Downtown Waterfront Catalyst Site Design Workshop Saturday, April 9, 2016

Downtown Waterfront Catalyst Site Design Workshop Saturday, April 9, 2016

Please join us for a Design Workshop for the Downtown Waterfront Catalyst Site on Saturday, April 9th   from 12:00PM to 6:00PM at the Sanford Civic Center, 401 East Seminole Boulevard in downtown Sanford.  Your input is important!

The Workshop will have three phases:

·        12:00PM-1:00PM 

o   Meet the Planning Team.

·        1:00PM-4:00PM

o   Share your ideas at the Hands-On Design Session.

·        4:00PM-6:00PM

o   Development of Preliminary Design Concepts for the Catalyst Site.

Drop-ins are welcome!  Doors will remain open until 6:00PM to welcome residents and business owners to stop in a take part in the Design process!!

Seminole State student uses business capstone to enhance charity race In memory of her brother, Dawson’s Run 5K raises awareness for pediatric cancer

SANFORD, Fla. (March 29, 2016) – A Seminole State College of Florida student is taking advantage of the business, marketing and project planning techniques she learned to help turn a family tragedy into a source of positive action.

Kelsey Creager, who will earn her bachelor’s degree this spring from Seminole State’s Business and Information Management (BIM) Program, is using her capstone project as an opportunity to help raise awareness of an issue close to her heart: pediatric cancer.

The 25-year-old Geneva resident and her project group are working to expand the reach of the Dawson’s Run 5K, a race created three years ago in memory of her brother.

“My brother, Dawson, was diagnosed with childhood cancer in 2010 at the age of 11, while in fifth grade at Geneva Elementary School,” she says. “He endured 2 1/2 years of surgeries, constant chemotherapies and radiation. He took many steps forward in his treatment, and also many steps backward.”

After a hard-fought battle that exhausted all available treatment options, Dawson, then 13 years old, passed away on April 4, 2013.

Cancer is the second-leading cause of death among children, behind accidents. According to statistics compiled by the National Cancer Institute, about 15,780 children and adolescents 19 and younger will be diagnosed with some form of cancer each year, and another 1,960 are expected to die.

Spurred by the realization that pediatric cancer research often is underfunded or neglected, Kelsey’s parents, Susan and Michael, decided to honor Dawson’s memory by raising money and awareness to help others in similar situations. They created Dawson’s Circle of Hope, a Web-based community through which people can find information about pediatric cancer. Then, about a year after Dawson’s death, the Creagers, along with some family friends and supporters, teamed up with Geneva Elementary School to establish the Dawson’s Run 5K, which helps build awareness about and raise funds for the treatment of cancer in children.

In its first two years, the race raised more than $15,000.

All funds raised by the race were donated to The Truth 365, an award-winning campaign that uses social media and film projects to inform the public about the lack of funding and resources devoted to pediatric cancer research and treatment. According to the campaign, only about 4 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s annual budget of almost $5 billion goes toward researching treatment for pediatric cancer.

The focus of the final semester in Seminole State’s BIM Program is an award-winning capstone project in which student groups work in a real-world environment to solve organizational problems or enhance business models. Because the 2016 Dawson’s Run 5K will occur during her final semester, Kelsey and her capstone project group – Seminole State students Shannon McGluin, Mark Granger, Nikki Stafford and Jessica Holloway – worked with Seminole State Professor Christopher Beehner to create and implement a business model utilizing social media to help increase attendance and revenue from the 2015 event, which drew some 300 runners and raised about $10,000.

“When Kelsey and her group came to me about this project, I could see it was something they were really passionate about,” Beehner says. “Everyone was so excited about this great cause that I was happy to help them create a business plan that fit our project requirements.”

For the first time, in 2016, the race will be officially timed and take place on a certified course, which begins and ends at Geneva Elementary School. The race starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 2.

The Dawson’s Run 5K is one of two major campaigns the Creagers run each year. In September – National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and also the month of Dawson’s birthday (Sept. 10) – they run a T-shirt sale and fund drive at the annual Hometown Showdown football game between Oviedo High School and Hagerty High School. They also lead several smaller fundraisers throughout the year, such as ladies’ painting classes at The Winey Wench in Oviedo.

In all, the Creagers have raised about $50,000 to donate to The Truth 365.

“Most often, the very parents that are fighting for their children’s lives have to help fund the research to save their children,” Kelsey says.

To sign up for the Dawson’s Run 5K, visit the race’s RunSignUp page. Registration is $30, or $15 for Seminole County Public Schools students. To learn more about the Creagers’ story and the work they do,

“All of my capstone project partners and professors have been immensely valuable in planning the Dawson’s Circle of Hope 5K event in 2016 and helping to secure the success of our future 5Ks,” Kelsey says. “Dawson’s legacy will continue to live on through everyone’s efforts, and we will make a difference for children with cancer.”

The BIM Program, part of the Center for Business, Legal and Entrepreneurship, is one of six bachelor’s degrees offered at Seminole State College of Florida. The program’s award-winning capstone project connects students with industry leaders and provides the real-world experience that prepares them for successful careers in business and entrepreneurship. For more information, please visit the BIM Program website.


Photo: Seminole State student Kelsey Creager, seated on a Kawasaki dirt bike, leads participants in the 2015 Dawson’s Run 5K. Photo provided by

Media contact: Joseph Hunter, 407.708.2286,

Paw Park Ground Breaking Ceremony Monday, April 4, 2016

Paw Park Ground Breaking Ceremony on Monday, April 4, 2016

Please join us for the City’s Paw Park Groundbreaking Ceremony on Monday, April 4 at 9AMat Paw Park, located between 17-92 and Laurel Avenue, on 5th Street, Sanford, Florida 32771. Paw Park has the distinction of being Central Florida’s first off leash dog park and has been one of the City’s most popular and well used parks. The site is part of the City’s original parks system, created in 1877.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity awarded a Technical Assistance Grant of $25,000 for the Master Plan design of Paw Park Village. Littlejohn Engineering Co. developed the master plan design for the village. Revitalization of Paw Park is the centerpiece of the Master Plan.

The total project cost is $226,735, which is being funded by a $70,000 County US 17-92 Community Redevelopment Agency grant, $100,000 from recreation impact fees, and the remainder from second generation tax revenues.

The park redesign features a relocated and expanded small dog area, gateway entrances, on-street parking, and landscape improvements. The park will be closed for approximately 4 months while the improvements are underway.

For more information please contact Christine Dalton, AICP – Historic Preservation Officer/Community Planner at .

Seminole State earns second consecutive national diversity award

SANFORD, Fla. (Sept. 16, 2015) – Seminole State College of Florida is one of only five colleges and universities in Florida honored with a 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

The national honor recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. This is the second consecutive year that Seminole State has received the award. Only 92 colleges and universities in the nation were selected.

“Seminole State College faculty, staff members and students create a diverse learning community every day as they explore and understand many cultures,” says Janet Balanoff, the College’s Equity and Diversity/Title IX coordinator. “This award recognizes the College’s concrete results that change students’ lives.”

Balanoff says the College celebrates diversity and inclusion. Here are just a few highlights from 2015:

·         For the first time, based on enrollment during the 2014-15 academic year, Seminole State qualified as a Hispanic-serving institution (HSI). This means Hispanic students make up at least 25 percent of the College’s enrollment, reflecting the continuing diversification of Seminole County.

·         Continuing to rank nationally as a top college for degrees awarded to African-American and Hispanic students. About half of the College’s nearly 30,000 students are ethnic minorities.

·         Earning a Military Friendly School designation for the second consecutive year. Seminole State serves about 1,000 veterans and their dependents each year.

·         The LGBT student organization The Unity Gay Straight Alliance was named the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus 2014-15 Club of the Year.

·         Offering new programs to educate students and employees regarding their Title IX rights and responsibilities.

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected Seminole State College based on its exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives, including the ability to embrace a broad definition of campus diversity that encompasses gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities, members of the LGBT community, first-generation college students and those who speak English as a second language.

Florida State University, the University of Florida College of Dentistry, Florida Coastal School of Law and the University of West Florida were the other Florida institutions recognized.

For more information about the 2015 HEED award, visit


Media contact: Joseph Hunter, 407.708.2286,


Small Business Development Committee Update - April 2016

Under the leadership of Rhonda Smith of Rhonda Smith Coaching and Training, the Small Business Development Committee is busy planning the Chamber’s upcoming salute to small businesses with our Small Business Week Breakfast. The committee received more than 180 nominations for small business awards in 5 categories. Determined by an independent panel of judges, the awards will be presented at the Small Business Breakfast, to be held at Heathrow Country Club on Wednesday, May 4, 2016, beginning at 7:30 AM. Guest speaker for the event will be Chrystal Scribner, one of the owners of the Chamber’s 2015 Small Business of the Year, Look Local. Block the time now and plan to attend.

Secondly, the committee is working in concert with the Economic Development Committee to plan the Chamber’s annual Silent Auction. The auction is planned in conjunction with the Industry Recognition Dinner on September 14. This initiative provides an excellent opportunity for our members to receive visibility with attendees while supporting a not-for-profit that the committee will select to receive a portion of the proceeds. Speak with any committee member now to get involved.

Finally, the committee is working with local company Convergent Partners to determine on-line opportunities for training, small business visibility and growth. More information about this initiative will follow as it develops.

Economic Development Committee Update - April 2016

The Chamber’s Economic Development Committee, under the direction of Chairwoman Dawn Sipley of Link Staffing, is busy with two initiatives. First, the committee is partnering with the City of Sanford Economic Development Department to arrange and complete visits to Sanford based companies. Through the visits, the committee is building a database of information about the larger businesses in our community, looking for opportunities to assist businesses and looking for trends in the data that they are collecting. Currently every business that the committee has visited is hiring or planning to hire additional employees in 2016.

The committee is also planning the Chamber’s annual Industry Recognition Dinner. Planned for Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at the Marriott Lake Mary, the dinner is also held in partnership with the City of Sanford.

The Chamber will honor long-time Seminole County Sheriff Donald Eslinger for his outstanding career and achievements with a Lifetime Achievement Award. SAVE THE DATE and plan to attend. The event will start with a cocktail hour at 5:30 PM. Sponsorships are available and provide an excellent opportunity to support growing businesses that are investing in our community while gaining important visibility with business and community leaders.

Education Committee Update - April 2016

Led by Guss Rahal of Metrovista Printing, our Education Committee has been busy over the past few months. The committee is working to honor an outstanding teacher and student from an area Middle School each month, held a book drive to support Seminole County schools, recognized teachers and staff at Greenwood Lakes Middle School with a breakfast sponsored by Central Florida Regional Hospital and is currently collecting applications for the Chamber’s 2016 Scholarship Award.

The committee is able to complete many of initiatives from the contributions made by each of our members. $10.00 from each Chamber membership goes into reserve for use by the committee. As a result, the committee has nearly $6,000.00 to invest in local education efforts each year.

Upcoming for the committee is a planning effort for the 2016-2017 school year. If you have ideas to share please speak with any committee member of Guss Rahal at Metrovista Printing.

Frank's Focus - April 2016

As the Sanford Chamber grows—so do our efforts. Recently the Chamber partnered with Sanford based Maus Media Group to expand our internal and external communications. As a result, we are circulating weekly press releases and expanding electronic communications through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other sites. Starting this month we are also publishing a monthly newsletter.

Progressions, our former printed publication is now back as an electronic publication and will be delivered monthly. With Progressions our goal is to bring you up to date information on the many initiatives of the Chamber as we work to improve business and the communities in which we do business, live and play.

Progressions will include updates from your Board of Directors and committees, welcomes for new and thanks for renewing members, recaps of recently passed and information about upcoming events, ribbon cuttings, Chamber initiatives and much more. The much more includes MEMBER NEWS. If your business has news that you would like to include please get it to us in print ready form no later than the 25th of each month. Send news to

The Chamber works when we collectively leverage the individual investments made by each of our members as we work to improve business and our community. Thank you for your support of the Sanford Chamber—we are working hard to earn it every day.

Please look for our Progressions publication on the first Friday of each month. We look forward to sharing our growth and success. Thank you for your support!

Women’s Connection Committee Update - April 2016

The Women’s Connection Committee is one of the busiest groups in the Greater Sanford Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Chaired by Deborah McDonald (financial advisor at Edward Jones) and Brandyn Seiferth (Technology Consultant at Next Horizon Networking and Technology), the committee has organized an ambitious schedule of events designed to bring together local businesswomen for connection, education, inspiration – and a little fun.

“Women are an important part of the economy,” Deb McDonald said. “It’s essential that we have opportunities to get together for professional development and also just to get to know our peers in the community.”

The committee has planned both business-oriented luncheons and evening networking socials throughout the year.

Luncheons are held quarterly at area restaurants and feature speakers with expertise in various aspects of business that interest women.

CJ Sugita-Jackson, owner and spa director at Healing Revolutions Wellness Spa in Altamonte Springs, will discuss the connection between health and wellness and lifestyle changes, as well as food, exercise and supplements at the upcoming luncheon on Friday, May 13, at St. Johns River Steak and Seafood in Sanford.

Karla Radka, COO of Goodwill Industries of Central Florida headlines the Aug. 26 event(location to be announced). The final luncheon of the year is set for Nov. 11 (speaker and location to be announced).

The events begin at 11:30 a.m. and are open to all area business and professional women, regardless of chamber membership. Fees are $18 for members, $20 for non-members. RSVPs must be made at least three days prior to the event. Online sign-up and payment the Chamber website are encouraged.

But sometimes businesswomen just wanna have fun. The committee’s networking socials offer Chamber members and non-members a chance to get to know each other in a more casual setting.

Bring your own wine and nibbles to the fused-glass workshop on Wednesday, March 30, at Gateway Center for the Arts in DeBary. Professional artist Vera Rekstad will be the instructor. All materials are included in the $25 fee.

Coming up:

Events start at 5:30. Locations, activities and prices vary. RSVPs must be received at least three days prior to the event. Online sign-up and payment the Chamber website are encouraged.

The Greater Sanford Regional Chamber of Commerce to Host 2016 State of the Cities Luncheon

Annual State of the Cities Luncheon Featuring Mayoral Panel Discussion to be Hosted by The Greater Sanford Regional Chamber of Commerce.


SANFORD, Fla. (March 22, 2016) – The Greater Sanford Regional Chamber of Commerce will host its annual State of the Cities Luncheon on Thursday, March 31, 2016, at Heathrow Country Club.

The State of the City Luncheon will feature a Mayoral Panel including Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett, Lake Mary Mayor David Mealor, Deltona Mayor John Masiarczyk and DeBary Mayor Clint Johnson to discuss current and future community plans. This year’s event is sponsored by CPH, Inc., the City of Sanford, Central Florida Regional Hospital, Black Rain Partners, and the Orlando-Sanford International Airport and is open to the public.

Sanford Chamber President/CEO Frank S. Hale announced: “The State of the Cities Luncheon is a great opportunity to join our elected officials for a firsthand discussion on economic developmental successes and opportunities within each community and the overall region represented. Last year’s event was a huge success, and we’re expecting another sellout crowd this year.”

Sponsorships and corporate tables are available, along with individual seating. Visit for more information or to register.

About The Greater Sanford Regional Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Sanford Regional Chamber of Commerce was established in 1920 to create and foster a dynamic business climate that provides a higher quality of life for community members. It serves the Central Florida communities of Seminole, Orange, Volusia, Brevard, and Lake counties, providing leadership on major growth, education, and cultural issues that affect business and the overall community.