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June Movers and Shakers

June Movers and Shakers

A Snapshot of Business Growth and Achievement in Alachua County

A.W. Fletcher & Don Lester Service Awards

Twenty years ago, the Builders Association established the “A.W. Fletcher Service Award” in honor of a gentleman who guided the Association since its beginning and played a vital role in the association and the community for over 50 years. An engraved silver cup was presented to Fletcher and a replica of it is presented each year to the past president who rendered the most outstanding service to the association during the previous year.

The 2012 A.W. Fletcher Service Award was recently presented to past President Ivan Oelrich, Oelrich Construction. During the presentation, BANCF President Kara Bolton remarked that Ivan truly represented what this award is all about. Although he was President of the organization several years ago, he continues to spend countless hours on a wide range of issues that affect our industry and the community.

The Don Lester Service Award was also presented to the past Associate Vice President who rendered the most outstanding service to the association during the previous year. An engraved silver cup was presented to George Barnes. Barnes received this honor because of his dedicated work in bringing new members to the Assocation. He recently retired from Scarborough Insurance and instead of doing what most retirees do, he volunteers at the Association Office everyday working on membership.

The awards were presented during the Past Presidents Celebration at the Builders Association of North Central Florida monthly membership meeting on May 23, 2013.

Acclaimed Architect Group and Construction Firm Move to Innovation Square

Two decorated firms have announced their move into Innovation Square, adding to the list of companies relocating to the research and innovation community.

Charles Perry Partners, Inc. (CPPI) and Ponikvar & Associates are two respected firms which have moved into Innovation Square recently. As service providers in the construction industry, both chose to move to Innovation Square in anticipation of the upcoming development. The moves signal the start of a growth period in the research community.

It certainly signals the next phase beginning at Innovation Square. Architects and construction companies come into developments like this before construction begins on large projects. They hire engineers, site consultants, project managers, and get them in place so that when they break ground on the larger buildings, they have the support teams ready, said Nick Banks, managing director of Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group.

Well-known locally for their extensive work with the University of Florida and the University of Miami, Ponikvar & Associates is an architect group that moved into Ayers Innovation Plaza across from UF’s Florida Innovation Hub, a building they designed. The firm’s other notable projects in the area include the University of Florida’s Nanoscale Facility, Emerson Alumni Hall, and the Tioga Town Center.

There is a foreseeable demand for extensive building projects within the Square and we want to be around to be a part of that, said Ponikvar & Associates’ Principal Architect and Vice President, Jack Ponikvar.

Ponikvar & Associates designed their new location to allow for an expansion of up to fifty-percent over their current staffing numbers. As the number of companies committing to Innovation Square continues to grow, the architectural firm expects their services will be in high demand. Ponikvar cited that they expect to expand quickly into the additional space.

Accompanying Ponikvar & Associates in the innovation district, CPPI relocated last week to 706 at Innovation Square. CPPI is a construction company with projects throughout the southeast but has been Gainesville-based since 1968. They are best known locally for construction of the Patient Tower at North Florida Regional Hospital. When asked why they chose to move their Diversified Projects Division to Innovation Square from another location in Gainesville, CPPI cited the locationÅs close proximity to the University of Florida campus and downtown Gainesville, the ample amenities being offered, and incentives provided by the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency, as reasons for its decision to switch.

The location will keep us in close contact with our clients. It allows us to respond faster and provide better service. The new work environment and surrounding amenities are also a positive for our employees, said Matt Webster, VP of the Diversity Projects Division for CPPI.

Other companies are realizing that being within a highly visible  location not only helps them recruit talented employees, bu it also puts their company in the center of the events and opportunities that arise as Innovation Square continues to expand, said Banks.

352 Media Group Named Fourth Best Web Development Company by for May 2013 

The independent authority on web design and development,, has released their list of the 30 web development companies citing 352 Media Group as the fourth best web development company for May 2013. Each month the best web development companies are put through a meticulous evaluation in order to identify which providers offer the best overall service to their customers. Businesses looking for a trustworthy web development company with a history of successful projects visit the rankings each month.

352 Media Group is a digital marketing and web development company based out of Gainesville with experience in online marketing and custom website development services. Their capabilities extend to various technologies including HTML5 while also providing quality design services which feature professional conversion-driven results. They are capable of creating powerful website strategies, flash graphics, and web and social media marketing campaigns for their customers.

Each web development company included in the rankings has been evaluated during the evaluation process to ensure the list of the best is comprised of companies who produce exceptional websites with online marketing considerations. The process involves the use of a set of evaluation criteria, customer references, and a look at the expectations of growth and proprietary advancements of each online marketing agency. The five areas of evaluation used during the process include process, standard compliance, scalable, robust and secure, and maintenance.

In order to create the rankings which releases on a monthly basis, customer references are used to obtain the opinions of those which have received the services and benefits of each of the web development companies. For each web development company three or more customer references are received and connected with and are asked various general and specific questions about their experience. has named 352 Media Group the fourth best web development company based on their results in the meticulous evaluation process.

See Also

YELS: Gainesville Summer Service Project

After six years of successfully preparing students to change the world through the UF Young Entrepreneurs for Leadership & Sustainability Summer Program(YELS), last summer they launched a new pilot program for local students– YELS: Gainesville Summer Service Project. This is an exciting opportunity for high school students in the Gainesville-area to learn about Innovation & Sustainability while serving as volunteers with local organizations, earning 100 hours of community service. They were pleased to be featured in the UF Spotlight with a video-story in August 2012.

The YELS: Gainesville Summer Service Project will run for five weeks (June 24 – July 26), from 8:30am-1pm on weekdays only. Students will need to arrive on campus each weekday at 8:30am and will be ready to be picked up at 1pm. Locally sourced lunch, snacks, and drinks are provided each day. This schedule is perfect for students who have afternoon, evening or weekend obligations including sports practices, part-time jobs, or a date with their summer reading books. We have a limited number of partial scholarships for students who demonstrate both merit & need.

The YELS: Gainesville Summer Service Project gives local high school students the opportunity to get involved in our community as volunteers while learning how to think and act innovatively and sustainably about the social, environmental, and economic issues related to the service they perform. We empower students to become leaders and changemakers.

We are sponsored by the Innovative Sustainability & Social Impact Initiative of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida, in partnership with the UF Office of Sustainability, UF Center for Leadership & Service, and the UF Innovation Academy.

Interested high school students living in the Gainesville-area should apply right away at:

Rebecca Ryan to Highlight iG’s Regional Economic Forum 

The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce’s ‘What’s Next?’ series continues as iG will unveil its next phase of iG to continue to adapt to the needs of the community and highlight economic growth opportunities for Gainesville, Alachua County, and the surrounding region. Already regarded as a national model by  other similar communities throughout the U.S., iG is excited to announce Rebecca Ryan, a renowned economist and who many have dubbed as ‘a voice for the next generation,’ will be the featured keynote speaker at the iG Regional Economic Forum.

Ryan is an energetic, nationally-sought after speaker and is the author of Life First, Work Second, and ReGENERATION and will soon be releasing her newest book, What’s Next? As the founder of Next Generation Consulting, Ryan helps her clients design strategies focused on retaining their young, future leaders and has helped cities including Nasvhille, Milwaukee and Columbus (OH) design award-winning workforce strategies focused on young professional recruitment and retention.

The iG Regional Economic Forum will take place on Thursday, June 27 from 8am – 11am (approx.) at the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall at 3000 NW 83rd St., Gainesville, FL 32606. The event is open to the public and tickets are available at

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