Category Archives: News

Deadline Extended for Green Chamber Nominations for 2021 Water Quality & Resource Awards

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (July 19, 2021) – The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce (NFGCC), making it cool and convenient to go green, is recognizing August as National Water Quality Month.

To focus on an important natural resource, we usually take for granted, the Green Chamber is accepting nominations for the 2021 Green Chamber Water Quality & Resource Awards. Deadline is July 27.

The awards will recognize examples of water quality improvement and conservation that best demonstrates significant, lasting, and measurable excellence in water quality improvement or in prevention of water quality degradation by Green Chamber members and other businesses in North Florida in four categories.

Creative Landscape Award

Successful candidate uses engineering design principals of Low Impact Development to reduce or eliminate flow of stormwater and potential contaminants carried with it from the property to receiving waters or that uses natural systems to manage stormwater and contaminants. Living shorelines, xeriscaping and concepts included in the minimal impact design manual are good examples as well as other efforts to use existing natural landscape or restoring landscape to provide water quality improvement and wildlife habitat.

Conservation and Water Reuse Award

Successful candidate successfully demonstrates sustainability through reduction of consumption and reuse of resources. Examples include water conservation through low flow facilities and water reuse from converting wastewater or stormwater into water that can be reused for other purposes. Types of reuses include urban reuse, agricultural reuse (irrigation), environmental reuse, industrial reuse. Reuse may include irrigation of gardens and agricultural fields. Reused water may also be directed toward fulfilling certain needs in residences (e.g., toilet flushing), businesses, and industry. Creative reductions in energy use and resource recycling are included.

Stormwater Management Award

Successful candidate demonstrates creative and beneficial stormwater management activities in their Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans, either on behalf of their own facility or their client’s, by keeping potential contaminants from stormwater exposure at covered industrial sites or optimizing erosion and sedimentation controls at construction sites.

Wetland Protections Award

Candidate demonstrates successful efforts in protecting and enhancing wetlands through project design that avoids impacts to wetlands, including secondary impacts, enhancing wetlands through exotic species removal and hydrologic restoration or other efforts that preserve and expand wetland functions.

What are you doing to protect and conserve sources of freshwater? Let the Green Chamber know so they can acknowledge you during National Water Quality Month or nominate someone. Deadline is July 18. Winners will be announced in August.

The green chamber is a regional networking organization for all sizes of businesses and community organizations including non-profits that emphasize green and sustainable business practices. The award is being created in cooperation with St. Johns Riverkeepers, the Florida Green Building Coalition and the St. Johns River Water Management District.

The Green Chamber Water Quality & Resource Award will recognize examples of water quality improvement and conservation that best demonstrates significant, lasting, and measurable excellence in water quality improvement or in prevention of water quality degradation by Green Chamber members in North Florida.

Enter or nominate someone today.

The North Florida chapter has ongoing networking and educational events and benefits including the Tuesdays@2 monthly virtual meetings, a Buyers’ Club, Sustainability Coaches, the Solar Collective, job fairs, newsletter as well as sponsorship opportunities, discounts, awards, and a mentoring program.

To learn more email contact@northfloridagreenchamber.org, call (904) 878-3474 or visit www.NorthFloridaGreenChamber.org.

JEA Fortifies Commitment to Sustainability by Becoming a Corporate Sponsor of the Green Chamber

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.  (June 9, 2021) — The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce, making it cool and convenient to go green, today announced that JEA has become a corporate sponsor.

The Green Chamber and JEA will partner on outreach programs to communicate to consumers and business owners the value of environmental stewardship as partners in the community. Topics will include energy, water and environmental conservation and utility safety.

“We are excited that JEA is supporting our mission with their leadership role in sustainable business practices,” said Christina W. Kelcourse, executive director. “JEA continues to promote many levels of water conservation. They also evaluate opportunities to expand renewable energy programs by utilizing energy resources including solar, photovoltaic, biomass, landfill gas and wind.”

JEA understands how critical it is to grow in ways that are sustainable financially, but also socially and environmentally. They are committed to striking a balance between sustainability and providing reliable, affordable utility services. Ensuring that our environment is protected and preserved is at the very core of their business, added Kelcourse.

The Green Chamber is a regional networking organization for all sizes of businesses, non-profits and community organizations that emphasize green and sustainable business practices that are economically viable, socially responsible, and environmentally friendly.

In addition to promoting the economic success of Green Chamber members using environmental, socially responsible, and sustainable practices, the North Florida chapter offers mentoring opportunities, educational and social events, job fairs, the Green Marketplace, a Sustainability Coaches program, a Solar Collective, a Buyers’ Club (volume purchasing program), a newsletter and dedicated social media platforms.

To learn more email contact@northfloridagreenchamber.org, call (904) 878-3474 or visit www.NorthFloridaGreenChamber.org.

ABOUT THE NORTH FLORIDA GREEN CHAMBER COMMERCE

Welcome to The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce (NFGCC) where being green is cool and convenient!  Today, more businesses than ever understand how critical it is to grow in ways that are sustainable financially, but also socially and environmentally. NFGCC is a 501(c)6 non-profit member organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. and established in 2018 to advance sustainable business in Northeast Florida through networking, education, and advocacy. NFGCC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and is a member of the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Mike Bonts Public Relations

(904) 424-6641

mike@bontspr.com

North Florida Green Chamber Announces Additions to 2021 Board

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (June 7, 2021) – The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce (NFGCC), making it cool and convenient to go green, has announced additions to its 2021 Board of Directors.

Paula Holanchock is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration and Social Entrepreneurship Program Director at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla.; Dolly Penland is President & CEO of Business Results; Dr. Simmie Raiford, Executive Director of the Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership and Joe Sampson, Founder, Nuera Marketing.

They join Chairman Mary Tappouni, Breaking Ground Contracting; Secretary Kelly Karstaedt, Executive Director of the Jacksonville Justice Association; Treasurer Jessica Handley, Tax Manager at BDO; Craig Barzso, co-founder of AltWays and Paul Sifton, a partner in Bee Friends Farm and co-owner of 927 Events.

“The additional leadership on the Green Chamber’s board of directors has strong representation across sectors from our business community,” said Christina Kelcourse, NFGCC Executive Director. “They will help shape the Green Chamber’s mission and programs. We could not fulfill our purpose without their commitment and expertise.”

Holanchock encourages socially and environmentally conscious entrepreneurs and business leaders to consider a circular economic approach that embraces the triple bottom line.  She inspires compassionate and conscious leaders to create prosperous and inclusive ‘life economies’ through spiritual decision-making, embodying conscious leadership for systems change, regeneration, and organizational renewal.

Penland works with organizations helping them to hire and manage their talent to their highest potential. She specializes in multiple areas including helping businesses grow sales, reduce turnover, and develop leaders. Dolly helps companies achieve their strategic objectives by employing expert consulting, a wide range of leadership training, and a suite of human capital assessments.

Sampson is passionate about helping people and organizations reach their potential, starting companies and growing others. Through the organization’s first two years, Joe led One Spark as executive director and COO to become a top-20 event—by attendance—in the United States while expanding to Germany and launching a training academy for entrepreneurs and creatives.

Raiford has over 35 years’ experience as an educator at the elementary school, district, and state level. Leadership experience includes work as a principal of a gifted magnet elementary school, and district director of staff development and served as a district-level instructional coach for first-year teachers. State level experience includes working as an educational policy analyst for the Florida Legislature.

The green chamber is a regional networking organization for all sizes of businesses and community organizations that are committed to green and sustainable business practices and support the growing Green Marketplace.

The North Florida chapter has ongoing networking and educational events and benefits including the Tuesdays@2 monthly virtual meetings, a Buyers’ Club, Sustainability Coaches, the Solar Collective, job fairs, newsletter as well as sponsorship opportunities, discounts, awards, and a mentoring program.

To learn more email contact@northfloridagreenchamber.org, call (904) 878-3474 or visit www.NorthFloridaGreenChamber.org.

ABOUT THE NORTH FLORIDA GREEN CHAMBER COMMERCE

Welcome to The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce (NFGCC) where being green is cool and convenient!  Today, more businesses than ever understand how critical it is to grow in ways that are sustainable financially, but also socially and environmentally. NFGCC is a 501(c)6 non-profit member organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. and established in 2018 to advance sustainable business in Northeast Florida through networking, education, and advocacy. NFGCC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and a member of the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Mike Bonts Public Relations

(904) 424-6641

mike@bontspr.com

Position Statement from the North Florida Green Chamber Policy Committee

Support of the Proposed Local Option Gas Tax

City of Jacksonville Ordinance 2021-0223 Local Gas Tax Option and Ordinance 2021-0235 Septic Tanks

The North Florida Green Chamber’s Policy Committee recommends the Jacksonville City Council approve the proposed local option gas tax, Jobs for Jax, to fund critically important infrastructure and quality of life priorities. 

In addition to fulfilling the promises of consolidation, we look forward to seeing these efforts incentivize and expedite the transition to efficient fuel sources, resilient infrastructure, and to spur more public-private partnerships that will create a truly resilient region.  

JTA’s zero emission vehicles, the Ferry, and other important transportation initiatives, like the U2C expansion and future investment in rail and transit-oriented development, are an important way to address current transportation needs while addressing climate action in our region. 

“Investment that values all of our neighborhoods and support of JTA’s transportation initiatives, both short and long-term, are vital to a vision of a more sustainable Jacksonville,” said Christina Kelcourse, Executive Director. 

We also fully support and commend the Curry Administration for addressing septic tank removal. 

The Green Chamber Policy Committee looks forward to continuing to engage with the Curry Administration, city agencies and the Jacksonville City Council members on this and other topics of key importance to Jacksonville.

____________________________________________________________________________________

About the Green Chamber

Welcome to The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce (NFGCC) where being green is cool and convenient!  Today, more businesses than ever understand how critical it is to grow in ways that are sustainable financially, but also socially and environmentally. NFGCC is a 501(c)6 non-profit member organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. and established in 2018 to advance sustainable business in Northeast Florida through networking, education, and advocacy. NFGCC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and is a member of the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce. Visit www.northfloridagreenchamber.org.

Member Profile: Becky Russo of BecCreative

How did you get into this business? 
A happy accident. During the fall of my freshman year, I took prequestic classes for computer programming and early education.  I wasn’t sure of my major yet, but it was in my art elective someone told me about graphic design. The next semester, I took GD1 and was hooked. 

Describe a time you collaborated cross-functionally on a design project?
When FSCJ was transitioning into Florida State College of Jacksonville. I worked with a team of people that were in education, government, public relations, and administration to create a new brand. Along with the messaging to introduce their new position within the world of higher education.  

How do you stay abreast of the latest design trends?
Being aware of my surroundings. I constantly survey the world around me. Design is everywhere, even the cereal box in the grocery store. I notice trends online and find creative ways to utilize them into my own work.  

Are there key metrics you use to track your design’s success?
For most projects, I rely on feedback from my clients. Was their campaign successful, did they reach their goals and make adjustments from there. 

Tell us about the best design project from your portfolio.
My favorite projects are always the ones where I get to create a new brand. For example, I love seeing my Florida Elite Soccer logo all over town. 

If you didn’t work in the marketing world, what would you be doing?
I’m not 100% sure, but I wish I would have taken the summers in college to be a white water rafting guide in North Carolina. 

Becky Russo is president of Jacksonville, Fla. -baded BecCreative. She helps brands and businesses reach their full marketing potential by providing the branding, creative, content and digital marketing expertise to show what makes them unique. Contact Becky.

Green Chamber Member Zero Waste Finding Niche in Market

North Florida Green Chamber member Zero Waste Disposal & Recycling uses environmentally compatible systems and solutions for non-hazardous waste handling.

They have been in business for three years and made an early commitment to promote sustainable business by joining the Green Chamber.

“It’s important to us personally and professionally to do what we can to be environmentally conscious,” said Zero Waste Vice President Jean David Charles. A locally minority and woman-owned business, La Fashion Charles is the CEO and Jose L. Bosque is the managing director.

Charles and his team have seen an uptick in business. Zero Waste recently installed a new submersible, well pump system for Saddle Brook water plant to assure residents have clean drinking water.

Other services include grease trap disposal, liquid waste disposal, and zero waste recycling and used cooking oil recycling. Charles puts that waste to work by creating energy, fertilizer and other environmentally safe solutions and products.

“Our goal is to protect our sewers, environment, and waterways, all while creating sustainable products with the waste. This takes reliable and safe equipment and processes to collect and recycle waste ethically and in an environmentally friendly manner,” added Charles.

Zero Waste’s practices are, in compliance with Florida’s bylaws and support the ecosystem and renewable resources for sustainability.

Learn more at https://zero-waste-disposal.com/

Membership Benefit: What Is Sustainability Coaching?

By Ashley Stephenson, Green Chamber Communications Intern

Growing a business is hard.

Between typical business procedures and navigating a pandemic, implementing green practices into your business may be the last thing on your mind. The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce (NFGCC) understands this, and that is why we offer sustainability coaching.

“We offer a coaching program for members to help them to develop a strategic approach to sustainability. The program is aimed at start-ups and established businesses and brands that are working towards making sustainability values a core of their business model,” said NFGCC Executive Director Christina Kelcourse, Esq, CFP, CRPC.

This free program is a membership benefit that helps member companies and brands go green and become more sustainable.

When you choose a sustainability coach they will help you implement effective strategies to take out any guesswork. Sustainability coaches can go beyond small changes to take your business’s green practices to the next level.

Each of our sustainability coaches are experienced in their industries and prepared to provide custom coaching. Regardless of what type of business you run, there is someone prepared to help.

For example, Ashley Powell of Building It Green Consulting is a sustainability coach who specializes in green building.

“While small changes to a business sustainability plan can make a big impact, we focus on the whole building impacts. We focus on green building certifications for new construction and renovations of buildings which encompass site, water, energy, IAQ and materials categories,” noted Powell. “To get the most of establishing and achieving a business’s sustainability goals, we coordinate with all team members including the architect, engineers, contractors and owners from early design to post construction.”

North Florida Green Chairman Mary Tappouni of My Sustainability Officer and Breaking Ground Contracting is also a sustainability coach.

“As both a sustainability consultant and a building contractor, I am uniquely positioned to assist clients in their efforts to incorporate green practices into their business operations,” said Tappouni. “This can range from those who are just getting started in their sustainability endeavor to those who are looking to enhance existing programs.  Our approach applies to a one-person home office as well as a multi-million-dollar business with multiple locations.  It can be as simple as making slight modifications that save the client money and help improve environmental quality, to employee engagement efforts that provide a healthy and supportive workplace.  Regardless of how many initiatives a business wants to tackle, it all starts with a written plan and affirming the goals by setting achievable targets.”

So why wait? Join the Green Chamber to find the right sustainability coach for you and start working on developing your green business.

Growing a business is hard. Practicing sustainability does not have to be.

Email us at NorthFloridaGreenChamber@gmail.com for more information.

Green Chamber Unveils ‘Green Zone’ at 2021 WellFest

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.  (March 26, 2021) — The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce, making it cool and convenient to Be Green, launched its new Green Zone Program at WellFest this month at Johansen Park in Atlantic Beach, Fla.

Christina W. Kelcourse, Esq, CFP, CRPC, Executive Director, North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce (left) and NFGCC Intern Ashley Stephenson at WellFest 2021.

“The Green Zone allows participants at festivals, trade shows and events in Northeast Florida to learn more about becoming a more sustainable business in a fun and casual way while interacting with attendees and other vendors and exhibitors,” noted Christina W. Kelcourse, Esq, CFP, CRPC, Executive Director, North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce.

The Green Zone was created by the Green Chamber to recognize the important, sustainable work that so many businesses are doing in Northeast Florida. It is easy, free, and a win-win for everyone. It connects businesses with the Green Chamber, connects consumers with businesses, helps promote local events, and starts the conversation about going green. 

Events participating in the Green Zone Program will distribute the Green Zone Playbook to their vendors. To be a part of the Green Zone, vendors review NFGCC suggestions for sustainable events, identify areas to make changes, and share their plans with NFGCC.  NFGCC will highlight events with a Green Zone, as well as promote Green Zone vendors on the day of the event by sending visitors to their booths.

In its third year the festival was about local health and wellness business, a maker’s market with local artisans, a kid’s market, Grounds of Grace Coffee, and food from Homespun Kitchen and Big Island Bowls. The Baptist Health Stage also offered a full schedule. WellFest is a family-friendly event is free and open to the public.

Meraki Wellness, Inc. was established in support of the inaugural Beaches WellFest. The non-profit’s vision is to see the growth of WellFest nationwide, providing education to the public by connecting local resources with their communities to build relationships that support improved wellness. Meraki’s goals include the growth of WellFest into five locations in five years.

NFGCC is a regional networking organization for all sizes of businesses and community organizations including non-profits that emphasize green and sustainable business practices.

In addition to promoting the economic success of NFGCC members using environmental, socially responsible, and sustainable practices, the North Florida chapter offers educational events, job fairs, the Green Marketplace, a coaching program, a Buyers Club (volume purchasing program), a newsletter as well as sponsorship opportunities.  

To learn more email contact@northfloridagreenchamber.org, call (904) 878-3474 or visit www.NorthFloridaGreenChamber.org.

ABOUT THE NORTH FLORIDA GREEN CHAMBER COMMERCE

Welcome to The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce (NFGCC) where being green is cool and convenient!  Today, more businesses than ever understand how critical it is to grow in ways that are sustainable financially, but also socially and environmentally. NFGCC is a 501(c)6 non-profit member organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. and established in 2018 to advance sustainable business in Northeast Florida through networking, education, and advocacy. NFGCC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and is a member of the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce.

Meet Noah DeNeo: Chairman, North Florida Green Chamber Student Advisory Council

How did you get interested in the Student Advisoy Council (SAC)?

I got interested in the SAC through a friend of mine who was in it. I called her one day just to catch up, say hi and see if they were available to meet in person. Amidst the conversation, the SAC came up and the soon to be empty spot of Chair came up. I asked about the SAC and what they did. After hearing all about it, I thought to myself, I support this and can lead it. From there I applied and got offered the position as chair.

What are some of the goals of the SAC?

The goals of the SAC for this semester are as follows. We are looking to build the board and expand by incorporation of more members. We are always looking for eager individuals to join. We are hosting a Sustainability Networking Panel with some UNF professors who will be speaking about their careers and different opportunities in the field. Along with chances to ask questions and talk to the professors. Lastly, we are aiming towards the future of trying to get UNF to transfer to a more sustainable and recyclable silver and flatware for the entire university. It is a bold ambition, but with the right time and team, it can get done!

Is the SAC open to anyone enrolled in a college or university?

It is open to those in a college and university! We are even willing to look at those about to join the university system and graduate. High school seniors are welcome to come and talk with us about joining.

How important is it or students t get involved in the Green Chamber movement?

I believe it is very important. It is a good base structure for a career or a change in your life that promotes sustainable practices. It can give great insight and potentially large outreach to being making a difference in the field or community you are a part in. Even if you do not join the SAC, NFGCC is a great group and community to associate and believe in.

What is your major and career plans?

I am majoring in Coastal and Marine Biology with two minors in Leadership and International Business. I hope to find a career that lets me combine those three things as they are passions in my life. I am currently looking towards graduate school at the University of North Florida and the University of Rhode Island.

University and college students throughout Florida are invited to learn more and join the North Florida Green Chamber Student Advisoty Council.

COJ Announces Adaptation Action Area Public Engagement Workshops

The City of Jacksonville Planning and Development Department is hosting Public Engagement Workshops related to sea-level rise and coastal flooding.

The goal of these Workshops is to increase awareness of neighborhood vulnerability to sea-level rise and coastal flooding and to gather input on the community’s priorities for flooding mitigation.

  • Greater Arlington/Beaches: Wednesday, February 17, noon-2 p.m.
  • Southeast: Friday, February 19, noon-2 p.m.
  • Urban Core: Monday, February 22, 4-6 p.m.
  • Southwest: Wednesday, February 24, 10 a.m.-noon
  • North: Friday, February 26, 10 a.m.-noon
  • Northwest: Monday, March 1, 6-8 p.m.

Zoom link for all Workshops:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7646409733
Meeting ID: 764 640 9733

If you have an interest in Social Vulnerability, please try to attend the Urban Core Workshop. If
you have an interest in Historic Resources, please try to attend the Northwest Workshop.
Email communityplanning@coj.net to send comments or feedback.

For more information, please call the Planning and Development Department at 255-7888

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