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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Announces Annual Backpack Challenge

July 21st, 2014 · No Comments

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty welcomes everyone to “take the challenge” and support its 15th Annual Backpack Challenge.

The Northeast Florida real estate firm is collecting backpacks and school supplies for local children at all area Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty offices through Thursday, July 31.

“A new backpack filled with school supplies prepares students for a successful school year,” said Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty Founder, President and CEO Linda Sherrer. “For many children, it boosts their self-esteem and confidence.”

Last year, the company’s team gathered more than 450 backpacks filled to the brim with school supplies. This year, the company has set a goal to gather even more backpacks and exceed last year’s results.

Backpacks and supplies may be dropped off at the following Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices office locations:

  • Home Office – 4190 Belfort Road, Suite 475, Jacksonville
  • Atlantic Beach/Arlington – 375-1 Atlantic Blvd., Atlantic Beach
  • Avondale/Ortega – 3627 St. Johns Ave., Jacksonville
  • Fleming Island – 3535 Highway 17, Suite 10, Fleming Island
  • Mandarin/St. Johns – 11567 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville
  • Ponte Vedra – 1000 Sawgrass Village Drive, Suite 101, Ponte Vedra Beach
  • San Marco/San Jose – 1983 San Marco Blvd., Jacksonville
  • St. Augustine – 112 Sea Grove Main St., Suite 210, St. Augustine Beach

Backpacks should be labeled by grade and gender. The company is collecting backpacks for students in kindergarten through grade 12.

Suggested school supply items to fill the backpacks include lined paper, pencils, pens, erasers, crayons, highlighters, pencil cases, rulers, glue sticks, blunt scissors, folders, three-ring binders, dividers, one-subject spiral notebooks, copy paper, colored pencils or markers and a scientific calculator. Additional items that would be appreciated include stuffed animals or toys, baseball caps and socks, tissues, toiletries (shampoo, toothbrushes, etc.) compass/protractor, water colors, white glue, activity/sticker books, journals and index cards.

“We welcome everyone to join us in our effort to help children in need,” said Christy Budnick, executive vice president of residential real estate. “With the new school year approaching, let’s ensure that each child in the community has the tools to succeed. Together, we can make a difference.”

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What’s Happening in Northeast Florida

July 18th, 2014 · No Comments

The summer is a great time to take advantage of quality theater performances in Northeast Florida. This weekend offers at least two great choices.

Players By the Sea in Jacksonville Beach hosts performances of “Rent,” the Tony Award-winner for “Best Musical,” with performances beginning Saturday, July 19 and continuing through Aug. 31.

On Saturday, the curtain rises at 8 p.m., and tickets are $28.

A phenomenon since its debut on Broadway in 1996, “Rent” is about falling in love, finding your voice and living for today. It follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

For more information visit The Players By The Sea website.


Another great theatrical offering this weekend is “The Sound of Music” being performed at the Amelia Island Playhouse on Saturday, July 19 and Sunday, July 20. Northeast Florida doesn’t have hills, but the theater will be alive – for sure.

When it debuted on Broadway in 1959, it was the final – and some say the best – musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein, who died of cancer nine months after the premiere.

It tells the story of the von Trapp family living in the mountains of Austria, and is a timeless classic to be enjoyed – even in the swamps of Florida.

Tickets for the show are $20 for adults and $15 for children. Visit the Amelia Island Playhouse box office online.


Of course, there is a variety of entertainment options covering all genres in Northeast Florida. So how about a little comedy?

Sheryl Underwood hosts, and Lavelle Crawford and others perform a high-octane comedy show “License to Laugh” at The Times-Union Center for Performing Arts on Saturday, July 19, beginning at 8 p.m.

If you can believe it, the show promises to have the audience “gasping for air from the gut-busting laughter.” Sometimes, pain is pleasure, so join Underwood, Crawford, Tim Murray and Lavar Walker for this experience.

Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased online at TicketMaster.com.

Then on Sunday, July 20, consider taking things down a beat. Visit The Jacksonville Landing for Reggae Jammin’ on the River – live music at 4 p.m. on the Coca-Cola Riverfront Stage by 418 Band.

The price is right – it’s free.

Check out The Landing website for more information.


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HabiJax Announces the Addition of Four New Managers

July 17th, 2014 · No Comments

Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville, Inc. (HabiJax) announced new additions to its team with the hiring of a volunteer manager, a development manager, a portfolio manager and a manager of the HabiJax ReStore.

Davetta Williams, whose background includes work in human resources for the Defense Department and as coordinator of programs for the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, joins HabiJax as its volunteer manager. Williams will oversee HabiJax’s use of thousands of community volunteers each year in construction and non-construction capacities, including groups and volunteers who work at the organization’s 38,000-square-foot ReStore.

Chris Folds, a Jacksonville native, is the new development manager for HabiJax. Folds previously performed public policy duties for the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida and is alumnus of Florida State University and the University of North Florida. He is responsible for donor prospects and retention, engagement and outreach, special events and grant applications.

The organization hired Harry Peltz as manager of its ReStore, the retail store that sells new and refurbished home goods and serves as a funding source for HabiJax. Peltz comes to HabiJax with a retail background, having worked in management at Pantry Pride and in sales and management for Lance, Inc. He will manage day-to-day operations at the store including, inventory, pricing, store layout and display and customer experience enhancement.

Octavious Carr, an experienced mortgage service industry professional, joined HabiJax as its portfolio support manager. In this role, Carr will focus on reporting, client relations and loss mitigation, working closely with mortgage servicers, the HabiJax team and homeowners to manage assets of the loan portfolio.

“We are excited to have Davetta, Chris, Harry and Octavious on board at HabiJax at this active time for our organization,” said HabiJax President and CEO Mary Kay O’Rourke. “They each bring a strong background in their respective professions as well as a love for helping people and the community. We look forward to our sponsors, donors, volunteers and the community getting to know our new team members.”

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Leadership Jacksonville Names New Board for 2014-15, Including President Deborah Moore

July 16th, 2014 · No Comments

Deborah Moore

Leadership Jacksonville, an organization that develops youth and adult leaders in Northeast Florida, recently named new officers and members of its 2014-15 board of directors led by president Deborah Moore.

In addition to the election of Moore, senior vice president and marketing director at EverBank, as the board president, the organization also announced the election of the following officers to the board:

  • President-elect – Charles Hedrick, partner, Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Secretary/Treasurer – Clark Robertson, assistant vice president, CSX Transportation, Inc.
  • Immediate Past President – Stephen Goldman, senior vice president, commercial banker, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

 “I am excited about the opportunity to lead the board of an organization that informs, shapes and guides our community’s leaders as they strive to make Northeast Florida a better place,” said Moore. “Leadership Jacksonville is a vital part of our community, and I’ll be working with a diverse and talented group of board members to administer and improve the programs of Leadership Jacksonville for the benefit of the community as a whole.”

New members of the Leadership Jacksonville board are Tricia Cannan, Kim Holland, Carl Patten, Harold Stankard, Monica Whiting and Gary Wilkinson. Returning members are Peggy Bryan, Scott Chamberlayne, Moody Chisholm, Broderick Green, Gwen Griggs, Ia Morales Howard, Karen Mayfield, Maxine McBride, Mobeen Rathore, and Clark Robertson.

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Monique Burr Foundation Announces July 24 Lunch Discussion with Special Guests

July 15th, 2014 · No Comments

 The Monique Burr Foundation will host a Roundtable Lunch at Roy’s on Thursday, July 24 at noon for a discussion on protecting children from bullying and child abuse. Special guests include host Mary Baer, WJXT-TV anchor and Amy Gregorio, Mrs. International 2013 and National Advocate for the Prevention of Child Abuse.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Monique Burr Foundation for Children, MBF Child Safety Matters™ and its mission to provide bullying and child abuse prevention education to children throughout Florida.

Roy’s Restaurant is located at 2400 3rd street south, Jacksonville Beach, Fla. Lunch tickets are $50 per person. RSVP to Callie Hugo at chugo@moniqueburrfoundation.org or 904-562-1844. More information is available at www.moniqueburrfoundation.org.





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Hallmark Partners and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty Join Forces for Beacon Riverside

July 14th, 2014 · No Comments

Two area real estate heavyweights are combining their experience and skill to bring to fruition Northeast Florida’s first high-rise condominium tower set to begin construction in nearly a decade.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty is teaming with HP 500, LLC, an affiliate of Hallmark Partners, to be the exclusive sales agent for Beacon Riverside, a 15-story luxury residential tower on the St. Johns River in the historic Riverside neighborhood. The high-rise is being built near the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens and adjacent to downtown, where Hallmark is also developing the 220 Riverside apartment/retail project and partnering on the Unity Plaza public park area.

HP 500 LLC and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices signed an agreement recently to partner on the sales of the 45 upscale riverfront residences of Beacon Riverside. The condominium will be located between Lomax Street and Bishopgate Lane directly on the St. Johns River.

Prices for the 2,400- to 5,000-square-foot condominiums along the St. Johns River will begin in the upper $700,000s, with penthouse plans topping $2 million. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty has achieved excellent success selling properties of this type and is the leading agent of luxury properties in Northeast Florida.

Bryan Weber, Principal, Multifamily of Hallmark Partners, is leading the development of Beacon Riverside and has a significant track record of success with luxury condominiums in Northeast Florida. Weber headed the development of The Ocean Villas at Serenata Beach in Ponte Vedra Beach and Villa Riva condominiums in Riverside, which is home to many prominent Jacksonville citizens.

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What’s Happening in Northeast Florida

July 11th, 2014 · No Comments

48 Hour Film Project, Sun Ray Cinema and The Florida Theatre, July 11-13

With Mother Nature turning up the heat outside, it may be time to consider some indoor activities this weekend.

The 48-Hour Film Project offers an opportunity Friday, July 11, Saturday, July 12 and Sunday, July 13 to catch short films produced by local crews in a frenzied 48 hours in the comforts of an air-conditioned theater.

Premiere screenings will take place at Sun Ray Cinema in Riverside July 11, 12 and 13, and The Florida Theatre downtown will host a “Best Of” screening. The Jacksonville winner is eligible to compete for the Best 48 Hour Film of the Year Award.

For tickets and information, you may visit the Ticketmaster website.

Shrek: The Musical at The Alhambra, July 11-27

Another theater with extra-cold air-conditioning is The Alhambra Dinner Theatre – which is hosting “Shrek: The Musical” beginning Friday, July 11 and continuing Saturday, July 12, and Sunday, July 13.

The beloved ogre, chatty donkey, and spitfire princess from the Dreamworks Classic turned Tony Award-winner enact their adventurous tale in front of Northeast Florida crowds through July 27.

Ticket for matinees begin at $35 for children and $47 for adults. For more information about meals that are included and discounts available, visit the Alhambra box office online.

Kayak Guana Full Moon, Saturday, July 12

OK, so maybe by the time the sun sets on Saturday things outdoors might have cooled off. So join the folks of Ripple Effects Ecotours for their Kayak Guana Full Moon paddle on Saturday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m.

As a full moon rises above the still waters, you’ll be quietly paddling through unspoiled marshes of the Guana River Preserve in what Folio Weekly Magazine voted the “Best Place to Kayak.”

The cost is $55 per person, and the price includes passes to the Educational Center. People of all levels of kayaking are welcome.

For more information, visit the event website.

Jacksonville Beach Summer Jazz Concert, Sunday, July 13

And if you’re a hearty outdoors soul, check out the Jacksonville Beach Summer Jazz Concert on Sunday, July 13, beginning at 5 p.m. at the Sea Walk Pavilion.

It’s free and includes national recording artists playing alongside the rhythm of the ocean. Bring your blanket or lawn chair and enjoy refreshments available from local vendors.

The concert headliner is Nick Colionne, and the concert also includes Jessy J and Nate Mitchell.

Visit JacksonvilleBeach.org for more information.

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Supporting Wreaths Across America

July 7th, 2014 · No Comments

For the third year in a row, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty is raising money in support of “Wreaths Across America,” a national campaign designed to remember and honor fallen veterans.

“We are proud to support this national effort to place a commemorative wreath on every veteran’s headstone,” said Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Broker/Manager Ann King of the company’s St. Augustine office, who initiated the company’s participation. “We want to honor our veterans and their families, and we encourage others to join us.”

Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, which began in 1992. The organization collects donations to purchase commemorative wreaths that are placed on the headstones of veterans buried at national cemeteries and other locations across the country. Wreath-laying ceremonies will be held at more than 750 locations on Saturday, Dec. 13, including the national cemeteries in Jacksonville and St. Augustine.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is accepting donations or sponsorships to support Wreaths Across America. The cost is $15 for each wreath. The deadline to donate money or purchase a wreath is Aug. 1. Contact Ann King at (904) 471-6906 for more information.

“We believe in the American dream, and it is our privilege to be part of a campaign that acknowledges those who sacrificed so much to protect our freedom,” said Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty Founder, President and CEO Linda Sherrer. “We appreciate the opportunity to support this program and its efforts to remember and honor veterans in Northeast Florida and around the country.”

Wreaths Across America is expected to distribute more than 400,000 wreaths nationwide this December. More information is available at www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices provides support to numerous military charities including the Wounded Warrior Project, K9s for Warriors and Kans 4 K9s. The company also supported Operation Jolly Green Feet, a U.S. Air Force effort to collect clothing and supplies for children in Djibouti, Africa.

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Sisler Johnston Receives Top Votes at Designers on Parade Event at Tamaya

July 2nd, 2014 · No Comments

Judith Sisler Johnston, president of Sisler Johnston Interior Design, presents a check to Matt Wilford of Builders Care

Sisler Johnston Interior Design won the “People’s Choice Award” as the top overall vote-getter from visitors at the Designers on Parade event at the master-planned community of Tamaya in Jacksonville.

Visitors rated the overall interior designs of the homes and also scored the interior designs of family rooms, kitchens, dining rooms, owners suites, kids rooms and patios. The models Sisler Johnston merchandised won Best Overall, Best Family Room, Best Kitchen, Best Dining Area, Best Owners Suite and Best Kids Room and received honorable mention for Best Patio/Backyard Living.

Sisler Johnston was one of four interior designers selected to merchandise interiors of the eight model homes at Tamaya and to participate in Designers on Parade, a weeklong event showcasing the designers and their work.

“I am honored that people who voted among the hundreds who visited Tamaya during the event were impressed with our work,” said Judith Sisler Johnston, president of Sisler Johnston Interior Design and allied member, ASID, whose firm merchandised the Victoria and Madeline models at the Mediterranean-style community. “ICI Home’s Tamaya is a wonderful community and I’m proud to be associated with it.”

Sisler Johnston donated a monetary prize she won to Builders Care, a charitable arm of Northeast Florida Builders Association that renovates homes for those in need.

In addition to voting on their favorite designs, the Designers on Parade event gave prospective homebuyers and real estate professionals a chance to meet the designers, ask questions and learn about current design trends.

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Cedar Bay – Unique Riverfront Community

July 1st, 2014 · No Comments

When potential buyers are looking for a home, it is tempting to only focus on square footage, amenities and price. While these factors are important, one additional characteristic that can separate one home from another is the community in which it is located. The North Jacksonville community of Cedar Bay gives a first impression that is worth experiencing, and one that visitors notice immediately.

From the immaculate and appealing neighborhood entrance to hilly streets that lead down to a breezy and shaded riverfront park, Cedar Bay is truly unique – and merits a look by even the most discriminating of buyers.

Cedar Bay is tucked away on a beautiful piece of riverfront property alongside the scenic Broward River. The neighborhood has been carefully planned and designed with traditional architecture, a welcome change from the typical “Florida-style,” and this look and feel is consistent throughout homes and amenities.

Sloping hills are dotted with one- and two-story homes, and invite bike riding and walking – and indeed, resident families are often seen doing these very things.

“Cedar Bay is a distinct community for Jacksonville,” said Roger Postlethwaite, president of GreenPointe Homes. “Not only does it have award-winning homes at exceptional prices, but the overall feel of the neighborhood is unique. Our residents love living here.”

There are 135 families living in Cedar Bay, and the community welcomed six new families during the month of May. The community is nearly built to capacity, but GreenPointe Homes has reserved some of its best homesites – including options on the river – for today’s buyers. There are several move-in ready residences for immediate occupancy, or buyers can choose from one of GreenPointe Home’s wide range of floorplans.

“There is incredible pride of ownership here. Residents are always working in their yards, and the homes are beautifully maintained,” said Vicki Bratvold, president of GreenPointe Realty. “For buyers looking for a one-of-a-kind neighborhood, Cedar Bay is truly special. And right now, buyers can purchase a riverfront home or homesite for an extremely low premium – only $15,000 to $20,000 above the base price.”

Cedar Bay is conveniently located near River City Marketplace, the largest shopping complex in North Jacksonville, which offers homeowners an opportunity to take advantage of numerous shopping and dining opportunities. It is a short drive from the Jacksonville International Airport and from downtown Jacksonville. It is also an easy commute to several military bases.

“If buyers are seeking a unique community in a peaceful area of the city, I encourage them to take a look at Cedar Bay and tour our GreenPointe Homes model home,” said Bratvold. “Everyone who visits here is amazed, and many end up calling it home.”

For more information about GreenPointe Homes and Cedar Bay, call (904) 619-1928 or visit www.cedarbayjax.com.

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