Member News


Clay Business Connection

News from around the Clay County business community and Chamber of Commerce.

Commissioner Adam Putnam Names Dr. Martha Rhodes Roberts as 2017 Woman of the Year in Agriculture

Dr. Roberts dedicated 35 years of service to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, where she championed policy changes for the advancement of Florida's agriculture industry, trade and production practices. The award, now in its 33rd year, recognizes women who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture.

“I'm honored to name Dr. Roberts the 2017 Woman of the Year in Agriculture,” said Commissioner Adam H. Putnam. “During her tenure with the department, Dr. Roberts advanced Florida agriculture.”

Dr. Roberts was born in Oxford, Mississippi, and later moved to Gainesville, Georgia, where she attended Blue Ridge High School and participated in the 4-H Club. Roberts graduated summa cum laude from North Georgia College, and she continued her studies at the University of Georgia, where she earned her master's degree in bacteriology, a Ph.D. in microbiology and public health postdoctoral studies.

Dr. Roberts joined the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Division of Food Safety in 1968 as a Microbiologist/Chemist. She was appointed Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture in 1984, and was the first woman in the United States to hold this position. From 1991 to 2003, Dr. Roberts served as the department's Deputy Commissioner and played a pinnacle role in shaping agricultural policies to improve practices in each stage of production. Beginning in 2003, Dr. Roberts served 13 years as Director of Industry Relations  and then as Special Assistant for Government Affairs for the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).

Throughout her career, Dr. Roberts served in leadership capacities for numerous organizations, including: President of the Association of Food and Drug Officials, Chairman of the Conference for Food Protection, the FDA Food Advisory Committee and the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods, the University of Florida International Trade and Policy Center Board of Directors, the Farm Foundation, Food Foresight and Chair of the Feeding Tomorrow Foundation. She has served on the Board of the Center for Produce Safety since its inception in 2007, and currently serves as a consultant with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture on FSMA implementation with the FDA.

Dr. Roberts has received numerous awards from the FDA, USDA and industry associations. In recognition of her lasting contributions to the agriculture industry, Dr. Roberts was inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2003. She continues to support Florida agriculture as a scientific authority, industry counselor and advocate.

The Woman of the Year in Agriculture award is sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida State Fair Authority, and the award will be presented to the recipient during the 2018 Florida State Fair in Tampa.

Job Fair - Over 30 Companies Hiring for 100's of New Jobs

At our most recent job fair on June 20th, we hosted almost 40 Companies as well as 800 job seekers who had the opportunity to meet with many of Jacksonville's best companies.

UNF Division of Continuing Education Wins Distinguished Award

The University of North Florida’s Division of Continuing Education was just recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Holmes Corporation as a TOP 20 SHRM Educational Provider nationwide! The awards ceremony took place in New Orleans, Louisiana on May 2-4, 2017. Certificates were presented to the institutions that had the highest enrollments for the 2016 SHRM Learning System® course.

Lots of News

I hope everyone is getting some time to enjoy the summer vacation period.  If it is anything like the Chamber, when not resting on vacation or off hours, it is a frantic pace to keep up with many tasks.  The biggest news is our impending move in late September to our new home in Fleming Island.  There will lots of posts and news as we prepare so you will be able to follow along leading up to our own ribbon cutting and grand re-opening. 

Your Opinion Counts!

Clay County residents and employees have through Sunday, July 16 to express their opinions about transit service within, to and from the county, as part of a study to help identify the county’s need for public transportation and recommend transit initiatives.






Cheers to Your Health! at Canterfield of Clay County

Canterfield of Clay County is pleased to host its inaugural event Cheers to Your Health! in order to encourage healthy living for the citizens of Clay County.   

Tropical Cyclone Conditions are NOT Expected for Southeast Georgia & Northeast Florida

  • Tropical cyclone conditions are NOT expected for our local area.
  • Very high moisture well east of the center of PTC#3 will stream over the local area through Thu = Locally Heavy Rainfall Potential
  • A few strong thunderstorms could develop each day and produce gusty winds.
  • An elevated risk of rip currents is expected along the coast. 


SBA Deadline to Apply for Working Capital Loans in Florida is July 17

SBA Deadline to Apply for Working Capital Loans in Florida is July 17

ATLANTA – The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding businesses in Florida that working capital loans are still available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and private nonprofit organizations affected by Hurricane Matthew on Oct. 3 - 19, 2016.

“Businesses that suffered economic losses as a result of the disaster and want to apply for low-interest loans from the SBA are urged to do so before the July 17 deadline,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA Field Operations Center East.

MEGA Job Fair

We continue to add more and more great Companies to this event who will be interviewing and hiring for "Hundreds" of Positions including: