The Bottom Line
Sunday, January 19, 2014

Mench joins Sunrise Rotary

First State Bank of the Florida Keys' Corporate Services Representative Charlie Mench has joined the Key West Sunrise Rotary Club.

"I am excited for this great opportunity to work together with other local business members towards Rotary's mission of 'Service Above Self,'" said Mench.

Mench joined First State Bank in 2003. He has held numerous positions, including deposit risk analyst, wire room manager, and loan projects administration before assuming his current role as corporate services representative. He is also on the board of the Key West Attractions Association.

Centennial promotes Stanton

Centennial Bank is pleased to announce Mark Stanton's promotion to senior vice president and chief lender, South Florida.

"A career banker with 30 years of lending experience, Mark quickly proved to be a valuable member of Centennial Bank's lending team," said Teresa Condas, regional president.

Stanton joined Centennial Bank in April 2012 as vice president and commercial loan officer.

A past treasurer and current director for Monroe Association for Remarkable Citizens, when asked what he likes best about Centennial Bank, Mark smiled, "It's nice to be at a bank that is so clearly dedicated to helping the community."

Originally from Pittsfield, Mass., Stanton graduated from Roger Williams University and holds certifications in commercial lending from Mortgage Bankers Association of America, Massachusetts Bankers Association School of Commercial Lending and Robert Morris Associates OMEGA. Stanton joined Centennial Bank April 2012 following 11 years in commercial lending here in the Keys.

Lopez receives MLK honors

City Commissioner Clayton Lopez has been recognized as one of four South Florida leaders whose life emulates and furthers the dedication and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Carolyn Gunnis, managing editor of the South Florida Times, chose a single representative from the four South Florida counties whose actions and beliefs have elevated their communities and honored the legacy of Dr. King.

Gunnis flashes back to Lopez's roots, when he, at age 13, "helped organize and participate in a march against a segregated skating rink in Key West. That started his journey to serve the community in which he was born and raised. By age 17, he was the youngest member of a team that helped secure funding to restore the Community Pool, now named after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was still in high school when he received his first gubernatorial appointment."

Lopez was thrilled to be noticed as one of the South Florida "King of Kings.

"What an honor it is!" he said in an email sharing the story on Thursday.

Sassine, Mayer win cooking contest

Upper Keys Rotary President Michael Mayer and local chef Joseph Sassine of the Islamorada Fishing Club were declared the overall victors at the second annual Key Largo and Islamorada Food & Wine Festival's "Celebrity Chopped" team cooking event held Sunday at Marker 88 in Islamorada.

The winning duo competed on behalf of the Upper Keys Rotary, which was awarded $500.

The event was a "Keys-y" takeoff of The Food Network's "Chopped" cooking competition show. Two-person teams comprised of a resident and celebrity sous chef were tasked to turn a basket of mystery ingredients into an innovative appetizer, entrée and dessert.

Food items included alligator tail, venison tenderloin and foie gras, to be complemented by peanut butter, root beer, fig jam, corn, lettuce, a Hershey chocolate bar and a bag of poppycock, carmelized popcorn with nuts.

Pantry accouterments such as spices, oils and condiments could also be used for each dish.

The Charity Chopped event was the premiere cooking competition of Uncorked ... Key Largo and Islamorada Food & Wine Festival, a 10-day culinary celebration that concluded Saturday.

Centennial congratulates Kiraly

Centennial Bank congratulates Mike Kiraly for earning the Lower Keys Board of Realtors Affiliate of the Year award.

"Mike's dedication is rock solid," said Teresa Condas, president, Centennial Bank - South Florida. "We are excited to see the community recognizing and celebrating Mike's contribution to the community."

Kiraly has been Centennial Bank's residential loan originator for Marathon and the Middle and Lower Keys since 2008.