March 30, 2011
This issue features...

Just Off the Wire...

  • Progress Energy Foundation Gift
  • 2011 NonProfit & Fast 50 Nominations
  • Free WiFi through PSTA
  • Mainsail Arts Festival Volunteers
  • 2010 PCED Annual Report

Get Plugged-In...

  • Business Showcase
  • Tampa Bay Living Green Expo
  • National Arts Day
  • St. Petersburg Chamber with HSN
  • Sunscreen Festival
  • St. Petersburg Science Festival
  • Florida Medial Device Symposium
  • 2011 Business Growth Expo
  • coolTECH 2011

Action Items...

  • Mayor's Youth Congress
  • Summer Intern Program
  • Mayor's Youth Showcase
  • Public Hearing on City Charter
  • 2010 Census Response

Market Activity...

  • Humana Cares Technology Launch

  • AirTran to Key West Non-stop

  • Chihuly Collection "Premier Circle" Retailer

  • Edward White Hospital 35 Years

  • St. Petersburg Chamber Reorganization

  • Bay Area Economic Scorecard

  • Plasma-Therm Acquisition

  • Valu-Point in Downtown St. Petersburg

  • Progress Energy Launches New Website

Preview of the Month...
Tampa Bay Rays Season Opener April 1st

Just Off the Wire...


Progress Energy Foundation Gift -To benefit science and education initiatives at USF St. Petersburg and USF, the Progress Energy Foundation announced an $185,000 gift to benefit three separate programs: SunBay Digital Mathematics Project, C-SPACE Programs and Outreach Initiatives, and U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon team initiatives. In addition, Progress Energy announced its ongoing support of the Oceanography Camp, especially for girls at USF-SP with a new $10,000 gift. The gifts are part of the $600 million "USF: Unstoppable" Campaign. 

2011 NonProfit & Fast 50 Nominations - The Tampa Bay Business Journal is gearing up for its annual nomination awards. The sixth annual 2011 NonProfit of the Year Awards (deadline 4/16/11) and special publication is dedicated to recognizing the nonprofit organizations that make a difference in our community daily. The Fast 50 (deadline 5/16/11) is a list comprised of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the bay area with rankings based on percentage of annual growth over a three-year period. Learn More 

Free WiFi through PSTA - PSTA has announced two bus terminals in St. Petersburg now have free internet (WiFi) access.  The two terminals are Williams Park and Grand Central Station. The password to access the WiFi service is "RidePSTA, the same as PSTA's username on Twitter and Facebook media sites. More information is available at 

Mainsail Arts Festival Volunteers - The Mainsail Arts Festival will celebrate its 36th year on April 16 & 17, 2011. This prestigious art festival is one of the most exciting outdoor arts events in St. Petersburg, attracting 250 artists from across the country. More than 250 volunteers are needed to staff several booths for the two-day festival. Call 727-204-2553 or email  ■

2010 PCED Annual Report - The annual report from Pinellas County Economic Development (PCED) is available online. Last year, companies working with PCED, which includes the city of St. Petersburg, invested well over $91.5 million to grow their businesses in our community. PCED is focused on retaining and growing companies through the Incumbent Worker Training Program, which is financed by the State of Florida. For the seventh year in row, Pinellas leads the state in the amount of Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) grants disbursed to local companies. Read More  

Get Plugged-In...

Business Showcase

On March 31st, the St. Petersburg/Pinellas Business and Professional Women group will host its Working Women Mean Business showcase and career enhancement forum. It will be held at Fox Hall of Eckerd College, located at 4200 54th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

There will be exhibitors and creative workshops for attendees. The cost is a $6 fee in advance or $10 at the door, (free for college/ university students and military personnel with valid IDs).

Looking ahead to next month, on April 12th, the Business and Professional Women group will host its annual "Unhappy Hour" to mark Equal Pay Day, at the Studio@620, located at 620 1st Avenue South, St. Petersburg from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.  

Tampa Bay Living Green Expo

The Tampa Bay Living Green Expo, April 2-3, 2011, provides real solutions for people to live better, healthier lives with less impact on the environment. The Expo connects people who are interested in making a positive difference to their lives, businesses, and communities.

Place your product, service, or message at this event, and you will be exposed to thousands of bay area residents who are looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact by adopting more sustainable lifestyles and consumer choices.

During the Expo, businesses and homeowners can save money while reducing their environmental impact by setting up an appointment for a free energy audit from Progress Energy.

Free admission and parking at the St. Petersburg Coliseum, located at 535 4th Avenue North, hours are Saturday 9 - 5 and Sunday 10 - 4.  ■

National Arts Day

Arts advocates nationwide come together through events like Arts Advocacy Day, April 4-5, 2011, in Washington, D.C.,  to help educate members of Congress about the role the arts play in spurring economic growth and job creation.

In the last month, the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to slash funding for the National Endowment for the Arts by $43M and terminate the Arts in Education programs at the U.S. Department of Education for FY 2011. It is imperative that arts advocates come together to let Congress know that these cuts and terminations are unacceptable. 

Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey will deliver the 24th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy and join actor Alec Baldwin on April 5th at Arts Advocacy Day 2011. Receive two free tickets to the lecture with your Arts Advocacy Day registration or reserve your tickets online today.

St. Petersburg Chamber with HSN

The St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce is hosting, "An Intimate Conversation with Joy Mangano," after hours, at HSN Studios on Wednesday, April 6, 2011, located at One HSN Drive, St. Petersburg.

Ms. Mangano is chiefly responsible for a number of successful products including My Little Steamer, Clothes It All Luggage system, Forever Fragrant, and Performance Platform sneakers in partnership with Keds LLC. In addition, she was named one of Fast Company's "Most Creative People" of 2009. Click here to register

Sunscreen Festival

In 2011 the Sunscreen Film Festival, taking place April 13-17 at BayWalk, 153 2nd Avenue North, will celebrate through bigger movies, more celebrities and parties, and more in-depth panels and workshops teaching the science and art of filmmaking.

The Sunscreen Film Festival is hosted by the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Film Society. The primary goal of the film festival is to encourage the creation, production, and exhibition of independent film in Florida through its educational programs and public screenings, thereby increasing awareness and support of local filmmaking as a cultural and economic asset.

Now in its sixth year, the Sunscreen Film Festival hopes to continue to consistently entertain, challenge, and create memorable moments for its filmmakers, special celebrity guests, judges and the film-loving public. 

St. Petersburg Science Festival: Science in the Sun

The first inaugural St. Petersburg Science Festival is a free festival to have fun learning science from scientists!

The Festival will take place in conjunction with MarineQuest, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s annual open house on April 30, 2011 at the Bayboro waterfront of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USF-SP) campus.

Science in St. Petersburg will be front and center, with a day-full of two-dozen hands-on activities for children and adults with emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning.

The action starts at 10am Saturday, April 30th with a special, surprise kick-off. Be there, or be square! Facebook

Florida Medical Device Symposium

On May 2nd and 3rd, Florida's medical device industry will convene in St. Petersburg, Florida for the 2011 Florida Medical Device Symposium, taking place at the Hilton Carillon in St. Petersburg.

The Symposium is Florida's premier event for medical device manufacturing firms, featuring nationally recognized speakers, expert panels on regulatory issues and industry trends, legislative updates, and quality networking opportunities.

Sessions begin at 1:00 pm on Monday, May 2nd, and adjourn at 4:15 pm on Tuesday, May 3rd. Register to attend online at 

2011 Business Growth Expo

The 2011 Business Growth Expo, hosted by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, will take place on May 13th from 2:00pm - 6:00pm at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

The exhibitor list is updated weekly, currently over 50 exhibitors are featured and historically space sells out for the event. Make connections and network with potentially hundreds of bay area business professionals at the 2011 Business Growth EXPO!

Advanced registration is $10 and $15 at the door. Learn More 

coolTECH 2011

Now in its fourth year, coolTECH is the premier showcase of new technologies and cutting-edge innovations in the region. Exhibits with some of the hottest technologies will be on display in an interactive format where attendees can experiment first hand with the innovations. Last year over 750 decision makers, thought leaders, and innovators from the technology and business community attended the event.

Applications are due by Friday, April 8. coolTECH 2011 will take place June 10th at MOSI in Tampa.

TBTF is looking for exciting and break-through technologies in areas including, but not limited to aerospace, alternative and renewable energy, biotech and life sciences, consumer electronics, emerging technology, green technology, homeland security and defense, information technology, marine sciences, mobile, robotics, social media and web. Read More

In addition, TBTF has launched a Career Center job board. The career center is a resource to post and search job openings, find potential candidates, and post resumes. Job openings will run for 60 days and can be viewed by anyone visiting the site. Members have full access to the Career Center and Non Members have limited accessibility.  ■

Action Items...

Mayor's Youth Congress

A new program for the city's teens initiated by Mayor Bill Foster and the city's Parks and Recreation department began this month - Mayor's Youth Congress.

The program is designed to provide young people access to city government and to give them a voice in decision making that affects their lives and communities.

Members of the Youth Congress include two representatives from each of the city's eleven T.A.S.C.O. teen councils. Each must be active in their teen council including community service projects and leadership development activities.

The first meeting of the program kicked off at the beginning of March with an orientation for all members and continues through October, with meetings and topics scheduled monthly. The Mayor's Youth Congress is an example of Mayor Foster's "7 S's for City Success" vision that features and educational component. 

Summer Intern Program

The city's Summer Youth Intern Program goal is to provide employment for 120 young adults from very low income families, ages 16-21, through an eight to ten week summer employment program.

St. Petersburg businesses are encouraged to support this program by offering temporary employment positions during the summer. Business interns will earn $7.25 per hour and are expected to work 30 hours per week. Employers who partner with the city are only responsible for paying half of the interns’ hourly wage ($3.64 per hour).

Every effort is made to match the intern with a business in the community according to their interests, skills, and geographic location. Intern positions begin on June 13 and end on August 29, 2011.

For more information about hiring an intern, members of the business community may contact Daphne Williams at (727) 528-8400 x 4243. Learn more  

Mayor's Youth Showcase

The Mayor's inaugural Showcase of Achievement is sponsored by T.A.S.C.O Teen Programs and Students Working Against Tobacco. Pinellas County students in middle and high school will be recognized for demonstrating personal growth and community contribution in ten categories.

All nominations must be postmarked no later than April 22, 2011 by 5:00 pm. A panel of judges will determine the top three finalists in each category. All nominations will be recognized at the Showcase of Achievement on May 17, 2011 from 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm at the Mahaffey Theater.

A $500 savings account will be awarded as the top prize in each category for both middle school and high school (20 total). Read more 

Public Hearing on City Charter

Every 10 years, St. Petersburg's Mayor and members of City Council appoint 10 citizens to a Charter Review commission to review the City Charter and consider amendments that may be placed before voters on the ballot.

This City Charter is the legal document that defines the political powers of city government - in essence, the city's version of the U.S. Constitution.

On April 5th, citizens are invited to share their input with the commission at a public hearing in Council Chambers, City Hall, 175 Fifth Street North at 6:00 pm. The charter may be read online, along with agendas and minutes of each meeting. 

2010 Census Response

The Census numbers are out and St. Petersburg residents' participation levels increased from last decade.

Census 2010: The National and Florida participation rate was 74%. St. Petersburg had a 75% participation rate.

Census 2000: The National participation rate was 72%. The Florida rate was 68%. St. Petersburg had a 69% participation rate.

Notable neighborhood participation rates:

  • Neighborhoods in Midtown generally had a 7% to 10% increase in participation from 2000 to 2010.
  • Bartlett Park/ Harbordale had the largest increase in St. Petersburg from 2000 to 2010, going from 47% to 63%.
  • Lakewood increased from 64% to 78%.
  • Maximo Moorings had the highest participation in 2010 at 87%, up from 78% in 2000.
  • Woodlawn had an 81% participation rate in 2010, up from 69% in 2000. 

Market Activity...

Humana Cares Technology Launch

On Friday, March 18, 2010, the Humana Cares division hosted a press event demonstrating its newest technology, in a pilot program aiding in-home healthcare.

Humana Cares is focused on preventive care and follow-up care from the comfort of a patient's home. Its new remote health monitoring stations offer its members a means to directly communicate with certified healthcare professionals, such as nurses, instantaneously.

The pilot program is initially being utilized by patients with congestive heart failure to monitor blood pressure, weight, and heart rate. Humana Cares nurses work through its call center operations in the Carillon office park of St. Petersburg or work remotely from their homes. To date, Humana Cares employs a staff of 800+ with future plans to expand.  ■

AirTran to Key West Non-stop

Just in time for spring break and summer vacation planning, AirTran has added new daily Key West service from Tampa International Airport, which begins April 5, 2011.

Kicking off the Key West inaugural flight with gate festivities, are two special guests from MacDill Air Force Base along with the 130+ passenger flight list. On board passengers will receive personalized AirTran Airways Inaugural Flight certificates signed by the pilot and flight crew as they exit the plan in Key West. Book Your Flight!  

Chihuly Collection "Premier Circle" Retailer

The retail store at the Chihuly Collection in downtown St. Petersburg has been named a “Premier Circle” retailer by the Chihuly organization. This recognition has been granted to only a handful of retail outlets and recognizes the outstanding customer service and sales of the store.

One of the benefits of this honor, is the early release of Dale Chihuly's 2011 Studio Editions at the store, in advance of the national April 1st launch. Four new pieces have been introduced – the Neptune Seaform, the Wild Poppy Persian Pair, the Fiesta Macchia, and the Azure Blue Seaform Pair. 

Edward White Hospital 35 Years

Edward White Hospital is celebrating 35 years of quality healthcare and service in St. Petersburg this month.

Founded by 25 dedicated physicians in the area, Edward White Hospital opened its doors in March 1976.  As a result, the hospital was named in memory of, and to honor, Edward Higgins White II, the Gemini 4 Astronaut who was the first American to walk in space. Today the hospital has found its niche in the medical community, with a medical staff that has grown to more than 337 physicians dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to patients.

Approximately 600,000 patients have come through the doors over the last 35 years and close to 64,000 surgeries have been performed during this span.

St. Petersburg Chamber Reorganization

The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors has approved a restructuring of its staffing, required to meet the organizational objectives outlined during the annual meeting in February.

The objectives of: Engage and Grow Active Members, Develop Leadership and Relationships, and Create a Financially Resilient Organization will be achieved through the restructuring of 12 positions to 7. All current positions have expired and are replaced with new positions that reflect the changing models of Chambers throughout the country.

For updates on the reorganization, announcement of new positions, and ways to become engaged with the Chamber and our business community, please visit 

Bay Area Economic Scorecard

The 10th edition of the Bay Area Economic Scorecard has been released by the Tampa Bay Partnership.  Bi-annually the region is ranked alongside five competing regions of the nation, which include: Jacksonville, Atlanta, Dallas, Charlotte, and Raleigh-Durham, NC.

Overall in the study, the Bay Area rank rose from sixth to fifth in the Winter 2011 edition. The categories include: jobs, wages, housing, innovation, education, and transportation.

The Bay Area's Gross Regional Product, which is a measure of the local economy, grew by 3.60% last year. The region’s unemployment rate continues to fall, and housing costs relative to household income improved in the past year. The Scorecard can be viewed online

Plasma-Therm Acquisition

Plasma-Therm LLC, a leading supplier of plasma etch and deposition equipment, has announced it has secured majority shareholder status of Advanced Vacuum, a leading vacuum and thin film equipment provider headquartered in Sweden. Both operations have partnered to create a strategic alliance with complementary etch and deposition systems that support he needs of R&D through production environments.

This mutually beneficial partnership will strengthen their respective product offerings and expand an established sales and service network. Advanced Vacuum, is headquartered in Sweden and established in 1993. Plasma-Therm, was founded in 19745 and headquartered in St. Petersburg, FL. 

Valu-Point in Downtown St. Petersburg

Valu-Point and Southeast Market Analysts, two market and feasibility study groups, have new offices in downtown St. Petersburg, located at 433 Central Avenue Suite 204. Both companies consist of statewide coverage and a primary focus along the West Coast of Florida.

The company's press release quotes its highly motivated and well trained staff of professional research associates as valued resources in handling litigation support and expert testimony. The companies deal with litigators in the realm of commercial property tax appeal, partnership/corporate dissolution, and bankruptcy/fraud case loads.

Progress Energy Launches New Website, jointly launched by Progress Energy and the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA), is a first of its kind "information hub" providing consumers with everything they need to know about buying, owning, and driving plug-in electric vehicles.

Consumers are able to calculate savings, find incentives, learn about topics ranging from batteries and vehicle charging to environmental benefits, watch information videos, and view some of the new plug-in electric vehicles available or coming soon to auto showrooms in the U.S.

As part of a $200M smart grid grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, Progress Energy is developing a charging station pilot program. The company already owns nine plug-in electric vehicles for research purposes, including the Southeast's first plug-in hybrid electric utility bucket truck.  


Preview of the Month...

April 1, 2011 marks the season opener of the Tampa Bay Rays at home in Tropicana Field vs. the Baltimore Orioles.

In addition to a new line up, there are a variety of new concession offerings at Tropicana Field for fans to enjoy:

  • The Batter's Eye restaurant is now the Everglades BBQ Smokehouse, a family style restaurant with variety of sauces to tempt one's tastebuds.
  • The Brewhouse, located on Center Field Street, will offer a selection of local craft brews.
  • Burger UP is now at the First Base Food Court with an array of burger selections.
  • The Wings Around the World stand is located at Center Field Street with a wide range of specialty sauces.

Game Used Merchandise

The Rays now offer authenticated game worn and/or signed items from Rays players. These one- of-a-kind items are located at the Rays main team store at Tropicana Field. All items are authenticated by Major League Baseball.

Saturday Night Concert Series

The continuation of this popular post-game offering in 2011 will include such musical artists as, Darius Rucker, Miranda Lambert, REO Speedwagon and the Goo Goo Dolls. The Summer Concert Series is presented by Hess Express and Bright House Sports Network.

For a preview of the team's entire promotional season schedule, go to Rays Baseball online.

Don't forget to purchase 2011 season tickets while online! 

Get to Know Economic Development...
To learn more information about St. Petersburg's business environment, you can visit, call (727) 893-7100, or email a member of the City of St. Petersburg's Economic Development Division:

Dave Goodwin

Economic Development   Director

Sophia Sorolis

Economic Development Manager

Rick Smith

CRA Coordinator, Community Redevelopment, CEcD

Gary Jones

Planner III, Annexation, Main Streets Program, AICP

Kimberly Bailey

Eco. Dev. Analyst, Website/ News & Events/ Retail Marketplace

Jon Fleming

Eco. Dev. Analyst, Market Research/ International Trade/ Incentives

Paul Stellrecht

Eco. Dev. Coordinator, Business Retention & Brownfields

Helaine Neal

Economic Development Department Assistant


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