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Movers & Shakers

Movers & Shakers

Yesi Sevilla Named Director of LifeCord

When Yesi Sevilla was expecting her son David 12 years ago, she was excited to learn that Gainesville offered her an opportunity that she didn’t have when living in South Florida – a chance for her child to be a cord blood donor.

Now, sharing about that opportunity is what she’s doing for a living, as the new director of LifeCord, LifeSouth Community Blood Centers’ public umbilical cord blood bank that is based in Gainesville.

“Given that LifeCord is one of only five FDA licensed cord blood manufacturers in the U.S., I’m excited to make LifeCord known both nationally and internationally for its cord blood supply,” said Sevilla.

Sevilla says she was “fascinated and surprised” when she looked at the current research on uses for cord blood and learned how it may eventually be used to treat juvenile diabetes and Alzheimer’s. With 20 years working in healthcare, she saw a rare opportunity at LifeCord.

“One of the draws for the job was the ability to work locally and impact globally,” she said. “That’s also the challenge, building awareness and education, both for the healthcare industry and for donors on the true impact of cord blood donation.”


Jennifer Hunt named CAMPUS USA Credit Union CFO

$1.1 billion, 68,000 member CAMPUS USA Credit Union headquartered in Jonesville, announced the selection of Jennifer Hunt as the credit union’s new Chief Financial Officer.

“We are excited for Jennifer to join our team,” said Larry Scott, CEO of CAMPUS USA Credit Union, “she brings experience and energy that will serve our membership well.”

Hunt earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and a Master’s Degree in Accounting from the University of North Florida. Hunt is a Certified Public Accountant.

Hunt will direct the financial affairs of the credit union and serve as the financial advisor to the CEO and Board of Directors. In addition, Hunt will direct all practices of the accounting and financial functions to ensure compliance with State and Federal regulations.

Hunt’s office will be at Empower Park, CAMPUS USA Credit Union Headquarters, located at 14007 NW 1st Road, Jonesville, FL.

Spin Chill Announces Kickstarter Campaign To Fund Beer Chilling Technology

Spin Chill, the company created by two mechanical engineering students at the University of Florida who were tired of waiting for their warm beer to chill, announced the launch of their Kickstarter campaign to raise funds in hope of bringing their innovation to beer lovers everywhere.

Spin Chill was born during the summer of 2013 when co-founders Trevor Abbott and Ty Parker participated in the HackerHouse accelerator program.

The first week of the program, they travelled to Atlanta, where they participated in the AngelHack ATL Hackathon. The night before the Hackathon at a hotel, the co-founders found themselves with a problem many people fear, warm beer and the slow process of making it cold enough to drink and enjoy.

The next morning, not all that interested in programming or coding, the duo created the first Spin Chill prototype, which attached to a can of beer and quickly spun it to get the beer to chilling temperatures in 30 seconds. They placed second at AngelHack.

When they returned to Gainesville, they created a clip that would work with any cordless drill, the Chill Bit. After refining the clipping mechanism, they created prototypes for a hands-free, cordless, portable device named the Beerouette, the product they now are attempting to get on the shelves at Wal-Mart stores as part of Wal-Mart’s “Get on the Shelf” program.

The pair are waiting to hear back from Wal-Mart and have decided to use popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter to create a campaign that will help bring Spin Chill to the masses and launch Spin Chill into full-scale production.

Learn more about Spin Chill at or on Facebook, The Kickstarter campaign links are posted on both their website and Facebook Page.


Plum Creek Names Tim Jackson, P.E. as Director of Real Estate

Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc. recently announced that Tim Jackson, Professional Engineer (P.E.), has joined the company as a new director of real estate in the Gainesville, Fla. office. In this role, Jackson will guide the strategic implementation of a Master Plan for lands Plum Creek owns in eastern Alachua County as part of Envision Alachua, a project for which he has served as the principal consultant for five years.

Jackson has served in a variety of leadership roles during his 30-year career advising public and private clients in city planning. He joins Plum Creek from Glatting Jackson, Inc., a community planning firm that joined AECOM, where he served as president. Jackson’s experience includes community design, regional planning and visioning, master planning, integrated land use and transportation planning.

Jackson earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, a master’s degree in city planning from Georgia Tech, and a master’s degree in planning from Florida State University.  He is the current chairman for 1000 Friends of Florida and serves as an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Urban Land Institute and the Congress for the New Urbanism.


Gainesville-based Natural Supplements Company, Reserveage Organics, Named to INC. 500 Fastest Growing Companies

Inc. magazine has named Reserveage™ Organics—developer of dietary supplements, vitamins, tonics and beauty products—one of the 500 Fastest Growing Privately-Held Companies. Founded in 2009 and based in Gainesville, the company is ranked 363 in the top 500, 26 in the top 100 health companies and 26 in the top 100 Florida companies. In addition, Reserveage Organics is the only dietary supplement company to be named in the top 500.

During a three-year period, Reserveage Organics saw a growth of 1,213 percent. The company earned $4.8 million in revenue in 2009 and $63.3 million in 2012.

The number of employees working for Reserveage Organics has grown to 72, with 63 jobs added between 2009 and 2012.

Inc. selected the top performing U.S. companies by measuring revenue growth from 2009 through 2012. Each company had to be founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2009, as well as earning a minimum revenue of $100,000 in 2009 and $2 million in 2012.

At the time of selection, each company also needed to be privately held, for profit and independent. Inc. notes that a number of the honorees have since gone public or been acquired.

Reserveage Organics’ founder and CEO, Naomi Whittel, has since created two sister companies—ResVitale™ and RE-BODY®, as well as two sub-brands called CocoaWell® and Reserveage Advanced Solutions™. The company has launched more than 100 science-based products and has won more than 20 industry awards for product excellence.

For more information about the Reserveage Organics complete line of nutritional supplements, call 800.553.1896 or visit


The Hippodrome Theater Announces New Staff Appointments

Now in it’s 41st season of artistic excellence, the Hippodrome Theatre is pleased to announce two new staff appointments with the promotion of Jessica Hurov to the position of Director of Communications and the hiring of Marcela Brandão as the Director of Development.

Jessica Hurov has been the Director of Marketing at the Hippodrome Theatre since 2005, during which time she oversaw marketing, public relations, advertising, graphic design, video and social media efforts for all divisions of the institution. In her new role as Director of Communications, Jessica will continue to oversee all aspects of marketing, advertising and communications for the theatre, along with expanded administrative responsibilities in the areas of fundraising, subscriptions, memberships and patron relations. Jessica is also the Hippodrome’s lead graphic designer and oversees all aspects of the Hippodrome’s branding, print communications and media relations.

Hippodrome co-founder and Producing Director Mary Hausch said, “We very excited to have Jessica Hurov promoted to the position of the Director of Communications. Jessica has an incredible amount of experience including her position as the Hipp’s Director of Marketing for over 8 years. During her tenure, Jessica created new marketing, social media and outreach programs that attracted hundreds of thousands of audience members to the Hipp and to the historic downtown. In her new position, Jessica will lend her creative and innovative talents to the theatre’s administrative team leading Marketing, Development and Front of House to further develop the theatre’s important connection to our community.”

A Brazilian native, Marcela Brandão immigrated to the United States with her family when she was four years old. She graduated cum laude from Rollins College in 2010 with a BA in Art History. While enrolled, she worked as the Assistant Box Office Manager/Development Intern for the Annie Russell Theatre of Winter Park for four years and held the Fred Hicks Fellowship at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum in her junior year. Her exposure to the particular difficulties faced by arts organizations coupled with her experience as a professional telephone fundraiser for the college led to her passion for non-profit development.

In 2011, Marcela joined the Development Department at the Orlando Museum of Art, coordinating their annual fund drive and managing the museum’s over 3,000 members. In her position as Visitor Information Specialist, she successfully grew the museum’s membership by over 420 members. Recently she received the Certificate in Proposal Writing from the Rollins College Philanthropy and Non-Profit Leadership Center which gave her the knowledge and skills needed to successfully pursue grant funding from local foundations.

Hippodrome Artistic Director Lauren Caldwell said, “The knowledge, the skill, the vision, and the energy that Jessica and Marcela bring to our 40 year old institution with move us forward in new and innovative ways in the areas of revenue growth, patron relations, membership, and fundraising. The Hippodrome is lucky to have them as leaders on the administrative team as we move onward into our 41st season and beyond.”


Gainesville Regional Utilities Executive Elected Secretary-Treasurer of FMEA Board of Directors

Members of the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) elected Nona Jones, community and government relations director for Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU), as secretary-treasurer of the organization’s board of directors.

FMEA represents the unified interests of 34 public power communities across the state, which provides electricity to nearly 3 million of Florida’s residential and business consumers.

“Board members participate in regular meetings held across the state and are charged with setting the overall direction of the organization,” said Barry Moline, FMEA’s executive director.  “Nona has established herself as a strong leader on utility issues not only in Gainesville, but throughout the state of Florida.  We’re honored to have her serve as our secretary-treasurer.”

Jones is a graduate of Leadership Florida and Leadership Gainesville. She was honored as one of Gainesville’s “13 under 30” community leaders by Home magazine and a “Woman Who Makes a Difference” by the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council.


Saint Louis University Chooses Prioria Robotics’ Maveric™ to Anchor Unmanned Aviation Systems Research Program

Prioria Robotics, Inc., developers of the tactical Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) Maveric™ and Tetra™, was chosen by Saint Louis University’s Parks College as the sole SUAS partner for their Unmanned Aviation Systems (UAS) program. The multi-system, multi-platform purchase is part of a partnership that will enable Saint Louis University (SLU) and Prioria to collaborate on a variety of UAS research and development activities.

Maveric™ is a single-person operable and portable aircraft, usable in the most rugged conditions and equipped with the largest number of payload options of any hand-launched UAS, including day, night and custom payloads utilizing Prioria’s modular payload system. Tetra™ is a compact quad flyer for short duration operations with vertical take off and position-holding capabilities.

Prioria and SLU worked together to create the research-based partnership program. Low cost of ownership, multiple platform capability, and Prioria’s proven track record of working with research institutions were primary factors contributing to the mutually beneficial partnership.

See Also

Damon Lercel, Program Director at the SLU Center for Aviation Safety Research, believes the partnership will play an integral role in enhancing the SLU UAS program. “This is the key partnership within our strategy for SLU to be a leader in unmanned aircraft systems education and research,” Lercel stated.


Comfort Temp Company Awards Veteran Free Air Conditioning

Comfort Temp Company announced Floyd Thomas of Gainesville as the winner of its Veteran Free Air Conditioning contest held this summer.  Thomas received a new Lennox 14ACX High Efficiency Energy Star® qualified air conditioner and furnace, as well as installation and a 10-year parts and compressor warranty, courtesy of Comfort Temp Company.

Jane Harris’, who is Thomas’s stepdaughter, shared a compelling story of his service to our country and his need for a new air conditioner, captivating the judges.

Comfort Temp installed the new unit into the Thomas home. During the installation, Comfort Temp representatives learned more about Thomas’s service to the U.S. while serving in the Army during World War II. To read more about Mr. Thomas’ US Army service, visit


Plum Creek Receives 2013 APA Florida Award of Excellence for Envision Alachua

The Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association announced Plum Creek as the recipient of the 2013 APA Florida Award of Excellence in the Best Practices Category as its Envision Alachua process.

“The awards committee selected the Envision Alachua project for the very public and transparent visioning process to master plan approximately 65,000 acres owned by Plum Creek in Alachua County,” wrote APA Florida President Brian Teeple, AICP.

The committee also noted the all-inclusive nature of the process, engaging residents from all over Alachua County.

Plum Creek launched Envision Alachua in 2011 to discuss future economic, environmental and community opportunities in Alachua County on lands owned by the company.

For more information about Envision Alachua, visit


Gainesville Chamber Launches Pilot Program with Local Manufacturers

The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Council for Economic Outreach (CEO) have launched a partnership with the Advanced Manufacturing Association of North Central Florida (AMANCF).

The partnership is a first step to accelerating growth in the manufacturing industry across North Central Florida, said Tim Giuliani, the chamber’s president and CEO.

The chamber will help AMANCF attract new manufacturers, assist existing ones in expanding, make its voice heard in public policy, improve employee recruitment and training and develop international business.

“The vision of AMANCF and the Gainesville Chamber is seamless,” said Susan Davenport, CEO vice president of economic development. “Together, we will advocate for regional manufacturers at all levels of government while fostering a favorable business climate that encourages growth for all manufacturers in our region.

The partnership hosted a meeting Wednesday (Sept. 11) at the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention. It featured Erik Sander, director of the University of Florida’s Engineering Innovation Institute.

Two additional meetings will be held later this year.

More information is available at



Parkinson’s Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life Now Available on iTunes and

Parkinson’s Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life: English edition, the Amazon #1 Bestseller by local author, Michael S. Okun, M.D., co-director of the University of Florida Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration and president of the National Parkinson Foundation, is now available at and iTunes.

There also are print and online versions available in over 20 languages at and

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