Business Briefs // Fourth Quarter 2015

Business Briefs // Fourth Quarter 2015


Kevco Builders on INC. Magazine’s 34th Annual List of America’s Fastest-Growing Companies – The Inc. 5000

EUSTIS // Kevco Builders, Central Florida’s most award-winning custom home builder and remodeler, was ranked no. 1908 on the 2015 Inc. 5000 34th annual list of fastest growing companies. It marks Kevco’s inaugural appearance on the list. According to Inc.’s ranking, Kevco’s three-year growth rate of 207% outpaced the average 143% growth rate of the construction category as a whole.

Also noteworthy, of the 5000 companies named, 336 were Florida-based companies, ranking Florida fourth among states with companies on the list.

City of Tavares names new Economic Development Director  

TAVARES // Bob Tweedie was named the new economic development director for the City of Taveres.

Bob Tweedie lake business magazine“I have followed the evolution of America’s Seaplane City very closely and with great interest,” said Tweedie, a seaplane pilot who plans to utilize his experience and expertise to further develop the new identity of the city of Tavares. “There are tremendous opportunities to grow the brand that has been established here,” he said. Those opportunities include expanding seaplane manufacturing.

Over the years he served in various upper management positions, including the supervisor at the Immokalee Airport, and then District Manager of the Marco Island Executive Airport and Everglades Airpark. He has done economic development work throughout that time, leading to his work with the Collier County Economic Development Council. Highlights there included the establishment of an Enterprise Zone, Trade Zone, and Industrial Park at the Immokalee Airport.

Lake County completes bond refinancing

TAVARES // Lake County recently completed the third and final phase of a series of refinancing deals that allowed the county to lower its debt service and save taxpayer money.

With a strong demand for bonds from investors, and offers from Raymond James and Citigroup to underwrite unsold balances, the county achieved $2.29 million in net present value debt service savings, or 4.8 percent of refunded bonds par through the issuance of its Capital Improvement Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2015B.

In June, the Lake County Board of County Commissioners signed the first part of its paperwork to refinance its bond debt, which resulted in an estimated savings of $4 million to the county over the next 10 years. The first and second phase included a $20.95 million Direct Placement Bank Loan with Citizens First Bank of Leesburg, a locally-owned and operated financial institution. This bank loan refunded the outstanding Limited General Obligation Bonds that were issued in 2007 and generated net present value debt service savings of $1.75 million or 9.01 percent of the refunded bonds par amount. The county simultaneously closed on a $25.8 million Capital Improvement Revenue Refunding Bond, Series 2015A with Jacksonville-based Regions Bank, which resulted in net present value savings of nearly $2.2 million, or 9.2 percent of the refunded bonds per amount. In total, the county achieved over $6.2 million of net present value debt service savings by proactively taking advantage of the favorable market conditions.

As part of the refinancing plan, Lake County announced in July it received positive reports from two nationally recognized statistical rating organizations. Moody’s Investors Service assigned an Aa3 rating to Lake County’s Capital Improvement Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series 2015B. Fitch Ratings assigned an AA-rating to Lake County’s Capital Improvement Bonds and revised its outlook from negative to stable.

U.S. Chamber recognizes Congressman Daniel Webster among 250 Members of Congress for Pro-Business Votes  

US. Chamber of Commerce lake business magazineWASHINGTON, D.C. // The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released its How They Voted scorecard and also honored 208 members of the House of Representatives and 40 members of the Senate with its annual Spirit of Enterprise Award, given in recognition of their support of pro-growth, pro-jobs policies during the second session of the 113th Congress.

“For 50 years, through our How They Voted scorecard, the U.S. Chamber has been recognizing legislators from both sides of the aisle who have worked to pass legislation and enact policies that bolster our country’s economy, create jobs and keep our nation’s spirit of enterprise alive,” U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said.

Congressman Daniel Webster score for the second session of the 113th Congress (2014) was 79 percent, based on 14 votes, and his cumulative for his tenure in congress is an 87 percent.

Northeast Lake County Business Opportunity Center Relocates 

MOUNT DORA // The Northeast Lake County Business Opportunity Center (BOC) in Eustis, managed by Lake-Sumter State College, and home to the Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at UCF in Lake County, has relocated to Century Plaza, 17521 U.S. Highway 441, Suite 6, in Mount Dora. Hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The office will be managed by Stan Austin, area manager at FSBDC at UCF.

“Services offered at our BOC facilities are free to Lake County residents and include assistance for entrepreneurs, from starting up to going through the growing pains of becoming a stage 2 company,” said Adam Sumner, Lake County Economic Development & Tourism manager.

Training, seminars and one-on-one consulting are offered at each of three centers conveniently located throughout the county at the following locations.

Northeast Lake County

17521 U.S. Highway 441
Mount Dora

South Lake County
20763 U.S. Highway 27
Phone: 352.429.2581

Northwest Lake County
600 Market St.
Phone: 352.315.1846

IMG Enterprises announces launch of a new grounds maintenance company expected to create over 100 jobs in the next five years.

GROVELAND // IMG Enterprises, a diversified agri-business, announced the launch of their latest venture and a plan to create over 100 jobs with a new full service grounds maintenance company. IMG Enterprises is the parent company of several successful Lake County businesses, including Cherry Lake Tree Farm, one of the largest wholesale producers of ornamental trees, palms, and shrubs in the Southeast United States and LegacyScapes, one of fastest growing landscape contracting companies in the nation, and a trusted leader in the Central Florida market.

The timing of this new venture coincides with strong economic growth in the region. “We are very bullish on the local economy and the potential for new business opportunity in the South Lake county region” says Timothee Sallin president of Cherry Lake Tree Farm and LegacyScapes. “There is a lot of growth happening here locally and we believe we can build this new company around local clients and local employees.”

Over the next five years the company expects to create over 100 jobs including 15 management level positions.  These jobs will range from gardeners to team leaders, account managers, operation managers, sales professionals, irrigation and horticulture technicians and mechanics.

To help build this new company, IMG Enterprises has hired Wyatt Cartwright as Director of Grounds Maintenance. Wyatt is a Clermont resident with over 15 years’ experience in the industry.

FNBMD’s Trust Department’s Executive Management Realigns

John D. Pease lake business magazineMOUNT DORA // The Board of Directors of The First National Bank of Mount Dora is pleased to announce the promotion of John D. Pease IV to Executive Vice President and Trust Officer, of the Trust and Investment Department, following the retirement of C. Edward Brooks III, who will be taking on the role of Senior Trust Advisor.

Of his duties as Exec VP, Pease says, “My principal goal is to continue our history of providing clients with outstanding investment management and estate planning expertise. Our team of advisors has a special commitment to honoring our tradition of quality and client satisfaction. That will never change.”

Two Sumter County Businesses Included among 2015 Florida Companies to Watch Economic Impact of 50 Second-Stage Companies

Among the 50 businesses selected on the 2015 Florida Companies to Watch were two from Sumter County: Highway Systems Inc. and The Villages Insurance. Nearby Auto Customs LLC in Marion County also made the list.

From 2011 through 2014, the selected 50 Florida companies generated more than $1.2 billion in revenue and added 996 employees, reflecting a 140 percent increase in revenue and 97 percent increase in jobs for the four-year period. That translates into a 24 percent annual revenue growth and 19 percent annual growth in employees.

These companies project continued growth in 2015, with a 23 percent revenue increase and 19 percent growth in employees compared to 2014. If their projections hold, these companies will have generated $1.8 billion in revenue and added 1,371 employees over the last five years — a 196 percent increase in revenue and 134 percent increase in jobs since 2011.

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