Southeast Florida Roundup
Paddleboarding for a Cause
Paddleboarding for a Cause
At age 4 in 2011, Piper Suits was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder affecting the lungs and other organs. Piper’s Angels, founded by her father, Travis Suits, hosts the Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis, an 80-mile stand-up paddleboard journey from Bimini to Lake Worth Beach. Travis and a few others first made the journey — 15½ hours — in 2013 to create exposure for the cystic fibrosis community. Ten years later, it’s grown into an endurance challenge and international championship race. In 2022, 126 paddlers and 54 boats raised $461,386. This year’s event will be in June. Registration remains open for fundraising and paddlers.
Before becoming a full-time advocate for the cause as founder and executive director of Piper’s Angels, Travis Suits worked in media and hospitality. He lives in Jupiter Farms. Piper lives in Melbourne with her mother. She’s now 15 and loves cheerleading, friends, yoga, her bike, the beach, painting and reading. She hopes to be a nurse.
- Fortune International Group and Oak Capital broke ground on the 205-unit Ritz-Carlton Residences, Pompano Beach, the first Ritz-branded residences on Florida’s east coast. Completion of the twin-tower project is scheduled for 2025.
- Home builder Pulte Homes opened 284-home Highpointe in Martin County. Prices range from the $520,000s to more than $784,000.
- Attorneys Bob and Grace Manne are donating $1 million over five years to fund legal services to curb evictions in Broward County. Manne Foundation Homeless Prevention Program will work with HOPE South Florida and Legal Aid Service of Broward County.
- William and Tiffany Meyer gave $8.5 million to the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, one of the largest donations in federation history. The foundation has been renamed the William A. Meyer Jewish Community Foundation. It serves one of the largest and fastest-growing Jewish communities in North America. Meyer’s company, Meyer Jabara Hotels, owns and operates 30 hotels in a dozen states. Tiffany Meyer is executive national vice president at Arbonne International.
- Medical device maker Kessel Medical, which relocated from Atlanta to Vero Beach in late 2021, will hire 20 employees after receiving a jobs incentive grant from Indian River County. Kessel makes in-vitro diagnostics and neurosurgical implants.
- Business leaders John J. and Sheila Rinker and the Marshall & Vera Lea Rinker Foundation donated $26 million to Palm Beach Atlantic University, the largest single gift in the university’s history, to fund the six-story Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker Business Building that will include a stock trading room, a lecture hall and the LeMieux Center for Public Policy.
- FAU’s Florida Atlantic Athletics partnered with Opendorse to create a marketplace where FAU athletes can market themselves for endorsement deals.
- The National Association of School Resource Officers named Indian River State College and its Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex as its official training location.
- WM, formerly known as Waste Management, will invest $75 million in what it says will be the largest and most advanced recycling facility in the Southeast U.S. It will be on 12 acres near the Miami- Dade and Broward county line.
- Humana closed its Senior- Bridge Jupiter facility, laying off 157.
Smart City Tech
Fort Lauderdale-based Ubicquia’s “smart city” tech makes it possible for cities, utilities and communications companies to accelerate 5G deployment, streetlight control, street-level video and audio intelligence and the monitoring of networks, air quality and noise. The company originally was based in Melbourne but moved to Fort Lauderdale because of nearby Motorola and a pool of workers engaged in mobility, utilities and municipal services, says CEO Ian Aaron, an Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year winner in 2022. That made it the ideal place to scale the refocused company, he says. The company employs 150 in Florida.