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2020 Industry Appreciation Awards Announced

Oct. 30, 2020

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce celebrated the achievements of local companies at its annual Industry Appreciation Awards event on October 29, held at Riverside Theatre’s “In the Loop” outdoor area. The Chamber also recognized local businesses that provided needed assistance in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Florida Power & Light sponsored the event.

When the call came out about a shortage of PPE, local manufacturers answered the call. Piper Aircraft produced 76,000 plastic face shields for local healthcare workers and 180 other organizations around the world. i-One Moto, which makes gear for the motocross industry, produced surgical gowns. Novurania, producer of customized yacht tenders, made cotton surgical masks. Triton Submarines partnered with a vendor in South FL to produce ventilators.  United Juice Companies donated pallets of juice to the hospital staff at Cleveland Clinic Indian River and Sebastian River Hospital. 

As to its Industry Awards, the Chamber recognized First and Goal Home Inspections as its Veteran-owned Business of the Year, Clemens Bruns Schaub Architects & Associates as Small Company of the year, while White Glove Moving, Storage & Delivery and Florida Eye Institute were honored as the Chamber’s 2020 Mid-size and Large Company of the Year, respectively, based on employment levels.  

Bill Penny, President/CEO of Marine Bank & Trust and Chairman the Chamber’s Economic Development Leadership Alliance, opened the event by welcoming guests and recognizing those businesses that generously donated during the pandemic. Melody Ipolito, with The Grall Law Group and Chair of the Awards Committee, announced the architectural awards.

Helene Caseltine, the Chamber’s Economic Development Director, explained that the Industry Appreciation Awards program is an important component of the Chamber’s overall business retention program and its goal of job creation.  “We show our appreciation to local businesses that have made a positive impact in our community, either through architectural enhancements or by way of community involvement and economic impact. It was even more important to recognize local businesses this year, as they demonstrated that we can still achieve our goals despite the challenges we face.”

The Chamber’s Company of the Year awards recognize local businesses that stimulate the Indian River County economy, make contributions back to the community, provide quality year-round employment, and have an overall positive impact on our county.

Florida Eye Institute, established in 1985, was recognized as Company of the Year for a business with more than 75 employees.  With 85 employees, nearly $3-million in paychecks are circulated within our local economy each year, and the company generates over $260,000 in payroll and property taxes annually.  The company provides a generous benefits package to employees, including free eye exams for staff and their families.  In addition to their involvement with many local non-profits, Florida Eye Institute was proud to be recognized as the 2020 Rising Star Winner for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.  Dr. Thomas Baudo, CEO and Partner Physician, accepted the award.

White Glove Moving, Storage & Delivery, with 51 employees, was recognized as the Chamber’s Mid-sized Company of the Year. The company was established in Indian River County in 2002, providing moving, storage and delivery services locally and nationwide.  They were recently awarded the Torch Award from the Better Business Bureau, recognizing standards of leadership character and organizational ethics.  The company’s civic involvement includes donations of cash, in-kind services and volunteer hours to numerous charities and professional organizations throughout the tri-county region. Caleb Clements, President of White Glove Moving, Storage & Delivery, accepted the award,

Clemens Bruns Schaub Architects & Associates was recognized as the Chamber’s 2020 Small Company of the Year.  Clemons Bruns Schaub Architects (CBS) was established in 1989 and has 18 employees.  It is a residential architectural and interior design firm, focusing on tropical home styles. The firm’s designs have been featured in many local and national publications. CBS supports several local non-profit groups, either through cash donations, in-kind services or volunteering.  The firm recently provided a tremendous amount of pro bono work for the Environmental Learning Center, The ARC of Indian River County, and Unity Church.  Clem Schaub, President of Clemens Bruns Schaub & Associates, accepted the award.

The Chamber’s veteran-owned Business of the Year was presented to Jason Patzer, the owner of First and Goal Home Inspections.  Jason opened his business in 2014.  It is a fully licensed and insured home inspection firm that serves the tri-county region.  The company has experienced a 50% increase in sales and in market share over the past year.  Jason served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, on active duty in the War on Terror. The company proudly offers discounts on full home inspections for military veterans. Jason and his team believe in giving back to their community by supporting numerous local organizations.

The Chamber’s Minority Business of the Year was presented to Trusted Insurance Professionals.  As defined by Florida Statute, a minority business is one that is 51% owned by a person with racial, ethnic, or gender makeup or national origin.  Jackie Savell, President and owner of Trusted Insurance Professionals, opened the firm in 2010, offering a variety of insurance products including coverage for breweries – a niche market for them. The company has seen tremendous success this past year with a 50% increase in sales.  Trusted Insurance supports many of our local non-profits. The company sponsored a dancer for Ballet Vero Beach, and established a scholarship for women to participate in the Indian River Chamber’s Leadership Program.  Jackie Savell, President and owner of Trusted Insurance Professionals, accepted the award.

The Entrepreneur of the Year award recognizes firms less than five years old that show increased growth and a true entrepreneurial spirit, while overcoming challenges and becoming a good corporate citizen.  The Chamber’s 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year

is Lou Kolbauer, owner and operator of the Green Marlin Restaurant.  Lou opened Green Marlin in August 2017, with the goal of being a family-friendly locals’ restaurant. From 2017 to 2019, the restaurant’s revenue nearly tripled. Lou believes in maintaining close relationships between business and the community. As such, Lou and his staff at the Green Marlin are involved in, and support, many local organizations. Green Marlin was one of the local businesses that stepped up in the early days of the pandemic by offering free or specially-priced meals for hospitality workers and their families.

The Chamber recognized two companies as Manufacturer of the Year.  The award considers growth of the company, quality of the jobs, its economic impact, and sales that are primarily outside our region or state, making them a contributory company.  The 2020 Award for a mid-size manufacturer was presented to Girard Equipment in Gifford.  Girard Equipment makes specialty valves and pressure relief vents used in the safe transportation of hazardous chemicals.  It is a family-owned business that first opened its doors in 1952.  In 2003, the company relocated the majority of its operations from New Jersey to Gifford with 8 employees, and now has 78 workers.  Most of their products are distributed outside of Florida, with 25% exported outside the U.S.  To better meet customers’ demands, the company opened its own foundry in 2012, and is in the final stages of renovating a larger facility to accommodate anticipated growth. Tim Girard, President and CEO of Girard Equipment, accepted the award

The 2020 Award for a large manufacturer was presented to B&W Quality Growers in Fellsmere, with 142 employees.  B&W produces and distributes specialty leafy greens, 75% of their products are distributed outside Florida, and 10% is exported outside the U.S.  This year, the company is celebrating 150 years in operation.  B&W supports many organizations in Indian River County, including the Next Generation Veterans of Indian River County, and Special Olympics.  Leydiana Collins, Director of Human Resources for B & W Growers, accepted the award on behalf of Mark Deleo, CEO.

 The Chamber also presented Architectural Recognition awards, highlighting new construction and renovations.  Award criteria includes:  impact on the immediate area; the building’s unique features; and the building or project being “user friendly”.  The following architectural projects were recognized:


Commercial Building Construction
Mid-size - Lawnwood Regional Medical Center’s Vero Beach Emergency Room on south U.S. 1
Large - Staybridge Suites of Vero Beach on State Road 60

Non-Profit Building Construction
Small - Boys & Girls Club of Fellsmere
Mid-size - Toffey Rowing Center at Riverside Park (Vero Beach Rowing Center)


Commercial Building Renovation
Small (north county) - Haryani Dermatology and Aesthetics on North U.S. 1
Small (south county) - Blue Dog on 14th Avenue in downtown Vero Beach

Mid-size - Tax Savings Professionals on 15th Avenue in downtown Vero Beach

The 1925 John Beugnot House in Sebastian, by Treasure Coast Realty
Riomar Country Club, on Club Drive

Timberlake, off State Road 60 and 82nd Avenue, by GHO Homes

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