Gaston Cantens: Florida Crystals Corporation will Collaborate with the Port of Palm Beach to Develop an Intermodal Logistics Center

Florida Crystals Corporation has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Port of Palm Beach to help with the development, construction and operation of an intermodal logistics center, which the company has planned for western Palm Beach County.

The Intermodal Logistics Center will be crucial to capture the expanded trade that is expected to dramatically increase after the completion of the Panama Canal expansion in three years.

The Port of Palm Beach is working to enlarge its physical footprint and to add new infrastructure and intermodal capabilities.  According to Gaston Cantens, Florida Crystals is in the perfect position to collaborate with the Port on this important project.  Florida Crystals is an existing agro-industrial company and landowner with tremendous experience and resources in western Palm Beach County.

“Florida Crystals is excited to enter into an alliance with the Port of Palm Beach to bring the South Florida Intermodal Logistics Center project to fruition,” said Gaston Cantens, Florida Crystals’ spokesman and vice president.

The Memorandum of Understanding shows acontinued commitment from Florida Crystals and the Port of Palm Beach to the development of an Intermodal Logistics Center.

The sugar company has proposed an 850-acre site for the Intermodal Logistics Center located between the cities of South Bay and Belle Glade that is close to key infrastructure, including U.S. Highway 27, enterprise zones and rural areas of critical economic concern.

Cantens also pointed to the positive results the project would have on the rural communities who urgently need economic development and job creation.

“Our collaboration will help both parties realize the job generating opportunities, economic development and market potential an Intermodal Logistics Center creates for our region, and we are excited to help bring the project to life in western Palm Beach County, where the unemployment level in the communities has reached 40 percent,” said Cantens.

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Gaston Cantens: Florida Crystals Sponsors Loop the Lake for Literacy to Bring Awareness to Literacy, Lake Okeechobee and Communities

Gaston Cantens, Vice President of Corporate Relations for Florida Crystals, says the company was delighted to sponsor the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County’s Loop the Lake for Literacy cycling event on April 2, 2011, as it brought awareness to causes the company supports, includingchildhood and adult literacy, Lake Okeechobee and its surrounding communities in western Palm Beach County.

According to Gaston Cantens, who heads Florida Crystals’ community outreach activities, the event had an overwhelming turnout with 214 riders enjoying a beautiful day around Lake Okeechobee.

The event saw 37 riders complete the full 120-mile loop around Lake Okeechobee!  Ninety-nine cyclists completed 100k, 63 finished 59k and 15 rode the 25k course.  For many riders participating in the Loop the Lake for Literacy event, it was their first time enjoying the tranquil settings of the Lake Okeechobee cycle path.

Gaston Cantens says Florida Crystals, as an advocate for the health of Lake Okeechobee and a supporter of the Literacy Coalition, felt this event was a great way to support both causes and bring residents out, who might otherwise not have made the trip, to see the importance of Lake Okeechobee.

Florida Crystals, a leading global sugar producer based in Palm Beach County, thanked the Literacy Coalition for being all-inclusive in its outreach efforts byhosting the event in western Palm Beach County, an area that is often overlooked

Florida Crystals congratulates:
Lisa Gray, the Individual with the Highest Fundraising!

Dream, Discover, Do It
from the Palm Beach County Library System, who won the trophy for the Team with the Highest Fundraising!

The Spinners, whowere honored as the Team with the Highest Number of Athletes followed by a close second with the Boca Raton Bicycle Club.

In its on-going efforts to help people of all ages better their education, Florida Crystals is proud to be a partner with the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach, an organization that helps children, teens and adults learn literacy skills that will better their lives.

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Gaston Cantens: Florida Crystals Awards First Dance Scholarship to Support Performing Arts in Western Palm Beach County

Gaston Cantens congratulates Julian Wilson, a student from South Bay, Florida, who will receive thefirst performing arts scholarship offered by Florida Crystals Corporation.

Florida Crystals focuses much of its community activities in the cities of South Bay, Belle Glade and Pahokee, which line the border of Lake Okeechobee in western Palm Beach County.  Florida Crystals farms 187,000 acres in the western part of the county and owns and operates the Osceola sugar mill in Pahokee; the Okeelanta Sugar mill, Florida Crystals refinery, packaging and distribution center and New Hope Power plant in South Bay; and the Sem Chi rice mill in Belle Glade.  Therefore, the company embraces opportunities to support the communities where its employees call home.

The companyplaces a strong focus on funding educational and scholarship programs to help students reach their full potential.  Florida Crystals was approached by leaders in South Bay who requested a sponsorship for a dance student to attendan intensive training program at one of America’s outstanding performing arts schools, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which is located in New York City.

Gaston Cantens, vice president of the sugar company, who as a former school teacher has firsthand experience helping foster the growth and development of young adults, remarked, “Florida Crystals felt this was a prime opportunity to support the development of artist talent in the rural communities of western Palm Beach County.  It’s an honor to have a student chosen to represent the Glades communities at such a respected dance academy.We are happy to do our part to support Julian’s dream of attending the arts school.”

The 17 year old will attend the Professional Division 2011 Summer Intensive Program and will travel to New York to take part in specific training and conditioning programs in June and July.

Florida Crystals has repeatedlyfunded a program in South Bay called Street Beat, which offers after-school arts programs to give students in the communities a greater scope of learning and experience.  The program has shown proven results through the success of its students like Julian.

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Gaston Cantens – From School Teacher to Legislator to Executive

Gaston Cantens is a Vice President of Florida Crystals  Corporation, where his responsibilities include corporate relations, communications  and government affairs. Florida Crystals is a leading, vertically integrated  sugar company with headquarters in Palm Beach County, Florida, where Cantens is  primarily based.

During the months of legislative session, Cantens resides in  the state’s capital, Tallahassee.

Florida Crystals farms 187,000 acres of land in Palm  Beach County, where the company also has two sugar mills, a sugar refinery, a  rice mill, a packaging and distribution and a biomass power plant. In its  renewable energy facility, Florida Crystals recycles sugar cane fiber and  municipal wood waste as fuel to power its sugar operations and tens of
thousands of homes. Florida Crystals’ power plant is the largest of its kind in
North America.

As part of his responsibilities, Gaston Cantens is a  leader of the Florida Crystals’ public policy team, a position for which he is  uniquely qualified. In 1998, Cantens was elected to the Florida House of  Representatives. During his three terms in the House, he served in various  leadership positions, including Majority Whip, and was consistently ranked as
one of the most effective legislators in the Florida House. The main issues  Cantens worked on as a legislator included domestic violence, criminal justice,  child custody and administrative procedures. In 2003, Cantens was a finalist  under consideration by Gov. Jeb Bush to succeed retiring Lt. Governor Frank  Brogan.

Gaston Cantens began his professional career as a school  teacher and coached basketball at the high school and college levels. He was  also an adjunct professor at Miami-Dade College, St. Thomas University School  of Law and Florida State University College of Law. Beyond the Legislature,  Cantens’ public service included time spent as an Assistant State Attorney and  Assistant Chief of the County Court Division in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s  Office.

Gaston Cantens holds a bachelor’s degree from the  University of Miami and a juris doctor degree from St. Thomas University.

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