Category Archives: News

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

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 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, call (904) 878-3474 or visit


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:
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 to send comments or feedback.

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

North Florida Green Chamber Announces Holiday Gift Guide

The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce, making it cool and convenient to go green, has published a Holiday Gift Guide to support local businesses this holiday season.

Download the 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

From stocking stuffers to unforgettable experiences, Green Chamber members are offering the perfect gifts for loved ones near and far during the most magical time of the year.

The pandemic can make shopping at local businesses difficult this year. So, the Green Chamber is here to help. The Holiday Gift Guide and Green Marketplace is an easy way to buy gifts at any price point during the 2020 holiday season.

The guide is also a great resource for discovering more about each member and their work, their leaders, products, and services.

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.

In addition to promoting the economic success of NFGCC members by offering environmental, socially responsible, and sustainable products and services, the North Florida chapter has ongoing events, green job fairs, a Buyer’s Club, Solar Collective, Sustainable Coach, newsletter, as well as sponsorship opportunities, discounts, and a mentoring program.

To learn more email, call (904) 878-3474 or visit

Giving Tuesday: Together We Can Transform The Way America Does Business!

Tuesday, Dec. 1 is Giving Tuesday. The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce (NFGCC) knows that business can achieve economic success while being socially responsible and protecting the environment. We support and recognize businesses that champion these efforts and help those who want to become more sustainable. We advocate for sound policies that further these values.

In addition to advocacy NFGCC offers:

Access to education, toolkits, resources and sustainable products & services
Recognition of sustainability efforts and leadership
Advocacy of business-friendly policies and legislation to further our mission

We focus our local advocacy on improving advantages for businesses and consumers in Nassau, Duval, Saint Johns, Flagler, Baker, Clay, Putnam, Union, Bradford and Alachua counties.

Supporting the North Florida Green Chamber is about keeping a balance between social, economic, and environmental concerns in corporate decision-making; taking care of the natural resources we all use, recompensing the communities in which companies work and promoting long-term value-creation for shareholders.

A core part of the Green Chamber’s mission is backing initiatives to provide simple, affordable and convenient access to the tools needed to succeed, while respecting people and protecting our planet. This includes affordable access to sustainable products and services, innovative solutions to address critical environmental and social issues currently facing North Florida.

We seek to advance legislation that encourages and incentivizes green economic priorities and to level the playing field through the review of current regulations. Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and local organizations to transform their communities.


Green Chamber Supports Local Small Business Campaign

Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020 is Small Business Saturday – a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for North Florida. Please join the North Florida Green Chamber and organizations across the country in supporting local small business by shopping at a small business.

This month the Green Chamber’s Tuesday@2 meetings are focusing on small business.

During this virtual half-hour you will interact in a discussion on a timely, interesting topic, meet a local expert, and leave with your Tuesday Takeaway.

There is no charge to attend Tuesdays @ 2. But registration is required. Seating is limited.

Join the conversation.

Founded by American Express in 2010 and officially cosponsored by SBA since 2011, Small Business Saturday has become an important part of how many small businesses launch their busiest shopping season. According to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, total reported spending among U.S. consumers who said they shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on the day reached a record high of an estimated $17.8 billion.

The same survey reported that more than 70% of consumers are now aware of the Small Business Saturday initiative. Based on this annual survey over the years, Small Business Saturday spending has now reached a reported estimate of $103 billion since the day began in 2010.

Today is Support Your Local Chamber Day

Post your photos and support using #mygreenchamber 

Join other chamber of commerce advocates On National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day, consider:

  • Join or renew your North Florida Green Chamber membership and receive a free gift 
  • Post a photo on social media about why you support your Green Chamber using #mygreenchamber
  • Consider volunteering with the Green Chamber
  • Encourage someone who is not a member to join the Green Chamber
  • Attend the next event hosted by the Green Chamber

The North Florida Green Chamber is here to help support your business. Help us help you on National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day.

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