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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.

Tampa tech council names new CEO

The Global Technology Distribution Council in Tampa named Frank Vitagliano as its new CEO. He succeeds Tim Curran, who retired earlier this year. Vitagliano has held senior executive positions with IBM, Juniper Networks and Dell and most recently was president and CEO of Computex. GTDC is an industry consortium representing the world’s leading tech distributors.

Dynasty lands $6B wealth management team

Americana Partners LLC, a newly formed wealth management firm headquartered in Texas, has partnered with Dynasty Financial Partners, a St. Petersburg-based company that provides technology for independent investment advisors. Several members of Americana’s team previously worked at Morgan Stanley and collectively managed more than $6 billion in client assets. Americana is the largest breakaway of the year, said Shirl Penny, Dynasty CEO.

Paradise to manage McKibbon Hospitality public relations

Paradise Advertising & Marketing, a full-service marketing agency in St. Petersburg, has an agreement to perform a wide scope of public relations services for McKibbon Hospitality in Tampa. Paradise will work closely with McKibbon to market and promote the company’s corporate brand, among other services. The relationship is aligned with Paradise’s expansion plans as well as the agency’s commitment to partner with companies in the Tampa Bay area, a news release said.

Outback leads Bloomin’ sales gains

Bloomin’ Brands (Nasdaq: BLMN), the Tampa-based parent company of Outback, Bonefish, Carrrabba’s and Fleming’s, had a “terrific start” in 2019, said David Deno, the new CEO. First quarter revenue was $1.1 billion, led by a 3.5 percent increase in comparable restaurant sales at Outback in the United States. Net income was $64.3 million, or 69 cents a share, with an accounting change cutting three cents a share from the bottom line, a news release said.

Here’s what Tech Data paid its CEO

Rich Hume, CEO of Tech Data Corp. (Nasdaq: TECD), had $4.8 million in total compensation in fiscal 2019. Hume, who has been CEO of the Clearwater-based IT distributor since June 6, 2018, received $818,855 in salary, $2.7 million in stock awards and $1.25 million in cash incentives for the year ended Jan. 31, a proxy said. Robert Dutkowsky, executive chairman and former CEO, was Tech Data’s highest-paid employee, with $4.9 million in total compensation, most of that in stock awards.

Superior Q1 sales jump 18 percent

First quarter 2019 sales increased 18.4 percent at Superior Group of Companies (Nasdaq: SGC), a  Seminole company with uniform, branding and call center operations. Superior's Q1 sales were $86.6 million, compared to first quarter 2018 net sales of $73.1 million. Q1 2019 net income was $2.4 million, or 16 cents a share, about flat compared to a year earlier.

MarineMax cuts guidance

MarineMax (NYSE: HZO) lowered its earnings expectations for FY 2019 after reporting a dip in profit for the second quarter. The Clearwater-based boat and yacht retailer reported $303.6 million in revenue, a 12 percent gain from Q2 2018, but net income was $5.3 million, or 23 cents a share, compared to net income of $6.2 million, or 27 cents a share, for the same quarter last year.  Bad weather in key markets impacted the results, MarineMax said.

Raymond James revenue, profit grow

Investment banking and interest income helped bump up revenue for the second quarter of FY 2019 at Raymond James Financial Inc. Raymond James (NYSE: RJF) reported net income of $261 million, or $1.81 a share, on revenue of $1.86 billion for the three months ended March 31. Revenue was up 3 percent and net income was up 7 percent over the same period a year earlier, the St. Petersburg financial services firm said.

Shelley Broader steps down as Chico’s CEO

Shelley Broader, a businesswoman with several Tampa Bay ties, abruptly resigned Wednesday as president and CEO of Chico's FAS (NYSE: CHS), a women's clothing company in Fort Myers. Broader previously was president and CEO of Sweetbay Supermarket in Tampa and she is a member of the board of directors of Raymond James Financial Inc. (NYSE: RJF) in St. Petersburg.

The St. Pete Catalyst

The Catalyst honors its name by aggregating & curating the sparks that propel the St Pete engine.  It is a modern news platform, powered by community sourced content and augmented with directed coverage.  Bring your news, your perspective and your spark to the St Pete Catalyst and take your seat at the table.

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