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Tampa General remembers surgeon killed in plane crash

Dr. Daniel Greenwald, a Tampa physician who was killed when the small plane he was piloting crashed Saturday in Indiana, was "an immensely talented surgeon who took on the most complex cases and mastered them," a statement from Tampa General Hospital said. Greenwald, a plastic surgeon, was a member of the TGH medical staff for more than 20 years. "We will remember Dr. Greenwald’s sparkling intellect, his kindness to everyone he met, and his great enthusiasm, not just for surgical innovation, but for living life to the fullest. He cared intensely about his family, his colleagues, and his friends. No matter how busy he was, he always took time to connect with the people around him with sincerity and empathy. He was deeply dedicated to his patients, including those who faced devastating traumatic injuries, and his rare skills brought so many of them healing and renewed health," the statement said.

Defense firm building US headquarters at Tampa International

CAE USA expects to create 100 jobs when its new U.S. headquarters opens at Tampa International Airport. The training and simulation company broke ground Friday on the project, a 290,000-square-foot facility scheduled to open in 2022. The building will be leased from Space Florida and will be home to 600 workers, including those holding the newly created jobs, a news release said. The state and Hillsborough County approved up to $880,000 in incentives under the Qualified Target Industry tax refund program in 2017 for CAE USA, if the company fulfills its promise to create jobs paying an average annualized wage of at least $74,561, according to documents filed with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Rays’ on-again, off-again talks with Hillsborough, Tampa are back on with a caveat

The Tampa Bay Rays can talk with officials in Tampa and in Hillsborough County about moving to the eastern side of Tampa Bay, as long as the talks are about 2028 and beyond, per the terms of the use agreement, a spokesman for Mayor Rick Kriseman said. Earlier discussions between the Rays and Hillsborough County fell apart in December, after the commissioner of Major League Baseball said the framework for a deal lacked  specific details needed to understand the proposal.

KnowBe4 posts 3Q sales gains

KnowBe4, a Clearwater cybersecurity training firm, said sales grew 55 percent in the third quarter of 2019, compared to the same quarter in 2018 and customer accounts now top 28,000. The privately held company did not disclosed sales numbers, but said the increase was driven by increased demand for its security awareness training and a rapidly expanding portfolio of training content. KnowBe4 recently bought video production company Twist and Shout, adding to growth in the European market, and is moving into new markets such as Asia Pacific, with the establishment of offices in Australia and Japan, Stu Sjouwerman, CEO, said in a news release.

Valpak goes to Hollywood for new partnership

Valpak, a St. Petersburg-based direct marketing company, is partnering with Metro Goldwyn Mayer on a nationwide, multi-platform promotion for the upcoming animated film "The Addams Family."  Valpak said the blue envelopes it sends to about 36 million homes nationwide will be timed with the Oct. 11 release of the movie. In addition to regular coupons, there will be a chance to win extra treats, like a free Fandango movie code good towards two movie tickets, a news release said. Valpak's audience is 16 percent more likely than the average U.S. consumer to have gone to a movie in the past 30 days, said Mike Davis, Valpak president and CEO.

Jabil commits to plastics pledge

Jabil Packaging Solutions signed the New Plastics Economy Global Committment, an initiative to address plastics waste and pollution at its source. By 2025, Jabil Packaging has pledged to eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging in customers’ packaging; move from single-use toward reuse models; increase use of post-consumer recycled content in customer packaging; and make 100 percent of customers’ plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable, a news release said. Jabil Packaging, a unit of St. Petersburg-based manufacturer Jabil (NYSE: JBL) is one of 400 signers, including brands such as Nestlé, PepsiCo and Target Corp.

St. Pete man makes Forbes list of richest Americans

Ronald Wanek, the founder of America's largest home furniture manufacturer and retailer, Ashley Furniture, is No. 250 on the new Forbes 400, a list of the wealthiest people in America. Wanek, who lives in St. Petersburg, has a net worth of $3.4 billion, according to Forbes. Wanek has donated millions to the Mayo Clinic to help improve treatment for a heart defect that affected his granddaughter at birth, Forbes said. Two other area residents also made the new list: real estate magnate Edward Debartolo Jr. of Tampa, No. 319 with a net worth of $2.7 billion, and Todd Christopher of Clearwater, founder of hair care products company Vogue International, No. 370 with a net worth of $2.2 billion.

Agency affirms credit rating of St. Pete insurer

AM Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and the long-term issuer credit rating of “a-” of Journey Insurance Co. in St. Petersburg. The outlook of these credit ratings is stable. The ratings reflect Journey’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management, a news release said. Journey is majority owned by St. Petersburg-based United Insurance Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: UIHC).

Florida AG backs T-Mobile/Sprint merger

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody joined the U.S. Department of Justice and 10 other states in support of the T-Mobile/Sprint merger. Florida’s support is part of an agreement reached earlier this week to address Florida-specific concerns, including concessions to protect Florida jobs and improving infrastructure, a news release said. One commitment the companies made was to continue to operate a major customer experience center in the Tampa area that employs at least 800 employees for at least six years following the closing date. T-Mobile/Sprint also agreed to deploy a 5G network in Florida that reaches at least 76 percent of the state population and to market its in-home broadband service product to at least 710,000 households in Florida. The merger is opposed by 18 attorneys general, who say it would hurt competition and raise prices, according to Engadget.

ReliaQuest plans to buy Austin-based cyber defense firm

ReliaQuest, a Tampa-based cybersecurity provider for businesses, agreed to acquire Threatcare, a cyber defense company in Austin. The acquisition will boost protection for ReliaQuest's business customers by providing integrated threat simulations that validate controls, content and workflows instantly, enabling proactive improvement of security programs, a news release said.  Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Threatcare employees will join ReliaQuest, and Marcus Carey, CEO and founder of Threatcare, will join ReliaQuest's Office of the CTO. ReliaQuest expects to roll out the new attack simulation capabilities in early 2020. 

Rays attendance up slightly in 2019

The Tampa Bay Rays had a 2 percent jump in attendance at their 80 regular season home games in 2019. Still, the Rays were No. 29 out of 30 Major League Baseball teams, with 2019 attendance at 1,178,735, an average of 14,734 attendees per game at Tropicana Field. That's up from attendance of 1,154,973, or 14,258 per game, in 2018, when the Rays played 81 games at home, but far below the nearly 4 million spectators who turned out this year for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the MLB attendance leader, according to ESPN. The Rays face the Oakland A's in Oakland tomorrow in the American League Wild Card game, and could return to the Trop for the division series if they win that game.

Hyde House lands anchor tenant

Tampa advertising agency Schifino Lee will move to Hyde House in Hyde Park Village as an anchor and founding member in November. Hyde House is a coworking/gathering space in Hyde Park Village in Tampa that's being developed by St. Petersburg-based Station House. Employees will get to work around different people and perspectives and will be able to access amenities that are better than what any single business could otherwise afford, a news release said. Hyde House also handles administrative and technical aspects, such as WiFi, utilities, and furniture, allowing Schifino Lee to focus on delivering superior service and eye-catching creative to its clients, the news release said.

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