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St. Pete’s Pop Goes the Waffle is a finalist in a national incubator program

St. Pete entrepreneur Sara Fludd, who founded Pop Goes the Waffle, an innovative waffle wholesale and e-commerce company, is one of the finalists to be part of a national incubator program hosted by Stacy's Pita Chip. Fudd was one of 10 applicants selected out of more than 9,000 applicants for the Stacy's Rise Project. The 12-week program is meant to help women-founded companies. The 10 winners will each receive a $10,000 grant, mentoring from Frito-Lay and PepsiCo leadership, and the opportunity to participate in a speaker series featuring Frito-Lay leadership and founders. The only other Florida-based entrepreneur selected was Julie Butcher, who founded The Vegan Knife, a company in Estero that offers a line of allergy-friendly and vegan cupcakes, cakes and donut mixes. More about the program can be found here

New 64-unit subdivision slated for Palm Harbor

A stormwater application has been for a 64-unit villas subdivision located on 21.47 acres at 4706 Pleasant Ave. in Palm Harbor. The project, named Harbor Landing, would be located south of Klosterman Road, east of the Pinellas Trail and near the Innisbrook Golf Course. The site is currently vacant with wetland areas. The project team includes Texas-based homebuilder D.R.Horton Inc. and Clearwater-based Gulf Coast Consulting Inc.

Former Merrill Lynch advisory team joins Dynasty

Leading wealth advisors R. Scott Bills, Brett Bills, Teresa Friess, Aaron Seeman and Joshua DeLoach announced a new partnership with St. Pete-based Dynasty Financial Partners to launch Colorado-based Nilsine Partners. The group of advisors launched their new RIA after leaving the investment management giant Merrill Lynch. Nilsine Partners is an independent registered advisor offering services including banking and lending. It specializes in customized portfolio management along with a variety of financial planning services such as multi-generational, philanthropic and trusts, according to the announcement. As part of the agreement, Dynasty will provide what's known as middle and back-of-office support to the new group. “As we continue to evolve and grow the business to meet the needs of our clients, the opportunity and necessity to expand our offerings in the independent world helped accelerate our timeline. We now have the ability to be solutions-based, not product-driven,”  R. Scott Bills, CEO and partner, said in the release. The Colorado-based firm sees opportunities to place a strong emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, specifically to expand its philanthropic and family office services.   

Bucs start season hot behind arm of Tom Brady

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ quest to defend their Super Bowl title is off to a near-perfect start as the team improves to 2-0 on the 2021 season. The Bucs beat the division-rival Atlanta Falcons 48-25 on Sunday, behind quarterback Tom Brady’s five touchdown passes. Brady, 44, also threw for four touchdowns against the Dallas Cowboys last week. With just 13 more touchdown passes, Brady will have thrown for more scores in his 40’s than he did in his 20’s, with one less season as a starter. While there are some concerns at the cornerback and running back positions, Tampa Bay’s offense appears to have picked up where they left off in February.

USF issues surveys to aid in presidential search

The search for the next president of USF is well underway, and on Monday the Presidential Search Committee sent surveys to students and faculty to gather feedback on what qualities the next leader should possess. Mike Griffin, Chair of the search committee, said the responses will help create a position profile the committee will use to attract and recruit the best possible candidates. The survey is available until Sept. 30. Griffin said he will be leading a listening tour in the coming weeks to meet with stakeholders from all three university campuses, along with key groups from the surrounding communities. Rhea Law is currently serving as the interim president.

Tampa Bay Watch names new CEO

Tampa Bay Watch, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of marine life, has changed its executive makeup. The organization announced on Monday that Dwayne Virgint, former executive director of the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center, has been promoted to the role of CEO of Tampa Bay Watch. Peter Clark will continue as the President and Founder of Tampa Bay Watch. Clark will focus on major development activities, community outreach, and bay restoration initiatives for Tampa Bay Watch. Virgint, who began work as Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center at the St. Pete Pier in 2019, will focus on the growth and demands of the organization which has more than doubled in size over the last year, according to the announcement. 

Hall withdraws from Council race, making Gabbard the automatic winner

City Council candidate Kyle Hall has withdrawn from the race for District 2, leaving incumbent Brandi Gabbard unopposed. According to the City Charter, that means Gabbard is the de facto winner. She will be sworn in at the first City Council meeting in 2022.

Health department issues alert on harmful algal bloom at Eagle Lake Park

The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County issued a health alert on Thursday after a harmful algal bloom was detected at Eagle Lake Park at 1800 Keene Road. The department is asking people to exercise caution and stay away from contact with the water. This includes pets as well. Warning signs have been posted. 

New Studio @ 620 show debuts today on Catalyst

Studio @ 620 presents R & B featuring Richard Santora and Bob Devin Jones.  Watch episode 1 here. 

St. Pete to institute a ‘clean zone’ around Tropicana Field for playoffs

Major League Baseball and the Tampa Bay Rays have requested that the City of St. Petersburg institute a “clean zone” around Tropicana Field beginning on Oct. 5, the start date of the baseball postseason. The clean zone is requested to continue for as long as the Rays are in the playoffs, up to and including the 2021 World Series. The World Series is scheduled to run between Oct. 26 – Nov. 3. The concept of a “clean zone” has long been associated with major national sporting events, and is intended to regulate temporary commercial activities, prevent illegal activity, and enhance aesthetics surrounding the event. The city has previously enacted these zones during all of the Rays’ playoff appearances. City council unanimously approved the resolution.

St. Pete moves up date for Grand Prix

The Firestone Grand Prix will race around the streets of downtown St. Petersburg a little earlier next year. At Thursday’s city council meeting, it was announced the race will now be held from Feb. 24 – Feb. 27. It was previously scheduled for March 10 – March 12. The change is to ensure a network television spot and potentially broader coverage. The earlier start date also guarantees the city will host the first and opening event of the 2022 IndyCar season.

KnowBe4 ranks high on list of best workplaces for women

Great Place to Work and Fortune magazine has named Clearwater-based KnowBe4 (NASDAQ: KNBE) as one of the 2021 Best Workplaces for Women. This is KnowBe4’s fourth time being named to this prestigious list, this year coming in at No. 11. “KnowBe4’s workforce is made up of over 40% women, which is much higher than the average IT security organization,” Erika Lance, chief human resources officer at KnowBe4, said in a release. “And one out of four women at KnowBe4 is at management level or higher. We pride ourselves on supporting and promoting the women in our workforce, as we believe that diversity makes for a stronger, more productive and more inclusive workplace. We offer some amazing benefits for women, including fully paid parental leave, paid adoption and fertility assistance and more.”

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