Business Briefs


The Learning Experience to host grand opening celebration

The Learning Experience will host a grand opening celebration Saturday, Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to noon.

To be held at the early education center located at 70 Greenleaf Drive in Nocatee (opposite Valley Ridge Academy), the event will feature face painting, balloon and caricature artists, food trucks and more.

Non-perishable food items will also be collected for donation to the St. Johns Ecumenical Ministries food bank.

BDO expands to Northeast Florida through acquisition of LBA Group

Leading accounting firm BDO USA, LLP has expanded into Northeast Florida through the addition of 102 staff from The LBA Group. The transaction also includes the services currently offered by LBA Healthcare Consulting and LBA Retirement Plan Services.

Combined with BDO’s existing offices in Coral Gables, Fort Lauderdale, Lakeland, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach and Winter Haven, BDO will have more than 400 professionals serving Florida clients. 

The agreement was expected to completed Nov. 16.

“LBA’s experience in the healthcare, real estate, construction, nonprofit and manufacturing sectors, melds well with our existing industry strengths,” said Wayne Berson, CEO of BDO USA.  “They also have an entrepreneurial culture that is a natural fit for BDO and should make the integration of their practice as seamless as possible.”

LBA Managing Partner Neil Von Stein said joining with BDO will continue LBA’s long tradition of serving Jacksonville businesses.

“Our clients will continue to receive the close personal attention they have come to expect from our team, while having access to a wider array of services, broader industry experience, and the full coverage of BDO's global network,” he said.  “BDO has a very similar culture to our own and, like us, a well-earned reputation as a highly desirable place to work.  As part of a national firm, we will have improved resources for recruiting and training, and our people will now have access to many more opportunities to pursue career growth.”

Von Stein will serve as the tax managing partner for the Jacksonville BDO practice, while Eric Martinez will serve as assurance managing partner.

Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation donates life-saving equipment

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office was among 21 public safety organizations to receive a donation of lifesaving equipment from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.

The sheriff’s office received 15 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) valued at a total of nearly $20,000. The donation was part of more than $356,000 in lifesaving equipment donated to local organizations, and builds on the foundation’s increased focus on sudden cardiac arrest through its Michael Namey AED Initiative. According to the foundation, sudden cardiac arrest is responsible for more than 600,000 deaths each year.

 “Jacksonville is the home of Firehouse Subs and Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation,” said Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Executive Director Robin Peters. “Many of the organizations receiving grant awards are friends and neighbors so it is especially gratifying to award these life-saving grants right here in our backyard.” 

Attorney leads webinar on hurricane recovery

A Louisiana attorney involved in recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina hosted a webinar for local Hurricane Matthew victims recently at the Hilton Bayfront in St. Augustine. J.R. Whaley, a veteran of Hurricane Katrina litigation, offered insights on ways in which policy holders can receive full and fair compensation from their homeowners’ and flood insurance carriers. The session was co-hosted by attorney Tom Young of Tampa.