The Viera Company: Deep Commitment To Community

By  //  November 10, 2013

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2013 CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIANS

ABOVE VIDEO: Viera, named after the Slovak term for faith, was to be built with faith, integrity and thoughtful stewardship of the land. “Our purpose and the values handed down from the founders of DUDA, Andrew and his three sons, guide our decisions when it comes to making charitable contributions,” said Tracy Duda-Chapman, senior vice president and general counsel for A. Duda & Sons and CEO of The Viera Company.  “As master developer of the Viera community, we hope that by setting an example to others, they may also become engaged in community and charitable activities.”

In 1912, Slovak immigrant Andrew Duda and his family established a modest celery farm in central Florida.

VIERA-388-1The farm flourished, as did DUDA, the family-owned company that expanded into a range of agricultural and real estate operations.

Duda Farm Fresh Foods is a major grower, shipper and marketer of fresh vegetables and citrus and its agricultural division includes sugar cane, cattle and sod.

DUDA not only grew vegetables and cattle, it also grew a city that was to become the model for communities in Florida. In the 1980’s, the company established The Viera Company as a master planned community on its cattle ranch and sod farm in central Brevard.

DEEP COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY

Viera, named after the Slovak term for faith, was to be built with faith, integrity and thoughtful stewardship of the land.

“Our purpose and the values handed down from the founders of DUDA, Andrew and his three sons, guide our decisions when it comes to making charitable contributions,” said Tracy Duda-Chapman, senior vice president and general counsel for A. Duda & Sons and CEO of The Viera Company. (Image for Space Coast Medicine & Active Living)

“Our purpose and the values handed down from the founders of DUDA, Andrew and his three sons, guide our decisions when it comes to making charitable contributions,” said Tracy Duda-Chapman, senior vice president and general counsel for A. Duda & Sons and CEO of The Viera Company. (Image for Space Coast Medicine & Active Living)

Tracy Duda-Chapman

Tracy Duda-Chapman

“Our purpose and the values handed down from the founders of DUDA, Andrew and his three sons, guide our decisions when it comes to making charitable contributions,” said Tracy Duda-Chapman, senior vice president and general counsel for A. Duda & Sons and CEO of The Viera Company.

“As master developer of the Viera community, we hope that by setting an example to others, they may also become engaged in community and charitable activities.”

The Duda family shares a deep commitment to the community and has always been generous of one of the most precious of gifts: land.

The Duda family shares a deep commitment to the community and has always been generous of one of the most precious of gifts: land. Drive around Viera and its environs and you will undoubtedly pass by land donated by The Viera Company or its parent, DUDA.

For example, the excellent sports facilities and community center located at Viera Regional Park were made possible because of the 125 acres donated in 2003 and 2006 by A. Duda and Sons, which also donated 55 acres for Devereux Hospital and Children’s Center in 1986 and 56+ acres to Brevard Zoo.

BIG RED BARN

Duda and Sons teamed up with The Viera Company to support Harmony Farms, the equine-assisted therapeutic riding facility that this year received a five-acre outright donation to create permanent facilities to expand service to disabled riders and veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Duda and Sons teamed up with The Viera Company to support Harmony Farms, the equine-assisted therapeutic riding facility that this year received a five-acre outright donation to create permanent facilities to expand service to disabled riders and veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Duda and Sons teamed up with The Viera Company to support Harmony Farms, the equine-assisted therapeutic riding facility that this year received a five-acre outright donation to create permanent facilities to expand service to disabled riders and veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.

An additional 20 acres on free lease will provide riding trails and pasture land. The nonprofit has also significantly benefited for years from The Viera Company’s free lease of its current riding stable and pastures and its volunteer assistance by company staff since 1997.

The Viera Company also supports Harmony Farms on an annual basis and employees donate their time to help the facility. In 2013, The Viera Company donated $10,000 towards the building of Harmony Farms’ proposed “Big Red Barn.”

“The Duda Cocoa Ranch first became involved with Harmony Farms in 1997 by helping organize a fund raiser to help them find a new barn and facility for their expanding program,” said Duda-Chapman.

“Joseph Duda at The Viera Company donated the use of the barn on the Cocoa Ranch for the program. This has been in use for the past 14 years.”

The company also supports Harmony Farms on an annual basis and employees donate their time to help the facility. In 2013, The Viera Company donated $10,000 towards the building of Harmony Farms’ proposed “Big Red Barn.”

THE VIEA COMPANY ‘WALKS THE WALK’

If you enjoy watching the Brevard County Manatees at play in Space Coast Stadium, you can also thank The Viera Company, responsible for the gift of 74 acres for the facility and its spring training complex.

Our nation’s military heroes receive state-of-the-art medical care at Viera’s Veterans Administration Clinic, located on 40 acres that The Viera Company donated.

Our nation’s military heroes receive state-of-the-art medical care at Viera’s Veterans Administration Clinic, located on 40 acres that The Viera Company donated.

Our nation’s military heroes receive state-of-the-art medical care at Viera’s Veterans Administration Clinic, located on 40 acres that The Viera Company donated.

The site of the Brevard County Government Center and the Judicial Complex in Viera was also a gift from The Viera Company, as was the site for the administration offices of Brevard Public Schools.

The Viera Company and its staff walk the walk well beyond land donations. Staff members participate in American Heart Association’s Heart Walk and the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides against Cancer Walk.

The Viera Company and its staff walk the walk well beyond land donations. Staff members participate in American Heart Association’s Heart Walk and the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides against Cancer Walk.

Duda donated the sod for this year’s Habitat for Humanity’s Women’s Build House, where Duda family members and The Viera Company and Viera Realty employees laid the sod for a home that will enable a hardworking low-income family to finally own decent housing.

BREVARD’S LEADING PHILANTHROPIST

The company gives 10 percent of its after-tax profits to local nonprofits. Giving to Viera schools – Manatee and Quest Elementary, Viera High School and others – usually equals a third of the company’s annual charitable budget. The company also supports the sports team for these local institutions of learning.

The list of organizations that receive financial support from The Viera Company is a “who’s who” of worthy charities in the area. The Haven for Children, Brevard Achievement Center, Viera Women’s Club, Junior Achievement, Health First Foundation, Keep Brevard Beautiful, CivMil Foundation, LEAD Brevard, Canine Companions for Independence, Space Coast Cancer Foundation, Brevard Parks and Recreation, Brevard Library Foundation, YMCA and the March of Dimes are some of the recipients of continuing support from the generous company.

The list of organizations that receive financial support from The Viera Company is a “who’s who” of worthy charities in the area. The Haven for Children, Brevard Achievement Center, Viera Women’s Club, Junior Achievement, Health First Foundation, Keep Brevard Beautiful, CivMil Foundation, LEAD Brevard, Canine Companions for Independence, Space Coast Cancer Foundation, Brevard Parks and Recreation, Brevard Library Foundation, YMCA and the March of Dimes are some of the recipients of continuing support from the generous company.

“We also contribute to the Brevard Schools Foundation which provides benefits to schools throughout the county,” said Ed Hamilton, corporate vice president of A. Duda and Sons.

The list of organizations that receive financial support from The Viera Company is a “who’s who” of worthy charities in the area. The Haven for Children, Brevard Achievement Center, Viera Women’s Club, Junior Achievement, Health First Foundation, Keep Brevard Beautiful, CivMil Foundation, LEAD Brevard, Canine Companions for Independence, Space Coast Cancer Foundation, Brevard Parks and Recreation, Brevard Library Foundation, YMCA and the March of Dimes are some of the recipients of continuing support from the generous company.

STEWARD OF THE ENVIRONMENT

While helping causes that impact humans are a major charitable focus, The Viera Company also realizes the necessity of being a good steward of the environment.

The excellent sports facilities and community center located at Viera Regional Park were made possible because of the 125 acres donated in 2003 and 2006 by A. Duda and Sons, which also donated 55 acres for Devereux Hospital and Children’s Center in 1986 and 56+ acres to Brevard Zoo.

The excellent sports facilities and community center located at Viera Regional Park were made possible because of the 125 acres donated in 2003 and 2006 by A. Duda and Sons, which also donated 55 acres for Devereux Hospital and Children’s Center in 1986 and 56+ acres to Brevard Zoo.

Viera will eventually encompass 22,000 acres. The newer development in the community will include the 5,000-acre Viera Wilderness Park. At build-out over half of the available land will remain undeveloped as protected, managed and pristine land.

Andrew Duda always stressed to his family the importance of doing business with honesty and care for both the people and the land. Duda’s descendants continue that tradition of caring.

“Our purpose in everything we do is to multiply and share God’s blessings,” said Duda-Chapman.

ABOUT THE 2013 CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN AWARDS

CFHA-SPONSORS-200-1The Central Florida Humanitarian Awards were created to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that dedicate their Time, Talent or Treasure to help people in need locally – and around the world. 

This year, more than 30 deserving humanitarians will be honored during the Gala, which will be held Thursday, Nov. 7 at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, with the festivities beginning at 6 p.m.

“Over the years, our editorial team has had the distinct honor and pleasure of identifying and featuring the many members of our community who give back so much and are dedicated to reaching out and helping others, here and throughout the world, in a multitude of ways,” said Maverick Multimedia Editor-In-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo.

All Humanitarian alumni are presented a specially commissioned medallion.

“We remain firmly committed to identifying and telling those stories and providing a timely media platform to recognize Space Coast and Central Florida residents’ altruistic contributions on a regular basis in our magazines, as well as SpaceCoastDaily.com,” said Dr. Palermo.

This inspiring and compelling event is sponsored by Brighthouse Networks, Health First, Brevard Physicians Network, Florida Pain, Forever Florida, MPAC ACO, Brevard Geriatrics, Community Credit Union, Clear Choice Health Care, Knudson Brain & Spine Law Injury Office, First Choice Medical Group, Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine, CentralFloridaMedicine.com and SpaceCoastDaily.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION or to make a reservation to attend the Central Florida Humanitarian Awards Gala call 321-615-8111 or e-mail SpaceCoastMedicine@gmail.com.


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