Tag Archive | "Boca Raton"

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bucks rout Boca Raton 49-6 in District 12-8A football game

Posted on 03 October 2019 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach quarterback Michael Pratt looks for an open receiver in the Bucks’ 49-6 win over visiting Boca Raton. Photo by Gary Curreri.

By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach senior quarterback Michael Pratt threw for a season-best 331 yds. and four touchdowns as the host Bucks toppled Boca Raton 49-6 in the District 12-8A opener for both teams on Friday night. 

Pratt, a Tulane University commit who transferred from Boca Raton High School to Deerfield in August, made his fourth straight start and guided the Bucks to a fourth straight victory.

He has seen his touchdown totals in each game go up by one. He threw for one score in his first, then two, then three and four against his former school. He has 10 TDs on the season.

“We just have to get better every single week,” said Pratt, whose team has a bye this week before facing Spanish River. “My timing with the receivers, connection and chemistry is starting to build up. Our offensive line…I am starting to learn them and they are starting to learn me.”

Deerfield Beach (4-2, 1-0 in the district) took the opening kickoff and marched 80 yds. in three plays, capped by a 40-yd. scoring run by FSU commit Jaylan Knighton. He carried all three times in the drive for 80 yds. Knighton finished the game with seven rushes for 100 yds. and one score.

Boca Raton (2-3, 0-1) cut the lead to 7-6 on a 20-yd. scoring toss from Andrew Caverty to Ashton Gillotte with 4:02 left in the first half. The extra point attempt by Thomas Lofiago was blocked and later also had a 37-yd. field goal attempt blocked.

The score snapped a three-game shutout streak by the Bucks in their last three wins – as they defeated Blanche Ely, 46-0, Zachary (LA), 53-0 and Oak Ridge (Orlando), 42-0 – and outscored the opposition 141-0 during the span.

Deerfield Beach broke the game open in the second quarter when Pratt hit Maryland commit Deajaun McDougle for an 83-yd. catch and run for a 14-6 advantage and then 21-6 on a 64-yd. interception return by Phillip O’Brien. Deerfield Beach made it 28-6 on a 20-yd. scoring toss from Pratt to University of Miami commit Xavier Restrepo.

Pratt connected with Deajaun McDougle two more times in the third quarter from 51 yds. and 60 yds. for a 42-6 lead. It was his 10th scoring touchdown pass in four games. McDougle had 226 yds. receiving on five catches and three TDs.

Back-up quarterback Marquise Pierre hit Jamarion McDougle on a 45-yd. TD score in the fourth for a 49-6 Bucks lead. It marked just the fifth time in Deerfield Beach history where they have scored 40 or more points in four straight games.

Pratt missed the first two games of the season, losses to Carol City, 24-12, and St. John’s (Washington, D.C.), 52-20, with a groin injury. Pratt threw for 1,208 yds. and 12 TDs at Boca Raton last season. He also ran for 447 yds. and three scores for the Bobcats.

Deerfield Beach coach Jevon Glenn said Pratt handled the week going against his former teammates well.

“He has a steadiness about him and is a little ahead of his time,” Glenn said. “To be quite honest, if he plays the first two games, we would be undefeated and top-10 in the country right now.”

Last season, Deerfield Beach fell in the state semifinals of the Class 8A tournament as they lost 49-21 to the eventual state champion, Miami Columbus, and finished 12-2. Deerfield lost in the regional quarterfinal the season before and lost in the state semifinals in 2016 to the eventual state champion, Southridge, 26-7 in 2016.

“it’s been a great opportunity to learn a few new things,” Pratt added. “I have to make better reads and work on timing.”

Comments Off on Bucks rout Boca Raton 49-6 in District 12-8A football game

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Exploring the cosmos with artist Carol Prusa

Posted on 31 August 2019 by LeslieM

Artist Carol Prusa stands in front of “Dark Light, Elegy for Rebecca Elson.”

By Rachel Galvin
Light and its absence are at the heart of Carol Prusa’s latest exhibit at the Boca Raton Museum of Art. What lies within the void is the question… what possibility lurks outside of the reach of mind’s eye? What was there before the beginning of the universe? Finding the answers to these questions certainly were within the mind of Prusa as she was creating her works with painstaking precision. Her artwork utilizes details, lines, shapes and symmetry to explore the abstract. Her “Dark Light” exhibition, which opened Aug. 20 and will be on display until Jan. 19, 2020, centers around her experiences of an eclipse.
“I got to experience the night during the day. The first was in Nebraska in 2017. It was so unsettling, so otherworldly. I had to try to grasp what I had just experienced. It knocked me backward. I had to lose my grounding. I had to try to express it the best way I could. I just went again in July 2019 to Chile. I had to see it again, to see if what I thought I saw, I saw,” said Prusa, who is now hoping to experience volcanoes. She has applied to do so at the Hawaii National Volcano Park, where they have just reopened residency.
When not creating works of art about the cosmos, she is reading about women who explored the cosmos in other ways, astronauts who have made vast discoveries, women like Maria Mitchell, who was not only the first female astronomer but the first scientist to discover a comet, among other accomplishments. Mitchell also seemed enamored with eclipses, as she led an all female expedition to Colorado in 1878 to observe one.
“I read a lot of cosmology and physics, big ideas that totally blow my mind,” said Prusa, adding that she likes to explore ideas like what was before the Big Bang, as well as string theory and more.
“It has to be that I don’t understand and then try to understand,” she said. “I need a catalyst to trigger …”
She added, “I love riding a bike at night. You think you see things. It is your mind buzzing, trying to fill the blanks. It is mind blowing. I think artists already are staring into darkness, scientists too.”
She was in Italy teaching drawing classes, and, while at the Uffizi Museum, she got to see drawings done with a process called Silverpoint, which she then began teaching her students and incorporated into her own work. She also uses graphite and acrylic working on plexiglass and wood panels. Some of her pieces in the museum exhibit are lit from within and one, called “Quintessence,” even has video, looking a bit like a kaleidoscope. The most imposing piece is a large scale work called “Dark Light, Elegy for Rebecca Elson,” who was a theoretical astrophysicist whose research focused on dark matter and who died of lymphoma.
With her “Cosmic Web (for the Harvard Observatory Computers)” piece, you feel like you are on the outside looking in.
She explained, “The perimeter is biological, a portal to the universe,” she said, adding that what looks a bit like brain matter around the edge was meant to look like “embryos before they are differentiated by gender. They are pure possibility.”
The “computers” of which she speaks are a group of female astronomers in the 1800s and 1900s who helped map the universe, including Henrietta Swan Leavitt, Annie Jump Cannon and Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin.
She also has a series of smaller copperplate etchings honoring women astronomers, including Maria Mitchell, Henrietta Swan Leavitt, Annie Jump Cannon, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, Vera Rubin and Jocelyn Bell Burnell. The portfolio is called “Galaxias Kyklos,” which means “Milky Path” (or Milky Way) in Greek.
Kathleen Goncharov, the Senior Curator of the Museum, curated the exhibit. If it were up to Prusa, her pieces would be logical, perhaps chronological and certainly lined up. But the curator thought about it differently, said Prusa, looking more at the visual impact experienced by the viewer.
Executive Director Irvin Lippman feels the exhibit came together in the perfect way at the perfect time, being that it deals with the cosmos just in time for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
“How timely … with the eclipse with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. It is a bit of serendipity. We are also keen in the educational department to talk about the value of STEAM (science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math). Carol makes the best argument for arts and technology coming together. She is a brilliant example of the scientific mind and creativity coming together.”
He added, “The museum was founded by artists and it’s very important to continue to have exhibits that celebrate Florida artists. Carol has been so involved for many years judging juried shows, at the museum and art school. It is important to show her work.”
While looking over the collection of her artwork, Lippman said, “When you approach it, it’s so meditative. When an eclipse happens, everything else falls by the wayside. They last only a few moments, but, during those moments, everyone focuses together. [The center point of her pieces] draw you inside. [It has] almost meditative spots.”
This is the first solo show here for Prusa, but she has been involved in group shows here in the past, as well as elsewhere. She will be shown in the Norton Sculpture Garden next fall and has a show in Taipei in a couple of weeks. She is in many galleries and is represented in Asia, Canada, Europe and the United States.
She lives here in Boca Raton, but moved here in 1999 from the midwest after reading an article written by Bernice Steinbaum, who said that South Florida was the place to be for the art world.

“Cosmic Web (for the Harvard Observatory Computers)” by Carol Prusa. Submitted photo.

Asked if she felt that Steinbaum was correct, she said, “I felt more opportunity than in the midwest. There is more money to support art in South Florida. But it was more commercial than I understood … that was a transition. I think I have done well. I feel fortunate.”
Prusa wasn’t always an artist.
“I was the president of the math club and a chemistry major. I was happy. I met an artist at the University of Illinois. She thought in such a different way. I thought I could not become a complete person unless I studied art,” said Prusa, who received her Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Illinois and her Masters of Fine Art from Drake University.
She ended up obtaining a biomedical communications degree. She became a Medical Illustrator, which combines science and art. She was qualified to “make life masks, prosthetics, exhibition design, anatomy drawings” and more.
Her family was not so thrilled with her career path. She came from a very religious and iconoclast upbringing. Her father was a Calvinist, a head elder. She said she felt that tradition did give her “great rigor,” which she applied to her career, as she explored other ways of thinking than those she knew.
These days, Prusa does her work in her studio but it was not always the case.
“I used to work in my living room. Now, I have a 15 x 30 studio built in the backyard,” she said, saying she built the studio after winning the South Florida Cultural Consortium $15,000 top prize in 2003. She later received another consortium prize for $7500.
When working on her pieces, she likes to listen to NPR.
“It takes a piece of my mind away so my mind can be more Zen. The judgmental and critical mind drops away and is given over to NPR.”
When not working on her works of art, Prusa is a professor at the Florida Atlantic University teaching all levels of painting for undergraduate and graduate level. She has worked there for 19 years, but worked for 18 years prior teaching at Iowa State University. She has a husband and two children.
The Boca Raton Museum of Art is located within Mizner Park at 501 Plaza Real in Boca Raton. For more information on the museum, visit www.bocamuseum.org or call 561-392-2500. For more information on the artist, visit www.carolprusa.com.

Guests attend opening of the “Dark Light” exhibit on Aug. 20.

Comments Off on Exploring the cosmos with artist Carol Prusa

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Planned mobility in Boca Raton

Posted on 02 May 2019 by LeslieM

By Karen Lustgarten

The Separation model

The suburbs were for residential; the urban core for commercial/industrial. Historically, urban planning was based on this separation of functions model. It became a great model for commuter traffic. As the suburbs grew, so did clogging main roads and highways, and the rise of “rush hour” that increased in time by number of vehicles on the road.

The City of Boca Raton was no exception to the separate functions planning model. For example, the once forward-looking Arvida Park of Commerce built in the 1970s was based on an industrial and business park model, no residential. One-third is office space and two-thirds warehouses. The model was to provide minimal impact of traffic on surrounding roadways.

“If you’re warehousing a lot, you don’t have many employees,” said Palm Beach County Commissioner Robert Weinroth.

The original IBM/T-Rex campus (now Boca Raton Innovation Campus), also fits the old model.

The Planned Mobility model

With the additional pressures on commuting and land development, Boca Raton approved the model for urban planning called “planned mobility” in 2010. It is based on the premise of rather than two separate areas — one developed for a business district (industry and retail) and the other for residential — they are merged into a single area zoned for mixed-use.

“The Boca Raton City Council made the decision several years ago to infill the all-business Arvida Park of Commerce with residential units now under construction,” said Commissioner Weinroth.

It is being developed and re-branded by the Crocker Group as The Park at Broken Sound, a 700-acre planned mobility commercial/residential hub optimized to fulfill the popular work/live/play concept.

“Planned mobility has been in place for 10-15 years but hadn’t been implemented until 2012 because of the financial downturn,” the commissioner explained. “Housing values dropped dramatically so the tax base went down and the influx of dollars dropped. It was a painful time for the city. When the CRA originally planned out the downtown, they envisioned it as mostly businesses. With the financial downturn in the early 2000s, all that stopped.”

Downtown Redevelopment

The redevelopment of downtown Boca Raton was originally contemplated as a business concentric urban core.

“But government officials decided they needed to change that dynamic,” said Weinroth. “Our downtown is a redevelopment area now. When the CRA was created, they set up a matrix with so many square feet of office and they had equivalents — hotels, condos, apartments — based on impact on the area such as traffic, sewage, miles of lanes.”

By the time the economy picked up, the move was toward residential and mixed-use development.

“That’s why now we are seeing Tower 155 and Alina luxury condos, and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Residences,” said the commissioner. “So it has evolved into a more residential downtown verses a business downtown.”

This is good for traffic, he said, explaining, “When we look at traffic, we look at not only how many trips per day; we look at peak trips — how many in the a.m. and p.m. commute — because that’s where you get the most pressure.”

Peak trips tend to be reduced when an area includes residential properties.

At the time Weinroth became a county commissioner, projects that had been moth balled were finally being constructed.

“The Hyatt Place downtown, developed by the Kolter Group, went back and forth about being commercial or residential before making the hotel decision. The same indecision was about the property on Military and Spanish River, which became apartments. So you see a lot of movement toward residential and much-needed hotel space,” he said. “With the Hyatt and Mandarin Oriental, they are going to have enough of a synergy to attract bigger groups and give West Palm Beach a run for its money.”

The residential development under planned mobility had a cap of 2500 units, which has now been met. Zoning attorney Bonnie Miskel secured city approval of approximately 65 percent of those residential units, either free standing or added into office parks.

“When the City of Boca Raton approved the planned mobility land use in 2010, the intention was to bring employment and housing closer in order to change the direction and type of traffic on the roads,” she said. “And it has worked.”

In addition, residential infill has revitalized dormant parts of the city.

“You see a lot of foot traffic, biking and life in corporate parks that were once dead when people left each night and weekends,” she said.

Another advantage, notes Miskel, is the interest in businesses wanting to open near the revitalized office parks, such as Fresh Market that opened next to the Park at Broken Sound.

“Planned mobility encourages commercial building as well,” she notes.

Live/Work/Play

“At the Boca Raton Innovation Campus, you see some residential on the periphery right now, and you’ll see more as they develop that property recently purchased by the Crocker Partners,” said the commissioner. The developer will be going before the City Council seeking permission for additional residential rights.

Planned mobility is something people are demanding, as well as demanding smaller units says Commissioner Weinroth. The 88-acre University Park was the last large parcel of undeveloped land in Boca Raton. The developer, Penn-Florida, will be creating a self-contained city of sorts, similar to Mizner Park only bigger, he added. “The hope is that traffic will be alleviated. People will stay close to home and live/work/play in the community rather than commute on Spanish River Boulevard and other major arterials.”

The plan is to have smaller residential units for people not looking for 3,000 sq. ft.

“They may be satisfied with 1,000 sq. ft. with the idea that they will go to a Starbucks, or to a business environment with an open workspace where they can meet and work on computers,” he said.

“You’re not going to live in your house anymore,” he continued. “They’ll live downstairs in the city. That’s the new model — walkable. We want walkable cities. If you can walk somewhere rather than getting into a car, that’s the way to go. Walkability is a companion to this concept. Urban planning and transportation planning are going in the same direction.”

“There’s still an interest and demand for added mixed-use and residential units, but the city needs to re-allocate them,” said Miskel. Ultimately, the Boca Raton City Council will have to make a decision whether the planned mobility model is successful, to continue it by adding in more residential areas which were heretofore only commercial.

Karen Lustgarten is president of Multi-Media Works, a multiple award-winning media company specializing in video, PR, print and social media with offices in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. She founded a newspaper in Washington, DC, was a syndicated columnist and a bestselling author. www.multi-mediaworks.com.

Comments Off on Planned mobility in Boca Raton

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Famed designer/author Hutton Wilkinson visits Boca Raton

Posted on 04 March 2019 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Famed interior designer, jewelry designer and author Hutton Wilkinson left California to pay a visit to South Florida. First, on Jan. 31, he went to the newly opened Jay Feder Jewelers (at 6859 SW 18 St. in Boca Raton) (www.jayfeder.com/bocaraton), where a party was held as he launched his Tony Duquette Jewelry Collection in style. The following day, he went to the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum to present his newest book, “Tony Duquette Dawnridge.”

Guests were delighted to hear stories about how his once-partner designer Tony Duquette got his start and about his famous home. The home was built in 1949 by Tony and his wife Elizabeth. It was a simple structure — 30 x 30. But the home he created would become the go-to place for many of the Hollywood set, including Fred Astaire, Marion Davies, Loretta Young, Arthur Freed and Mary Pickford, among others. Tony had some luxurious parties in his home, complete with everything from Indian dancers to Chinese acrobats, bringing an exotic flair. When not living in the home, they rented it out to famous tenants like Marlon Brando and Eva Gabor. They soon bought the home next to Dawnridge, which they also rented out, but it burnt down in 1974. When the home was torn down, they used the land to create beautiful garden terraces. The expansion of Dawnridge would continue. The home — its interior and exterior — looked like a faraway land, like Japan, Austria or South Asia rather than Beverly Hills and it was used for many fashion shoots as well. The couple also bought other properties.

Hutton worked with Tony and, after Tony and his wife’s passing, he and his wife Ruth decided to purchase the home and to remodel it. Today, Hutton maintains the home and continues to run the jewelry company that he had with Tony.

People can now purchase his “Dawnridge” book, with its 256 pages and 300 color illustrations, and see the transformation of the home through the years and read more about its history.

For more information on the book, visit https://tonyduquette.com/tony-duquettes-dawnridge.

For more information on the Boca Raton Historical Society, visit www.bocahistory.org.

Comments Off on Famed designer/author Hutton Wilkinson visits Boca Raton

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

BUSINESS BEAT: Boca means business

Posted on 12 December 2018 by LeslieM

By Karen Lustgarten

Which of the 38 cities in Palm Beach County attracts the highest number of corporate relocations? More than half selected the city of Boca Raton to establish headquarters. According to Andy Thomson, newly-elected member of the Boca Raton City Council, that amounts to more than 30 international corporations that have moved into or expanded in Boca Raton.

The council member cites several reasons for Boca’s big-business boom. With the establishment in 2014 of the Office of Economic Development being funded by the city, attracting corporations became a priority.

The marketing strategy and message is ‘Boca is open for business; we are serious about helping corporations thrive here,’” said Thomson.

Technology and health are among the top sectors relocating to Boca, such as Modernizing Medicine and Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Mr. Thomson is quick to add that marketing a “unique quality of life” is an easy sell. The obvious attributes include warm weather, beaches, sunshine and leisure lifestyle throughout Florida, along with no state income tax and corporate tax incentives. Among Boca Raton’s unique qualities attracting employees and businesses, he cites an executive airport for corporate jets with a new U.S. Customs facility, quality public and private schools, good housing, low crime and 46 parks.

We are a city within a park,” he says, “and we take our green spaces seriously.”

The two local colleges — Florida Atlantic University and Lynn University — funnel a tech-ready workforce into job openings at area corporations.

This helps transition graduates to nearby jobs so there is less of a brain drain,” he said.

One marketing challenge is overcoming the perception of a growing aging population.

The fear companies have in considering relocation is the mistaken perception that Boca is the retirement community depicted in the hit TV series Seinfeld. But the age demographic is actually trending younger,” he says.

Jessica Del Vecchio, manager of the city’s Office of Economic Development, concurs that the population is growing younger, from migrating retirees to a median age of 47 according to Forbes magazine.

When corporations relocate to Boca Raton, they have an economic impact on our overall economy by adding property tax income and creating jobs. More above average salary jobs become available to the talent pool of our local college graduates. They stay, find gainful employment and the quality of life improves,” she says.

The quality livability claim is backed up by online studies Del Vecchio references that rank Boca Raton high on their lists:

Best Beach Towns to Live In: Boca Raton is No. 7 of 205 cities nationwide (WalletHub.com)

Best Suburbs to Live in Florida: No. 13 of 351 (Niche.com)

Top 100 Places to Live: No. 45 of 2,300 cities surveyed (Livability.com)

“A” rating in a satisfaction survey of 45,000 renters (Apartment List)

The Office of Economic Development serves Boca Raton’s corporate community. Some corporations recently headquartered in the city are Shoes for Crews, Miami Grill, El-Ad National Properties and Gift of Life Marrow Registry (2019). Companies expanding (moving to new and larger space) include Modernizing Medicine, Cosmetic Solutions, Hair Club and TherapeuticsMD.

The Boca Raton Resort and Club is a popular destination for corporate conferences during the year, especially in winter.

Del Vecchio sums up a typical scenario: “Executives come in from all over the country [and world] and they experience a beautiful lifestyle, a luxury resort, warm weather, lower taxes. At the end of the conference, they’re thinking, ‘Why are we getting on a plane heading back to terrible weather in a higher tax state when we can be productive in paradise?’ That’s when relocation thoughts kick in.”

Karen Lustgarten is president of Multi-Media Works, a multiple award-winning media company specializing in video, PR, print and social media with offices in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. She founded a newspaper in Washington, DC, was a syndicated columnist and a bestselling author. www.multi-mediaworks.com

Comments Off on BUSINESS BEAT: Boca means business

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

BUSINESS BEAT: Company Roots: KEITH

Posted on 11 October 2018 by LeslieM

Periodic column on companies that grew up with our community

By Karen Lustgarten

When she was 13, Adolphine “Dodie” Keith remembers heading out on survey and mapping jobs with her father, William “Bill” Keith, along with his crew and watching how the work was done for construction projects.

Mr. Keith began making a mark on South Florida in 1956 when he joined the Broward County Engineering Department as a surveyor. Then, in 1972, he started the engineering firm Keith & Schnars. It would become synonymous with Broward’s growth.

His firm helped plan Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and bought the land and developed the route for the Sawgrass Expressway. It was responsible for planning Parkland and the redevelopment of Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach and Boca Raton. They surveyed 390 miles from Florida to Georgia and bought 4,000 parcels of land for a Florida Power & Light transmission line.

In 1998, Mr. Keith established Keith & Associates, his own Pompano Beach-based civil engineering, planning, surveying firm. Daughter Dodie grew up to become a professional surveyor and mapper working in that capacity for her father.

By the time Mr. Keith died in 2006, he had spent his life working towards the development and improvement of the south Florida community and giving back to it, helping improve the county’s infrastructure and way of life. Dodie Keith-Lazowick succeeded her father as company president and managing principal.

Under her leadership, KEITH, as the firm has been rebranded, has grown to include civil engineering, surveying and mapping, subsurface utility engineering (SUE), urban & comprehensive planning, landscaping, permitting, construction management and construction engineering inspection.

I work in the development field, so believe growth is good,” she said. “Dad always taught me respect for the community. I try to make projects better for both the residents and the city.”

The Ft. Lauderdale airport, a key KEITH client since her father’s early days, is a case in preservation. A huge African Baobab tree was set to be cut down when a new airport runway was being planned. Dodie proposed a slight redesign shift in the runway plans that preserved the historic tree.

Dodie helped draft the Pompano Beach 2020 business plan and Mayor Fisher’s stimulus task force. Her firm helped raise funds and advocated to pass the Pompano Beach bond referendum for capital improvement projects that will revitalize the city.

KEITH is at work on several major construction projects you are witnessing around Pompano Beach to revitalize the city. Successful advocates for permitting and approvals, staff has coordinated the site plan approval process through the city and provided civil engineering design, project management, permitting coordination, planning, surveying, construction management, infrastructure convergence and roadway improvements, assessments and recommendations.

Among the projects you notice are the following: the pedestrian-friendly Pompano Beach Blvd. streetscape, Old Pompano Area streetscape improvements, as part of the Downtown Connectivity Plan, MLK Jr. Blvd. streetscape improvements, MLK Blvd., the Pier Parking Garage, John Knox Village and in-kind site design services to preserve the Sample-McDougald historic House/Museum.

Coming up: The new Mullet Alley — turning an existing parking lot in the Old Pompano area into a lively plaza — awaiting the site plan design and development approval.

I enjoy Pompano Beach. It has a different feel than other cities and we want our own distinct city identity in South Florida,” says Dodie. “Pompano Beach is a community-based and family-oriented place. Our parks and roadway projects, for example, help give our city its own identity as a community.”

As a business community leader, Bill Keith was committed to causes he cared about such as the Broward Urban River Trails and homelessness. He was founding chair of Broward Partnership for the Homeless helping people stabilize their lives. Dodie is the 2018 board chair and a fundraiser.

Dodie’s son Alex and daughter Elizabeth serve as third generation professionals at KEITH. Alex Lazowick, a civil engineer, is executive vice president, and Elizabeth, with a marketing degree, is corporate manager, overseeing more than 100 employees in five state offices. They are committed to the company values established by their grandfather and mother. With young children of his own, Alex sits on the board of the Parks Foundation of Broward County, raising funds for Broward County parks.

The business transition plan has the 3rd generation taking over KEITH with Alex stepping into his mother’s role as president, “so, hopefully, I can sit on Pompano Beach watching the sunrise,” said Dodie.

Karen Lustgarten is president of Multi-Media Works, a multiple award-winning media company specializing in video, PR, print and social media with offices in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. She founded a newspaper in Washington, DC, was a syndicated columnist and a bestselling author. www.multi-mediaworks.com

Comments Off on BUSINESS BEAT: Company Roots: KEITH

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comic Cure Brings laughs to Mizner Park

Posted on 18 September 2018 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

On Sept. 1, America’s Got Talent’s own D.J. Demers delighted the sold-out crowd at the Comic Cure event at Mizner Park Cultural Center in Boca Raton. But he wasn’t the only comedian. There were also several local comedians from their comedy class, including Susan Bussell, Jim Story, Paul Margoles and Sharon Pfeiffer, who is brand new to comedy.

Pfeiffer is also an actress who has been in many independent local films and will be seen in the upcoming film Beach Bum with Matthew McConaughey, and also Zac Efron and Isla Fisher, which was filmed locally. She joked about her former life being married to the mob, literally. Her story has been told in I Married a Mobster in 2012. Today, she has escaped that world back in New York and made a home here in Boca Raton, where she has a huge group of friends, many of whom came out to support her in this milestone in her life.

Comic Cure has different comedians headline every month. They just completed their America’s Got Talent Summer Series. They will be taking a break and starting back up with comedians on Oct. 27 with comedienne Dana Eagle. Proceeds from each event go back to different causes. This night proceeds went toward several organizations, including B’not Hadassah and Festival of the Arts. Members of both organizations got up to speak briefly. [Festival of the Arts Boca will be held at Mizner Park Feb. 28 through March 10, 2019 and will include musical performances and book talks by authors.]

For more information on upcoming Comic Cure shows and classes, visit http://comiccure.com.

Comments Off on Comic Cure Brings laughs to Mizner Park

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

BUSINESS BEAT: Companies that care: Giving back locally

Posted on 13 September 2018 by LeslieM

By Karen Lustgarten

Hundreds of companies headquartered in our readership area generously give back to their communities, making them better places to live and work. Here’s a peek at three in different cities representing different industries with a commitment to different causes.

JM Family Enterprises, Deerfield Beach

For more than 30 years, children and families in Deerfield Beach have been the recipients of many corporate giving programs financed by JM Family Enterprises, the privately-owned diversified automotive company founded by Jim Moran. Seeing a need in the neighborhood, JM Family built and funds a Boys & Girls Club with staffed after school programs, along with a forthcoming teen center to provide activities and education addressing teen needs.

Down the street is the Youth Automotive Training Center that JM built to help young people learn everything about the automotive industry — business, selling, fixing and maintaining cars. Here school drop-outs can receive their GED, life skills, job skills training and job placement upon graduation. Several have been hired at JM Lexus.

Along with other community partners, last year JM Family helped build a KaBOOM! playground in a day at the Hillsboro Community Center. The company hosts an annual Teachers Tote Supplies Giveaway there. Teachers from local schools pick up tote bags filled with school supplies they need. JM also ships reams of paper to their schools. In addition, they give away supplies at a BSO event for Back to School.

Said Kim Bentley, assistant vice president of Corporate Philanthropy, “We are continuing Jim Moran’s philosophy about sharing time, talent and resources.”

Bluegreen Vacations Corporation, Boca Raton

A timeshare properties company headquartered in Boca Raton, Bluegreen is a division of parent company BBX Capital, which has supported Florida charities since 1994 with direct funding, in-kind donations and paid employee-volunteer hours.

Bluegreen extends its “share happiness” motto to local charities helping children and families, and education causes, says Lois Marino, director of Community Engagement for BBX Capital & Retail Brand. For example: How do students in grades K-12 learn about survival business skills and workforce readiness? Bluegreen is a major donor to the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce’s Golden Bell Education Foundation, a non-profit that administers educational programs promoting business skills and workforce readiness in the Boca Raton public schools.

Where can families dealing with a crisis or serious illness get a break? At a retreat. Bluegreen partners with the non-profit Deliver the Dream to provide three-day/two-night accommodations at its timeshare properties for families and volunteers participating in the non-profit’s retreat program.

Other community non-profits Bluegreen and BBX Capital have longtime commitments to include Junior Achievement, Boca Helping Hands, Cystic Fibrosis and JDRF. (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).

Share Happiness” is not just Bluegreen’s motto, says Marino, “It is in the DNA of our commitment to social responsibility and philanthropy, too.”

Danto Builders, Ft. Lauderdale

For Craig and Debbie Danto, their company giving program for people with special abilities is personal. Debbie’s grandfather founded an organization in Ohio to help his son with Down’s Syndrome partake in work, sports and social skills development.

I remember how much joy my uncle got out of it,” said Debbie. “He was so innocent and sweet, such a loving, beautiful person who enjoyed all the activities.”

Her parents continued the program as it grew and now Debbie and her husband, who’s nephew also has Down’s Syndrome, are carrying on the family tradition and legacy locally. The couple are honorary board members of Special Olympics, and board members of the Florida Design and Construction Professionals. Danto proposed to the professional organization that members approve a fundraiser for Special Olympics.

Oct. 2 will mark the 5th Annual Florida Design & Construction Professionals/Danto Builders Special Olympics Big Bad BBQ. The all-you-can-eat fundraiser with 600 attending, including Special Olympians, is held at the Danto Builder’s parking lot from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Everything is donated or sponsored by local businesses: food, wine, beverages, grills, music, door prizes, auction items. Last year, the event raised $35,000 for 6,100 Special Olympics athletes and 23 year-round sports programs. The goal this year is $50,000, says Danto. A local family’s legacy grows on.

Karen Lustgarten is president of Multi-Media Works, a multiple award-winning media company specializing in video, PR, print and social media with offices in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. She founded a newspaper in Washington, DC, was a syndicated columnist and a best-selling author. www.multimediaworks.com

Comments Off on BUSINESS BEAT: Companies that care: Giving back locally

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Forrest commits to FAU

Posted on 03 May 2018 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Blanche Ely High School senior basketball star Michael Forrest is taking his basketball talents 12 miles north to Boca Raton as he continues his hoops career.

Forrest, who led the Tigers to the state championship, made the announcement that he was headed to play basketball at Florida Atlantic University on his Twitter page and honored his grandmother in the process.

I would like to thank my grandma for instilling in me the value of life and working hard to achieve my goals. HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA,” Forrest wrote on Twitter. “With that being said, I am pleased to announce that I will be continuing my athletic and academic career at Florida Atlantic University. GO OWLS.”

Forrest averaged 26 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals per game for the Tigers and helped Blanche Ely win their 5th state championship in seven seasons as they cruised past Jacksonville Creekside, 77-54, in the Florida High School Athletic Association’s Class 8A state championship on Saturday night at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

Forrest, who was named the Sun Sentinel’s Player of the Year this season, was also a first-team All-County selection as a junior when he averaged 14 points a game for the regional finalist.

She’s the one that’s always pushed me to be better,” said Forrest of the inspiration and motivation he was provided from his grandmother. “She said she would rather have me set a high bar and almost make it than set it low and get [there].”

Newly-hired FAU Men’s Basketball coach Dusty May said he was going to make South Florida recruiting a “high priority.”

Forrest also wrote: “I would like to thank GOD for giving me the ability to play the game of basketball. Thank you to all of the schools that have recruited me. I would also like to thank the coaches of Blanche Ely: Mr. Randall, Coach Reg, Coach BJ, Romaine Roshane and Dallas for pushing me and taking my game to the next level.

Thank you to Coach Sweat and the South Florida Spartans organization for believing in me,” he continued. “Thank you to my No. 1 supporters, my parents, for supporting me through everything.”

Junior lifeguard program gearing up

A little more than a month remains before the Junior Lifeguard program begins this summer.

Nemia L. Schulte, president of the Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguards, said registration for the four summer sessions is ongoing during business hours at the Pompano Aquatic Center.

She said there will be a parents’ meeting to discuss the summer schedule for the 2018 Junior Lifeguard/Grommets Program on Thursday, May 31 at 6:30 p.m. at the Civic Center.

The Junior Lifeguard program will compete on June 30 in the state competition (Ft. Lauderdale), then July 28 at the Regionals (Flagler Beach) and then on Aug. 8 at the Nationals in (Virginia Beach, VA.).

Comments Off on Forrest commits to FAU

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Toasts, Tastes & Trolleys

Posted on 12 October 2017 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

On Oct. 6, 150 revelers got to see Boca Raton in a unique way during the Boca Raton Historical Society’s 6th Annual Toasts, Tastes & Trolleys event. The party began at the Boca Raton Resort & Club with cocktails and hors d’ oeuvres. Beloved philanthropist Madelyn Savarick, who also sponsored the event, received a cake and a Happy Birthday song as she turned 94 on this day.

Next, it was off to the trolleys. Everyone was assigned to a certain Molly’s Trolley; this reporter boarded the Saks Fifth Avenue one. They were another one of the sponsors, along with Joni & Al Goldberg.

Everyone stopped at a different location first and rotated through each. Yvette Drucker, president of the Boca Raton Historical Society Board of Trustees, told historical tidbits about Boca Raton on our trolley along the way while offering up wine, beer and Prosecco. Each location also offered up spirits. Our trolley’s line-up began with Mizner Park’s Truluck’s (351 Plaza Real) and we were presented with a beautiful plate filled with several tastes, including crispy shrimp with a spicy sauce, vegetarian crabcake and braised shortrib. General Manager Richard Grigelis and Special Events Coordinator Stacy Babb talked a bit about the restaurants, including their happy hour and live entertainment.

Also in Mizner Park, we went to Ouzo Bay (201 Plaza Real), which has been open for only six months and has undergone plenty of renovations. They served up items like lamb meatballs and spanakopita.

We stopped by 101 Via Mizner, new luxury apartments located on Federal Highway. The staff from Penn-Florida served up hors d’oeuvres and drinks while explaining more about their development, as well as their other exciting project — the build-out of the Residences at Mandarin Oriental, at 105 E. Camino Real, which will be linked to the hotel portion and will include plenty of luxury amenities and retail space. When we got back into the trolley, cookies were waiting for us, along with information on the 101 Via Mizner property to take home. More on the company and its projects at www.pennflorida.com.

We also went to Domus Italian Restaurant, in the Royal Palm Plaza (187 SE Mizner Blvd.), where we were given a drink called Paloma, which had ingredients like tequila, grapefruit juice and club soda. They also served up samples of items like calamari, bruschetta and “rice balls.”

Finally, the trolleys went back to the Boca Raton Resort & Club for a wide variety of desserts, dancing and a cash bar.

The event was a fundraiser for the Boca Raton Historical Society, which always has events and exhibits. Currently, they have on display memorabilia from IBM, which opened a plant in Boca in 1967, artifacts from architect Addison Mizner and landscape paintings by the artists of Plein Air Palm Beach.

They will be holding an event on Nov. 8 to recognize several people and organizations for their Walk of Recognition, which is located in Royal Palm Plaza and looks like Hollywood, California’s Walk of Fame. They recognize people who are still living who have made an impact on the community. They have recently added institutions to the list of honorees. They last honored the Boca Raton Regional Hospital. This year, they are honoring Lynn University, in addition to golfer Morgan Pressel Bush and Dr. Joseph “Jody” Forstot. James A. Rutherford, known for his contributions to the Parks & Recreation Dept., will also be added to Wall of Honor, which is for honorees who have passed away.

To find out more about the Boca Raton Historical Society, visit www.bocahistory.org or call 561-395-6766.

Comments Off on Toasts, Tastes & Trolleys

Advertise Here
Advertise Here

front page

COVER