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Citrus Goes High Tech

Steve Hale and Alex Brown would barely recognize the grove empires they built more than a half-century ago.

The SFS executive management team, clockwise from left: Linda Watson, Becky Martin, Bob Daberkow, Alex Brown, Rollins Brown, Don Wright, Sheryl Vittitote, John Schepers and Keith Tyson.

The SFS executive management team, clockwise from left: Linda Watson, Becky Martin, Bob Daberkow, Alex Brown, Rollins Brown, Don Wright, Sheryl Vittitote, John Schepers and Keith Tyson.

My 6-year-old learned to play the game “Ha!” last week. If it’s been awhile since your last sleepover or kid’s birthday party, children lie on the floor in a stair-step formation, with heads on bellies. One child starts saying “ha” and within moments the laughter is viral and ringing the walls, whether you’re actually playing or not. In an era of micro-blogs and You Tube, it’s an old fashioned game with a resilient lesson – stick together with a common goal and goodwill will blossom.

This lesson is the driving force behind a successful, albeit quiet Vero Beach business that is fruitfully marrying cherished tradition and progressive technology. Think you know everything there is to know about Vero Beach and its various businesses? You’ve probably unwittingly driven right by Southern Fulfillment Services (SFS), a five-year-old holding company whose brands represent 60 years of contribution to the community. The company is most proud to be part-owner of the 63-year-old tradition that is Hale Groves. SFS is a hidden jewel tucked in among the industrial parks and truck stops.

Read the entire article in the December 2010 issue