News Briefs for Sept. 16, 2021


AIT Environmental Technology names new CEO

AIT Environmental Technology President and Founder Jim Thomas recently announced that Chris Eckols has been named CEO of the Ponte Vedra-based company.

Eckols served in the United States Navy in a variety of operational and leadership roles, including a diplomatic assignment to U.S. Central Command in Baghdad, Iraq. He holds a master’s of business administration degree from the Naval Postgraduate School. His private sector experience includes operations, marketing, distribution and strategic sourcing for national multi-billion-dollar companies.

Eckols takes the helm of the service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that specializes in mold remediation, water extraction and emergency restoration. AIT has technicians fulfilling contracts across the southeastern states for residential, commercial and government customers, including Dollar General and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Using his experience and broad leadership skills, Eckols will lead the strategic direction for the company.

“Chris is exceptionally well adapted to lead AIT into a dynamic transition and expansion phase of our company,” Thomas said.

Women’s Chorale to begin rehearsals for ‘Jubilate!’

The North Florida Women's Chorale is open for new members. Call 904-806-7781 or go to to set up an audition. Rehearsals are 6:45 to 8:45 p.m. Mondays at Palms Church, 3410 3rd St. South, Jacksonville Beach. Performances are in December and in the spring. Kerry Fradley is the director.

The Chorale resumed regular rehearsals at 6:45 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13, at Palms Church. A performance, “Jubilate!” is set for Dec. 5. The Gainesville Brass Quintet will join the Chorale for the performance.

Betty Griffin Center postpones 5K race fundraiser

Due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, Betty Griffin Center made the decision to postpone the Run for Peace 5K, originally scheduled for Sept. 25. It has been moved to April 9.

“Since other races leading up to our 5K have also made this decision, we felt the date change was the best choice we could make for the safety of our staff, vendors, volunteers, sponsors and runners,” said Betty Griffin Center CEO Joyce Mahr.

Sponsorships will be carried over to the April 2022 date, and all runners’ registrations will be deferred to the new event date. Volunteer signups will be re-issued at a later date. Runners and walkers can still register at


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