Ormond Beach resident recognized for making an impact in communications industry


An Ormond Beach resident was recently named to the leaders category in Ragan’s Top Women in Communication Awards List for 2022, a press release announced last week.

Melissa Mathews was recognized during a special award celebration on June 16 at the Edison Ballroom in New York City. The award celebrates the female communications professionals who are making a significant impact in their daily job and careers. The event in New York City featured a keynote presentation from CBS Mornings’ Executive Producer Shawna Thomas.

Mathews was honored for pioneering the virtual agency model before remote and hybrid work became commonplace.

“When I found myself with limited career options after having moved overseas for my husband’s job, I realized I would need to create my own opportunities,” she said. “Remote collaboration tools were primitive by today’s standards, but I saw an opportunity to continue the communications career that I had been building at organizations like CNN and NASA.”

She founded The Mathews Group, now named Spring Green Communications, in 2010, and has grown the company internationally with a client roster of Fortune 100 companies and other higher-education, STEM and nonprofit organizations, according to the press release. The spouse of a US diplomat posted overseas, Mathews has managed the business for over a from Latin America, the Middle East decade and soon, central Europe.

DSC to name patio after Gary Libby

Daytona State College will name the patio adjoining the Daytona Beach Campus’ L. Gale Lemerand Student Center in honor of benefactor Gary R. Libby.

A press release on Thursday, June 23 following a vote by the district board of trustees announced that the naming marks formal recognition of Libby’s support for DSC, which includes a recent $100,000 gift to the Daytona State College Foundation, and his advocacy for students pursuing teaching careers.

“Gary has been a lifelong advocate for the arts, and his contributions to Daytona State College — including funding for the Gary R. Libby Gallery at the News-Journal Center Campus and ongoing support for art exhibits on campus — have enriched us all,” DSC President Tom LoBasso said in the press release. “The DSC Board of Trustees felt that naming the patio, where students will gather, relax and connect, is a fitting honor for someone whose passion for creating a community will benefit us for generations to come.”

Libby is the director emeritus of the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, and since 2018, he has supported an annual program for students in regular art exhibitions in the Libby Gallery.

“We are deeply grateful to Gary for his contributions and support over the years,” said DSC Foundation Executive Director Tim Norton. “The decision to recognize Gary reflects our appreciation for the incredible support we get from the community to build and expand our world-class educational and cultural offerings.”

The patio, located on the north side of the Lemerand Student Center, includes shaded tables, benches and open space.

Halifax Humane Society adopts technology to reunite lost pets with their families

The Halifax Humane Society has joined forces with national nonprofit Petco Love — formerly known as Petco Foundation — and animal welfare groups nationwide to help reunite lost pets with their families.

According to a press release, new searchable national database Petco Love Lost uses patented facial recognition technology to find lost pets both quicker and easier. This tool will be accessible to participating animal organizations, as well as any person who finds or loses a pet.

Uploaded photos of a missing dog or cat are scanned immediately to determine if the lost pet is at a participating shelter or with a neighbor in the community.

“We see firsthand how quickly a pet can go missing, whether they were curious, following a scent, wandered through an open gate or became scared during a storm,” said Barry KuKes, Halifax Humane Society community outreach director. “We work tirelessly to care for pets, whether they’re waiting for their forever home or lost and need help getting back to their families. There’s nothing more rewarding than reuniting families with their beloved pets and with Petco Love Lost, we’re confident it can lead to many more happy reunions, right here in Daytona Beach.”

Grant helps DSC provide meals to students in need

Daytona State College will use a $10,000 grant from Bank of America to provide over 1,200 meals to low-income and under-represented students.

“Something as simple as a hot meal can mean the difference between going to class, taking a test, being part of a study group, or going home and crashing,” said Lisa Koogle, director of Resource Development for DSC in a press release. “Our goal is to support all students — including those most in need — and Bank of America’s grant addresses a critical need.”

The grant will be used to fund one-time meal vouches that will be distributed via the college’s TRiO Student Support Services program, which, in conjunction with the Department of Education, has helped low-income and first-generation college students access and complete higher education since 1965. More than 210 DSC students take advantage of TRiO program services every year. These services include academic tutoring, help with financial aid applications, career counseling, and help finding housing.

DSC also has a TRiO Talent Search program that supports students in sixth through twelfth grade from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education, according to the press release.

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