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Business Observer Friday, Jan. 22, 2016 3 years ago

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Boat club opens new location; Community makes top 50 list; Port Manatee fuels up contracts; New hires at economic agency; Document firm heads south
by: Steven Benna Staff Writer

Boat club opens new location
Freedom Boat Club opened a second location in Fort Myers, with demand continuing to grow for its boating membership services.

Freedom already operates a facility at Salty Sam's marina at Fort Myers Beach. Its second corporate-owned club in Fort Myers is at 14070 McGregor Blvd., within the MarineMax marina, according to a statement. “The demand for our boating club in the Fort Myers area has grown tremendously this past year, says John Giglio, president and CEO of Freedom Boat Club, in the statement.

Venice-based Freedom Boat Club has 10,000 members and operates in 19 states. After paying an initiation fee and monthly dues, members have access to a fleet of 975 boats at nearly 100 franchise and corporate-owned clubs.

Community makes top 50 listCommunity makes top 50 list
Ave Maria Development has been recognized as a top 50 master planned community in the country for the second year in a row.

The company had 283 new home sales in 2015, marking a 25% increase over 2014, according to a statement. The 283 sales placed Ave Maria 40th on the list, from John Burns Real Estate Consulting, which evaluated more than 230 communities.

“New homebuyers are choosing Ave Maria for its quality of life, incredible value and variety amenities all in our beautiful Southwest Florida location,” says Blake Gable, co-president of Barron Collier Cos., Ave Maria's developer, in a statement.

Seven communities in Florida made the top 50 list, third most of any state. Texas and California led the way, with 17 and 11 communities, respectively.

SARASOTA-MANATEE
Port Manatee fuels up contracts

As a result of a newly signed contract, Port Manatee will now serve more than 30 RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. stores in nine counties.

“Each day, RaceTrac transports enough gasoline from the Port Manatee terminal to fuel more than 20,000 southwest Florida vehicles,” says Max McBrayer, chief supply officer for RaceTrac, in a statement.

In the last three months of 2015, more than 420,000 barrels of gasoline went through Port Manatee berths, the statement adds. In 2014, that number was zero.

Fuel from Port Manatee also goes to Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores throughout Southwest Florida and is used as a backup supply for Florida Power and Light Co.'s Manatee power plant.

New hires at economic agency
The Economic Development Corp. of Sarasota County hired two new executives.

One official, Jamie Miller, was named director of business competitiveness initiatives for the EDC. Miller, with 20 years' experience in public policy and advocacy, will lead efforts to compete for and win expansion and relocation projects in the county, according to a statement.

The other executive, Laura Randall, was named director of investor engagement, according to the statement. In her role, she will lead investor relationship-building activities, including communications, events and sales. She will also be the lead staff person, the statement adds.

TAMPA BAY
Document firm heads south

Syracuse, N.Y.-based Avalon Document Services, which provides documents to law firms and corporations around the United States, plans to open an office in Tampa — it's first office in the South.

The Tampa office will be open by the end of the first quarter, according to a statement. The firm plans to hire between 10 and 15 employees to staff the office, at 400 N. Ashley Drive.
“Avalon is coming off a record year, experiencing growth of over 40%,” says Avalon CEO JP Midgley in the statement.

With the addition of the Tampa office, Avalon's total office count rises to seven. The other locations include Syracuse, Utica, Rochester and Buffalo, N.Y., and Cleveland and Akron, Ohio.

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