Business Briefs: Neal Communities honored for being green

September 4, 2013 

Builder Neal honored for being green

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- The Florida Green Building Coalition named Neal Communities its Builder of the Year at its Green Trends Conference recently at the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota.

Awards were given out in eight categories, including best commercial builder, best local government (city and county), best home, best builder (single-family and multi-family), best certifying agent, and best volunteer of the year. Neal was lauded the Best Builder of single-family homes, and was the top winner out of 10 nominees.

The Florida Green Building Coalition is the leading certifier of green projects in Florida. The FGBC Green Trends conference is a two-day event helping local business people become better educated about green building, with information focused on advancing technologies and their implications.

Women's Resource Center to host networking

BRADENTON -- The Women's Resource Center of Manatee will host the Successful Women Aligning Together -- SWAT Networking event 5-7 p.m. Sept. 26 at the WRC, 1926 Manatee Ave. W. This is a free social community networking event for business women. Light refreshments and door prizes are offered.

The networking event is designed to give local business women a chance to make friends and promote their business, service or product and learn about the programs and services offered by the Women's Resource Center of Manatee.

More information on the Women's Resource Center may be found at www.wrcmanatee.org and SWAT may be found at www.swatnetworking.com.

Suiting up veterans to help in jobhunting

MANATEE COUNTY -- Goodwill Manasota recently brought veterans together at its "Dress a Vet" event, part of a larger initiative that provides education, training, and job placement,."Dress a Vet" provides suits and dress clothes for free to veterans looking to attend the Sept. 7 Veterans and Their Families Job Fair in Sarasota. About 12 veterans showed up for help to look their best for the event.

Mitch Helton, a CPA and wealth advisor, as well as a veteran, helps the men pick out clothes for job interview.

"Most vets go right from high school into the military, like I did. They are used to having one uniform, maybe two. They don't know how to dress when they get out. They'll put a blue jacket with brown pants," Helton said. "It doesn't sound like a big deal but on a job interview, it is."

He attends many Goodwill events and hands out a business card to every veteran in need he meets.

"Helping vets is my passion; it's something I do on my own time," he said. "If we can improve the lives of just a handful of them, that would make me happy. I know it can be done from my own experience. If I can be that mentor to someone else, that would be a big deal for me."

-- Herald staff reports

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