River Rally Revival begins this Friday, Nov. 22

“The pause that refreshes” may have been one of the most successful slogans for Coke-a-Cola, but at Shepherd, it’s “ALL about the beer.” Because folks enjoyed the beer and camaraderie so much during our Pack-n-Purge Parties, we’re reviving the custom. Starting this Friday, Nov. 22 at 3:00, we’ll hold our first biweekly “River Rally Revival” in the area across from the PR team – and close to beer meister Brad. Once we’re in our 11th floor office, we’ll use make good use of the break room/collaboration area for RRR. This Friday, take a few moments to pop a cold one (non-beer beverages also available), nibble on some tastey treats, and relax in the company of your fellow Shepherdites. Cheers! Slainte! Salute!




Join the Riverplace Tower community in helping others this holiday season

One benefit of working in a building with other tenants is a sense of community. This holiday season, Gate Foundation is offering the Riverplace Tower community two more opportunities to help others in need. In addition to the food drive for the Second Harvest Food Bank, which concludes next Wednesday, Dec. 20, Riverplace Tower is a collection site for Toys for Tots and Hunger Fight. Collection boxes for all three organizations are located on the plaza and concourse levels.

The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program collects and distributes new toys to local children in need. In Jacksonville, Company B, 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion is handling the duties for the Toys for Tots program this year. Donations of new, unwrapped toys ensure local kids in need can experience the joy and wonder of Christmas. Toys will be picked up prior to Christmas.

Hunger Fight works to relieve hunger in the First Coast and around the world. To raise funds for their unique “food packages,” they’re holding a shoe collection until Dec. 31. They’ll accept shoes in any style, color and condition. Helping others is as easy as going through your closet.

As a reminder, the Second Harvest donations will be picked up next Wednesday, Nov. 20. Toys for Tots will pick up their donations several days before Christmas, and Hunger Fight boxes will be collected by December 31.

Build-out of 11th floor nears completion

We’ve heard a lot of banging, grinding and drilling coming from the 11th floor recently, so we peeked at the progress.

Construction is nearing completion! Finishing touches such as painting and installation of drop ceilings, carpet and counter tops for the break room and catering kitchen are in progress and should be completed this week. The plan is to install furniture the week of Dec. 2, with installation of our key card access and noise suppression systems taking place December 9-20. We’re targeting the week of Dec. 16 for a full staff tour. If all goes as planned, we hope to move on Dec. 20 or 27.

We’re working closely with Suddath and Building IT to minimize any disruption to work, recognizing that we’re at capacity during December with production. The move to 11 certainly won’t require the same level of effort as our October move. Once again, Suddath will move our large file cabinets and select furniture. The plastic packing crates will make an appearance around mid-December, and Suddath will transfer those as well. Building IT will install phones and computers. Dex will relocate and set up the copiers and Fiery.

Flooring and the drop ceiling in the lobby are installed.

Flooring and the drop ceiling in the lobby are installed.

Offices along the account services hallway are now enclosed.

Offices along the account services hallway are now enclosed.

Catering kitchen cabinets and flooring are in; counter top will be installed this week.

Catering kitchen cabinets and flooring are in; counter top will be installed this week.

In the break room/collaboration area, cabinets and flooring have been installed, and furniture ordered.

In the break room/collaboration area, cabinets and flooring have been installed, and furniture ordered.

Router testing and fiber optic upgrade
Next Tuesday, Nov. 19, AT& T will install and test our router between 4:30 and 5:00. During the test, Jacksonville won’t have access to email, Appwright or the Internet. If all goes well (i.e., AT&T sends the correct router), we’ll have our fiber optic connection Tuesday night.

Old furniture going to charity
With new office furniture, we must find a home for our existing furniture. Before our move, we’ll conduct an inventory of all furniture and its condition. Some furniture will be taken to the Museum for event use, while the remainder will be donated to a local charity. Suddath has graciously agreed to deliver the furniture to the charity of our choice. So that begs the question: What worthy charitable organization should receive our old furniture? Leave a comment and we’ll report all the suggestions in a future post!

Holiday party on Nov. 30
There’s no better viewing spot for the annual Jacksonville Light Parade and Fireworks than our current 10th floor office. So bring your family and any out-of-town guests staying for Thanksgiving to our Holiday party on Saturday, Nov. 30, starting at 7:00. We’ll have beer, wine and other holiday drinks with hors de ‘oeuvres. Everyone’s invited to a tree trimming and we’ll have activity stations for the kids. Please RSVP to Theresa by Nov. 25.

Second Harvest Thanksgiving Food Drive

As Thanksgiving approaches, the Shepherd Agency has so much to be thankful for. We have quite literally moved up in Jacksonville. As you look out the window in our lobby, taking in the breathtaking view, it is sometimes hard to believe that within your sight, there are countless people going hungry. In 2010, Florida Hunger Data indicated that over 342,000 individuals are considered, “food insecure.” Meaning they face a daily struggle just to find enough food to eat and in some cases, provide for their families.

Yet, the sad truth is there is hunger right in our backyard. One easy way the Shepherd flock can help the hungry in our city is to donate to the Second Harvest Food Bank. The Gate Foundation has teamed up with Second Harvest, and conveniently set up collection boxes in the plaza-level garage walkway and in the hallway of the concourse, near the café.  This way you can easily drop off your contribution on the way into work.

Second Harvest of North Florida’s food donation goal for 2013 is 40 million pounds. Unfortunately, they’ve only collected 24 million pounds, slightly more than half their goal. The fastest growing class facing limited access to food, and federal or state assistance, is the working poor. In the 17 counties assisted by Second Harvest, 140,000 people are in this category. More than 40 percent have households with one or more adults working.

According to Second Harvest, the greatest need is for canned fruits, vegetables, meat, newborn baby diapers, dry rice and dry pasta.


Drop your donations in the Second Harvest box located in the hall on Concourse C, before the café.

Drop off your donations in the Second Harvest box located in the hall on Concourse C, before the café.

Happy Halloween!


Looking forward to the visit from Chappell’s little goblins this morning? It’s sure to be adorable.
Don’t forget to make your guess as to how many candy corn pieces are in the jar in Jeri’s office. Winner not only gets the goodies, but also a $25 Starbucks gift certificate.

Google has a terrific interactive doodle today! Have fun making your own potion.

Deadline for business card changes
Today is the deadline to submit any changes to information on your business card. Just email the info to Joyce. We’ll take no response as an indicator that you have no revisions.

Day 2 of Kaz & Courtney Go Cross-Country

Monday afternoon, Kaz, Courtney, Stitch and Sookie crossed into Alabama on the way to Las Vegas.

Monday afternoon, Kaz, Courtney, Stitch and Sookie crossed into Alabama on the way to Las Vegas.

Kaz and Courtney passed the Florida border yesterday around 4:30 and rolled into NOLA last night around 7. Along with the dogs, they stayed at a pet-friendly La Quinta Inn – conveniently located only seven blocks from Bourbon Street (crawling – I mean – walking distance if necessary after a night on the town). Although they were sure to sample libations and culinary delights of the French Quarter, their night was easy-going. After dinner at the award-winning Gumbo Shop, they hit Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop where they grabbed a Voodoo, a drink recommended by Kaz and described in his typical fashion as “a grape slushy with some kind of alcohol” then strolled Bourbon Street.

Drinking Voodoo on Bourbon Street, Monday night.

Drinking Voodoo on Bourbon Street, Monday night.

Our traveling duo rose early this morning and, with Sookie and Stitch, strolled down to Café du Monde for mouth-watering beignets.

Cafe du Monde's menu.

Cafe du Monde’s menu.

Beignets for breakfast!

Beignets for breakfast!

With 10 hours of driving today, Kaz and Courtney plan to get just past San Antonio before calling it a night. In their latest update, they crossed into Texas today around 4:30. Looks like they’re having a blast!

Texas border_ 2-44pm

A bloody good time on Halloween

You can take part in a couple of feel-good activities on Halloween right here at the office. First, the two-year olds from the Chappell School (located on the concourse) will visit us in costume. Jeri bought not only candy, but also healthier choices such as mini goldfish, fruit rollups and the like; she’ll distribute them to us so we’ll all be able to hand out treats to the little ones. The kids will troupe through our office at 9:30.

Halloween brings visions of blood and gore, but if you’re in the mood for leaving a little blood, donate a pint to the Blood Alliance. On Thursday, Roger Towers is hosting a blood drive from 1 – 4:45. The Blood Alliance blood mobile will be parked in the West Drive. If you’re interested in donating, please make an appointment with Deb Spadea at dspadea@rtlaw.com. The process, which takes less than one hour, involves completing a health history questionnaire and screening interview and undergoing a brief exam of blood pressure, pulse, temperature and a test for anemia. If you have questions about your eligibility to give blood, check out this website: http://www.igiveblood.com/give-blood/blood-donation-faqs.

  • One pint of blood can save three people.
  • Someone needs blood every 2 seconds.
  • 65% of us can donate, but only 5% of us do.
  • If you give 3 pints of blood a year, we would never have a shortage.