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Now browsing: Hometown News > Community > Brevard County

Community notes - Suntree/Rockledge/Viera
Rating: 2.09 / 5 (11 votes)  
Posted: 2013 Apr 05 - 06:21

United Way receives grant

Southeast Petro Distributors, one of Florida's largest wholesale motor fuels distributors recently presented a BP Fueling Communities grant donation of $20,000 to United Way of Brevard.

The funds from this grant will be used by United Way to help feed hungry families, protect children from abuse, provide shelter to those in need and more.

United Way was nominated for the grant by Mike Shah and Summit Shah of Southeast Petro Distributors.

United Way of Brevard funds more than 60 programs at 43 agencies, focusing on basic needs/financial stability, childhood success, life services for persons with disabilities, and health, wellness and safety initiatives.

United way of Brevard also facilitates tax preparation assistance, financial education, healthy families, Partners in Parenting, gifts in-kind and the benefits connection programs.

United way of Brevard has the lowest overhead cost of any United Way in Florida at 8.5 percent.

Community resource center opens


The grand opening of the Turnquest Community Resource Center was celebrated recently at the center in Shady Oaks Village, off Aurora Road in Melbourne.

The center is a joint project of the Housing Authority of Brevard County and the Melbourne Housing Authority.

It is named for Kathy Turnquest, an authority employee, who has distinguished herself in work with residents and community resources.  

The center houses the family self-sufficiency programs and includes resources, such as a computer lab and classes in various life skills, including computer proficiency, nutrition, managing money and home ownership.

It also will offer help in preparing for and finding employment through a partnership with Brevard Workforce.

Other partners include Action Youth Mentoring, Goodwill Industries of Central Florida Inc. and University of Florida-IFAS Extension.

Downward shift in kids going fishing

Every five years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Census Bureau conduct a survey of the nation's anglers, hunters and wildlife enthusiasts.

Recently published results from the 2011 survey show there are less kids fishing in America.

Angling involvement among 16-17 year olds, the youngest ages to participate in the survey, is down almost 15 percent in the last five years.

The survey included interviews with heads of households, who provided data on fishing activities for 6-15 year olds.

Although the Fish and Wildlife Service cautions there is not strong statistical correlation due to variations in data collection methods, the results still suggest a general downward shift since 1995 in the number of kids who go fishing.

 The data shows a disturbing trend. Fishing is up against an ever-increasing array of activities competing for a child's time.

The latest USFWS survey confirms the need for youth fishing programs, like Hook Kids on Fishing. It's also a rallying cry for all of us to do our part to introduce the next generation to the joys of fishing.

Cancer center chosen to pilot breast cancer program

Space Coast Cancer Center was selected to collaborate with the American Society of Clinical Oncology in developing CancerLinQ, a ground breaking information technology initiative that aims to achieve higher quality, higher value cancer care with better outcomes for patients.

Space Coast Cancer Center is one of four cancer centers in the United States, helping ASCO to pilot the breast cancer-specific prototype of the CancerLinQ system.

CancerLinQ is supported by the Cancer Care Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Susan G. Komen "For the Cure," Helsinn Group and Genentech.

Space Coast Cancer Center is the first practice in Florida, and the only cancer center in Brevard County, certified for quality by the ASCO's Quality Oncology Practice Initiative.

For more information regarding Space Coast Cancer Center, call toll-free (800) 894-HOPE (4673) or visit www.spacecoastcancer.com.

Hospice adds three directors

Hospice of Health First has announced the addition of three new associate medical directors to its staff.

Joining the Hospice of Health First team, led by Dr. Ruddy Ruiz, will be Dr. Mario E. Ruberte, Dr. Chris Cobbold and Dr. Govind Sriramineni.

Mario Ruberte, MD, is a board-certified internal medicine and hospice and palliative care medicine physician with Health First Medical Group. He is also associate professor at the University of Central Florida School of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine. He is a graduate of Catholic University of Puerto Rico, the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara Medical School and the Fifth Pathway Program at New York Medical College. His residency was spent at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and he spent one year as a hospitalist at Sentara Health Systems in Virginia Beach.

Chris Cobbold, MD, is a board-certified internal medicine and hospice and palliative care medicine physician with Health First Medical Group. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. His residency was completed in internal medicine at Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio.

Govind Sriramineni, MD, is a board-certified internal medicine physician with Health First Medical Group. He came to Brevard from Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, N.J., where he performed his residency in internal medicine. Before coming to the United States and gaining his citizenship, he worked in India as a primary care physician. He also attended medical school in India at Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College.

For more information, call (321) 952-0494 or visit www.health-first.org/hospice.

Attorney general helps consumers

During the recent Consumer Protection Week, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi encouraged Florida's consumers to know their rights under Florida's motor vehicle "Lemon Law."

The law protects consumers by covering defects or conditions that substantially impair the use, value or safety of a new or demonstrator vehicle.

Florida law provides protection for Floridians, who buy a new or demonstrator vehicle and get stuck with a "lemon."

Consumers must report defects to the manufacturer or its authorized service agent during the first 24 months after the date of delivery of the vehicle. If the manufacturer fails to conform the vehicle to the warranty after a reasonable number of attempts to repair these defects, the law requires the manufacturer to buy back the defective vehicle and give the consumer a purchase price refund or a replacement vehicle.

Florida's "Lemon Law" applies to new or demonstrator vehicles sold or long-term leased in Florida.

Dealers are required by law to give consumers the "Consumer Guide to the Florida Lemon Law."

The publication, published by the Attorney General's office, explains consumer rights, gives steps to follow to resolve problems and contains contact information for the Lemon Law Hotline and a form the consumer can use to notify the manufacturer of the failure to repair chronic defects or time out of service for repairs.

To obtain a "Consumer Guide to the Florida Lemon Law," or to speak with someone about the Lemon Law, consumers can call the Lemon Law Hotline at (800) 321-5366.

Consumers can also visit myfloridalegal.com for more information on Florida's Lemon Law.

Humane Society receives award

The Central Chapter of Keep Brevard Beautiful recently presented the Central Brevard Humane Society with the "We Noticed" Award for its contribution to the beautification of the community at the organization's main location, 1020 Cox Road, in Cocoa.

During the last few years, the Humane Society has made various improvements to the shelter (inside and outside); built the Rainbow Bridge Chapel, that includes a memorial walkway and garden area, along with a "low cost" spay/neuter and wellness clinic; and created Ella's Walk, a beautiful and private walking area for individuals and their pets to come and enjoy a calming and tranquil place, while being surrounded by the natural beauty of Florida.

Keep Brevard Beautiful's "We Noticed" Award is a monthly recognition program for businesses and/or residences that have shown exceptional maintenance or beautification of their property.

Recipients of this award receive a "We Noticed" certificate and a sign to temporarily display on their property.

For more information, contact the Central Brevard Humane Society at (321) 636-3343 or visit www.crittersavers.com.

Republican Women leaders attend event

Members of the Brevard Federated Republican Women recently attended the Florida Federation of Republican Women Conference in Tallahassee.

Those attending were president Beth Young; treasurer Barbara Davis; fourth vice president Terri Nieves; recording secretary Marlene Frye; legislative chair Carol Buchert; chaplain Patti Warner; state committeewoman Carlie Rogers; and Helen Franta, executive secretary to speaker designate Rep. Steve Crisafulli.

The conference featured Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, CFO Jeff Atwater, Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam, as well as Speaker of the House Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz.

Several members also attended the nomination and election of Brevard Rep. Steve Crisafulli as speaker designate.

The Brevard Federated Republican Women are the largest political club in Brevard and welcome all Republicans.

Visit www.brevardfederatedrepublicanwomen.org or phone (321) 727-1212 for meeting times and more details. 

Samsons Island open house


The sun was shining, the breeze refreshing, as Banana River Sail and Power Squadron joined in the Samsons Island Open House in March.

Satellite Beach has one of the more unusual civic recreational areas anywhere - an entire island.

The Banana River Sail and Power Squadron is a partner with the city of Satellite Beach to help maintain, support and promote this very unique recreational area.

The power squadron was one of several organizations to provide an information stand for the public, as they walked and wandered through the maze of pathways, picnic areas and observation points. Visitors could have lessons on kayaking, go birding, see birds maintained and hear informal lectures by the Wildlife Hospital, and learn more about many organizations.

The squadron's booth provided "I promise to wear a PDF" sticker for all the kids; and booklets, boating information, automated radio check information and membership information to all the adults.

Single vessel monofilament waste containers were passed out. A number of the squadron members were on-site to answer questions and discuss the organization.

BRSPS considers civic duties with the city of Satellite Beach, such as this open house and participating in the Founders Day Parade, a privilege.  It hopes to soon expand these activities with new signage at the boat ramps and any number of special activities related to Safe Boating Week.


 'Beyond Breakfast' fundraising event

In March, Club Esteem hosted its inaugural spring fundraising event, "Beyond Breakfast."

This year's keynote speaker was retired National Football League player and Super Bowl Champion, Ricky Watters.

Mr. Watters enjoyed a college national championship with Notre Dame in 1988, then a long and successful 10-year NFL career, which included a Super Bowl Championship with the San Francisco 49ers in 1994.

Executive director Ellena Little reported on the many achievements of the 147 students who currently attend Club Esteem.

Three of Club Esteem's high school students, Kayrol Leslie, Daisha Washington, and Shanaika Grandoit, shared brief testimonials on how Club Esteem has helped to prepare them for college and beyond.

Mr. Watters gave his keynote address, in which he shared about being adopted and growing up in an inner-city neighborhood as a latchkey child. Mr. Watters emphasized to the room of businessmen, women and community supporters, the importance of after-school programming for economically disadvantaged children. He provided all guests with a copy of his book, "For Who, For What: A Warrior's Journey." 

Event sponsors, who donated $1,000 or more, were invited to a private cocktail reception, given by Mr. Watters the evening before the breakfast event. Mr. Watters shared with this intimate group of 30 attendees very personal information about his exciting life and career and provided opportunities for casual photos. Several guests had the opportunity to try on Mr. Watters' national championship and Super Bowl rings.

Beyond Breakfast generated more than $20,000 in revenue from sponsorships and ticket sales for Club Esteem's after school programming.

The Grand Slam sponsor for the event was Tupperware Brands Charitable Foundation.

Other event sponsors included: Scott and Monica Mikuen, Dave and Anne Davis, Craig Technologies, Gelman Hair Restoration, From Above Foundation, Florida Institute of Technology, Winslow Retina and Vision Center, Miller and Hurt Financial Group, Brett and Cindy Schuster, and Jim and Mary Clamons.

In kind, donations were provided by: CK Communications, Liz Cowie Photography, Coalter Digital, Brevard Business News, and WFIT 89.5 FM.

The event was held at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place.

For more information about Club Esteem, visit www.clubesteem.com.

Club Esteem is busy preparing for its next fundraising event, "Rock the Casbah," which will be held Sept. 28.

New chairman, officers at commission

Joseph R. Morgan, former mayor of Cocoa Beach, has been re-elected chairman of the Brevard County Historical Commission.

Also elected were Bob Swenson, first vice chairman; and Roz Foster, second vice chairman.

Dan Reiter was also appointed tot he Historical Commission by County Commissioner Chuck Nelson.

For more information, call (321) 205-6065.

Local doctor to present research

Cardiovascular specialist Khalid Sheikh, MD, with Health First Medical Group, has been invited to present his research at the 2013 International Cardiology Symposium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The symposium will be held May 16-18 and will include speakers from all over the world.

Dr. Sheikh will present on "A personalized care approach is superior to usual care for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease events in a managed care environment."

The event will cover topics on diabetes, coronary artery diseases, interventions, heart failure and hypertension. It will highlight all areas of cardiology and will focus on everyday clinical practice.

Dr. Sheikh is board certified in echocardiography from the National Board of Echocardiography.

Dr. Sheikh's special focuses include invasive cardiology, consultative cardiology, echocardiography adult congenital heart disease, preventative cardiology and clinical research trials.

Visit www.health-first.org for more information.

The next generation of conservative leaders

Former United States Congressman and retired Lt. Col. Allen West has announced the launch of The Allen West Foundation, a Section 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization with the mission of educating and inspiring the next generation of conservative leaders within the minority and veteran communities nationwide.

Both minorities and veterans are under-represented in elected office at both the state and federal levels, and the foundation seeks to educate and motivate members of these groups to increase the civic participation and representation in government.

The Allen West Foundation will:

Host issue-based forums designed to educate participants on important public policy matters and encourage greater civic engagement.

Conduct educational seminars and provide other resources for those considering becoming more engaged in their communities or running for public office.

Advocate on behalf of minorities and veterans on critical issues facing their communities.

For more information about The Allen West Foundation, visit www.allenwestfoundation.org.

College receives honor roll admission

Brevard Community College was recently admitted to the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its community service-learning approach.

This annual honor highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes in the communities they serve.

A total of 690 higher education institutions were named to this year's honor roll. Combined, the honor roll awardees engaged 3.1 million students in community service, for a total of 118 million service hours. That's $2.5 billion in value to communities across the country.

NOW member receives legacy award

Stetson Law School bestowed a legacy award to Catherine Stanton at its first annual Women of Achievement Gala, held in March.

The gala was sponsored by the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, National Organization for Women Affiliate, American Bar Association and The Florida Bar YLD Law Student Division.

Ms. Stanton was one of four honorees presented with awards.

Ms. Stanton is the great, great-granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, one of the original pillars of the women's movement.

Ms. Stanton was the keynote speaker. Appearing in costume as "Elizabeth," she detailed what life was like in the 1800s, and how she formed friendships with Lucretia Mott and Susan B. Anthony and lit the flame of women's suffrage, leading to women's equality and the 19th Amendment.

Ms. Stanton, a long-time member of the Brevard National Organization for Women, was joined by fellow NOW members: Laura Fausone, president; Terry Sanders, legislative director for Brevard and Florida NOW; and Kathy Shaffer, member of the State Attorney's Domestic Violence task force, as well as Palm Bay Victims' Advocate.

Wendy Piesco, also a Brevard NOW member and a senior at Stetson Law School, presented the award to Ms. Stanton.

Ms. Piesco is also the Secretary for the newly formed NOW Chapter at Stetson Law School.

For more information, visit www.brevardnow.org or call (321) 720-3520.

What is Florida CAN?

The Florida Cannabis Action Network is a statewide group, headquartered in Melbourne.

FLCAN has spent more than a decade affirming the value of the cannabis plant on health, economy and environment.

CAN members are concerned citizens using proven political tactics to implement sensible cannabis policies in their communities, around the state and at the federal level.

The purpose of FL CAN is to generate public support for sensible cannabis policies and to assist in the implementation thereof; to provide a forum for the public to speak out on the issue of national social concern; to educate the public regarding the consequences of cannabis prohibition; and to raise funds to promote these civic purposes.

For more information, contact FLCAN at Florida Cannabis Action Network, P.O. Bow 36053, Melbourne, FL, 32936.

Middle school named a national demonstration school

Stone Middle School has been named an Advancement Via Individual Determination National Demonstration School by the AVID Center in San Diego.

Stone becomes only the sixth school in Florida, out of more than 400 AVID schools, to receive this honor.

They join Kennedy Middle School and Eau Gallie High School as the third Brevard County School to earn this prestigious title.

The visiting team was led by Bob Saunders, AVID director of national demonstration schools. Also on the visiting team were Gloria Cox, North and South Carolina State director; Cathy Simmons, Florida/Georgia state director; Kelly Zulueta; Florida/Georgia program manager; and Bob McLaren, Brevard District director.

Statements from the team praised Stone for being an established AVID school with a culture of trust embodied by reciprocal learning, nurturing and leadership among faculty, students, and community.

The group also recognized Stone for having "a lot of heart and sense of community," and an "urgency to learn," as well as bringing the AVID College Readiness System to life thru rigor and high expectations school-wide.

The AVID program is dedicated to closing the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. AVID operates in 47 states and 15 foreign countries at 4891 schools.

For more information about AVID in Brevard Public Schools, contact Bob McLaren at (321) 633-1000, Ext. 364.


Viera East Ladies 9-Hole Golf 'Shamrock' Invitational


Mary Ann Ollier and her committee recently arranged the "Shamrock Invitational" tournament for 70 participants, with the assistance of the Pro Shop and Mulligan's Grill.

First-place 2-Best Ball team winners were the team of Vivian Kise and Mary King of Viera East Golf and Patty Armor of Barefoot Bay Golf and Sally Lowers of the Majors Golf.

A luncheon prepared and served by Mulligan's Grill staff, Kim and Melissa, followed at the Residence Club.

Entertainment was provided by the VE "Singing Golfers," with Sue Buttner at the piano. They received a standing ovation from the elated lady golfers.

Thank you very much.

Local students intend to enroll at Florida Tech

The following local students have announced their intent to begin studies at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne in fall 2012: Rashad Abdulla of Melbourne - physics; Salman Alenzi of Melbourne - biomedical engineering; Turki Alhaeedhal of Palm Bay - information systems; Mohammed Alkhateri of West Melbourne - environmental science; Musalam Almazrouei of Melbourne - chemical engineering; Badur Alshukaili of Melbourne - chemical engineering; Isabella Campanini of Satellite Beach - forensic psychology: Kaitlyn Crook of West Melbourne - civil engineering; Curtis Earl of Palm Bay - applied math; Daltyn Earl of Palm Bay - biomedical engineering: David Elliott of Rockledge - electrical engineering; Balder Fagerlund of Ormond Beach - mechanical engineering; Max Fischer of Merritt Island - general engineering; Amanda Irizarry of Palm Bay - interdisciplinary science; Joachim Jones of Palm Bay - software engineering; Thomas Kearns of Melbourne Beach - space sciences; Alexander Kolobov of Melbourne Beach - business administration; Connor Kroop of Satellite Beach - interdisciplinary science; Savannah Kroop of Satellite Beach - mathematics education; Christian Kurian of Palm Bay - premedical physics; Kiel Lamb of Rockledge - mechanical engineering; Eric Larochelle of West Melbourne - computer science; Lauren Lide of Palm Bay - premedical biological science; George Lopez of Melbourne - aeronautical science, flight; Luke Lorah of Melbourne - international business; Ciera Misner of Malabar - general studies; Sky Morrison of Indian Harbour Beach - communication; Nick Namba of Melbourne Beach - computer science; Draven Owens of Melbourne - biomedical engineering; Aria Patterson of Indian Harbour Beach - general studies; Karlyn Prisco of Rockledge - general studies; Daniel Rassoul of - premedical biological science; Adam Rosenfield of Melbourne - business administration; Alexander Rumsey of Melbourne - business administration; Zachary Taylor of Melbourne - psychology; Cameron Vance of Palm Bay - computer science; Ember-Leigh Wells of West Melbourne - premedical biological science; and Joy Wilkinson of Melbourne - business administration.

Florida Tech is the only independent, technological university in the Southeast.

The university has been named a "Barron's Guide" "Best Buy" in College Education, designated a Tier One Best National University in "U.S. News & World Report," and is one of just nine schools in Florida lauded by the "2012 Fiske Guide to Colleges."

The university offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs.

Fields of study include science, engineering, aeronautics, business, humanities, mathematics, psychology, communication and education.

Additional information is available online at www.fit.edu.

For more information contact Karen Rhine at (321) 674-8964 or email krhine@fit.edu.

Idea results in donations for a good cause

An idea cooked up by two retired military wives has culminated in $6,702 in donations for the Veteran's Transitional Facility in Melbourne, which provides housing for homeless veterans.

Nancy Carroll and Judi Bickmore of Indian River Colony Club in Viera, produced and printed the $11 "Simply Soup" cookbook, with sponsorship by the Indian River Chapel Foundation and recipes by IRCC Sous Chef, Kathy Green.

In March, the pair presented checks from the cookbook sales and a recent golf tournament to Audra Leary, director for the Melbourne facility that has housed 40 veterans and family members so far this year.

The goal of the Veteran's Transitional Facility, which is affiliated with Vietnam & All Veterans of Brevard, is to transition homeless veterans, some with families, into a stable housing situation.

The Veteran's Transitional Facility is at 700 E. Fee Ave., Melbourne.

The phone number is (321) 409-8167.

IRCC is a fully maintained and gated golf course community of nearly 800 homes on 453 acres in Viera.

More information about Indian River Colony Club is available at www.IndianRiverColonyClub.com or by calling (877) 298-8124.

Improving student's reading skills

The Brevard Federation of Teachers recently sponsored a 32-hour class, called "Beginning Reading Instruction."

It is a research-based program that addresses specific research concepts and teaching strategies that impact reading.

The course began in January and concluded in March at the federation office.

Teachers attended on Wednesday evenings after school in order to obtain research-based information that will help them improve their students' reading skills. They chose five research concepts they have learned, implemented them in their classrooms, and submitted reports on how the strategies worked.

The instructor was Tina Newman.

For more information, call the BFT office on Florida Avenue in Rockledge, at (321) 636-3323.

Society has new doctor

The Central Brevard Humane Society has announced that Zenaida A. Agrait, D.V.M. has joined the organization as one of its veterinarians at its "Low Cost" Spay/Neuter & Wellness Clinic, located at 1020 Cox Road, in Cocoa.

Her duties will include wellness checks on Wednesdays and Fridays and performing spay/neuter surgeries on Thursdays at the clinic.

Dr. Agrait is originally from Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, and speaks both English and Spanish fluently.

She obtained a Bachelor of Science in biology and chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez campus, and received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Agrait relocated to Central Florida, where she has been serving as a relief veterinarian for the past 15 years at various clinics.  She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and World Vets.

Outside of work, she enjoys outdoor activities, traveling, reading and spending time with family, friends and her rescued cat, Adipo II.

For more information about the Central Brevard Humane Society, call (321) 636-3343 or visit www.crittersavers.com.

Brevard recycles

Brevard County has reached a goal of 45 percent recycling, a milestone achieved one year early and one that puts Brevard County in a second-place tie among Florida county's with the highest recycling rates.

According to the latest recycling data from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, 23 counties reported a 30 percent or higher recycling rate, and Florida has maintained at least a 30 percent recycling rate for two consecutive years. Brevard County is among nine counties with a recycling rate of 40 percent or higher.

The more that is recycled means less waste generated and lower operating costs for waste management.

Residents have motivation to recycle because it allows for reuse of household products and also cuts down on the amount and cost of waste sent to local landfills.

Residents are encouraged to recycle at home and find out what recycling efforts are under way at their local schools, their workplace and their community groups.

In 2008, the Florida Legislature established a new statewide recycling goal of 75 percent to be achieved by 2020.

To see the complete Solid Waste Management Report, visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/recycling/SWreportdata/11_data.ht.

For more information about the Florida DEP Recycling Recognition Program, visit http://www.dep.state.fl.uswaste/categories/recycling/pages/recognition.htm

Health First's ball

The Health First's 31st Annual Benefit Ball festivities kicked off with a special sponsor party held March 21 at the Indialantic waterfront home of Dr. Steven and Valerie Karas.

More than 200 of the area's most generous and philanthropic people were in attendance, and enjoyed a beautiful Florida sunset, as they heard compelling stories and updates from executives, physicians and ball volunteers about the need for hospice services in the community.

For more information, call the Health First Foundation at (321) 434-7353 or log on to Health-First.org/Foundation.

Association has new leadership

The Space Coast Association has installed new leadership for its 1,400-member association.

Realtor Jesse Parrish III of Pruitt Real Estate was installed as the association's 2013 president.

Also installed were:  president-elect Mitch Ribak; secretary Melissa Goldman, treasurer Lynn Jones and the following directors:  Lisa Durgin, Bill Thomas, Dan Barber, Lynnette Hendricks, Steve Romano, Kaz Cisowski and Bill Kehoe.

The Space Coast Association of Realtors is a professional trade association, representing more than 1,400 Realtors and businesses.

New port authority board members announced

Cocoa Beach resident Tom Weinberg will serve as chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners for 2013.

The former chief of staff for former Florida Sen. Mel Martinez was elected unanimously to the position during the first meeting of the year for the board.

Also elected were Titusville attorney Jerry Allender as vice chairman and Cocoa citrus grower Frank Sullivan as secretary/treasurer.

Titusville attorney John H. Evans begins his first term on the board.

Also serving will be Merritt Island auto dealership owner Bruce Deardoff, the immediate past chairman of the board.

For more information, visit www.portcanaveral.com.

New vice president of managed care

Jeff Sterling has joined Health First as the vice president of managed care, reporting to Joe Felkner, chief financial officer for Health First.

In this newly created role, Mr. Sterling will direct and oversee the entire managed care function of the four Health First hospitals and the Health First Medical Group.

Mr. Sterling most recently served as regional director of Managed Care for Universal Health Services, a national, for-profit hospital system based in Pennsylvania. In that role, he was responsible for the Managed Care strategy for the UHS hospitals, physicians, and ancillaries in the Florida and South Carolina markets.

Mr. Sterling has 20 years of experience in the managed healthcare industry, with his experience equally split between hospital and health plan responsibilities.

He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Central Florida.

Mr. Sterling and his wife, Tamara, have relocated to Brevard from Orlando.  

New director at animal services

Karla Torpy, formerly with the Melbourne law firm of Moletteire & Torpy, is the new director of Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement and recently received unanimous confirmation from the Brevard County Board of Commissioners.

Ms. Torpy, who spent 18 years practicing law in Brevard County, calls her new role an "essential mission to promote responsible pet ownership by promoting and protecting the health, safety and welfare of residents and animals in Brevard County."

Assistant department director Kathy Beatson served as the interim director of Animal Services and Enforcement since July 2011.

New vice president at Aging Matters

Aging Matters in Brevard has announced that Jeanne Hakkila-Wills has been appointed vice president of mission advancement.

She comes with a broad background, having spent eight years in advancement services at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy, where she was instrumental in the design and implementation of its network and in raising capital to expand the program's second campus.

A former Harris program manager, her background includes broad-based experience in all phases of telecommunications and network operations.

She has a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering with a minor in mathematics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Established in 1965, Aging Matters in Brevard is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization recognized by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and the Area Agency on Aging as the Lead Agency for senior services in Brevard County.

Aging Matters in Brevard services are funded by federal, state and local grants (eligibility requirements may apply). Private pay services are also available.

Aging Matters in Brevard offers a wide variety of services to enable seniors to live safely and independently in their own homes.

For more information, call (321) 806-3767 or email jhakkila@agingmattersbrevard.org.

- For Hometown News

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