Standing tall — Attorney Rachel Ebert and DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar relax as they get ready to cut a ribbon officially opening Ebert’s law office at 100 W. Indiana Ave. in Downtown DeLand Feb. 16.
BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN
Rachel Ebert, a lifelong resident of West Volusia, has opened a private law practice in Downtown DeLand to focus on family law, estate planning and property law.
An official ribbon-cutting with the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce was held Feb. 16, but the office actually opened Dec. 1 at 100 W. Indiana Ave.
Ebert served as an assistant state attorney for four years, then became a civil attorney, before opening her own practice.
Speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Mayor Bob Apgar noted that Ebert, a graduate of DeLand High School, was a participant in one of the early classes of the School of Government, a joint effort of the City of DeLand and Volusia County Schools.
“It’s always nice to have another local professional business in town, particularly when it’s one of our own,” Apgar said.
Ebert is proud to be practicing in Downtown DeLand.
“If you love DeLand, DeLand will love you back,” she said.
Cardplaying pals — Residents Clara, Bob, Hal and Frieda enjoy a round or two of cards in a recently renovated second dining room at Woodland Towers, which recently held an open house to show off the improvements made in several areas.
Woodland Towers in DeLand recently held an open house to show off renovations made in many parts of the communal areas.
The work included upgrades to the swimming pool and spa, new furniture in the two dining rooms, new blinds and furniture in several main hallways, and new flooring in the front entry, dining rooms and hallways.
The work started about a year ago and finished up before Thanksgiving. Woodland Towers management didn’t want to say how much the renovations cost, but they credit the new look with enhancing the retirement community’s “warm, friendly atmosphere.”
“Everybody says it’s homey and friendly,” said Dorothy Myers, the marketing and admissions director.
Woodland Towers is home to more than 200 residents who live in the community’s one- or two-bedroom apartments, Myers said.
Busy sidewalk — People stroll along a Downtown DeLand sidewalk one recent afternoon. DeLand’s downtown was cited by a national magazine as one reason the city is a premier retirement destination.
BEACON PHOTO/JOE CREWS
The accolades continue to pile up for the City of DeLand as it is featured in Where to Retire magazineas being one of the premier downtown destinations in the U.S. The publication is the only magazine in America geared toward helping people with retirement-relocation decisions, according to its editors.
“The quality of life in DeLand is second-to-none, and our Downtown is a major part of that. It’s great to see people have taken notice,” said Mayor Bob Apgar. “It’s easy to see why people, young and old, would want to live, work and play here.”
DeLand is featured in the article titled “Eight Delightful Downtown Cities” in the March/April 2017 issue, which became available Feb. 14. Where to Retire Editor Annette Fuller said many relocating retirees choose a destination with an “energized, bustling heart.”
Duo in charge — Veterinarians J. Glenn Brewer and Stephanie Bryson are partners in Countryside Animal Clinic, a practice Brewer started 35 years ago on North Spring Garden Avenue near DeLand. Here are Brewer and Bryson in their new satellite office, Countryside at the Park, which opened in late January on Orange Camp Road in Victoria Park Village.
BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS
Caring twosome — Veterinarians Rachael Cunningham, left, and Adrian Mitchell are assigned to Countryside at the Park, a satellite office of Countryside Animal Clinic that is more convenient to pet owners who live in southwest Volusia County. The new office is in Victoria Park Village, a commercial neighborhood in the Victoria Park community on DeLand’s southeastern side. The original clinic is on North Spring Garden Avenue northwest of DeLand.
Attentive staff — From left, Briana Baughman, Katherine Horan and Colton Creese are the veterinary technicians who will care for your pet while it’s being treated at Countryside at the Park, a satellite facility of longtime veterinary practice Countryside Animal Clinic of DeLand. The new office opened in late January on Orange Camp Road in Victoria Park Village.
Countryside Animal Clinic has been serving DeLand and its environs for 35 years from its North Spring Garden Avenue location. Pet owners have come from near and far — even from East Volusia and neighboring Lake County — to get the care their four-legged family members need.
Now, for many of those furry family members, those owners might not have to travel as far.
Countryside has opened a second location — Countryside at the Park — on Orange Camp Road in Victoria Park Village, a commercial neighborhood of the Victoria Park community.
“We were running out of space at our original hospital,” said principal partner Dr. J. Glenn Brewer, one of seven veterinarians on staff. “This [new location] gives us more room at our original hospital and allows us to better serve our customers in Southwest Volusia and east DeLand.”
Empty no more — Early this month, vendors began filling this long-forlorn building at 3520 North U.S. Highway 17 in DeLand with all things vintage. A 30-booth antiques and home-décor market, Pure Vintage, will open there Saturday, Feb. 11.
Filling space — One recent Saturday, Orlando Realtor Keith Scher arranges a vase among other antiques displayed in one of three retail spaces he plans on opening inside Pure Vintage. The emporium for antiques, collectibles and refurbished items is set to open Feb. 11 at 3520 North U.S. Highway 17 near DeLand.
Ready for business — Jeff and Shirley Baratta, owners of Pure Vintage, will display their vintage, antique and other home-décor items in the front of the 30-booth market they plan to open Saturday, Feb. 11.
A long-vacant building north of DeLand is being filled with treasures.
Vendors have begun securing and stocking several of 30 market spaces inside Pure Vintage, a new emporium opening Feb. 11 at 3520 North U.S. Highway 17, just past State Road 15A.
Jeff and Shirley Baratta, of Paisley, have been busily painting and fixing walls, as well as partitioning, with rustic-looking pallets, sections of multiple rooms in the 4,200-square-foot building to create retail spaces in varying sizes.
“It was a mess,” Jeff Baratta said of the expansive — now fresh and brightly lit — building, which was constructed in 1958.
Monthly booth rental prices range from $75 to $250.
In exchange for handling all sales, the Barattas will receive 15 percent of the proceeds.
“We’ll do everything but fill in the space and price the items,” Jeff Baratta said.
On Feb. 4, Keith Scher unloaded an array of interesting pieces and hauled them inside.
Construction starts — Work has begun on the foundation for a new Centra Care location in Orange City. The free-standing facility at 1340 Saxon Blvd. will be affiliated with Florida Hospital Fish Memorial and should open by this summer.
Construction is underway for Florida Hospital Fish Memorial’s first free-standing urgent-care facility in Orange City.
The new 5,000-square-foot location, at 1340 Saxon Blvd., Orange City, will be a Florida Hospital Centra Care urgent-care facility and is expected to open in June.
“Florida Hospital Centra Care provides excellent care, and I know families in our area will be thrilled to have a fast and convenient option for urgent care,” said Rob Deininger, Florida Hospital Fish Memorial CEO. “We will undoubtedly continue to invest further in West Volusia in the coming years, as we focus on our continuum of health and growing with the community.”
Florida Hospital Centra Care is the area’s only hospital-affiliated urgent-care provider that will serve as another access point for those who need medical care.
The founder — Evan Keller addresses the audience at the inaugural session of Accelerate, a small-business mentoring program that will meet monthly at DeLand City Hall.
BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS
Group session — Entrepreneur wannabes meet in a group counseling session during the first meeting of Accelerate, a program designed to help people start or grow their businesses.
BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS
Mentoring — Small-business owners Barb Sternett, left rear, owner of Sweet Lics Frozen Treats & More, and Jason Jurss, owner of the Artisan Grill restaurant, mentor two entrepreneurs-to-be.
BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS
A program to help entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses drew nearly 80 people to DeLand City Hall for its inaugural meeting Jan. 25.
“Many people told me that tonight they discussed ways to do business with each other,” Evan Keller, one of the founders of the effort, wrote in an email after the session. “The community wants this more than I realized!”
The meeting was to kick off the program called Accelerate, which is sponsored by Keller’s company Creating Jobs Inc., as well as the City of DeLand and the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce & Orange City Alliance.
Keller calls the program a “real-life MBA.” Keller said he, restaurateur Manny De La Vega, Frontier Communications executive Shawn Clark, and Deidra Jacobs, CEO of SAAFE Behavioral Services Inc., banded together to not only grow their own ventures, but to learn from and support each other in the process.
Stetson University’s School of Business Administration has named John Riggs, D.B.A., as the new executive director of the Centurion Sales Program. Riggs will be responsible for developing, launching and leading the program that, beginning in the fall of 2017, will offer a major and minor in sales.
“I was drawn to Stetson because of their vision to take this program — and its students — to the next level,” explained Riggs. “Stetson’s program will be uniquely structured to bridge the gap between academia and practical application. Students will be immersed in rigorous academic content, demonstrate the practical application of knowledge in specialized sales training labs, and become truly engaged through partnerships with local businesses.”
New officers sworn in — DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar administers the oath of office to the 2017 members of the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce & Orange City Alliance’s executive board during the organization’s annual meeting Jan. 10. From left are Susie Dolan, Joe Hearn, Sherri Emery, Josh Poertner, Jim Carlson, Shawn Clark and Dr. Linda Bradley-Thacker.
BEACON PHOTO/JOE CREWS
The 2017 executive officers and board of directors at the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce & Orange City Alliance have been officially sworn in.
DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar administered the oaths of office during the Chamber’s annual installation and annual meeting Jan. 10 at the Sanborn Activity Center.
This year’s president, Susie Dolan, vowed that 2017 was “going to be like no other for our Chamber of Commerce,” which is marking its 127th anniversary this year.
“The oldest Chamber of Commerce in Florida is about to become the most relevant,” Dolan promised.
Dolan announced a new award to be given that night, the 2016 Legacy Award. It was presented “without hesitation” to Sally Updike, who served as interim executive director for six months after Nick Conte left the post. The Chamber recently hired a new executive director, Lacey Ekberg, who started work earlier this month, and
Updike resumed her duties as operations manager.
Upscale touches — Stella Homes includes in the purchase price upscale features other builders charge extra for, as shown in this photo: granite countertops, 42-inch wooden cabinets, vaulted ceilings and stainless-steel appliances.
PHOTOS COURTESY STELLA HOMES
Combine talents — Brandon Garrett, left, is a certified general contractor, while David Ferri is an attorney and real-estate broker. Together, they run Stella Homes, a DeLand-based homebuilder that moved from Maitland a year ago.
BEACON PHOTO/JOE CREWS
Stella Homes is only a little more than a year old, but the small, DeLand-based homebuilder is forecasting a booming business in Deltona and elsewhere in West Volusia.
“We’re going to build 25 homes in Deltona this year,” co-owner David Ferri told The Beacon recently. “Deltona truly has a need for new construction, and we’re addressing that need.”
Ferri and his partner, Brandon Garrett, formed Stella Homes from Garrett’s existing business, Garrett Contracting and Construction, which was based in the Maitland area. Almost immediately after changing the name to Stella Homes about a year ago, the duo moved the company to Downtown DeLand.
“I grew up in Deltona, and felt it was an area we were going to get aggressive in, along with Orange City and DeLand,” said Ferri, who serves as the company’s broker and in-house attorney. “And Brandon lives in DeBary.”