Stylin’ stylists — Beauty Mark’shair specialists are, from left, Tracie Branz, Randy Jackson, Marlene Jackson, Kelly Elsebough and Jola Collier. The hair salon’s roots could stretch back a half-century or more.
BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS
A Downtown landmark — Beauty Mark has occupied this corner of East New York and South Alabama avenues for the past 32 years, but it existed at two other locations for eight years before that. Previous incarnations go back more than a decade earlier.
Beauty Mark, a hair salon at the corner of East New York and South Alabama avenues, could have roots going back 50 years, its current owners say.
The salon is definitely 40 years old under their ownership, said Randy and Marlene Jackson.
“We’ve been at this location for 32 years in March, and at two locations on Rich Avenue for eight years before that,” Randy Jackson said in a recent interview. “My mother owned shops for 10 or 15 years before that, and they kind of morphed into our shop.”
The Jacksons still run the day-to-day operations of Beauty Mark, complemented by three other stylists: daughter Tracie Branz, along with Kelly Elsebough and Jola Collier.
Their other daughter, Tami, is not a stylist; she’s married and lives in South Florida with her family.
Driven partners — Justin Rickert, left, and Jasin Quimby, both of whom were born and raised in DeLand, are the partners at the helm of Southern Comfort Limos, a new limousine company.
IMAGE COURTESY SOUTHERN COMFORT LIMOS
Southern Comfort Limos is steered by partners and DeLand natives Justin Rickert and Jasin Quimby.
A new fleet of stretch limousines is cruising in and around DeLand these days. Southern Comfort Limos is steered by partners and DeLand natives Justin Rickert and Jasin Quimby.
“We just started in November, but Justin has been in the business for 15 years,” Quimby said. “We just decided to go off on our own.”
A ribbon-cutting for the company was held recently with the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce & Orange City Alliance at Artisan Grill, which Quimby helped get started earlier in 2016. Quimby said his new endeavor will frequently partner with the Chamber.
“We’re passionate about working with the Chamber and doing charity events,” he said, citing donated services to be given for the Chamber’s upcoming Crystal Apple Awards Luncheon and Females About Business Gala. “We’ll donate to every event the Chamber has.”
Field honors — Stetson footballers surround a sign proclaiming their practice field as Watson Field, honoring two alums from the Watson family who have been major supporters of the university’s athletics endeavors.
PHOTO BY SIMONEAU PHOTOGRAPHY
William A. Watson Jr. (L) and William A. Watson III (R)
PHOTO COURTESY STETSON UNIVERSITY
A Stetson University alumnus who founded one of Florida’s largest real estate companies has been honored, along with his family, by having one of Stetson University’s football practice fields at the Athletic Training Center named Watson Field.
The naming ceremony April 8 was held in recognition of the significant support and dedication the Watson family has shown to Stetson athletics and the football program since it was re-established in 2012. The ceremony was held in the Athletic Training Center on East Minnesota Avenue on the university’s historic Downtown DeLand campus.
During the ceremony, remarks were shared by William A. Watson Jr., chairman of the board and founder of Watson Realty Corp., Stetson University President Dr. Wendy B. Libby, Stetson Athletics Director Jeff Altier, and head football coach Dr. Roger Hughes. The ceremony was followed by a scrimmage football game on Watson Field.
Going vertical — A larger Subway restaurant is under construction next to an existing Subway (at left in background) it will replace on North Woodland Boulevard. The new eatery is expected to open sometime this summer.
BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS
Hard at work — Workers toil under a midday sun as a new Subway restaurant is under construction on North Woodland Boulevard in DeLand. The new restaurant, which will replace an existing Subway next door, is expected to open this summer.
Sometime this summer, a new and expanded Subway restaurant will replace an existing one on North Woodland Boulevard in DeLand.
Wes Bennett, a franchisee using the name Florida Sub Systems Inc. for the North Woodland Boulevard Subway and three others in Volusia County, said construction of the new restaurant should be completed sometime in July.
“The main reason for the new restaurant is that we’re going to get a drive-thru, as well as more seats,” Bennett told The Beacon recently. “We’ll have 55 seats. … It’s going to be very nice.”
Fourth-generation grower — George Hausermann Jr.’s great-grandfather started the original business that became E.F.G. Orchids in 1939 in Chicago. George and his wife, Paula, co-own the business on Marsh Road near DeLand.
BEACON PHOTO/JOE CREWS
E.F.G. Orchids recently marked its sixth year as a retail plant outlet, but the company’s roots go back four generations.
The grower of orchids and other ornamental plants began selling directly to the public in 2011, but had moved to the DeLand area from Chicago in 1999.
“I built this with my dad,” said George Hausermann Jr., who co-owns the greenhouse business with his wife, Paula. “We started out selling small plants [at wholesale] to other growers to finish.”
But once the Hausermanns started selling to the public at large, their business blossomed.
“DeLand is very supportive, with many people telling their friends about us,” George Hausermann said. “And we get exposure at community events like the Wildflower Festival that was held recently.”
Cpl. Robert Loria, 2nd from left, prepares to cut the ribbon on his new home with members of Defending Freedom Warrior Weekend and DeLand city leadership.
BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS
Ready for occupancy — This home on East Georgia Avenue, originally built in 1921, was fully restored over the past year-plus so it could be donated to a combat-wounded veteran. Cpl. Bob Loria lost part of his left arm and suffered muscle damage to his left leg during the second of his tours in Iraq in 2004.
BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS
Editor's note: A version of this story was posted online April 3 . The story was expanded on for the Weekend April 6-9, 2017 edition of The Beacon by Joe Crews, whose story is shown first, just below. The original web story continues further below.
It was no April Fools’ joke. A combat-wounded veteran April 1 became the proud owner of a completely refurbished home at 726 E. Georgia Ave., courtesy of the City of DeLand, Defending Freedom Warrior Weekend, and the DeLand community at large.
Commercial trades contractors played a significant role, either donating or discounting their products and services, Defending Freedom’s president said.
Cpl. Robert “Bob” Loria, the recipient of the home originally built in 1921, was a combat engineer in the U.S. Army from 1999 to 2005, serving two combat tours. He was wounded during combat in Iraq in February 2004, and medically retired the next year.
They’re racing! — The rolling starting gate speeds up and folds its “wings” ahead of the field for one of the first Opening Day training races, this one for 2-year-olds, at Spring Garden Ranch in DeLeon Springs. Races are a mile in length around the banked track.
BEACON PHOTOS/RICK BUTLER
Opening Day — Some of the 100 or so racegoers study their Opening Day racing forms as horses race past the grandstand at Spring Garden Ranch in DeLeon Springs. There is no pari-mutuel betting at the track, but interest among owners, trainers and race fans was high through the Opening Day eight-race program.
Racing is underway at Spring Garden Ranch, DeLeon Springs’ major horse-race training track, every Tuesday, weather permitting, through April.
Post time for the first race is 11 a.m. The race card usually takes three to four hours, with a race about every 20 minutes.
Trotters and pacers pulling sulky carts at one of the nation’s premier training tracks attracted more than 100 fans for Opening Day, March 25. Several races are held each meeting day to qualify trotters and pacers for the summer racing season at tracks across the Northeast.
The track’s assistant general manager, Sandy Weis, explained the difference between the two Standardbred racehorses, both of which pull a driver on a two-wheeled sulky.
Watching the market — Students in the Roland George Investments Program study stock market trends in this lab at Stetson University.
Stetson University’s Roland George Investments Program (RGIP) recently launched a new stock index, “Cannabis,” during the annual public trustee meeting, which opened to a full house of students, faculty, and community members March 20.
Five RGIP seniors spent months researching, vetting, analyzing, and ultimately pitching, a total of 10 stocks to a board composed of faculty and student trustees. The proposals included two indices titled “Chill” and “Cannabis,” each with three publicly traded stocks, as well as four single stocks that capitalized on e-commerce, fast casual food, automobiles and beauty products.
Stetson University student Michael Goldman stated that growth drivers indicate the cannabis industry is poised to benefit from recent legislation.
Governor Rick Scott met in DeLand with state and local officials for the latest in his series of roundtable discussions about creating and keeping jobs in Florida.
The March 23 morning panel discussion was held at Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe.
Karen Haught, the business’s sales and marketing director, said the company was chosen because it’s a marketing partner with Visit Florida, the state’s tourism promotion agency, which selected the venue.
Founders and trainers — Janell Williams, left, and Ann-Marie Bays devised a program that trains bartenders and servers how to identify when a patron is being sexually harassed and to intervene if necessary.
BEACON PHOTO/JOE CREW
PHOTO BY ANN-MARIE BAYS
Training in progress — Drink Safe Florida trainer Janell Williams, at far left, addresses employees of Y.O.L.O. Bar & Grilled Cheese in Downtown DeLand recently. The Drink Safe program teaches bartenders and servers how to identify when a patron is being sexually harassed, and how to help if necessary.
A new program will help bartenders and servers identify and, if necessary, intervene when patrons are being sexually harassed or assaulted.
It’s called Drink Safe Florida, and it’s the brainchild of the program’s founders and trainers: Ann-Marie Bays and Janell Williams, two veterans of the adult beverage scene in Downtown DeLand.
“Bar servers will be trained in de-escalation and to be able to assess and determine the best course of action,” said Williams, who also is a reporter for The West Volusia Beacon.
Bays said the program is designed to help more than just straight women feel safe.
“It’s applicable to all walks of life, and also to men,” Bays said. “It’s not just the LGBTQ community; whatever sexual orientation or gender you identify with, there’s always a way to use the program.”