Each month St. Johns Magazine will feature a few of the members of the Durbin Community Connections Networking group which meets weekly to share ideas and help each other grow their businesses.
Danielle Rodriguez of One Touch Organizing
Danielle Rodriguez of One Touch Organizing is ready to organize your life!
Danielle is a wife and mother and says that for as long as she can remember she has been obsessed with organizing. With 20+ years of experience in problem-solving organizational challenges in the workplace and in homes, she will transform the environment to help you live more efficiently and stress-free. She works with each client to help them identify the "cause of the their chaos" and help them find solutions they can maintain.
Her goal is for you to be organized on a daily basis whether it's creating a more efficient office or home space or just helping you create good time management skills. She can help you clear the clutter, not only in your space but in your mind as well giving you the ability to think clearly. You will be amazed at the freedom it gives you and the amount of stress it takes away!!
"I have opened new offices and organized their layouts, filing systems and supplies as well as working with small business owners on time management and creating a more efficient work space. I have helped organize the homes of family and friends helping create a more stress-free environment and I am now very excited to share my passion with you!" By using Danielle's special "one touch" method you can achieve organization and maintain a stress free environment, saving you time and money! For more information about Danielle's personal and professional organizing services visit www.facebook.com/onetouchorganizing
Heather Strazinsky - Realtor with RE/MAX
Heather Strazinsky is a Realtor with RE/MAX Specialists serving Jacksonville, St. Johns and the surrounding areas. She specializes in helping people buy and sell homes in our community, always going the extra mile for her clients. She has been married for 17 years and has two children. Heather’s personal experiences of moving her family numerous times gives her a deeper understanding of the needs of others.
“I know what home is to family and I know how important it is, whether you are buying or selling, to have a pro on your side. A real estate transaction is often a very emotional experience. It is a major financial step and one not to be taken in haste. Having moved many times in my life I know how arduous the transition can be and I truly understand what you are going through in making a move. From relocating, to downsizing, upsizing or finding that perfect second home for getaways or investment…I can help!” Heather believes in giving you her full attention and carefully listening to your needs and wants. For more information please visit rejaxhomes.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Ghannam - Aponos Cleaning
Karen Ghannam is the owner of Aponos Cleaning, a premier local cleaning service with affordable prices and outstanding quality. APONOS provides a solution for families with busy lives by offering quality full house cleaning services based on a schedule that fits your life. They also specialize in top-to-bottom home cleaning for people getting ready to put their home on the market and for those who are moving-in and move-out.
Aponos started providing cleaning services for homes in the St. Johns area in 2012. According to Karen, "I wanted to fill a need in the community for a full service, reliable, conscientious cleaning service”. Karen says Aponos is not just another cleaning company. “We are excellent about listening to our customers and sometimes just listening helps us understand what is causing the mess in their homes and allows us to develop a cleaning plan that works for them”.
Karen is dedicated to developing relationships with her clients based on communication, consistency and trust. "It’s all about relationships! I like helping people feel relaxed and stress free in their home. We are able to provide a healthier living climate where they can relax because they are leaving all the cleaning & maintenance to us. I am very grateful to have met so many wonderful people and I consider them part of my own extended family. We treat their homes – just like our home and that’s a promise I like keeping!"
If you would like a cleaning service like no other you have ever had, contact Karen Ghannam at Aponos at 248-895-3784 or email@example.com
For more information about how you can become a member of Durbin Community Connections please visit their website at www.durbincommunityconnections.org/
Sometimes life brings us full circle & allows us to give back in powerful ways. Cole Slate’s experiences with Best Buddies in high school channeled his passion into helping people with disabilities for years to come.
You may have heard about the teens with Down Syndrome who became the Queen and King of their prom, or the young man with Autism who helps the basketball team at his school. But what does it take to break down the social barriers that exist for young people with special needs?
Enter Best Buddies, a non-profit organization that pairs people with special needs with typical peers, fostering friendship, socialization, job coaching and leadership for participants. Kids with disabilities benefit through acceptance and inclusion, and their typical peers benefit by exposure to exceptionalities. Best Buddies is an international program offered in middle schools, high schools, and colleges. (See www.BestBuddies.org for all programs)
Local business leader Cole Slate, a REALTOR® with EXIT Real Estate Gallery, is passionate about the organization and puts a lot of energy into engaging the local community. Cole has been involved with Best Buddies ever since he was a high school student at Bartram Trail, where he was President of the local chapter. During college he continued working with people with special needs and was an intern at the Arc of Alachua County. When he returned to St. Johns he was a paraprofessional for ESE students at Liberty Pines Elementary. Once again, his life brought him full circle, and today Cole continues to support Best Buddies through fundraising and awareness efforts as the Best Buddies Jacksonville Advisory Board Chairman.
As Best Buddies Executive Director Erika Hatch says, “Cole’s individual efforts as the chairman of the Advisory Board have contributed to the making of hundreds of friendships for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. His heart is as big as his truck!” (A reference to Cole’s monster truck you may have seen around town).
Cole says he has always loved spending time with people with special needs, and treats them exactly like he treats others so they do not feel excluded. “To be quite honest, I can’t remember far back enough to when I had a different perspective on people with special needs. I have been working, and volunteering with people with special needs since I was in second grade.”
He attributes his attitude to a twist of fate that has affected him subconsciously. His mother, who was an elementary teacher, was told during her pregnancy that her baby was going to have such severe Down Syndrome that he wasn’t supposed to survive. But she decided to proceed with the pregnancy and ultimately Cole was fine. Knowing that he could be in their shoes has made all the difference in how Cole perceives the world. “Best Buddies provides intangible benefits. Just seeing first-hand the happiness, smiles, and excitement on a buddy’s faces during an activity is worth every minute.”
Cole’s involvement with Best Buddies has not only created lifelong friendships with former buddies like Trey and Christian whom he sometimes sees at Best Buddies events now, but has also inspired him to give back to education by funding a scholarship at his alma mater, the University of Florida, and participating in fundraisers for the program locally.
“Trey was my buddy in high school. Unfortunately, we lost touch for a bit because he moved and I went to college; BUT coincidentally enough, he called me the other day!! Apparently he is living back in St. Augustine. Christian is another “buddy” of mine, from my BTHS years. We were not paired-up, but he was in the program. He actually went with me to the Best Buddies bowling event a couple weeks ago.”
With an ever increasing number of people with special needs in the world, Best Buddies and the successful young locals like Cole Slate, who support these programs, are an inspiration that make our communities a better place to live.
If you would like to get involved, there is a chapter of the Best Buddies program at Creekside High School and coming soon there is a possibility that there will be an Ambassador chapter at Bartram Trail. Two fundraisers are held locally each year, in October – Bet on Friendship: Casino Night and in May The Friendship Walk. www.bestbuddiesflorida.org
St. Johns Magazine