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Palm Coast Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 4 years ago

Biz Buzz: Youth Leadership Flagler tours FHF for National Healthcare Industry Month

Also in the Observer: Operation Changing Lives collected toys for 8,000 kids; West Marine coming to Palm Coast; City launches Virtual Citizen's Academy; Students learn about racing, NASCAR in relation to science curriculum; Awards and recognition.
by: Ray Boone Contributing Writer

In honor of National Healthcare Industry Month, Youth Leadership Flagler toured Florida Hospital Flagler on Nov. 1, according to a news release.

The tour included a lunch, followed by one-on-one interactions with various departments and staff members.

High school students enrolled in Youth Leadership Flagler toured Florida Hospital Flagler and met with general surgeon Dr. Steven Bower to learn about different types of surgery. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Cashio

The Youth Leadership Flagler program is made up of 15 students from Flagler Palm Coast and Matanzas High Schools and helps students have a better understanding of career opportunities in the area.

“It’s great to see them realize that it isn't just doctors and nurses who keep Florida Hospital Flagler running; there are careers in engineering, in IT, and education, just to name a few,” said John Birney, Youth Leadership Flagler committee chair, in a release. “We have quite a few students in this year's class who are interested in the healthcare field, and I can tell they got a lot out of the experience. The staff members were very knowledgeable in their fields and were happy to answer the many questions the students had.”

Operation Changing Lives collected toys for 8,000 kids

The Operation Changing Lives toy drive is setting out to help 8,000 kids in Flagler and Volusia counties, according to a release.

Ten years ago, the staff at Florida Oral and Facial Surgical Associates started an initiative to help low income families who couldn’t afford Christmas gifts for their children. This year, staff members partnered with guidance counselors from more than 10 schools in the Daytona Beach and Port Orange areas.

They were able to provide toys to 4,000 elementary children in Flagler and Volusia counties in 2016.

Operation Changing Lives is collecting toys until Dec. 4. Families can drop off toys at either the Daytona Beach office, located at 594 Health Boulevard, or the Palm Coast office, located at 21 Hospital Drive, Suite 180.

In addition, toys will also be collected during the Operation Changing Lives’ eighth-annual 5K run on Nov. 18 at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse.

“This annual toy drive is truly a community event,” said Cherise Wintz, director of Operation Changing Lives, in a release. “Seeing so many families and schools come together to positively impact kids in our area is nothing short of inspiring.”

West Marine coming to Palm Coast

West Marine — a company based in Watsonville, California that operates a chain of boating supply and fishing retail stores — is coming to Palm Coast.

West Marine was recently issued a $445,000 commercial permit by the city for interior renovations at 250 Palm Coast Parkway NE, Unit 505. Fulcrum Construction will take over the project, which is expected to be completed in February 2018, according to West Marine Media Contact Margo Donohue.

West Marine chose Palm Coast as its next location because of the city’s “rapid growth, its proximity to marinas and the abundance of boats parked at private residences,” Donohue wrote in an email to the Observer.

The new store will feature thousands of products and is designed to appeal to the local fishing, sailing, paddlesports and cruising communities.

“Some of West Marine’s most visited stores are located in Florida,” Donohue wrote. “And we’re thrilled to add Palm Coast to that list.”

City launches Virtual Citizen's Academy to help residents learn about local government

The city of Palm Coast announced the launch of the Virtual Citizen’s Academy, according to a news release. The academy will give citizens opportunities to learn more about city government from their own computers, tablets or smart phones.

The Virtual Citizen's Academy's 42nd graduating class. Photo courtesy of Cindi Lane

The program’s modules, which will explain the role and function of each department, include an introduction from Palm Coast Mayor Milissa Holland, an overview of the city government and sections about each of the city's nine departments: administrative services and economic development, community development, finance, fire, human resources, information technology, parks and recreation, public works and utility.

The most recent Citizen’s Academy was completed in October with 23 graduates. It was the 42nd graduating class in the program’s history.

“As one of the first graduates of the Citizen’s Academy of Palm Coast, it was such a value added to my life,” Holland said in a release. “I felt a sense of pride even greater than I did going into it, and you get to know every single part of your city.”

The Virtual Citizen’s Academy is available online here.

Students learn about racing, NASCAR in relation to science curriculum

Anna Donaldson, the assistant director of sports marketing at Florida Hospital, visited Indian Trails Middle School on Nov. 3, where she spoke to several hundred students about the connection between automobile racing and NASCAR to the students’ current science curriculum, according to a news release.

Students at Indian Trails Middle School in Palm Coast experienced a Formula 1 race car. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Cashio

Donaldson discussed aerodynamics and the science of speed with the students and also shared how racing has evolved.

“It is much more specialized and there are more entry points for various job opportunities for those interested in working in the industry. There are also more women working in the sport, and I am an example of that,” Donaldson said in a release. “The decisions you make now will set you up for what’s to come.”

City receives two awards for financial reporting

The city of Palm Coast received two recognitions in finance for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2016, from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada, according to a news release.

Palm Coast was presented with the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting — the highest honor in governmental accounting and financial reporting — and an award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting.


  • JBirney Financial apprentice John T. Birney Jr. passed the examination for Florida Health and Life, including annuities and variable contracts, and is now licensed with the Florida Department of Financial Services, according to a news release. Birney Jr. joined the company in 2014.
  • Cornelia Downing Manfre, a broker associate at Watson Realty Corp.’s Hammock office, was awarded the Certified Commercial Investment Member designation by the CCIM Institute, according to a news release. Manfre was among more than 166 designees honored by the institute.
  • Stylists Sara Dane and Melissa Woodburn joined the team at Salon Revive, owned by Shannon Register, according to a news release. Dane started her work in cosmetology at the age of 16, and Woodburn made the jump to cosmetology from banking nearly four years ago.

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