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Village Engineer Tom Lundeen Is Working To Engineer A Stronger Wellington

Village Engineer Tom Lundeen Is Working To Engineer A Stronger Wellington

As the Village of Wellington works to build a stronger, more resilient community that works for residents today and well into the future, understanding the big picture is an important character trait for leaders like Village Engineer Tom Lundeen.

Lundeen joined the Wellington team in 2016 and is looking forward to a long future supporting Wellington and its residents.

“I’m here to help protect the residents and their property,” explained Lundeen, who leads a dedicated crew of professionals. “I oversee the Engineering Department and the Public Works Department, which means I manage more than 100 employees.”

Lundeen grew up on a farm in Minnesota. After completing a degree in civil engineering, he moved to Florida in 1985 to find new challenges and career options.

“A friend lived down here and said, ‘Come on down, there’s plenty of jobs.’ Within three days, I had three job offers,” Lundeen recalled.

Over time, he gained a great deal of experience in both the public and private sectors, always looking for new ways to improve both his own knowledge and the infrastructure around him. Lundeen was involved in massive projects ranging from new bridges and roadways in Brevard County to raising U.S. Highway 1.

Before coming to Wellington, Lundeen was the engineer and deputy director for the Port of Palm Beach for many years.

“Working for the Port of Palm Beach was one of those jobs where you wake up every morning because you want to see what’s going to happen next,” Lundeen said. “I was working with electrical and structural engineers, building sea walls and bulkheads, managing paving and drainage.”

An avid scuba diver, Lundeen integrated his skills at work by completing more than 300 inspections underwater.

After a time, Lundeen was ready for something new, since he believes that change is not only inevitable, but also a good thing. He has known Village Manager Paul Schofield and Assistant Village Manager Jim Barnes since his time with Palm Beach County, and the shift to Wellington has been a good fit.

“I’ve been in government for more than 29 years now, and it is a lot different,” Lundeen said. “I get excited when we get into a project. The system works, but it can always be improved.”

He gives most of the credit, though, to his teams in engineering and public works. Lundeen is proud to have a group of people who see the big picture, just like he does.

“There are some fabulous people who work here. I don’t think I could have hand-picked them any better,” Lundeen said. “Right now, everything is in place and working well in both departments. Public Works is filled with jacks of all trades, and masters of most of them. If an issue comes up, like a traffic problem, we can fix a road, put in a turn lane or design a traffic circle.”

He is especially proud of the work done by his fellow staff engineers. “Jonathan Reinsvold and Alyssa Dalloo are doing a fabulous job designing in house, saving us time and money,” Lundeen said.

The engineering department stays busy with a wide array of projects ranging from drainage improvements to permitting, and even altering the layout of congested intersections like South Shore Blvd. and Pierson Road.

“It’s one of those projects that you would feel good about,” Lundeen said.

The department has the plans in place for more than traffic concerns. There is another project meant to improve drainage in Wellington by removing some of the aging pipes and replacing them with two instead, to avoid choke points that get clogged by debris — especially after large storms.

“It’s not glamorous work, but if it’s not done, and we get a big storm, you are sure to hear about it,” Lundeen said. “For every project, no matter the size, I feel better because it’s done. We are doing our best to protect the community, one step at a time.”

Lundeen works hard, but he embraces that there is more to life than his career. He is still in close contact with the same friend who first convinced him to move to Florida. They work together on volunteer service projects of a very special nature.

“My friend got me into a project called Special Spaces. We fix up rooms for kids, and some of them are pretty intense,” Lundeen said. “I’ve worked on maybe five or six projects, the most recent being a three-year-old boy in Wellington battling leukemia.”

But when not helping in the community, Lundeen and his wife Michele would rather be outside adventuring, including riding motorcycles, kayaking and, of course, diving. “We take about one dive vacation a year,” Lundeen said. “My all-time favorites are Australia and Grand Turk Island.”

His appreciation for man-made structures sits well alongside his passion for nature. Lundeen’s family at home includes several rescued animals, and he even adopted a bird swept into his yard after Hurricane Frances.

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New Tyler Brooke Clothing Store Caters To Both Men And Women

New Tyler Brooke Clothing Store Caters To Both Men And Women

Just as important as fine quality clothing that compliments him and flatters her is complementary clothing for couples. That’s the retail niche that new store Tyler Brooke specializes in at the Mall at Wellington Green.

Owner Henry Mosely first got into the clothing business while living in Winter Haven, Florida. He relocated to Wellington with his family in 2015. Mosely’s previous store location was in the Kobosko’s Crossing shopping center, but Tyler Brooke has since moved to a new location in the mall, opening just over a month ago. This new store location is receiving rave reviews for its impeccable, personalized customer service.

“We had been a fine menswear clothier, and when men wearing suits and dressing nice kind of went away, we rebranded as Tyler Brooke, a store for men and women who love to shop,” Mosely said.

Mosley is married with three children, two girls ages 21 and 15, and a boy, age nine, His hobbies outside of running his business include watching college football, visiting Disney World with his family, and catching a movie and dinner with his wife.

“I am a true Floridian, who has actually watched the Village of Wellington grow to what it is today,” Mosely said. “Wellington doesn’t have all the hustle and bustle and retains its small village flavor.”

Mosely especially likes the family community aspects of Wellington. “It is a great community with great schools for my children,” he added.

He believes that the community will benefit from the Tyler Brooke shopping concept.

“The Tyler Brooke concept is one where men and women can shop together in a relaxed atmosphere,” Mosley said. “They can also purchase items that complement each other, whether they’re going to a polo match or they are going to dinner or to the Kravis Center.  We offer a unique concept and clothing that allows husband and wife to complement each other.”

This concept works great for date night apparel, Mosely said.

“Say, it’s an anniversary or you’re celebrating your wife or husband’s birthday, you can dress as a couple with anything from black tie options and evening gowns, all the way down to just a nice button-down shirt and matching dress for her,” he explained. “The line that we specialize in working with is Robert Graham, and we have Robert Graham button-downs for women, just as we have them for men. So, women have the option to wear their jeans and a nice button-down shirt, just as the gentleman wears his jeans and a nice button-down shirt.”

Mosley’s store features a number of clothing lines, including several local brands.

“Some of the more famous brands are nationally known like Robert Graham for men and women, and Gretchen Scott for women with special colors and fabrics,” he said. “Local brands include Three Friends Apparel located out of North Palm Beach, and Sir Menswear by Eddie Edwards located in West Palm Beach.”

One benefit that Tyler Brooke customers enjoy, Mosley explained, is that they won’t see a whole bunch of the same thing in the store.

“They won’t see a rack full of identical pieces,” Mosley said. “All the items for men and women are hand-selected from different designers, and we try to keep it as limited as possible, meaning a minimum of three pieces per style, but no more than six. That gives the customer a little bit of exclusivity to the styles, the size and the brand when they shop for retail with us.”

Mosely got into the clothing business for personal reasons.

“Something I’d like people to know about the business is that it was started because of the challenges that I personally faced in retail in some stores finding my size,” Mosley said. “At Tyler Brooke, we offer apparel for everyone. We can dress any guy from size small to a 5XL, for women from extra small to a 3XL.”

He invites the community to visit the store, located on the upper level of the Mall at Wellington Green.

“We invite people to come in and visit our store, because I believe in fashion. Even though the internet boom is what everyone is talking about, I still feel there is a unique group of people who actually want to touch the fabrics,” Mosely said. “They actually want to put their hands on it and try things on. Ladies want to put the dress on. The guys want to try the shirt on. At Tyler Brooke, they have their choice to see the items as soon as they hit the shelf. They don’t have to wait for shipping.”

That immediacy continues into the way he uses the internet.

“One of the things I do every other Tuesday is I post ‘What’s New at Tyler Brooke,’” Mosley said. “It’s a Facebook post with items that just came in and we are featuring them.”

For more information about Tyler Brooke, call (561) 281-9522, visit www.tyler-brooke.com, follow the store on Facebook at Tyler Brooke Wellington and on Instagram at tylerbrookewellington.

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Designer’s Touch Jewelry Welcomes Community To Visit New Store Location

Designer’s Touch Jewelry Welcomes Community To Visit New Store Location

After many years of providing a bit of sparkle in the lives of Wellington residents, Designer’s Touch Jewelry has opened a new location with an eye on the future.

A true Florida native, Adam Yorke is the third generation in the jewelry business at Designer’s Touch. With roots going back to the Broward area in the 1980s, the firm started by his grandparents has had a convenient Wellington location since 2006. Now, it’s even more convenient with a new location at 2891 S. State Road 7, Suite 120, near Trader Joe’s in Wellington.

“My grandparents and parents have run the store, and now I am a part of it,” Yorke explained. “We’ve been a true family business for more than 35 years. Our business was established and built on trust and long-term relationships. Although we may have grown and developed into a bigger store in a nicer shopping center, we will always have that feeling of family and true personal care and attention to any jewelry want or need.”

Yorke is excited about the store’s recent move a few blocks down SR 7.

“Our new, more central, stand-alone location is near Trader Joe’s and Starbucks,” he said. “It’s a nicer place, a more modern venue, with updated tiles and nice lighting. While near the old location, it seems like a happier plaza environment that is more convenient for our existing customers and those who will become customers in the future.”

That clientele will find a great jeweler that does much more than just sell high-quality pieces. Designer’s Touch Jewelry uses artistry and technical know-how to design and create beautiful items.

With impeccable workmanship and a wide range of services, including jewelry cleaning and polishing, white gold dipping, heirloom repair and updating, they even carry the top brands for men’s and women’s watches, such as Michele, Movado, Citizen and more.

The store works with jewelry of all types and materials, including platinum, gold, white gold, silver and stainless steel, and with precious stones, such diamonds, gemstones and pearls.

“As for custom work, we can make anything, and it’s done by hand,” Yorke said. “Our customers can see the wax and mold of their piece before it’s created, and they are really made to be part of the process. We can use a customer’s gold and stones to turn old, rarely worn pieces into new and modern masterpieces.”

In addition to the custom work that Designer’s Touch is known for, the store has a reputation as the go-to experts for simple to intricate repairs.

“Our repairs are done in house. We have two expert jewelers on premise,” Yorke explained. “We make sure that the work is concise and quick, and that each customer is satisfied with the piece before walking away. One of the big benefits of this is having one of the jewelers be able to work hand-and-hand with a customer if needed, such as an intricate ring sizing or something along those lines.”

One thing Yorke is especially proud of is that his family’s work has been on hand in the marriage of so many Wellington couples.

“We truly have a variety of just about everything, but if I had to specify something we specialize in, it would probably be bridal jewelry,” Yorke said. “We truly have such a wide variety of diamonds and settings that you won’t really see anywhere else locally.”

When not working, Yorke helps teach a drumline at Palm Beach Central High School, and his mother is an avid painter who enjoys riding horses, so the Wellington community is a great home for them and their business.

“Since being here, it’s like we’ve grown a new family because Wellington is such a tightly knit community,” Yorke said. “Everyone seems to look after each other, and growing our business here, we’ve been able to see so much of that first hand and are happy to be able to serve the Wellington family and will continue to do so for years to come.”

Visit Designer’s Touch Jewelry at 2891 S. State Road 7, Suite 120, in Wellington, or call them at (561) 790-6220. Business hours are Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Visit www.designerstouchjewelry.com for more information.

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Community Services Team Dedicated To Changing Lives In Wellington

Community Services Team Dedicated To Changing Lives In Wellington

Every municipality goes through the constant need to upgrade infrastructure to meet the needs of its population, but an integral part of making the Village of Wellington work for its people is the Community Services Department.

With a tightly knit group of individuals dedicated to helping their community, Community Services Director Paulette Edwards is proud of her team and the work being done every day.

“We’re a family that has come together to put our capes on and get out there and serve our citizens. They come up together with innovative ideas and always come to me with potential solutions, not just problems,” Edwards said. “I am the coach. I draw up the plays, and they go out and execute. They are passionate about what we are doing. It’s not just a job.”

Originally from Milwaukee, Edwards worked for almost 20 years with the City of Orlando, where she learned about some great programming initiatives and was excited to bring new ideas to Wellington.

Her team includes all demographics and ages, and the diversity reflects the population of Wellington itself. To meet the goal of becoming an inclusive community, the staff takes on a variety of tasks, including knocking on doors to help citizens in need. It was just such a case that led to Community Services Specialist Jenifer Brito saving a woman’s life.

“We got a call from village hall, and that’s when I started to go and check on her. We developed a relationship, and we went over and saw she had a really bad leg wound. I always take a fellow team member because we saw changes in her,” Brito explained.

Despite calling Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue, the woman refused assistance and headed to New York. “The hospital in New York contacted me because she listed me as a contact and had my business card,” Brito said. “She was discharged back to Florida on a Thursday. I worried about her all weekend. On Monday, we needed to go check on her.”

That visit ended with emergency aid and the woman being rescued after being unable to get up from the floor for more than 36 hours. Brito discovered that had they not called for help, the resident would not have survived much longer.

Supporting Brito in helping the woman was Community Service Program Coordinator Kyle Ostroff. It all happened on his first day with Community Services. After being with the village for nearly 10 years, coming over from the Wellington Aquatics Complex, Ostroff has found that his work in a new department has changed his point of view.

“I grew up in Florida since fifth grade, and working here has been eye opening,” Ostroff said. “When this position opened, I thought it was a match made in heaven, and I like working with kids. Right now, we are working on the SWAG (Students Working to Achieve Greatness) program, where we tailor internships toward the students’ interest.”

In all, communication remains key, and the long-term goal of Community Services is to be a one-stop shop for information regarding any programs and services offered throughout the Village of Wellington.

Project Manager Gloria Kelly, who focuses on neighborhood needs, is also the go-to person for social media and communication for the rest of the department. She spent time working for the village both in social media communications and the Wellington Village Council’s office. This experience gives her more than just a diverse foundation.

“I grew up in Wellington. This past August, I moved over to the Community Services Department,” Kelly said. “We want to be that first step, so people don’t have to go to village hall or a council meeting to voice their concerns. We want to make sure to have contact and make sure they are stopping by our office to learn what resources are there.”

In many cases, residents’ feel that they need to go to the top of the administrative chain to get help or answers, but Community Services is there to connect first-hand with individuals, whether they are seniors or youth, affluent or in need of help.

“Right now, I’m on a mission to make community outreach efforts to all of our neighborhoods,” Kelly said. “I work with Neighborhood Watch captains a lot, so there can be a liaison to our office.”

Whether the team members are new, like Program Coordinator Gus Ponce, or have years in service as Code Enforcement Officer Helen Archer does, the group works as a cohesive unit of people filled with passion for what they do.

“The project that I love is the food drive. I know where it is going. I know these tenants, who the residents are — seeing their kids, I know their parents — and it’s really great to bring a smile to their faces,” Archer said. “We have so much, and you really don’t know that there are people in our community who have so little. The relationship between them and the village, it’s great.”

Community Grants Coordinator Jim Fackrell has worked for Wellington for more than six years. His résumé includes massive projects in his former home state of Wyoming, but he finds that the work being done here yields great impacts.

“We fund youth programs, Americans with Disability Act improvements and now a housing rehab program,” Fackrell said. “The Great Neighborhoods Program is one of the more successful programs, in my opinion. The program provides a forgivable loan so residents can complete repairs and bring their home up to code with our help.”

Edwards is proud of both her team and the direction of the Community Services Department. As a leader with passion herself, it works well for the team in its proactive pursuit of reaching out to the community.

“We are the department that can let residents know about what services are out there to help them,” Edwards said.

For more information about Wellington’s Community Services Department, call (561) 791-4796 or visit www.wellingtonfl.gov/communityservices.

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USPA’s Matthew Baran Helps Market The Sport Of Polo To The Public

USPA’s Matthew Baran Helps Market The Sport Of Polo To The Public

Over the past several years, the United States Polo Association has built a talented communications department that is dedicated to marketing the sport of polo and highlighting USPA tournaments for members and fans. With his successful track record promoting the Flagler Museum in the Town of Palm Beach, Matthew Baran was brought on board, rising to the director of communications.

Baran, a native Floridian born and raised in Jupiter, works out of the USPA offices on Lake Worth Road next to the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame, spearheading an ambitious program promoting polo across the nation.

“We built a state-of-the-art web site focusing on tournaments and presenting polo like other major sports. This was accomplished through interactive scoreboards, a tournament calendar and dedicated web pages with rosters, history, video highlights and much more,” Baran explained. “The department continually pushes to elevate coverage across all media platforms and outlets, highlighting team and player statistics, amazing plays, player quotes and horse information.”

This includes a wide array of streaming video content.

“In 2017, we created the USPA Polo Network, livestreaming more than 125 polo matches throughout the year for free, across uspolo.org, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter,” Baran said. “All games can also be viewed on-demand through our YouTube channel or uspolo.org/video.”

When not working, Baran enjoys surfing or swimming at the beach, playing tennis, visiting local art shows, and hanging out with his family and friends.

“Ironically, I do not ride or play polo,” Baran said. “I grew up playing baseball, basketball and football, and received a scholarship to play baseball. My background in sports has helped with re-branding our digital platforms to cover polo like other major sports.”

While not a polo player, Baran is passionate about the sport with deep roots in Wellington. “Polo is one of the world’s oldest team sports that can be enjoyed by all ages, male or female,” Baran said. “There are approximately 270 USPA member clubs throughout the United States, and about 15 here in the Wellington area.”

It is an impressive sport, and he is certainly a polo fan.

“I continue to be mesmerized every time I watch polo,” Baran said. “The athleticism and hand-eye coordination of the professional players is something everyone must witness live. I would put it on par with hitting a 95-plus mph fastball in baseball, which has been described as the most difficult feat in sports. Players are riding flat out on the most agile horses in the world, bumping into other players and horses, all the while hitting a small ball through a goal with a bamboo mallet. The incredible precision in the goals and team play is what continually makes me revere the sport and push to get polo out to the masses.”

Baran believes that Wellington provides the opportunity to witness one of the most epic team sports anywhere in the world, and he invites area residents to, “get out and experience something new.”

To bring in more players to the sport, the USPA launched a “Learn to Play” campaign, which provides a platform for all member clubs to have a strong presence at uspolo.org.

“Whether you are interested in picking up a mallet and learning to play, or would like to watch some of the top players and horses compete in a USPA tournament, you can visit uspolo.org for more information,” Baran said. “And if you are in the Wellington area, you have to come watch a match of the Gauntlet of Polo at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. The level of competition and horses is unrivaled anywhere in the United States.”

The Gauntlet of Polo is comprised of America’s most historic and prestigious tournaments: the C.V. Whitney Cup, the USPA Gold Cup and the U.S. Open Polo Championship. “There is $1 million on the line, and the tournament series features 16 teams and more than 800 horses competing for a chance to be crowned Gauntlet Champion,” Baran said.

All the work that Baran is doing is directly in line with the longstanding mission of the USPA.

“The USPA was organized and exists for the purposes of promoting the game of polo; coordinating the activities of its member clubs and registered players; arranging and supervising polo tournaments, competitions and games; and providing rules, handicaps and conditions for those tournaments, competitions and games, including the safety and welfare of participants and mounts,” Baran explained.

Founded in 1890, the USPA is the national governing body for the sport of polo. With thousands of individual members, the USPA oversees 40 national tournaments. For more information, visit www.uspolo.org or call (800) 232-8772.

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Public Works Director Bruce Wagner Brings Winning Attitude To Wellington’s Staff

Public Works Director Bruce Wagner Brings Winning Attitude To Wellington’s Staff

Bruce Wagner, director of the Public Works Department for the Village of Wellington, believes that “without your team, you’re nothing.” This phrase is a mantra for everything, from his love of sports to his management style.

“I started out in the Parks & Recreation Department as the supervisor of the grounds,” Wagner recalled. “Then I went to operations manager of grounds and facilities, but the last 10 and half years, I’ve been here at the Public Works Department.”

His journey to Wellington was unusual for administrators working in the government sector. Wagner, a native of New York’s Long Island, spent most of his career working in construction and various forms of landscaping.

“I did have a partnership with my brother in landscaping for about 15 years. I went to college for commercial art, believe it or not, and then I started to gravitate toward landscape design,” Wagner explained. “Then I worked for a lighting company in Long Island and took over running the grounds.”

In 1996, Wagner and his wife moved to Florida for the first time. They chose Orlando, where he landed a position that ended up being a dream job — working for Walt Disney World.

“I was like a test project for Disney at that time. HR hired me directly off the street, which was not normal for them. It was a match made in heaven. I loved it; loved everything about it,” Wagner said. “Most landscapers don’t know all the characters and stuff about the park, but I did. I jumped in with both feet.”

A few years later, however, the Wagners moved back to New York to be closer to family and had their first child. Shortly after his daughter turned one, they moved back to Florida and brought the family with them this time. Living in Coconut Creek, Wagner started the next chapter of his career with humble beginnings.

“I worked for Home Depot in the outside garden area,” Wagner said. “It’s amazing the amount of people you start meeting. After a couple of months, I went to work for a management company.”

But 2004 was a difficult hurricane season. It meant Wagner was spending more and more time managing properties and away from home. His wife began researching positions further north and found an opening with the Village of Wellington.

“Within two weeks, I was hired, and I’ve never looked back. It has been a great experience coming here,” Wagner said. “We all care about each other. It is definitely a family because you spend all this time with each other. Communication is the key, and it has never been better.”

After nearly 14 years with the Village of Wellington, Wagner has found a second version of the happiest place on earth.

At approximately 46 square miles, Wellington is about the same size as Walt Disney World. Some days it’s like Tomorrow Land, some days it’s like Fantasy Land and some days it’s like Adventure Land. It’s never dull. “There is something new every day in public works, and we love it,” Wagner said.

The Public Works Department is crucial to the mission of Wellington.

“Public works takes care of the infrastructure, including roadways, canals, pumping stations, all the maintenance in any park, lights on the fields, mosquito control and all of the miles and miles of horse trails,” Wagner said. “We also do set up, break down and cleanup after large events. It’s always different here. We have 108 employees, and everyone pulls on that rope.”

Some of his proudest accomplishments for the department include twice earning American Public Works Association (APWA) accreditation, and the role played in the Parks & Recreation Department’s certification by the Commission for Accreditation of Parks and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).

“We are one of maybe nine entities in the whole state to get both of those awards,” Wagner noted.

Aside from pride over his work and team, Wagner also has a strong sense of family. Married for 29 years, Wagner and his wife are raising two children with a sense of love for sharing adventures.

“We are obsessed with snorkeling,” Wagner said. “It’s so much fun to go as a family. We love cruising and have been to Barbados, Bequia, St. Thomas and San Juan.”

Sports also plays a big part in Wagner’s everyday life and philosophy.

“I’m more of a player’s coach. I like to watch what’s going on before I really have to say something. There are so many times you can look back and say, ‘You guys did a great job,’ and don’t have to constantly tell them what to do. Let them go out and experience things. We all make mistakes, but if they can correct them right away, it’s phenomenal. I love this crew,” Wagner said. “Nothing is better than when you can grow your own, bring them up and keep them. When you can keep them, that’s a good thing.”

Wagner’s team mentality, combined with his respect for both administration and the crew he supervises, makes for an environment set up for sustainable success. From succession plans to cross training and preparation for the future in Wellington, the foundation keeps coming back to one thing — “without your team, you’re nothing.” Wagner sees a bright future filled with opportunity for his team at Wellington’s Public Works Department.

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