April 23, 2024
ATS NE August 2023
Firefighter gear often costs more for women, creating a "pink tax" for female firefighters.

Photo: UF

ATS NE August 2023
University of Florida assistant professor of fire science Rae Crandall helps female firefighters gain access to affordable firefighter clothing.

Photo: UF

ATS NE August 2023
Jacksonville University will open its first learning site in St. Johns County at the Fountains at St. Johns. The facility should be finished by next summer.

Photo: Cross Regions Group

ATS NE August 2023
The complete skeleton of a gomphothere, a relative of elephants from more than 5 million years ago, was discovered in Williston near a former river. The find was made at the Florida Museum of Natural History's Montbrook Fossil Dig, where paleontologists and volunteers continue to find many fossils.

Photo: Kristen grace/ Florida Museum

Northeast Florida Roundup

Outfitting Firewomen

Vanessa Caceres | 8/24/2023


Women make up 9% of firefighters in the U.S. One challenge they face is finding clothing that fits well and is affordable. Shirts or pants made of Nomex, a fire- and heat-resistant material, can cost a couple of hundred dollars each and women’s gear is often pricier, in effect creating a “pink tax” for female firefighters.

Rae Crandall, an assistant professor of fire science at the University of Florida, collects and refurbishes firefighter clothing for women and through grants and donations has up to eight sets of Nomex gear to lend to female students each semester. She also helps to hem pants or move buttons as needed. “When you’re out on the fire line, you don’t want them distracted that their pants are falling down,” she says.

Crandall hopes to one day have enough donations of clothing and boots that she can let students keep them.


  • The architecture and planning firm LS3P, which has 12 offices throughout the South, has merged with Ebert Norman Brady Architects of Jacksonville. The Jacksonville office is LS3P’s first Florida location. Tom Norman is office leader and principal of the Jacksonville office. Scott Brady is senior project manager.


  • Curbside recycling can help compensate for greenhouse gas emissions from trash slated for landfills, according to a published study from Timothy Townsend, professor of environmental engineering services at the University of Florida, and Malak Anshassi of Florida Polytechnic University. The duo concluded that recycling’s return on investment is similar to or better than strategies such as transitioning to electric vehicles or purchasing green power.


  • AdventHealth has named Clifton Scott chief operating officer for AdventHealth Palm Coast hospital in St. John’s County and the AdventHealth Palm Coast Parkway hospital in Flagler County, which is scheduled to open to patients this month. A 15-year veteran of AdventHealth, Scott was most recently vice president of ancillary services at AdventHealth Daytona Beach.
  • Reed Hammond is the new CEO of HCA Florida Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville. He was previously CEO of HCA’s Frankfort Regional Medical Center in Kentucky.
  • Flagler Health+ will merge with UF Health in a deal expected to close this summer. Flagler Health+ will begin to integrate into UF Health later this year. In addition to stand-alone offices, Flagler Health+ includes the 335-bed Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine.


  • The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences will build a new 122,000-sq.-ft. campus at the site of the former St. Augustine Record newspaper building. The school has partnered with the real estate investment firm ESJ Capital Partners to complete the $74-million build by December 2024. The location is about two miles from the school’s current site.


  • Justin Cook was named president of PulteGroup’s Northeast Florida division. Before joining Pulte, he was division president at Meritage Homes in South Florida.


  • Cosentino Group, a maker of architectural and design surfaces based in Almería, Spain, plans to open a manufacturing facility in Jacksonville. The $270-million investment includes a groundbreaking slated for January 2025, with an estimated completion in 2028.


  • Medical Microinstruments of Pisa, Italy, will open its first North American office with a lease of 31,000 square feet in Jacksonville. The company distributes equipment for microsurgery.


  • Isaiah Oliver has been named president of the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. He was previously president and CEO at the Community Foundation of Greater Flint in Michigan and succeeds Nina M. Waters, who is retiring on Sept. 1.
  • Thomas Daly Jr. is the new COO of Ability Housing, which specializes in multifamily housing. Daly was previously chief of the Housing and Community Development Division for the City of Jacksonville.
  • Hannah Oberholtzer, a Jacksonville native, will lead Thrive Scholar’s new Jacksonville location. The national group focuses on high-achieving students of color from economically disadvantaged communities.


  • Regency Centers Corp. of Jacksonville and Urstadt Biddle Properties of Greenwich, Conn., are slated to merge in a $1.4-billion, all-stock transaction that will close in the third or fourth quarter of this year. The combined portfolio of the two public companies, which own and operate grocery-anchored shopping centers, includes 481 properties.


  • The St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors & Convention Bureau launched ViajaStAugustine.com, a website geared toward Spanish speakers.

Tags: Northeast, Manufacturing/Distribution, Feature

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