Wohl Appointed to Florida's Newly-Formed Soil and Water Conservation Council

SEBRING, Fla. (Sept. 16, 2012) Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam recently appointed Sebring businessman and cattle rancher James M. Wohl to the newly-formed Soil and Water Conservation Council (SWCC). The SWCC will be charged with assisting the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services on matters relating to statewide soil and water conservation issues. Wohl’s innovative vision and aggressive leadership as Chairman of the Highlands County Soil and Water Conservation District has made him an ideal candidate for this position. Commissioner Putnam is expecting the SWCC to be a catalyst for modernizing districts as they strive to protect and conserve water resources, assist agricultural producers and provide guidance to other districts in their efforts to cultivate goodwill and respect in their communities.  The SWCC will be asked to provide input on modernizing the districts as they work to protect and conserve our water resources and enhance their ability to assist agricultural producers.

About Wohl
After graduating from the University of Florida, Wohl moved to Sebring to serve as President of American Home Service Corporation, the real-estate subsidiary of Home Savings Bank, and to manage his family's cattle ranch, Rafter T Ranch. During his tenure with American Home Service, he was responsible for several land transactions and developments, including the 600-acre golf course community known as Golf Hammock Country Club. He is the owner/broker of Heartland Real Estate Corp. based in Sebring.
In 1994, Wohl was recognized for his exemplary land management and environmental stewardship efforts by the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, the Florida Cattleman's Association and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. During a trip to New York City, Wohl represented the U.S. cattle industry in meetings with the New York Time, Time, Life, Newsweek, United Press International and the National Audubon Society to discuss environmental stewardship practices and land management in Florida. He represented Florida by presenting at the National Association of Conservation Districts and the Council for Sustainable Beef.  He has been featured on FOX News, PBS and in the Palm Beach Post for his environmental stewardship practices. 

Banks offer cash bonuses to drum up business

NEW YORK – Sept. 14, 2012 – Mortgage lenders have raised the bar for approving mortgage loans since the slowdown, but in a positive sign that things are returning to a new normal, a few banks have again started to offer incentives to attract qualified borrowers.

On Monday, Citi announced a bonus up to $2,500 – in cash – for new homebuyers, providing they have an existing Citibank checking account or are willing to open a new one. According to Mark Danahy, head of Origination Services at Citi, the cash incentive is a way to encourage multiple relationships.

“Citi developed this new program to provide homebuyers with a cash bonus” that they can use “however they would like,” Danahy says. “Homebuyers may want to use the funds for home repairs, as a cash reserve or for any of the improvements that turn a house into a home.”

The offer applies to customers taking out a mortgage with Citi for a home purchase who pay their monthly mortgage through an automatic debit to their Citi checking account. Within 90 days of making the first automated mortgage payment, Citi says it will deposit the equivalent of one month’s principal and interest – up to $2,500 – into the linked account. To qualify, mortgage payments must be made on time, and accounts must be open and in good standing at the time the cash bonus is deposited.

The Citi offer has a relatively short window and ends Nov. 30, 2012.

Citi is not the first bank to encourage multiple accounts through a cash incentive, but the size of the offer and speed of recovery may be unique. While JPMorgan Chase & Co. offer up to $500 annually, it can’t be collected for one year after the loan’s origination.

Matt Burnell, a managing director and senior analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Citi wants to expand domestic banking for retail clients. The cash incentive is one way to do that.

“A lot of their growth strategy up until recently has focused on growing outside of the U.S., but given the slowdown in the economies in Asia and Latin America, we think trying to improve growth within the U.S. has become a higher priority,” Burnell told the St. Louis newspaper.

Interested homebuyer can visit any Citi bank for more information or call (888) 248-4684.