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UT boosts revenue in FY 2019

The University of Tampa Inc. reported $245 million in operating revenue for the 12 months ended May 31, a 6.3 percent increase in operating revenue from the prior year, according to financial statements filed for bond holders. The increase in net assets, or surplus, in fiscal year 2019 was $42.3 million, down 3.9 percent from FY 2018.  A surplus at not-for-profit organizations such as UT is similar to net income at for-profit companies. UT reported a $5.7 million loss on the disposal of assets in its most recent fiscal year. That's the result of the complete renovation of the Riverside Center to create the new Southard Family Building and the demolition of the Edison Building to make way for construction of the new Ferman Center for the Arts, a spokesman said. UT also renovated half of the Bailey Arts Studio to make way for the new digital fabrication lab (Fab Lab) during the year. Total enrollment for the fall semester of the 2018-19 school year was 9,335, compared to 8,839 in the fall semester a year earlier.

Tampa cannabinoids company sells consumer products division

Canavation Product Group acquired the consumer products division of Teewinot Life Sciences, a Tampa company involved in the biosynthetic development and production of cannabinoids and their derivatives. Terms of the deal were not publicly disclosed. Canavation also acquired a patent issues to Teewinot. The deal allows Teewinot to focus on commercialization of its CannSynthesis platform, as well as the advancement of its pharmaceutical pipeline, a news release said.

Tampa Hillsborough EDC rebrands

The Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation is changing its name to the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council. The rebranding – along with a new strategic action plan — will position the organization for greater success as it enters its second decade, Craig Richard, president and CEO, said in a news release. The Tampa Bay EDC will continue to serve Tampa and Hillsborough County exclusively, while continuing to partner with its regional allies in global trade and other initiatives, the release said. The organization will begin using the new name and unveil its new logo at its annual meeting in Tampa on Oct. 29 at the Straz Center.

Tampa’s Oracle Elevator makes its 30th acquisition

Oracle Elevator has acquired Affinity Elevator. With offices in Pensacola and Panama City, Florida, Affinity Elevator provides elevator maintenance, repair and modernization services. The deal helps Oracle expand its footprint and connect markets along the I-10 corridor from Florida to Texas, a news release said. Financial terms were not disclosed. It's the 30th acquisition since 2004 for Oracle, based in Tampa and the largest independent provider of elevator maintenance, repair, and modernization services.

Tech Data partnership adds to security portfolio

Tech Data Corp. (Nasdaq: TECD), a Clearwater IT distributor, has joined forces with Akamai Technologies (Nasdaq: AKAM) in a partnership aimed at increasing cybersecurity for clients. Tech Data customers in the U.S. and Canada can use any of three Akamai packages: web application firewall protection, accelerated performance of web and mobile applications, or  enterprise traffic protection and remote application access, a news release said. The additions to Tech Data’s security portfolio provide a cloud- and data-center-agnostic delivery platform with a defense-in-depth approach, a deeper and broader approach to cybersecurity, the release said.

Seattle-based consulting firm plans St. Pete, Tampa offices

Slalom, a Seattle-based consulting firm focused on strategy, technology and business transformation, said it will open offices in St. Petersburg and in Tampa as part of an expansion throughout Florida. The company just debuted in Miami and said in a news release that it will also open sites in Orlando and Jacksonville over the next 24 months, employing 600 people statewide. Slalom currently has 31 offices across the United States and in three countries. Clients include more than half the Fortune 100 and a third of the Fortune 500, along with startups, not-for-profits and innovative organizations of all kinds. 

Pinellas, Pasco counties join the Dementia Care and Cure Initiative

Pinellas and Pasco counties have joined the Dementia Care and Cure Initiative to create more dementia-sensitive communities. The goals of the initiative are to increase awareness of dementia and available services; help communities provide a supportive and engaging environment; and advocate for programs that provide care and promote research efforts towards a cure. There are more than 15,000 individuals living with probable Alzheimer’s disease, the most well-known form of dementia, in Pasco County and more than 33,000 in Pinellas County, according to the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. 

Delta launches Tampa to Seattle service

Delta Air Lines will launch daily nonstop service between Tampa International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport beginning March 11, 2020, expanding Tampa International Airport's connections to the West Coast. The flight will operate on a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, departing Tampa at 4:45 p.m. and arriving in Seattle at 8:15 p.m., and departing Seattle at 7:40 a.m. and arriving in Tampa at 4 p.m..Delta is Tampa International's second airline to offer nonstop service to the Pacific Northwest after Alaska Airlines launched daily nonstop Tampa-to-Seattle flights in 2014.

$11M capital raise by portfolio company of Tampa PE firm

The Whole Coffee Company has closed an $11 million Series A capital raise. The fresh capital, along with recent sales and executive talent recruits, will enable the company to begin scaling its recently announced and expanded Tim Hortons, Dunkin’ and internally branded nudge Edible Coffee Products, a news release said. Tampa private equity firm ProspEquity Partners is the majority owner of The Whole Coffee Company, which is based in Miami.

Tarpon Springs business owner pleads guilty to violating federal law

The owner and operator of Sponges Direct Inc. in Tarpon Springs pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Endangered Special Act. Nicholas Skaroulis faces up to one year in federal prison, a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida said. From 2014 to 2018, his company sold and exported non-living sponges to customers outside of the United States, but failed to disclose the contents of the shipments as required by federal regulation, and evaded the payment of inspection and user fees, prosecutors said, citing a plea agreement. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

Federal legislation to help Tampa Bay Times, other papers stalls in Senate

The Tampa Bay Times is among the 20 local newspapers impacted by proposed pension relief legislation pending in Congress. The measure would give the newspapers more time to catch up on required contributions to pension plans, according to a report in Roll Call. Times Publishing Co., the parent company of the Tampa Bay Times, owes nearly $32.3 million in contributions to its pension plan, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. said in a lien filed June 24 in Pinellas County. The U.S. House overwhelmingly passed the pension relief bill last May, but it's stalled in the Senate, Roll Call said. Advocates said some newspapers could go bankrupt if Congress fails to act.

Florida governor recommends pay raise for teachers

The minimum salary for Florida teachers would increase to $47,500 under proposed 2020 budget recommendations from Gov. Ron DeSantis. Starting teacher pay in the state currently is $37,636, ranking Florida No. 26 in the United States, according to the National Education Association. The proposed pay raise, which would cost about $600 million, would boost Florida's starting teacher pay to No. 2 in the nation, a news release said.  The proposal would help alleviate a teacher shortage and elevate the teaching profession, DeSantis said.

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