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St. Pete High students win national competition

Five students from St. Pete High School’s Junior Achievement 3DE program recently won the 2022 Home Depot National Case Challenge. The winning 10th-grade team consisted of Amaya Aikens, Kenyon Clarkson, Alisha Ford, Tate Keber and Mya Muar. The St. Pete High team took first place out of 15 teams nationwide. The 3DE program utilizes business professionals as student advisors and coaches, helping to bring real-world situations to the classroom. For the competition, Home Depot challenged the teams to create an innovative showroom-type experience based on kitchen products. St. Pete High hosted a watch party in the school’s cafeteria so fellow students could cheer on their classmates as they competed on a national stage.

St. Petersburg-Clearwater airport to host job fair for its tenants

The St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport is hosting a job fair for its tenants, including airline and concessionaire jobs. It will be held on May 17 from 10 a.m. till noon, and then again from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. till 8 p.m. The tenants hiring include Allegiant Air, the Hudson Group, SSP America, Sheltair Aviation and the airport itself. The interviews will be held on the second level inside the airport. All positions require a criminal background check.

Community Tampa Bay awards ceremony is May 25

Community Tampa Bay will recognize community leaders and advocates May 25 with its Silver Medallion Award. The honorees will be celebrated at Tampa River Center, in front of 150 event guests (registration is here). The awards have been given out every year since 1970. This year's honorees are the Green Book of Tampa Bay (Hillary Van Dyke and Joshua Bean) for their work establishing a directory of Black-owned area businesses, disability rights advocates Karen Clay and her son, Michael Phillips (posthumously), and Equality Florida's Director of Development Mark Puskarich.

Tampa commercial real estate tech startup raises $12M

Leasecake, a tech firm based in Tampa that aims to transform lease and location management with its cloud-based system, has raised $12 million in an oversubscribed Series A funding round. The round was led by PeakSpan Capital, an investment firm in Silicon Valley and New York City that's focused on business-to-business software companies in the growth stage. Las Olas Venture Capital, an existing investor, participated in the round as well as Branded Strategic Hospitality, according to a news release. Leasecake allows tenants, brokers and landlords to manage leases, accounting, insurance agreements and franchise operations.

TBIC receives donation for the ARK Innovation Center

Al Steinberg, former vice president of Dillard's, and his wife Sandee, who is also a former executive at Dillard's, have donated $50,000 to the Tampa Bay Innovation Center's new hub in St. Petersburg dubbed the ARK Innovation Center. The ARK Innovation Center, opening July 2023, will be the new home to programs and resources that have been serving Tampa Bay entrepreneurs and emerging tech startups. 

KnowBe4 reaches nearly 50,000 customers

Clearwater-based KnowBe4 Inc. (NASDAQ: KNBE),  a provider of the world's largest security awareness training, has increased its total GAAP revenue increased 40.1% year-over-year to $75 million, according to its financial results for the first quarter. “We are pleased to report another outstanding quarter with ARR [annual recurring revenue] reaching $305.9 million and total customers closing in on 50,000,” said Stu Sjouwerman, founder and chief executive officer of KnowBe4. “As current geopolitical events have indicated, the need for organizations to establish a strong security culture has never been more important. We believe our current product portfolio coupled with new offerings planned for later this year positions us very well to take advantage of the market's heightened focus on security."

Pinellas Schools superintendent search update

The three finalists vying to replace Dr. Michael Grego as the Pinellas County Schools (PCS) superintendent will take part in interviews at the PCS administration building in Largo on Wednesday, May 11. Kevin Hendrick, Michael Ramirez and Ann Hembrook will interview with school board members as a group, followed by individual meetings with district departments. The public is welcome to attend and watch the livestream, but public comment is not allowed. The finalists will take part in private, individual interviews on Thursday, May 12. The board expects to select a new superintendent on May 17, and Grego retires on July 1. For more information and video links, visit the website here.

100 Women Who Care awards $22,000

During their latest fundraising event, 100 Women Who Care St. Petersburg awarded $22,000 to three carefully selected area nonprofits. Pineapple Projects, which helps the previously homeless start a new life by providing furniture and décor for their new homes, took home the impact award of $17,000. The money was raised through members contributing $100 each at the start of the event. Live, Love, St. Pete!, received $2,500 to purchase 301 backpacks stuffed with school supplies for local children in need. Remember Me, which helps those with mental illnesses recover through paddle boarding and water therapy, also received $2,500. The next 100 Women Who Care meeting and fundraiser is Thursday, Sept. 1.

Tampa Bay Times takes Pulitzer for investigative reporting

Tampa Bay Times reporters Corey G. Johnson, Rebecca Woolington and Eli Murray won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting Monday, for their series Poisoned, chronicling the dangers at Gopher Resource, a Tampa lead smelting factory. It is the 14th Pulitzer win for the St. Petersburg-based newspaper.

Firm with $1B worth of client assets rejoins Dynasty Financial network

New York-based Ascent Wealth Partners, which has $1 billion in client assets, has rejoined the St. Petersburg-based Dynasty Financial Partners network.  Ascent Wealth Partners originally joined the Dynasty network in 2011. The firm has offices in New Hartford, Saratoga, and Elmira in New York. “Support provided on middle and back-office activities allows us to provide a high level of services to our clients,” Brad Kowalczyk, partner at Ascent Wealth Advisors, said in Dynasty's Monday news release. “Mark and I have been good friends with Shirl [Dynasty CEO Shirl Penney] for a long time and it was clear we all wanted to find a path to partnership again to give us leverage to better care for clients and continue to build a better business.”

SunRunner lane enforcement to begin soon

Drivers may be fined for driving, parking, loading or unloading in the red painted pavement areas. Only PSTA buses and emergency vehicles are allowed to drive in the red lanes, though all drivers may enter the lanes to make a turn. 

Visit Tampa Bay names Les Miller Tourism Ambassador of the Year

Visit Tampa Bay announced Thursday that its 2022 Gonzmart Family Tourism Ambassador of the Year is Tampa native and Shumaker Advisors Principal Les Miller. According to a release, Miller received the award for his unwavering commitment to the Tampa Bay community for the last 50 years. The organization credited Miller for supporting the region’s hospitality industry through his time as a Hillsborough County Commissioner and as a state senator and representative. “Since leaving public office, Les has continued to be an integral part of our board and is fully deserving of this accolade,” said Santiago C. Corrada, president and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay.

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