Business

Florida retiree proves he is still plugged in, becoming one of America’s oldest inventors

Florida retiree George Dobson, 79, has become one of America's oldest inventors by creating and patenting a unique way to organize and store the electrical and digital cords that keep us all plugged in. Like most great ideas, this one was born out of need. A few years ago, he went looking for the power cord for one of his devices. Like many of us, his frustration grew as he tore through a jumbled drawer of tangled cords. So, he solved this issue by creating a cord-storage board like no other. Necessity might be the mother of invention, but George Dobson is the father of this one.


Food

Talented custom cake designer is on the rise

Alejandra Maddox is in the business of making people smile. Her actual business is making custom cakes. Her edible creations inevitably lead to beaming grins. Maddox owns Everything Cake in Longwood, Fla. She designs specialty cakes for any type of celebration or party. The word “party” can’t be spelled without a-r-t, which perfectly describes Maddox’s creations.


Graduations

E-town grad is traveling in the right direction

When ambition turns into achievement, the satisfaction is sweet. Celebrating that achievement with your family, mentors and classmates makes the reward even better. Amanda McCaffrey, 22, enjoyed that special feeling May 17 when she graduated from the Honors Program of Elizabethtown College as 15 family members watched with pride.


Milestones

Register’s Dietrich is retiring after 47 years, but he’s definitely not going out of circulation

Tom Dietrich’s career has been devoted to the newspaper business. But on May 30, Dietrich will be delivered to a new life, free of deadlines, when he retires from the Orange County Register after 47 years with the large Southern California daily. His retirement won’t make headlines in that paper, but his absence will be as apparent as missing answers to tomorrow’s crossword puzzle.


Music

Empire Theory, rock band with a giving sole

The ties between rock music and charity are as long as a stairway to heaven. Into that noble tradition steps Empire Theory, an Orlando band serving as philanthropic foot soldiers for a goal that assists others from the ground up. Earlier this year, Empire Theory launched a campaign to collect 25,000 pairs of shoes for Soles4Souls, a charity that fights poverty.


Small Business

All in the family for Out-Spoken Bike Shop

If you ride a bicycle regularly in the Lake Mary, Fla., area, there's a good chance you know about Out-Spoken Bike Shop. After all, this family-run business has kept riders rolling safely in Seminole County for 17 years.


Sports

Youth’s charity tennis project looks like ace

Andy Mackler, 12, is a talented tennis player. The boy also loves dogs. When Andy saw an opportunity to combine those two passions for a special charity, he jumped on it like a weak second serve. The result is a Charity Doubles Tennis Tournament this August, with the proceeds benefiting Canine Companions for Independence.