Monday, November 14, 2022

Jacksonville Sees Major Change In Hospitality Industry With Pozin Retirement

 A major change took place in the hospitality industry in Jacksonville this past year. Long-time leader and spokesman for the industry, Fred Pozin, sold his Ramada Inn property to private investors and retired from the business. Operating the motel for almost 40 years, Fred has left a big void, having served as President of the Visitor’s Bureau and the Hotel Association, along with being a member of the Hospitality Association and the Tourist & Development Council. Fred is known as an innovator in the industry with his operational skills, plus bringing in a unique entertainment venue, the Comedy Zone, to his property. Fred reports that the industry has undergone major changes, particularly with online technology, where third party sources are handling bookings. And even the location of properties are not that critical, now with access to mobile apps and GPS. Fred was working 70+ hours a week, and now he doesn’t have the stress of complying with government regulations, making payroll, managing his 80 – 100 employee workforce or making every customer happy. While Fred is taking a break from work, still spending time with Rotary, his synagogue and politics, he is searching for new challenges. He welcomes people to contact him at Fred is on the left in this “Lunch with Les” photo.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Ed Randall Joins Central Bank As SBA/ USDA Lender

 I had the opportunity to meet up with Ed Randall, the new Senior Vice President for the Florida-Georgia market for the SBA/USDA Lending team for Central Bank. I have interviewed many SBA lenders and I found Ed very different due to his easy-going attitude and his past business experience. He has an entrepreneurial background having worked and started businesses in industries that include freight, automotive, medical and construction. He has gone through the complicated process of applying for government loans for his own businesses, one time being declined 9 times before obtaining his loan. He changed his career to finance, moving to Florida with Wachovia Small Business Capital in 2008. Since then he has helped set up SBA departments at three local banks. Having dealt with SBA applications personally and with Central Bank offering loan amounts lower than most banks, Ed is positioned to help small businesses in Florida get access to capital that they otherwise couldn’t obtain. If you need help guiding through the SBA loan process, Ed can be reached at 904-239-7534 or Ed is on the right in this “Lunch with Les” photo.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Mayo Clinic Has A $2 Billion Annual Impact On Jacksonville

 At South Jax Rotary, we had the opportunity to hear an update about the expansion and advances at Mayo Clinic in Florida from Caroline Russell. Caroline is the Associate Administrator for the Department of Surgery, Surgical Specialities and the Department of Transplant at the Jacksonville campus. Mayo Clinic opened in Jacksonville in 1986 with 35 doctors and a staff of 145. The hospital currently has a staff of 8,506 including 1,184 physicians and is still growing. While people know the reputation of Mayo Clinic and the outstanding healthcare it offers the North Florida community, Caroline reports that the Jacksonville operation has an estimated economic impact of approximately $2B per year. This is an astounding asset for the city as it affects area employment, the need for suppliers and generating medical tourism services in our city. It also provides a business incubator through its Innovation Exchange that gathers healthcare entrepreneurs, startups and industry experts together to bring breakthrough innovations to market. Mayo Clinic has many great professionals, like Caroline, who can share more about Mayo Clinic offerings and resources. For more information, visit Caroline is on the right in this “Lunch with Les” photo. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Baker Design Build Is One Of The Top Contractors In Northeast Florida

 At our Rotary luncheon the other day, I was able to talk to fellow club member Tamara Baker about her very successful business, Baker Design Build. She is the owner of a company that provides engineering, design and construction services to federal, municipal, transportation, commercial and private business clients. While her firm mainly handles contracts $5 million and under, she does take on a few projects each year in the $5 – 15 million range. I asked her what sets her apart from her competition and she explained that she has the in-house capability of handling entire projects from start to finish. But also many large local contractors use her services because of her design/build versatility and she is also a rare source as a qualified minority contractor. About 90% of her work is in Northeast Florida with 10% taking her around the Southeast. Expertise in the various design/build disciplines, dependability and a proven track record of over 19 years has resulted in Tamara heading one of the most successful contracting companies in Jacksonville. Check out her website at or you can contact her at (904) 356-8520 or Tamara is on the left in this “Lunch with Les” photo.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Lawrence Datz Recognized As One Of Top Divorce Lawyers

 I had the opportunity to meet with one of the top legal minds in family law, specifically with high asset divorces. That was with my friend Lawrence Datz, who practices in Northeast Florida but also handles referrals from all over the country. Lawrence has an impressive list of credentials ranging from Divorce Attorney of the Year in Jacksonville several times to being a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). While the average lay person doesn’t know the importance of being a Fellow of AAML, it is a distinction that only 1,650 attorneys in the country hold. But what impresses me the most about Lawrence is his level-headed business approach to divorce. He takes one of the worst times in peoples’ lives, and not only makes it more tolerable but works hard for a successful conclusion. He’s a very personable guy who understands the emotions involved while addressing issues ranging from asset allocation to retirement concerns to tax implications. He pointed out to me that there are so many factors involved in a marriage dissolution that you need to be a detailed person and you need experience. Lawrence has been at it for over 30 years and has the accolades to prove his success record. For more about Lawrence’s law practice, visit Lawrence is on the left in this “Lunch with Les” photo. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Over 500 Years Of Marketing Experience Represented At The 2022 Marketing Legends Luncheon

 Jacksonville marketing professionals from the past 4 decades met for the first 2022 “Marketing Legends” luncheon at the Athenian Owl. Representing a variety of marketing expertise, this group of retired, semi-retired and still active professionals, have a combination of over 500 years of experience in the marketing industry. The primary topic of discussion was the massive changes, particularly technological changes, that have occurred since this group first entered the marketplace. In this “Lunch with Les” photo, the participations at this luncheon include (going around the table from left to right) Bill Robinson, marketing consultant; Mary Fisher, Fisher Agency; Mary Harvey, public relations & recruiting specialist; Jim Lanahan, Advanced Direct Marketing; Bob Kidd, Robert Kidd & Associates; Carolyn Gentry, Florida Times Union; Cam Brown, Mission Grant Writing; Les Loggins, Les Loggins Marketing; Joanelle Mulrain, Fisher Agency; Beverly Jelinek Campbell, Burger King Agency; Jerry Campbell, WJXT/WTLV/WAWS/and more. This group, along with other members who could not attend, have played and are still playing a key role in the success of many of the largest businesses in Northeast Florida. 

Monday, April 11, 2022

Frank Griffin Switches From Car Dealer To Commercial Real Estate

 Over the years, I have handled the marketing for a good many car dealers throughout Northeast Florida. But the one I enjoyed working for the most was Frank Griffin, who had Volkswagen, Chrysler, Peugeot and Alfa Romeo dealerships. Frank left the car business in 2009 and is now active in commercial real estate and resort rentals in Florida and Tennessee. What made our relationship so enjoyable was that Frank wasn’t really a “car guy,” he is a “people” person. He was always honest in his dealings and he cared about the person having the right car that they could afford. He never pushed or put pressure on anyone. And he is still that way today. If you go anywhere with Frank, he is always complimenting people and encouraging them with kind words. When was the last time you heard this from a car dealer? Frank proved you can be successful in business, in any business, and still treat people with care and respect. Frank got his start in the car business just as he was leaving the Air Force in Germany. He sold cars to servicemen returning to the states after their time in Europe. That is where he discovered that he really enjoyed sales. After serving as sales manager for several of the top car dealers in Jacksonville, he went out on this own. Frank is pictured on the left in this “Lunch with Les” photo.