Smart manufacturers in Florida know the value of FloridaMakes, a non-profit public-private partnership devoted to helping manufacturers advance their productivity and performance, with the ultimate goal to produce positive growth and strengthen this high-wage sector of Florida’s economy.

Operating throughout the state since January 2016 from its Orlando headquarters, FloridaMakes helps manufacturing businesses, both large and small, unlock growth opportunities, adapt to new technology and develop talent.

According to FloridaMakes’ CEO, Kevin Carr, “Amazingly, the state of Florida is home to more than 20,000 manufacturing businesses, with 80% of those operating with less than 20 employees.  What we do is provide the advice and assistance, essentially the bandwidth of manufacturing information, to help a business succeed.  Sometimes the daily operational issues of running a business, particularly a small business, overshadow a strategic growth plan.  That’s where we come in to offer support.”

Manufacturing companies can engage the help of FloridaMakes through their local Regional Manufacturing Association by requesting an Enterprise Assessment by one of our FloridaMakes’ Business Advisors.  Some businesses know they need help and start the process to address major problems. Others are doing great, but want to improve with input from a knowledgeable and neutral team of experts.  Regardless, a FloridaMakes’ Business Advisor prepares a report and offers suggestions and connects manufacturers to a fully vetted team of third party industry professionals that can assist with the implementation of the suggestions.

Some of the many services provided by FloridaMakes include:  enterprise assessment, business growth and innovation, technology acceleration, export and international marketing development, workforce training and development, supply chain optimization, process improvement, and sustainability.

FloridaMakes is the official representative of the MEP National Network and NIST MEP in Florida, with funding partners including the U.S. federal and state governments and a network of Florida manufacturing associations.

ShuffieldLowman attorneys, led by Bill Lowman and Keith Hesse, have been instrumental in the launch and continued progress of FloridaMakes, providing legal services in the areas of corporate, employment and contracts.

To learn more about FloridaMakes and how they work with Florida manufacturers, please visit

On February 23, 2018, ShuffieldLowman attorney Matt Firestone will present a Bankruptcy Law Committee Seminar entitled “Time to Learn Your ABC’s: Homeowners Association Accounting for Bankruptcy Cases” from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM. Matt will discuss the need for community associations to adjust their account ledgers and other potential pitfalls for community associations after a homeowner files bankruptcy. This event will take place at the Orange County Bar Association Center and is free to students, government employees, and all members of the Orange County Bar. For non-members interested in attending, there is a $15 entry fee. For more information on the event, visit the Orange County Bar Association website: We look forward to seeing you there!

The IRS is issuing a series of brief articles alerting and explaining the rights that U. S. Taxpayers have under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. The first bill of rights was adopted by Congress in 1988 and supplemented in 1996. Many taxpayers would be surprised to learn that they have any rights before the IRS. Here is an excellent opportunity to learn about them.

The Right to Be Informed

The Right to Quality Service 

The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax

The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard:

The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum:

The Right to Finality 

The Right to Privacy

The Right to Confidentiality

The Right to Retain Representation

The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System:

Julia Dennis | Corporate Law | Mergers | Attorney Orlando FLOrlando, Florida – The law firm of ShuffieldLowman recently named attorney Julia D. Dennis as a firm partner. Dennis specializes in general corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, securities law, and intellectual property. In her practice she represents a wide variety of businesses, both large and small, and provides counsel on matters ranging from corporate formation, compliance, negotiation of commercial contracts and strategic transactions, to succession planning, exit strategy, and the ultimate sale or transfer of business assets. She has specific experience within the manufacturing, technology and simulation sectors, and also counsels a number of nonprofit organizations in their formation, procurement of tax exemption status, governance, compliance, and other corporate matters.

An honors graduate of the University of Florida Levin College of Law, Dennis speaks Russian and German and is conversational in French. She is active in the Florida Small Business Development Center and University of Central Florida’s Incubator Program where she has served as a Program Coach and Advisory Board member to a number of emerging companies in the technology and simulation space, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Dr. Phillips Chamber of Commerce, and she is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth and the Orange County Bar Association.

ShuffieldLowman’s five offices are located in Orlando, Tavares, DeLand and Port Orange. The firm is a 40 attorney, full service, business law firm, practicing in the areas of corporate law, estate planning, real estate and litigation. Specific areas include, tax law, securities, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, estate planning and probate, planning for families with closely held businesses, guardianship and elder law, tax controversy – Federal and State, non-profit organization law, banking and finance, land use and government law, commercial and civil litigation, fiduciary litigation, construction law, association law, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, labor and employment, environmental law and mediation.

Hope Place is a shining example of cooperation and collaboration between Forough, Volusia County Government, Halifax Urban Ministries (HUM) and the Hope Place Building Committee comprised of community volunteers, including many employees of ICI Homes. Together, this team navigated the process of deeding the former school to HUM, made a plan for the construction and renovation work, solicited donated materials and labor, and established an endowment to help fund future operations. Incredibly, under the leadership of Forough, almost all of the funding for the project has been through financial donations from the local community. Once complete, the 55,000 square foot assistance center will serve 170-200 individuals and will provide residents of the neighborhood with an exterior recreation area too.

Throughout the complex planning process, ShuffieldLowman attorneys Scott Cookson, Jim Washburn and Maia Albrecht have been privileged to provide pro bono legal services. Firm partner Scott Cookson has represented ICI Homes with the firm since 2012, and originally brought the Hope Place project to the attention of the firm.

Attorney Jim Washburn, Board Certified in Construction Law, assisted with the drafting of Hope Place’s agreement with the architect for design services and advised on how best to structure the agreement for construction services and helped prepare the construction management agreement. He then met with the selected construction manager and Hope Place representatives to review the contract and ensure that all parties understood its terms to help the project progress smoothly.

Attorney Maia Albrecht, working out of the firm’s Port Orange office, attended multiple Building Committee meetings and served as a liaison for legal work provided by the firm.

Headquartered in Daytona Beach, ICI Homes has been in business for more than 30 years, building more than 10,000 homes in forty prestigious communities throughout Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina.

ShuffieldLowman’s two offices in Volusia County are located in DeLand and Port Orange. The firm is a 40 attorney, full service, business law firm, practicing in the areas of real estate, corporate law, estate planning and litigation.