Friday, August 17, 2018
Business

Nickerson receives 'Key Citizen' recognition from Brandon Chamber

BRANDON — For years Janine Nickerson has been a familiar face at the Greater Brandon of Commerce's annual banquets. She is, after all, a longtime member who's served on several committees and helped out with membership drives.

True to form, she turned out for this year's event on Jan. 27 at the Regent and took a seat at a table among a few fellow chamber members, some who came with their spouses, and others, like her, who came stag.

While Nickerson's husband Steve is a sociable guy, he prefers smaller gatherings to one's like the chamber dinner, which this year filled the entire ballroom with attendees.

But, within moments in walked Steve Nickerson with their daughter Christine Robbins, who'd told her mom two weeks earlier she'd planned a dinner date with her dad that night.

Robbins wasted no time in telling her mother their reason for being there.

She said her boss, Melissa Snively — a State Farm Insurance franchise owner, Hillsborough County School board member, and Brandon chamber member — called at the last minute asking her to record Snively singing the National Anthem at the semi-formal event with the soon-to-open TGH Brandon Healthplex as presenting sponsor.

Unknown to her mother, that was a cover story.

Toward the end of the evening's program, which included remarks from outgoing chamber Chairman Cami Gibertini and incoming Chairman Tad Denham, Janine Nickerson was named the organization's 2016 Key Citizen.

Paul Senory, last year's award recipient, made the announcement, rattling off a litany of organizations and causes Nickerson has taken part in, as well as her business accomplishments, since she moved from Pennsylvania to Brandon in 1976.

Senory presented Nickerson with a framed collage of photos that Robbins had secretly printed from her mom's computer.

Nickerson has been involved with the chamber's education and small business committees and helped out with fundraisers and events at the Museum of Science & Industry in Tampa as well as for Bloomingdale High School's Crimson Doll auxiliary when her children were students there.

The mother of two also is a charter member of the Brandon branch of the All Children's Hospital Guild and a longtime active member of the all-volunteer Community Roundtable, an organization that brings the heads of the area's nonprofit groups together. She served eight years as vice president and now is president.

Nickerson established the roundtable's annual Community Service Forum, where students can connect with local nonprofit organizations to earn community service hours. She also plans and hosts the roundtable's yearly Community Affairs Dinner, its annual fundraising golf tournament, and the Brandon Honorary Mayor's race. What's more, she co-chairs Brandon's Fourth of July Parade.

From 1995 through 2008, Nickerson was owner/publisher of the Brandon-Valrico Journal — a newspaper that showcased student achievements and a business that earned her the chamber's 1999 Small Business of the Year award.

"Obstacles are what you see when you take your eye off of the goal," she said as she took to the stage to accept the recognition.

Nickerson later said she is humbled to receive the honor, pointing to the many dedicated volunteers throughout the greater Brandon community who also have won it.

"People say I've done something special, but I've done what I'm supposed to do," she said. "Others before me have also stepped forward to do what had to be done."

Robbins, still marveling at how she kept the award secret from her mom, her dad and her husband — who isn't good, she admitted, at keeping tight-lipped about these sorts of things — called it a thrilling moment when she heard her mother's name announced.

"I could see mom welling up and I told her what she's always told me — breathe out of your mouth," Robbins said. "I'm really proud of her and I'm so happy she got this award."

Anne Nymark, who also has played a key role in charitable organizations over the course of many years, received the chamber's 2016 Community Leader award.

In addition, chamber Chairman Denham recognized Brandon area businesses owners who've been chamber members for more than 50 years. They include Bill's Prescription Center, Brandon Insurance Agency, Brandon Sports & Aquatic Center, Curry Law Group, Dykes-Johnson Architecture, Frontier Communications, Hunt Family Dental Care, Kentucky Fried Chicken – Phil Mook Enterprises, Mac's Mini Storage, Stowers Funeral Home, Sunshine Bank, Tampa Electric Company and Tom Miller Insurance – State Farm.

Contact Joyce McKenzie at [email protected]

Comments
Pinellas commission candidate faced stalking, abuse claims

Pinellas commission candidate faced stalking, abuse claims

ST. PETERSBURG — A political newcomer seeking a Pinellas County Commission seat has faced accusations of physical abuse and stalking from her former fiance, who twice sought court-ordered protection from her.Both allegations came after Democrat Amy K...
Published: 08/17/18
Tampa Bay’s seventh renovated Winn-Dixie opens in Hernando County

Tampa Bay’s seventh renovated Winn-Dixie opens in Hernando County

SPRING HILL — The latest Winn-Dixie remodel opened in Hernando County on Thursday.This marks the seventh remodeled Winn-Dixie parent company Southeastern Grocers has unveiled in Tampa Bay this year. The chain promised renovations following emerging f...
Published: 08/17/18
St. Petersburg ranks No. 39 in U.S. for affordable living, study says

St. Petersburg ranks No. 39 in U.S. for affordable living, study says

ST. PETERSBURG — St. Petersburg is beating the national averages on affordable homeownership, according to a SmartAsset study.The financial technology company ranked 115 of the biggest cities in the U.S., measured by mortgage payments, property taxes...
Published: 08/17/18

Florida unemployment falls to 3.7 percent

Florida’s unemployment rate hit an 11-year low in July. The jobless rate inched down a notch to 3.7 percent, according to state figures released Friday, continuing the state’s 10-month run of a sub-4 percent unemployment rate. "This is one of the big...
Published: 08/17/18
Welfont, KnowBe4, Teami and other Tampa Bay companies rank high in Inc. 5000 list

Welfont, KnowBe4, Teami and other Tampa Bay companies rank high in Inc. 5000 list

While a Wisconsin company that makes software to execute shipments and a trendy cellphone grip company out of Colorado may have taken the top spots in this year’s Inc. 5000 list — Florida still had an impressive showing. Every year, Inc. ranks the 5...
Published: 08/17/18
Wages remain stagnant in Florida despite super low unemployment. What’s going on?

Wages remain stagnant in Florida despite super low unemployment. What’s going on?

It remains our biggest economic enigma: Sluggish wage growth despite low unemployment. In a robust job market, pay rises as the supply of available workers shrinks. At least that’s the way it normally works. This time around, the ingredients appear ...
Published: 08/17/18
Children who lived with smokers are more likely to die of lung disease as adults, study says

Children who lived with smokers are more likely to die of lung disease as adults, study says

Childhood exposure to secondhand smoke is linked to lung disease decades later, according to a study published Thursday by the American Cancer Society.For 22 years, researchers have been following more than 70,000 adults who have never smoked. At the...
Published: 08/17/18
What would it take to overthrow king Publix? Safeway’s Florida exit begs the question.

What would it take to overthrow king Publix? Safeway’s Florida exit begs the question.

LARGO — Everything is on clearance inside Tampa Bay’s only Safeway grocery store. Patio furniture, 40 percent off. Beach chairs, too. Most grocery items are 30 percent off; the entire liquor store is 20 percent off.The discounts will probably get ste...
Published: 08/17/18
Trump asks SEC to look into ditching quarterly filings

Trump asks SEC to look into ditching quarterly filings

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump says he’s asking federal regulators to look into the effectiveness of the quarterly financial reports that publicly traded companies are required to file. In a tweet early Friday, Trump said that after speaking with ...
Published: 08/17/18
Dear Penny: How can I tell my boss to stop making fun of my old car?

Dear Penny: How can I tell my boss to stop making fun of my old car?

Dear Penny,I’m a recent college grad who’s been working an entry-level job for the past year. I only make about $33,000 a year, but I’m doing OK. I’m able to pay my bills without taking on more debt. One of the reasons I’m able to do so is that I dri...
Published: 08/17/18