Monday, August 24, 2015

Fundraising Expert Jane Jordan Presenting at UNF Nonprofit Conference Sept. 18th!

When it comes to asking for donations, most of us get nervous. Not Jane Jordan! She has been working with nonprofits to effectively fund raise and has trained hundreds of SBDC nonprofit clients how to master the craft. Here is a preview of what she will be presenting at our 5th Annual UNF Nonprofit Management Conference on September 18th:
Preparing For and Making the Ask. . .
As a prospective donor, how would YOU like to be cultivated and solicited for a gift? What is most important to YOU in that process? In this workshop, we’ll talk about the “rights” of a successful solicitation, the steps leading to the“ask”, and why we get NO for an answer.
Jane Jordan, founding principal of PartnersWithNonprofits.Org, has extensive experience in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, providing her with a unique perspective on the process of asking for and receiving charitable contributions.
Jane has been providing fund development, capital campaign, board and organization development, strategic planning and executive search consulting services to nonprofit organizations for 22 years.
Before establishing PartnersWithNonprofits.Org, as Vice President of Baptist Medical Center Foundation in Jacksonville, FL, Jane directed the organization through critical years of strategic growth and development.
Prior to that, she served as Vice President, Community Affairs for Barnett Bank of Jacksonville (now Bank of America), over a ten-year period developing the bank’s charitable giving and community outreach programs to the point where Barnett Bank of Jacksonville and its leadership received national recognition for its community initiatives and charitable giving.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Linda Davis O'Connell Will Help You Rewire Your Leadership Skills at Our 9/18 Nonprofit Conference!

We are very happy to have  Linda Davis O'Connell facilitating an intriguing breakout session at our 5th Annual UNF Nonprofit Management Conference. Here is a preview of what she will present on the topic of leadership:

What’s Out? The Employee. What’s In? The Intrapreneur!
And this important, new trend is here to stay. With leaders and professionals already working harder, it’s an organization’s ability to work “smarter” that makes a BIG difference in working with limited resources. Second nature to the entrepreneur, innovation and ownership are now critical competencies insideorganizations. Today’s effective leaders must take on a new mindset, one that moves past sluggish bureaucracy to a more empowered, innovative and positively energizing entrepreneurial culture.

It all starts with you. In this jam-packed session you will learn to think more intrepreneurally by making new mental connections and by learning to apply the creative energy and perspective of an entrepreneur to your job. With these new insights you can infuse staff development initiatives with cool, game changing and practical concepts that address critical organizational problems such as engagement, talent retention, morale and productivity.

You will leave this session prepared to:

  • Rewire how you think about your role as a leader
  • Infuse your thoughts and actions with intreprenrual spirit and thinking
  • Take powerful bold actions that exponentially increase your value to the organization
  • Build your own development initiatives that teach everyone to become intrepreneurs
Linda Davis O’Connell is the owner of Learnologie, a company providing learning and development solutions to improve the effectiveness, productivity, engagement and job satisfaction of leaders and professionals. She has her Masters in Human Resources Management along with 25 years in the trenches serving in IT and Financial Services organizations as Recruiting Manager, Human Resources Manager and Director of Learning and Development.  She is known for her groundbreaking and acutely relevant programs that address the unprecedented challenges of the 21st century workplace.  Linda is an international conference presenter and a frequent professional association speaker, engaging her audience with energy, storytelling and humor. 

Click here to register for the September 18th UNF Nonprofit Management Conference.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Our Client Ship2Shore Opens in Southside!

Our latest client is no stranger to the restaurant business. We were very pleased to officiate at the grand opening of Ship2Shore on the Southside!  We also got owner George Farah alone for a few minutes and ask a few questions...

What made you go into the business of feeding people?

Being a first generation American of Arabic descent, there has never been a time when hunger was an issue. In that culture, celebrations always included food; wedding, food, christenings, food death, mercy meal. To be Arab meant you feed your guests, family, friends; all the time. Other than 12 years in the auto industry, my career has always involved food: Pita Bakery owner, retail imported/ethnic food store, wholesale institutional sales to food establishments, grocery distributors sales/purchasing.

I also operated a small deli in Jacksonville (mid 80’s), my biggest failure leaving lessons learned.

What makes your restaurant different?

We don’t say no when customers have a special request;( i.e. if they want gator tail and chicken tenders as their “half and half” entrée, we will make it happen). Appetizers are cut and breaded, e.g. fried green tomatoes and fried squash

Ship 2 Shore Seafood and Steaks takes pride in serving the freshest possible products. We cook all meals to order. We buy only the highest quality products and prepare them with our own blend of seasonings. We are not just another “fry house”. We offer a variety of finfish, shell fish and cephalopods. Our customers are free to choose how they want their entrée prepared (grilled, fried, baked, broiled, blackened or steamed).We go the extra step to make the dining experience easy and pleasant. The customer comes first.

How do you determine what will be on your menu?

The restaurant, Ship2Shore Seafood and Steaks is a franchise. So, the basic menu was set for us. However, we are given some autonomy to offer occasional specials or LTO’s. My plan for this newest location, is to offer fresh seafood and to use seasonal offerings (think Louisiana Crawfish season) to peak interest. . So in addition to the S2S menu, various specials will be available.

 What advice would you give to someone thinking of opening a restaurant?

First of all, have faith in God or any other being you may trust. Believe in yourself. Then, write out a business plan. Seek advice from a trusted successful owner and/or small business professionals. Know your plan and work it. Customers matter. The won’t care about you or your place until you show that you care about them. Identify what you are and deviate only if the conditions demand change. Hire good people and trust them to do their job. But always verify the job is done. Treat every member of your staff with respect. And your customers as if they are the only one you’ll have all day. Finally, quality first, and location….

What part of running Ship2Shore do you enjoy the most?

Welcoming my guests and seeing the smiles when all is going as planned. I love people and look forward to seeing them happy enough to come back again and again.

 It makes my day and nights…

Ph. 904-998-8120

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Our SBDC Interview With Lequita Brooks, LCN Enterprises

Tell us about your business:
LCN Enterprise, LLC is a human capital management consulting firm that incorporates education and career coaching to improve the workforce. We invest in individuals to have fulfilling lives by helping them accomplish their career goals. To us a fulfilling career contributes to one’s overall happiness in life. We offer services that align with our Vision in corporate settings, schools, and in the community. We implement a holistic approach to services rendered with every client served. All of our programs; i.e. D.R.E.A.M. B.I.G. Seminars©, Career Planning Workshops, Employee Morale Workshops, Employee Morale Themed Programs, and Career Counseling Concierge Services are customized to specifically address the concerns of every client individually. Beyond customizing our programs, we implement a unique approach to service delivery by using a variety of works of Art. We implement Poetry Therapy strategies to offer a fun-relaxed environment using Poems, Quotes, Stories, Video Clips, Screen Plays, and Song Lyrics to start the discussion, further engage our clients, and the works of art can also be used as a tool to provide ongoing motivation to change.

Why did I start this business:
As the founder of the company, there was a need for customized ongoing intensive career planning initiatives in High Schools. From personal experiences the lack of career planning in high schools can negatively impact our society and cause unnecessary stress to young Adults while they are trying to figure out who they are and what they want to be. We need our students to become confident, self-sufficient young adults with direction for their life. With exposure, our students can start identifying their strengths and exploring careers complimentary to their innate abilities while they are still in high school. So many adults still say, “One day when I grow up I want to be…” Our students have an opportunity to be proactive in working towards their career goals now versus trying to figure things out when they are adults. Since the initial founding of our company, our services have expanded from working with High School students to also providing services to adults in the community and in corporate settings. Everyone loves music. It is a commonality we all share universally. The idea of combining Career Planning and Poetry Therapy was birth from participating in a Poetry Therapy class at FSU with Dr. Mazza.  The best of both worlds, fun and educational!

Lequita Brooks received her Master of Social Work degree from FSU and a Bachelor of Science degree from UCF. She is passionate about being a Social Worker. Over the past fours, she has practiced Social Work in Hospice, with the Homeless Population, and now with High School students. She began offering Career Planning Poetry Therapy groups in 2013 at William M. Raines High School. She is very passionate about individuals maximizing their innate abilities in selecting a career to become self-sufficient and live a happy and fulfilling life.

Tell Us about the Results:
120 students at William M. Raines High School have started thinking about their career goals because of our efforts. The first step is increasing awareness and now we’re in the process of collecting data to determine the impact of our services. Thus far, we’ve received positive feedback from the students. We are really looking forward to expanding the program in the upcoming school year. We will keep you up to date on our blog,

Contact information:
LCN Enterprise, LLC
221 N. Hogan St. #365
Jacksonville, FL 32202

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

FSBDC at UNF Client of the Month is.....

“The new FSBDC Bid Match Service has been great for us!  It has been especially valuable at delivering state and local government contracting opportunities.”

TCI Mechanical, Inc. is a northeast Florida based contractor that provides HVAC and mechanical engineering services.  Founded by husband and wife team, Eden and Tony Cox in 2013, they have built a solid business based on the firm foundation of responsive customer service, in depth technical knowledge and exceptional value.  They have steadily grown to employ five people and have established their commercial office headquarters in the Atlantic Beach area. Today, TCI Mechanical is well known for their dependable and exceptional support of mechanical systems installation and maintenance services on government installations, shipboard systems, maritime platforms and commercial buildings.

Recognizing the potential business growth through government contracts, Eden and Tony Cox sought out the government contracting services at the FSBDC at the University of North Florida. 

They utilized the government contracting expertise and support of Paul Arrington, FSBDC Consultant, and Don Zavesky, Government Contracting Specialist.  Together, Eden and Tony with Paul and Don worked to successfully pursue, win and operate several government contracts in the Jacksonville area, including subcontracting projects. 

The three primary areas in which Paul and Don have supported TCI Mechanical include understanding the marketplace, business development, and contract operations.
Eden and Tony knew they needed assistance to gain a better understanding of the government marketplace, the required registrations and how to find contract opportunities. They attended a government contracting workshop and met with the Paul and Don to discuss how their business could sell to the government.  They also received assistance with their government business development efforts in preparing, submitting and winning multiple direct government agency contracts and subcontracting sales to prime contractors. 

FSBDC support did not stop after contract award. Eden and Tony fully engaged the resources and expertise of Paul and Don to include understanding government accounting systems and completion of forms to ensure contract compliance.

Recently, TCI Mechanical enrolled in the new FSBDC Bid Matching Service.  This is a no-cost service, offered to select FSBDC clients, that identifies and delivers federal, state, local, and worldwide government contracting opportunities relevant to the client’s business.  Every day through email alerts, Eden and Tony receive potential government contracting opportunities, specifically researched for their business.  Before submitting a proposal, they have the ability to review each opportunity, make go/no-go decisions, and prepare their proposals for government contract awards.

Eden and Tony Cox continue to experience growth and success including receiving multiple contract awards, which have grown in scope and value.  

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Seven Florida SBDC Network Clients, Nominees Win SBA Award for National Small Business Week

Seven Florida SBDC Network clients and nominees from across the state have won awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for their outstanding advocacy, performance, and economic contributions to the state.

As part of National Small Business Week, the SBA annually recognizes small business owners, entrepreneurs, and advocates from all 50 states and U.S. territories for their efforts in driving job creation and economic growth.

The Florida SBDC Network is pleased to recognize the following recipients who are clients and/or nominees of the Florida SBDC at the Regional, State and/or District levels: 

  • Small Business Person of the Year
    National Finalist, State of Florida, and South Florida District Winner
    Carol Craig, Craig Technologies, Cape Canaveral 
  • Small Business Person of the Year
    North Florida District Winner
    Sandra Saft, S.Saft and Company dba Window Interiors, Altamonte Springs 
  • Small Business Exporter of the Year
    Southeast Region (IV), State of Florida, and North Florida District Winner
    Douglas Worswick, Certified Slings, Casselberry 
  • Veteran-Owned Small Business Person of the Year
    North Florida District Winner
    Jeff Rawls, Synergy Fabrications, Palatka 
  • Woman-Owned Small Business Person of the Year
    North Florida District Winner
    Margarita U. Howard, HX5, Fort Walton Beach 
  • Minority-Owned Small Business Person of the Year
    State of Florida and North Florida District Winner
    Printella Bankhead, EBS Security, Inc., Jacksonville 
  • Financial Advocate of the Year
    State of Florida and North Florida District Winner
    David Marovich, Vice President of Business, 121 Financial Credit Union, Jacksonville

"Small business owners are the driving force of our economy," said Michael Myhre, CEO and Network State Director for the Florida SBDC. "It's an honor to recognize the achievements of these small business owners and advocates. These leaders play a key role in building our economy - helping our state and nation move forward."

For more than 50 years, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week to celebrate and recognize the achievements and dedication of the nation's entrepreneurs and innovators. This year's celebration kicked off today in Miami and will continue the rest of the week with events being held across the country. National Small Business Week will conclude in Washington, D.C. on May 8th. Florida SBDC client Carol Craig will join five other Small Business Person of the Year finalists from across the country at a special ceremony in which one winner will be selected as the 2015 National Small Business Person of the Year.

Florida SBDCs are hosting a number of events and functions across the state to honor winners and to help small businesses grow and succeed. 

  • The FSBDC at USF will host its 28th Annual Government Small Business Conference on May 6. The conference will feature a half-day Business Opportunity Expo, in conjunction with a full day of seminars and keynote address by Congressman Gus Bilirakis. 
  • The FSBDC at UCF will honor Orlando-area Small Business Week winners at a special private event on May 19 at the Citrus Club, and on May 27-28 they will host their annual Government Matchmaking event
  • The FSBDC at FGCU will host the 4th Annual Distinguished Entrepreneur Award on May 19 in Bonita Springs (, and on May 6 they will co-host with Alliance Financial Group, The Spring Girls Going Places Entrepreneurship Conference in Fort Myers ( 
  • The FSBDC at UNF in Jacksonville will host its 23rd Annual Small Business Week Celebration on May 28 to honor North Florida's small business leaders, lenders and supporters. The event will feature a keynote by Lisa Nicole Bell, founder and CEO of Inspired Life Media Group based out of Los Angeles, CA. Event information can be found at 
About the FSBDC Network
For nearly forty years, the Florida SBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for the state. In 2013, the initiatives of the Florida SBDC Network resulted in 39,536 jobs created, retained and saved; $5.5 billion in sales growth; $197.3 million in capital accessed; $602.2 million in government contract awards; and 685 new businesses started. A statewide network of over 40 centers, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners, with the University of West Florida serving as the Network's designated lead host institution. The Florida SBDC Network is state designated as Florida's principal provider of business assistance and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs.  For more information, please visit 


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

SBDC Success Story: Jacksonville Cake Supplies- Learn How To Bake With the Right Tools!

They say if you can't find something you want, maybe YOU should make it available. So it was with Evette Lemoine - Fernandez, our client who had a brainstorm!

Where did you get the idea for this business?

I have been cake decorating for several years. When I moved to Jacksonville Florida I was constantly traveling to Orlando Florida for my cake supplies. I became frustrated not having accessibility to good supplies in Jacksonville. I thought other home-based bakers must feel just as frustrated as I do. This frustration was the turning point that birth the desire to start my own cake supply store.

What made you fall in love with baking?

As a young girl I started baking with my first Easy Bake Oven. In my teens I was baking cookies, pies, cakes and nutmeg donuts for my neighbors and friends.  Years later I took my first cake decorating class as a hobby. Once I saw all the beautiful and amazing art I could make in sugar, I was in love. Art you can get; yummy!

How would you best describe your customers?

My customers vary in age and gender, adults and teens. Some customers are looking to take classes as a hobby and others are looking for advance skills. Our customers look for accessibility to cake decorating supplies locally, instead of traveling to Orlando.

What can people who sign up for your classes expect?

Our classroom is set up for small groups so everyone can have individual attention. Everyone will have hands-on experience while having fun in a relaxed atmosphere. We will have classes in various skill level for beginners and advanced. We have classes to make gumpaste flowers, purses, tier cake and more.

What makes you different compared to similar businesses.

Jacksonville cake decorating supplies will have a variety of products that other businesses do not carry. Our goal is to focus on our customers need and provide good products at a reasonable prices.

How do you sign up for classes?
Customers can sign up for classes on our website using our contact form or call (904) 513-4865.

5547 Fort Caroline Rd Jacksonville, FL 32277
Evette Lemoine-Fernandez

Friday, April 10, 2015

Is Your Accounting System DCAA Compliant?

When it comes to government contracting, are you sure you have all of the information and systems in place to ensure you are ready  to compete for opportunities? Are you ready to provide proposals?  

On April 23, Sherry Kobus, Small Business Program Manager Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) will present "Is Your Accounting System DCAA Compliant? Accounting Requirements and Price Proposals" workshop at the UNF Herbert University Center in Jacksonville. See below for full descriptions:

DCAA  Workshop Pt. 1: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Accounting System Requirements for Government Contractors
This is a brand new workshop for the Jacksonville FSBDC.  A representative from the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) will discuss the criteria for establishing an adequate accounting system in support of government contracts.  Having an adequate accounting system prepared in advance will greatly increase your likelihood of a successful outcome and seamless support of your government contract. If you are planning on or currently supporting a federal government contract, you don't want to miss this opportunity to learn from the experts.

DCAA Workshop Pt. 2: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Elements of an Adequate Price Proposal for Government Contracts

This second part of our day-long workshop offers the opportunity for you to understand what you need to provide the government in your price proposal.  Delivered by the experts from the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), this workshop will discuss all aspects of pricing proposals including: direct labor rates, materials, subcontracts, other direct costs, indirect rates, and much more.  Whether you're a seasoned professional or just getting started, don't miss this opportunity to ask questions and learn what you need to succeed in government contracting.

Pre-registration is required and the cost to attend is $40.  To learn more or to register, go to

Thursday, March 26, 2015

SBDC at UNF Client Among Select Businesses Nationwide Recognized in Washington

Jacksonville, FL: On March 16, America's Small Business Development Center Network (America's SBDC), the national association of SBDCs, held a special 35th anniversary legislative reception to showcase a sampling of SBDC clients from across the country. Among the 11 SBDC clients from eight states invited to the reception was Kathryn Murphy, owner of Jacksonville-based Comfort Keepers and client of the Florida SBDC at the University of North Florida (UNF).

Murphy was the only client honored from the Florida SBDC Network, representing the thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners who receive business assistance each year.

"Words can't express the honor I feel in representing the small business community for our State," said Murphy. "Successful small business owners 'burn the midnight oil,' are constant decision makers and problem solvers, and make many personal sacrifices-all to make a difference in the lives of the clients they serve. Staying on top of regulations, treating employees fairly, providing services or products with the highest integrity while making sure there is a profit at the end of the day is no easy task, and thousands of business owners in Florida do this on a daily basis. I am extremely proud and excited to be selected as the representative of Florida's small business community at the Federal level during this special reception highlighting the successes of the American Small Business Development Center."

Comfort Keepers specializes in providing in-home care for older adults needing assistance with daily activities. Thanks to the assistance of the Florida SBDC at UNF and consultant Cathy Hagan, Murphy opened the franchise's first Jacksonville location in 2002 and the second in 2007. Most recently, Murphy worked with the FSBDC to purchase her third location. Under her leadership, the company has grown from two employees to more than 75. In 2011, Murphy was selected as the U.S. Small Business Administration's Woman Business Champion of the Year for both North Florida and the state. In 2013, Murphy was one of nine women to receive the Florida Achievement Award by the Florida Commission on the Status of Women. Last year, she received the Governor's Business Advocate Award presented by Florida Governor Rick Scott.

The America's SBDC 35th Anniversary Reception was held in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C. Congressman Ander Crenshaw, Chairman of the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, and Congressman Steve Chabot of Ohio, Chairman of the Committee on Small Business, addressed reception guests. The mission of America's SBDC and SBDCs nationwide is to help entrepreneurs realize their dream of business ownership and to help existing businesses grow and succeed.

"We are very proud of Kathryn and thrilled that she could be a part of this special ceremony," said Michael Myhre, CEO and Network State Director for the Florida SBDC. "She has devoted her life to helping others and is well-deserving of this recognition. We feel honored to be a part of her success." 

About The SBDC at UNF:  Since 1976, the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida has helped over 35,000 small businesses in an 18-county area. With offices in Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Palatka, Homosassa, Yulee, Gainesville, Live Oak and Ocala, the FSBDC at UNF provides assistance through management advice and technical training with little to no-cost to the potential, fledgling and/or well-established small business owners. The SBDC at UNF is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and is a proud member of the Florida SBDC Network and part of the national Association of Small Business Development Centers. For additional information, visit or call 1.800.450.4624.