January 2018 Around Town 2

Nationally Recognized Planner Launches Houser Financial Group 

Stephen Houser has announced that Houser Financial Group is open and ready to assist individuals, families and businesses with seamless financial advising, family wealth planning and investments, business consulting, tax advisory, preparation, and representations and accounting services to create effective integrated, tailored financial solutions. The office is located at 1017 Pathfinder Way, Suite 100-A in Rockledge, Florida.

Every year since 2010, founder Steve Houser has been recognized as one of Cetera Financial Specialists’ Top 100 Financial Advisors in the nation. Cetera Financial Specialists is part of the Cetera Financial Group, the nation’s second-largest independent financial advisor network.

“At Houser Financial Group, our mission is simple,” Houser says. “To learn more about you, understand your needs, wants, and goals, and help you identify the personal finance strategies that may improve your lifestyle today and provide the foundation for a sound retirement in the years ahead. At the end of the day, it’s all about relationships.”

A Florida native, Houser has more than 40 years of experience in tax and accounting and 18 years in wealth management.  His experience began in 1978 with Davies, Houser & Secrest, CPA, PA, a large regional accounting firm where he served mid-to-large businesses, audited government agencies and provided tax and auditing advice to individuals and families throughout Brevard County.

In 2006, he successfully launched FPT Services, a tax, accounting and wealth management firm serving Florida’s Space Coast. Eleven years later—after realizing he wanted to provide his clients with an even greater level of personalized service—he opened Houser Financial Group. Houser Financial Group operates under three core principles: help clients build wealth, nurture relationships built on trust and maximize results by providing seamless integration of financial planning, investments, accounting, tax advice and preparation services. 

For more information, please call 321.345.1145 or visit HouserFinancial.com

Florida’s Fresh Grill Takes Top Honors at Fourth Annual Taste of the Coast

Florida’s Fresh Grill took top honors as the People’s Choice at the Fourth Annual Taste of the Coast presented by the Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“The event was a huge success! We are thankful for having such great support from our local community. We are looking forward to hosting the event again next year,” Jennifer Sugarman, CBRCC CEO and president, says.

More than 350 people attended the event Friday evening, October 2, at the Cocoa Beach Country Club. Nineteen food and beverage vendors gave the public a chance to sample their delicious appetizers, entrees, desserts and beverages. Fifteen local business vendors displayed their information and products. Also, those who attended enjoyed playing blackjack, bidding on more than 40 silent auction baskets and listening to the Gypsy Rain Band. 

Florida’s Fresh Grill was presented the first place People’s Choice Award, determined by a popular vote of the attendees.  Coasters Taphouse received second place People’s Choice and Mitchell’s Restaurant received third place. The Best Decorated Vendor Table went to The Fat Snook.

Event sponsors included The Avenue Viera; Health First; city of Cocoa Beach; Intercoastal Insurance; GrayRobinson, PA.; Florida Today; Hometown News; 98.5 The Beach and TSS Photography.

The Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce was established in 1968 and serves Cape Canaveral, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Kennedy Space Center, Merritt Island, Patrick Air Force Base, Port St. John, Rockledge, Palm Shores, Suntree and Viera.

Port Canaveral Posts Record Cruise Numbers: More than 4.5 Million Passengers in Fiscal 2017

Port Canaveral announced a new record for the Port’s cruise operations. More than 4.5 million cruise passenger movements were logged at the Port in 2017, outpacing numbers set in 2016.  


“Port Canaveral is proving to be the port of choice for more cruise travelers year after year,” Capt. John Murray, port CEO, says. “Our focus on providing quality service and commitments we have made to improve and expand our infrastructure ensures our cruise partners can deliver an exceptional customer experience at our port, which provides increased jobs and business opportunities in our community.”


Total cruise passengers, which includes multiday passengers coupled with one-day cruise passengers, totaled 4,520,229 in fiscal year 2017, up 6.4 percent from October 1, 2016, through September 30, 2017. Multiday passengers totaled 4,234,545 in fiscal year 2017, up 7.1 percent over the previous year, hitting an all-time high number of passengers.


Port Canaveral is the second busiest cruise port in the world, according to Cruise Lines International Association and is considered a leading homeport for the world’s largest cruise lines. Port Canaveral hosts Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International, as well as numerous port-of-call vessels from the world’s cruise lines.

For more information, visit PortCanaveral.com.  

New Downtown Cocoa Beach Main Street Mural

Rothman has painted a few other murals in Cocoa Beach at businesses like Coastal Produce, Coconuts Fresh Catch Market and Jazzy’s Mainley Lobster.

“It’s a big deal for us to be able to put these types of programs into place, to have the visibility and work with local partners,” Beth Javens, executive director of Cocoa Beach Main Street, says. “Helping in the revitalizing of downtown is what we do.”

The nonprofit organization that focuses on preserving and improving downtown is spearheading the project. The Cocoa Beach Main Street program “Murals on Main Street” is guiding the job. This is the first mural the program has undertaken.

The design is the brainchild of long-time Cocoa Beach resident and graphic designer Bob Long and Cocoa Beach Main Street. Javens calls it “a collaborative effort.”  

Like most initiatives of Cocoa Beach Main Street, the mural is funded through grants. For this project, the grants came from Space Coast Tourism Development Council and Brevard Cultural Alliance. Paint and supplies were provided through a donation from the Benjamin Moore paint company.  

Cocoa Beach Main Street hosts events such as Sip N’ Stroll, the Friday Event Series and other fundraisers, which help support the programs it’s involved with and economic vitality, Javens says.