Friday, July 2, 2010

Home at Last Founder Wins National Recognition from Major League Baseball and People Magazine “All-Stars Among Us”

Bill Criswell (far right) sits with (from left) John Russo and Bill Curdts at the Home At Last II jobsite. Russo, of contracting partner Winter Park Construction, nominated Criswell for the All-Stars Among Us program and will accompany him to the MLB All-Star Game in Anaheim, Calif. Photo by Jim Hobart, Macbeth Photography

WINTER GARDEN, FL ., July 2, 2010 — Orange County’s own, William C. Criswell, the founder of the Home At Last program, a special project of West Orange Habitat for Humanity that builds houses for combat wounded soldiers, has won the 2010 Major League Baseball/PEOPLE Magazine All-Stars Among Us representing the Tampa Bay Rays.

 The “All-Stars Among Us” is a program began last year by MLB and PEOPLE magazine to recognize everyday individuals that make a difference within their communities.

Criswell, nominated by John Russo an assistant project manager for Winter Park Construction and a Home At Last contractor partner, competed against thousands of nominees.

 Finally whittled down to 90 contestants, three per team, the public cast 1.7 million votes. Criswell, representing the Tampa Bay Rays, will be honored on the field during the MLB All-Stars Game pre-game celebration on July 13 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.

Home At Last, a special project of West Orange Habitat for Humanity, is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2007 to build mortgage-free homes for combat wounded soldiers of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The organization has completed two homes for wounded soldiers.

This year’s home, for Sergeant Major Patrick Corcoran, his wife, Becky, and sons, Tim and Patrick, will break ground around August 1. To make a donation, please go to and click on Home At Last.

Major League Baseball and PEOPLE Magazine teamed up last year to initiate the “All-Stars Among Us” national Campaign to recognize individuals who have served their communities in extraordinary ways. The 2010 campaign drew 1.7 million fan votes to produce the 30 All-Star winners, one to represent each of the 30 MLB teams.

West Orange Habitat for Humanity, a recognized affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, was founded in 1990 at Oakland Presbyterian Church.

The goal of Habitat for Humanity is to bring families and communities in need together with volunteers and resources to build simple decent and affordable homes.

Contact:  Elaine Ingra, 407-384-1344,

May Resort Tax Collections in Orange County, FL Up 2% over 2009 Month

 ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- County Comptroller Martha Haynie (top right photo)  announced today that resort tax collections received by the County for the hotel collection month of May 2010 were $11,387,300. Resort taxes are charged on short-term rentals, mostly hotels and motels.

Comptroller Haynie noted that May 2010 collections were two percent higher than May 2009. “We are still on a very slow path to recovery. Next month’s figures will include the first effects of the new Harry Potter attraction at Universal,” Haynie stated.

For a copy of May comparable  statistics, please contact:
 Martha O. Haynie,  (407) 836-5690
Jim Moye, ., ( (407)-836-5690

Crossman & Co. Hires Chris Chadbourne as Research Analyst

ORLANDO - Crossman & Company, which ranks as one of the largest third-party retail leasing and management firms in the Southeast, recently hired Chris Chadbourne  (top right photo) as research analyst.

John Crossman, president of Crossman & Company, said Chadbourne earned his Bachelor’s in Finance from University of Florida and is currently an MBA candidate at the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College in Winter Park.

For more information, contact:
John Crossman, CCIM, President, Crossman & Company, 407-581-6218,;
Molly Delahunty, Crossman & Company, 407-581-6220
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142,

Jennifer Wasserman Joins The Joule, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Dallas, as Director of Sales and Marketing

DALLAS, July 2, 2010—The Joule, a Luxury Collection Hotel located in Dallas, today announced that Jennifer Wasserman (top right photo)  has joined the hotel as director of sales and marketing.

She will play a key role in defining and expanding the hotel’s outreach as the luxury hotel takes a leadership role in the resurgence of the Main Street District.

Hotel owner, oil company executive and Hollywood movie producer Timothy Headington (top left photo)  recently purchased five buildings in the District and is spearheading its redevelopment.

The hotel recently announced plans to add 32 guest rooms, 20,000 square feet of meeting space, a rooftop garden, a second, world-class restaurant and a full-service spa.

Wasserman will focus on expanding the entertainment market for the hotel, as well as marketing its unique setting for citywide conventions, and on attracting social functions, especially weddings, and charity events.

A 20-plus year hotel sales and marketing veteran, Wasserman previously was director of sales for Garrett Creek Ranch Conference Center in Paradise, Texas, where she was instrumental in driving hotel revenue increases with creative marketing plans and partnerships with such well-known brands as American Airlines.

Wasserman is a member of Executive Women International, Meeting Professionals International and the Texas Society of Association Executives. She attended Southwest Texas State University and The University of North Texas, majoring in business finance. She is a former state finalist for Miss Texas USA, as Miss Addison.

Contact: Chris Daly or Jerry Daly, Daly Gray Public Relations, ph: 703-435-6293
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