LBA Steps Up!

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Daniel Kids Play Day

by Bethany Auchter on September 2, 2015

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Play Equipment

On Saturday, August 29th, LBA Steps Up! had a Play Day at Daniel Kids. Leading up to the event, LBA had collected outdoor play equipment and art supplies for donation to the children residing on the campus.

During the Play Day, nine of us from LBA and about 15 kids from Daniel played kick ball, volleyball and dodgeball. It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

At the end, we all gathered in a circle and the kids were given a chance to tell us something they liked about the day, or a simple thank you.



One ten-year-old boy said, “I’d like to start with my feelings word: ‘Surprised’.” He went on to explain that he was surprised at all of our positive attitudes, most especially Jamien (LBA’s Director of Human Resources and Administration). Jamien chased down a wild ball during our game of kickball, ran towards the creek and came back with very muddy shoes and a big smile on her face. The boy explained if that had been him, he would have been super angry that his shoes got so dirty. It was a touching point that reminded us why we were there in the first place. Yes, to have FUN (as that’s the way we roll at LBA), but to also be good role models for these children who may need some extra guidance in navigating this big world. Seeing that you can step in mud and come out smiling? That’s a terrific example.




The kids hope we will be back again for another Play Day and we look forward to future volunteering opportunities with Daniel Kids.

Play Day Group


LBA Steps Up! is supporting The Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville for the first six months of 2015.

The Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville held an event for World Down Syndrome Awareness Day on March 20th, 2015. LBA Steps Up! provided volunteers and silent auction items, along with holding a Dress Down for Down Syndrome fundraiser the week prior.

  • The Dress Down for Down Syndrome raised $1,050.
  • The Baskets and Quilt brought in $365 in the Silent Auction.

The funds raised at this event are utilized to pay for Therapy Sessions. This includes physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy.  The funds raised equated to 64 Therapy Sessions!

DSAJ Picture with compliments

Companies with Heart 2015 Cover

The LBA Group is once again an honoree for 904 Magazine’s Companies with Heart, a salute to Northeast Florida businesses that put community and giving at the forefront of their agendas.

The enthusiastic involvement of LBA Steps Up! throughout the year, with volunteers supporting different events and charities, has been noticed by the Jacksonville community. Pick up the February issue of 904 to see the honorees for Companies with Heart 2015.

“The partners and staff of the firm have been fiercly committed to giving back to our own community. It has become a cornerstone of our culture and simply part of who we are and what we do.”


The LBA Steps Up! Committee unanimously decided that we would reach out to Rethreaded and see where we could be of help to their mission. We will focus our volunteer efforts to benefit this local non-profit for the last half of 2014.

In order to introduce Rethreaded to all of us internally, we hosted a Lunch & Learn in the office to get details about Rethreaded’s mission and to see some of their wares up close.

We had an opportunity to hear first-hand from Kristin Keen, Founder of Rethreaded. It’s amazing how one small business can impact the world in such positive ways! We are proud to spread the word about Rethreaded and look forward to seeing them grow!


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A Firm with Heart

by Barbara Finke on July 1, 2014

I was born in the year that some say is Generation X and some say is the Millennial Generation, a pragmatist and a humanitarian. Majoring in accounting was driven by the desire to find a stable industry that would ensure a job, the pragmatist. As it often happens, life went on and a few years ago I realized that the pragmatic side appeared to be all that survived. I had a husband, house, dog, children and a minivan…. Where was the time or opportunity to go save the world? Was it gone?

Around this time I was first introduced to the company TOMS. For every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS donates a pair of shoes to a child in need. The founder, Blake Mycoskie, had blurred the lines of for-profit and non-profit. So the solution was I’d move to California and be their accountant. Except they weren’t hiring and I didn’t really want to move.

I talked to my mentor about my struggle, and he suggested I still had the power to do both at LBA. How could I possibly save the world, one financial statement at a time? It was about a shift in focus. It’s remembering we can use our talents for the numbers to help our clients focus on their missions. We can take what we know about business and join non-profit boards and make sure they are successful. But there are times that you want to get your hands dirty, to get out into the community and build or create something. When it became clear that a lot of our employees felt the same way, we created LBA Steps Up!, our employee-led volunteer group, in order to provide this outlet. We have served dinner to homeless individuals, raised money and collected supplies for school children in need and painted rooms at a shelter for women.

Companies like TOMS succeed because, at the root of it, people want to give back and make their communities, or the world, better. The internal and external reactions to LBA Steps Up! show this to be true. The hands-on activities have bridged the gaps in our separate departments and built teamwork. During interviews with potential recruits it’s a big selling point. Even our clients, current and potential, see our commitment to the community and it does not go unnoticed.

Our core values are summarized as a Firm with Heart. These values, exemplified through LBA Steps Up!, allow me the opportunity to be the humanitarian I’ve always wanted to be, without leaving the comfort of my 10-key.

LBA Steps Up! volunteers had a painting party at Hope Academy of NE Florida, Inc. Hope Academy offers “alternative forms of special education based upon the abilities, skills, and natural talents of each child’s special needs, while providing a unique educational program and environment, where each child can experience genuine success and the resultant feeling and knowledge that he or she is a uniquely valuable, worthwhile, and aspiring individual.”

The crew of volunteers came together at the school on Friday, June 21st, to paint several rooms so when school starts again in the Fall, the classrooms will be bright and fresh for the returning students and teachers.

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This Holiday Season, LBA supported The Children’s Christmas Party of Jacksonville with volunteer hours and a Christmas Toy Drive.

The Children’s Christmas Party of Jacksonville serviced over 7,000 children this year!



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LBA is very much looking forward to participating in this wonderful, heart-warming event next year!

BEAM1LBA team members recently collected school supplies for BEAM’s Back to School supply drive. Hosted on August 10, 2013, at Beach United Methodist Church, this year’s Back to School with BEAM was a definite success! Approximately 1,000 children were outfitted with brand new book bags, school supplies and clothes to start their school year off with smiles.

Thank you to Barbara Finke, Shannon Nicholes, Greg Lacina and Bethany Auchter for their help with organizing book bags and shoes the day before the event!



LBA Steps Up! is offering support to Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry, Inc. (BEAM) to assist those in need in our Jacksonville community.

logoOur first project is collecting needed items for their Back to School supply and clothing drive, BEAM’s largest and most comprehensive outreach effort. This is their 20th consecutive year holding this community drive. Last year, they served approx. 1,000 children.

We are collecting clothing and school supplies through August 7th.

If you would like to have a hands-on volunteer experience, BEAM is in need of volunteers for the School Supply Drive August 8th, 9th and 10th.

BEAM Back to School Supply List 2013

Amy Dyar with United Way of NE Florida presented Neal Von Stein, Managing Partner, with the 2012 Corporate Engagement Award for excellence in employee engagement & community service impacting areas of education, income & health. This award was presented to The LBA Group in particular for LBA Steps Up! involvement in local volunteer projects.