avenue • Okeechobee, Florida

68 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide

608 S Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 okeebeefs@gmail.com www.beefobradys.com (863) 763-7300 Nikki Brewster


ChamberDining Benefits

LARGE & SMALL Corporate Meetings Events • Anniversary Parties Birthday Parties • Weddings

Professional Quality with a Personal Touch Diane Conway & Gary Burks

863.634.7840 or 863.634.3131 DGCaters101@yahoo.com

a Bul m h a l Br

& Lounge 2405 U.S. HIGHWAY 441 S.E. OKEECHOBEE, FL 34974

863.467.0050 OPEN AT 11:00AM DAILY

Sun., Mon., Tues. - Kitchen & Bar CLOSE at 10:00PM Wed. and Thurs. - Kitchen closes at 10:00PM & Bar closes at 2:00AM Fri. and Sat. - Kitchen closes at 11:00PM & Bar closes at 2:00AM

Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Salads, Baskets, Po Boys, Burgers, Wraps, and more!

! s l a i c e p S y l i Da Draft Beer, Bottled Beer, Imports & Wine

301 SW Park Street Okeechobee, FL

863-763-1399

HOURS: Mon.- Thur. 11am - 9pm Fri. 11am – 10pm Sat. 11am -9pm Sun. 11am-8pm


Dining

With a wide variety of restaurants and cuisines Okeechobee is sure to satisfy your taste buds. Brown Cow Sweetery

103 SW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 paulette@browncowsweetery.com www.browncowsweetery.com (863) 357-3357 Paulette Bragel

Golden Corral

Crossroads Restaurant 5050 NE 128th Aveue Okeechobee, FL 34974 douglasandson@live.com (863) 763-8333 David Douglas

D & G Catering

6451 NW 30th Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 dgcaters101@yahoo.com (863) 357-1164 Gary Burks

Dairy Queen

1212 S. Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 rwesch@msn.com www.dairyqueen.com (863) 763-6675 Robert Wesch

700 S Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 goldenlionmidfl@aol.com www.goldencorral.com (863) 763-0444 Charlie Hukriede

Lakeside Grill

1111 S Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 menihtas@verizon.net www.lakesideokeechobee.com 863 357-4745 Elaine Menihtas

Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Dining

Event/Party Room

Zippy’s Zippers Mon.- Thur. 11am - 9pm ings! Fri.HOURS: W s s le e n o B 11am – 10pm • Sat. 11am -9pm sh re F

s Home of the Famou

GREAT FOOD • DRAFT BEER • BOTTLED BEER • IMPORTS & WINE

301 SW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 863-763-1399

Sun. 11am-8pm

See our full page ad!

Los Cocos Mexican Restaurant 107 NW 5th Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 yoliemix@yahoo.com (863) 467-0922 Yolanda Soloranzo

Papa John’s

414 NE Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 rjsvillars@gmail.com (863) 467-7272 Raul Villars

Pizza Heaven

Serving Breakfast & Lunch Open 7 Days

208 S Parrott Ave Okeechobee, FL 34974

Pueblo Viejo VI

1111 S. PARROTT AVENUE / OKEECHOBEE, FL 34974 863.357.4745

LAKESIDEOKEECHOBEE.COM

72 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide

3415 Hwy 441 South Okeechobee, FL 34974 puebloviejo6@yahoo.com www.puebloviejofl.com (863) 357-9641 Pueblo Viejo VI


ChamberDining Benefits Serenity Coffee Shop 601 SW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972

Simply Saigon

3651 US Hwy 441 SE Okeechobee, FL 34974 kathyle847@gmail.com (863) 623-4183 Kathy Le

Sandwiches Salads • Quiche Coffee • Lattes Frozen Blends Chocolate Ice Cream

Taco Bell

501 NE Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972

Tin Fish Restaurant

301 N Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 www.thetinfishrestaurants.com (863) 357-0722 Courtney Hicks

863.357.3357

103 SW Park Street • Okeechobee Mon. - Thurs. 7am-7pm • Fri. 7am-8pm • Sat. 8am-8pm

Uncle Larry’s of Okeechobee

2117 Hwy 441 SE Okeechobee, FL 34974 margaret_ruede _mckane@yahoo.com (863) 763-5794 Margaret McKane

Vowels Inc. – McDonald’s 4151 US Hwy 441 S Okeechobee, FL 34974

Zaxby’s

912 NE Park St Okeechobee, FL 34974

Zippy’s

301 SW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Events Come one, come all, Okeechobee offers fun to be had by all. No RSVP needed, year-round events for the entire family.

Okeechobee Music & Arts Fest. Held in the Sunshine Grove, deep in the

heart of Okeechobee, the Okeechobee Music and Arts Fest is a four-day musical experience comprised of multi-genre music, immersive art and transformative events. It is an annual event that began in 2016 and brings over 32,000 spectators. It is the largest camping music festival held in Florida. The grounds include a white-sand beach, coined Aquachobee Beach, where attendees can relax and sunbathe or join a game of volleyball. Yoga and holistic workshops are also available to those who desire a calmer break in their day. The Okeechobee Music and Art Fest is held in the beginning of March and offers a little bit for everyone with major recording artists, such as Kendrick Lamar, Robert Plant and Hall and Oates, and over 100 other various artists performing late into the evenings. For more information visit http://okeechobeefest.com.

Okeechobee Family Health and Safety Expo.

Held in January at the Agri-Civic Center, the Family Health and Safety Expo invites community members to visit numerous booths set up by local businesses and vendors providing free information on an array of topics regarding life and health in some fashion. Free health screenings are also available. Rescue crews can be found outside performing demonstrations and giving tours of their emergency vehicles. Face painting and games are held for children, making it a family-friendly event.

74 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide


Events

Okeechobee Community Theatre. Founded in

1979, the Okeechobee Community Theatre is a volunteer-based organization of local adults and young people who present high quality live Broadway-style musicals, comedies and dramas at a reasonable price for audiences in South Central Florida.  They specialize in entertainment that is suitable for the entire family.  All performances are presented in the historic Okeechobee Auditorium located at 610 S. W. Second Avenue in downtown Okeechobee. The intimate 260-seat facility keeps you close to the action on stage. For more information visit www.okeechobeecommunitytheatre.com or call (863) 763-1307.

The Top of the Lake Art Fest and Chalk Walk. Held in January, this festival highlights both local

and area-wide artists. Youth and amateur artists are showcased, giving the community a chance to see all degrees and types of artwork. Held at Flagler Park in the center of downtown Okeechobee, The Art Fest has grown to represent art in all forms — chalk artwork done as you watch, paintings, pottery, sculpture, jewelry, woodcarvings and more. The Taste of Okeechobee takes place the first night of the Art Fest and features a variety of local shops and restaurants participating. During The Taste of Okeechobee you are able to enjoy an evening of shopping, strolling, music and enough tasty samplers from our local restaurants, all lined up along our historical Park Street in downtown Okeechobee. For further information contact Okeechobee Main Street at 863-357-6246 or www.okeechobeemainstreet.org.

Brighton Field Day. Now in its 79th year, the Brighton Field Day Festival and Rodeo gives spectators and visitors an inside look into the rich heritage of the Seminole Indians. People from all over the country attend the action-packed weekend experiencing aspects of the Native American culture, including native PowWow dancing, alligator wrestling, venomous snake show demonstrations, Indian arts and crafts, and authentic Seminole cuisine. Several musical concerts are also held throughout the weekend, as well a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeo where professional bull riders wow the crowds. The event is held on the Brighton Seminole Reservation, just west of Okeechobee. 500 E. Harney Pond Road Okeechobee, FL 34974. www.semtribe.com. Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Events Rodeo Celebrations.

Rodeos have been a part of Okeechobee’s history for years and only continue to be a source of entertainment for the crowds. Various rodeos, including ranch and Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) rodeos, draw competitors from all around the country, and are held either at the Cattlemen’s Rodeo Arena on 441N or the Agri-Civic Center on Hwy 70 E. Events include bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, roping, bulldogging and team roping. A highlight of each rodeo is the “mutton bustin” event where very young future cowboys ride sheep, holding onto the wool as reins. Many of the rodeo participants began their future careers this way. For further information visit www.theokeechobeerodeo.com.

Okeechobee County Fair. March welcomes the fair, held at the Agri-Civic Center on Hwy 70 E. The fair features rides

for young and old, as well as local vendors displaying their unique products. During the weeklong festival, several competitions are held including beauty pageants, barbecue contests, craft competitions and 4-H’s annual livestock show and sale. The fair offers a little something for everyone ranging from food to entertainment. For further information visit www.okeechobeecountryfair.com.


ChamberEvents Benefits Battle of Okeechobee.

Every February history comes alive when the final battle of the Second Seminole War is re-enacted on Hwy 441 SE. What is known as the largest and fiercest battle during the Seminole Wars pitted the Seminole Indians, who fought to escape relocation to western reservations, against U.S. troops led by Col. Zachary Taylor, on December 25, 1837. Participants wear authentic costumes of the era and re-enact the bloodiest battle, giving viewers an inside look into history. The National Trust for Historic Preservation placed the site on the list of “America’s Most Endangered Historic Places” in 2000. The state of Florida spent $3.2 million for a 145-acre park. The annual battle reenactment helps raise money for further work on this State Park. For further information contact 863-610-2333 or www.okeechobeebattlefield.com.

The Adam Bryant Minimal Regatta. What was started as a way to

support a firefighter scholarship in 2011, this regatta has become one of the most popular and entertaining events of the year. Entrants are given minimal supplies, including one sheet of lauan plywood, two pieces of lumber, a box of screws and duct tape, and must build a boat of any shape or size to race in the waters of Lake Okeechobee. Teams fight to keep their boats afloat, all vying for the much-desired bragging rights. Proceeds from the event, in addition to the scholarship, are being used to build a special-needs park in the community. In tribute to the cohesiveness of Okeechobee, the Regatta is named for Adam Bryant, an Okeechobee native who was a volunteer firefighter when he was injured in a camping accident in 2002 that left him paralyzed, before passing away a few years later. The event is held in October at the C. Scott Driver Park on Hwy 78 W. For further information contact J.D. Mixon at 863-634-1778 or www.minimalregatta.com.

This gives you a little insight into Okeechobee’s fun-filled year, with its several community events. If you would like a detailed calendar of events that includes the Fourth of July fireworks, the Easter sunrise service, the Speckled Perch Festival, patriotic services in Flagler Park and Okeechobee’s special Christmas festivities, visit the Chamber’s website at www.okeechobeebusiness.com. Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Recreation

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Fishing on Lake Okeechobee No matter the season, no matter the age or experience, Lake Okeechobee is a freshwater fisherman’s paradise.

ake Okeechobee, or the “Big O,” as it’s commonly known as, is one of the most famed bass fisheries on the planet. Sprawling over more than 450,000 acres of prime largemouth habitat, the massive lake is relatively clear and sports an abundance of aquatic vegetation — hydrilla, eelgrass, peppergrass, hyacinth, reeds, cattails, lily pads — that holds loads of baitfish and bass. For its size, the lake is actually quite shallow, with an average depth of only nine feet. The abundance of shallow cover and ample supply of food are what makes this place a bass fishing Mecca. Standing some 30 feet high and stretching 143 miles, the Herbert Hoover dike construction started after the deadly 1928 hurricane. With constructing new and improved sections over time the dike now includes: channels, locks, spillways, and the Okeechobee Waterway (connecting east and west coast of Florida) 154 miles long. Recent construction includes the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail and reinforcing the dike itself with concrete to provide even greater protection against natural disasters. Uses of the lake include: flood/storm risk management, navigation, water supply (salinity control in estuaries, ground water control, agricultural irrigation, municipalities), enhancement of fish and wildlife, and recreation. The Army Corps of Engineers

and the South Florida Water Management District work together to maintain optimal water levels for all. Species found in the lake include black crappie and sunfish. Black crappie are abundant, live and well, with anglers catching not only limits of fish but also fish over two pounds daily. Sunfish (bluegill and shellcracker) concentrate to spawn in groups of 20 to 50 with some being 500 or more fish in one small area on Lake Okeechobee. Manatees, alligators, frogs, snakes, and countless other birds, fish, reptiles, and mammals can also be found in and around the lake, providing great action for the entire family. Lake Okeechobee provides something for everyone: fishing, sightseeing, pleasure boating, 110-mile scenic trail that wraps around the lake, and on-shore views that are second to none. The health of the lake is good and getting better every year, thanks to restoration and improvement projects thus improving water quality, habitats, and protecting the environment. Anglers might feel overwhelmed with how to catch fish on Lake Okeechobee or where to even begin. In the following sections you will get expert advice on how to have a fun and successful day on the lake. ➢ Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Recreation L

Fishing Information

ake Okeechobee offers two types of bass fishing: artificial lures and live bait (golden shiners).

Live bait is the “best bait” to catch giant bass on the Big O. Fish the shiners hooked in the nose or behind the dorsal fin. It is recommend to use a 3/0 khale hook or 5/0 light wire circle hook with a 1-1/2” to 2” bobber 2’ – 5’ above the shiner. These golden shiners produce 75 percent of the trophy bass caught on Lake Okeechobee.

Local bait and tackle shops are at the heart of it all on Lake Okeechobee, providing visitors and anglers alike places to purchase souvenirs and fishing supplies. Souvenirs range from Florida alligator heads, area magnets, shot glasses, coffee cups, and T-shirts, plus everything in-between. Fishing supplies range from the newest rods/reels, soft baits, hard baits, and everything anglers would need for a day on Lake Okeechobee, including live bait (minnows, crickets, worms, golden shiners). If you want to get the latest fishing report or just hear some good fish tales, stop in at any of the locally owned and operated bait and tackle shops around Lake Okeechobee. Anglers and visitors will find these shops located in the city of Okeechobee, Moore Haven, Clewiston, and Belle Glade. If there is a boat ramp nearby you can be sure a tackle shop is not far away. Stop in, walk around, and see what each of these unique stores has to offer.

Lake Okeechobee, or the “Big O,” as it’s commonly known as, is one of the most famed bass fisheries on the planet.

80 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide


Recreation F

Hiring a Professional Guide!

or experienced and inexperienced anglers alike, time on the water with a fishing guide can pay dividends. Some people hire guides simply so they can catch fish. Other folks want to learn the basics of the sport, or have the guide teach them a particular technique. Still, others hope guides can help them unlock the secrets of their favorite bodies of water.

Availability of Professional Fishing Guides

• Lake Okeechobee is home to some of the best freshwater fishing guides in the United States, catering to thousands of anglers every year. Three hundred and sixty five days a year, rain or shine, anglers can always find a licensed guide available. • During the “season” (December through March), some guides will be booked out a year or more in advance for certain dates. To guarantee your specific trip date and guide, book several months in advance during this time. • Check the Okeechobee County Community guide, internet searches, local tackle shops, or www.visitflorida.com for a list of local guides who specialize on Lake Okeechobee.

Why Hire a Local Professional Fishing Guide?

• Unmatched knowledge – A guide can reduce the angler’s learning curve drastically, allowing for more time catching fish then trying to figure out how to catch fish. • A professional guide provides anglers with proven techniques and fishing locations to assure a fun-filled experience on the water. • Lake Okeechobee is home to world-class largemouth bass and black crappie fishing, and hiring a professional guide gives anglers their best opportunity to catch these world-class fish. • The shallow waters of Lake Okeechobee can give anglers new to the Lake a little trouble but the knowledgeable local fishing guides can provide new anglers navigation tips for staying safe.

What to Consider When Hiring a Fishing Guide

• Does the guide have the proper license? Ask to see a copy of the guide’s United States Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Credentials (captains license) and Transportation Workers Identification Card “TWIC”. They are required by law to be on board the vessel during a fishing charter. • Is the guide CPR and first aid certified?

• Does the guide have a commercial boating Insurance policy? • Look into the guide. Check out the website/social media information. Are his fishing reports current? Have new pictures been posted? • Ask about the guide’s refund/cancellation/deposit policies; ask what you will be required to pay before the trip, get information on cancellation and/or refund policies (for weather or travel reasons), and ask about a “No Fish No Pay Policy”. • Also equally important, is to confirm they are a year round, full-time, seven-days-a-week Okeechobee bass fishing guide. There are many guys doing it part time for various reasons but the best bet for your hard earned money is someone who is on the water every day. • Above all else, be honest with the guide you are considering. Tell them what you are looking for and ask them what they can do in order to make it a fun and successful trip.

Things to Avoid

• Booking agents/companies that just want your money. Avoid this by asking who your guide will be, how many years of experience does the guide have on Lake Okeechobee, ask the person (if not the guide on the phone) if they have ever fished with that particular guide. • Do not select your guide on price! You get what you pay for! • Experience is the most important factor when selecting a guide? Wrong, although it plays an important factor; however, experience isn’t the main determining factor. • Reviews/testimonials can be made up or altered; don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. • Guide service doesn’t have a physical address or the physical address is not located in the same city you’re booking the trip. When selecting a fishing guide take the time to do a little research and see what available options are out there. Don’t select a fishing guide based on any one particular thing. Instead ➢ base it on all your research and gut instinct.

Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Recreation BASS Areas

• King’s Bar (North End) • Tin House Cove • Henry Creek • Buckhead

Winter Fishing (December, January, February) Look For

• Hard bottom in grass • Hydrilla, reeds, cattails • Matted hydrilla • Spawning Bass/Fry

Baits

• Swimbaits (Copperfield) • Devil’s Horse • Speed Worm & Senkos • Sweet Beaver & BB Cricket

The winter puts the giant largemouth bass into spawning mode. Look for large groups of bass to move into the shallows to spawn a few days before both the new and full moons. Target and locate these fish with swimbaits, devil’s horse, and speed worms. Fish these baits around hydrilla, reeds, and any other areas with hard bottom. If a cold front moves in, target the thickest cover with a 1oz - 2 oz tungsten weight with a sweet beaver or BB cricket and pitch/flip/punch for some big fish. Clean water will increase your catch rate during the spawn (2 feet plus is sufficient).

Areas

• Eagle Bay • King’s Bar (South End) • Tin House • Indian Prairie

Spring Time (March, April, May) Look For

• Clean water 1’-3’ • Kissimmee Grass Lines • Topped out hydrilla • Reeds

Baits

• Spinnerbait (White) • Swim jig (White) • Horny Toad (Black or White) • Medlock Jig (1oz Black/Blue) • Big EZ (White)

March ends the bass spawn and starts the bluegill and shellcracker spawn. Look for bass to feed on these sunfish as they spawn in large groups creating a feeding ground for the bass. Swim jig and Big EZ are the baits to target these areas. Shad will start to spawn on the outside grass lines for the first hour of daylight, look for shad flickering and bass busting. Target these areas by throwing spinnerbaits, swim jigs, horny toads, and Big EZs. Switch to a Medlock jig and fish reed heads after the morning bite. ~ Denali Rod Pro and Professional Guide Kyle Monti (www.facebook.com/kylemontifishing), “Advice for new anglers fishing Lake Okeechobee. Pick one area and fish it, don’t try to fish the lake in a day, find clean water and you will catch fish.”

Areas

• King’s Bar (East Side) •J&S • 3rd Point • Taylor Creek/Rim Canal

Summer Time ( June, July, August) Look For

• Shad flickering • Outside grass edges • Diving birds • Depressions, offshore structure, and deeper water

Baits

• 4 x 4 Swim Jig (White) • Zara Spook (Okie Shad) • Rattletrap (Chrome/Black Back) • Trick Worm (Black) • Spinnerbait (White)

Summer time is all about getting on the water early, typically 15 minutes before sunrise. The first hour or two is great for spinnerbaits, zara spooks and swim jigs fished along the outside grass lines. After the morning bite, slow down and fish a Carolina rig or Texas rig with a trick worm or 10” worm around deeper water. ~ Shimano Pro Brandon McMillan (www.mcmillanfishing.com), “Due to the enormous shad population, the shad have become the new primary food source. The spawn is over, and the bass begin to group up in schools. These schools can be found on outside grass lines, ditches, offshore structures, and any other deeper depressions.”

Areas

• Little Grassy • King’s Bar (South End) • 4th Point • Indian Prairie

Fall Fishing (September, October, November) Look For

• Topped out hydrilla • Lily Pads • Pepper Grass • Thick Cover

Baits

• Popping Frog (Natural Green) • Gambler Big EZ (Copperfield) • Medlock Jig (1oz Black/Blue) • Speed Worm (Junebug)

The fall brings cooler weather and the bass start feeding heavily this time of year. Look for topped out grass to fish popping frogs and Gambler Big EZ over the thickest submerged grass you can find in the morning. After a morning bite switch to targeting reed heads on the outer edge with a Medlock jig or a magnum speed worm. The popping frog and Medlock jig produce big fish, just be patient, they are proven on The Big O.

82 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide


Recreation Fishing Spots

Rods • Reels Hard / Soft

Baits

Terminal Tackle Sunglasses • Apparel LIVE BAIT

Minnows, Crickets, Worms, Wild Shiners 1505 STATE ROAD 78 WEST OKEECHOBEE FL

863.763.0973 Open 5 am – 9 pm 7 days

Professional Fishing & Hunting Guide Service

www.OkeechobeeBassFishingGuide.com • www.OkeechobeeHuntingGuide.com

866.824.3474 or 863.824.2474

Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Recreation METALWORKS,

LLC

SALES • FABRICATION • DESIGN

Custom Etching Available!

863.261.8668

millironmetal@gmail.com | 719 US 98 NORTH | OKEECHOBEE, FL 34972

Our 38th Year!

The Lake Area’s Best Entertainment Value!

The Marvelous Wonderettes - 2012

Live On Stage Musicals • Comedies • Dramas suitable for the whole family and at family prices!

Visit our website

okeechobeecommunitytheatre.com for our current season schedule or to volunteer!

Theatre location: SW 2nd Ave. at 7th Street Okeechobee • 863.763.1307

84 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide


Recreation Areas

• Kissimmee River (Mouth) • Government Cut • Indian Prairie • 2’ Miles SE of Kissimmee (Open Water Drifting)

CRAPPIE Look For

• Structure • Drop-offs, humps, deeper water • Schools of fish on sonar • Outside grass lines

Baits

• Minnows • Hair Jigs • Rubber Jigs

Prime crappie time is between November and April, providing anglers with great success, although they are caught year round, the warmer months are much slower. The mouth of the Kissimmee River is the most popular spot, while Government Cut is the second most popular spot. Both provide anglers great opportunities. Target crappie by fishing minnows 3’ – 10’ deep under a small bobber. You will find success during the day and at night. Anglers can also jig for crappie in the grass and reeds to catch crappie around Little Grassy, King’s Bar, and Buckhead areas. ~ Captain Brad Gibson, “Look for the big crappie to be caught the four days leading up to the full moon. Target these fish in isolated reeds or by minnow fishing the shallow grass lines.” ~ Captain Robbie Ward, “The magical hour is what anglers need to know. The last hour of daylight is the best while the first hour is second best. I know crappie will feed during these times.”

SUNFISH (BLUEGILL/SHELLCRACKER) Areas

• King’s Bar (North End) • Buckhead • Government Cut • Kissimmee River • J &S

Look For

• Hard Bottom • Reeds, eel grass, hydrilla • Grass points • Structure, Fingers, and banks of deeper water canals

Baits

• Red Worms • Crickets • Grass Shrimp • Beetle Spin

Looking for a good way to get kids into fishing, this is it! These sunfish spawn in groups of five to 2,000 fish in one little area with the average group being 20 to 50 fish. Look for these fish spawning anywhere with clean water and hard bottom. Ease around while looking down into the water until you find groups of small white circles together and start fishing. These small white circles are spawning beds and can be seen very easy in clean water. ~ Crappie Master Pro George Parker, “ You can catch crappie, bluegill, and shellcracker year round. Just remember that bluegill and ➢ shellcracker act as opposites to crappie. If one is moving shallow the other is moving deep.”


Recreation RV Camping • Cabins • Dining • Spa • Bike Riding • Fishing

COME TO STAY &PLAY! MAKE A RESERVATION

TODAY!

Call (863) 467-0474 or visit www.brightonrvresort.com

Located on the Rim Canal of Lake Okeechobee, Water's Edge is just minutes from shopping and restaurants in the nearby community of Okeechobee. The Resort is only a short distance from the Seminole Casino, I-95 and the East Coast of Florida, with major malls and some of the most beautiful beaches of Florida.

(863) 357-5757

12766 US Hwy 441 SE | Okeechobee, Florida watersedgerv@innisfree.com

www.okeechobeervpark.com

86 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide


Recreation

Nature and Sightseeing On and Off the Lake

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When looking at Florida on a map, you can’t miss Lake Okeechobee. People come from far and wide to experience what the massive body of fresh water and its surroundings has to offer on and off the lake.

ake Okeechobee’s main attraction, by far, is bass fishing, but the lake and the land on the outskirts of town have so much to offer people who enjoy wildlife and pure scenic beauty. More often than not, you will catch a glimpse of a manatee swimming by. Pelicans, waterfowl, and blue herons as well as white herons abound in and around the lake also. There are several ways you can enjoy nature on the lake. Boats, such as a pontoon boat are a great way to cruise through the different locks enjoying wildlife sightings. Friends and family can sit back and enjoy. But if you prefer a little more excitement, a ride around Lake Okeechobee on an airboat is a must. Airboats are perfect for taking deep out in the marsh

and shallow places to enjoy some of the lake’s more hidden beauties. Some airboat operators specialize in sightseeing and will guide you on a wildlife tour while explaining the history of the lake en route. If you prefer to keep your feet on dry ground, you might enjoy one of the many scenic trails along the lake. At the top of the Herbert Hoover dike you can go hiking, cycling and sightseeing. In 1993 it became part of the 1,400-mile Florida Scenic Trail, which is a part of the National Scenic Trail. On the trail you can see wildlife of all kinds line the rim. There is no charge to use the trail and there are access points approximately every ➢ seven miles around the lake. Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Recreation

RABON’S

COUNTRY FEED From Your Farm, to Your Family Pet – We Have it All

Pet Food and Supplies • Horse and Cattle Feed • Poultry Feed Hay • Fencing and Ranch Supplies • Wormers • Garden Supplies 1852 NW 9th Street • Okeechobee FL 34972 • 863-763-3447 www.countryfeedokee.com Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. • Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Also, if you drive to the end of Hwy 441 S you will reach the fishing pier at Lock 7. There you can get an overview of the lake and enjoy several different wildlife sightings. Many walk along the pier feeding the seagulls and turtles. Alligators and several species of birds can be seen among the lily pads in the water. And if alligators really pique your interest, down at Nubbin Slough on Hwy 441 SE you can watch them congregate. If you head the opposite direction, north on 441, you can take a walk, run or a bike ride along a winding path through 170 acres of trees and wetlands where Taylor Creek once flowed. If you are a new mother looking for a little fresh

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Recreation

air there is a compacted shell-rock trail that is accessible to both baby strollers and wheelchairs. On the trail you can see the remnants of cypress trees and other wetland tree species. You can expect to see a variety of migratory and resident birds, including sandhill cranes, crested caracara, wood storks, great blue and tricolored herons, roseate spoonbills, blacknecked stilts and white and glossy ibises. Wild turkeys, deer and alligators are also occasionally seen on the trail.

Yes, Okeechobee and the lake go handin-hand, but so do Okeechobee and livestock. In Okeechobee you’ll find Florida’s largest livestock market for both beef and dairy cattle. The Okeechobee Livestock Market is definitely a place worth checking out. The largest of the market’s sales begin in July and last through February. Sale days are Monday and Tuesday at noon. The Okeechobee Livestock Market also has a restaurant where you can get ➢ a good, country meal.

You can get an overview of the lake and enjoy several different wildlife sightings on the fishing pier at Lock 7.


Recreation Set Your Sight on this premier Sporting Clays Facility and Hunting Perserve in South Florida!

PLANTATION

• Quail Hunts • Pheasant Hunts • Beautiful Lodging • Sporting Clays • Private Events • Corporate Groups Open to the Public Facilities Available For Special Events!

Quail Creek Plantation 12399 NE 224 Street Okeechobee, FL 34972

www.quailcreekplantation.com

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(863) 763-2529

Email: reservations@quailcreekplantation.com


Recreation

If you’re looking for some one-on-one attention with livestock all you need to do is head two miles east of the city to reach a horse farm situated on 7.5 acres. Nestled between oak and cabbage hammocks, the farm is open to the public and offers scenic trail rides, pony rides and riding lessons. On the farm you’ll also find a variety of animals to interact with, including rabbits, chickens, turkeys, goats, calves and horses. Okeechobee is home to several truly exotic animals via Arnold’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (AWRC), with new species arriving at any given time. AWRC is located on 441N and is home to over 50 species of mammals, birds and reptiles, with 11 of them on the endangered list. There you can see many animals native to Florida, including panthers, bobcats, eagles and hawks, as well as many non-Florida native animals, such as South American porcupines, lemurs and even Australian-native wallaroos. Arnold’s Wildlife is a non-profit educational-based wildlife care facility that rescues, rehabilitates and releases animals back into their natural habitats. Arnold’s Wildlife also has a butterfly garden with 500 to 800 free-roaming butterflies and 88 species

identified by the National Butterfly Association. The garden has created its own ecosystem with Mother Nature taking care of it. Past Arnold’s Wildlife, 25 miles north of downtown Okeechobee, you’ll find a 54,000-acre preserve that protects one of the largest remaining stretches of Florida dry prairie. It is home to an array of endangered plants and animals. More than 100 miles of dirt road gives visitors a chance to observe wildlife, hike, horseback ride and bird watch. During November through March you can take a buggy tour to see remote areas of the preserve. The preserve is a great place for the entire family, including pets. If you enjoy camping then you can take advantage of an overnight stay at one of the two full-facility campgrounds. One thing is for sure, if you are a nature lover, Okeechobee will not disappoint. From water animals to exotic animals, ➢ Okeechobee has them all. Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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UNWIND AND WIN

Big!

Play your favorite Las Vegas style Slots, enjoy Bingo and indulge at the Josiah Restaurant.

17735 Reservation Road Okeechobee, FL 34974 • 800.360.9875 • seminolebrightoncasino.com 0XVWEHDWOHDVW\HDUVROGWRSOD\6ORWVRUWRUHFHLYH3OD\HUĹ?V&OXEEHQHĹ°WV0XVWEHRUROGHU WRSOD\%LQJR,I\RXRUVRPHRQH\RXNQRZKDVDJDPEOLQJSUREOHPSOHDVHFDOO$'0,7,7 FOLLOW US


Chamber Benefits Recreation

Sports and Outdoors

Thanks to Okeechobee’s year-round summer-type weather, residents, young and old, are able to stay busy outdoors all yearlong. From seasonal sports and racing to outdoor fun in the woods, visitors will never be left looking for something to do.

W

ith most days filled with sunshine and warmth, you never have to worry about it being “golf season.” Okeechobee is home to three public golf courses. North of town and just southeast of the center of town, golfers can enjoy two recently renovated 18-hole courses. And if you’re looking for a quick nine-hole round or to hit the driving range there’s a course just south on Hwy 441. If you’re looking for a little activity or family fun, Okeechobee has a large sports complex in the northeast section of town that has a little something for everyone. With an Olympic-size pool, four youth baseball fields, a football and soccer field, six shuffleboard courts, two basketball courts, eight tennis courts, four racquetball courts, a picnic pavilion and a remodeled ‘wooden jungle’ playground for children, you are bound to find something to keep everyone busy. The complex is free and open to the public. There is also a new family-friendly playground right in the center of town that consists of many features for children ages five to 12, including some features that help children with disabilities enjoy the park, such as a synthetic turf. The park consists of two double-sided slides, a suspension bridge, several climbing ➢ apparatuses, and a sensory wall. Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Recreation

Pet Friendly, Smoke Free

Conference Center • Boathouse Lounge

Okeechobee’s finest Resort and Boathouse Lounge on the Water 2200 US Hwy 441 SE, Okeechobee, FL 34974

• 863.623.4704

If you’re looking to burn energy or enjoy working up a sweat, Okeechobee can help with that. There are several fully-equipped gyms spread out across town making them convenient for all to visit. The gyms are equipped with machines, treadmills and free weights. Many offer classes, such as CrossFit, that you can also join. Or if you prefer one-on-one training, you can receive the assistance from a personal trainer. With the several woodlands that surround Okeechobee, hunting and shooting are a great way to pass the time. North of town there are two premier outdoor-shooting and recreational facilities.

FLORIDA SIZED FUN AT OKEECHOBEE KOA 9 Hole Golf Course | Driving Range Shanty Lounge | Weekend Entertainment Banquete Facilities for Events of All Sizes Summer Pool Memberships | Fitness Center We Love Locals! 4276 US Highway 441 S | 863-763-0231 | OkeechobeeKOA.com

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The one offers two 14-station sporting clay courses, wobble traps and a comfortable, covered 5-stand, as well as hog, quail, turkey and pheasant hunting during their respective seasons. Hunting packages are available for purchase, along with year-round overnight accommodations. Cottages are dog friendly and equipped with wireless Internet, flatscreened televisions, full bathrooms and kitchens with full-sized refrigerators and microwave ovens. At the other shooting facility you can enjoy a day of pistol and rifle shooting.


Recreation Chamber Benefits

The facility has 29 complete shooting stations, including two sporting clay courses, a covered 5-stand, a wobble deck, covered pistol and rifle ranges and a competition shooting park. On the grounds you’ll also find a ranch house, a livery stable perfect for outdoor semi-covered parties and gatherings, a full pro-shop, an RV park, fishing ponds and picnic areas. If you’re just looking to work on your marksmanship, then Okeechobee’s 100acre outdoor facility, rated five stars by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, is the perfect place for you. It has standard rifle and pistol ranges, 5-stand, trap, skeet and shooting galleries. In addition, they have a full retail pro-shop with firearms, apparel and accessories,

Fully Stocked Humidors

CIGARS • LIGHTERS • PIPES • PREMIUM VAPING SUPPLIES AND E-LIQUID • ROLL-YOUR-OWN TOBACCO, TUBES & ROLLING MACHINES • SMOKE ODOR CANDLES • HOOKAH SUPPLIES • CIGAR LOUNGE

TOBACCO PLACE

101 S.W. 2nd Avenue - Downtown Okeechobee

(863) 357-6653

Premium Vaping Supplies & E-Liquid

Come see us for your complete line of tobacco products and accessories

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Recreation

The best service, best prices…

Naturally…the BEST in RVs

4300 US Hwy 441 S • Okeechobee, FL 34974 • 863-623-4689 • Fax 863-623-4695

www.floridaoutdoorsrv.com

1527 US HWY 441 SE Okeechobee, Florida 34974 (Next to the Bowling Alley)

All rooms with Stove, Full Refrigerator and Microwave Pet Friendly Rooms Free Boat Parking with Plug-Ins Recently Renovated

863-824-3431

www.travelodge.com/okeechobee

Daily Specials

(1 & 2 Queen Beds Available)

along with a full-service gunsmith who has over 50 years experience in the industry. Competitions are held each month for advanced shooters. For starters or people looking to brush up on their skills, the facility offers several training courses. If your idea of fun is being in the driver’s seat then you’ll want to check out one of Okeechobee’s dirt bike and ATV tracks. Both are available for motocross practice and offer wooded dirt bike trails. The tracks even offer a peewee motocross track for the little ones or beginners. Memberships are available, as well as private lessons.

HOURS: M-F 8am-5pm 265 HWY 98 North • Okeechobee, FL 34972 863.467.1691 • www.lehmanautobody.com

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For the racing enthusiasts that prefer to experience speed by controlling vehicles via remote control, Okeechobee has clubs that meet up weekly to race remote controll cars, trucks and boats. For aviation lovers, Okeechobee has a model airplane club located east of the city off Hwy 70. You can visit the flying field and watch members fly radio control aircraft of all types.


Recreation Modern, Trendy or Traditional, We do it all.

Large Beautiful Showroom

207 NE Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 www.flowerpetalsokeechobee.com

863.763.5051 • 800.260.2592

“We deliver smiles”

No matter what your idea of fun and leisure is Okeechobee can accommodate. You can work up a sweat on one of Okeechobee’s several sports courses or spend a long weekend in the woods camping. There’s enough to keep everyone busy year-round.

For more information on recreational On-Site meeting space available. On-Site meeting space available. On-Site meeting space available. sites and activities please contact the 863-357-3529 www.HiExpress.com 863-357-3529 www.HiExpress.com 864-357-3529 www.HIExpress.com Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee FREE breakfast and WiFi FREE hothot breakfast and WiFi Both hotels located mile from Beautiful Okeechobee. Both hotels located 1 mile1 from Beautiful LakeLake Okeechobee. County at (863) 467-6246. n Boat Hook-ups and Parking to Restaurants and Shopping. Boat Hook-ups and Parking CloseClose to Restaurants and Shopping.

Both hotels located 1 mile from Beautiful Lake Okeechobee. meeting space available. Close to Restaurants andOn-Site Shopping. 863-357-3529 FREE hot breakfast and WIFI www.HiExpress.com FREE hot breakfast and WiFi Both hotels located 1 mile from Beautiful Lake Hook-ups Okeechobee. and Parking Boat Boat Hook-ups and Parking Close to Restaurants and Shopping.

863-357-7100 www.bestwestern.com 863-357-7100 www.bestwestern.com

863-357-7100 www.bestwestern.com 863-357-7100 www.bestwestern.com Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

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Chamber Benefits Directory A/C & Heating Contractor Echols Plumbing & Air Conditioning, LLC 2233 Hwy 98 North Okeechobee, FL 34972 kyrstin@echolsplumbingandac.com www.echolsplumbingandac.com (863) 763-6461 | Kyrstin Usher Glades Air Conditioning 804 N. Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 monica@gladesgas.com www.gladesgas.com (863) 763-2114 | Monica Clark Quality A/C & Heating of Okeechobee 5351 SW 16th Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 qualityac@embarqmail.com www.qualityacokee.com (863) 467-1545 | Bud Neese

Accountants CPA Tax Solutions, PLLC 500 NW 6th Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 paula@cpataxsolutions.net www.cpataxsolutions.net (863) 357-1099 | Paula Younger Sims & Munson CPAs 319 N. Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 Laura@SimsMunsonCPA.com www.simsmunsoncpa.com (863) 467-3000 | Laura Sims

Advertising | Publications Television | Radio All Things Treasure Coast 5428 Stately Oak St. Fort Pierce, Florida 34981 dana@allthingstreasurecoast.com www.allthingstreasurecoast.com (772) 475-3883 | Dana Trabulsy MDP Worldwide 301 Yamato Road, #1240 Boca Raton, FL 33431 jeffg@mdp.worldwide.com www.mdp.worldwide.com (561) 629-6212 | Jeff Gibson Okeechobee News 107 SW 17th Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 Okeecopydesk@newszap.com www.newszap.com/OkeechobeeNews (863) 763-3134 | Katrina Elskin Okeechobee The Magazine 316 NW 5th Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 susan@okeechobeethemagazine.com www.okeechobeethemagazine.com (863) 467-0054 | Susan Giddings

The Breeze 93.7 525 NW Lake Whitney Place Port St. Lucie, FL 34986 www.thebreeze.fm mattmonks@mytcmedia.com (772) 249-­4413 | Matt Monks WOKC Radio & Radio Fiesta 210 West N Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 wayne@gladesmedia.com www.wokc.com (863) 467-1570 | Wayne Cunningham

Aquaculture Dark Hammock Turtles LLC 12615 NE 124 Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 darkhammockturtles@gmail.com www.darkhammockturtles.com (863) 763-5242 | Shawn & Natasha Heater

Artists | Graphic Art Art Galleries Bridgette Waldau Studio of Art LLC 111 NE 2nd Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 bridgette.art@gmail.com www.bridgette-art.com (863) 467-7300 | Bridgette Waldau

Attorneys Glenn J. Sneider, LC 200 SW 9th Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 glennjsneider@gmail.com www.sneiderlaw.com (863) 467-6570 | Glenn Sneider Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd 402 NW 3rd St. Okeechobee, FL 34974 sandy@hosklaw.com www.hoskinsturco.com (863) 357-5800 Law Office of Gerald Lefebvre 1910 S. Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 gerald@accidentattorneyoffice.com www.accidentattorneyoffice.com (863) 763-3333 | Gerald Lefebvre Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney 425 SW Park Street, Suites 7 & 8 Okeechobee, FL 34972-4164 pediv@flainjurylawyer.com www.flainjurylawyer.com (863) 467-7100 | Philip E DeBerard IV Romano Law Group 425 SW Park Street, Suite 106 Okeechobee, FL 34972 hali@romanolawgroup.com www.romanolawgroup.com (561) 533-6700 | Hali Marsocci

Auto Service | Accessories E & E Automotive Clinic, Inc. 3431 Hwy 441 N Okeechobee, FL 34972 www.eandeautoclinic.com (863) 763-2666 | Steve Detweiler Lehman Auto Body Shop 265 Hwy 98 N Okeechobee, FL 34972 lehmanautobody@yahoo.com www.lehmanautobody.com (863) 467-1691 | Beth Lehman Total Roadside Services, LLC 3176 Hwy 710 Okeechobee, Fl 34974 totalroadsideservice@hotmail.com www.totalroadsideservices.com (863) 357-8772 | Jeremy Larue Valvoline Instant Oil Change 2210 S Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 mcaissie@viocma.com www.vioc.com (508) 485-3030 x10 | Michele Caissie

Automobile Dealerships Gilbert Family of Companies 315 S Parrot Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 jd.mixon@gilberthasit.com www.Gilberthasit.com (863) 763-­2613 | J.D. Mixon M & M Auto Brokers, Inc. 3565 US Hwy 441 N. Okeechobee, FL 34972 mmmitch@live.com www.mandmautobrokers.com (863) 763-0330 | Mitchell Vitella Okeechobee Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram 4224 US Hwy 441 S Okeechobee, FL 34974 jeffs@ja-ag.com www.okeechobeedodgechryslerjeepram.com (863) 357-0500 | Jeff Stewart

Banks | Credit Unions CenterState Bank 1611 S. Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 ttrent@centerstatebank.com www.centerstatebank.com (863) 763-5573 | Tabitha Trent Harbor Community Bank 2550 US Hwy. 441 S. Okeechobee, FL 34974 SharonJohnson@harborcb.com www.harborcb.com (863) 357-6880 | Sharon Johnson

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union 3261 U.S. Highway 441 South Okeechobee, FL 34974 amyd@midflorida.com www.midflorida.com (863) 467-0188 | Amy Daniel Seacoast National Bank 1409 S. Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 jon.geitner@seacoastnational.com www.seacoastnational.com (863) 467-4663 | Jon Geitner

Beauty Salons | Spas Cosmetics

A Girl With A Gun Tanning 615 SE 8 Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 Tiffanylearusinko@gmail.com www.agirlwithaguntanning.com (863) 532-3660 | Tiffany Rusinko Mary Kay Cosmetics 1630 SW 28th Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 gem7mh@yahoo.com www.marykay.com/gayle-molyneaux (561) 801-1336 | Gayle Molyneaux Mary Kay Cosmetics 1418 SE 9th Drive Okeechobee, FL 34974 bear1jp@aol.com www.marykay.com/janicepietro (561) 310-3285 | Janice Pietro Porcelain Esthetics 221 NE Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 junec7981@gmail.com (863) 634-3615 | Cheryl Daniels

Staffords 313 SW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 agriffi1969@earthlink.net www.staffordssalon.com (863) 763-3933 | Angie Griffin The Lounge at Sacred Sanctuary, LLC 207 SW 2nd Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 SacredSanctuary@icloud.com www.TheLoungeOkeechobee.com (863) 447-0380 | Bianca Keefe

Boat | Outboard Motor Sales & Service Lakeshore Marine 1365 US Hwy 441 SE Okeechobee, FL 34974 steve@lakeshoremarineinc.com www.lakeshoremarineinc.com (863) 763-4080 | Steve Brantley

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Directory Mark W. Brandel Inc. 2525 NE 131 Lane Okeechobee, FL 34972 mark@markbrandel.com www.markbrandel.com (863) 634-7021 | Mark Brandel

Childcare | Preschool A Child’s World Childcare and Preschool, Inc. 703 SW 6th Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 achildsworld@embarqmail.com (863) 763-5453 | Malissa Morgan

Competitive Cheerleading CSC All Stars 810 N Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 jennifer_579@hotmail.com (863) 697-­2085 | Jennifer Busbin

Computer Service | Sales ICS Computers 403 South Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 rick@icsflorida.com www.icsflorida.com (863) 467-9090 | Rick Chartier

Construction | Contractors Abney Building & Consulting, Inc. 210 NE 3rd Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 abneybuild@gmail.com (863) 532-9074 | Wes Abney B&B Site Development, Inc. 1505 C South Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, Fl. 34974 skullhillsteel@yahoo.com (863) 763-6053 | Philip Baughman Enviro-Tech Systems, Inc. 2308 South Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, Florida 34974 kuhnca@enviro-tech.cc www.enviro-tech.cc (863) 763-3143 | Courtney Kuhn Luviano Roofing 11055 Hwy 441 N Okeechobee, FL 34972 osiel@luvianogroup.com www.luvianoroofing.com (863) 357-3838 | Osiel Luviano

Mohawk Construction Inc. 1307 SW 18th Terrace Okeechobee, FL 34974 mohawkconst@hotmail.com (863) 623-5274 | Sue Williams Penrod Construction Company 210 NE 3rd Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 penrodconstruction@yahoo.com www.penrodconstructioncompany.com (863) 634-­0546 | Corey Penrod

Consultants CareerSource Heartland 207 SW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 info@careersourceheartland.com www.careersourceheartland.com (863) 610-6000 | Donna Doubleday Mote, Inc. 119 S. Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 maureen7139@gmail.com (863) 763-5055 | Terry Burroughs Okeechobee Home Inspection 1014 SW 9th Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 mjfeltrin@gmail.com (863) 261-6822 | Michael Feltrin Treasure Coast SCORE 3220 S. US Highway 1 Fort Pierce, FL 34982 jchosler@hotmail.com www.treasurecoast.score.org (772) 489-0548 | John Hosler

Counseling Detox of South Florida, Inc. 608 NE 2nd Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 info@detoxofsouthfl.com www.detoxofsouthfl.com (863) 623-4923 | Rita Black Martha’s House Inc. 4134 Hwy 441 N Okeechobee, FL 34972 jbean@marthashouse.org www.marthashouse.org (863) 763-2893 | Jonathan Bean Tobacco Free Partnership of Okeechobee P O Box 1595 Okeechobee, FL 34973 cmoyett@quitdoc.com www.tfp-okeechobee.org (863) 801-8277 | Courtney Moyett

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Dance Alexis Studio 13 Dance Academy 2827 SW 3rd Terrace Okeechobee, FL 34974 aariail13@yahoo.com (904) 386-9828 | Alexis Ariail

Dental | Orthodontics Anchor Dental 608 N Parrott Ave. Okeechobee, FL 34972 ccagdental@comcast.net www.anchordental.com (863) 532-3335 | Sri Ghanta Everglades Pediatric Dentistry 2029 Hwy 441 N Okeechobee, FL 34972 okeemel@aol.com www.evergladesdentist4kids.com (863) 357-7338 | Melissa Kindell Family Dentistry of Okeechobee 202 NE 3rd Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 office@fdofokeechobee.com www.fdofokeechobee.com (863) 763-2765 | Kaylee King Tenniswood Dental 208 NE 3rd Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 tenniswooddental@embarqmailcom (863) 763-3909 | Donna Tenniswood Wemmer Family Orthodontics 2025 Hwy 441 N Okeechobee, FL 34972 drwemmer@gmail.com www.wemmerorthodontics.com (863) 467-2332 | David Wemmer

Education Early Learning Coalition 308 NW 5th Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 lauclair@elcirmo.org www.elcirmo.org (863) 357-1133 | Loretta Toth Indian River State College 2229 NW 9th Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 rbrown@irsc.edu www.irsc.edu (863) 824-6000 | Russ Brown Okeechobee Christian Academy 701 South Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 oca.offices@gmail.com www.okeechobeechristianacademy.org (863) 763-3072

Okeechobee High School 2800 Hwy 441 N Okeechobee, FL 34974 Wiersmat@okee.k12.fl.us (863) 462-­5025 | Toni Wiersma Peace Lutheran School 750 NW 23rd Lane Okeechobee, FL 34972 peaceschoolinokeechobee@yahoo.com www.peace-okee.org (863) 763-7566 | Karen Smith

Elected Officials Congressman Thomas J. Rooney 4507 George Boulevard Sebring, FL 33875 sherry.mccorkle@mail.house.gov www.rooney.house.gov (863) 402-9082 | Sherry McCorkle Senator Denise Grimsley 140 N Commerce Avenue Sebring, FL 33870 andrea@denisegrimsley.com www.denisegrimsley.com (863) 835-0232 | Andrea Jahna State Representative Cary Pigman 205 S Commerce Avenue, Suite B Sebring, FL 33870 bryan.mielke@myfloridahouse.gov www.myfloridahouse.com/Sections/ Representatives (863) 386-6000 | Bryan Mielke

Engineering Culpepper & Terpening, Inc. 2980 South 25th Street Fort Pierce, FL 34981 bterpening@ct-eng.com www.ct-eng.com (772) 464-3537 | Butch Terpening Marcos Montes De Oca 2001 SW 8th Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 marcos@mdo-engineering.com www.mdo-engineering.com (863) 634-2131 | Marcos Montes De Oca Steven L. Dobbs Engineering LLC. 1062 Jakes Way Okeechobee, FL 34974 sdobbs@stevedobbsengineering.com www.stevendobbsengineering.com (863) 824-7644 | Steven Dobbs The MilCor Group, Inc. 10975 SE Federal Highway Hobe Sound, FL 33455 melissac@themilcorgroup.com www.themilcorgroup.com (772) 223-8850 | Melissa Corbett


Chamber Directory Entertainment Chobee Play Inc. 1465 Hwy 441 SE Okeechobee, FL 34974 info@chobeeplay.com www.chobeeplay.com (863) 467-1800 | Tom Levins Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center Palm Beach State College 1977 College Drive Belle Glade, FL 33430 woodhaml@palmbeachstate.edu (561) 993-1160 | Leigh Woodham Okeechobee Community Theatre 1414 S Parrott Avenue, Box 177 Okeechobee, FL 34974 info@okeechobeecommunitytheartre.com www.okeechobeecommunitytheatre.com (863) 763-1307 | Ron Hayes Okeechobee County Fair Association, Inc. PO Box 1306 Okeechobee, FL 34973 info@okeechobeecountyfair.com www.okeechobeecountyfair.com (863) 467-1690 | Terry Burroughs Seminole Brighton Casino 17735 Reservation Road Okeechobee, FL 34974 www.seminolebrightoncasino.com shelley.hughes@stofgaming.com (863) 467-9998 | Shelly Hughes Time to Escape 2835 SW 3rd Terr. Okeechobee, FL 34974 timetoescape@outlook.com timetoescapeinfl.com (863) 532-3741 | Brian Wendt

Farm Equipment Everglades Farm Equipment Company, Inc. 820 US Hwy 98N Okeechobee, FL 34972 blundy@evergladesfarmequipment.com www.evergladesfarmequipment.com (863) 763-1921 | Brad Lundy

Feed Supply Jones Supply, A.I. Sales & Service 801 SW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 jonesy@jonessupply.biz www.jonessupply.biz (863) 467-0351 | Jeff Jones Okeechobee Feed Inc. 1579 Hwy 70 E Okeechobee, FL 34972 okeechobeefeed@yahoo.com www.okeechobeefeed.com (863) 763-2123 | James Hawk

Rabon’s Country Feed 1852 NW 9th Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 karen@countryfeedokee.com (863) 763-3447 | Karen Rabon Syfrett Feed Co. 3079 NW 8th Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 info@syfrettfeed.com www.syfrettfeed.com (863) 763-5586 | Chuck Syfrett

Financial & Investment Services Ameriprise Financial 8300 Dunwoody Place, Suite 140 Atlanta, GA 30350 george.d.fritts@ampf.com (770) 609-6322 | David Fritts Atlantic Wealth Management Group at UBS 712 SE Ocean Boulevard Stuart, FL 34994 greg.thogersen@ubs.com www.ubs.com/team/atlantic (772) 223-6618 | Greg Thogersen Edward Jones Investments 107 SW 17th Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 ana.jones@edwardjones.com www.edwardjones.com (863) 357-4724 | Ana Jones Primerica 1627 S Hwy 1, Suite 215 Sebastian, FL 32958 shepherdtp@hotmail.com www.primerica.com/patshepherd (772) 713-1837 | Patrick Shepherd

Fishing & Fishing Guide Service Fast Break Bait & Tackle 1505 State Road 78 West Okeechobee, FL 34974 fishlakeokeechobee@yahoo.com www.okeechobeebassfishingguide.com (863) 763-0973 | Blake Marsocci Garrard’s Tackle Shop 4259 S. Hwy 441 Okeechobee, FL 34974 info@okeechobeebassguides.com www.okeechobeebassguides.com (863) 763-3416 | Margaret Helton

Florist Countryside Florist 201 SW 5th Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 jjjangus@gmail.com www.countrysideflstokeechobee.com (863) 763-3833 | Aaron Parriott

Flower Petals Florist 207 NE Park St. Okeechobee, FL 34974 www.flowerpetalsokeechobee.com (863) 763-5051 | Lisa Fralix

Funeral & Cremation Services Buxton & Bass Okeechobee Funeral Home 400 N Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 weldit@earthlink.net www.okeechobeefuneralhome.com (863) 763-1994 | Matthew Buxton

Furniture Sales | Home Décor Badcock Home Furniture & More 512 W North Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 lindak4@earthlink.net www.badcock.com (863) 763-3823 | Linda Ballinger Morgan’s Furniture 707 SW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 lazzzboy@gmail.com www.morgansfurn.com Royal’s Furniture, Appliances & Bedding 804 E North Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 broyal@royalsinc.com www.royalsinc.com (863) 763-6293 | Bryan Royal Rustic Style & Cabins 505 NE Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 niki@rusticnow.com www.rusticstyleandcabins.com (863) 532-9096 | Nita Salmon

Government City of Okeechobee 55 SE 3rd Avenue, Room 100 Okeechobee, FL 34974 bwhitehall@cityofokeechobee.com www.cityofokeechobee.com (863) 763-3372 | Brian Whitehall Okeechobee County Okeechobee, FL 34974 rchartier@co.okeechobee.fl.us www.co.okeechobee.fl.us (863) 763-­6441 | Robbie Chartier Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office 504 NW 4th Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 sheriff@okeesheriff.org www.okeesheriff.org (863) 763-3117 | Noel Stephen

BENEFITS

Guns | Ammo Archery & Bow Mike’s Okeechobee Guns 105 SW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 mikesokeechobeeguns@gmail.com (863) 763-0122 | Mike O’Connor Skull Hill Steel, Inc. 1505 C South Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 skullhillsteel@yahoo.com (863) 634-2855 | Brandon Baughman

Health Care Allure Institute for Plastic Surgery 114 N Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 allureinstitute88@gmail.com www.allureplasticsurgery.com (863) 623-­5346 | Dr. Aldo Lombardo, M.D. Audibel Hearing Care Centers 3545 Hwy 441 S. Okeechobee, FL 34974 audibelpam@gmail.com www.audibel.com (863) 467-5333 | Pamela Highlands Belly Buster Diet, Inc. 201 SW 5th Ave. Okeechobee, FL 34974 kannetteparriott@gmail.com www.bellybusterdiet.com/karlaparriott (863) 801-1255 | Karla Parriott Doctor’s Clinic Family Health Center, LLC 204 Southeast Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 drsweda@yahoo.com www.doctorsclinichealth.com (863) 763-1107 | Rennee Sweda Family Health & Wellness 1008 N Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 famhealthwell@gmail.com www.fhwellness.net (863) 623-5086 | Amanda Williams Florida Community Health Center 2015 Hwy 441 North Okeechobee, FL 34972 tjones@fchcinc.org www.fchc.org (863) 763-1951 | Tom Jones

Health Care continued on page 102…

Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

101


Directory Health Care Supplies & Services

…Health Care continued

Grand Oaks 203 SE 2nd Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 www.grandoaks.org (863) 824-6770 | Ronda Ayers Hospice of Okeechobee 411 SE 4th Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 director@hospiceofokeechobee.org www.hospiceofokeechobee.org (863) 467-2321 | Frank Irby Nurse On Call by Brookdale 413 S Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 dmullis@brookdale.com (863) 357-0024 | Delores Mullis Okeechobee Discount Drugs 203 S.W. Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 stacey@okeedrug.com www.okeedrug.com (863) 763-5100 | Steven Nelson Okeechobee Health Care Facility 1646 Hwy 441 N Okeechobee, FL 34972 sandyperry@yahoo.com www.okeechobeehealthcare.com (863) 763-7555 | Sandy Perry Pregnancy Center of Okeechobee 808 NE Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 okeepregcenter@yahoo.com www.okeepregcenter.com (863) 467-8748 | Lisa Lumpkin Raulerson Hospital 1796 Hwy 441 North Okeechobee, FL 34972 jenny.pung@hcahealthcare.com www.raulersonhospital.com (863) 763-2151 | Robert Lee TCMA Urgent Care Okeechobee 305 NE Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 colleen.parkhurst@tcmahealthcare.com www.tcmahealthcare.com (772) 692-8082 | Colleen Parkhurst Trilogy Home Healthcare 4731 W Atlantic Avenue, Suite B-10 Delray Beach, FL 33445 DebiC@trilogyhomehealthcare.com www.trilogyhomecare.com (863)225-2593 | Debi Caldwell Trindad E. Garcia, MD 306 NE 19th Drive Okeechobee, FL 34974 smmbh@bellsouth.net www.wellness.com (863) 763-6427 | Trinidad Garcia

Bailey’s Medical Equipment, Supplies & Scrubs 202 NE 2nd Street, Suite 5 Okeechobee, FL 34974 tiffany@baileysmedicalsupplies.com www.baileysscrubs.com (863) 623-4900 | Tiffany Williams

Home Interiors Flooring | Window | Paint Custom Window Treatments & Blinds 1409 Chobee Loop Okeechobee, FL 34974 cwtblinds@aol.com www.cwtblinds.com (863) 357-6555 | Val Douglas Jeanettes Interiors 818 S Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 jeanettesinteriors@yahoo.com jeanettesinteriors.com (863) 763-6554 | Jeanette Sherwin Williams 820 E North Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 sw2573@sherwin.com (863) 824-6101 | Sam Moody

Hotels | Motels Best Western 3975 Hwy 441 South Okeechobee, FL 34974 bwlakeokeechobee@gmail.com www.bestwesternflorida.com (863) 357-7100 | Mary Hayes Hampton Inn 1200 State Road 70 East Okeechobee, FL 34972 jennifer.lineberry@hilton.com www.hamptoninn.hilton.com (863) 824-0003 | Jenn Lineberry Holiday Inn Express & Suites 3101 US Hwy 441 South Okeechobee, FL 34974 hieokeechobee@gmail.com www.hiexpress.com/hotels/us/en/ okeechobee/okewr/hotel (863) 357-3529 | Jay Patel Pier II Resort & Lounge 2200 SE Hwy 441 Okeechobee, FL 34974 mikeroll@thecomfortgroup.com www.pierIIresortflorida.com (863) 623-4704 | Mike Roll

102 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide

Human Resource Services Oasis Outsourcing 1001 Yamato Road, Suite 407 Boca Raton, FL 33431 agarcia@oasisadvantage.com www.oasisadvantage.com (888) 328-2463 Paychex Inc 1450 Centrepark Boulevard, Suite 150 West Palm Beach, FL 33401 mmeloy@paychex.com www.paychex.com (561) 267-3103 | Mary Meloy

Hunting | Shooting Sports & Clubs OK Corral Gun Club 9449 NE 48th Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 cboyd@okgunclub.com www.okcorralgunclub.com (863) 357-2226 | Channing Boyd Okeechobee Shooting Sports 7055 NE 48th Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 jeff@okshooting.com www.okshooting.com (863) 357-3006 | Jeffrey Wait Quail Creek Plantation 12399 Northeast 224th Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 fred@quailcreekplantation.com www.quailcreekplantation.com (863) 763-2529 | Fred Fanizzi

Insurance Berger Insurance Associates 425 SW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 doris@bergerinsurance.com www.insuranceokeechobeefl.com (863) 763-6411 | Doris Stripling

Murray Insurance Services PNC. 210 NW Park Street, Suite 103 Okeechobee, FL 34974 smurray@murrayinsuranceservices.com www.murrayinsuranceservices.com (863) 763-5551 | Shannon Murray Pritchards & Associates 1802 South Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 lpritchard@pritchardsinc.com www.pritchardsinc.com (863) 763-7711 | Lowell Pritchard

Livestock Okeechobee Livestock Market PO Box 1288 Okeechobee, FL 34973 livestockmarket@centurylink.net www.okeechobeelivestockmarket.com (863) 763-­3127 | Audra Clemons

Manufacturing & Productions Charles Composites 1252 NE 12th Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 mgayford@charlesindustries.com (863) 357-2500 Praxair Distribution SE 2534 NW 16th Boulevard Okeechobee, FL 34972 Dave_Christensen@praxair.com www.praxair.com (863) 763-0007 | David Christensen

Non- Profit Arnold’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Inc. 14895 NW 30th Terrace Okeechobee, FL 34974 suearnold@arnoldswildlife.org www.arnoldswildlife.org (863) 763-­4630 | Sue Arnold

Gretchen Robertson Insurance B.R.A.T. Agency, Inc. 10700 State Road 70 East 309 NE 2nd Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 Okeechobee, FL 34974 okeebratclub@gmail.com maurisa@gretchenrobertson.com okeebratclub.weebly.com www.gretchenrobertson.com (863) 801-4996 | Teresa Bishop (863) 763-5561 | Maurisa Tremain Castle John Ed Burdeshaw 208 N Parrott Avenue 608 NW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 Okeechobee, FL 34972 jburdeshaw@outlook.com trusinko@castletc.org (863) 763-3749 | John Burdeshaw www.castletc.org (863) 467-7771 | Tiffany Rusinko Milton Carpenter Insurance 3960 SE 18th Terrace Okeechobee, FL 34974 peggy@miltoncarpenterins.com www.miltoncarpenterins.com (863) 697-6209 | Peggy Carpenter-Brady


Directory Devereux Community Based Care of Okeechobee 10570 South Federal Hwy, Suite 300 Port St. Lucie, FL 34952 christina.kaiser@devereuxcbc.org www.devereuxcbc.org (772) 873-­7800 | Christina Kaiser Faith Farm Ministries 7595 NE 128th Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 jbenton@faithfarm.org www.faithfarm.org (863) 763-4224 | Jim Benton Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #69 4351 Hwy 441 North Okeechobee, FL 34972 okeechobeefop@gmail.com www.okeechobeefop.com (863) 634-5225 | Michael Hazellief Friends of Kissimmee Prairie Preserve Incorporated 33104 NW 192nd Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972-4620 PGray@Audubon.org www.kissimmeeprairiefriends.org (863) 655-1831 | Paul Gray Gulfstream Goodwill Industries 1715 Tiffany Drive East West Palm Beach, FL 33407 bedwards@gulfstreamgoodwill.com (561) 848-7200 | Brian Edwards Haven Street, Inc. 814 NE Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 info@havenstreet.org www.havenstreet.org (863) 532-5215 | Gary Schreck Helping People Succeed 1100 SE Federal Hwy Stuart, Fl 34994 shutcheson@hpsfl.org www.hpsfl.org (772) 320-­0777 |Suzanne Hutcheson Honorable Enterprises 1738 NW 5th Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 betperez31@gmail.com www.honorableenterprises.org (863) 801-1699 | Elizabeth Olivieri Humane Society Pet Rescue FL Inc. 1203 Highway 98 N Okeechobee Okeechobee, FL 34973 reunitepets@aol.com www.animalrescueokeechobee.org (863) 357-1104 | Mary Skinner Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee okeechobeekiwanis@gmail.com www.kiwanisclubofokeechobee.com terry@okeechobeebusiness.com Terry Burroughs Okeechobee Main Street, Inc. 55 S. Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 brittany@okeechobeemainstreet.org www.mainstreetokeechobee.com (863) 357-6246 | Brittany Carner

Real Life Children’s Ranch 7777 Hwy 441 SE Okeechobee, FL 34974 darlene.mayers@rlcr.org www.rlcr.org (863) 763-4242 | Darlene Mayers Republican Party of Okeechobee Executive Committee 1126 S. Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 debilynnlarge@yahoo.com (863) 532-9623 | Debi Large Rev. Nancy Vaughan 1st United Methodist Church 200 NW 2nd Street Okeechobee, Florida 34972 number1dce@aol.com (863) 763-­4021 | Nancy Vaughan Treasure Coast Builders Association 6560 S. Federal Hwy Port St. Lucie, FL 34952 maddie@treasurecoastba.com www.treasurecoastba.com (863) 467-2007 | Maddie Williams Treasure Coast Food Bank 401 Angle Road Fort Pierce, FL 34947 jcruz@tcfoodbank.org www.stophunger.org (772) 489-3034 | Judith Cruz United Way of Okeechobee 208 N Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 Madison@unitedwaylee.org www.unitedwaylee.org (863) 484-­3887 | Madison Mitchell

Optical Services Big Lake Eye Care 606 N. Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 melissa@biglakeeyecare.com www.biglakeeyecare.com (863)763-3937 | Melissa Jansen Brennan Eyecare 710 S. Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 jbrennan6980@hotmail.com www.brennaneyecare.com (863) 467-0595 | Pat Brennan

Pest Control Highlands Pest Control 2771 Vista Parkway West Palm Beach, FL 33411 www.highlandpest.com michelle@highlandpest.com (561) 793-­1198 | Michelle

Printers and Office Machine Maintenance EGP Inc. ‘’ The Copier People ‘’ 4890 Okeechobee Road, Suite 101 Ft. Pierce, FL 34947 barryrokaw@egp.com www.egp.com (877) 427-­7835 | Barry Rokaw

Real Estate Services Anderson Realty Co. 21442 E. SR 78, BHR Okeechobee, FL 34974 vic_anderson@earthlink.net www.andersonrealtyco.com (863) 634-4106 | Vicki Anderson Berger Real Estate 425 SW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 lori@bergerinsurance.com www.cbbergerrealestate.com (863) 763-5335 | Phil Berger B.H. Tucker Real Estate 104 NW 7th Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 btucker1450@earthlink.net www.bhtuckerrealestate.com (863) 763-4010 | Bobby Tucker Century 21 Hazellief & Prevatt Realty, Inc. 1200 S. Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 century21okeechobee@earthlink.net www.century21okeechobee.com (863) 763-2104 | David Hazellief Clear Title & Legal Services Inc. 202 NW 5th Street Okeechobee FL 34972 titleandlegal@ymail.com (863) 824-­6776 | Erin Fralix D & A Properties, Inc. 701 NE 3rd Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 nunezd@earthlink.net (863) 634-­1289 | Anita Nunez D R Willson Land Company 455 Highway 441 SE Okeechobee, FL 34974 DRWMAI@MyOkeechobee.com www.MyOkeechobee.com (863) 763-0999 D. Robert Willson, MAI, CCIM Fulford Plaza 101 NW 11th Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 genefulfordsr@live.com (863) 763-3516 | Gene Fulford Lake O Real Estate 4251 Hwy 441 S Okeechobee, FL 34974 jrj1009@aol.com www.lakeore.com (863) 763-5253 | Jim Jones

Lake Okeechobee Business Alliance 215 West Avenida Del Rio Clewiston, FL 33440 info@lakeoalliance.com www.lakeoalliance.org (863) 354-5622 | Julia Du Plooy Mira Realty, LLC 104 SW 3rd Ave. Okeechobee, FL 34974 joe@mirarealtyllc.com www.mirarealtyllc.com (863) 763-8020 | Kristina Stas Mixon Real Estate Group, LLC 1306 SW 2nd Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 LMixon@MixonGroup.com www.MixonGroup.com (863) 763-6000 | Lori Mixon Okeechobee Waterfront Rentals Okeechobee, FL 34974 unique.antiques1@gmail.com www.lakeokeechobeewaterfrontrentals.com (772) 215-1680 | Debbie Davies Remington Real Estate LLC 505 NE Park Street Okeechobee, Fl 34972 Niki@remingtonrealestate.us www.nikisalmonrealestate.com (863) 532-9096 | Niki Salmon

Restaurants | Catering 2nd Street Pizza 202 NE 2nd Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 (863) 763-5000 | Ralph Collins Applebee’s 1210 Hwy 70 E Okeechobee, FL 34974 applebeesokeechobee@dohertyinc.com www.applebees.com (863) 357-0141 | Brittany Sweeney Beef O’ Brady’s 608 S Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 okeebeefs@gmail.com www.beefobradys.com (863) 763-7300 | Nikki Brewster Brown Cow Sweetery 103 SW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 paulette@browncowsweetery.com www.browncowsweetery.com (863) 357-3357 | Paulette Bragel

Restaurants continued on page 104…

Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

103


Directory Simply Saigon 3651 US Hwy 441 SE Okeechobee, FL 34974 kathyle847@gmail.com (863) 623-4183 | Kathy Le

Crossroads Restaurant 5050 NE 128th Aveue Okeechobee, FL 34974 douglasandson@live.com (863) 763-8333 | David Douglas D & G Catering 6451 NW 30th Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 dgcaters101@yahoo.com (863) 357-1164 | Gary Burks Dairy Queen 1212 S. Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 rwesch@msn.com www.dairyqueen.com (863) 763-6675 | Robert Wesch Golden Corral 700 S Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 goldenlionmidfl@aol.com www.goldencorral.com (863) 763-0444 | Charlie Hukriede Lakeside Grill 1111 S Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 menihtas@verizon.net www.lakesideokeechobee.com (863) 357-4745 | Elaine Menihtas Los Cocos Mexican Restaurant 107 NW 5th Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 yoliemix@yahoo.com (863) 467-0922 | Yolanda Soloranzo Papa John’s 414 NE Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 rjsvillars@gmail.com (863) 467-7272 | Raul Villars

Taco Bell 501 NE Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 teresa.ebenwein@luihnfood.com www.luihnfood.com (919) 439-9841 | Teresa Eberwein Tin Fish Restaurant 301 N Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 www.thetinfishrestaurants.com (863) 357-0722 | Courtney Hicks

Eli’s Western Wear 907 NW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 sam@eliswesternwear.com www.eliswesternwear.com (863) 763-2984 | Samantha Durrance Elliott’s Pawn Shop 419 W So Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 lesleywhat@yahoo.com (863) 763-5553 | Lesley Watford

Thread Works Embroidery 202 N.E. 2nd Street, Suite 6 Okeechobee, FL 34974 okeethreadworks@gmail.com (863) 532-2973 | Georgie Myers Tobacco Place 101 SW 2nd Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 kdehays@yahoo.com www.okeechobeetobaccoplace.com (863) 357-6653 | Karen DeHays

Gracefully Designed Boutique 118 SE Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 gracefullydesignedboutique@yahoo.com (863) 467-0667 | Krystal Avant

W & W Lumber of Okeechobee, Inc. 1601 Highway 70 East Okeechobee, FL 34974 cricketschuler@ww-lumber.com www.ww-lumber.com (863) 763-3173 | Chrisanne Schuler

Uncle Larry’s of Okeechobee 2117 Hwy 441 SE Okeechobee, FL 34974 margaret_ruede_mckane@yahoo.com (863) 763-5794 | Margaret McKane

Initially Yours 109 SW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 lisa@initiallyyours.comcastbiz.net (863) 623-4708 | Lisa Whidden

Vowels Inc. – McDonald’s 4151 US Hwy 441 S Okeechobee, FL 34974 pav@gotmud.net (863) 763-5856 | Pamela Vowels

Lillies & Lace Boutique 205 SW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 lilliesandlaceokee@gmail.com (863) 634-1694 | Lacy Rock

Zaxby’s 912 NE Park St Okeechobee, FL 34974 nextturnllc@gmail.com zaxbys.com (404) 668-8067 | Tracy Gibson

Mill Iron Metalworks 719 US 98 North Okeechobee, FL 34972 millironmetal@gmail.com www.millironmetalworks.com (863) 261-8668 | Shannon Lightsey Nature’s Pantry 417 West South Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 npantry@gmail.com (863) 467-1243 | Becky Posey

Zippy’s 301 SW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 okeezippys@yahoo.com (863) 763-1399 | Sylvia Hill

Retail | Specialty Shops Beautiful Mess Boutique 101 SW 3rd Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 ktkennedy726@yahoo.com (863) 357-1118 | Katie Nelson

Pizza Heaven Beetle Bug’s Craft Store 208 S Parrott Ave 1505 S Parrott Avenue Okeechobee , FL 34974 pizzaheavenaka@gmail.com Okeechobee, FL 34972 Beetlebugscraftstore@gmail.com (863) 763-9299 | Angela Varson (863) 763-2847 Pueblo Viejo VI Bendi’s Thrift Store 3415 Hwy 441 South 114 SW 5th Ave. Okeechobee, FL 34974 Okeechobee, FL 34974 puebloviejo6@yahoo.com mshoward1@yahoo.com www.puebloviejofl.com (863) 386-2007 | Belinda Howard (863) 357-9641 | Pueblo Viejo VI Custom Graphics & Signs, Inc. Serenity Coffee Shop 315 SW Park Street 601 SW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 Okeechobee, FL 34972 cg-signs@comcast.net serenitycoffeeshop@gmail.com www.customgraphicsandsigns.com www.serenitycoffeeshop.com (863) 824-0101 | Melissa McKay (863) 824-2287 | Curtis Tyson

104 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide

PCS Experts of Sprint 3547 US HWY 441 South Okeechobee, FL 34974 mypcsexperts.dealer.sprint.com (863) 467-0006 Suzie’s Hallmark Shop 3541 Hwy 441 South Okeechobee, FL 34974 theq5982@aol.com (863) 763-6557 | Susan Cantrell Taylor Rental 523 Hwy 98 North Okeechobee, FL 34974 taylor.taylorental@gmail.com www.taylorrentalsebring.com (863) 467-2239 | Taylor Davis Teez2Pleez 620 S Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 gingerad87@gmail.com (863) 467-0580 | Autumn DeCarlo The Hope Chest 217 SW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 thehopechestokeechobee@outlook.com (863) 357-3010 | Donna Walpole

RV Parks | Resorts Aruba RV Park 1073 Old Lakeport Road Moore Haven, FL 33471 info@okeedirect.com www.okeedirect.com (863) 946-1324 | Denise Allen Barlow’s R V and Fish Camp 12626 US Hwy 441 SE Okeechobee, FL 34974 ssanto051@gmail.com (863) 763-8747 | Richard Harrison Brighton RV Resort 14695 Reservation Rd NE Okeechobee, FL 34974 reservation@semtribe.com www.brightonrvresort.com (863) 467-0474 | Kyla Davis Okeechobee KOA 4276 US Hwy 441 South Okeechobee, FL 34974 wwoodman@koa.net www.koa.com/campgrounds/okeechobee (863) 763-0231 | Wendy Woodman River Bluff Fishing Resort 14725 NW 1st Parkway Okeechobee, Florida 34972 Riverbluffrv@aol.com www.riverbluffrv&fishingresort.com (863) 467-4371 | Karen Millette Silver Palms 4143 Hwy 441 S Okeechobee, FL 34974 www.silverpalmsrv.com activities@silverpalmsrv.com (863) 467-­5800 | Michelle Barron Water’s Edge Motorcoach & RV Resort 12766 US Hwy 441 SE Okeechobee, FL 34974 watersedge@okeechobeervpark.com www.okeechobeervpark.com (863) 357-5757 | Sue Baker


Directory RV Sales | Service Florida Outdoors RV Country 4300 US Hwy 441 S Okeechobee, FL 34974 mike@floridaoutdoorsrv.com www.floridaoutdoorsrv.com (863) 623-4689 | Mike Schriver

Sanitation Services Henderson’s Sani Service Systems, Inc. 257 SE Dr. MLK Jr. Boulevard Belle Glade, FL 33430 kay4167@aol.com www.hendersonsgarbageandtoilets.com (561) 996-2298 | Kay Hickson Waste Management – Okeechobee Landfill, Inc. 10800 NE 128th Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 tchandler@wm.com www.wm.com (863) 763-­4818 | Teresa Chandler Bishop

Security Cameras Alarm Systems

FPL 1401 SE Montery Road Stuart, FL 34994 Stephanie.mitrione@fpl.com www.fpl.com (561) 694-3758 | Stephanie Mitrione Glades Electric Cooperative 1190 US Hwy 27 East P.O. Box 519 Moore Haven, FL 33471 pmcgehee@gladesec.com www.gladesec.com (800) 226-4024 | Paul McGehee

Veterinary Pet Boarding Northlake Veterinary Hospital 1107 US Hwy 441 SE Okeechobee, FL 34974 jaystinsondvm@yahoo.com www.northlakeveterinaryhospital.biz (863) 467-­1007 | Jay Stinson

Water Treatment Superior Water Works 4072 Hwy 441 N Okeechobee, FL 34972 billy@superiorwaterworks.com www.superiorwaterworks.com (863) 763-2636 | Billy McCullers

Well Drilling Services American Drilling Services 405 SW 2nd Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 decarlof18@gmail.com www.americandrillingflorida.com (863) 763-3221 | Frank DeCarlo Domer’s 204 Southeast 10th Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34974 info@DomersInc.com www.DomersInc.com (863) 763-3417 | Justin Domer

Member content provided by the Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County. OTM Publications dba Okeechobee The Magazine is not responsible for any errors or omissions.

Wholesale Warehouses Supplyline, LLC 1113 SW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34974 tiffsupplyline@gmail.com (863) 357-1203 | Tiffany Douglwas

Friends of the Chamber Joe Arnold Mickey Bandi Robert Bluestone Kimberly Bush Mary Beth Cooper Raye Marie Deusinger Willard D. Dover Robert Goolsby Levi Johnson Gary Kirsch Kelly Owens

Advanced Alarm Solutions 803 SW Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 advancedalarm@yahoo.com (863) 763-1866 | Ty Waldron

Telecommunications CEECO 519 W. South Park Street Okeechobee, FL 34972 info@ceeco.net www.ceeco.net (863) 357-0798 | Penny McCreary CenturyLink 2820 Cargo Street Ft Myers, FL 33916 shelly.chitwood@centurylink.com www.centurylink.com (866) 904-1817 | John McGowan

Utilities Florida Public Utilities 802 North Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 Energryforlife@fpuc.com www.fpuc.com (866) 763-2115 | Crystal Campbell

Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide | 2017

105


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106 2017 | Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Guide


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