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Author Archives: Trish Utter

From the Desktop

by Trish Utter, Publisher & Chief Bottle Washer

If you know me, you know that I have a passion for cars. It started as a child, as my father would take me to dealerships where he would spend hours looking at vehicles. We lived in England and his dream cars were all American. He came to the U.S. and bought a 1982 Oldsmobile Cutlass Station Wagon, and had it shipped to London. My father had the car converted so it could be driven on the other side of the road and we had to have our brick wall around our garden removed to fit the huge car in the driveway. Needless to say that this massive vehicle would not fit into our “Mini Cooper” sized garage! At the time, it was the only American station wagon in Britain, and caused a lot of head turning as we drove this huge monster down the narrow roads. My father would be worried about how much petrol he was using and if he could find a parking spot in London large enough to fit the car. The car would always draw a big crowd of Brits wondering what “Rock Star” was visiting their village! I would sit in the 3rd row seat that faced to the rear of the car, wearing my cowboy hat and longing for the day I would live in America.

Farm Credit of Florida

Financing for Your Lifestyle

By Ruth Ward

John Hall and Zak Seymour

Zak Seymour and John Hall are experts in financing agricultural operations and rural property. They both work for Farm Credit of Florida at the Alachua branch, which is located on Hwy 441. The Farm Credit System has existed for more than 100 years, loaning money to farmers and those that want land in the country.

Farm Credit of Florida is a member-owned agricultural lending cooperative and a member of the nationwide Farm Credit System. Farm Credit of Florida provides loans, leases, and crop insurance to over 2,610 farmers, ranchers, growers, and rural homeowners across the state, with eleven offices serving Florida. Farm Credit of Florida has approximately 1 billion dollars of assets made up mostly of agricultural type loans to a wide array of farming operations and also rural home loans.

Zak has been with the company for fifteen years. He attended Gainesville High School and the University of Florida. John has fifteen years of experience in agricultural education at middle school, high school, and a collegiate level in Florida, Texas, and Tennessee. Together, they are a wealth of knowledge and experience that is valuable to clients.

John and Zak have financed a variety of unique farm operations that people would never think about as a farm. One of those is Shady Creek Butterfly Farm in Brooker, FL. Mr. & Mrs. Smith raise butterflies that are shipped all over the world for exhibits in museums and zoos.

Acupuncture, Meditation, and Healthy Food

by Joseph Williams A.P.D.O.M

In 2014, a breakthrough Canadian study conducted by researchers at the University of Calgary, (Alberta) and Alberta Health services concluded that meditation may be a powerful complement to treatment plans aimed at altering the cellular activity of cancer survivors.

Today, many are seeking ways to include health and wellness into their lifestyles, especially when you feel your daily life has failed you. Have you ever searched for the right vitamin or supplement or thrown multiple types of seeds, including chia seeds, into your food or shakes? The use of supplements, acupuncture, meditation, etc. is well documented in cancer patients and often not shared with their doctors. Often cancer patients have read about complementary, alternative or integrative approaches to their well-being. They are NOT the same. But how is a person with cancer supposed to incorporate an integrative approach to lessen some side effects and improve their quality of life? Joseph Williams A.P.D.O.M., founder of Sunshine Integrative Health in 2009, has graciously agreed to combine efforts to explain the role of integrative medicine in oncology. Committed to evidence-based care, Joseph Williams is an active member of the International Society of Integrative Oncology and is both published and conducts active research specific to Acupuncture and Cancer Care.

Rev Your Engine at Local Car Clubs

Gainesville Car Friends & Other Local Car Clubs

This group of car enthusiasts meets every Friday night from 7-9pm on the roof top of the parking garage at the Phillips Center. There are about 600 members that come from all different backgrounds. Some are college students while others are local business owners. You will find a vast array of American muscle cars, imports, and unique modified vehicles, and sometimes an exotic will show up.

Working in a Man’s World

by Ruth Ward

“At the end of the day, the relationship with my client is what matters the most.”

– Tammy Broxson

Women being treated as equals has been highlighted by the media. The Commercial world of real estate is one the most male dominated careers in the U.S. Even business CEO, Broker, Carol Bosshardt was told not to bother to get into it as it was a “Good Ol’ Boy” industry! Tammy Broxson, Commercial Broker Associate, is also breaking barriers in the commercial world of real estate, having achieved the CCIM designation, while positioning herself in the top of her field. The Certified Commercial Investment Member, or CCIM, designation is granted to commercial real estate professionals upon successful completion of a graduate-level education curriculum and presentation of a portfolio of qualifying experience, making it an incredibly challenging achievement. To earn it, one must complete rigorous coursework and exams while running their business full-time.

Where are you from?

I was born at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. We moved to Ft Walton Beach Florida when I was 5 years old. I made Gainesville FL my home in 1995.

Are you married, do you have kids?

I am married to Chris Broxson. I have 3 children from previous marriages. Lauren is 27, Gabriella is 16 and Trey is 14. Gabriella and Trey attend GHS.

What do they think of what you do?

Lauren gets her entrepreneurial spirit from me, so she appreciates that I love what I do and I get to share it with so many people bringing a positive impact to their lives. My husband, Chris, is my biggest cheerleader but feels as though he could also have his real estate license with how much he hears about it from me.

From Desperation to Celebrating 25 Years at Her Dream Job

by Trish Utter

The person that greets you at any business is the face of the company. They can make or break a business. For the past 25 years, Sharon Ruthie Hale-Ferguson has been the pivotal part of the success at the law firm of Robert, A. Rush.

This modest woman grew up in N.E. Gainesville. Her father was shot and killed when she was just 5 years old. Ruthie’s mother watched over her like a hawk. She attended Santa Fe College and then became a young mother. Her dreams of going to medical school were over. She had many different jobs, one of which turned into a nightmare of sexual harassment. Ruthie became very depressed and started to miss work due to her co-worker’s sexual advances, and then that company let her go.

What made you apply for a job at the law firm of Robert A. Rush?

Ha! Ha! Ha! I never applied for a job at Robert’s office. I was at home laying on the couch crying my eyes out. I was so depressed, but I had tremendous faith! I had no money and my pride was out the window. After praying, I turned on the television and the news talked about a lawsuit being filed against the county. The contact information was for the Law Office of Robert A. Rush. I could hear a soft still voice telling me to go to that office and speak with them about that lawsuit. I had no idea that God had a plan!

I arrived at Rush’s office a total basket case. I spoke with a former secretary and she said they couldn’t help me. I went back home, but I kept feeling this push to go back. So I did! The secretary said, “Ma’am I told you that we couldn’t help you!” I said, “I know! I’m back to speak with an attorney regarding my employment termination.”

Choosing the Best Vehicle for Your Teen

One minute you are driving your kids back and forth to school and then they are getting their driver’s license and now you feel ….scared. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety teens are 3 times more likely to have an accident than 20 year old drivers, per diven mile.

IIHS is known for its ratings of new vehicles, but for many families, a brand new TOP SAFETY PICK or TOP SAFETY PICK+ isn’t in the budget for a teen’s vehicle. In a national phone survey conducted for IIHS of parents of teen drivers, 83 percent of those who bought a vehicle for their teenagers said they bought it used (see background research).

With that reality in mind, the Institute regularly publishes a list of affordable used vehicles that meet important safety criteria for teen drivers. There are two tiers of recommended vehicles, best choices and good choices. Prices range from about $2,000 to nearly $20,000, so parents can buy the most safety for their money, whatever their budget.

Perfect Way to Spend an Afternoon

Saint Johns Town Center in Jacksonville

by Trish Utter

Executive Chef Partner Paula Cammuso and Service Manager Jonathan Errico

I love little road trips, and often go over to St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville. The drive takes about an hour and a half from Gainesville. This is one of the very best planned, luxury, open-air, shopping areas I have been to. It opened in 2005 and has over one hundred stores, and many restaurants and they recently added a Food Truck area. The Town Center is beautifully landscaped and is a wonderful place to spend a relaxing afternoon. You can park your car and leave it – with lots of convenient parking, it eliminates the stress of driving around for hours looking for a spot, and you park right where the shops are!

Handmade, Sparkling
Raspberry Lemonade

Bring your dog…yes, bring Fido, as you find most of the stores are pet-friendly and have water bowls outside. Some even offer dog treats. There is a small dog park, and as you stroll, you will also find lots of small areas to sit in the shade and relax.

One of Seasons 52 famous
Roasted Mushroom flat breads

My daughter, Brooke, and I started off with lunch at Season 52. We sat at a comfortable, plush booth. Service Manager, Jonathan Errico took the time to give us background on the restaurant and explain the menu. 52 started sixteen years ago in Orlando, and now has many locations. It offers separate vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and glute-free menus. 52 is well known for their light and crispy flat breads. One of our favorites is the Braised Short Rib & Cheddar. It just bursts with flavor and texture. Another signature item is their Organic Sunshine Martini. The vodka is infused with fresh oranges for a week. You really get two drinks for the price of one, as they leave the martini shaker at the table. Brooke loved the Mint Lemonade that is made in-house with agave, lemon and mint chiffonade.

Everything at 52 is only made with the top ingredients. Executive Chef Partner, Paula Cammuso has been with 52 for six years. It is great to see a woman in a male-dominated trade. Chef Cammuso told us that our Cedar Plank-Roasted Salmon entrée (that my daughter and I spilt) is also their most popular. Errico told us that at the end of every night, the restaurant second harvests the leftover food and donates it to the Salvation Army. What a great idea. We had to try one of their mini desserts, as they won the Best American Restaurant Association Award for Small Innovated Desserts. We ended with a cup of cappuccino….heaven.