Wesley Chapel Chamber mixer
The Laker/Lutz News is partnering with the Tampa North Flight Center to host the September business mixer for the Greater Wesley Chamber of Commerce. The event will be on Sept. 12 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Tampa North Flight Center, 4241 Birdsong Blvd. in Lutz. The event will feature food, fun and networking, and will give people a chance to check out the flight center’s new food and beverage area, The Happy Hangar Café.
Zephyrhills chamber breakfast
The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce will have a chamber business breakfast Sept. 5 from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., at the Golden Corral, 6855 Gall Blvd. It is sponsored by Florida Hospital Zephyrhills. Networking is from 7 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., followed by a $7 breakfast buffet.
Dancing with our Stars
The Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring “Dancing with our Stars 2013,” with proceeds to benefit the art of dance in Central Pasco and the chamber. This year’s event is set for Sept. 21. Go to www.biddingforgood.com/CPCC to provide an auction item, bid on an item, purchase tickets or make a donation.
Big Lots unveils remodeled stores
Closeout retailer Big Lots has remodeled 15 of its stores, including its location in Land O’ Lakes and another in North Tampa. The Land O’ Lakes store is at 2414 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., while the North Tampa store is at 14948 N. Florida Ave. in Tampa. Big Lots also has a location in Zephyrhills at 4840 Allen Road.
Barb Conrad joins Cooper Financial Services
Insurance specialist Barb Conrad has joined the staff of Cooper Financial Services. Conrad specializes in long-term care insurance, life insurance and disability insurance. Cooper Financial Services has offered financial planning, insurance and investment services in the Tampa Bay area since 1994. For more information about its services, visit www.cooper-financial.com, or call (813) 996-6100.
Lennar promotes Randall Smith
Lennar’s Central Florida division has promoted Randall Smith to director of construction in the Tampa region. Smith, who has 30 years of experience, joined Lennar last year as a construction manager. Before that, he was a vice president for another construction company. In his new role, he will work with the construction team on schedules, prioritizing work activities, maintaining customer and trade partner relations, inspection of home for quality compliance, construction documents, recruiting hiring, and supervising the construction staff.
Florida fishing industry is boon to state economy
The Florida fishing industry contributes an estimated $5 billion to the state economy, according to the latest economics commentary report from Florida TaxWatch, an independent taxpayer research institute. More than 1.2 million visitors to Florida fished during 2013, according to TaxWatch. Besides attracting anglers from around the globe, the state also hosts boating and fishing expositions throughout the year, which draws visitors and their money to the state. “Florida’s unique location and variety of fishing opportunities position the state as the world leader in sport fishing tourism,” said Dominic M. Calabro, president and chief executive officer of Florida TaxWatch, in a release.
East Pasco Networking Group
The East Pasco Networking Group has scheduled several speakers for the coming months. The group meets every other week at the Village Inn at 5214 Gall Blvd. in Zephyrhills. Networking begins at 8 a.m., with the meeting starting at 8:30 a.m. Here’s the group’s slate of upcoming speakers:
–Sept. 10: Faith Knight, chief operations officer for Apollo Group
–Sept. 24: Maureen Moore, director of communications for Saint Leo University
–Oct. 8: Danny Burgess, mayor of Zephyrhills, and Minerva “Minnie” Diaz, candidate for the District 38 state House of Representatives seat
–Oct. 22: Paul Stonebridge, teen services manager of Pasco County library, and Cheryl A. Pollock, business development director Premier Community HealthCare Group, Inc.
–Nov. 12: Gary Loman, professional education manager for Rasmussen College
–Nov. 26: Tom Jackson, columnist for The Tampa Tribune
Hillsborough County technology grants
The Hillsborough County Economic Development Innovative Initiative has awarded more than $300,000 to 23 programs during its first round of grant awards. The county’s economic development department launched the program, known as EDI2, in June. It aims to build a vibrant and sustainable startup community, centered on the use of technology and innovation. Several grants went to programs designed to build better community forums for exchange of ideas and increase connections between established businesses and startups.
Among the grant recipients:
– Learning is for Everyone Inc. received $18,250 for Robocon Tampa Bay 2013, an event slated for October
– New Market Partners received $4,150 for its Grow the Bay, scheduled in October
– Tampa Bay Technology Forum received $2,000 for the Engine Peer Network, scheduled in October
— Startup Weekend Tampa Bay received $9,437 for Startup Weekend Tampa Bay 2013, scheduled in November
– MOSI received $4,500 for STEAM Professional Leadership Forum, slated in October 2013
EDI2 aims to support the technology entrepreneurship ecosystem in Hillsborough County. It has a $2 million budget, to be distributed over three years.
Applications for the grants are expected to be available early this month. The deadline to apply for its second funding cycle is Nov. 15.
Additional program and application information is available online at www.HillsboroughCounty.org/EDI2.
For more information about EDI2, contact Stephanie Cvetetic with Hillsborough County’s economic development department at (813) 272-6217.
Publix and Walgreens getting new look in north Tampa
Cuhaci & Peterson Architects, based in Orlando’s Baldwin Park, designed the redevelopment plans for the 47,000-square-foot Publix Super Markets location and the 13,000-square-foot Walgreens drug store at South Village on North Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa. Construction is expected to be completed this fall. Regency Centers of Jacksonville is the developer of South Village.
Rotary golf tournament
The Rotary Club of Zephyrhills Daybreak is hosting the 21st annual Fall Businessman’s Breakaway Golf Tournament on Oct. 4, with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. at the Scotland Yard Golf Club, 8900 Wire Road in Dade City. For more information, contact Chris Robin at (813) 715-0565, or Theresa Sommers at (813) 788-3369.