Business Briefs – January 2018

Tee Up!

The First Tee of Greater Ocala recently elected Chuck Rhoades to its Board of Directors. In the past, he has served on the boards of The American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association in Ocala. Rhoades has been serving as consultant and business manager for Jake Perkins Motorsports for the past four years and has been involved with The First Tee for the past three years as a volunteer instructor. The First Tee of Greater Ocala is a youth development organization focusing on Nine Core Values and Nine Healthy Habits. It is not a junior golf program, although the organization does utilize golf as a way to administer this important curriculum to young people ages 5 to 17.

Serving Our Community

The Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) recently honored the community service efforts of Ocala Electric Utility (OEU) by recognizing the municipal electric utility with the 2017 Building Strong Communities Award. Honored during the Building Strong Communities luncheon at FMEA’s annual Energy Connections Conference and Trade Show, OEU received the award for its commitment to enhancing its customers’ quality of life through various community improvement programs.

“Being a part of the community is about more than making sure the lights are on,” says FMEA Executive Director Amy Zubaly. “The recipients of the 2017 FMEA Building Strong Communities Awards excel in not only taking an interest in seeing their communities succeed but also actively working toward making them better places to live.”

Natural Florida

Central Florida’s newest tourist attraction, GatorWorld Parks of Florida, recently opened its gates to visitors. Located in Sumter County, the 15-acre park features a scenic drive through a viewing area featuring more than 400 alligators in their natural Florida habitat. Entering GatorWorld Parks of Florida through the main gateway, visitors drive on a gravel roadway meandering through the park, providing views of the gators lounging in pools—behind protective fencing, of course.

“We’re thrilled to open this unique adventure park that we’ve specifically designed to showcase one of Florida’s unique wonders,” explains GatorWorld Parks of Florida developer Don Buckner. “In addition to the entertainment aspect of our park, we’re proud to serve as a rescue and relocation facility for alligators.”

Give Me Some Sugar

Andi Somers and Lisa Menz recently showcased their combined sugar art designs at the Sugar Art Dress Fashion Show of the International Cake Designers event in Orlando, along with some of the most prestigious cake artists from around the globe. Lisa Menz, owner of Cakes By Lisa, has been in the cake artistry business for over 25 years and is well recognized for her designer cakes. Andi Somers, owner of Dolls By Andi and Company, is the creator and designer of one-of-a-kind art dolls. She has donated many of her dolls to help raise funds for cancer patients and other charitable fund-raising organizations.

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