The Bottom Line
Sunday, September 29, 2013

Key Wester makes Hall of Fame

Key Wester Ira J. Silberman is being inducted into the National Sporting Goods Association Hall of Fame, which recognizes significant contributions to the industry.

Silberman grew up in Key West and is a 1954 graduate of Key West High School. His parents, Sam and Esther Silberman were long time residents of Key West, active in the community and Duval Street business owners for many years.

Silberman graduated from Georgia Tech University and worked in Atlanta before being asked to join a small startup manufacturing business in Opelika, Ala., where he would initiate their product development effort.

The company, Diversified Products Corporation (DP), would become the largest manufacturer of in-home physical fitness products in the country during the 1980s. Silberman retired as the company's senior vice president after 27 years.

He was then asked by his friend and then-Alabama Gov. Fob James to join the governor's cabinet as director of the state's Industrial Development Office, which he did for the next four years.

Harden is Zontian of the month

Brittani Harden was recently named the September Zontian of the month for the Zonta Club of Key West.

Harden was co-chair of the service club's silent auction during its recent successful Radio Zonta Day. Harden is also a member of the Zonta board and oversees the club's service hours.

Garcia hits 25-year mark

First State Bank of the Florida Keys recently honored Vice President Maria Garcia on her 25th employment anniversary with the bank.

Garcia was hired in 1988 as a teller, was promoted to customer service representative in 1990 and then to assistant branch manager at the boulevard office in 1994. Two years later, she was promoted to customer service officer. She transferred and opened the bank's Stock Island office in 2002 as branch manager. In 2008, Garcia was promoted to her current title of vice president.

An active member of the community, Garcia is a member of the Key West Chamber of Commerce and the PTA of Horace O'Bryant School and Key West High School. She also volunteers for The Basilica School of St. Mary Star of the Sea, Key West Junior Football League and Key West Sports Academy.

Garcia is a graduate of Key West High School. She lives in Key West with her husband and three children.

First State Bank honors Denny

Tara Denny, human resources manager for First State Bank, was named employee of the quarter for her initiative, work ethic and positive attitude.

Denny started with First State in 2001 as a part-time HR assistant. In 2002, she became a full-time employee and was promoted to payroll and benefits coordinator in 2003. She earned a bachelor's degree in business administration, with a minor in management from St. Leo University.