Business

Wed
18
Oct

River-to-Sea trail could be economic driver for several counties

St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop Alliance

St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop Alliance

Jim Wood

Jim Wood

A paved trail for bicyclists and hikers circling through Volusia and four other East Florida counties could bring economic benefits to the communities along its 260-mile length, according to Jim Wood, a chief planner for the Florida Department of Transportation.

“Trails are not only meeting the needs of residents and surrounding businesses, but they’re also a draw for biking visitors,” Wood told The Beacon. “That’s why projects like The Loop are so important — they take on a whole new level of interest.”

The St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop, or SJR2C, encompasses Volusia, Flagler, Brevard, St. Johns and Putnam counties, and incorporates inland communities such as Deltona, DeLand, DeLeon Springs, Crescent City and Palatka.

Wed
11
Oct

Hugh Ash Manor joins Westminster family

UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP — Westminster Communities of Florida recently bought Hugh Ash Manor, shown here at 740 N. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand, for an undisclosed sum. Westminster had been managing the affordable-living community for seniors since 2015.

UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP — Westminster Communities of Florida recently bought Hugh Ash Manor, shown here at 740 N. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand, for an undisclosed sum. Westminster had been managing the affordable-living community for seniors since 2015.

BEACON PHOTO/JOE CREWS

Westminster Communities of Florida and the Hugh Ash Manor board of directors have announced that Hugh Ash Manor, an affordable senior-living community in DeLand, is now part of the Westminster family.

The sale, which has been approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, preserves Hugh Ash Manor’s mission of service to low-income seniors. The seven-story, 150-apartment community at 740 N. Woodland Blvd. will continue to honor all residents’ leases and provide employment to current employees, according to a news release.

Hugh Ash Manor has been a ministry of next-door neighbor First Presbyterian Church of DeLand since 1971. The community is dedicated to fulfilling the physical, social, spiritual and recreational needs of its residents. It has been managed by Westminster since 2015, company officials said.

Wed
11
Oct

Wildlife park showcases reptiles of all sorts

GATOR TRAINING — Nathan Sweeting works with Trapper, a nearly 13-foot American alligator, at Smooth Waters Wildlife Park. Sweeting says he’s training Trapper to pose and react to commands.

GATOR TRAINING — Nathan Sweeting works with Trapper, a nearly 13-foot American alligator, at Smooth Waters Wildlife Park. Sweeting says he’s training Trapper to pose and react to commands.

BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS

NICE TORTOISE! GOOD BOY! — Katie Durborow scratches the head of Bertram, an African spurred tortoise at Smooth Waters Wildlife Park. Spurred tortoises are endangered, and the only tortoise species that guards its eggs after they’re laid.

NICE TORTOISE! GOOD BOY! — Katie Durborow scratches the head of Bertram, an African spurred tortoise at Smooth Waters Wildlife Park. Spurred tortoises are endangered, and the only tortoise species that guards its eggs after they’re laid.

Wildlife managers — Katie Durborow and Nathan Sweeting own and manage Smooth Waters Wildlife Park in DeLeon Springs.

Wildlife managers — Katie Durborow and Nathan Sweeting own and manage Smooth Waters Wildlife Park in DeLeon Springs.

Hidden among the trees in the middle of DeLeon Springs sits a small wildlife park that gives kids and adults a chance to learn more about alligators, snakes, land tortoises and other scaly critters.

Smooth Waters Wildlife Park is at the end of a dirt lane off Reynolds Road. It’s owned and run by the husband-and-wife team of Nathan Sweeting and Katie Durborow, who about a year ago took over an overgrown and abandoned property where reptiles had been collected but never shown to the public.

After months of clearing, cleaning, repairing and restocking with animals — the previous menagerie had been given away, not abandoned — the couple opened the park to the public about four months ago.

“The park will always be reptile-heavy, but maybe next year we’ll get into mammals and birds,” Sweeting told a recent visitor.

Wed
04
Oct

Wells Fargo closes its DeLeon Springs branch

FORMER TENANT — Wells Fargo was still open in DeLeon Springs when this photo was taken recently. The property now is for sale, along with an adjacent property to the left in this photo that has a vacant training center on it.

FORMER TENANT — Wells Fargo was still open in DeLeon Springs when this photo was taken recently. The property now is for sale, along with an adjacent property to the left in this photo that has a vacant training center on it.

BEACON PHOTO/JOE CREWS

Another bank has closed a branch office in West Volusia.

The Wells Fargo branch at 5065 U.S. Highway 17 in DeLeon Springs closed Oct. 4, leaving that community without any banking locations.

Wells Fargo spokesman Michael Gray said the closure is among about 200 the San Francisco-based national bank was making this year.

“We expect to close around 250 branches across the country next year, and many of the closures in 2017 are locations in close proximity to another branch,” Gray said in an email. “Because of this, we don’t expect a significant team member impact.”

Operations at the former DeLeon Springs location are being consolidated with those of another branch in Gibbs Plaza at 1695-1 N. Woodland Blvd., a little more than 5 miles south, near a Walmart Supercenter in north DeLand.

Gray couldn’t say if any other Volusia County locations will be closed in the future.

Wed
04
Oct

Big changes announced in Stetson’s Entrepreneurship Program

NEW ASSISTANT DIRECTOR — Luis Paris, a Stetson alumnus, has been named the assistant director of the university’s Joseph C. Prince Entrepreneurship Program in the School of Business Administration. His appointment is one of several changes announced for the program this fall.

NEW ASSISTANT DIRECTOR — Luis Paris, a Stetson alumnus, has been named the assistant director of the university’s Joseph C. Prince Entrepreneurship Program in the School of Business Administration. His appointment is one of several changes announced for the program this fall.

PHOTO COURTESY STETSON UNIVERSITY

Entrepreneurship continues to be one of the fastest growing areas of undergraduate student growth. To support that interest, Stetson University’s School of Business Administration recently announced a number of exciting changes beginning this fall for the Joseph C. Prince Entrepreneurship Program.

“After joining Stetson last year, I began developing a plan to expand the program and advance innovation and creativity through entrepreneurial activities,” explained Bill Jackson, Ph.D., director of the Prince program. “The ability to connect students from all across campus, to better connect to the community, and to be part of advancing economic development was a key driver in the formation of the new major as well as the overall curriculum overhaul.”

Wed
27
Sep

Few banks want pot companies as customers, but First Green welcomes them

Not exactly a head shop — This photo of a Surterra Wellness medical-marijuana dispensary in Tampa shows more-or-less what the company's Deltona location will look like, once it opens early next year. The company’s dispensaries — which it calls "wellness centers" —  are designed to make people feel comfortable and emulate the "feeling of home." Each location has a “kitchen” that is meant to be a place of community gathering and a space to provoke the sharing of thoughts and ideas, Surterra spokeswoman Monica

Not exactly a head shop — This photo of a Surterra Wellness medical-marijuana dispensary in Tampa shows more-or-less what the company's Deltona location will look like, once it opens early next year. The company’s dispensaries — which it calls "wellness centers" —  are designed to make people feel comfortable and emulate the "feeling of home." Each location has a “kitchen” that is meant to be a place of community gathering and a space to provoke the sharing of thoughts and ideas, Surterra spokeswoman Monica Russell said. “The ‘garden’ is also a common feature in Surterra Wellness Centers, and that is where people can come to learn about medical cannabis products and be able to see which of Surterra’s products can help you #FindYourWellness,” she said.

PHOTO COURTESY SURTERRA WELLNESS

Even though Floridians can now access marijuana as medicine, entrepreneurs who wish to dispense the herb are finding things aren’t as easy as opening up a neighborhood drugstore when it comes to handling the finances.

There are loads of federal regulations on banking, and although Florida voters legalized medical marijuana in 2016, cannabis is still illegal under federal law.

As a result, most banks treat money earned from the sale of the plant or its products as dirty money, even in states where marijuana is legal.

DeLandite Lex Ford is senior vice president at Eustis-based First Green Bank. He said First Green is the only bank in Florida that serves these companies, at least openly.

“We have around $35 million in deposits related to the marijuana industry in our first year,” Ford said.

Not all of it is from dispensaries — the bank also serves lawyers and physicians who are involved in the marijuana industry.

Wed
27
Sep

Event planner finally opens showroom

PARTY-PLANNING WIZARD — Event planner Nancy Fabian stands in front of some of the accoutrements of her work that will be on display in a new showroom in Orange City for her business, Nancy’s Creations LLC, Event Stylist and Planner.

PARTY-PLANNING WIZARD — Event planner Nancy Fabian stands in front of some of the accoutrements of her work that will be on display in a new showroom in Orange City for her business, Nancy’s Creations LLC, Event Stylist and Planner.

PHOTOS COURTESY NANCY FABIAN

STYLISH ELEMENTS — On display in a new showroom will be examples of Nancy’s Creations table settings.

STYLISH ELEMENTS On display in a new showroom will be examples of Nancy’s Creations table settings.

After six years of working out of her home, event planner Nancy Fabian is opening a showroom in Orange City.

“I finally decided I needed a place for customers to come to,” Fabian recently told The Beacon. “Working from home, you’re not treated the same. It devalues my work. Now, with a showroom, I hope it will make everything more professional and looking nicer.”

Fabian is holding a grand opening of her showroom 4-7 p.m. this coming Saturday, Sept. 30.

Nancy’s Creations LLC, Event Stylist and Planner can plan and coordinate any kind of special event, from private birthday parties to larger affairs like wedding receptions and  corporate events and everything in between. Her services include providing decorations, table linens and centerpieces.

Wed
27
Sep

For sale: Museum gallery and theater

ON THE MARKET — The Museum of Art complex at 600 N. Woodland Blvd. is for sale, as the museum works toward consolidating its operations in Downtown DeLand. Stetson University has been renting the theater side of the building, but passed on buying the complex because the asking price was more than the university could handle.

ON THE MARKET — The Museum of Art complex at 600 N. Woodland Blvd. is for sale, as the museum works toward consolidating its operations in Downtown DeLand. Stetson University has been renting the theater side of the building, but passed on buying the complex because the asking price was more than the university could handle.

BEACON PHOTO/JOE CREWS 

The Museum of Art - DeLand has put its gallery complex at 600 N. Woodland Blvd. on the market as a vital step in eventually consolidating its operations in Downtown DeLand.

George Bolge, the museum’s chief executive officer, said the goal is to help build an art district in the Downtown area, where the museum already operates a satellite gallery.

“The museum already has agreed with the city to create an arts district Downtown, and a move will help with that,” Bolge said. “It will build more interest in the museum and help create a stronger draw for tourism.”

Bolge said all museums occasionally need to revitalize themselves as towns change and people change. However, Bolge said, while the move won’t happen before the complex sells, it is likely to happen eventually. If the building doesn’t sell, the move would just take longer, he said.

Wed
20
Sep

Daudel named director of Stetson’s Family Enterprise Center

New director— Sylvain Daudel has been tapped as the new director of Stetson University’s Family Enterprise Center. Daudel comes to Stetson from the EDHEC Business School in Lille and Nice, where for the past three years he headed the Family Business Center at what is widely considered one of the world’s top 20 business schools.

PHOTO COURTESY STETSON UNIVERSITY

New director— Sylvain Daudel has been tapped as the new director of Stetson University’s Family Enterprise Center. Daudel comes to Stetson from the EDHEC Business School in Lille and Nice, where for the past three years he headed the Family Business Center at what is widely considered one of the world’s top 20 business schools.

Stetson University’s School of Business Administration has named Sylvain Daudel as the new director of the Family Enterprise Center. Daudel will be responsible for promoting the program as a leader in the development of next-generation family-enterprise owners, leaders, and advisers through education, outreach and research.

“It is an honor to have Sylvain Daudel join our faculty,” said Neal Mero, Ph.D., dean and professor of management in the School of Business Administration. “He brings a wealth of experience in working with some of the most successful family businesses in the world.”

The School of Business Administration created the Family Enterprise Center in 1998 to address the challenges that family-owned and -managed businesses face. The program, which is housed in the Department of Management, serves as a catalyst to help family enterprises, especially the next generation and their advisers.

Wed
20
Sep

A 1920s throwback: New hotel aims to enhance historic tradition

Now open for business — The DeLand Hotel is at 442 E. New York Ave. After a year’s worth of renovations, the hotel has vintage touches that harken back to its 1925 roots.

Now open for business — The DeLand Hotel is at 442 E. New York Ave. After a year’s worth of renovations, the hotel has vintage touches that harken back to its 1925 roots.

BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS

A couple with vision — Owner Ross Janke, right, and his fiancee, Ashley LaFond, want guests to experience a unique and special stay at The DeLand Hotel.

A couple with vision — Owner Ross Janke, right, and his fiancee, Ashley LaFond, want guests to experience a unique and special stay at The DeLand Hotel.

Welcoming sight — The front doors of The DeLand Hotel are flanked by the original retaining walls.

Welcoming sight — The front doors of The DeLand Hotel are flanked by the original retaining walls.

Ross Janke has a vision for his new DeLand Hotel at 442 E. New York Ave.: maintain the historical aspects of the three-story building as much as possible, even if some modernization is necessary.

“We want to bring something truly unique and special to DeLand,” Janke said. “That is our goal.”

To carry out that mission, Janke has retained the original claw-foot bathtubs in most of the rooms, installed the original doorknobs wherever he could, painted rooms in period colors, and installed carpeting that mimicked the styles and patterns of carpeting from the 1920s, among many other things.

A Tiffany-style lamp hangs over the receptionist’s counter. Signs at the reception desk and on the front and back doors use a font from that era, too, to continue the theme.

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