Categorized | Publisher's Letter

Ambassadors of prosperity

Admittedly, I don’t have much involvement with the travel and tourism business in North Florida; however, when I had some friends and relatives visit for the holiday, I had this unexplained drive to make sure they had a good time and will come back soon.

In my own way, I was a tour guide, historian, and cheerleader for the area that I live in and operate a business and it made me wonder how many other residents were also entertaining their family and friends. Were they impressed? Will they be back? We sure hope so.

Jacksonville has always had what some describe as an “inferiority complex.” While that probably means different things to different people, I do know that we collectively have not done a great job of telling “our” story. We have natural resources in a river, a bustling downtown, a major port and multiple major interstates running right through the “Bold new city of the South” or is it “Where Florida begins” or perhaps it’s the “First Coast” or “River City”—See what I mean?

Regardless of the catchy slogan the issue runs much deeper—and for no good reason. Our cost of living is low by comparison, the sun shines most days and some wonderful things are happening in our community. But it has to start with all of us; the Mayor and Chamber of Commerce cannot do it alone.

Regardless of your occupation, we all live here and as they say, with a rising tide, all boats rise. Love your city, people!

We had the honor of partnering with the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce this month to announce the overall winner of the Small Business Leader of the Year. While only one can win, all of the nominees are well deserving of the title.

•Tara Yvette Forrest, Florida Imageworks and Promotions

•Dr. Joanna Frantz, In Motion Physical Therapy

•Ann Freeman, River City Security Services, Inc.

•Sandy Knowles, Coordinated Benefits Group

•Jennifer Marko, Bottle Snugglers

•Diana Otwell, Spectrum Signs and Graphics

•Chad Perce, iMethods, LLC

•Sandy Polletta, Edgewood Bakery

•Ann Sabbag, Health Designs

•Kirsten Schneider, Dinners Direct

•Jepp Walter, Marlin Technology

Space prohibits me for telling you more about them here, but you can learn more at:

With this great recognition also comes great responsibility. I know all of these people will certainly be ambassadors for North Florida led by the overall winner Chad Perce. These people are among the best and brightest our area has and we are lucky to have them. I know they are already talking up Jacksonville. Are you?

The movement has already begun. Be sure to check out #ilovejax on twitter to see what I mean.

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