Issue 46, November 13

Last week was incredibly humbling for many among our group.  During our weekly meeting, we took time out from political and business programs to show our appreciation for those who keep us safe in Duval County.  Our club has a long tradition of supporting various members of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for going above and beyond without expectation of reward.  Like our armed service members, these people put their lives on the line for little pay, and no expectation of gratitude simply due to a call to serve.

On Friday, we unveiled our recently redesigned float for the Veterans Day Parade in partnership with Meninak and the JHNSA U.S.S. Adams Naval Warship Museum!  What an incredible honor it was to ride on the float in the parade with Captain Jim Love, Commander Steve Kaufman, and Meninak President Kris Robinson.  The parade turnout was high, and the crowd cheered every time Steve and Jim rang the bell mounted on the front from the Adams.  Riding down Bay Street we could see some spectators sporting subtle hints of having served our country at some point in their lives.  While I was proud of the float built by our members, I felt it a privilege to thank those in the crowd for their service.

Saturday’s deconstruction of the float became far more cumbersome than we ever anticipated.  The intricate design by our own Bill Bishop was easy to disassemble.  What we didn’t count on was the “fun” when unloading the missile on loan from the USS Adams.  While it was an incredible centerpiece for the float and drew attention, I think the bouncing around on the trailer impacted the platform’s structural  integrity.  Just as we were pushing the rear casters onto the ramp, the wood buckled and the casters began to tear off.  As it was obvious repairs would be necessary, our hurdle of getting it back into their store at the landing was the last of our concerns.  Fortunately, Jay Cann’s generosity to SBMC seems never-ending.  One of our members reached out to a friend in the steel business who jumped at the chance to construct a new platform and donate it to the JHNSA.  In the interim, Jay agreed to not only store the missile at his warehouse, but also to engage his staff and forklift in assisting us in removing it from the trailer!  The new donor will now more easily be able to examine the existing structure to plan a strong replacement.

Today I’m sure many of you may be reading this over breakfast before heading out to our annual Jags Tailgate.  We chose this game particularly because it was team’s Military Appreciation themed home game.  Sure it meant a busy weekend for some of our members, but if we’re only going to throw a true SBMC style tailgate, then what better theme to celebrate than our Armed Forces?  Hopefully the players feel the same sense of importance of today’s game, and work hard to make their Military fans proud on this beautiful day.

This week’s program puts us back in business, Jax Chamber CEO Daniel Davis will speak on the recent trip to London.  While the Jags game is the reason to travel, it’s turned into an annual economic development function that yields new jobs from international companies for Jacksonville.  We wanted to ensure the program wouldn’t be that which would have made the Chamber Council Circuit a few mos. prior.  This was the reason behind the timing of Daniel’s presentation.  Also, as we’ve seen significant “wins” in the last year with TopGolf, IKEA, and Amazon, one can’t help but note those may only bring a handful of higher paying jobs.  As our real estate market appears on the mend, it begs the question as to the necessary balance of job growth.  We’ve also asked Daniel to share insight on this topic as well, and what prospects may be in the pipeline to fill that void.

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