Business

Wed
04
Apr

Business expands patient-transport service

CHECKING OUT THE NEW RIDE — The Ferrari family and company operations manager pose with the newest addition to the A+ Rides fleet of vehicles. In front, from left, are dad Andy Ferrari, son Davis Ferrari, daughter Kaitlyn Ferrari, and mom Kellee Jo Ferrari. Sitting in the wheelchair is Anita Hofman.

CHECKING OUT THE NEW RIDE — The Ferrari family and company operations manager pose with the newest addition to the A+ Rides fleet of vehicles. In front, from left, are dad Andy Ferrari, son Davis Ferrari, daughter Kaitlyn Ferrari, and mom Kellee Jo Ferrari. Sitting in the wheelchair is Anita Hofman.

BEACON PHOTO/JOE CREWS

A DeLand-based company that provides non-emergency transportation for senior citizens and people with disabilities can now provide rides for wheelchair-users.

A+ Rides, co-owned by Andy Ferrari, had been providing transportation to people who were ambulatory. But he recently added a bus that can carry 14 passengers and three wheelchair-users, with a lift to lower and raise the wheelchairs. The new vehicle expands the number of clients A+ Rides can transport to and from doctor’s appointments, shopping or other errands.

Plans are in the works to add the ability to transport people on stretchers, too.

Ferrari and his wife, Kellee Jo, are the owners and operators for this company, and their vision is to help senior citizens and others in the community get out more and do what they need to do.

Wed
04
Apr

T-shirt shop marks 38 years in Downtown DeLand

Special T's is a mainstay in Downtown DeLand

Special T's is a mainstay in Downtown DeLand

DYNAMIC DUO — Owner Carol DiStefano, left, and manager Elaine Scarfato have seen a lot of changes in Downtown DeLand over the years. DiStefano has operated her store at 108 N. Woodland Blvd. for 38 years, while Scarfato has worked there for more than 26 years.

DYNAMIC DUO — Owner Carol DiStefano, left, and manager Elaine Scarfato have seen a lot of changes in Downtown DeLand over the years. DiStefano has operated her store at 108 N. Woodland Blvd. for 38 years, while Scarfato has worked there for more than 26 years.

BEACON PHOTO/JOE CREWS

Businesses come and businesses go on Woodland Boulevard in Downtown DeLand. Some have tenures of just months, and some remain much longer.

Very few, however, can say they’ve been at the same location on DeLand’s main street for almost four decades. Special T’s can. On March 29, the shop that sells personalized apparel and gifts marked its 38th anniversary at 108 N. Woodland Blvd.

Owner Carol DiStefano has manned the counter there since the business opened. When a visitor asked what her secret was for surviving so long, DiStefano said it was “just hanging in there.”

“You keep on going and hope things improve,” she said. “And you try to change with the times.”

DiStefano started out with customized lettering and iron-on transfers for individuals and business owners, but soon expanded into creating clothing and accessories for the fraternities and sororities at Stetson University.

Wed
28
Mar

Stetson University joins Chartered Financial Analyst program

Stetson University was recently welcomed into the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program after the School of Business Administration’s finance program was acknowledged as incorporating at least 70 percent of the CFA Program coursework and placing emphasis on the institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice within the program.

The finance program’s investments concentration positions students to obtain the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, which has become the most respected and recognized investment credential in the world.

Wed
28
Mar

City leaders discuss ‘State of the Region’

ELECTED LEADERSHIP — Top officials from all six West Volusia municipalities were recently featured in a “State of the Region” panel discussion and luncheon sponsored by the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce. From left are Mayors Bob Garcia of DeBary, John Masiarczyk of Deltona, Bob Apgar of DeLand, and Gary Blair of Orange City, Vice Mayor Vernon Burton of Lake Helen, and Town Council Chairman Samuel Bennett of Pierson. At far left with his back to the camera is moderator Michael Woods, an attorney with Cobb

ELECTED LEADERSHIP — Top officials from all six West Volusia municipalities were recently featured in a “State of the Region” panel discussion and luncheon sponsored by the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce. From left are Mayors Bob Garcia of DeBary, John Masiarczyk of Deltona, Bob Apgar of DeLand, and Gary Blair of Orange City, Vice Mayor Vernon Burton of Lake Helen, and Town Council Chairman Samuel Bennett of Pierson. At far left with his back to the camera is moderator Michael Woods, an attorney with Cobb Cole.

BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS

AFTER THE DISCUSSION — Posing for photos after a panel discussion are elected officials from all six municipalities in West Volusia and the president of the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce. From left are Bob Apgar, mayor of DeLand; Vernon Burton, vice mayor of Lake Helen; Mayors Bob Garcia of DeBary and John Masiarczyk of Deltona; Council Chairman Samuel Bennett of Pierson; Gary Blair, mayor of Orange City; and Joe Hearn of the Chamber.

AFTER THE DISCUSSION — Posing for photos after a panel discussion are elected officials from all six municipalities in West Volusia and the president of the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce. From left are Bob Apgar, mayor of DeLand; Vernon Burton, vice mayor of Lake Helen; Mayors Bob Garcia of DeBary and John Masiarczyk of Deltona; Council Chairman Samuel Bennett of Pierson; Gary Blair, mayor of Orange City; and Joe Hearn of the Chamber.

Elected leaders of all six municipalities in West Volusia shared their views of the “State of the Region” at a luncheon hosted by the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce & Orange City Alliance.

Mayors Bob Garcia of DeBary, John Masiarczyk of Deltona, Bob Apgar of DeLand and Gary Blair of Orange City, as well as Vice Mayor Vernon Burton of Lake Helen and Town Council Chairman Samuel Bennett of Pierson, were panelists in the annual event March 22 at John Knox Village.

All agreed that state legislators were wrong to be trying to take away decision-making from locally elected officials.

“The government closest to the people governs best,” Apgar said.

“Home rule is very important to us,” agreed Blair. “It’s a power grab by [state] politicians that causes unwanted consequences.”

“It can be summed up by the phrase ‘unfunded mandates,’ such as their plan to increase homestead exemptions,” Burton said.

Wed
21
Mar

Call for sponsors for The Water Festival 2018

The Water Festival, to be held 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, April 28, in historic Downtown DeLand, is currently accepting sponsors for this year’s edition of the annual event.

The free, family-oriented festival is presented by Volusia Water Alliance, a nonprofit group composed of the City of DeLand, Stetson University’s Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience, Blue Spring Alliance, St. Johns Riverkeeper and others.

The alliance is currently accepting sponsors for The Water Festival. Sponsorship for this event is a unique opportunity to join a distinguished list of community advocates uniting for an urgent cause. Every sponsorship dollar goes to Volusia Water Alliance’s efforts to educate the public about the growing threats to our water supply.

Wed
21
Mar

One DeLand Winn-Dixie to close; two others to remain open

CLOUDY FUTURE — This Winn-Dixie store in the West Volusia Regional Shopping Center will be closing in the not-too-distant future. This is one of 94 “underperforming” stores from four chains that parent company Southeastern Grocers is closing in seven states while it pursues a restructuring of its debt.

CLOUDY FUTURE — This Winn-Dixie store in the West Volusia Regional Shopping Center will be closing in the not-too-distant future. This is one of 94 “underperforming” stores from four chains that parent company Southeastern Grocers is closing in seven states while it pursues a restructuring of its debt.

BEACON PHOTO/JOE CREWS

A Winn-Dixie store in the West Volusia Regional Shopping Center, at 2701 S. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand, will be closing, one of nearly 100 stores in seven states being shuttered while the chain’s parent company restructures its debt under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Jacksonville-based Southeastern Grocers announced the move March 15.

“After careful consideration, we have chosen to voluntarily implement a court-supervised, prepackaged restructuring agreement,” the company says on its website. “As part of this restructuring, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to close 94 underperforming stores. It is our goal to work through our financial restructuring as quickly and efficiently as possible, and we will emerge from this process likely within the next 90 days.”

DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar wasn’t too surprised by the store’s closing, but was concerned it will create a large vacancy on the city’s southern gateway.

Wed
14
Mar

Two VyStar Credit Union branches coming to West Volusia

TAKING SHAPE — A VyStar Credit Union branch under construction on Saxon Boulevard in Orange City is expected to open sometime this summer.

TAKING SHAPE — A VyStar Credit Union branch under construction on Saxon Boulevard in Orange City is expected to open sometime this summer.

BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS

READY TO GO — A lot is cleared and staked out, awaiting construction to begin in earnest for a VyStar Credit Union branch at 1519 N. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand. The branch isn’t expected to open until late this year at the earliest.

READY TO GO — A lot is cleared and staked out, awaiting construction to begin in earnest for a VyStar Credit Union branch at 1519 N. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand. The branch isn’t expected to open until late this year at the earliest.

Jacksonville-based VyStar Credit Union is making its first inroads into West Volusia, with branches under construction in Orange City and north DeLand.

The Orange City branch at 960 Saxon Blvd. is expected to open late this summer, said VyStar spokeswoman Sandy Baker. Sometime late this year, the branch at 1519 N. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand should open, she said.

According to its website, VyStar has four branch offices and 11 stand-alone ATMs in East Volusia — in Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Port Orange, Holly Hill and South Daytona — and one branch and one ATM in Palm Coast.

Baker confirmed the new West Volusia branches will have drive-thru lanes and ATMs, but demurred on outlining what other amenities each would offer.

“We will be sending out more information as we get closer to opening,” she said. “We want to build up interest as we get closer.”

Wed
14
Mar

Affordable housing villas undergo rehabilitation

SERENITY NOW — This is part of the Orange City Flats subsidized apartment complex off Enterprise Road, which underwent a complete renovation during the past six months or so.

SERENITY NOW — This is part of the Orange City Flats subsidized apartment complex off Enterprise Road, which underwent a complete renovation during the past six months or so.

BEACON PHOTOS/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN

OFFICIALLY OPEN — Cutting a ribbon to officially open Orange City Flats after extensive renovations of the 96-unit complex are, from left, Regional Manager Ken Shaw and President Rusty Fleming of American Apartment Management Co. Inc., Elizabeth Whitaker of USDA Rural Development, and Shane P. Sarver of Trent Development Group.

OFFICIALLY OPEN — Cutting a ribbon to officially open Orange City Flats after extensive renovations of the 96-unit complex are, from left, Regional Manager Ken Shaw and President Rusty Fleming of American Apartment Management Co. Inc., Elizabeth Whitaker of USDA Rural Development, and Shane P. Sarver of Trent Development Group.

After months of rehabilitation, 96 one- and two-bedroom, rent-subsidized apartments in Orange City have been unveiled with new roofs, interior and exterior upgrades, and a new name.

What for many years was known as The Villas of Orange City was renamed Orange City Flats last September, just before renovations began. A ribbon-cutting for the like-new apartments was held earlier this week.

The work was a joint venture between American Apartment Management Co. Inc. of Knoxville, Tennessee, which has been managing the units at 2515-2555 Enterprise Road since 2009 and owned them since 2011, and Trent Development Group of Nashville, Tennessee, said Ken Shaw, a regional manager for the Knoxville company.

Wed
07
Mar

Stetson University hosts business ethics case competition

The winning duo — Campbell University students Sarah Page and Dylan Blackburn, standing between Troy and Sissy Templeton, receive a cash prize after placing first in the Templeton Business Ethics Case Competition held at Stetson University.

The winning duo — Campbell University students Sarah Page and Dylan Blackburn, standing between Troy and Sissy Templeton, receive a cash prize after placing first in the Templeton Business Ethics Case Competition held at Stetson University.

PHOTO COURTESY STETSON UNIVERSITY

The annual Templeton Business Ethics Case Competition was held at Stetson University Feb. 22-23. Undergraduate students from invited institutions across the country had the opportunity to analyze and present arguments on a contemporary business issue tied to financial, legal and ethical issues.

Teams from 16 institutions participated in the 2018 competition: Belmont University, Bethune-Cookman University, Campbell University, Clemson University, Elon University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida Southern College, Florida State University, Georgetown University, Iowa State University, Jacksonville University, St. Petersburg College, the U.S. Naval Academy, the University of Calgary, the University of Florida, and the University of North Dakota.

After receiving the case, teams were given two weeks to prepare and submit an executive summary and a visual presentation. 

Wed
07
Mar

‘Solidarity Sunday’ to showcase food from slandered countries

DIGGING IN — Up to 400 attendees at “Solidarity Sunday” will once again dine outdoors on West Indiana Avenue, just like this crowd that assembled last year for “7 Courses 7 Countries,” featuring the cuisine of seven countries from which President Donald Trump tried to restrict immigration.

DIGGING IN — Up to 400 attendees at “Solidarity Sunday” will once again dine outdoors on West Indiana Avenue, just like this crowd that assembled last year for “7 Courses 7 Countries,” featuring the cuisine of seven countries from which President Donald Trump tried to restrict immigration.

BEACON PHOTO/JOE CREWS

PROUD ACTIVISTS — Jenneffer and Hari Pulapaka pose in their restaurant, Cress. The couple are behind the March 25 “Solidarity Sunday,” an international meal featuring dishes from areas maligned earlier this year by the president. 

PROUD ACTIVISTS — Jenneffer and Hari Pulapaka pose in their restaurant, Cress. The couple are behind the March 25 “Solidarity Sunday,” an international meal featuring dishes from areas maligned earlier this year by the president. 

PHOTO COURTESY CRESS RESTAURANT 

DeLand restaurateur Hari Pulapaka took offense when our nation’s president maligned the countries of Haiti and El Salvador and the continent of Africa over immigration issues. So he and his wife have organized another family-style dinner to “stand in solidarity with the people, culture, and food” of those nations.

“It’s certainly a response to what we heard came out of the White House,” said Pulapaka, an immigrant himself who co-owns Cress Restaurant with his wife, Jenneffer Pulapaka. “But it’s more than a political statement. The true meaning and value is to use food to bridge barriers that might exist between different people.”

The dinner dubbed “Solidarity Sunday” is coming up Sunday, March 25, on West Indiana Avenue, Pulapaka said. He has already sold all of the nearly 400 tickets available for the outdoor meal, which runs 4-6:30 p.m.

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