A•C•T News

Governor Rick Scott Appoints Three to State Emergency Response Commission. TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced three appointments to the State Emergency Response Commission. Tom Byron, 57, of Tallahassee, is the chief engineer for the Florida Department of Transportation. He fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning December 19, 2014, and ending at the pleasure of the Governor. Gwen Keenan, 49, of Tallahassee, is the director of emergency response with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. She fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning December 19, 2014, and ending at the pleasure of the Governor. Robert Kincart, 65, of Lakeland, is the president of A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure Inc. He fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning December 19, 2014, and ending at the pleasure of the Governor.

BARTOW, FL (Nov. 7, 2014)— Today, A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc. (A-C-T) held their fifth annual Chili Cook Off to raise both money and awareness for the United Way of Central Florida. The flavorful event saw a record number chili entries and attendees and raised $5,286 in 120 minutes.

A-C-T’s Human Resources Director, Jennifer Kincart Jonsson, who also serves as the firm’s United Way Employee Coordinator, had a vision for making the Chili Cook Off a signature event for the company’s annual fundraising campaign – one that would have broad appeal and grow to involve as many community members as possible.”

Based on the numbers, it’s evident the event is both well-established and very successful. Last year (2013) there were 38 chili entries, approximately 300 attendees and $4,441 in donations collected for United Way. This year, the event drew over 400 attendees and also grew in size when it came to chili entries, boasting 48 (all donated) in three categories – mild, imaginative and hot. Jonsson said, “We attribute the event’s success to

careful planning wide-spread promotion, including extensive use of social media and e-mail to spread the word. It’s also pretty evident that once folks experience the Chili Cook Off, they keep coming back, so the event is now well-established as an annual ‘must attend’ function.”

Judges in the hot category were Mark Bostick (ComCar), Jevon Herman (Republic Services) and Roger Todd (97 Country WPCV). Mild category judges were County Commissioner Melony Bell, Dr. Eileen Holden (Polk State College) and State Representative Seth McKeel. Judging in the imaginative category were Christie Bassett (Polk County and Florida Teacher of the Year), Dr. Randy Avent (Florida Polytechnic University) and David Robinson (DSM Technology Consultants).

Each judge made their way through the various chili entries, judging on five elements including aroma, color, consistency, taste and aftertaste. Their combined average scores determined the 2014 winners.

A-C-T announced first, second and third place overall high scoring winners and presented trophies to the 2014 top chefs:

  • 1st Place Overall – Mindy Miller for her Chi Town Chili (hot category entry)
  • 2nd Place Overall – Lance Chaney and his “Contented Carnivore’s Chili” (imaginative category entry)
  • 3rd Place Overall – Cindy Rodriguez and her “Make You Wanna’ CHA CHA Chili” (hot category entry)

Specific category winners, each of whom received a certificate, were:

Mild Category:

  • 1st Place – Diane MuntonMomma’s Chili
  • 2nd Place – Yadira HolmesWarm ‘n’ Cozy Chili
  • 3rd Place – Kathy Hall Deck the Halls With Bowls of Chili

Imaginative Category:

  • 1st Place – Lance ChaneyContented Carnivore’s Chili
  • 2nd Place – Kathy ParnellLoco Taco Chili
  • 3rd Place – Julie HarterLady Gator Trapper’s Swamp Chomp Chili

Hot Category:

  • 1st Place – Mindy MillerChi Town Chili
  • 2nd Place – Cindy RodriguezMake You Wanna’ CHA CHA Chili
  • 3rd Place – Heather SnyderBurn Your Fatty Acid Chili

Chili Judge and County Commissioner Melony Bell had this to say about the mild category chilies she judged, “The types of chilies I tasted today have a lot in common with the types of issues we address every day on the county commission – they are extremely varied and, frankly, some are hotter than others. I am humbled to participate in both – the chili judging and the issues resolutions. I thank A-C-T and the United Way of Central Florida for the opportunity to play a small role in supporting this great event for such a wonderful cause.”

The event will be held annually in early November. For more information about entering your own winning chili or attending in 2015, just contact A-C-T at 863-533-2000.

BARTOW, Fla. (Oct. 30, 2014) The Gulf Ridge Council, Boy Scouts of America presented their prestigious Soaring Eagle award to Rob Kincart, President of A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc., at a reception held at Polk State Corporate College’s Advance Technology Center on Wednesday, Oct. 29. The award is presented to individuals that represent the ideals of scouting and play an important role in the development of young people in our community.

Kincart supports programs for youth throughout Polk County, particularly United Way and educational programs that provide tools and opportunities for youth to achieve their goals. Kincart has endowed scholarships for deserving youth at the University of Florida, Polk State College and Florida Polytechnic University and provides support for both Polk County’s Career Academies and the Polk Education Foundation.

He and his family also give of their time, talent and resources to provide support to many other community organizations that focus on developing youth. Some of those include youth sports organizations like First Tee and various arts organizations like Polk Museum of Art and the Imperial Symphony Orchestra all of which offer exceptional youth programs.

A-C-T Kincart Soaring Eagle Award

Kincart credits his own experiences as a boy scout with much of his personal and professional success saying that he still lives and conducts his business by the scout principles, promises and motto including, “be prepared” and “do a good turn daily.” As a result, he also encourages his employees to get engaged in the community and models the way for “giving back” through his own active involvement.

For more information about the Gulf Ridge Council, Boy Scouts of America, see http://gulfridgecouncil.org/.

BARTOW, FL (Oct. 1, 2014) – A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure (A-C-T) is holding its annual chili cookoff. See below for more details!

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BARTOW, FL (Aug. 25, 2014) – A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure (A-C-T) recognized employees for outstanding contributions at their annual awards celebration and family day held

Aug. 23, in Bartow. Individual awards were given in several categories, including length of service,

A-C-T’s 10 core values, safety star and unsung hero. Those honorees were nominated by A-C-T’s management team. Additionally, employees selected, by vote, the 2014 “Most Valuable Peer (MVP).”

A-C-T’s core values were developed around the concept that to be successful, each member of the company’s team would focus on Attitude, Contribution and Teamwork – a philosophy that helps sustain the firm’s viability regardless of unpredictable conditions in the economy.

A-C-T President, Rob Kincart, said, “These employee recognitions are important because, not only do they recognize service and outstanding achievement, they also send a message to our customers that A-C-T cares about hiring and retaining the best talent in the industry and that our focus is always on providing the best possible service at a fair price to meet their needs and exceed their expectations.”

A-C-T Employee Recognitions – 2014 **Core Value Awards
Dave Hammer (Great Customer Service)
Josh McKee (Extraordinary Effort)
Joe Bennett (Competence and Accountability)
Doug Coleman (Valuable Counsel)
Floy Graves (Consistent Communication)
Olin Bramlett (Safest Operations)
Patrick Spears (Maximum Flexibility) – From A-C-T’s North Florida office in Jacksonville
Larry Legg (Sustainable Solutions)
Nancy Phair (Fiscal Stewardship)
Chris Sappington (Desired Results)

** Eligible to win A-C-T’s Team Member of the Year award (to be announced December 2014)

A-C-T 2014 Employee Awards

Most Valuable Peer (MVP) Award (selected by colleagues in a two-way tie)
Olin Bramlett

Chris Sappington

Unsung Hero – Sgt. Ben Smith

Smith serves in the Army National Guard as a Chemical Biological Radiation Nuclear Specialist for the 3/116th battalion out of Plant City. He returned earlier this year from his third deployment to the Middle East. He was honored as A-C-T’s 2014 Unsung Hero in recognition of his service to our nation and the sacrifices he and his family have made along the way.

Safety Star – Travis Hescox


Service Awards

Five years
Jeri Cartwright

Ben Smith

Lori Wolf

Nancy Phair

Ginger Whittington

10 years
Ashley Shive

15 years
Joe Bennett

20 years
Larry Legg

Steve Harris

Ann Wortman

Joe Whittington

The twenty-year service awards mark a first for A-C-T. The company began in 1987 and the 20-year honorees have been with the firm almost since inception. They are the first to receive 20-year service recognitions.

In addition to the celebration of employee contributions, A-C-T employees and their families enjoyed a day that included lots of fun activities, including an educational experience at the Polk County

A-C-T 2014 Employee Awards

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Fire Rescue Safety House, fun on a giant inflatable water slide, a bounce house, miniature train rides,

face-painting, cornhole competitions, family photos and a dessert contest. The company also provided a barbecue lunch and ice cream to top off the event.

A-C-T’s Rob Kincart Participates in Charitable Road Trip for Men’s Health and Florida Polytechnic University Scholarships

BARTOW, Fla. (June 6, 2014) – A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure’s (A-C-T) President, Rob Kincart, has recently joined a small team who will drive all-electric Tesla cars from central Florida to New York City to raise money for men’s health and for Florida Polytechnic University (FPU) scholarships.

The Central Florida based team is led by Drs. Sijo Parekattil and Jamin Brahmbhatt, urologists and robotic surgeons at The PUR Clinic in Clermont, Fla. Both Kincart and Parekattil serve on the FPU Foundation Board. The drive, which will cover approximately 1,100 miles, will be made in all-electric Tesla Model S sedans and the team will stop only to recharge the vehicles (every 150-200 miles).

During each designated stop along the way, the physicians will host community-wide men’s health events that include educational lectures and patient testimonials. They will also use Google Glass and Go-Pro cameras to broadcast live discussions about men’s health issues as they drive the route.

Live broadcast and event followers are encouraged to join the team at designated stops to meet the physicians and ask health-related questions. The Drive for Men’s Health team will provide updates at www.Drive4MensHealth.com and via social media at hashtag #Drive4MensHealth.

Of local importance is the fact that some of the money raised by the inaugural event will go to Florida Polytechnic University Foundation’s scholarship fund for incoming students. “A-C-T has supported the FPU model from inception and I am honored to be part of the team that will help fund

scholarships for future engineers, doctors and scientists that will earn their degrees at the University,

some of which, we hope, will be part of our own workforce down the road,” said Kincart.

The 24-hour marathon drive will begin on June 12 at South Lake Hospital, 1900 Don Wickham Drive in Clermont – a date chosen to coincide with Men’s Health Week, June 9-15. The 7:00 a.m. kickoff events will include several Tesla cars on display as part of a larger car show. The public is welcome to attend.

Kincart, who is a long-time car enthusiast, readily admits that he just loves to drive. “Since we’ll only be stopping to provide important education about men’s health issues while we recharge the vehicles, we’ll arrive at the Tesla Motors showroom in downtown New York City at about 8:00 a.m. on June 13 – just one day after we begin the trip,” said Kincart.

Kincart’s firm purchased its first all-electric vehicle, a Nissan Leaf, in 2012 – installing Bartow’s first charging station at the same time. “Just like Florida Poly, we’re interested in cutting edge alternative energy and transportation solutions. We have a large fleet and are always looking for ways to improve efficiencies and reduce costs,” said Kincart.

Photos to promote the event will take place at Florida Polytechnic University on June 11. The resultant photos, showcasing the University’s unique architectural design as the backdrop for the futuristic Tesla, will draw even greater attention to the importance of advanced technology and research for men’s health issues. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.drive4menshealth.com.

A-C-T Participates in Polk County Commuter Services and Ride Your Bike to Work Day

BARTOW, Fla. (May 19, 2014) – A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure (A-C-T) employees

participated in the 2014 Polk County Commuter Services and Ride Your Bike to Work Day held on Friday, May 16 at Fort Blount Park in downtown Bartow. A-C-T participants Hannah Parrish, Sherry Warren, Doug Coleman, Cindy Rodriguez, Larry Legg, Kristin Lawrence, Mike Graves, Ian Trulson, Rob Kincart and Jennifer Jonsson served over 300 burgers, hot dogs, chips and drinks to a hungry crowd. Estimated total attendance was over 500.

The event, organized to highlight both the availability and benefits of using public transportation in Polk, also celebrated national ‘Ride Your Bike to Work Day.’ In addition to the free lunch, while supplies lasted, participants also received free backpacks, pedometers, bike lights, bus passes and bike helmets. One lucky attendee won a new bike in a drawing coordinated by the Florida Department of Transportation District One Commuter Services Division.

According to A-C-T President, Rob Kincart, “This marks the second year A-C-T has been involved in sponsoring, staffing and encouraging participation in this effort because we know that public transportation and alternate modes of transportation, like bicycling and carpooling, are important to our community’s health, environment and economy. But, most importantly, it’s all about getting people to jobs! ”

BARTOW, Florida. (May 16, 2014) A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure’s (A-C-T’s) Communications and Marketing Director, Cindy Rodriguez, participated in a panel discussion about business resiliency at the 2014 Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference held in Orlando.

A-C-T was included on the panel discussion because the firm earned the inaugural (2012) Small Business Resiliency Award from the Florida Department of Emergency Management. The award recognizes small businesses that demonstrate disaster preparedness and recovery abilities worthy of emulation.

Rounding out the panel with Rodriguez were Richard Cantner, a Consultant for the Florida Small Business Development Center at Indian River State College’s School of Business in Vero Beach and

David M. Hall, Section Manager for State Farm’s Innovations & Small Business Solutions Division out of Tulsa, Okla.

Rodriguez’s presentation focused on what A-C-T has done to ensure quick and effective response and recovery post disaster, whether natural or man-made, including policies, training, storm-hardening of buildings and other assets, arrangements for alternate office locations and fleet repositioning as needed, data systems back-ups; alternate energy contingency plans; crisis communications strategies as well as business continuity and succession planning. Hall’s presentation

addressed risk management and insurance needs assessments and action plans while Cantner

discussed the importance of financial planning and provided information about post-disaster resources and financial recovery strategies for small businesses.

With the 2014 hurricane season right around the corner, this topic and others offered at the conference provided timely reminders that it only takes one disaster to realize significant damages to property, assets and, in some cases, corporate image. Planning, training and adaptability are the keys to resiliency.

A-C-T, a recognized leader in the field of emergency response, continues to demonstrate diligence in their own preparedness strategies and a willingness to share best practices with other small businesses. To learn more about how your business can become more resilient or to request that Rodriguez speak to your organization, please call 863-533-2000 X200.

Kelli Winter Named Team Member of the Year for A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure

BARTOW, FL (Dec. 20, 2013) – Kelli Winter, of Bartow-based A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure, was recognized as the firm’s 2013 Team Member of the Year. Winter was one of 10 employees eligible to receive the award – each of whom had previously been recognized as winners in one of the company’s 10 customer service core values areas.

According to A-C-T President, Rob Kincart, “Kelli was honored because, not only has she has hit the mark in every one of the 10 core value areas, but also because during the past year, as a result of staff re-assignments to accommodate customer demand, she has effectively handled all or part of the duties of three people.”

Winter joined the firm in 2010 and primarily serves as an emergency response project manager, but has taken on additional responsibilities in both the emergency response and the waste management arenas. Jeff Kincart, Vice President of A-C-T said, “A positive attitude like Kelli’s goes a long way to ensure A-C-T’s continued success

and we certainly applaud her 2013 accomplishments and the role model she has been for others on the team.”

Winter, who was surprised by the recognition, said, “This award could have rightfully gone to so many other people because A-C-T is loaded with team players all striving to make this company the best it can be. It’s easy to work hard for a company that gives so much back. I’m very grateful to have such a positive and supportive place to work.”

Unlike Winter, her supervisor for most of 2013 was not surprised. According to Eric Jonsson, “Kelli effectively manages all types of emergency response challenges while working with a broad array of nationwide service providers to identify and execute best solutions for the client. It’s a balancing act and she’s a pro. Naming Kelli as A-C-T’s 2013 Team Member of the Year underscores our commitment to on-time project delivery with an emphasis on providing incredible customer service.”

A-C-T’s 10 customer service core values and 2013 winners in each category are:

Delivering Great Customer Service – Joel Butler

Demonstrating Extraordinary Effort – Kelli Winter

Demonstrating Competence/Accountability – Jason Fabsik

Providing Valuable Counsel – Scott Fullerton (A-C-T Northeast Florida Office)

Offering Sustainable Solutions – Josh McKee

Communicating Effectively – Nancy Phair

Ensuring Safest Operations – Patrick Spears (A-C-T Northeast Florida Office)

Demonstrating Fiscal Stewardship – Derek Watson

Being Consistently Flexible – Kristin Lawrence

Delivering Desired Results – Jennifer Wisdom

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About A-C-T: A-C-T is an established multi-disciplined professional environmental, infrastructure and field services firm with expertise in a range of areas, including environmental

sciences, engineering, industrial hygiene, industrial services, waste management and emergency response. A-C-T employs nearly 100 full-time, part-time and contract professionals from its offices in Bartow, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Orlando, Naples and Ft. Lauderdale. The firm has been recognized asBest Mid-Sized Environmental Firms to Work For - nationwide(by CE News) and is amongFlorida Trend’s 100 Best Companies to Work For (annually since 2010). For more information about A-C-T, visit www.a-c-t.com.

BARTOW, FL (Nov. 8, 2013)— Today, A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc. (A-C-T) held their fourth annual Chili Cook Off to raise both money and awareness for the United Way of Central Florida. The flavorful event saw a record number chili entries and attendees and raised $4,441 in 120 minutes.

A-C-T’s Human Resources Director, Jennifer Kincart Jonsson, who also serves as the firm’s United Way Employee Coordinator, had a vision for making the Chili Cook Off a signature event for the company’s annual fundraising campaign – one that would have broad appeal to help grow it to involve as many community members as possible.”

Based on the numbers, it appears the event is both well-established and very successful. Last year (2012) there were 30 chili entries, approximately 200 attendees and $1,600 in donations collected for United Way. This year, the event drew nearly 300 attendees and also grew in size when it came to chili entries, boasting 38 (all donated) in three categories – mild,

imaginative and hot. Jonsson said, “We attribute the event’s success to careful planning

wide-spread promotion, including extensive use of social media and e-mail to spread the word. It’s also pretty evident that once folks experience the Chili Cook Off, they keep coming back, so the event is now well-established as an annual ‘must attend’ function.”

Judges in the hot category were U.S. Congressman Dennis Ross, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, Jerome Ferson (The Ledger) and Sozon Vatikiotis (Alltrust Insurance). Mild category judges were County Commissioner Melony Bell, Roger Todd (97 Country WPCV), City Manager Deric Feacher (Winter Haven), and Doug Wimberly (ButterKrust Bakery). Judging in the imaginative category were Bonnie Parker (Citizens Bank), City Manager George Long (Bartow), Nick Nicholas (DSM Technology Consultants/co-founder of the Lakeland Pig Fest) and City Manager Jonathan Evans (Haines City). Each judge made their way through the various chili entries, judging on five elements including aroma, color, consistency, taste and aftertaste. Their combined average scores determined the 2013 winners.

All three of the top scoring chili entries in 2013 came from the hot category. First Place went to Branson Munton who entered his Last Rites Chili . Bob Wolf took the second place honors for his Bob’s Bowl of Red Chili, and third place was secured by Mike Winter with his Tres Equis Chili.

Chili Judge and U.S. Congressman Dennis Ross had this to say about the hot category chilies he judged, “This chili is hotter than the debate in Washington, but I am humbled to participate in both. I thank A-C-T and the United Way of Central Florida for the opportunity to play a small role in supporting a wonderful cause.”

The event will be held annually in early November. For more information about entering your own winning chili or attending in 2014, just contact A-C-T at 863-533-2000.

AUBURNDALE, FL (Sept. 12, 2013)A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure’s (A-C-T’s) new geoprobe was showcased at the Sept. 7 Auburndale Community Celebration that included a “Touch a Truck” component. The family-friendly event, held at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex off Berkley Road, drew large crowds and A-C-T staff demonstrated the equipment while answering questions from kids of all ages. According to A-C-T’s Mike Mathis, “There were lots of really smart kids out there who asked engineer-level questions. So it turned into quite the educational opportunity for both our team and those that attended the event.”

A-C-T’s geoprobe, purchased earlier this year, is now part of the firm’s in-house, comprehensive soil/ground water sampling and subsurface investigation services. This high tech equipment is controlled via a wireless remote and moves on treads, similar to those you would see on an excavator or other piece of heavy equipment and has a very large and powerful motorized drill. Mathis said, “The kids and the adults loved all the moving parts. It’s a pretty interesting thing to watch when it’s in motion.”

One of A-C-T’s large industrial vacuum trucks was also at the event for a hands-on encounter. The vacuum truck, often referred as a Vac-Con, can also be operated remotely with wireless control. Two other A-C-T employees, Veggie Parris and Josh McKee joined Mathis to provide the comprehensive

touch-a-truck experience. All three have received extensive safety and geoprobe-specific training making them the perfect trio to showcase the equipment at this event. Considering the success of this first geoprobe appearance at a public event, the A-C-T team said they’d like to see it showcased at other such events in the future.

For more information about the geoprobe, vacuum truck or other environmental and infrastructure services offered by A-C-T, please call 863-533-2000.

BARTOW, FL (Sept. 16, 2013) A•C•T Environmental and Infrastructure, Inc., (A-C-T) is pleased to announce that Michael Graves, Senior Geologist with the firm, has earned his Florida Water Well Contractor License and Eric Jonsson, Certified Industrial Hygienist, has earned his State of Florida Asbestos Consultant License and Mold Assessor Certification.

Graves’ Water Well Contractors license allows A-C-T to install, repair and close wells, statewide. This is particularly beneficial to the firm’s clients in the phosphate and agriculture industries, but also to local government clients, the Department of Environmental Protection and even private property owners.

Jonsson’s Mold Assessor Certification allows statewide investigations of indoor air quality issues as they relate to mold or suspected mold infestations. Additionally, the State of Florida requires everyone who does asbestos work to be under the direct supervision of a licensed asbestos consultant. Having earned this license as well, Jonsson can now oversee subcontractors and A-C-T’s own staff in this area of work.

A-C-T’s President, Rob Kincart, said, “Statewide licenses and certifications such as those recently earned set our firm and our staff apart as experts in these areas and enhance our response to clients. In a nutshell, being fully credentialed ensures that A-C-T can continue to meet or exceed customer expectations in these areas of expertise across Florida and beyond. “

BARTOW, FL (Sept. 16, 2013) A•C•T Environmental and Infrastructure, Inc., (A-C-T) is pleased to announce that James (Jim) M. Spurlock has joined the firm. Spurlock will serve as operations director for the company’s Southeast Regional Division located in Bartow.

Spurlock who has served in similar positions for several other firms including IT Corporation, CH2 Hill and Pratt & Whitney, holds a master’s degree in Physics/Chemistry from Marshall University and a bachelor’s degree in Applied Physics from Auburn University. He brings more than 15 years of experience as a large group operations director.

A respected professional, Spurlock has proven expertise and knowledge in the areas of financial/ profit and loss management, strategic planning, organizational growth and development, process analysis and design, QA/QC procedures and managing staffing functions, including hiring and work load allocations.

According to A-C-T President, Rob Kincart, “During Jim’s tenure with both IT and CH2, he gained significant senior management and operations experience in the engineering and environmental consulting industry and took advantage of professional development opportunities related to advanced technology and business concepts. That means he has hit the job running for us at A-C-T and our valued customers will be the beneficiaries of his wealth of knowledge and business acumen.”

Spurlock also has a passion for both employee and client relations. He said “I believe that the right people are a company’s most important asset and should be treated as such. My job is to enable them to give the best they have to offer and to provide opportunities for them to grow professionally.” Further, Spurlock said, “Well trained, motivated, employees mean that meeting or exceeding our clients’ needs is part of the corporate culture and that culture is more than evident at A-C-T. I’m pleased to be a part of this great team.”

BARTOW, FL (Sept. 11, 2013) – A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure (A-C-T) recognized employees for outstanding contributions at their annual awards celebration held Sept. 10 in Bartow. Individual awards were given in several categories, including length of service, A-C-T’s 10 core values and safety. Additionally, employees selected, by vote, one of their colleagues to receive the “Most Valuable Peer (MVP)” award (see complete list – below).

A-C-T’s core values were developed around the concept that to be successful, each member of the company’s team would focus on Attitude, Contribution and Teamwork – a philosophy that helps sustain the firm’s viability regardless of unpredictable conditions in the economy.

The company also celebrated several accomplishments during their year in review, including achieving a safety superlative. For 2012, the A-C-T team had zero reportable incidents/accidents. Health and Safety Officer, Ashley Shive, said, “This is quite an accomplishment and is significant for many reasons. Running a safe operation protects our employees from injury and limits liability for our company and, more importantly, for our valued customers. It’s a goal we aim for every year.”

Another of the evening’s highlights was celebrating the company’s recognition as an employer of excellence - on both the local and state levels. On the local level, A-C-T maintained their Polk Works status as an Employer of Distinction (second year) after earning the “Best Places to Work” recognition for the three consecutive years. At the state level, Florida Trend magazine also named the company as one of Florida’s 2013 “100 Best Companies to Work For,” a distinction A-C-T also earned in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

A-C-T President, Rob Kincart, said, “all of our recognitions are important, but especially these, because they send a message to our customers that A-C-T cares about hiring and retaining the best talent in the industry and that we’re doing so to provide the best possible service at a fair price to meet our clients’ needs and exceed their expectations.” According to Kincart, “Happy employees create happy customers.”

A-C-T Employee Recognitions – 2013

Service Awards

Five years:

Bobby Bohn

Brad Bruce

Dean Butler

Ben Hilton

Kevin Hoyle

Paul McGoldrick

Roy Rodriguez

Lisa Sowinski

Hannah Thrasher

**Core Value Awards

Joel Butler (Great Customer Service)

Kelli Winter (Extraordinary Effort)

Jason Fabsik (Competence and Accountability)

Scott Fullerton (Valuable Counsel)

Nancy Phair (Consistent Communication)

Patrick Spears (Safest Operations)

Kristin Lawrence (Maximum Flexibility)

Josh McKee (Sustainable Solutions)

Derek Watson (Fiscal Stewardship)

Jennifer Wisdom (Desired Results)

Most Valuable Peer (MVP) Award (selected by colleagues)

Lori Wolf

**Eligible to win A-C-T’s Team Member of the Year award (to be announced December 2013)

### About A-C-T: A-C-T is an established multi-disciplined professional environmental, engineering and field services firm with expertise in a range of areas, including environmental sciences, engineering, industrial hygiene, industrial services, infrastructure, waste management and emergency response. A-C-T employs nearly 100 full-time, part-time and contract professionals from its offices in Bartow, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Orlando, Naples and Ft. Lauderdale. The firm has been recognized as Best Mid-Sized Environmental Firms to Work For - nationwide (by CE News) and is among Florida Trend’s 100 Best Companies to Work For (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013). For more information about A-C-T, visit www.a-c-t.com.

BARTOW, FL (August 1, 2013) — A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure (A-C-T) was recently named one of Florida’s Best Companies To Work For 2013 – ranking 17th in the medium sized company category.The firm also won the designation in 2010, 2011 and 2012, making this its fourth consecutive recognition.

One-hundred companies were recognized in small, medium and large company categories. The complete list of rankings appears in the August issue of Florida Trend.

According to Mark Howard, executive editor for Florida Trend, "Our Best Companies coverage this year is simple and direct: We went to the employees of the Best Companies To Work For and asked them to tell us what they like most about working where they work.” Further, Howard said, “The responses are illuminating. Some of them highlight innovative perks, benefits and incentives, while others reveal how these top companies communicate effectively with their employees and empower every worker to make decisions. We hope these ideas are instructive for other companies that are looking to create a Best Companies-type workplace."

A-C-T is a multi-disciplined engineering and environmental firm headquartered in Bartow, Florida. The company employs personnel across a wide range of disciplines and serves clients nationwide. Since its inception, in 1987, the firm has never had a lay-off.

According to Rob Kincart, President of A-C-T, “Our fiscally conservative business model allows us to support and sustain current jobs and employees while also growing the company in a strategic, methodical way. Both are equally important – sustainability and growth. We recognize that our employees have made us what we are today and it’s for that reason we remain committed to creating a positive and nurturing work environment where they can continue to excel.”

To be considered for participation, companies or government entities had to employ at least 15 workers in Florida and be at least a year old. Companies that chose to participate in the Best Companies To Work For in Florida process underwent a two-part survey process. The first part consisted of evaluating each company's workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. The second part consisted of an independent employee survey to measure employee satisfaction. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration, survey and analysis process and determined the final rankings. Companies were not required to pay a participation fee to go through the online assessment process.

"A happier staff is one that is engaged with the company, its products, and its objectives," says Florida Trend Publisher Andy Corty. "Those are the type of employees who carry the message out to clients and help the company grow. It's our pleasure to recognize those great companies and encourage others to join them in building Florida's competitive advantage."

The Best Companies To Work For in Florida program was created by Florida Trend and Best Companies Group and endorsed by the HR Florida State Council. For a complete list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Florida, go to www.FloridaTrend.com/BestCompanies.

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About Florida Trend

Florida Trend magazine provides excellent, forward-looking, and in-depth reporting on business, finance and public policy in Florida. Florida Trend reaches more than 250,000 business executives, government officials and civic leaders. In addition, the magazine's website reaches approximately 80,000 unique visitors monthly. For more information, please visit www.FloridaTrend.com.

About Best Companies Group

Best Companies Group works with national and local partners around the country and in Canada to establish and manage “Best Places to Work,” “Best Companies,” and “Best Employers” programs on a national, statewide and regional basis. Through its thorough workplace assessment, utilizing employer questionnaires and employee-satisfaction surveys, BCG identifies and recognizes companies that have been successful in creating and maintaining workplace excellence. For more information, please visit www.BestCompaniesGroup.com.

A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc. (A-C-T), hired nine new employees as part of their self-designated Spring Recruiting Class. The new hires fill a variety of positions required to sustain the organization’s current operations and help ensure continued growth. Some of the recruits will work out of A-C-T’s Northeast Florida office in Jacksonville and some will be based out of the firm’s corporate headquarters in Bartow.

Joining the firm are spring recruits:

  • Homero Amaro – Field Services Technician
  • Mark Blowers, P.E. – Sr. Environmental Engineer
  • Willie Cook – Field Services Technician
  • Andre Hawkins – Environmental Scientist
  • Brad Mulvihill – Field Services Technician
  • Kyle Olmstead – Information Technology
  • Dave “Veggie” Parris – Field Services Supervisor
  • Robert Reese – Field Services Technician
  • Candler Turner – Environmental Scientist

The new hires fill a variety of positions required to sustain the organization’s current operations and help ensure continued growth. Some of the recruits will work out of A-C-T’s Northeast Florida office in Jacksonville and some will be based out of the firm’s corporate headquarters in Bartow.

Team A-C-T is no different. We are extremely excited about our group of talented new recruits and the contributions they will undoubtedly make to our organization. A year from now, we expect to look back and give ourselves an “A” for this particular draft.”

Lori Wolf, of A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure, Inc. (A-C-T), has been promoted to Corporate Accounting Manager. Wolf began with A-C-T in December of 2008 as a Staff Accountant and became a Senior Accountant in 2010. Additionally, Wolf was A-C-T’s fiscal stewardship core value winner for 2012.

According to A-C-T President, Rob Kincart, “Lori has demonstrated commitment and dedication to her job, her accounting office team and our company, overall, from day one. She’s earned two promotions while simultaneously pursuing her CPA license and it’s that kind of initiative that makes us proud to recognize her accomplishments and promote her to this new position.”

Ben Smith, of A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure, Inc. (A-C-T), has served in the Army National Guard for eight years and is about to head out on his second overseas deployment since enlisting. Smith, a 28-year-old Chemical Biological Radiation Nuclear Specialist for the 3/116th battalion out of Plant City Smith says, while he’s honored to serve, the hardest part about heading out is leaving the family. Smith is married and has three children ages 9, 8 and 18 months.

When we asked where he was going, he told us he can’t say. That’s because of military security rules that in place to keep troops safe in transit. For that same reason, he also can’t say exactly when he will depart, but there’s a formal military separation ceremony set for Feb. 21 in Sebring and, typically, deployment typically occurs soon after that. As is often the case, Smith and his battalion will initially go to an unspecified location in the United States for training and mobilization preparation before actually leaving the country.

The folks at A-C-T, where he’s worked for five years as a member of the environmental field services team, know him simply as Ben, but in his official duty for the Army National Guard, he’s Sergeant Smith and, as such, he will assume a leadership role in the upcoming assignment. Smith said, while the deployment provides great extra income and benefits for his family, that’s not what drove him to sign up – at least not initially. According to Smith, “After 9/11, there was no way I wasn’t going to enlist! At the time, I was single and had no family responsibilities, so there was every reason to serve and no real reason not to.”

His family situation is very different today. His wife, Patricia, is a registered nurse who sometimes works 12 hour shifts. That can make child care pretty tricky. Ninety percent of her family is in Texas, but her mom and the bulk of Smith’s family is here – ready to help in any way needed. According to Smith, that support system is the key to easing the pain of separation and the single parenting responsibilities that fall to the parent left behind.

Smith said, the older kids understand what’s happening, but “My baby girl, Dixie, doesn’t have a clue and it’s really tough to leave her knowing how much she’s going to change and grow in a year.” The family will cope using the many digital means of communication that are now available, including Skype and traditional phone calls but Smith said, “It will be catch as catch can. I just have to try to catch up with them when I’m able to do it and hope they’re available.”

When asked what things surprised him most on his previous deployment, which was to Iraq, he said, “The climate is a lot tougher to adjust to than I expected. It’s truly blazing hot with daytime temperatures often soaring close to 140 degrees. In fact, you don’t even wish for a breeze like we do here in Florida, because when you get one, it’s like the sensation you get when you open the door on your heated oven – it’s a rush of extremely hot air hitting you in the face. That’s tough to get used to and, really, you never do get used to it.” Other things he had to get used to were the fact that only Iraqi men work. Smith said, “You never see women working anywhere, anytime – on base or in the towns.” He chuckled a bit and said, “The other thing is, there are lots and lots of camels. They’re absolutely everywhere!”

Two things that won’t be a surprise this time, having already been through them on his previous deployment, are the climate and also what’s known as the combat drop, a term used by the military to describe rapid troop insertion into designated areas. Smith said that “calling it an extreme experience doesn’t even remotely do it justice.” So, for now, he’s mentally preparing for both the combat drop and life in an extremely hot climate for the next year.

Smith, who was working for A-C-T at the time of his last deployment, said “The company was very supportive from the day I left until the day I got back. Really, they welcomed me back with no trouble at all,” and listening to some of his fellow Guardsmen, he knows that’s not always the case. “I really appreciate A-C-T and I know I’ll get the same great treatment this time around.”

Rob Kincart, A-C-T President said, “We couldn’t be prouder of Ben. We’ll definitely miss him because he’s a great employee, but we understand there’s a higher call to duty. Our prayers will be with him and all military personnel as well as their families – every one of which makes personal sacrifices and endures tremendous hardship to protect our freedom and way of life.”

Smith said, although his assignment is different this time than on his previous deployment, he expects it will be equally as rewarding. But, at the end of the day, it’s clear that for a young man about to leave his family for an extended period of time, the greatest reward of all will be coming back home when it’s over! Godspeed, Ben.

A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure, Inc. (A-C-T), Bartow’s Green Business of the Year, recently installed a 240-volt electric vehicle charging station at their corporate headquarters in Bartow. That’s so they can quickly recharge the new Nissan Leaf they are leasing for the next two years. The company will use that time to evaluate the vehicle’s efficiencies and, if it plays out the way they think it will, they may lease more in the future. According to city officials, the charging station is Bartow’s first.

The benefits, at least on the surface, are obvious. The EPA estimates that the Leaf will get the equivalent of 92 miles per gallon on the highway and 106 miles per gallon in the city. But those are equivalent numbers because the vehicle uses no gasoline at all. It achieves those numbers with a 100% electric drive system powered by an advanced lithium-ion battery.

According to A-C-T President Rob Kincart, “One of the common complaints about electric vehicles is that they require special voltage chargers and take too long to charge. But with the Leaf, you can charge it with a normal 110-volt outlet, a 240-volt outlet or at a rapid charge station.” Kincart added, “If you need a super-fast charge, you go for the latter, if you can leave it plugged in for several hours or even overnight, either of the first two options work equally as well.”

The voltage determines how long it takes to charge a fully drained battery. Using the quick charge system, it takes only 30 minutes. With a 240-volt charging dock, like the one A-C-T installed, it takes about seven hours and with a 110-volt outlet it can take 13 hours or more. Kincart said, “Most owners will charge it in their garage overnight, but we’ve installed the 240-volt charging station to decrease the charge time and maximize the Leaf’s availability for personnel to use during normal business hours.” The estimated increase in electric charges is approx. $600 a year or, broken down even further, about $50 per month. “That’s a great deal when you consider it often takes $50 just for one tank of gas and you buy several tanks full every month,” said Kincart.

The mileage range on a full charge also depends on a number of variables including speed of travel, road conditions and the weather, but the Leaf is estimated to achieve up to a 73-mile driving range – more than double the 29 miles a day driven by the average American. “One thing I can tell you,” said Kincart, “is that when you push down on the accelerator and watch the power indicator on the dash, you can see the available power drop as you speed up. Really, it’s a great way to get folks to slow down because you can actually see the power draining as you move along.”

Some of the other energy efficient features of the Leaf are LED headlights that use only about 50% of the energy of traditional headlights. The vehicle’s frame is designed to create the smoothest airflow and lowest drag possible and you can also purchase an optional solar rear spoiler to harness energy from the sun and help power the air conditioning and entertainment systems.

“It’s a pretty neat little car,” said Kincart. “It has Bluetooth, navigation, back-up camera, and it rides smoothly. And, it’s smart! When it starts getting low on power, it begins shutting down systems that would drain it more quickly, like the A/C and radio. So, in the Florida heat, you want to be sure you never get to that point.”

The Leaf can also be monitored remotely with a special app available from the manufacturer. You can check the vehicle’s charge level or even turn on the A/C or heat so it can cool or warm up while on the charging station instead of when it’s on the road using battery power.

The Leaf lists for $28,000 - $34,000, depending on the model. A-C-T chose to lease rather than buy to give them time to evaluate the return on investment and determine if it’s a good fit for their company’s use. The two-year lease runs about $200 per month – less than many leases and affordable by most business standards. Of course, there is also the one-time cost of installing the charging station – approx. $2,000 including labor – but after that, there are zero trips to the gas station. “At a time when gas prices are usually trending upward, this could prove to be a great savings for us in the long run,” said Kincart. “And, we want to live up to our designation as Bartow’s Green Business of Year in every way we can. This provides a great opportunity to do just that because, really, who can argue with zero emissions as a way to be a good steward of the environment?” asked Kincart.

Jennifer Wisdom, of Bartow-based A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure, was recognized as the firm’s 2012 Employee of the Year. Wisdom was one of 10 employees eligible to receive the award – each of whom had previously been recognized as winners in one of the company’s 10 customer service core values areas.

According to A-C-T President, Rob Kincart, “Jennifer was honored because she has excelled in every one of the 10 core values, but especially because she effectively and consistently communicates with management – delivering both the positives and the negatives of any situation so the best decision(s) can be made by the team.”

Wisdom joined the firm in 2011 and serves as a project manager. Earlier this year, she earned certification as a Professional Project Manager (PPM) – an accomplishment that required her to give up a considerable amount of personal time outside of normal business hours to prepare for the rigorous test. Jeff Kincart, Vice President of A-C-T said Jennifer’s pursuit of excellence “demonstrates what we all know to be true, that success isn’t limited to an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. work schedule. It often happens outside that time frame because it takes true dedication and commitment to accomplish professional and personal goals. Jennifer has that commitment.”

Wisdom’s immediate supervisor, Doug Coleman said, “Jennifer manages challenges aggressively while working with the team to find solutions. It’s a balancing act and she’s a pro. Naming Jennifer as A-C-T’s 2012 Employee of the Year, demonstrates a commitment to keeping customers’ projects on schedule while minimizing their costs and communicating effectively about project status along the way.”

Wisdom, a graduate of Texas A and M University, joined the firm in 2011 as a Project Manager. When it comes to workplace success Wisdom said, “I think the path to success lies in knowing your resources – knowing who to go to for the right information at the right time and knowing when to turn to other professionals rather than relying on your own knowledge alone and, at the end of the day, it also helps to be Texas tough.”

A-C-T’s 10 customer service core values and the 2012 winners in each area are:

Delivering Great Customer Service – Ashley Shive
Demonstrating Extraordinary Effort – Olin Bramlett
Demonstrating Competence/Accountability – Doug Coleman
Providing Valuable Counsel – Joe Whittington (A-C-T Northeast Florida Office)
Offering Sustainable Solutions – Jason Fabsik
Communicating Effectively – Jennifer Wisdom
Ensuring Safest Operations – Patrick Spears (A-C-T Northeast Florida Office)
Demonstrating Fiscal Stewardship – Lori Wolf
Being Consistently Flexible – Oliver Strawbridge
Delivering Desired Results – Larry Legg

A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure, Inc. (A-C-T) will hold their third annual Chili Cook Off on Wednesday, Oct. 24 from noon until 2 p.m. The flavorful event will help A-C-T raise both money and awareness for United Way of Central Florida and will be held at the firm’s corporate headquarters – 1875 W. Main St. in Bartow (Highway 60 just east of downtown Bartow).

The public is invited to participate by either entering their own award winning chili into the friendly competition or by attending to enjoy a smorgasbord of chili and all the fixings. Lunch includes chili, beverage and dessert and costs just $10. Chili chefs can choose to enter at no charge in any or all of three categories – hot (fiery, light-you-up!); mild (for the more sensitive palate) and imaginative (e.g. white chicken; gluten-free). Judging will take place before the noon start and winners will be announced around 1 p.m.

A-C-T’s Human Resources Director, Jennifer Kincart Jonsson, who also serves on the United Way of Central Florida board of directors, had a vision for making the chili cook off a signature event for the company’s annual fundraising campaign – one that would have broad appeal to help grow it to involve as many community members as possible.” Last year’s cook off boasted a record number of both entries and attendees – tripling in size over the inaugural year and raising $1,011 in 90 minutes for United Way. A-C-T expects this year’s event to be even bigger.

County Commissioner Todd Dantzler, one of the 2011 judges, had this to say, “A-C-T has come up with a great event and I recall overhearing several folks saying that our job as judges was definitely difficult because the chili was so good that, really, all the entries could have been winners. From my perspective though, as tough as the judging may have been, I’d gladly do it again just to be able to sample every entry!”

And, although he’d definitely sign up for another round, Commissioner Dantzler has graciously given up his spot this year to make way for some other lucky judges, including State Representative (and candidate for Florida Senate) Denise Grimsley; State Representative Ben Albritton (invited); Polk Tax Collector Joe Tedder; Bartow City Commissioner James Clements; Polk County Fire Rescue Chief David Cash (in case of spontaneous chili combustion); United Way’s Terry Worthington; Tony Delgado (City of Lakeland); Ken Sauer (Haines City); Richard Tillis (Mosaic Company); and Chef Terrie Lobb (Terrie Lobb Catering), who brings her culinary expertise to help round out the panel.

For more information about entering your own winning chili or just attending to sample everyone else’s, please contact A-C-T at 863-533-2000 Ext. 221, or email us.

A-C-T Annual Awards Banquet
September 27, 2012

A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure (A-C-T) recognized employees for outstanding contributions at their annual awards celebration held Sept. 18 in Bartow. Individual awards were given in several categories, including length of service, A-C-T’s 10 core values, “unsung hero,” and safety. Additionally, employees selected, by vote, one of their colleagues to receive the “Most Valuable Peer (MVP)” award (see complete list – attached).

A-C-T’s core values were developed around the concept that to be successful, each member of the company’s team would focus on Attitude, Contribution and Teamwork – a philosophy that helps sustain the firm’s viability regardless of unpredictable conditions in the economy.

The company also celebrated several accomplishments during their year in review, including, including receiving the “Public Service” award from the Florida Public Relations Association for giving back to the community in meaningful ways outside of routine core business services. Since 2008, A-C-T has increased our companywide United Way participation from 22 to 90 percent.

One of the highlights of the evening was celebrating the company’s recognition as an employer of excellence - on local and state levels. On the local level, Polk Works named A-C-T an Employer of Distinction after earning the “Best Places to Work” distinction for the three consecutive years. At the state level, Florida Trend magazine also named the company as one of Florida’s 2012 “100 Best Companies to Work For,” a distinction A-C-T also earned in 2010 and 2011.

A-C-T President, Rob Kincart, said, “all of our recognitions are important, but especially these, because they send a message to our customers that A-C-T cares about hiring and retaining the best talent in the industry and that we’re doing so to provide the best possible service at a fair price to meet our clients’ needs and exceed their expectations.” According to Kincart, “Happy employees create happy customers.”

A-C-T Employee Recognitions – 2012

Service Awards

Five years:
Olin Bramlett
Scott Fullerton
Jason Huffman
Clay Dessler
Daniel Mullins

Ten years:
Eric Jonsson
Patrick Spears

Safety Awards
Jason Huffman

Unsung Hero Awards (acts of unsolicited and outstanding kindness)
Olin Bramlett
Easton Grimes
Ben Smith

Core Value Awards**
Ashley Shive (Great Customer Service)
Olin Bramlett (Extraordinary Effort)
Doug Coleman (Competence and Accountability)
Joe Whittington (Valuable Counsel)
Jennifer Wisdom (Consistent Communication)
Patrick Spears (Safest Operations)
Oliver Strawbridge (Maximum Flexibility)
Jason Fabsik (Sustainable Solutions)
Lori Wolf (Fiscal Stewardship)
Larry Legg (Desired Results)

Most Valuable Peer (MVP) Awards (selected by colleagues)
Derek Watson

**Eligible to win A-C-T’s Employee of the Year award (to be announced December 2012)

2012 FPRA New Officers
August 29, 2012

Several local public relations professionals began new leadership roles when they were installed as officers of the Dick Pope/Polk County Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA).

Jennifer Baker, website and special events coordinator for the Watson Clinic, was sworn in as president. She succeeds Danny Kushmer of the Southwest Florida Water Management District, who continues serving the chapter as immediate past president.

FPRA State President Jeff Nall, APR, CPRC presided over the installation ceremony for Baker, Kushmer and other officers during the chapter’s recent annual meeting in Lakeland.

Other new officers who will serve with Baker are President Elect Katy Martin, Lakeland Regional Medical Center; Secretary Kristin Guira, A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure; Treasurer Amy Wiggins, Lakeland Chamber of Commerce; Director of Membership Pamela Crain, Polk County Health Department; Director of Programs and Professional Development Jennifer Olivier, Florida Presbyterian Homes; Director of Publicity, Public Relations and Communication Teresa Griffin, Polk County Public Schools; Director of Student Involvement Jessica Lawson, SPCA; and Director of Community Involvement Cassie Jacoby, Cassie Jacoby Media Services, Inc.

New committee chair members include Accreditation Chair Cindy Rodriguez, A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure; Fundraising Chair Rosa Driggs, Polk County Board of County Commissioners Fire Rescue; Newsletter Chair Jennifer Olivier, Florida Presbyterian Homes; Website Chair Sheree Saulter, Webster University; and Local Image Chair Marybeth Soderstrom.

The 58-member Dick Pope/Polk County Chapter and its affiliated Florida Southern College and Southeastern University units are among 15 professional and 12 student chapters of FPRA, the professional organization for public relations practitioners in Florida. Based in Sarasota, FPRA boasts nearly 1,000 professional members statewide.

The Dick Pope/Polk County Chapter of FPRA meets at 11:30 a.m. on the third Wednesday of every month at the Lakeland Yacht and Country Club. All meetings are open to the public. For more information, visit us at FPRApolk.org, follow us on Twitter @FPRAPolk, or like us on Facebook.

Polk Vision welcomed the members of Leadership Polk Class VI with a reception at Bok Tower on Thursday, August 23, 2012. The class participants represent a cross-section of unique, talented and highly qualified professionals from Polk County businesses, government entities and nonprofit organizations.

Now entering its sixth year, the Leadership Polk program brings together current and emerging leaders from across the County to develop diverse networks of resourceful, informed and proactive leaders who will create a more vibrant county and region. The ten-month program immerses participants in an inspiring and enlightening curriculum that examines critical issues that impact Polk County. Class members discuss ‘hot topics’ within Polk Vision’s Areas of Focus, visit all 17 municipalities in Polk County, and create relationships with community leaders from across the county.

Below you will find the list of the individuals who have been selected for this exciting journey.

Leadership Polk Class VI

John Bohde - Polk County Board of County Commissioners; Terry Brigman - City of Lakeland; James F. Clements - City of Bartow; Paul Colee - Florida Traditions Bank; Xuchitl N. Coso - Florida Southern College; Keith DeLoach - PFG Financial Advisors Network; Clint Edwards - Tom Edwards Inc.; Scott Franklin - Lanier Upshaw, Inc.; Tim Harris - Polk County School Board; Ford Heacock - Heacock Insurance Group; Patricia Jones - Polk State College; David Kaylor - Kaylor Law Group; James Keene - City of Frostproof ; Tracy Kimbrough - Baylis and Co. P.A.; Jeff Kincart - A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure, Inc.; Shirley Lowrance - City of Auburndale ; Lori Martini - Community Foundation of Greater Lakeland; Shannon Medley - FIPR Institute; Michael Micallef - Community Southern Bank; Corey Miller - Miller Construction Management, Inc.; Mike Morrow - Lake Wales Care Center; Tracy Mouncey - Florida Communications and Development Group, Inc; Sara Roberts - Polk Vision; Ken Sauer - City of Haines City; Lauren Schwenk - Oakley Rhinehart Cassidy, LLC; Robbie Shields - Florida's Natural Growers; Scott Wilder - Polk County Sheriff's Office; April Y. Williams - Fields Insurance and Financial Group; Dawn Willis - The Ledger; Katie Worthington - Clark Nikdell Powell.

Maria Brous, Leadership Polk Class III graduate and Director of Media and Community Relations for Publix Supermarkets, will serve as Chair for Class VI.

For more information visit Leadership Polk.

A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure, Inc. (A-C-T) was recently named one of Florida’s 2012 Best Companies To Work For – making this the third consecutive year the firm has received the statewide recognition.

The statewide Best Companies list appears in the August issue of Florida Trend magazine and on FloridaTrend.com. One-hundred companies were recognized in small, medium and large company categories.

“One thing that distinguishes best companies everywhere is their ability to hire effectively. So for our coverage this year we focused on how Florida's Best Companies go about identifying and choosing their workers,” says Mark Howard, executive editor. “Hard skills are clearly important, but the companies we talked to generally put a lot of emphasis on other things as well — how well a worker will fit into the company's culture, for example. And in deciding whether to hire someone, they frequently involve as many of their current employees as possible.”

“The groups that carefully evaluate new staff are frequently the same ones that serve their clients exceptionally well,” says Florida Trend Publisher Andrew Corty. “It's our pleasure to recognize these great companies and encourage others to join them in building Florida's competitive advantage.”

To be considered for participation, companies or government entities had to employ at least 15 workers in Florida and have been in operation at least one year. Companies that chose to participate underwent an evaluation of their workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. The process also included a survey to measure employee satisfaction. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the registration, survey and analysis and determined the final rankings.

“What makes this really meaningful to A-C-T is the fact that it’s not an arbitrary selection. The comprehensive survey that is an integral part of the process means that our employees see the firm as an exceptional employer. It’s not just something you apply for and get after a panel review – the employees’ collective voice is the determining factor. That makes it real. And, we know from experience that if you take care of your employees, they take care of your customers,” said A-C-T President, Rob Kincart.

For a list of the 100 Best Companies To Work For In Florida, go to Florida Trend's Best Companies.

About A-C-T
A-C-T is an established multi-disciplined professional environmental, engineering and field services firm with expertise in a range of areas, including environmental sciences, engineering, industrial hygiene, industrial services, infrastructure, waste management and emergency response. A-C-T employs nearly 100 full-time, part-time and contract professionals from its offices in Bartow, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Orlando, Naples and Ft. Lauderdale. The firm has been recognized as a Polk County Employer of Distinction (by Polk Works), the Best Mid-Sized Environmental Firm to Work For - nationwide (by CE News) and is among Florida Trend’s 100 Best Companies to Work For (2010, 2011 and 2012). For more information about A-C-T, visit A-C-T.com.

About Florida Trend
Florida Trend magazine provides excellent, forward-looking, and in-depth reporting on business, finance and public policy in Florida. Florida Trend reaches more than 250,000 business executives, government officials and civic leaders. In addition, the magazine's website reaches approximately 80,000 unique visitors monthly. For more information, please visit FloridaTrend.com.

Join A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure, Inc., as we partner with local organizations to clean up an incredibly beautiful piece of St. Augustine’s San Sebastian River.

A-C-T and our partners invite kayak and fishing groups, Scout troops, 4-H Clubs, other organizations and individuals interested in community enhancement and volunteerism to come out 7:30 a.m. – noon on Saturday, May 19 to help clean up the San Sebastian River.

“We are pleased to spearhead this community-wide effort that will undoubtedly enhance a portion of the beautiful San Sebastian River for everyone to enjoy,” said Rob Kincart, President of A-C-T.

Volunteers are welcome to begin at either one of two staging areas. Those who bring their own kayaks and canoes can launch from staging area #1, located at SR 16 near the corner of Lewis Speedway. Anyone coming out for the shore cleanup can begin at either staging area #1 or staging area #2 located on US 1 across from Orange Avenue, just north of the new bridge.

Volunteers should arrive with gloves, old shoes and sunscreen. Bags and other necessary equipment will be provided.

“This wouldn’t be possible without our event partners and volunteers,” said Jeremy Horsley, Northwest Florida Project Specialist for A-C-T.

St. Johns County’s Solid Waste Department is providing bags, pickers and the facility to dispose of collected waste. To keep our volunteers safe, FEC Railroad is providing a safety flagger watching the tracks and controlling train traffic in the area. The City of St. Augustine’s Utilities Department is providing recycling bins. Also, listen for their radio spot on “The Break Room” on the Flagler College Radio station.

Horsley added, “The effort not only helps beautify our community, it also helps the city complete one of the two clean ups they do each year.”

For more information, contact Jeremy Horsley at 904-505-7574.

Kincart Construction (KCC), a sister company to A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure, Inc., is offering a chance to win a $200 Publix gift certificate to participants in their “Spring GREEN Sign Hunt” and social media contest.

The contest, which runs through Tuesday, April 3, is designed to raise awareness of the energy efficiency projects KCC is completing at several city of Bartow facilities.

All 12 public facility projects are funded by a $1 million federal matching grant where the city contributed 50 percent and the other 50 percent is federally funded. Project improvements include installation of energy efficient windows, upgrades to air handling units, pump and fan motor replacements and much more. “We believe the real beneficiary will be taxpayers because the city is projecting a $200,000 annual savings on energy costs within less than three years. The KCC contest simply highlights the project,” said Jeff Kincart, President of KCC.

To participate in the KCC contest and win a chance at the $200 Publix gift certificate, simply complete the three easy steps below:

1. Find at least four of the nine Kincart Construction signs – posted prominently at city facilities where projects will occur. Hint: They’re fairly well spread out all over the city.

2. Have someone (friend/family member) snap a photo of you standing beside the sign next to the number in the top left corner. The numbering system allows KCC to verify that you’ve located at least four different signs. Each photo must include both you and the numbered sign.

3. No later than Tuesday, April 3, “like” the Kincart Construction Facebook page and post your “sign” photos. They can be posted individually or all at once.

So the steps are FIND, SNAP, LIKE and POST. As the KCC team sees your posts, they’ll add information about what improvements are being made to the facility where your photo was taken. The drawing among eligible participants will occur on Thursday, April 5 and will be announced the same day on the KCC Facebook page. The winner can claim their gift certificate that day as well.

“We’d love to see everyone support and promote these worthwhile ‘green’ projects and we encourage you get out there, maybe even take your kids as part of an educational experience, and have some fun finding the signs and posting your photos,” said Kincart.

Don’t miss your chance to win a $200 Publix gift certificate for your family’s spring feast and earn designation as KCC’s “2012 Spring Green Champion.” It’s a great way to spread the word about the energy efficiencies coming soon to the City of Bartow while also demonstrating how much you care about being “green.”

Guira Joins A-C-T
March 6, 2012

AC-T Environmental and Infrastructure, Inc., is pleased to announce that Kristin Guira has joined the firm. Guira will serve as proposal manager and communications specialist.

Guira, who served six years as a communications specialist for the Polk County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC), holds a master’s degree in communications, a bachelor’s degree in communications and a bachelor’s degree in animal science, all from the University of Florida. She brings 10 years of public relations and communications experience to her new post.

A respected professional, Guira has proven expertise and knowledge in the areas of public relations, crisis communications, marketing, training, desktop publishing, and community outreach.

Guira currently serves as secretary of the Dick Pope Polk County Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association.

During her tenure with the Polk County BoCC, Guira’s division consistently reduced their budget through innovation and efficiencies and won more than 100 local, state, national and international awards for excellence in public and community relations.

King Joins A-C-T
March 6, 2012

A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure, Inc., is pleased to announce that Isabel King has joined the firm and will serve as A-C-T’s newest environmental engineer.

King, comes to A-C-T from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection where she served six years supervising a team of engineers reviewing permits for wastewater in the Domestic Wastewater Section. King earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of South Florida and brings 15 years of professional experience to her position.

A Florida-licensed, professional engineer, King has proven expertise and knowledge in the areas of soil and groundwater assessment and remediation, domestic wastewater systems and construction management.

King is a member of the Water Environment Federation and volunteers with Lifepath Hospice in Temple Terrace.

The A-C-T/Polk State Corporate College joint use training facility and Solar Lab is taking shape and we hope you enjoy these short video episodes of “Countdown to Completion.” Check our web page and Facebook pages (Kincart Construction and A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure) frequently to watch the progress!

Episode #1 - Footer Pour

Episode #2 - Stem Walls

Brad Bruce, of Bartow-based A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure, was recognized as the firm’s 2011 Employee of the Year. Bruce was one of 10 employees eligible to receive the award – each of whom had previously been recognized as winners in the company’s 10 customer service core values areas.

A-C-T’s 10 customer service core values and the 2011 winners in each area are:
• Delivering Great Customer Service – Hannah Thrasher
• Demonstrating Extraordinary Effort – Jason Huffman
• Demonstrating Competence/Accountability – Joe Whittington
• Providing Valuable Counsel – Butch Patterson
• Offering Sustainable Solutions – Clay Dessler
• Communicating Effectively – John Russell (from A-C-T’s Jacksonville Office)
• Ensuring Safest Operations – Jeremy Horsley (from A-C-T’s Gainesville Office)
• Demonstrating Fiscal Stewardship – Lisa Sowinski
• Being Consistently Flexible – Brad Bruce
• Delivering Desired Results – Gary Weiss

According to A-C-T President, Rob Kincart, “Brad was honored because he has excelled in every one of the 10 core value areas, but especially because he has cheerfully done absolutely everything we’ve asked him to do, including taking both short- and long-term assignments in the panhandle and locally.” Kincart said, “No matter how small or how large the project, Brad tackles it with the same gusto and never complains. His positive can-do attitude and commitment to overall excellence are what earned him this recognition.”

Bruce, who joined the firm in 2008 and serves as an Engineering Project Specialist, agrees that attitude is the key, saying that “a positive attitude is every bit as contagious as a negative one and a whole lot less stressful for both the individual and their supporting team.” According to his managing supervisor, Ben Hilton, Bruce has an attitude that’s a lot like that of football great Tim Tebow in a couple of important ways -- he doesn’t do a lot of talking about himself, preferring to give credit to the team and he has the competence and confidence to ignore any distractions and simply get the job done. Hilton said, “That’s how winners operate and by naming Brad Bruce as our 2011 Employee of the Year, we’ve recognized and honored a true winner”!

A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure held their second annual Chili Cook Off to raise both money and awareness for United Way of Central Florida. The flavorful event saw a record number of both entries and attendees and raised $1,011 in 90 minutes.

A-C-T’s Human Resources Director, Jennifer Jonsson, who also serves as the firm’s United Way Coordinator, had a vision for making the Chili Cook Off a signature event for the company’s annual fundraising campaign – one that would have broad appeal to help grow it to involve as many community members as possible.”

Based on the numbers, it appears to be well on its way. Last year, there were seven chili entries and approximately 30 attendees. The company’s President, Rob Kincart, walked away with the championship which, according to Jonsson, “included a certificate, bragging rights for a year, but more importantly, the reward that comes with contributing to a great organization that does so much to help folks in our community.”

This year, the event has basically tripled in size – boasting 19 chili entries (all donated) in three categories – mild, weird and hot and drawing over 100 attendees. Jonsson said, “We attribute the increased numbers to better planning and better advertisement, which included using social media and e-mail invitations to spread the word.” Judges were County Commissioner Todd Dantzler, United Way’s Debbie Burdett and Clark Environmental’s Jim Clark – each of whom made their way through the various chilis and collectively selected the winners. First Place went to Jeri Cartwright who entered her Ohio Sausage Chili in the Weird category. Doug Coleman took the second place honors for his Inferno Chili in the Hot category, and third place was secured by another Hot category favorite, Seven Generations’ Heirloom Chili, entered by Cindy Rodriguez.

Chili Judge Dantzler had this to say, “A-C-T has come up with a great event and I overheard several folks saying that our job as judges was definitely difficult because the chili was so good that, really, all the entries could have been winners. From my perspective though, as tough as the judging may have been, I’d gladly do it again just to be able to sample every entry like I did today!”

The event will be held annually in November. For more information about entering your own winning chili or attending in 2012, just contact A-C-T at 863-533-2000.

About A-C-T: A-C-T is an established multi-disciplined professional environmental, engineering and field services firm with expertise in a range of areas, including environmental sciences, engineering, industrial hygiene, industrial services, infrastructure, waste management and emergency response. A-C-T employs nearly 100 full-time, part-time and contract professionals from its offices in Bartow, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Orlando, Naples and Ft. Lauderdale. The firm has also been recognized as Bartow’s 2010 Business of the Year and Keep Polk County Beautiful’s 2010 Environmental Champion. For more information about A-C-T, visit www.A-C-T.com.

Bartow based A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure, Inc. (A-C-T) was recognized as the top midsized environmental firm to work for in the nation by ZweigWhite, publisher of CE News. The award was announced at ZweigWhite’s Best Firms To Work For Summit, an annual event held this year in San Diego. A-C-T joined other top firms at the summit to share strategies, success stories and industry news.

According to Christina Zweig, Public Relations Manager at ZweigWhite, the prestigious award and ranking is based on comprehensive evaluations of firm culture, workplace practices, employee benefits, employee retention rates, professional development, and more – both from the management and staff’s perspectives. Firms are also objectively ranked in size categories based on a numerical system and survey results. Winners are selected in the disciplines of architecture, civil Engineering, structural engineering, environmental and multidiscipline. A-C-T applied for consideration, and ultimately received top ranking, in the midsized environmental category and ranked fifth among firms in all size categories.

Already this year, A-C-T has been designated one of Polk Works’ Best Places to Work and is among Florida Trend’s 100 Best Companies to Work. The ZweigWhite recognition completes what company officials refer to as the perfect trifecta (local, state and national) of distinguished employer recognitions for the firm in 2011.

“It’s really a pretty simple concept,” said A-C-T President, Rob Kincart. “We hire and retain the best team possible so that our customers consistently receive the best service possible. Our employees make the difference in a highly competitive business arena. We value each and every one of them and, based on their response to the ZweigWhite survey, they also value working at A-C-T – a desirable situation that enhances our ability to achieve shared company goals.”

One other Florida firm, Bracken Engineering, Inc. of Tampa was the top-ranked small structural engineering firm.

Other ZweigWhite categories and rankings (winners):

Architecture
Top small: Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture (Denver, Colorado)
Top medium: BLRB Architects (Tacoma, Washington)
Top large: Corgan Associates, Inc. (Dallas, Texas)

Civil Engineering
Top small: J.L. Patterson and Associates, Inc. (Orange, California)
Top medium: Tighe and Bond, Inc. (Westfield, Massachusetts)
Top large: Freese and Nichols (Fort Worth, Texas)

Environmental
Top small: All4 Inc. (Kimberton, Pennsylvania)
Top medium: A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure (Bartow, Florida)
Top large: Barr Engineering Company (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Multidiscipline
Top small: GATE, LLC (Houston, Texas)
Top medium: MBP, Inc (Fairfax, Virginia)
Top large: Smith Seckman Reid, Inc (Nashville, Tennessee)

Structural Engineering
Top small: Bracken Engineering, Inc. (Tampa, Florida)
Top medium: Degenkolb Engineers (San Francisco, California)
Top large: Simpson Gumpertz and Heger (Waltham, Massachusetts)

About ZweigWhite: Twice named to the Inc. 500 list of best firms, ZweigWhite is the nation’s leader in enhancing business performance for architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting firms. The ZweigWhite team consists of experts in business planning, mergers and acquisitions, business valuation, ownership transition, human resources management, finance, marketing, market research, project management and project delivery methods who collectively produce a comprehensive suite of products and services, including investment banking, consulting, newsletters, controlled-circulation magazines, industry reports, executive training, business conferences and more covering virtually every aspect of firm management. The firm has offices in Chicago, Ill., Durham, N.C., Fayetteville, Ark., and Natick, Mass. ZweigWhite is owned by investors Eli Global, BIA Digital Partners and MZ Ventures, with management including Mark Zweig and Ed Friedrichs. For more information, visit www.zweigwhite.com or call (479) 582-5700.

About A-C-T: A-C-T is an established multi-disciplined professional environmental, engineering and field services firm with expertise in a range of areas, including environmental sciences, engineering, industrial hygiene, industrial services, infrastructure, waste management and emergency response. A-C-T employs nearly 100 full-time, part-time and contract professionals from its offices in Bartow, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Orlando, Naples and Ft. Lauderdale. The firm has also been recognized as Bartow’s 2010 Business of the Year and Keep Polk County Beautiful’s 2010 Environmental Champion. For more information about A-C-T, visit www.a-c-t.com.

A•C•T Environmental and Infrastructure (A•C•T) recognized employees for outstanding contribution(s) at their annual awards celebration held August 23 in Bartow. Individual awards were given in several categories, including length of service, A•C•T’s 10 core values, “unsung hero,” safety, and “above and beyond.” Additionally, employees selected, by vote, two of their colleagues as recipients of the inaugural “Most Valuable Peer (MVP)” award (see complete list – attached).

A•C•T’s core values were developed around the concept that to be successful, each member of the company’s team would focus on Attitude, Contribution and Teamwork – a philosophy that helps sustain the firm’s viability regardless of unpredictable conditions in the economy.

The company also celebrated several accomplishments during their year in review, including, including landing contracts with new and existing customers; the groundbreaking for the A•C•T and Polk State Corporate College’s Corporate Center for Innovation; Providing consulting services to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) after the Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill to minimize damage to Florida’s pristine panhandle beaches and surrounding environment; Selection as Business of the Year by Bartow Chamber’s Committee of 100 and Environmental Champion of the Year by Keep Polk County Beautiful and finally; a 25 percent increase in annual giving as part of the company’s United Way campaign; and significantly increased community involvement.

One of the highlights of the evening was celebrating the company’s recognition on three levels -- local, state and national – as an employer of excellence. On the local level, Polk Works awarded A•C•T the “Best Places to Work” distinction for the third consecutive year. At the state level, Florida Trend magazine also named the company as one of Florida’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” a distinction A•C•T also earned in 2010. The company recently received notice of a national level employer of excellence award but cannot publicly provide details until the awarding organization issues its own press release toward the end of September. Calling the multi-level recognitions the perfect trifecta, A•C•T President, Rob Kincart, said, “all of our recognitions are important, but especially these three, because they send a message to our customers that A•C•T cares about hiring and retaining the best talent in the industry and that we’re doing so to provide the best possible service at a fair price to meet our clients’ needs and exceed their expectations..” According to Kincart, “Happy employees create happy customers.”

Based in Bartow, A•C•T is an established multi-disciplined professional environmental, engineering and field services firm with expertise in a range of areas, including environmental sciences, engineering, industrial hygiene, industrial services, infrastructure, waste management and emergency response.

A•C•T employs nearly 100 professionals from its offices in Bartow, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Orlando, Naples and Ft. Lauderdale. For more information on A•C•T, call 800-226-0911 day or night. Information is also available on the internet at www.a-c-t.com.

A•C•T Employee Recognitions – 2011

Service Awards

Five years:
Nick Castelli (Orlando Office)
Anthony Hernandez
John Russell (Jacksonville Office)
Colby Upthegrove
Gary Weiss
10 years:
Buck Buchanan
Joel Butler
20 years:
Jeff Kincart

Safety Awards
Mike Team
Roy Rodriguez

Unsung Hero Awards (acts of unsolicited and outstanding kindness)
Joe Bennett
Jason Huffman
Oliver Strawbridge
Cindy Rodriguez

Core Value Awards**
Hannah Thrasher (Great Customer Service)
Jason Huffman (Extraordinary Effort)
Joe Whittington (Competence and Accountability)
Butch Patterson (Valuable Counsel)
John Russell (Consistent Communication)
Jeremy Horsely (Safest Operations)
Brad Bruce (Maximum Flexibility)
Clay Dessler (Sustainable Solutions)
Lisa Sowinski (Fiscal Stewardship)
Gary Weiss (Desired Results)

Most Valuable Peer (MVP) Awards (selected by colleagues)
Michael Mathis
Ann Wortman

Above and Beyond Award
Paul McGoldrick

**Eligible to win A-C-T’s Employee of the Year award (to be announced December 2011)

A•C•T Environmental and Infrastructure was recently named one of Florida’s Best Companies To Work For. The firm also won the designation in 2010, making this its second consecutive award.

One-hundred companies were recognized in small, medium and large company categories. The rankings – the third annual statewide Best Companies list – appear in the August issue of Florida Trend and on FloridaTrend.com.

The Best Companies To Work For in Florida program was created by Florida Trend and Best Companies Group and endorsed by the HR Florida State Council.

“Companies that retain the best employees with strong workplace programs typically stand out from the crowd by offering exceptional customer focus from a friendly, upbeat staff," says Florida Trend Publisher Andrew Corty. "It's our pleasure to recognize these great organizations and encourage others to join them in building Florida's competitive advantage."

A•C•T is a multi-disciplined engineering and environmental firm headquartered in Bartow, Florida. The company employs personnel across a wide range of disciplines and serves clients nationwide. Since its inception, in 1987, the firm has never had a lay-off. According to Rob Kincart, President of A•C•T, “Our fiscally conservative business model allows us to support and sustain current jobs and employees while also growing the company in a strategic, methodical way. Both are equally important – sustainability and growth. We recognize that our employees have made us what we are today and it’s for that reason we remain committed to creating a positive and nurturing work environment where they can continue to excel.”

To be considered for participation, companies or government entities had to employ at least 15 workers in Florida and be at least a year old.

Companies that chose to participate in the Best Companies To Work For in Florida process underwent a two-part survey process. The first part consisted of evaluating each company's workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure employee satisfaction. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration, survey and analysis process and determined the final rankings. Companies were not required to pay a participation fee to go through the online assessment process.

"One strong theme in this month's Best Companies coverage is how companies keep good employees. We highlight companies that take sophisticated, enlightened approaches to training, communicate the company's values clearly, and listen to employees as they try to improve the workplace and make the company more productive." says Mark Howard, executive editor.

For a complete list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Florida, go to www.FloridaTrend.com/BestCompanies.

Florida Trend magazine provides excellent, forward-looking, and in-depth reporting on business, finance and public policy in Florida. Florida Trend reaches more than 250,000 business executives, government officials and civic leaders. In addition, the magazine's website reaches approximately 80,000 unique visitors monthly. For more information, please visit FloridaTrend.com.

Best Companies Group works with national and local partners around the country and in Canada to establish and manage “Best Places to Work,” “Best Companies,” and “Best Employers” programs on a national, statewide and regional basis. Through its thorough workplace assessment, utilizing employer questionnaires and employee-satisfaction surveys, BCG identifies and recognizes companies that have been successful in creating and maintaining workplace excellence. For more information, please visit www.BestCompaniesGroup.com.

Gary L. Weiss, FPEM, of Bartow-based A•C•T Environmental and Infrastructure (A•C•T), has earned certification as a Florida Professional Emergency Manager (FPEM) from the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association (FEPA).

FPEM certification is the highest honor of professional achievement awarded by FEPA, who rigorously evaluates applicants’ experience and competencies in the field of emergency management. Only those candidates that meet all of the stringent requirements are awarded certification. In fact, Weiss is now one of only 246 FPEM’s in the State of Florida.

Weiss, a recent recipient of the Thomas Yatabe Award for achievements and superior participation in hazardous materials planning and response, is a former Fire Chief with many years of experience overseeing emergency administration and first response operations of a City Fire Department.

In addition, Weiss has experience conducting risk assessments, master planning and training courses, as well as managing customer service centers for emergency services. He has also developed hurricane plans and various preparation, mitigation, response and recovery plans for disaster operations. Most recently, Weiss assisted the State of Florida during the Deepwater Horizon / Gulf oil spill response – working for 4 months out of the State’s Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee to coordinate the booming and skimming operations that helped minimize damage to Florida’s pristine panhandle beaches.

Weiss now serves as A•C•T’s nationwide emergency response project manager – scheduling manpower and equipment throughout the assessment, mitigation and remediation phases of various emergency incidents throughout North America.

Robert O. Kincart, President of American Compliance Technologies, Inc. (A•C•T), has accepted an appointment to the inaugural leadership board at the University of Florida’s (UF) chemistry department. Kincart joins, among others, UF board of trustees member Dr. Steven Scott and department alumnus, Professor Robert Grubbs, recipient of the 2005 Nobel Prize in chemistry, as charter members of the board.

Recognizing that Florida’s future lies in innovation and technology, and that UF’s Department of Chemistry touches virtually every aspect of Florida’s high tech economy, department chair and professor Daniel R. Talham said, “To achieve (our goals) to the fullest, we need the support and vision of leaders from both inside and outside our campus. It’s for that reason we are looking to constitute the inaugural board with successful individuals who maintain allegiance to the department.” The Board’s role will include activities to increase public awareness and support for the department and its goals as well as serving as ambassadors for the department’s programs. Additionally, board members will work to identify and secure private sources of funding and take leadership roles in various outreach efforts.

For Kincart, his role on the board aligns with his firm’s established culture of innovation and offers yet another opportunity to form a beneficial public-private partnership similar to the one recently announced where A•C•T joined with Polk State College’s Corporate College to co-locate PSC’s Agri-Business Technology Institute and Design and Construction Sustainability Institute at A•C•T’s corporate headquarters. Kincart said, “I love the University of Florida and am both pleased and honored to serve on the inaugural chemistry department board that will play a role in ensuring environmental and economic sustainability for the entire state.” Kincart received his own degree in chemistry from UF in 1972 and has remained actively engaged with the school ever since.

The Kincart Group is pleased to establish the Kincart Scholarship in Chemistry at the University of Florida. Robert O. Kincart, founder and president of American Compliance Technologies, Inc. (A•C•T), earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Florida (UF) in 1972 and the family has a strong history of UF graduates in other disciplines as well.

The annual scholarship will be awarded to a Polk County student studying chemistry at UF’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. According to Paul D’Anieri, Dean of the College, the Kincart Scholarship in Chemistry “allows us to continue our mission of empowerment through education, research and outreach.” D’Anieri added that the College “changes our students and our students change the world.”

For the Kincart family, the scholarship fits nicely with A•C•T’s focus on environmental and community sustainability. “Helping educate the scientists of tomorrow goes a long way to ensuring a brighter future for all of us, and we are honored to play a part in that endeavor,” said Kincart. For more information about this and other scholarship offerings at UF, go to www.uff.ufl.edu/scholarships.

Gary L. Weiss, of Bartow-based A•C•T Environmental and Infrastructure, received the prestigious Thomas Yatabe Award today in Ft. Myers. The award is given each year to an individual who has made outstanding contributions in the implementation and support of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

The annual award is presented to a single individual, agency and/or organization in each of the 11 Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) districts around the state, and is earned through achievements, accomplishments or superior participation in hazardous materials planning or response.

Weiss, who served as the LEPC chairman for the past two years, played an important role in updating the district’s Hazardous Material Response Plan and conducted multiple training classes and exercises for area first responders, including Hazardous Material Week outreach training. Additionally, Weiss was selected to assist the State of Florida during the Deepwater Horizon / Gulf oil spill response. For 4 months, Weiss worked out of the State’ of Florida’s Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee to coordinate all the booming and skimming operations that helped minimize damage to Florida’s pristine panhandle beaches.

The Yatabe award is not new to A•C•T as the 2006 winner was Rob Kincart, president of the firm. Rob was selected because of his lifelong commitment to the hazardous material community and A•C•T’s support and assistance during the hurricane season of 2004. Weiss’ selection this year demonstrates A•C•T’s continued commitment to providing sustainable environmental solutions to partners across the nation – but especially in the State of Florida.

The LEPC program and its parent program, the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) were established in 1986 when, in response to a growing concern for safety around chemical facilities, Congress approved EPCRA. The Act requires each state to develop commissions responsible for implementing EPCRA provisions and serving as a technical advisors and information clearinghouses for state and federal hazardous materials programs.

Florida’s SERC is comprised of 23 governor-appointed individuals, including Weiss, representing the interests of state and local government, emergency services, industry and the environment. SERC conducts quarterly public meetings in varying locations throughout the state. For more information about SERC, see www.hazmat.floridadisaster.org.

American Compliance Technologies (A•C•T), Inc., is pleased to announce that Cindy C. Rodriguez has joined the firm and will serve as Director of Communications.

Rodriguez, who served for nine years as the Communications and Legislative Affairs Director for the Polk County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC), holds a B.A. from the University of South Florida in Mass Communications, Public Relations and brings over 25 years of professional experience to her new post.

Based in Bartow, A•C•T is an established multi-disciplined professional environmental, engineering and field services firm with expertise in a range of areas, including environmental sciences, engineering, industrial hygiene, industrial services, infrastructure, waste management and emergency response.

Rodriguez, a highly respected professional, has proven expertise and knowledge in the areas of public relations, crisis communications, legislative affairs, marketing, training and community outreach.

Rodriguez’ professional affiliations include current service as a member of the Central Florida Development Council Board of Directors; Community Southern Bank Advisory Council; Polk Arts Alliance Board of Directors; Executive Committee Board of Directors of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA), Immediate Past President FPRA Polk County Chapter and Immediate Past President of Florida Government Communicators Association.

Rodriguez is also a Certified Public Manager and member of the Public Relations Society of America and a registered lobbyist in the State of Florida. During her tenure with the Polk County BoCC, her division consistently reduced their budget through innovation and efficiencies and won over 100 local, state, national and international awards for excellence in public and community relations. Rodriguez is also a recipient of Polk County FPRA’s Public Relations Professional of the Year award.

According to A•C•T President, Rob Kincart, “Cindy’s addition to A-C-T’s professional team strengthens the firms’ ability to expand services and raise awareness of the company’s competencies, while ensuring continued excellent customer service for our valued clients throughout the nation. We are thrilled to have her as part of our team”!

Michael A. Graves has joined A•C•T, as a senior professional geologist. Currently a doctoral candidate in Geochemistry at the University of South Florida, Graves has a B.S. in Geology and M.S. in Geochemistry from the University of Florida and brings more than 30 years of professional experience to the post, and is a certified geologist registered in five Southeastern states. He is a member of the UF Department of Geologic Sciences Advisory Committee and was a member of the State of Florida Board of Professional Geologists where he served as chairman from 1996-1997.

Based in Bartow, A•C•T is a multi-disciplined professional environmental, engineering and field services firm with expertise in a range of areas, including environmental sciences, engineering, industrial hygiene, industrial services, infrastructure, waste management and emergency response. A•C•T employs nearly 100 professionals from its offices in Bartow, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Orlando, Naples and Fort Lauderdale.

The Corporate College at Polk State College (PSC Corporate College) and American Compliance Technologies (A•C•T) have teamed up to form what officials of both organizations view as a “mutually beneficial synergistic partnership” designed to take maximum advantage of their respective expertise and interest in the emerging field of “green” technology.

Under this unique public/private partnership, A•C•T, one of the nation’s leading environmental services firms, will provide office and classroom space for PSC Corporate College’s Design and Construction Sustainability Institute (DCSI) in a new 10,000-square-foot structure being erected on A•C•T’s corporate campus at 1875 West Main Street (State Road 60) west of downtown Bartow. The building will be known as the PSC/A•C•T Corporate Center for Innovation.

DCSI will provide solar energy expertise and outfit the building with state-of-the-art solar equipment that will significantly reduce A•C•T’s energy costs and also enhance its already strong reputation as a leader in safeguarding the natural environment.

The partnership will officially launch on October 26 with groundbreaking for the two-story building that will also house PSC Corporate College’s newly-established Agri-Business Technology Institute (AGTI) with a focus on agriculture safety, water management, food grade homeland security and more.

“This is a classic example of a synergistic partnership. In this case, we have two organizations with similar objectives joining forces on a venture that will yield short and long term benefits to both entities. It gives the PSC Corporate College much needed space for these two initiatives, while providing A•C•T with the latest ‘green’ technology for heating and cooling its new building,” said Rob Clancey, director of the PSC Corporate College.

Clancey noted that moving DCSI to A•C•T’s complex in Bartow frees up space for other initiatives at Airside Center. DCSI will remain in the PSC/A•C•T Corporate Center for Innovation until the PSC Corporate College’s permanent Clear Springs campus east of Bartow opens in about two or three years.

“We are excited to be working with PSC’s Corporate College on this venture. We expect this to be the first of many partnerships between our two organizations,” A•C•T President Robert Kincart said.

“The synergy on the project is fantastic,” Kincart continued. “It allows people to receive valuable training in the emerging ‘green’ technology field while the equipment being installed in the new building under the direction of DCSI meets A•C•T’s energy needs in a highly efficient and environmental friendly fashion.”

Established two years ago, the DCSI offers traditional construction and green technology/environmental sustainability course work for companies and interested individuals. Specific courses of study that will be offered in the new center in Bartow include “Solar Domestic Hot Water Installation,” “Solar Photo-Voltaic System Installation,” LEED Green AP – Existing Building: O and M Exam Preparation,” “It’s Easy Being Green-Kermit the Frog May Disagree” and “Hazardous Waste ID and Generator Requirements”.

Courses available online at http://www.coursecatalog.com/dbpages/courses.asp?SchoolID=6576 include “Home Energy Fundamentals,” “Choosing a Renewable Energy Installer,” “Achieving Solar – An Introductory Guide,” “Certified Compliance Inspector of Stormwater,” “Certified Preparer of SWPPP” and “Stormwater Subcontractor Short Course.” For more information on DCSI, including a schedule of upcoming courses, contact Jackson at 863-297-1010.

American Compliance Technologies, Inc. has now been recognized by the Central Florida Development Council of Polk County and Polk Works as one of Polk County’s Best Places to Work for both 2008 and 2009. This annual award is bestowed upon companies that excel at employee retention and motivation, including opportunities for further training and education, promotion of a healthy work/life balance, and various employee benefits. A•C•T is recognized for solid growth and overall employee satisfaction, as well as educational opportunities, no-cost medical insurance, and a strong sense of teamwork. Congratulations A•C•T!

American Compliance Technologies, Inc. was requested to assist the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to deal with the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill incident. A•C•T personnel were assigned to operate as the Booming Technical Specialists for the State of Florida. Operating at the Florida Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee, FL, A•C•T personnel provided expertise in boom deployment, assisted counties with boom issues and provided daily briefing regarding boom operations to the EOC Staff, Secretary of DEP, Coast Guard and various elected officials around the state.

As an integral part of the command team at the State EOC, A•C•T managed over 400,000 feet of boom deployment and removal plus provided personnel to monitor the contractor deploying the boom to be assured that the boom was placed per specification.

A•C•T’s operational footprint lasted 95 days protecting the shores of Florida.

A•C•T offers many different courses for FL Firefighter Skills Retention and Out of State Equivalency. Courses are taught by a certified instructor, and are given multiple times throughout the year. Testing dates can be found on the FL Fire College website. Please call us for more information.

Our Total Response Action Communication Center is now available to our valuable clients. A-C-T understands that our clients are in need of immediate, up to date information in the handling of their incidents. From the initial notification to the final resolution, information will be posted and accessible to you at any time. Our clients can interface with A-C-T project managers in real-time via phone, internet or e-mail. Once the project has been completed all documentation, photographs and regulatory reports can be accessed by our clients via their confidential login to our secure digital drop box. Feeling helpless to control your emergency incidents is a thing of the past for our valuable customers. A-C-T Spill TRACC keeps you in the driver’s seat!