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Clay Business Connection

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

Gov. Scott Appoints Four to Clay County Development Authority

Gov. Scott Appoints Four to Clay County Development Authority

Gov. Scott Appoints Four to Clay County Development Authority


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced four appointments to the Clay County Development Authority.

Keith R. Ward, 56, of Orange Park, is the president of Thomas May Construction Company. He succeeds Matthew Carlton for a term beginning August 28, 2017 and ending July 1, 2021.


Bruce Butler, Jr., 37, of Green Cove Springs, is a Federal Law Enforcement Officer. He received his bachelor’s degree from Florida A & M University. He succeeds Ernest Dobson for a term beginning August 28, 2017 and ending July 1, 2021.


Tom Morris, 62, of Middleburg, is the executive director of Clay County Utility Authority. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and his master’s degree from the University of North Florida. He succeeds William Randall for a term beginning August 28, 2017 and ending July 1, 2021.


Amy Pope Wells, 46, of Green Cove Springs, is the owner of Link Staffing Services and president of Tire Diva, Inc. She received her associate’s degree from the ACC school of nursing. She fills a vacant seat for a term beginning August 28, 2017 and ending July 1, 2019.

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Americans Urged to Donate Blood in Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey


Hurricane Harvey and its associated flooding are impacting the nation’s blood supply. The AABB Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism is urging eligible donors across America, especially those with type O-positive blood, to make and keep donation appointments as soon as possible.

With blood drives cancelled for multiple days due to dangerous widespread flooding in Southeast Texas, all blood collection agencies in the U.S. are making every effort to meet the emergency blood needs of patients and ensure a sufficient blood supply in storm affected areas. It is important for blood donors to give in the coming days and weeks to meet the immediate and future needs in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. If donations are negatively impacted, the long-term needs of patients could be affected. 

“We are asking all potential donors, both current and first-timers, to make a commitment to donate blood or platelets as soon as possible,” said Dennis Todd, chair of the task force. 

Individuals with type O blood are critically important at this time and should schedule a blood donation appointment as soon as possible. Type O blood is the only blood type that can be safely transfused to most patients with other blood types and is frequently used in emergency situations. The task force applauds those who wish to help and encourages all eligible individuals to give blood regularly to help ensure that blood is available whenever and wherever it is needed. 

The task force will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as blood needs change. Those interested in donating blood may contact the following organizations to find a local blood drive and to schedule an appointment: 

AABB:; +1.301.907.6977
America’s Blood Centers:
American Red Cross:; +1.800.RED CROSS (+1.800.733.2767)
Armed Services Blood Program:; +1.703.681.8024

The task force was formed in January 2002 to help make certain that blood collection efforts resulting from domestic disasters and acts of terrorism are managed properly and to deliver clear and consistent messages to the public regarding the status of America’s blood supply. The task force is composed of representatives from U.S. blood services, associations and commercial entities, as well as liaisons from governmental agencies, who work together in an effort to ensure that safe and adequate blood product inventories are in place at all times in preparation for disasters. In addition, the task force operates as a mechanism to assess the need for collections and/or transportation of blood should a disaster occur. 

AABB serves as the designated coordinating entity for the task force. In addition to AABB, members include AdvaMed, America's Blood Centers, American Association of Tissue Banks, American Hospital Association, American Red Cross, Blood Centers of America, College of American Pathologists, National Marrow Donor Program and the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association. Liaisons from the following government agencies also participate in task force discussions: Armed Services Blood Program and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration. 

In the event of an emergency, AABB immediately convenes a meeting of task force representatives. Local blood center(s) are responsible for ascertaining medical needs based on casualty estimates using pre-determined formulas, assessing available local supply, and communicating that information to the task force. In a disaster, the first priorities of the interorganizational task force are to: 

Verify and communicate to the blood community the medical need for blood;
Identify sites with existing excess blood inventory;
Determine the need, if any, for blood shipment and the logistics of such shipments; and
Develop public messages and facilitate the discussion of donor issues.

Florida Georgia Storm Update

Attached you will find the local briefing for Potential Tropical Cyclone #10 off the Georgia coast. If the system drifts a bit further west conditions could increase along the coast especially near Brunswick and Saint Simons Island. Overall conditions for the system will remain pretty much as we are seeing them now, which is the equivalent of a strong wintertime local northeaster. Any water level rises in the estuary system are expected to be modest with up to a 1 foot water level above astronomical tide expected. As this is a low end system expected to move away from the area we will be posting future briefings to our Briefing URL

Transition of Chamber Leadership

It is with mixed emotions that I announce Doug Conkey has accepted a position with another organization and has resigned his position as President. Tresa Calfee, who has worked under Doug’s leadership as Vice President of Operations, has been named Interim President, effective immediately.



Tropics Come Alive

While Tropical Storm Harvey continues its westerly track toward Central America, forecasters are keeping a wary eye on a trailing system that could target the East Coast — and Florida — by late next week.

As of Friday at 5 a.m., Invest 92 showed continued signs of development and had a 70 percent chance for formation in the next 48 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center.

It was located about 900 miles east of the Leeward Islands and is forecast to move west-northwest at 20 mph in the next few days.

In its current track, the system could skirt Puerto Rico and move through the Atlantic and approach the southern coast of Florida by late next week.

"It's nothing to panic about, but something to keep an eye on," 10Weather WTSP meteorologist Ashley Batey said.

Harvey is producing heavy rains in the Windward Islands and is located about 30 miles east-southeast of Barbados.

It has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph with higher gusts, and further strengthening is forecast and as moves west at 18 mph.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Martinique, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Dominica is under a tropical storm watch.

Harvey could produce 2-4 inches of rain and flash floods across the Windward Islands.

Hospice Compare Website LIVE

This is a milestone day for the hospice industry, as today the Hospice Compare website ( went live.  Hospice Compare provides the public with access to hospice quality data. Consumers are able to search for all Medicare-approved hospice organizations allowing them to compare the quality of care throughout the nation.

I am very proud to announce that scores for Haven are overall above the national average, and I wanted to share those with you. Please see the tablebelow.


Haven Data

Gayle Mattson
Haven Hospice President

Orlando and Jacksonville in top 10 U.S. cities


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economic development

Florida Cities Leading the Way


Two Florida cities - Orlando and Jacksonville -are among the top ten U.S. cities with the fastest growing economies. In a recent Forbes article, Orlando was listed as the second fastest-growing economy with Jacksonvillecoming in at number eight.

The analysiswas completed byHeadlight Data and based on the percentage change in employment between the annual average of 2015 and 2016. In 2016, U.S. employment grew 1.7 percent while top ranking Orlando saw employment growth of of 4.2 percent and Jacksonville saw growth of 3.4 percent.


What will state and localgrowth look like in 2030?

As Florida prepares forincreased population, disruptions in workforce needs and greater pressures on infrastructure and natural resources, how will we plan for the future?

  • These conversations and more will be discussed with business, state and community leaders during the September Future of Florida Forum. For information, click here.
  • For state and county level data on a number of metrics including unemployment rate, graduation rate, and per capita income, visit