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Raymond James advisor killed in Texas plane crash

Jeffrey Weiss, senior vice president of investments at Raymond James & Associates in Houston, was one of six people killed in a plane crash in Texas. The plane left West Houston Airport in Katy bound for the Kerrville Municipal Airport near San Antonio but crashed about 10 miles outside of the airport, Bisnow reported.  Weiss was the pilot and co-owner of the plane. An investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing.

TIA gets 500+ signups for new access program

More than 500 people have signed up for Tampa International Airport's new All Access program. It's designed to give people who don't have plane tickets to get through security so they can eat or shop at one of the 70 new concessions at the airport. Up to 100 people every Saturday can get an an All Access airside pass by signing up here. There are a handful of spots left in May and June is filling up quickly, TIA said.

Credit agency upgrades Jabil

Moody's Investors Service upgraded Jabil Inc.'s senior unsecured debt rating to Baa3 from Ba1  and changed the outlook to stable from positive. The credit agency cited Jabil’s multi-year agreement with Johnson & Johnson, which should lead to more than $1 billion of incremental annual revenue when the medical device program is fully ramped. Moody’s said it is still concerned about Jabil’s high exposure to Apple Inc., but also expects that the company will continue to try to limit exposure to any one product or product set to no more than 5 percent of annual operating cash flow. Jabil (NYSE: JBL), an electronics manufacturing services firm, is the largest company headquartered in St. Petersburg.

Immertec wins Rise of the Rest $100,000 pitch prize

Erik Malteis, CEO of Immertec came out on top on Wednesday, winning the $100,000 Rise of the Rest prize. Immertec has created an evolutionary form of proprietary VR (virtual reality) technology for remote presence surgical training. They've created a fully immersive 3D experience – for the medtech industry called Medoptic Virtual Surgical Observation (VSO). For previous coverage of Immertec, click here. 

Pediatric hospital takes additional quality steps

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital said federal regulator have offered the hospital a chance to enter a systems  improvement agreement in order to correct problems and avoid termination of participation in the Medicare program. The hospital also said in a note to employees that state regulators have requested a new plan of correction related specifically to infection control findings by early May. The hospital, which had a high number of deaths in its cardiology program, said “immediate jeopardy” status was lifted in February as a result of earlier corrective action plans.

Masonite names new CEO

Howard Heckes was named president and CEO of Masonite International Corp. effective June 3. Heckes currently is CEO of Energy Management Collaborative, a LED lighting firm, and he previously worked in senior operations roles at Valspar Corp. He succeeds Fred Lynch, who previously said he would retire from Masonite (NYSE: DOOR), a Tampa-based door manufacturer. 

Clearwater finance firm buys auto lender

Nicholas Financial Inc. (Nasdaq: NICK) acquired substantially all of the assets of ML Credit Group LLC, which does business as Metrolina Credit Company.  Metrolina provides automobile financing to consumers by direct loans and through purchases of retail installment sales contracts originated by automobile dealers in North Carolina and South Carolina. Nicholas, a specialized consumer finance company in Clearwater, didn't disclose a purchase price.  

Reuben Pressman named Entrepreneur in Residence for City

In this two year pilot program, Pressman, the Founder of Presence, will act as liaison between the City and the entrepreneurial community.  Click here for more from the City's website. 

St. Pete software company partners with Microsoft

Ident-A-Kid has become a Microsoft Authorized Education Partner. To earn a Microsoft AEP authorization, partners must complete a test to prove their level of academic licensing and market expertise, a news release said. Ident-A-Kid, based in St. Petersburg, provides visitor management systems to K-12 schools nationwide, with a system that allows schools to perform sexual offender checks before visitors sign-in, track student tardies and early releases, volunteer hours and generate reports of all traffic within schools. 

St. Pete WiFi pioneer profiled

Todd Myers, founder and CEO of GoZone WiFi, describes his 20-year journey in the wireless technology industry in a profile by Wi-Fi Now. GoZone, which moved to St. Petersburg a year ago, monetizes public WiFi networks.  As owners learn more about using WiFi for marketing and customer engagement, marketing budgets will begin to shift towards the IT departments, Myers told Wi-Fi Now.

WeWork considers IPO

The We Company, parent of WeWork co-working, has submitted amendments to a December draft of an initial public offering in a confidential filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The process will enable WeWork to make the decision to become publicly traded, the company said in a news release.  WeWork has announced two Tampa sites and is reported to be negotiating a lease in downtown St. Petersburg.

WellCare posts Q1 gains

WellCare Health Plans Inc. continued to post revenue and profit gains during Q1 2019, even while planning its acquisition by Centene. WellCare’s revenue was $6.76 billion, up 45.5 percent from a year earlier. Net income was $151.4 million, up 48.9 percent, and earnings per share for the just-ended quarter were $2.98. Much of the increase was attributed to WellCare’s purchase of Meridian in 2018.

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